South Arthur Forest Drive (TARKINE DRIVE) is an exciting road tour of the northern Tarkine Forest of north western Tasmania. It gives the motorist a glimpse of the Tarkine's wonders. These include giant trees, mysterious lakes, button grass meadows and fast flowing rivers. Fortunately all of the sights, which are listed below, require little walking to reach. Making this the easy way to see the Tarkine.
The area toured is situated south of Smithton. Critically there are no facilities available in this area. The Drive crosses the Arthur River and then explores seven different locations in the northern Tarkine Forest. The more intrepid may also like to walk the famous Balfour Track, which is located just south of the Tarkine Drive area.
View Region North West & Tarkine in a larger map
FACILITIES: There are no commercial facilities on this tour route. There are picnic grounds and toilets at Julius River and the Milkshake Hills. The nearest shopping precinct is at Smithton. There is accommodation at SMITHTON, at STANLEY and at ARTHUR RIVER.
TOURIST information contact www.tarkine.org Great tours of the Tarkine are conducted by www.talltimberhotel.com.au from SMITHTON.
SIGHTS: The Drive follows a circuit from SMITHTON on C218 that takes you to seven different sights and returns to Smithton. It starts at Kanunah Bridge across the Arthur River and ends at the Tayatea Bridge across the Arthur River. You can access the Balfour Track from early in the tour. The sights include the;
KANUNAH Bridge where you will see blackwood trees that are amongst the tallest in the world. Locals say the Tasmanian Tiger still roams these forests.
SUMAC Lookout views the Arthur River, as it flows into the Trowutta Forest.
JULIUS River is a picnic ground, where you can view a beautiful Myrtle Forest.
LAKE CHISHOLM is a beautiful, reflective sinkhole, where you can walk beneath giant eucalyptus trees and ferns.
DEMPSTER PLAINS Lookout views the Norfolk Range across fields of native button grass.
MILKSHAKE Reserve is a picnic ground, where you can walk amongst manferns and rain forest.
TAYATEA Bridge is a picnic area, where you might get to see the giant crayfish that lives in the Arthur River.
BALFOUR Track is a 5 kilometre track that follows the old trail to Balfour through a 100 year old regrowth forest.
ROUTES: Drive south from SMITHTON on B22 to the settlement of Roger River, where it joins C218. At Kanunah Bridge you begin the tour by turning east. If you follow the circuit, it will take you back to Roger River. The circuit road is now fully made.
The Balfour Track is reached by driving south from Kanunah Bridge onto C214 for a short distance, instead of east onto the continuation of C218, as described above.
C214 can be continued on to either MARRAWAH on the west coast or you can join C249 the "Western Explorer Road" also called the "Road to Nowhere" that goes to CORINNA. The road to CORINNA is very rough and is only recommended for 4WD vehicles.
- TARKINE DRIVE
1/ The Kanunah Bridge is the starting point for the South Arthur Forest Drive (Tarkine Drive).
2/ This is the South Arthur River as seen from near the Kanunah Bridge.
3/ From the Sumac Lookout you get this spectacular view of the South Arthur River and the northern forests.
4/ This is the bridge across the Julius River.
5/ This shows a beautiful fern grove on the trail to Lake Chisholm.
6/ My spread arms may give you some idea of the size of this forest giant.
7/ This photo shows a fallen forest giant, which is now surrounded by a fern grove.
8/ This photo shows the variety of vegetation that you see along side the trail.
9/ This is Lake Chisholm. It is a sinkhole surrounded by a huge variety of vegetation.
10/ This is a photo of another giant taken in some other part of the Tarkine forest.