I was born and grew up in Tasmania, but had only vaguely heard of Devil's Gullet and hadn't met anyone who had been there. I had no idea where it was. On a recent trip home to Tasmania my niece and I went for a two-day walk in the Walls of Jerusalem. I wrote about that walk here
On our way back to Westbury near Mole Creek we passed a sign to Devil's Gullet and decided to go and have a look.
Track to Devils Gullet
We drove up the gravel road for about 14 kilometres. A young echidna was strolling along the side of the road. The signpost didn't say how long the drive was so we just kept driving. At one point we came to a big sign that said danger and 4 wheel drives only because of ice and snow. It was summer and fine weather so we felt ok to keep driving up the winding steep road in Becca's two-wheel drive car.
Young echidna on road to Devils Gullet
We eventually got to the car park. It was pretty small and there were already a few cars there, so parking could be a problem if a lot of people turned up at the same time. There were no facilities there so you need to take your own water.
On the track
The drive was well worth it as the views were dramatic and spectacular. The lookout is about 35 minutes from the inland town of Mole Creek. Drive west out of town on B12/C138 past the Marakoopa and King Solomons Caves to take a left onto Mercy Forest Road. Quickly get onto Lake MacKenzie Road to follow the signs to the lookout.
Looking down into the gorge
We set off for our walk with just a water bottle each. The sign said the return walk was 45 minutes. We found it much shorter than that. The walk would be suitable for most people, including children and reasonably fit older people, but you would need to watch young children very carefully as there are very long drops of 230 metres down into the Devil's Gullet gorge.
The start of the track passed through burnt trees from a bush fire several years ago. The track has a hardened or compacted surface that has a few gentle uphill sections and some occasional steps. It must have been very beautiful before the fires, but hopefully, the forests will recover over time. It was a bit eerie walking through the tree skeletons.
Through the dead trees
After a short walk, we came to the lookout platform. Signs were showing all the mountain peaks in the distance. It was a long way looking down into the ancient gorge carved out by glaciers. I tried to imagine it roaring with water as it used to be before the Hydro diverted the Fisher River in the 1970s.
Admiring the view
On a clear day, you can see Tasmania's highest mountain, Mount Ossa and Cradle Mountain. Mount Ossa is 1617 metres high and 35 kilometres "as the crow flies" from the Devil's Gullet lookout.
Signs at the lookout
It would be a wonderful view looking over the alpine areas in winter with snow covering the peaks. You would need to be very careful driving up the road though at that time as it could be covered in ice and snow. The area is on the edge of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair World Heritage Area.
Becca and the view
While we were on the lookout platform a woman was very stressed as her partner was down very close to the cliff face. She was signalling to him to move back, but he seemed to just stand there. It was hard to watch. I was terrified he was going to fall as he was very close to the edge. He was an older man, and I think should have been much more careful.
Devils Gullet, Rebecca Donaldson photo
It was certainly worth our detour to visit this wonderful area of Tasmania. I don't know who named this spectacular area Devil's Gullet, so if anyone knows, I would love to find out.
Looking out. Rebecca Donaldson photo