MAY 2018 | Tara Ulbrich
APPROACHING LIFFEY Falls from downstream is entirely different from the more popularly worn path leaving from the upper carpark.
An argument can be made that waterfalls ought to be discovered by climbing up. It makes the grand ﬁnale more spectacular.
Coincidently, fresh-faced volunteers welcomed us at the lower campground area. This band, costumed in lurid orange and equipped with safety goggles and secateurs, were marching forth to clear the path from overhanging fern and bracken. A Park’s team were also nearby, chainsaws at the ready. They were there to deal with tree fell from a recent storm.
After the floods of 2016 this track had to be entirely rebuilt and now takes a higher route along Quinns Creek without crossing the Liffey River at all. It is a walk that requires tending, as wild nature and thriving vegetation push back against human taming.
The Liffey Falls area is wet forest at its jaw dropping finest. Water droplets hang off leaf and twig. A mist encloses the valley far above, like the canvas of a big top. The path is a gradual steady incline but the track is so smooth it is easy to imagine young ones exuberantly scampering up.
Sometimes you’re at the water level of the creek and other times higher above. One moment you’re in the taffeta skirts of fern fronds, their new lashes blinking down at you, and the next you’re above and looking down as a trapeze artist over a safety net of verdant foliage.
After a little more than one hour’s walking, you’re greeted by the thunderous applause of the falls. Find a picnic spot just downstream and let the waters hurry back to your point of origin.
The start of this walk can be found from three approaches, via the A5 and the road to the Upper Carpark, via Quamby Brook and Bogans Rd or the more twowheel-drive-friendly route from Westbury or Bracknell which passes through the tiny hamlet of Liffey. The return takes three hours including time for lunch.
Photo | Jade Hallam