From my first, shamefully short visit to Tasmania, I remembered Mount Field National Park as a place of lush rainforests and gushing waterfalls.
On this second visit, however, I had a lot more time. And although the forests and streams were still as beautiful as ever, the highlight was a long day walk in the upper, alpine reaches of the park: the Tarn Shelf Circuit.
The trailhead is found at the car park by Lake Dobson, a stunning short walk in itself. Colorful snow gums grow all along the shore. This particular one is one of my favorite trees in all of Australia (the other is a river red gum somewhere in Victoria, but that is another story…).
At dawn and dusk, you may be lucky enough to watch a platypus swim in the dark blue waters of the lake. This one came up at the surface right below me as I sat on an overhanging rock.
A few hardy mountain skinks are out, sunning themselves on rocks. Now, I’m no expert, but I reckon it must be bloody hard work being a solar-powered lizard in Tasmania!
Zooming in on the rich details of the lake shore – different colors and textures all complement each other subtly.
It’s bad hair day for the pandanus! I love the funky look of those curly leaves which call to mind an Alice in Wonderland feeling.
An old ski hut is still standing, albeit a little bit awry, by Twilight Tarn. A very secluded, kind of romantic spot if you ask me…
Inside the hut there’s a few relics of the past, including old wooden skis and those wonderful hiking boots which must have seen quite a lot of action in their day!
Length (km): 13 km
Time (hrs/min): 6 hrs
Return / Circuit / One-Way / Partial Circuit: Circuit
Park: Mount Field National Park
Closest Town: New Norfolk
Maximum Elevation: approx. 1200m
Total Ascent: approx. 700m
Car Access: From New Norfolk (approx. 35 km northwest of Hobart) follow highway B62 (Glenora Rd) west. Drive through Glenora staying on the same road, which becomes the B61 (Gordon River Rd). Keep going until you reach the turn-off into the park, approx. 40 km from New Norfolk. Once in the park, drive past the information center and follow a 16 km gravel road winding its way up the hill to the Lake Dobson car park. Road may be closed or require chains in snow conditions.
Have you visited Mount Field? If you have any stories, updates or corrections, please let us know by commenting below.