TAS day 19: Mt Field National Park

January 14, 2016. 0km.

There’s no point biking through 95 degree weather to get someplace if you don’t spend time appreciating th destination. So I spent today lounging about in Mt Field National Park. This is one of the older national parks, and it’s a nice one. The visitor center is equipped with a nice cafe, and though it does close at 5ish, the campground has self registration as necessary. 

Last night was moderately dramatic with thunderstorms and periodic rain, though nothing too intense. The campground is in amongst some tall eucalyptus trees, and they amplify the sound of wind, which makes things sound dramatic at least. Nevertheless, the laundry I hung up last night still managed to mostly dry by morning, so it must not have rained all that much. The thunderstorms also brought a cold front, so today was chilly – a nice change from sweltering. 

I wandered up to the cafe around 9am and got a breakfast of eggs Benedict and cappuccino. Thus fueled, I set off on the trail looping from the visitors center to the three nearby waterfalls and large trees. The national park also has trails near some lakes starting a few km up the road. But those don’t involve waterfalls, and are farther away and up a hill. Not as well suited to a lazy day off.

The trail to the largest and most impressive waterfall (Russell Falls) is short, flat, and paved. Naturally, quite popular. The forest is nice though, even right at the start.

Lots of tree ferns.
An interestingly sculpted tree.
Some trees are rather tall.

The waterfall itself is gorgeous. I spent a while just standing and watching it.

Russell Falls
More Russell Falls.

I suspect that the water is low here as it is everywhere, but the falls are still impressive even with a low volume. A few steps lead up to the top of the falls, and the smaller Horseshoe Falls.

The top of the falls.
Horseshoe falls. I bet this one would be more impressive with more water.

I kept ambling down the trail along the ‘tall trees circuit’. It is definitely easier to amble slowly down forest paths without exertion than to bike down roads. No falling over if you slow down too much. Anyway, the tall trees circuit did have some tall trees. The eucalyptus regnans are apparently only beat by the California redwoods. I camped below redwoods on the last trip. Perhaps I should go touring with whatever tree species is third tallest next.

The tallest tree in the park, according to the sign.
Trees are pretty.

The final destination of the trail was Lady Barron a Falls. Also not all that impressive, but someplace to go.

Lady Barron falls.
At least there was a pool of interestingly textured water at the bottom.

On the way to the falls was this sign. As it turned out, there was in fact a dirt road around the corner, but it seemed out of place in the forest.

There was a road, but no traffic.

The day started out cloudy, but the sun came out for a while in the early afternoon. It lit up this fern nicely.

I got back to the cafe at two or so, and ordered a wallaby burger (not actually all that tasty, pretty dry) and decent fries. I ambled back to the campground with a cappuccino in hand, and ended up relaxing in the tent during sporadic rain showers with the sun still shining.

Bronwyn Woods
Data about plants riding bicycles?