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Montezuma Falls, Tas.

Montezuma Falls, the tallest waterfall in Tasmania, is hidden in the dense forests of the Western Tasmanian wilderness area near the mining town of Rosebery. The path of a former tramway has been turned into a walking trail, which gives access to the 105m high falls. Traversing lush rainforest with leatherwood, myrtle and sassafras, the trail follows the route of the former North East Dundas Tramway which ran from Williamsford to Zeehan. Williamsford was once a busy mining town but is now slowly being reclaimed by the bush. The trail is in two sections: walking and cycling is allowed on the 5.5km from Williamsford to the falls; 4WD vehicles are allowed on the 14km between the Melba Flats and the falls. The falls are accessed by a raised timber walkway which leads to the suspension bridge. The falls may be viewed from a lookout at the start of the bridge. An 1890 mineral survey showed the falls marked as Osbourne Falls.

A mine entrance near the falls

The name Montezuma comes from the last Aztec emperor of Mexico (1466-1520). It appears to have originally been applied to a mining company - the Montezuma Silver Mining Company - which was formed in 1891 and held leases on the northern slopes of Mt. Dundas nearby. The original railway line was only two feet (60 centimetres), which was a relatively narrow gauge, and explains why the line was known as a tramway rather than a railway. The narrowness of the gauge suited the winding hillsides and also assisted in lowering the cost of construction. The line continued to operate infrequently until 1925 and was officially closed on 4th July 1932 and the rails were removed in the early 1940s.

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New South Wales

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