A freelance writer with an interest in just about everything.
Published July 8th 2013
Stunning waterfalls, towering trees and great bushwalking
Among other things, Tasmania is famous for its pristine national parks - and Mt Field National Park is one of the state's finest. Located roughly an hour's drive north-west of Hobart, this beautiful alpine wilderness offers beautiful waterfalls, towering trees and wonderful bushwalking.
Mt Field was declared a national park back in 1916, and it's home to perhaps one of the most-photographed waterfalls in Australia, Russell Falls. With water rushing down over three huge rock tiers, all framed by lush rainforest, it's a sight that'll have you reaching for your camera straight away.
There are two main sections to the park: the Russell Falls area near the Visitor Centre and the area around Lake Dobson, 16 kilometres away along a gravel road. The park is great for bushwalkers, with a variety of short, medium and longer treks for hikers of all fitness levels.
The 20-minute circuit to Russell Falls is a must, taking in towering swamp gums and beautiful tall tree ferns. You can travel further up a series of steps to the top of the falls, and even continue along on the Lady Barron Falls walk. This takes in two more beautiful waterfalls - Lady Barron and Horseshoe Falls - and even lets you take a side excursion along the Tall Trees walk.
As the name would suggest, this walk takes you through towering forests home to the tallest flowering plant on Earth, the swamp gum. Some of the trees in this section of the path are absolute monsters, stretching around 80 metres skywards.
In the Lake Dobson area of the park you can walk around the lake itself, taking in natural scenery that is said to have a Tolkien-like charm. Heading even higher takes you to the Tarn Shelf, which offers beautiful alpine scenery and views of the valley below.
In winter you can even enjoy limited downhill skiing at a small ski field above Lake Dobson, or cross-country skiing further afield. It's not hard to see why this is rated as one of Tasmania's favourite national parks.
The visitor centre near Russell Falls has a wealth of information, and staff there are happy to help you plan your Mt Field adventure. There's also a small cafe if you feel like a snack or a coffee.
For more information on planning a trip to Mt Field National Park, head to the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service website.