Mt. Field National Park

Day two in Tassie dawned crisp with the prospect of colder weather ahead.  We decided to spend the day hiking around in Mt. Field National Park. The park is about an hour north of Hobart and the drive took us by some beautiful rivers, sheep pastures, and through the largest hops producing town in the Southern Hemisphere. Unfortunately all the hops were down for the season but we’re hoping to get a chance to come back and see/smell them at full bloom in the future. The roads were much narrower than Drew expected, but we made it safe and sound.

The park itself is lovely. If Hobart feels like Seattle, then this park felt like an amalgam of North Georgia, Virginia, and California.  Well, until you got to the 7ft tall ferns and the 2-300ft trees. (We did keep an eye out for both raptors and Miyazaki creatures. Nada on both.)
We hiked up to Russell Falls which was pretty spectacular. Pictures can’t do it justice. It’s actually a lot higher than it looks in the pictures we took. From there we hiked upstream to Horseshoe Falls. Smaller, but it felt more tropical despite the temperatures being in the 50s.
As we hiked down the trail, we ran into a bunch of small marsupials. We think they’re pademelon but they might have been wallabies.  As long as we stayed still, they didn’t seem to mind us much. Once we tried to move in to get a better shot, they bounded  off into the forest.
I mentioned the huge trees earlier but this park is covered in them. Lots have fallen down and are slowly being decomposed by the moss and other forest dwellers, but there are still an impressive number standing near the 300ft tall mark. With trees this big and so old, the park constantly reminds visitors that they could fall at any moment. If you’re not comfortable with that risk, don’t come!
We finished our hike with a visit to the last falls at this end of the 6k loop – Lady Barron Falls. 6k seems like a lovely walk, but it ended with a 239 step staircase that had our quads aching! We were were happy to head back to the city after that. Along the way we found a roadside fruit stand selling fresh raspberries out of a beat-up old bus. The bus was covered in amazing smelling hops, lots of which still had blooms. We took a couple of hops flowers for the drive home and headed back to Hobart. We’ll leave tomorrow morning and head down to the Tasman Peninsula.
The rest of the pictures, including more of the pademelon, are here.
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