Moss cover boulders and river ferns with waterfall at Upper Liffey Falls
Upper Liffey Falls (photograph: Dan Broun)
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Great Western Tiers Conservation Area

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​​​​​At the most northern boundary of Tasmania's Wilderness World Heritage Area, you'll find the imposing landscapes of the Great Western Tiers Conservation Area. Consisting of six distinct reserves, the Conservation Area covers some 14,500 hectares.

Stretching from Western Bluff near Mole Creek, to Millers Bluff near Campbell Town, the spectacular dolerite columns, deep gorges and forested escarpments mark the edge of the Central Plateau – the mountain range that forms the backbone of the state – and they're visible for many miles around. 

Between Western and Millers Bluff you'll find Mt Ironstone, which at 1443 metres is the highest mountain of the tiers, along with numerous other bluffs and small mountains.

The area is a walker's paradise, with countless opportunities to explore the expanses of temperate rainforest and subalpine woodland, sandstone and dolerite cliffs, and abundant lakes and waterfalls. Many of the tracks up the face of the Great Western Tiers have been forged by hunters, trappers and loggers in years gone by, and several of them extend south into the Central Plateau Conservation Area.

Most of the track heads start off Westrope Road, where you'll find a number of rough gravel car parking areas.

For a rewarding day walk, Higgs Track is a great option. Originally cut in the 1870s as a route for grazing cattle, it includes some steeper sections but is well maintained. On the lower sections of the escarpment, the track is lined with myrtle, sassafras and ferns, then as you pass the tree line you'll be treated to spectacular views of the Alpine plateau. Lady Lake Hut is a wonderful spot to stop for lunch and enjoy the tranquillity before you make the return journey.

Another good option for a day walk is Western Creek Track, which includes access to Whiteley Hut and Lake Ironstone. This is a well-established track, although the first kilometre​ is quite rough and full of boulders

Two slightly shorter options which still offer exceptional opportunities to enjoy the distinctive landscape of the Great Western Tiers are Syds Track (1.5 hours) and Mother Cummins Track (2 hours).