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Montezuma Falls Rail Trail - Trail Description

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Trail

Montezuma Falls Rail Trail

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Type: Tramway trail
Location: Zeehan Area, 296km from Hobart
Start/end: Williamsford to Melba Flats
Status: Open
Length open: 19.5km
Surface: Compacted earth, Fine gravel
Terrain: Hilly
Contact Region: Western Tasmania
Montezuma Falls (2019)
Montezuma Falls (2019)
Suitable for walking Suitable for cycling mountain bikes Suitable for following by car
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Details

Features

  • 105m high Montezuma Falls
  • Lush rainforest with Leatherwood, Myrtle, Sassafras
  • Williamsford mining town ruins

Description

This trail features the 105m high Montezuma Falls. Traversing lush rainforest with leatherwood, myrtle and sassafras, the trail follows the route of the former North East Dundas Tramway which ran from Zeehan to Williamsford. Williamsford was once a busy mining town but is now slowly being reclaimed by the bush.

The trail is in two sections: walking and cycling is allowed on the 5.5km from Williamsford to the falls; 4WD vehicles are allowed on the 14km between the Melba Flats and the falls.

Williamsford to Montezauma Falls

The start of the trail is well marked at Williamsford. After 500m, a track on the right leads to the original tramway formation. The trail then descends gently to the Montezuma Falls. Just before the falls, look for an old mining adit driven into the exposed rockface to your left. Soon after you will hear he falls cascading over the rocky tiers. To get to the falls, follow a track to the left just before the bridge. Take extra care as it can be wet and slippery.

A 50m long curved trestle bridge once carried the railway over the creek and past the Montezuma Falls. A new steel suspension bridge now allows trail users to cross the valley. Remains of the original timber bridge can still be seen on the other side of the creek. From the falls either return to Williamsford the same way or cross the footbridge and continue to Melba Flats 14km away.

Montezauma Falls to Melba Flats

Shortly after crossing the bridge you come to a car park. From here the old tramway formation is used by 4WDs and can be wet and muddy in places. After about 4km you reach the turnoff and another 4WD road, the Ring River Track. Continue straight ahead along the rail trail. You have to cross several creeks with long gone timber bridges, so expect to get wet feet.

Other mining and logging tramways intersected the trail at various points along this section of the trail and you can still see their formations if you look carefully.

14kms from Montezuma Falls, at Melba Flats, you reach the Murchison Highway (A10). You can return to the start of the trail the same way or take the highway north back to Williamsfords. If you are keen, continue to Zeehan via the Melba Flats to Zeehan Rail Trail.

Links

West Coast Pioneers' Memorial Museum

Photograph of the railway approaching the falls at the National Library of Australia Photograph Collection

Photgraph of the Montezuma Falls at the National Library of Australia Photograph Collection

January 2020

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Contact Us About This Trail

Email or click here: tas@railtrails.org.au.

Photos

Comments

Comments

3 comments

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13 January , 2020 by Martincousins

Just before Christmas 2019 we walked for ~1.5 hours with numerous stops from the Melba Flats end of the trail on the Murchison Highway towards the Falls, then returned the same way. Trail was a gentle rise heading towards the falls. Trail was reasonable condition, with some deeper holes from 4WDs. Conditions were dry at the time so I expect after rain it would be quite muddy in places. Surface is more clayey and less gravelly than many trails. Best for cycling on mountain bikes and slightly more adventurous than many trails. All in all a great ride through the Tassie bush. Note you can continue into Zeehan from the Murchison Highway - as described on this site and some MTB sites on the area.

05 December , 2019 by Martincousins

We walked the 5.5km Williamsford to Montezuma Falls section of this trail late one afternoon in January 2019. Beautiful trail through the forest above the Ring River. The falls are great and suspension bridge is fun. The trail was a little muddy in places and there is a short, steep section to get on to it at Williamsford, but it was generally well maintained. We did not encounter trees or rockslides covering the track as in the previous comment.

18 December , 2014 by Jarman

We recently rode the first 5.5kms of this trail as a family with 2 kids, and the falls at the end were beautiful BUT this is not your ordinary rail trail. Firstly it is obvious the trail has not been maintained in a very long time,there are multiple very large trees and rock slides covering the track, meaning we needed to carry the bikes over and under the trees to keep going. The trail is very wet and muddy, I would not attempt it on any less than a mountain bike. The trail is a long way from anywhere. If you are coming from Strahan it is approx a 1 hour drive on winding roads. We were considering doing the second part to Melba Flats but it took us about an hour to ride the 5.5km to the falls so I would hate to think how long the remaining 14km would have taken us . Other than that the kids loved getting muddy and playing at the falls just be prepared with a full change of clothes for the drive back.

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