The Notley Fern Gorge State Reserve, located near the Tamar Valley in northern Tasmania, is a luscious, ancient rainforest full of tall trees, ferns and moss. There is a walking path and a picnic place in the wet sclerophyll forest area, which is surrounded by towering trees.

This forest is a favourite day trip for those in Launceston who wish to do some short bushwalking or spend time in some amazing rainforest scenery. However if you’re not a Launceston local, it’s still well worth the visit! We always say that travel isn’t just about the big tourist spots, some of the most rewarding spots are the hidden gems mostly frequented by locals. Notley Fern Gorge State Reserve is one of these hidden gems.

Walking track and ferns at Notley Fern Gorge State Reserve
Image source: Cowirrie

Eucalyptus trees tower above the rainforest understory, dominating the woodland. ‘Bradey’s Tree,’ a burnt-out tree in the state reserve, is well-known. It was named after a bushranger from the 1820s whose group is said to have concealed in this forest.

There is a walk which takes approximately 45 minutes and demands moderate fitness and includes many creek crossings, as well as a strong climb upwards on the way back. The track comprises of boardwalk, natural track and steps with moderate inclines. There are several trees and ferns of interest which have signs for those who wish to learn more about the species and the area.

boardwalk walking track and trees at Notley Fern Gorge State Reserve
Image source: Cowirrie

Observe native birdlife such as pink robins and golden whistlers while reading about the different types of animals and plants on information stands located throughout the reserve. Bennetts wallabies, Tasmanian devils, and ringtail possums are examples of nocturnal animals. Large tree ferns, hard water ferns along the creek’s bank, and filmy ferns growing on tree trunks are all sights to behold. Enjoy the picnic and grilling area after your forest trek.

Looking up at the trees, ferns and sky at Notley Fern Gorge State Reserve
Image source: Cowirrie

Directions to Notley Fern Gorge State Reserve

Notley Fern Gorge State Reserve is a 30 minute drive from Launceston. Take the West Tamar Highway North out of Launceston. At Legana, take a left onto Bridgenorth Road, then a right onto Notley Gorge Road.