Beauty Spot: Iron Blow Lookout and Horsetail Falls

It’s no secret that Australia is renowned for its breathtaking landscape and natural beauty but if you’re exploring the area around the west coast and Queenstown, make Iron Blow and Horsetail Falls a must-do on your itinerary. Here’s what to expect:

Iron Blow Lookout

Way back in 1883, this stunning location was the centre of much excitement as gold was found in the area. Before this, rich and much sought after copper was dug from the ground and mining towns sprung up with inhabitants hoping to make some money digging out the lucrative ore.

Now, the mining towns are deserted but the open cut mine still stands with opportunities for visitors to learn more about its rich history on a guided tour or to simply walk around the location to enjoy the natural beauty. Views from the mine’s viewing platform itself are unmatched, looking out over the rolling landscape of Tasmania which is still recovering from over mining in the area but is still breathtaking all the same. Greenery peppers golden stone and while on the platform be sure to look down into the mine itself to see the tranquil, blue waters below.

If you can, the lookout is best enjoyed on a sunny day when the water is strikingly blue and you can see the mineral deposits that stain the sides of the mine clearly. A hauntingly beautiful reminder of the past rush to make a quick dollar in the area.

How to get to Iron Blow Lookout

When you reach Queenstown, if you’ve been using public transport to explore Tasmania, it’s a good idea to check Queenstown for car rentals as a vehicle makes it easier to reach the lookout. Once you’re behind the wheel or perhaps have a lift, make your way to Gormonston Hill, where the lookout resides. You can drive up the paved road and park before walking the rest of the way.

Horsetail Falls

Make the descent back to Queenstown once you’ve had your fill of the scenery atop Iron Blow and be sure to stop off at Horsetail Falls. Also known as the Queenstown Falls, this waterfall is seasonal which means you’ll enjoy its stunning display after a period of heavy rain and during the winter or spring months (June to November).

Water gushes through rivets in the rock face, creating a mesmerising display. Follow the trailhead signage for the waterfall and look for the clearing on the side of the road where you can park. There is a trail from here at can take you closer to the falls, this is around 1km long and takes around 30 minutes to enjoy.

As well as a closer vantage point of the waterfall, you’ll also enjoy stunning views of the surrounding scenery. This article from World of Waterfalls is a great read with information on how to get closer and where to go.

When to visit Iron Blow lookout and Horsetail Falls

It’s a good idea to plan to head to Iron Blow early, to enjoy the best light. Shadows start to creep across the location early in the day which can impinge your experience and views. Spend an hour or so enjoying the scenery and looking around before heading back down and stopping at the falls just after midday.

Once you’ve had your fill of natural beauty, journey back down to Queenstown to fill your stomach with delicious food from one of the many eateries. Fergburger is a favourite for those looking for a quick bite but be sure to order ahead online to skip the queue for this popular spot.

The Bunker Restaurant and Bar is a rustic venue serving up local seafood dishes and gamey concoctions for a reasonable price. Just fancy a drink? The restaurant’s cocktail bar is a favourite for locals and tourists alike.

If you’re heading to Queenstown during your visit to Australia, enjoy the mesmerising views and rich history that lead to these Iron Blow and Horsetail Falls being formed.