After waking up pretty early and not figuring out where the open coffee shops were, on Saturday morning, Earl and I headed straight to Mt. Field. Thus starting a day were we would end with 23,000 steps which it felt was mostly uphill (165 flights to be exact). After a nice drive to Mt. Field National Park, we were there earlier than the rangers were, so found some cash for the self-service parking passes, grabbed some the snacks we bought the night before and were off to chase waterfalls. In Mt. Field, there is an about 2 hour hike where you can see, Russell Falls, Horseshoe Falls and Lady Barron Falls and the Tall Trees Walk, so we decided to start there.
This whole walk feels quite primordial and like you are walking where dinosaurs once roamed. It is damp and cool with fern trees, mosses and so much greenery, that you forget that you are on a commonly walked trail.
Russell and Horseshoe Falls are pretty close together, so it makes for a quick hike, then it is about another 45 minutes through the amazing Tall Trees walk to get to Lady Barron Falls. This was probably my favourite part of the walk as the trees were amazing.
Lady Barron Falls was beautiful, but there really isn’t a spot to get a good picture just how the viewing platforms and nature have taken over.
And well, that set of stairs would set up the fun of the next part of this walk. As back to the car park we go, it is gorgeous and flat. You can still see the devastation of a few recent wildfires and then the 269 steps uphill start.
After a few huffs and puffs after going up these stairs, it is an easier walk back to the car. And as the only restaurant in the area, we are lucky enough to get back just in time to get breakfast at the Waterfalls Cafe at the Ranger Station/Welcome Centre. Since we felt like we were ready for another hike, just not one of the 6 hours ones, we talked with a very informed ranger about hike options. She suggested going up to Lake Dobson to get on the Urquart Track, up to the Snow Gum Track and on to a bit of the Tarn Shelf, where hopefully we would get to see some of the vistas in the fagus. And she warned that…the Urquart track was “uphill all the way, but when you are done, you are done. ” . So thus the uphill adventure begins, firstly in the car on gravel roads to get to where hikes at Lake Dobson start and then the walk up the Urquart Track.
If my calves could have spoken at this point,they would have probably produced a melodious series of curse words. Then as we got off the Urquart Track (road) and on to the Snow Gum Track, the calves and legs had to shut up and the eyes and head took over with the joy of being at the top of the world.
Yep, no joke at the top of the world and with a view of the Tarns (glacial lakes). After hiking around a bit more, we realised that we couldn’t actually find where the Tarn Shelf Track started and walked back at bit and found a few other hikers looking for the same thing. After walking past a number of the ski lodges, and seeing if we could try again to find the trail, after being distracted by a few of the paths to the various ski and government lodges and were still unsuccessful, at finding the real path to the Tarns, we decided that it was time to walk back and save that adventure for another trip.
Then it was time to drive back to Hobart, we got back just as the Saturday Salamanca Markets were ending. Some of the restaurants around were still open, so we grabbed some food at about 330. Then did a bit of shopping in Salamanca Plaza and got some dessert. There we found a couple of places and confirmed that they would be open on Easter Sunday, so that we could head back to the hotel and prep for the next day, it ended up being a pretty long one as we went on a day long adventure to Cradle Mountain.