Sorell Creek, kunanyi (12/12/20)

I have long been intrigued by the supposed waterfall on Sorell Creek in Wellington Park, marked as unconfirmed and named ‘Sorell Falls’ on the World Waterfall Database. Searching this name I hadn’t been able to find any information about the falls for some time, until I had the idea that people perhaps call this waterfall ‘Sorell Creek Falls’. This led to more success, turning up a couple of historic photos of the falls and an old map (which places the falls further upstream than the World Waterfall Database), but no evidence that this waterfall has been visited in the last 100 or so years. It is perfectly understandable that this waterfall hasn’t had any recent visitors, as it doesn’t appear to be particularly large, and requires a decent scramble up or down the creek from the nearest track to reach it. Even more recently, walking to the waterfall has become intensely difficult, requiring an awful scrub-bash along the closed and overgrown Myrtle Forest Trail before the creek is even reached. I’ve always known that trying to find this waterfall wouldn’t be a particularly fun walk, but given that I had no plans for the day, and I was running out of new walks to do in the park, I decided to go for it.

A historic photo of Sorell Creek Falls from Libraries Tas (date unknown)
A historic photo of Sorell Creek Falls from Libraries Tas (date unknown)

I started walking at about 9:30am, immediately being confronted by many signs telling me that the Big Bend Trail, the only route from Pinnacle Road to the old Myrtle Forest Trail that doesn’t involve a mountain ascent, was closed for track work. So, officially, I did not walk along the closed fire trail, and I will leave it to the reader to decide how I arrived at the entrance to the Myrtle Forest Trail. The Myrtle Forest Trail has been closed to all walkers since 2015, and closed indefinitely since 2019. As this track used to be a fire trail, I figured the overgrowth wasn’t going to be too bad, but seriously, this track is closed for a reason!

View from near the carpark. A great day for a walk!
View from near the carpark. A great day for a walk!
A jewel beetle on the track to Myrtle Forest Trail start (castiarina insularis)

Originally still having some resemblance of its fire trail past, the track soon descends into an enveloping cloud of cutting grass and beaura scrub. I was certainly the first to walk this track in some time, as there was no real evidence of a pad, nor any footsteps in the many sections of mud. The surrounding bush was delightfully serene and filled with wildlife, which somewhat made up for the poor walking conditions. I stopped at a relatively clear section to watch a ringtail possum (awake at midday), an olive whistler, and a pair of strong-billed honeyeaters ripping into the tree bark. Not long after this I reached a tributary to Sorell Creek, which now seems to have been diverted to run along the track, cutting a small gorge. At a few points the pools of water in the gorge got too deep and I had to scramble out, before jumping back in again when the scrub got too thick. Thankfully it was only about 1km to the creek, but the bash through the scrub through to the creek still took an hour.

A relatively cutting grass free section of Myrtle Forest Trail
One of the more road like sections of Myrtle Forest Trail
The track…

Sorell Creek is actually quite wide and is skirted by tree ferns and ancient fallen eucalypts, making for quite a beautiful setting. Being incredibly exhausted and not even half done with walking for the day, I decided while eating lunch that I wouldn’t be searching too far down the creek for the falls. I am glad that I had a bit of a scramble down the creek however, as I found some small cascades, some huge fallen trees and even a half-decent waterfall. I am quite confident the fall I found wasn’t Sorell Creek Falls, due to the lack of enormous boulder perched above, but I couldn’t push myself any further knowing I had to go back through that scrub.

Looking down Sorell Creek after just coming off the Myrtle Forest Trail
Looking down Sorell Creek after just coming off the Myrtle Forest Trail
A small cascade on Sorell Creek
A cascade created by a log on Sorell Creek
The small waterfall I found on Sorell Creek
The small waterfall I found on Sorell Creek

Sorell Creek Falls remains a mystery for now, but I hope that somebody up for the challenge is inspired by my journey and hunts down Sorell Creek Falls for themselves. If you find it, I would love to see a photo!

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