Mt Field National Park – The waterfalls

“Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty.” John Ruskin

Russell Falls, Mt Field National Park

Tasmania is a wonderful place to go hiking with hundreds of trails, from short walks to multi-day hikes. It’s also the place where my hiking buddy lives so, on most of my visits, I get to pull on my hiking boots for an overnight trek, base camping or even just a short stroll to a waterfall. We are slowly ticking off hikes in all corners of the state and one my favourites is in Mt Field National Park. The Russell Falls/Horseshoe Falls/Lady Barron Falls/Tall Trees Circuit is six kilometre walk, which takes two to three hours depending on how long you linger at each of the waterfalls.

Mt Field National Park is about 60km north west of Hobart and is particularly unique for its diversity in vegetation. There are tall swamp gum forests and giant tree ferns in the lower reaches of the park and alpine vegetation in the higher elevations, where there is also ski field above Lake Dobson. At the time of our visit, September, there was still snow in the alpine regions and our longer hike was foiled because we were sinking up to our thighs in the snow, not to mention losing sight of where the trail went – but that’s another story (Mt Field National Park – Alpine hikes).

Fortunately, the waterfalls circuit is suitable at all times of the year and Russell Falls, which is one of Australia’s most photographed waterfalls, is only a 10 minute stroll from the visitor centre. Here are some of my photographs of this beautiful hike.

Sunlight filters through the thick canopy and there is so much water coming over Russell Falls that the spray drenches us. We have to stand further back to take photos.

We also visited Russell Falls after dark to see the glow worms. It took our eyes a while to adjust to the darkness but gradually the glow worms began to appear, resembling twinkling stars. The falls also looked amazing – ethereal in black and white – and the sound of the water tremendously loud.

Our senses were definitely heightened as we walked slowly along the darkened trail; the red eyes of a pademelon occasionally startling us. They were less scary in the daylight.

Russell Falls has three tiers and some of the best views are from the steep trail leading to the top of the falls.

The view across Mt Field National Park from the top of Russell Falls.

Horseshoe Falls are about 100 metres upstream from the top of Russell Falls.

I love the opportunity to be creative when photographing waterfalls and this one is perfect. It’s dark, allowing slow shutter speeds. There’s a fence (aka tripod) to keep the camera steady. And there’s not too much spray. Awesome!

The ‘Tall Tree Circuit’ is a 30-minute walk through a forest of incredible swamp gums – the world’s tallest flowering plants – and there are sign boards along the route and a device that allows you to measure the height of the trees.

Lady Barron Falls

The last part of the walk is alongside a picturesque creek, which takes you back to the visitor centre.

Just outside of Mt Field National Park there is another lovely hike to Marriott Falls, which takes about an hour each way. The trail begins alongside the raging Tyenna River before crossing an open paddock and venturing into rainforest.

This is an incredible walk, very Tolkienesque, with giant ferns and vivid-green moss covering the tree trunks and most of the trail.

It is wonderful to stand in this beautiful glade, surrounded by giant trees, feeling the spray on my face and gazing up at this spectacular waterfall.

Have you been hiking in Tasmania? I would love to hear about your favourite walk or waterfall. Let me know in the comments below.


5 thoughts on “Mt Field National Park – The waterfalls

  1. We should attempt the tarn shelf walk again when the trail isn’t obscured by snow! I love Mt Field as well. There are so many different walks to do.

  2. Pingback: Mt Field National Park – Alpine hikes | kgrahamjourneys

  3. Pingback: Walls of Jerusalem National Park | kgrahamjourneys

  4. Pingback: The Best Day Trips From Hobart | Affordable Holidays

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