Small town on the road to Cradle Mountain noted for Trowunna Wildlife Park and the Mole Creek Caves
Mole Creek is a small township on the road from Deloraine to Cradle Mountain. Probably because it is on the road heading towards Cradle Mountain, the town has become a popular stopping place with an excellent leatherwood honey outlet, two cave systems worth exploring and a successful wildlife park where Tasmanian devils can be observed.
Mole Creek is located on the edge of the Great Western Tiers 74 km west of Launceston and 253 km north-west of Hobart.^ TOP
Origin of Name
It is claimed that the town and the local creek were named because the creek disappears into the local karst limestone "like a mole".^ TOP
Things to See and Do
Trowunna Wildlife Park
This is a privately owned wildlife park which has been operating since 1979 and has had Tasmanian Devils on display since 1985. It proudly claims to have the largest population of endangered Tasmanian devils as well as an impressive collection of marsupials, birds and reptiles.
The website explains: "Our location is a crossroad where animals from alpine, forested, and coastal regions can meet and traverse across safely. The amphibian habitat is located in the wetlands at the top of the park and consists of a series of waterways that eventually lead to our lake, greeting lucky visitors with their beautiful concerto. Of Tasmania's eleven frog species our amphibian habitat is home to five different species including the Eastern Banjo (Pobblebonk) frog, Brown Tree frog, Common froglet, Spotted Marsh frog, and Tasmanian froglet. The lake provides for an array of water fowl, ducks, geese and swans, while giving visitors a brilliant view of Quamby Bluff and Mother Cummings on the Great Western Tiers. Alpine grasslands provide for our free ranging kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, birdlife, and reptiles, whereas our shrub-land is a natural haven for smaller macropods, such as pademelons, potoroos, and bettongs, with bracken fern providing cover from predators. The mixed sclerophyll forest is home to our Forester kangaroos, Bennetts wallabies, and pademelons, giving you the opportunity to see these wonderful macropods in their natural habitat. With natural ground cover and den sites for our free ranging wombats, you will feel like you are at one with nature amongst the trees. Be sure to keep your eyes out for flicking ears, as this is the best way to spot them as they blend into the bark and ground cover."
The wildlife park covers 26 ha (65 acres), is located at 1892 Mole Creek Road, and can be contacted tel: (03) 6363 6162 or check out http://trowunna.com.au. It is open from 9.00 am - 5.00 pm and there are interactive tours at 11.00 am, 1.00 pm and 3.00 pm.
Sculptures of the Great Western Tiers
There is an excellent, illustrated brochure titled Sculptures of the Great Western Tiers which provides a map of the Great Western Tiers and detailed descriptions of the works of 15 different artists which are located on the road from Deloraine through Mole Creek and on to Mayberry and Lake Mackenzie. The brochure provides detailed information about the artists and descriptions of what they were trying to express with the sculptures.
R. Stephens Golden Nectar Real Leatherwood Honey
Leatherwood honey is not to everyone's taste. It is very strong and very aromatic. It is also unique to Tasmania and is listed on the Tasmanian Heritage Register. The honey produced in the Stephens factory is collected from all over Tasmania and the Queen Bee breeding is located in the paddocks surrounding the factory. It is not possible to inspect the factory operation but there are sales at the factory door which is located at the corner of 25 Pioneer Drive and 2 McNeill Street, Mole Creek, tel: (03) 6363 1170.
Other Attractions in the Area
There are a wide variety of short and longer walks in the area. The downloadable brochure - http://www.molecreek.info/attachments/MoleCreekWalks_dec13.pdf?9d7bd4 - provides details of 16 walks in the area including walks as far away as Cradle Mountain. The brochure lists five walks which are considered: "to provide a safe environment for the enjoyment of a wilderness experience by the general public, given a normal level of fitness and personal care". These are:
This walk is about 40 minutes return to a lookout over the Mersey River. It is about five minutes from Mole Creek. Turn off Mole Creek Road to the east of the town. The route is clearly signposted.
Devils Gullet Lookout
A walk that is about 30 minutes return to a lookout platform which is perched on a sheer cliff face. It is about 35 minutes drive from Mole Creek past the Mole Creek Caves west on the Mole Creek Road and then via Mersey Forest Road onto a signposted gravel road to Devil's Gullet and Lake Mackenzie.
This short 30 minute walk can be part of the visit to Marakoopa Cave. It starts near the ticket office and follows the creek. It is located 15 minutes from Mole Creek at Marakoopa Cave.
This 45 minute walk is located about 40 minutes drive from Mole Creek via Riversdale Road. It passes through rainforest until it reaches the Liffey Falls.
Located about 40 minutes drive from Mole Creek past the Liffey Falls turnoff (it is signposted) this 30 minute return walk includes informative signage, boardwalks and passes through alpine landscape.
Mole Creek Caves
One of the region's major attractions are the Mole Creek Caves. More information can be obtained at http://molecreek.info/natures-wonders/mole-creek-caves and http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/file.aspx?id=6747.
There are three cave tours available.
Marakoopa Cave is located 11 km from Mole Creek in the foothills of Western Bluff. The cave, supposedly named after an Aboriginal word meaning "handsome", features a superb glow worm display. Visitors to the cave enter a section which is 457 metres long and which has been carved out by two underground streams. There are two tours.
The Underground Rivers and Glow Worms (10.00 am, noon and 2.00 pm as well as 4.00 pm between 1 October and 31 May) is an easy tour catering for all age groups and levels of fitness.
The Great Cathedral and Glow Worms requires a medium level of fitness as visitors have to ascend to the Great Cathedral. It should be done in association with the Fern Glade Walk (see above). Tour times are 11.00 am, 1.00 pm and 3.00 pm daily.
King Solomon Cave
King Solomon Cave is located 16 km west of Mole Creek. It is a small cave being only 228 metres long and comprising a large single cavern and some very fine and delicate limestone formations with sparkling calcite. The tour times are 11.30 am, 12.30 pm, 2.30 pm and 3.30 pm daily, plus additional tours at 10.30 am and 4.30 pm from 1 December – 30 April. The duration of all Cave tours is 45-50 minutes.
Wild Cave Tours take explorers aged 14 years and over into some of the lesser known caves in an area rich with caves. The guides are experienced caving club people who have provided caving trips for visitors since 1989. Trips are typically half day experiences for 2 to 6 people from 9.00 am -1.00 pm with participants being able to choose from several available caves : each has different scenic features and grades of adventure. Full day trips taking in two caves are available on request, but require excellent fitness. No vertical ropework is involved. Expert environmental interpretation is a feature of all trips. Check out http://www.wildcavetours.com/ for details or tel: (03) 6367 8142. These are not tours into either the Marakoopa or King Solomon Cave.
* The Tommeginne Aborigines lived in the area for 40,000 years prior to the arrival of Europeans.
* In 1920 R. Stephens Apiary is established.
* Mole Creek’s most famous son was F. C. Green, who was clerk of the Federal House of Representatives from 1937-1955 and whose books A Century of Responsible Government 1856-1956 and Servant of the House were widely admired.
* The Mole Creek Hotel started operating in 1953.
* In 1979 Trowunna Wildlife Park opened. The first Tasmanian Devils arrived in 1985.
* In 1996 the Mole Creek Karst National Park was declared. There are at least 300 caves in the complex.
* Today R. Stephens Tasmanian Honey produces 35% of all honey bottled on the island.^ TOP
There is no visitor information centre in Mole Creek. The closest is the Great Western Tiers Visitor Centre, 98-100 Emu Bay Road, Deloraine, tel: (03) 6362 5280.^ TOP
The Mole Creek and Chudleigh website - http://molecreek.info - offers information on activities and accommodation in the area.^ TOP