Westmorland Falls is situated a quarter of the way up the western end of the Great Western Tiers. To get there, first drive to Mole Creek and then take Caveside Road out towards Wet Cave Road camp ground, which is a part of the Mole Creek Karst National Park and also an amazing place to explore with Wet Cave and Honeycomb Cave easily accessible natural features.
Where the road goes straight to the camp ground, it also turns sharply to the left and that’s where you need to take off to get up to Westmorland Falls. The gravel road goes past two farms owned by the Linger brothers, and gradually ascends the foothills of the Tiers on what I call the ‘allee’ (some beautiful gum trees have been left here to line the gravel road) until you reach the official Westmorland Falls car park.
I think it’s normal for trail runners to break a run up into sections based on the natural features they run through. At least that’s what I do. Each section is very different on the Westmorland Falls track, which altogether is only about 3.4 KM long (there and back) but it does ascend quite steeply (99m) in parts and in wet weather can be very muddy. The latter is only a plus rather than a minus, at least in a trail runner’s eyes. :)
The first part of the track heads down towards a grassy boardwalk crossing, through some open woodland, and along the boundary of the neighbouring farm’s fence, before hitting two series of stone steps, and curving to the left to enter the first real part of the rainforest.
The trail moves steadily up over a rocky path, which changes once you reach the next boardwalk in a darker corner fringed by man fern. (This boardwalk is under water in very heavy rain.) The track continues up and over a slight crest and then down to a lookout. Here’s where the trail starts going up, firstly along a zigzag of stone steps, which lead into a series of dark man fern alcoves, before you hit the first steep section in a more open woodland area and then a semi steep section that takes you to the edge of the forest - at least to a cliff that looks over the creek (which you can both hear and see now).
Once here, the track goes down a zigzag to get to a wooden bridge, and then enters an intense hill training section, as it’s more or less uphill from here (not that it’s been flat up until this part).
The first steep section is helped by large stone steps, the next is just steep and takes you past a large towering forest giant which used to hold the track guest book but that looks as though it was moved into one of the neighbouring trees, and I’m not sure if that was on purpose or by either the recent heavy rains or strong winds.
The next section is very curvy and branchy and serpentines its way in line with the creek until you get to another short boardwalk and a little hill climb before the forest opens out as you step onto a large footbridge and can see two creeks merging into one. I love this part. Here you’re only a few minutes away from the actual falls, and the mud. Get ready.
After the bridge, the track enters a dark man fern forest. The creek is very close now and there are two uphill parts that are usually very muddy after rain, one has large stone steps and reinforced earth steps, and the last one just has mud and reinforced earth steps. But the good news is that after this you basically step onto the metal platform that Parks and Wildlife built, which leads you out to the creek and a fantastic view of the falls. Enjoy!
I have seen a large golden Tiger snake on this track, but this was the only sighting during an entire summer, and the beautiful snake just moved off into the scrub as soon as I came along. I see more pademelons bouncing off and across the trail, and along the side of the track than any other wildlife. I’ve never encountered mossies or leeches here, no matter how wet it was. During summer it can be very humid in the forest, so if you like sweating and then swimming, then this is a good place to come.
Westmorland Falls is an intense burst of a run, but the quality of the run more than makes up for its short distance. I love this part of the Tiers and it’s become a daily joy to come here and be in the mindblowing nature.
This track is rated Grade 3.
It usually takes me about 30 minutes to run this trail, fastest time was 28 minutes.
P.S. The photos above were taken on a very dry summer’s day. More photos to come of a very wet winter’s day plus video footage.