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styx valley tolkien grove

Styx Valley Tolkien Track

Despite being a relatively regular visitor to the Styx, it is ages since I visited the Tolkien Track so I decided to rectify that recently to reacquaint myself with some of the giant trees in the area.

Tolkien Grove Styx Valley Tasmania

The Tolkien Grove with the Styx River valley shrouded in mist

For those who don’t know, the Tolkien Grove was the site of a major forest protest back in 2003 when Greenpeace and The Wilderness Society sat up the top of “Gandalfs Staff” – an 80+ metre giant eucalypt to protest logging of these giants. The area is now reserved thanks to those efforts.

Global Rescue Station, Styx Valley, Tasmania 2003

The “Global Rescue Station” at the top of Gandalfs Staff. Photo taken in 2003 – on film!


Gandalfs Staff, Styx Valley, Tasmania

Gandalf’s Staff in 2021 – still standing strong 🙂

Accessing the Tolkien Track

There is a good car parking area up Waterfall Creek Road, and the track is signposted. Waterfall Creek itself is not signposted, but it is a fairly “major” side road to the right 1 km on from the main Tall Trees area. Drive 1.3 km up this road and you’ll see a large parking area. It is not an “official” parks walk, and as such the signs have a bit of a home made feel to them. They’ll point you in the right direction which is the main thing of course!

Sign marking the start of the Tolkien Track

Sign marking the start of the Tolkien Track

I visited the Cave Tree and a saw many others which weren’t specifically named and after 10-15 minutes or so found my way to Gandalfs Staff.

The Cave Tree in the Tolkien Grove, Styx

Inside the “Cave Tree” – a giant eucalypt with a hollowed out base


Giant Tree, Tolkien Track

One of the many giants on the Tolkien Track

For this trip I was also keen to re-visit a little waterfall which I had seen before but felt the need to re-shoot. Again, it was signposted so quite easy to find, being another 10 minutes or so beyond Gandalf. The rainforest surrounding the fall was great and the fall had a decent amount of water too, so mission accomplished!

Waterfall on Waterfall Creek

Waterfall on Waterfall Creek


Waterfall on Waterfall Creek

Waterfall on Waterfall Creek


Rainforest at Waterfall Creek

Rainforest at Waterfall Creek

Styx Valley Tours

I run a full day photography tour to Mt Field and the Styx Valley which runs on demand all year round. I have also recently listed a private 3 day tour to the region where we base ourselves at the Giants Table in Maydena to allow ourselves plenty of time to really explore the region.

Contact me to book!

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About Luke

Luke O'Brien runs a stall at Hobart's popular Salamanca Market every Saturday where his prints and cards are available for purchase. Follow Luke's photographic adventures on Twitter at @lukeobrienphoto, at his Facebook page or by subscribing to his email newsletter.