A complete guide to visiting Nelson Falls in Tasmania. Find out how to get here from Queenstown, what to expect and enjoy photography from the waterfall.
Nelson Falls is one of my personal favourite waterfalls in Tasmania. Conveniently located near the Lyell Highway in the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, this epic forest waterfall is a must-visit for anyone driving the scenic route from Queenstown to Derwent Bridge.
In this quick guide, I’ll update you on everything you need to know about visiting Nelson Falls in Tasmania. I’ll include how to get here, information about the short waterfall walk and photos from the waterfall.
Where is Nelson Falls?
Nelson Falls is accessible via a short waterfall walk just off the Lyell Highway between Queenstown and Derwent Bridge. The waterfall track is located 27 kilometres from Queenstown or 59 kilometres from Derwent Bridge.
Below I've pinned the exact location of the waterfall track to help you find it.
- Google Maps Pin: "Nelson Falls"
HEADING TO HOBART? READ: Where to Stay in Hobart | 26 Awesome Things to do in Hobart
How to Get to Nelson's Falls
Nelson Falls is quite easy to navigate to. Since the car park is a direct pull-over on the Lyell Highway, it's really difficult to get it wrong. If you're looking to get to Nelson Falls from Queenstown or Strahan, you're in for a treat. This road travels across the famous 99 bends, past the Iron Blow Lookout and the beautiful Lake Burbury, a beautifully maintained sealed road through some of Tasmania's most magnificent scenery.
The waterfall carpark is large enough to accommodate 20+ vehicles and there is even a toilet block and undercover information plaque.
Car Rentals in Tasmania
Unfortunately, the cost of bringing your own car on the Spirit of Tasmania has skyrocketed in recent years.
Now, it is usually cheaper to rent a car on arrival. I recommend using RentalCars.com in Tasmania to compare rates for different vehicles across dealerships.
(Rentals are limited in Tasmania so it's a good idea to book in advance).
Unfortunately, the only way to get to Nelson Falls is by car since there are no public transport options. . However, if you don't have your own transport there's still lots to do in this region. I've included a few of the best-rated experiences in Tassie's wild west below.
The Nelson Falls Nature Trail
- Hiking Distance: 1.4 kilometres return
- Duration: 45 minutes
- Elevation: N/A
- Difficulty: Very easy
The walking track to Nelson Falls is very well-maintained and caters for families and even the most unfit of hikers. The track follows a wide, wooden boardwalk to the waterfall with an optional short loop around dense rainforest terrain.
There is little to no elevation or uphill pushes on the Nelson Falls walk. The track follows the Nelson River, which is surrounded by magnificent moss-covered myrtle and sassafras trees. The Nelson Falls Nature Trail is a very short walking track but very picturesque! Perfect of a quick stopover on the long Lyell Highway.
The recommended walking time is roughly 45 minutes return but you can easily reach the waterfall in about 15 minutes. In saying that, this waterfall is particularly epic and I'll bet you will spend a little more time admiring the scene and snapping some shots.
The Ultimate Tasmania Travel Resource
Looking for more Tasmania travel guides & adventure inspiration? Below are my most comprehensive blog posts that will serve as a great free resource for your trip.
Nelson Falls Tasmania
Once you arrive at the end of the walking track, you'll pop out at a large viewing platform a few dozen metres from the waterfall. This is a great spot to admire the scene.
The total height of Nelson Falls is approximately 30 metres. It's a beautiful cascading waterfall pouring down the sharp, black rocks. Dense forest frames the waterfall on all sides, creating a spectacular scene. You'll often find Nelson Falls pictured on Tasmanian tourism brochures, television commercials and prints in hotels and tourism offices around the West Coast.
It's one of my personal favourite waterfalls in Tasmania and one hundred percent worth the quick pit stop.
The flow on the Nelson River is quite dependent on rainfall. Therefore, like many other waterfalls in Tassie, the best time to visit is in Autumn and Winter or after a big downpour.
#1 Water Bottle Filter
Enter the Grayl GeoPress Water Filter & Purifier Bottle! I take this bottle on every hike and use it as my go-to source for filtering water all over the world. I've even used it to drink tap water in India!
// Compare how the GeoPress stacks up against the best water bottle filters on the market.
Nelson Falls Map
You really won't need a map to navigate to Nelson Falls or to complete the short walk. However, I've still included a map from Tas Parks below just in case.
Where to Stay In Tasmania's West
The most popular place to stay in Western Tasmania is in Strahan. There's just so much to see and do in this region and it's definitely worth at least a couple of days. Activities like the Gordon River Cruise and the rack and pinion railway are must-dos when travelling in Tasmania.
Below are a couple of my recommended places to stay in nearby Strahan, as well as one in Queenstown.
Wheelhouse Apartments - Strahan
Unique apartments located in Strahan, each with river or lake views. These apartments are some of the best-rated online for Western Tasmania!
The Boat House - Strahan
Another Strahan favourite, this affordable holiday accommodation option features river views and includes a kitchen and living area.
Penghana B&B - Queenstown
If you're after the best place to stay in Queenstown, check out this 1898 National Trust Mansion B&B which is just 2 minutes drive from the Wilderness Railway & the Heritage Tours.
Otherwise, compare all of the best accommodation options on the west coast. If you're in a campervan or caravan, then I highly recommend checking out the free campsite at Lake Burbury. You'll find this just a few kilometres west of the Nelson Falls walk.
More Tasmanian Travel Guides & Adventure Guides
I've spent several months documenting and photographing some of Tasmania's best travel and adventure highlights. If you liked this quick guide to visiting Nelson Falls, then I think you'll love some of my other articles. Below are some great nearby adventures you should check out.