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Published: March 19th 2015
Placid Derwent RiverWednesday 18th March 2015
We stopped on the way to the park. While Judy took the photo, Rags had a feed of blackberries growing wild nearby.
The skies were grey this morning and rain appeared to be threatening but we have learnt that grey skies don't mean rain or much rain here in Hobart and the skies often clear as the day progresses so we decided to take the risk and drive the 90 minutes to the Mount Field National Park.
The trip there was uneventful, the scenery changing as we followed the Derwent River upstream. Tasmania isn’t all green, as we saw where the paddocks had turned the same dry, brown colour we get at home. We passed lots of old buildings as well as hops farms so there was always something to see.
On reaching the entrance to the park we found that it was divided into two sections and the one centred around Lake Dobson in the ski section was closed as firebombing was scheduled.
As our main intention was to walk around the Russell Falls and Tall Tree area this did not affect us.
The walk to the viewing platform at the bottom of the falls was very easy, suitable for wheelchairs: it was a bitumen track lined with ferns, while giant
Mount Field National Park
The beginning of our walk.
eucalyptus and myrtles tower overhead. Russell Falls are a tiered waterfall and certainly one of the best we have seen in a long time. Judy can remember when she came before that you could climb and stand on the middle tier but there were new wooden steps that kept people from straying anywhere near the falls as they climbed toward the Horse Shoe Falls. After taking a few photographs we left the majority of the crowd, which included school children on a school excursion, there and continued up the steps and path to the Horseshoe Falls and the Tall Tree Circuit.
The Tall Tree Circuit is only a kilometre walk but it took quite a climb to get to it! Some of the trees here are the tallest in the world. At the first stop we tried to use a clinometer to calculate the height of one of these huge trees. We then walked to the base of the tree to see if we were right. The swamp gum, Eucalyptus regnans, is the tallest flowering plant on Earth and on this circuit we wandered through an impressive forest of these giants. The signs informed us that the largest of
these trees were growing when Abel Tasman first sighted Tasmania in 1642! It was so quiet walking through the forest and we couldn't help slowing so we could enjoy the silence and listen for any nearby animals or birds. The walk was quite picturesque with the huge trees towering above and the different varieties of ferns underneath. The interpretive signs along the route included lots of interesting facts about the trees and their size.
Judy spotted a small wallaby just off the path, and it took virtually no notice of us as we tried to take photos of it before it moved deeper into the bush. A few birds were also seen and except for hearing cockatoos above us, this was the only wildlife we noticed.
We had late lunch at one of the picnic areas near the river, we were lucky to be able to eat between light rain showers. In fact, the sun came out for a while!
There was some rain as we drove out of the park but this soon abated.
Our journey home was on the other side of the river so we could have a different view of
the towns and Hobart as we came in. Most of the panoramas were taken on our way to or from the park. On the way we stopped at Bushy Park, where we saw fields with large structures on them from which hops bushes grew. This area has been growing hops for 150 years and has one of the oldest continuously operating hop farms in the world. Gorgeous views over the valley were photographed from where we stopped beside the road above it
When we crossed the Bowen Bridge we joined the Brooker Highway, putting us in familiar territory. The drive through Hobart was easy as it has been every time for us. Every time we drive anywhere in Hobart we have to go through the centre - they need a tunnel like we have in Perth to take the traffic away from the city streets! We jokingly said that there is a “peak 15 minutes” in Hobart, the traffic always seems to flow smoothly.
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