Escape to Mt Field National Park

Escape to Mt Field National Park

I’ve been sick as a dog. Cabin fever has taken its toll almost as much as the virus that struck me down has.

I have to escape this house and get some fresh air.

Mt Field is an easy day out option to cure such ills. It is a one and a bit hours drive north from Hobart and offers some easy graded walks filled with nature. I pack the Escape Hatch with my trail shoes, raincoat, camera, a lens, tripod and lunch.

Getting to Mt Field

Setting out from Hobart at 10am I stop by New Norfolk (“Norfick”) for a morning tea break.

“Norfick” is the gateway town to the southwest further abound such as Maydena, Strathgordon and the western wilds of Tarraleah, Lake St Clair and the west coast towns of Queenstown and Strahan.

I make my coffee stop at Cheeky Little Place on Burnett Street. I must say it was a great coffee and the malt biscuit with the shops name emblazoned on it was tasty too.

A cheeky cookie at Cheeky Little Place in New Norfolk.
An up market decent sized malt cookie from Cheeky Little Place in New Norfolk.

If you’re looking for more action and adventure, there a two beaut River Derwent activities based in New Norfolk. Derwent Valley Stand Up Paddleboarding and Tassie Bound Kayaking Adventure Tours are awesome ways to get on the water for an hour or so.

Going via Bushy Park you’ll see the hop fields. The fields are empty in August but they are numerous all the same. Bushy Park is the home of Australian hops.

The speed slows down through the tiny town of Westerway.

Possum Café is a handy place to visit on the return journey for a quality coffee and afternoon tea. It is closed in the month of August.

Mt Field National Park

You’ll need to have a National Parks pass either on your person or on your car already or acquire one at the visitor centre.

Basic walks for the day trip feel are the Tall Trees Track and/or the Russell Falls and Horseshoe Falls Loop Walk.

You can easily combine them for a two hour hike. After checking in at the visitor centre take the drive up the unsealed Lake Dobson Road to begin at the Tall Trees Track.

Today, I will only be chasing waterfalls. Plus I don’t want to over exert my virus ridden body.

I take on the 45 minute Russell Falls and Horseshoe Falls walk.

The Falls

The track leads through some fine green forest overlooked by some magnificent swamp gums, both standing and fallen. Huge beasts of trunks they are. Ferns line the track providing a border to the track. There is no evidence of shortage of water in these parts. It’s vibrantly green and moist.

Russell Falls is the jewel of the waterfalls in Mt Field. Walking up to the viewing platform the gathered crowd begins to disperse as a tour group thankfully moves on. Good timing!

Of course, I am a bumbling idiot and have left my tripod in the car. Luckily the fencing provides a makeshift option.

Russell Falls in Mt Field NP
Russell Falls should be on your waterfall chasing itinerary.

I snap off a few images from a few viewpoints to the best of my dwindling ability and hope for the best. I don’t go around or over the fence for that extra unique Instagrammable photo like some others choose to do. 

Horseshoe Falls takes me up 200 step staircase but it was easy enough. I have Horseshoe to myself. Again, I use the fence as my makeshift tripod. This time my photos come out a whole lot better on the small camera screen. 

Horseshoe Falls in Mt Field NP
Horseshoe Falls are a quality falls in it’s own right and worth the 200 steps up.

Back down I trek. 

I keep an eye out for a splash of the elusive platypus in the stream beside the track. No such luck.

Post Walk

Reaching the visitor centre I cannot help but stop for a chocolate milkshake at the waterfall café. These are milkshakes of legend.  It is a just reward for a little physical activity. Do not miss out.

The 7 dollar shake. Chocolate milkshake goodness.

If you are prepared for longer walks look up the www.parks.tas.gov.au website.

A good option for a stop is the Salmon Ponds on the way back to Hobart or your onward journey.

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