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Tasmanian fuel reduction program an Australian first

23/03/2015

Tasmanian communities will be safer from the threat of bushfires, with a ground-breaking new $28.5 million program of fuel reduction burns announced today.More

Three Capes Track hut contracts awarded

19/03/2015

Two Tasmanian companies have been awarded contracts worth a total of $6.5 million to construct the huts on the Three Capes Track.More

Temporary access changes for The Nut

18/03/2015

Access to the tracks at the summit of The Nut State Reserve at Stanley will be by the chairlift only, from Monday 23 March to Friday 27 March, 2015, due to safety works being undertaken on the Zig Zag track.

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Montezuma Falls

27. Montezuma Falls

time 3 hours return (4km one way)
access Follow the signs to Williamsford and Montezuma Falls 2km south of Rosebery on the Murchison Highway (A10). See map
facilities Picnic, toilet facilities and shops in Rosebery.
grade Level 2. Level track suitable for all age groups.
what to take Group B items
cautions Supervise children, flowing waters, unprotected track edges, weather may change quickly
prohibited Dogs are welcome if kept on a leash. Bicycles are permitted and this track is well-suited for mountain bikes.

An easy walk, through rainforest, along the route of the historic North East Dundas Tramway. At 104m, Montezuma Falls are one of the highest waterfalls in Tasmania and the track takes you right to the base of the falls.

Highlights

Walking from Williamsford, the track is almost entirely through pleasant and open park-like rainforest. This includes leatherwood, myrtle, sassafras, giant tree ferns and eye-catching fungi.

You’re sure to get close to several different birds along the way, notably White’s thrush, which is a medium-sized and speckled brown and white ground dwelling bird. It forages quietly on the rainforest floor and, when disturbed, flies only a short distance before settling again, enabling you to get a second look.

An 1890 mineral survey showed the falls marked as Osbourne Falls. Montezuma was the name of the last Aztec emperor of Mexico (1466-1520). In Tasmania, his name appears to have originally been applied to a mining company — the Montezuma Silver Mining Company, which was formed in 1891 and held leases on the northern slopes of Mt. Dundas.

The creek immediately below the falls was once spanned by a wooden trestle bridge that was 160 ft. long and 50 ft. high and took five months to build. Today derelict pieces of timber, moss-covered concrete piers and rusty bolts are the only remains of this bridge.

The North East Dundas Tramway that ran from Zeehan to Deep Lead (now Williamsford) was constructed to facilitate access to mining sites in the Mt. Dundas and Mt. Read areas.

Surveying of the line commenced in 1895, and the ceremony to mark the ‘turning of the first sod’ was performed on 17 January 1896 before a crowd of 500 people. By January 1897 the first five miles of the line were in use and the official opening of the line through to Williamford was held in June 1898.

The gauge was 2 ft., which was a relatively narrow gauge and explains why the line was known as a tramway rather than a railway. The narrowness of the gauge was chosen to suit the winding hillsides and also to assist in lowering the cost of construction.

The line continued to operate infrequently until 1925 and was officially closed on 4 July 1932 and the rails were removed in the early 1940s.