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A very rarely visited waterfall just outside the boundaries of Mt Field National Park, Sharpes Falls is a beautiful and secluded place to visit, and unlike the often crowded trails in the nearby Russell Falls area, you are unlikely to have any company on this walk. There is of course a reason for this lack of notoriety, and the hike to Sharpes Falls is far from easy, requiring some bushbashing, one particularly steep descent, and good navigational skills.
Just finding where to start the walk to the falls is a challenge in itself, as there is no signage indicating the existence of Sharpes Falls anywhere. Travelling along Gordon River Road, ignore the turnoff to Lake Dobson Road and Mt Field National Park, and continue for three kilometres before turning right onto Newbury Road. Drive along this road for a shirt distance, crossing a bridge over the Tyenna River, before arriving at a permanently locked gate blocking off further access by car. From here, you have to walk uphill along the road, which passes a number of potentially confusing junctions, making it important to carry a GPS to ensure you head in the right direction. Further confusing the route is that topographic maps mark two tracks branching off the road called Sharpes Falls Track, despite the fact that neither of these tracks exist. The actual track that takes you towards the falls starts a little ways to the west of the higher stretch of track marked on maps; a left turn off the road about two kilometres from the start of the hike.
Head down this side road for about 100 metres, before coming to a T junction with another track (unmarked on maps). Turn left, then head right barely 15 metres later to go straight into the forest. There is something of a trail of tapes that leads you towards the waterfall from here, however these cannot be relied on and again a GPS is important to avoid getting lost. It is not too long of a walk through the forest until Sharpes Falls come into earshot, and there are some glimpses of the falls that can be gained through the trees, however to get to the base of the waterfall a very steep descent down the bank of the creek must be negotiated.
Once you get there, however, the falls do not disappoint, and drop 15-20 metres with a slightly similar appearance to a smaller version of nearby Marriotts Falls. As Sharpes Creek is not especially significant, the falls would likely slow to a trickle through the summer months, making this a waterfall best visited after rain to ensure the considerable effort required to reach it is worthwhile.
For more information on this trail, visit Waterfalls of Tasmania