Secret Tasmania - Bluff Canyon

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Introduction

Tasmania is full of places and attractions that don’t feature prominently in the tourist literature. In fact, some are so obscure that many locals don’t even know about them. This post describes a day walk we did to little known Bluff Canyon. Its sandstone cliffs and caves are not a common sight in the Tasmanian bush.

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In the spirit of Secret Tasmania, we don’t give too much detail about where and how to do the walk. There are no maps here. If you’re interested, you might need to do a bit of research. Though, having said that, its not hard to find and do.

The Walk

Bluff Canyon is within the Bluff River Conservation Area which is around 10kms from the town of Buckland in SE Tasmania. From Buckland head along Buckland Road. After passing Cutting Grass Road on your left pull over 400m further on, on the right where there is a parking space for a couple of cars.

 park just off buckland road

park just off buckland road

There is no signage but a clear track heads inland along a fence line beside farm paddocks.

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We followed the track, which is a wide fire trail, for around 20 minutes until reaching a fork. This is a loop, so you can take either path. We chose the track to the right marked by a big red arrow on a tree. The trail is marked with coloured tape.

 note red arrow on tree pointing to the track

note red arrow on tree pointing to the track

A little further on we chose to ignore a side trail to the right, sticking to the main track.

 ignore this side trail

ignore this side trail

After another few minutes the cliff line of the canyon started to appear.

 the start of bluff canyon

the start of bluff canyon

The trail hugged a contour just below the top of the cliffs. And at times it was quite narrow.

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After approximately an hour into the walk, we arrived at some impressive sandstone cliffs with significant overhangs.

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The wind and rain had weathered the rock into some interesting shapes and colours.

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The track continued on, intermittently staying close to the cliff face and then into more open bush.

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The canyon opened up before us providing some good views down to the Bluff River.

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In several large overhangs swarms of swallows darted back and forth from their rooftop nests.

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There were a couple of spots where side tracks led down to the river, but we preferred to continue along the high contour, finding a series of impressive sandstone caves and features.

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The sandy cave floors showed up many footprints from small animals. These caves must be busy places after dark.

 inspecting the animal tracks

inspecting the animal tracks

We continued on for another half hour until the track we were on led down to river level. We lunched by a quiet pool.

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Before heading back by the same route we’d come.

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Around 30 minutes before reaching the car we met the point where the fire trail and walking track intersect. We decided to take the fire trail for this section. Ten minutes on it passed the point of the split with the tree with the big red arrow.

Conclusion

Heading back was a bit quicker than the outward journey as the route was now familiar. The walk in all took 3 hours, including a 20 minute lunch break.

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The eroded sandstone bluffs and caves were a little unusual by Tassie standards which gave the walk a different feel.

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While there was no signage it didn’t really matter as the track is well marked and we stuck to one side of the canyon.

We hadn’t heard of Bluff Canyon until recently when a friend enlightened us. It was definitely worth doing. But don’t tell anyone or it won’t be a secret anymore.

Ken and Cally

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