Over the New Years period I headed over to the West Coast of Tasmania for a 10 day long 4wd trip. As usual I had a huge list of 4wd tracks to explore, but the first ones I wanted to tick off the list were Montezuma Falls and Ring River.
The entrance to Montezuma Falls 4wd track comes off the Murchison Highway, between Rosebery and Zeehan. I found it super easy to find and very well sign posted . If you are using a Hema or similar, the track is listed as “North East Dundas Tram Way”. However I found no listing for The Ring River 4wd track. This is where I would suggest getting a copy of the book “4wd tracks in Tasmania”. You can pick up a copy at most 4wd shops in Tassie and I found it very useful on the whole trip.
I had my friend Potter (Harry S Troopy) in his 75 series Troopy, along with me for the trip. After dropping our tyre pressures and locking the hubs, we headed off on the track. I’d suggest running channel 10 on the UHF and regularly checking for oncoming 4wds. Theres very little room for passing on this track.
The first 3/4 of the track was rather laid back, but don’t take that lightly. A lot of the mud holes where near empty but coming through the track after some rain would be a different story for sure. The tracks are a very scenic drive, its definitely one of the better tracks in Tasmania based on the surroundings. If your into photography, you’ll love it! Keep an eye out for old mining gear along the track and every so often you’ll even come across parts of the old tramway.
Every few hundred meters I was driving in and out of massive cuttings in the hills, a few times there I even had to turn the lights on.
About 3/4 of the way through the track we came to a Y section. The track to the right is the beginning of the Ring River 4wd track and the track to the left is the remainder of the Montezuma Falls 4wd track.
This last quarter of the track is definitely where it gets better, I really enjoyed it. There’s a few steep drop downs and climbs, a couple small river crossings and a few tippie sections.
In some places the track did get a little tight, it wasn’t much of a worry for my Suzuki being shot wheel base, but the Troopy tore off a valve and got part of a branch stuck in the bead of another tyre.
Not long after crossing over a small waterfall, we noticed an old mining tunnel right on the edge of the track. It would be hard to drive past and miss, but if your keen to check it out, keep an eye on the right hand side of the track after the waterfall crossing. We walked into the tunnel a short distance, saw some spiders and ran straight back out. It is worth stopping and checking out, you can even see the old cart tracks leading in.
After checking out the tunnel we continued on with the track and soon reached the end of the Montezuma Falls 4wd track. The track ended in a small parking/turn around area. From here we took the 200 metre walk to Tasmania’s highest waterfall at 104 metres, Montezuma Falls.
The walking track lead us to a suspension bridge right bellow the waterfall, it was such a sight to see. We crossed the bridge and walked up a couple of flights of stairs to a viewing platform right under the water fall.
After we finished checking out the water fall, we back tracked on the last quarter of the track and took the turn off on to the Ring River 4wd track. For anyone not wanting to do Ring River you just continue back out on Montezuma Falls 4wd track. The sign at the track entrance really says it all.
After reading the sign, I got really excited, slightly nervous, but mostly excited. We started the track and straight away it started to drop right down and we came across a few tippie sections and we had our first wheel lifts for the day. After that it was mud holes, steep drops, mud holes, tippie sections and so on.
About 20 minutes into the track we came across a rather large mud hole and going by the broken recovery gear on the side of the track, we guessed it was going to be deep. Potter decided he would take the Troopy through first and see what it was like, you guessed it, he got stuck. Man was the bottom of that hole soft and muddy, not to mention the smell!
At that exact moment he realized he didn’t have his rear recovery hitch in and the rear of the Troopy was under water, just to make things more interesting the remote on the winch decided it didn’t want to work.
After Matt put the recovery hitch in and hooked the snatch strap up, the Suzuki pulled the Troopy out. This happened 3 times until the Troopy made it the whole way through. After flooding the inside of his 4wd, we decided to hook a strap up on the front of the Suzuki, just in case. Thankfully I didn’t get stuck, I think the Troopy cleared the path for me.
After that we went through heaps more mud holes, one that was easily 5 times the size of the one above, they all had rather hard bottoms thankfully. Once again the track really started dropping down and the descent got very steep and rutted out. After dropping right down in the valley, we reach Ring River. Following the map, we drove up stream 50 metres and turned back onto the track.
Straight away we were climbing up the other side of the valley, it was rather steep with the occasional rock step to climb up. The rest of the track was very similar to what we just came through, mud holes, hills and rocks.
Eventually we reach the Murchison Highway, after 6 hours of 4wding. The end of the track brought us out on a corner and there wasn’t any signage around. So it would be a bit harder to find if you decided to head in this way.
Overall, Ring River was my favorite out of the two, it really was a challenging 4wd track and had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I can understand the rating of the track and I don’t see it being passable in the rain at all. But I highly recommend the track to anyone that wants a challenge.
Montezuma Falls was much more scenic and interesting, it did have a few harder sections, but the waterfall was my favorite part. The track difficulty is rated at Medium, which I would have to agree with.
Whether you’re up for a challenge or a more family friendly 4wd track, both of these tracks will have you covered.