Leven Canyon

Leven Canyon
Leven Canyon © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Today, it snowed at Leven Canyon in Tasmania’s north west. I know this because I was there. By there, I mean at Cruikshanks Lookout, high above the thundering rapids, being blasted with snow. It was awesome!

 

Picnic Area
Picnic Area © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

We arrived to a scene from a fairy-tale. Trees towered above us. Ferns surrounded the picnic area. The ground was covered in snow. If we had wanted to, we could have made a fire in the barbeque hut and cooked lunch but I’m glad that we continued to the lookout instead. It was perfect timing.

Track
Track © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Access to the lookouts is via the Fern Walk (from the lower picnic area) or via the path to Cruikshanks Lookout. The walk can be done as a circuit. I recommend visiting Cruikshanks Lookout first as you can then descend the almost-600 steps to the track below instead of ascending them.

Cruikshanks Lookout
Cruikshanks Lookout © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

When we reached Cruikshanks Lookout, it had just started snowing. The lookout juts out from the hill and is very exposed. Hold on to your hat! The Leven River roared below us and limestone cliffs stood around us at a commanding 300 metres. The wind whipped snow into our faces. It was an incredible sight: Leven Canyon seen through a veil of snow.

Forest Steps
Forest Steps © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Descend the (many!) Forest Steps to the Edge Lookout below for another spectacular view. This time, you’re much closer to the rapids but still at quite a height above them. As always with Tasmania, the weather can change at any moment. When we stepped out onto the Edge Lookout, we were greeted with the warmth of the sun (and a small pocket of phone reception!).

Leven River
Leven River © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

From the Edge Lookout, it’s an easy walk back to the carpark. Well, almost! There might not be any steps but the uphill trudge was hard-going! The track is well-maintained. There are benches at regular intervals along the circuit’s tracks. These are essentially horizontal signposts, showing you how far you are from the nearest location (car park, bridge, lookout) in either direction and are a great motivation to keep going!

Getting There

Roadside View
Roadside View © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

The Leven Canyon Lookout is approximately 45 minutes’ drive from Ulverstone via the B15 or the B17 (the latter goes past the turnoff to Wings Wildlife Park). The drive there was very picturesque, with snow beside the road and on the distant mountain tops. As always with Tasmania’s country roads, take care on corners, particularly on icy days like today. When you arrive at Leven Canyon, there is ample car parking. Watch out for our native animals.

Cost

Leven Canyon
Leven Canyon © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

There are no entry fees at Leven Canyon. Toilet and wood-fired barbeque facilities are available for public use. Do not light the barbeques during a total fire ban! There are also plenty of picnic tables for public use. It’s a great spot to visit.

You can read more about my adventures in Tasmania’s beautiful north west here.

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