A small group of explorers this time, Angie, Lyn, Robert and Di. We were keen to see a new part of Mt Field NP and to catch a sight of the autumn colours of the "fagus" (Nothofagus gunnii).
Luckily Robert thought to check that we had our current NP pass on the windscreen (we didn't!). After fixing that, we made a quick visit to the Hobart Farmers' Market to stock up on cheese and seedlings, and then headed west towards Mt Field. It was an hour and a half drive (make sure you've got some pleasant music on board for the drive home!).
We parked near National Park visitors' centre,and took the track to Russell Falls. This is a short 10 minutes walk on a sealed path. The falls are three tiered and stunningly beautiful.
We took the path up to the right, which offers a closer view of Russell Falls from halfway up, and then another view over the valley from the top of the falls (a creek with an infinity edge!).
We took a short diversion to look at the unassuming but unusually curved Horseshoe Falls
and then continued, following the signed track southwest through the forest.
There were heaps of fascinating mushrooms and other fungi to marvel at all along the way.
Watch out for the slippery edges of the boardwalks - we had a couple of tumbles. We took the left hand circuit around the Tall Trees walk. We estimated the height of one of the tall E. regnans at 72.1 m using the clinometer, and failed to agree with the answer provided by NPWS. Clearly the tree had been recently pruned by the winds!
Crossing over Lake Dobson Rd, we proceeded through more wet forest. The Lady Barron Falls were lovely. On the track back towards the visitors centre there is a new detour over the hill, involving many timber steps(!), but we had a timely rest for a snack at the top. This track emerges into distinctly drier forest on the hilltop and then descends pleasantly towards civilisation.
This walk took us 3 hours, including many stops to admire mushrooms, tall trees, and to take photos. It could easily be done in 2 to 2.5 hours.
We drove up to Lake Dobson, stopping en route for some spectacular shows of the Fagus (near the takeoff points to Mt Field East).
Lyn had her first look at Lake Dobson, and we were pleased to see a neat new boardwalk at the lake's edge.
Driving back home, we came across a new coffeeshop in New Norfolk, the Patchwork Cafe near the Willow Court Motel. Good coffee, yummy snacks and attractive patchwork quilts to admire.