Liffey Valley

A map showing the location of our Liffey Valley Reserves in Tasmania.

Est: 1991
Area: 287 ha
Location: 55km SW of Launceston
Traditional Owners: Tasmanian Aboriginal people

See detailed map >

Visiting Liffey Reserves >

Our presence in the Liffey Valley comprises 4 reserves: Liffey River, Coalmine Creek, Dry's Bluff and Oura Oura. In 2013 Liffey River and Coalmine Creek were included in a 170,000 hectare expansion of the 1.4 million hectare Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

If you were a Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle riding the air currents high above Liffey Valley Reserves, you'd have a spectacular view of towering mountain plateaus, tumbling rivers and sweeping valley plains.

Drys Bluff towers above the Liffey Valley. Photo Peter Morris.
Drys Bluff towers above the Liffey Valley. Photo Peter Morris.
From the giddy heights of Dry's Bluff, 1200 metres above sea level, you could swoop down over the top of an almost vertical cliff face, plunging 800 metres straight down to the fertile valley floor.

Flying over Pages Creek, you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a Spotted-tail Quoll, or Platypuses searching for food.

Liffey River Reserve includes an interpretive walk for visitors to complete a self-guided tour of the forest. Photo Wayne Lawler/EcoPix.
Liffey River Reserve includes an interpretive walk for visitors to complete a self-guided tour of the forest. Photo Wayne Lawler/EcoPix.
And crossing the valley floor you would see a rich mosaic of ecosystems, including lush temperate rainforest, with its attendant Gondwanan tree species of Myrtle Beech and Sassafras.

Oh, and if you were a Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle, you'd be very special. There are estimated to be fewer than 250 breeding pairs left in the world, making places like the Liffey Valley extremely important if these eagles are to survive into the future.

All this has been protected thanks to the generosity of our supporters.

What we’re doing

Tasmanian Reserves Manager Annette Dean, at home in the Tasmanian bush. Photo Annette Ruzicka.
Tasmanian Reserves Manager Annette Dean, at home in the Tasmanian bush. Photo Annette Ruzicka.
Our Tasmanian Reserves Manager, Annette Dean, patrolled our Oura Oura reserve as a child, spending her weekends and school holidays at her family’s shack – now called ‘Oura Oura’ – until she was seven years old. It was her parents who sold it to Bush Heritage’s founder-to-be, Bob Brown.

"I can’t emphasise how magical that time was for me,” she says. “They decided to sell to him, but he always said, ‘the place is yours – come and stay whenever you want’.”

Decades later she has returned with considerable experience to manage all of Bush Heritage’s Tasmanian reserves.

Tree fern at Liffey Valley. Photo Annette Ruzicka.
Tree fern at Liffey Valley. Photo Annette Ruzicka.
Weed control occurs regularly. Among the normal suite of invasive weeds found in Tasmania, we're particularly interested in controlling the spread of Foxglove.

This pretty weed – the same as the flower found in cottage gardens across the world – spreads quickly in the open sedgeland along Pages Creek and along tracks. The tall flowering stems produce copious amounts of fine seed that allow it to multiply quickly.

Luckily, Foxglove is easy to hand-weed and even cutting the flowering stem can reduce seed-set if done at the right time.

Cultural values

The Liffey Falls region was a meeting place for three Tasmanian Aboriginal groups: the Big River, North and North Midlands people. The area's sandstone overhangs provided shelter, and stone artefacts still mark old Aboriginal campsites.

Oura Oura Reserve, which was gifted by Bob Brown in 2011, played an important role in the history of the Australian conservation movement – over the years the cottage hosted formative meetings of Bush Heritage Australia, The Wilderness Society, the Tasmanian and Australian Greens, and the Franklin River Campaign. Both Oura Oura and Liffey River reserves are open for self-guided visitors to explore.