We had choices to make today….two options:
1. Ride to Lake Dobson on a predominantly dirt road, climbing over 900 metres in 16 km ( meaning the return trip would be downhill)
2. Chill, laze about, have brunch at Waterfall Cafe in Mt Field NP when it opened (about 1 km walk from our pub), do the three waterfall walk (6 km) then back to cafe for iced coffee and then chill more back at the pub.
So it was a tough choice…..beautiful weather and we chose to chill, as the following two days are both going to pretty tough going.
Walking down to the National Park we cut the corner to head to the old National Park railway station.
When I was about 10, I was staying with my maternal grandmother in Hobart, along with one of my school friends. She took us on a day trip here, travelling by train. It was a wonderful trip, well before the days of OHS, commercial litigation etc. My friend and I had a ball on that train, sitting on the step of the open train doorway nearly the entire trip. Our legs dangled free and I still remember some of the bridge crossings. Try and do that today!
A local tourist business now runs these self propelled carts, on the train line, from Maydena (12 km up the road). Looks like fun.
Yummy brunch was next.
The Three Falls Circuit starts behind the Mt Field visitor centre taking walkers through the rainforests found on the lower levels of the National Park. It is a 6 km loop with a mixture of gradients ranging from gentle to steep.
Here is the data graph and map for the walk.
The first waterfall is only 300 metres into the walk, following a well maintained path through rainforest.
There are a variety of trees including eucalyptus, sassafras, myrtle and blackwood. Some of the fallen trees have massive bases.
At night there are glow worms in the area.
Russell Falls is a spectacular two tiered waterfall, with a lookout point at the base.
A set of stairs lead up to a lookout point maybe half way up the waterfall height.
Well constructed stairs take you to a further viewpoint at the top of the falls.
Horseshoe Falls are a short walk further. A nice waterfall but I’d rate it number three today.
We noted a trout swimming in the creek.
Returning to the main circuit, the path winds its way through a somewhat Gondwanan landscape, with some incredibly old trees predating Abel Tasman’s first siting of Tasmania back in the mid 1650’s. We did the extension loop through the Tall Tree forest.
More lovely rainforest.
Lady Barron waterfall is reached after descending through rainforest and crossing numerous small creeks. The falls are named after Lady Clara Barron, the wife of a Governor of Tasmania.
Tony hopped over the safety barrier for the above photo hence this photo.
The next part of the walk follows the watercourse before leading to about 270 stairs that climb, climb, climb out of the rainforest.
Once at the top the path gently descends back down to the visitor centre via open forest of eucalyptus that have been subjected to bushfire sometime in the past.
An interesting plaque re the world heritage listing and cultural heritage.
Time for an iced coffee and watching a cheeky bird cavorting in front of a sign telling us to keep the wildlife wild.
Back at the pub I have taken some photos. $95 per night and last night there was one other guest, not sure about tonight. A traditional old pub Aussie style, that was constructed in 1920, but currently owned by an English guy Joffe.
An early night tonight as we will depart early tomorrow for a longer ride of over 120 km and upwards of 2000 metres climbing. Thanks for reading, Ooroo!