Arve Road Forest Drive
The Arve Road is the main road to get from Geeveston to Tahune AirWalk. It is sealed, but there are small patches of gravel where the road is being repaired, so drive cautiously. While I was driving along it, other traffic was relatively scarce, however, it is recommended by Forestry Tasmania (who manages this area) that you are always mindful because the road is primarily used by forestry-related vehicles, and log trucks. Also depending on the time of day, traffic to and from Tahune can be quite busy.
Scattered along the Arve Road are many great nature walks and lookouts, and it is an excellent way to start or finish a trip to the Tahune AirWalk; or as a separate day exploring. The Arve Road is great for short walks, and really gives you an insight into the history of the forest with minimal effort. Walks along this road range from a short stroll, to 40 minutes return.
These sites are well signed so you can’t miss them.
The Look-in Lookout is probably the best place to start. It is the second site on the way into Tahune from Geeveston, following the Blue Gum Plantation. The Look-in Lookout is just a pull off on the left of the road, and only metres into the forest there is some old machinery including a boiler. Informative signs will tell you about what these machines were used for in the forest all those years ago. Further along the track is the Lookout itself, which has a map of all the different walks/lookouts along the Arve Road, and also some stories about the history of the surrounding forest from those who have worked in them. After seeing the map, I decided to just follow the walks in order as they appeared along the road so I wouldn’t miss any.
The Arve River Picnic Ground was next. As the name suggests, it is located next the Arve River, and has BBQ facilities, which makes it a great place to stop and relax for lunch. Here there is also a ten minute loop walk, which takes you into the lush rainforest and along the river. There is also an opportunity to get closer to the water, with stairs that lead you down to some stepping stones. The view both up and down the river is just so diverse. In one direction there is an old log lying over the water and in the other, the rocky banks of the river and an abundance of man ferns which are widespread around this area. The walk does involve a few stairs, however at the top is a stump of a huge tree which has obviously fallen many years ago, as it is now covered with moss. Back on the road, the next stop is Keogh’s Creek; I somehow managed to miss the car park (even though there was a sign) so I will come back to this on return to Geeveston.
Instead, I continued onto the Big Tree Lookout, and the word big really cannot describe the size of this tree. There is a viewing platform, which takes you out to a tree which can only be described as colossal! I have never seen anything like it, and according to the sign it weighs over 400 tonnes! To put some perspective on that, it weighs more than twice the size of a large, fully grown blue whale. After seeing this, I really don’t know if anything else can compare.
I ventured on to the West Creek Lookout. Here, there is a walkway out onto a viewing platform, which looks out over West Creek Valley. Due to the forest below being so dense, and the steepness of the valley, you can’t see the forest floor. This is also a good spot to view the world’s tallest flowering plant-Eucalyptus regnans. The valley is dominated by man ferns which makes it look like one great mass of green. As I walked back to the car I noticed one growing beside the path which had formed a cone shape, it was quite unusual.
The final stop along the Arve Road before reaching Tahune is the Zig Zag track. Here you can choose to do either a 20 minute walk one way, and have someone meet you in the car park on the other side, or retrace your steps on a 40 minute return walk. The track has been named ‘the Zig Zag track’ because it does quite that; following an old packhorse trail, through forest which hasn’t been logged. This track is less developed than the others but is still worth the effort. Here the trees have some damage and many are rotting due to strong winds that occurred some years ago.
It would seem that I really did leave the best until last! If you only get the opportunity to do one walk along the Arve Road, I would highly recommend Keogh’s Creek Walk. It is only a 20 minute loop walk, and it follows and crosses over the creek. The path is relatively flat and there are no stairs meaning that is generally suitable to most people. The creek was named after forest worker Ken Keogh, who discovered the creek back in the 1950’s, and decided to claim it. There are many signs and seats along the path, to just stop and take in the serenity of the area.
The Blue Gum Plantation is at the end of the Arve Road, just before Geeveston. Here grow tress which were planted in 1999, and are already quite tall, showing that they grow at a steady rate. According to the sign, Blue Gums are great for many purposes due to their tough and durable nature. Some of these uses include furniture and paper. It’s interesting to see how some of the items we use everyday start off.
GPS Coordinates :
LAT : 43° 9'43.93"S
LON : 146°48'43.41"E
Always check our road and track closure information before setting off on your journey (click here)
- Hobart to Geeveston - 61km
- Geeveston to Tahune - 28km
- Geeveston to Dover - 23km
- Dover to Duckhole Lake - 18km
- Dover to Hastings Forest Tour (return) - 50km
- Hobart to Bruny Island (Adventure Bay) - 70km