The Growling Swallet is a unique destination in Tasmania. As well as being a magnificent rainforest ramble in its own right, the sight of this fast flowing creek falling into the cave opening is something you don’t see everyday. The name is said to come from the roaring sound the water makes as it enters the cave, particularly in times of high water flow.
The walk itself is very easy but accessing the start of the walk can be slightly tricky. The closest town is Maydena. From Maydena there is a well signposted turnoff to the Styx Valley less than 5 minutes out of town (heading towards the South West). To access the Growling Swallet you must turn left at the T-junction a couple of hundred metres after turning off the highway. This takes you into the Florentine Valley which has been extensively logged and roaded over the decades.
The turn off to the Growling Swallet hike comes shortly after passing the turn off (on the left) to Tim Shea, which offers stunning views of the Thumbs although you have a Telstra sub-station for company up there… You need to then keep an eye out for the F8 road on the right hand side. This road is in reasonable condition but it would be quite muddy and slippery in very wet times of the year, so proceed with caution if you are not in a 4WD.
*** EDIT 2021 – the road is not passable to traffic anymore. You’ll need to park where the F8 road meets the Florentine Rd and walk a couple of kms up the road which adds an hour or so each way ***
The walk itself won’t take you terribly long, but it is worth walking slowly and soaking up the scenery. Allow a couple of hours minimum, but anything up to half a day or more if you plan on taking photos – there’s a lot to look at here!