The Styx Valley and Hamilton

by Steven Chater from Trip Plan Australia. Check out Trip Plan’s free Itinerary Planner that will help you make the most of your next road trip through regional and outback Australia.

It was over to Tasmania’s Central Highlands for another, final, wonderful wilderness experience before our trip was over.

And surprisingly this one took quite a bit of research even though it was a big news item back at the start of this century. I had remembered the kerfuffle over the Styx Valley’s trees and had always wanted to visit to see what was fought over.

The Styx does get a small mention in tourism brochures and on the internet, but it wasn’t until I visited the folks at the Wilderness Society in Hobart that I properly understood where we had to go to see the giant trees. They kindly provided me with a map and learning guide that helped greatly – thanks!

As it was, we did overshoot the turn off after Maydena to get on to the Styx Rd. The exit is not well signposted and it actually is a turn to the right and double-back under the Gordon River Road to head south. It’s a dirt road from this point but we found it in pretty good shape.

Our first stop was at the bridge that’s near the confluence of the Styx and South Styx Rivers.

Road trip planner Australia - Styx River just after being joined by the South Styx

Styx River just after being joined by the South Styx

A little further down the road is the Big Tree Reserve. Here you can see some of the tallest trees in the world.

Road trip planner Australia - The Bigger Tree in the Styx Big Tree Reserve

The Bigger Tree in the Styx Big Tree Reserve

There’s an easy loop walk where you come across the “Big Tree” and then the “Bigger Tree”. Absolutely wonderful. 30 minutes is suggested for the walk but do take your time – you’ll take away some great images.

Road trip planner Australia - The Bigger Tree platform has a great seat to lie back and look up

The Bigger Tree platform has a great seat to lie back and look up

The Learning Guide will tell you more, but the people who tree sat to save these trees need to be acknowledged. The two most prominent were Peter Firth, who endured a Styx winter for 51 days before being removed, and Miranda Gibson who spent 15 months on a platform in a tree just west of the Styx Valley. Respect!

Road trip planner Australia - Fallen trees on the path back

Fallen trees on the path back

Our final activity here was the nearby Styx River Ramble walk, however there are another 2 spots to take in if you have the time (Tolkien Track and Chapel Tree).

Road trip planner Australia - Start of the Styx River Ramble walk

Start of the Styx River Ramble walk

On the way back to civilisation is Russell Falls in Mount Field National Park. There are some big trees here too! And of course the beautiful waterfall – rated by many as the best in Tasmania. So it’s a “must visit”.

Road trip planner Australia - Russell Falls, Mt Field National Park

Russell Falls, Mt Field National Park

We’d timed our trip around this part of Tasmania to take in the annual Hamilton Show. A great half day out – and the dagwood dogs really rated!

Road trip planner Australia - Out of the gates ($30 charge to the rider each go!) Hamilton Show

Out of the gates ($30 charge to the rider each go!)

Road trip planner Australia - Your move next Hamilton Show

Your move next

Road trip planner Australia - And the winner is Hamilton Show

And the winner is …

Road trip planner Australia - Shearing and wool handling competition Hamilton Show

Shearing and wool handling competition

Road trip planner Australia - Equestrian events and entertainment while having lunch in the stand

Equestrian events and entertainment while having lunch in the stand

Our final night was spent in Launceston – one of Australia’s most beautiful cities.

Road trip planner Australia - One of Launceston's fantastic city streets

One of Launceston’s fantastic city streets

If you haven’t been to Launceston before, do plan some days to have a look around both the city buildings, the close by attractions like the Cataract Gorge and then the wider Tamar Valley.

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Road trip planner Australia - West Tasmania trip to discover the Tarkine, Styx Valley and take in the Hamilton Show

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