As one of the oldest private conservation areas in Tasmania, the Chauncy Vale Wildlife Sanctuary presents 380 hectares of native bushland to explore. While there are many walking options available in the area, the 6km Brown’s Caves loop is perhaps the most accessible and rewarding. This route offers an interesting mix of local history, cave formations and abundant wildlife while strolling through open dry sclerophyll forest.
Alternative routes, wildlife guides and historical information are all available from the information boards at the start of the walk. A 2 dollar donation is required upon entry.
View Google Map Directions
|Chauncy Vale is located 40km north of Hobart near the township of Bagdad. From Hobart, take the Brooker Highway (A10) north, crossing the Bridgewater Bridge after 20km. Continue on the Highway through to Bagdad and turn right onto Chauncy Vale Road. The walk begin from the Chauncy Vale Picnic area 4km along the road. There is a $2 entry fee per adult that can be paid at the entry gate.|
Leaving the Chauncy Vale Wildlife Sanctuary information area the trail heads firstly towards Brown’s Caves via the Winter Track. The bushland here, much like the rest of the trail, is made up of dry sclerophyll forest eucalypts and is teaming with wildlife. Expect to see a Wallabies constantly jumping past and even the occasional Tiger Snake during warmer months.
After 15 minutes the trail meets with the Caves Track. From here the walk up to the cave is short and steep, though well-formed steps make the job quite easy. Brown’s Caves stretch for 200m and are made up of many small caves, most of which are easily accessible and provide a fantastic spot to stop, rest and explore. From the highest points in Brown’s Caves sweeping views of the Vale and the valley back to Bagdad are presented.
Leaving the caves on the eastern side, the Old Road Track is met via tricky steep descent. Take care here during wet weather. The Old Road Track is wide and easily followed to Guvy’s Lagoon one kilometre away. This part of the walk makes up the easiest section of the days hiking and quickly completed. Although extremely dry during summer months, Guvy’s Lagoon is a fantastic spot for bird watching with Eastern Rosellas constantly spotted nearby. From here the trail returns towards carpark (a longer route towards Flat Rock continues on from here but not recommended).
Returning to the trailhead via Old Road Track the trail passes by the Caves Track and follows a creek towards the carpark. The site of Eve’s Bath where the Chauncy family bathed is shortly reached and provides an idyllic spot to watch the water cascade by before completing the walk.
For more information on the Chauncy family and their history please visit their official website.
Map for illustrative purposes only. Base map supplied by Land Information System Tasmania