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Encounter Maria Island

20/10/2017

Encounter Maria Island's new ferry Osprey V, that will allow even more visitors to enjoy one of the State's best tourism attractions, was launched today.More

Progress on Cradle Mountain Master Plan

19/10/2017

An important milestone in the Cradle Mountain Master Plan project has been reached following a competitive tender process, with Cumulus Studio chosen to design the Cradle Mountain gateway precinct and the Dove Lake viewing shelter.More

Exciting new proposal for Tasmania's South East Cape

16/10/2017

Award-winning local tourism operator Ian Johnstone can now progress a new project to lease and licence negotiations under the Tourism Opportunities in Tasmania's National Parks, Reserves and Crown Land process.More

Liffey Falls State Reserve

Highlights

Liffey Falls was included within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area in 1989 in recognition of the globally significant values inherent within the region.

A Rich Human Heritage

Such values include the rich human history of the Liffey Falls area. For thousands of years this area acted as a meeting place for three groups - Big River, North and North Midlands people. Sandstone overhangs provided shelter and other rocks were used for tool manufacture. Tasmania's Aboriginal people continue to value the area.

In the 1900s, loggers came to the area to use the rich timber resource. William Page opened the first sawmill and by the end of World War II there were three sawmills operating here. Logging continued at Liffey Falls until the 1960s. In fact the Liffey Falls Picnic Area was once a logger's camp.

An Ancient Landscape Exposed

Water collected on the Great Western Tiers washes into the Liffey River. As it rushes downslope it erodes away the softer mudstone sediments exposing sandstone steps. These give rise to a series of waterfalls culminating in Liffey Falls.

The exposed sandstone was laid down over 250 million years ago when this region lay further south, covered by sea and ice. As icebergs melted, rocks were freed and plunged as 'dropstones' into the marine sediments below. These embedded dropstones, which are paler, roundish and flattened in shape, can be seen in the river along the track to Liffey Falls. Made of quartzite, these dropstones may have come from as far away as Cradle Mountain. Also embedded in the rocks exposed by the erosive force of the Liffey River are tiny marine fossils.

Plants and Animals

Pink robins, green rosellas and superb fairy-wrens can be found within the rainforest while tiny caddisfly larvae, giant crayfish and the shy platypus rely on the pure waters of the Liffey River. Over summer, many of the invertebrate larvae turn into flying adults, providing a feast for local birds and bats which skim above the water in search of prey. At night, Tasmanian devils, quolls, bandicoots and wallabies come out to feed. The area was also once home to the famous Tasmanian tiger.