A detailed waterfall guide to Philosopher Falls in Waratah, Tasmania. Discover one of the state’s most scenic waterfalls on an epic short temperate rainforest track.
Philosopher Falls was one of my absolute favourite waterfall hikes in Tasmania. This scenic, multi-tiered waterfall is an absolute stunner. But, what really makes it stand out is just how incredible the short rainforest track to reach it is!
In this guide, I’ll detail everything you need to know about visiting Philosopher Falls near the town of Waratah in Tasmania. I’ll also include some of my photos that I hope will inspire you to check it out!
I'm Olly, a full-time traveler for the past 5 years. I visit every destination I write about & handpick all recommendations.
Where is Philosopher Falls Tasmania
Philosopher Falls is located near the town of Waratah in Tasmania's Northwest region. It flows on the Arthur River, the wild river that runs all the way from the mountains to the sea.
You will find the short unsealed road to the waterfall car park just off Waratah Road, approximately 75 minutes from Devonport or a long 4.5-hour drive from Hobart.
I've pinned the exact location of the waterfall below to help you find it. However, you can follow the directions below if you have any trouble finding the car park.
Keep in mind there is little to no mobile reception once you get out here. So, I suggest either loading the map or keeping this blog up on your device before heading out.
- Google Maps Pin: "Philosopher Falls"
How to Get to Philosopher Waterfall
The car park providing access to the Philosopher Falls track is found off "Butler Road", an unsealed but well-maintained road that runs for approximately 600 metres. If you plug in the map pin above, you should have no problem finding it using Google Maps.
However, it is admittedly easy to miss the turnoff onto Butler Road. If you get lost, it helps to know that Butler Road is exactly 9.6 kilometres west of Waratah along Waratah Road. There is a sign on Butler Road pointing the way to Philosophers Falls, so keep your eye out.
Of course, being a remote Tassie waterfall, getting to this waterfall requires you to have your own transport as there are no public transport options or guided tours making a trip out here.
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 DiscoverCars 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).
If that's not an option, I've also included my list of the top 3 must-do activities in the region for you to check out.
The Philosopher Falls Track
- Hiking Distance: 3 kilometres return
- Duration: 1 hour return
- Elevation: Mostly flat with short stair descent at the end
- Difficulty: Easy
Alright I mentioned it in the intro but seriously, the rainforest track to Philosopher Falls is out of this world! It's one of the best examples of just how incredibly beautiful this region is.
The track itself is also quite easy to navigate and traverse. There has been some recent development on the Philosopher Falls walk which makes this even easier.
The track is mostly flat and follows a winding path for roughly a kilometre before reaching a flowing creek which is a tributary to the Arthur River. From here, you'll duck under a big overhanging rock and follow a man-made path to the final staircase down to the waterfall viewing platform.
This descent is perhaps the most difficult part of the hike but won't be a problem for most people. There's a rail on both sides so it's super safe!
At the base, you'll get a great vantage point of the two plunging tiers of Philosopher Falls from about 30 metres away. Unfortunately, there's no way to get all the way down to the bottom. Luckily, the view from here is spectacular and a great spot to snap some photos.
What to Expect at Philosopher Falls
Philosopher Falls is a spectacular waterfall. It is surrounded by dense, green rainforest and drops sharply down a steep, fern-covered face.
Apparently, it was once possible to walk all the way down to the base of the waterfall on the eastern side of Arthur River. However, this track is now inaccessible.
Philosopher Falls itself was named after James "Philosopher" Smith, who discovered Tin at Mt Bischoff, near Waratah in 1871.
Note that Philosopher Falls is not dog friendly.
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.
More Photos from the Philosopher Falls Hike
Here are some more photos that we took from our hike out to Philosopher Falls. I hope that they inspire you to visit this incredible part of Tasmania.
More Travel & Adventure Inspiration for Tasmania
And that's a wrap for this short and sweet guide to visiting Philosopher Falls near Waratah, Tasmania. Before you leave, why not dive into some more inspiring adventure guides and articles from Tasmania? Go on, I'm sure you'll find some great new ideas for your next adventure!