Mount Field National Park

Mount Field National Park is the place of our next destination. It is relatively close to Hobart, being just 64 km northwest of Hobart.

 
This is our first stay after sightseeing a bit and working in Hobart. The landscape here ranges from eucalyptus temperate rainforest to cold alpine moorland, with the summit of Mount Field rising to rising to 1,434 metres (4,704ft). It includes divine waterfalls that are easy to access and freezing cold alpine lakes which also are the source of some wonderful cross country skiing in winter.


Along the road we notice all these wild blackberries and the occasional apple tree. Rob even saw a plum tree on the side of the road but there was nowhere for him to pull over safely. Further along the way we stop an grab our buckets and off we go and pick as many blackberries as we could. Of course we ate the biggest and juiciest ones there and then. All I can say is yummo. They were just sweet, juicy and oh so fresh.

Wild blackberries ripe for the picking (and eating)

Along the road to the turnoff to Mt Field, all we can see around us are these tall rows of tall plants that running up some sort of rope or cable to reach a height of something like 3to 4 metres. Further along the road I see a sign for such and such Hop Farm. Aha, now I know what these unusual farms are. I also noticed that there are strict controls and only authorised people are allowed... not just trying to keep out strangers but all people appear to need govt vetting.

Hop Fields


Finally we get to the entrance to the Mt Field National Park. There is an information centre which we will come back to later. Almost immediately there is the camp ground on the right. You just rock up, find a vacant spot and ensure that the bay you've selected has not been prebooked. You can chose between powered and unpowered sites. Then you go back to the entrance and do the self registration. There's a creek that is partly hidden by creek-side foliage. The powered sites also have water taps alongside. For non powered sites, you can access water from the amenities block which also has hot and cold water showers, flushing toilets and a separate laundry with washing machines and a dryer. $3 per cycle.

A sculpture of a Pademelon (Rufus Wallaby) at the information centre

After settling in we decided to go to the information centre and immediately behind this is a short walk to the waterfalls. I absolutely loved both falls here which are just a short 45 minute walk.

Along the walkway

The first falls, Russell Falls, is even wheel chair accessible as it is on bitumen through the rainforest and past tall trees and many fallen trees covered in mossy green feather dusters, which apparently have medicinal uses. It is a fascinating and peaceful place. Birds chirp in the backgrounds occasionally. We were fortunate to see the small shy Rufous Wallabies which can be seen easily and if you are extremely lucky like I was, you may even glimpse the elusive platypus along the edges of the shallow creek beds.

Russell Falls

Russell Falls is a 2 tiered cascading style fall and the second waterfall, Horseshoe Falls, is a totally different waterfall that is in curved format both vertically as well as the way if falls. There is a little bit of easy climbing involved to reach this fall but again it is a relatively short walk, just another 15 minutes from Russell Falls.

Horseshoe Falls

While we were walking to the waterfall we notice that there is a glow worm grotto which we had intended to visit when it’s a lot darker. However as things worked out, we were far too tired at the end of our days there to actually make the trip esp as we had seen glow worms on an earlier part of our trip around Tasmania.

A typical scene along the walk to the waterfalls not far from where I saw platypus in the creek


There are all sorts of interesting snippets of information on discreet signboards along the walks as to history, flora and fauna to be found etc. For example the tall gumtrees here are Eucalyptus regnant and they are the tallest flowering plant in the world, and it doesn’t even start flowering until it reaches 75 years of age. (The tallest known tree was back near the Tahune Air Walk at just under 100m tall.) Another interesting snippet is that there are no koalas in Tasmania, also that kookaburras are not native either but were brought over from mainland Australia to prevent their decline. However, as is often the case they caused a problem for native fish in the streams which also relied on the flies which the kookaburras ate and then the fish population declined dramatically.

A pademelon or rather the Rufous Wallaby

The wallabies also come and forage around the campsites at dusk which I found quite delightful. On one of our drives we also saw some of the larger, darker faced Bennetts Wallabies.


Bennetts Wallaby

There is no doubt about it. Mt Field National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in Australia in our opinion and is worthy of more than a one night stay. I would come here again and again if I lived in Tasmania.

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Michelle