|A huge tree
beside the Russell Falls Nature Walk
within the Mount Field National Park
National Park (including Maydena)
Access point to the Mount Field National Park
It is not every town in Australia which is
located on the edge of a National Park and which
has the daring (or the foolhardiness) to call
itself - National Park.
Located 77 km northwest of Hobart and 8 km
from Westerway, National Park is really nothing
more than a trout farm, a kiosk, the Russell
Falls Cottages, a camping ground and a picnic
spot located on the edge of the Mount Field
Mount Field National Park was declared in
1916 after William H. Crooke had organised a
National Parks Association two years earlier.
The particular appeal of the National Park is
that it uniquely combines tall wet eucalypt
forest and cool rainforest (at Russell Falls)
with glacial formations and snow country around
Things to see:
Russell Falls Nature Walk
The park has a number of walks ranging from the
easy, level Russell Falls Nature Walk - a
leisurely half hour through stands of
stringybark, mountain ash (the tallest flowering
plant in the world) and white gum to a section
of rainforest where myrtle, sassafras, tree
ferns and fungi grow in the damp cool climate
around the falls.
The falls, which were discovered by a man
named Browning in 1856, are truly remarkable.
They are not high (40 m) but the setting and the
way they are tiered (it is possible to walk
across the falls between the lower and upper
levels) is quite beautiful.
The track continues and keen walkers can go
to the Horseshoe Falls (about another 15
minutes) and the Lady Barron Falls (which is a
round trip taking about 90 minutes).
Lyrebird Nature Trail
Another walk from the car park is the Lyrebird
Nature Trail which is located 7 km up the Lake
Dobson road and off to the right. There is an
excellent information sheet available which
describes the points on the trail - it passes
kangaroo ferns, unusual heath species, yellow
gums, man ferns and sword grass.
The less-than-perfect dirt road up to Lake
Dobson seems to go on forever but the journey of
16 km is well worth the effort. Lake Dobson is a
beautiful and isolated glacial lake far up in
the mountains where the clouds seem to be only
metres above the land and the vegetation has
been hardened by the weather. In snow or in the
wet it would be impassible without chains and a
4WD. There are a number of walks around the lake
and in wintertime it is a popular ski resort.
Visitor Information Centre
The Visitor Information Centre near the car park
and adjacent to the path to Russell Falls has
brochures and sheets of information on all the
roads and walks within the park. A visit to the
centre is a sensible starting point.
13 km beyond National Park is the forestry
township of Maydena. It is located at the
beginning of the Gordon River road (which is a
toll road). The great attraction in the area is
'The Big Tree' in the Styx Valley. It is a huge
mountain ash which, at a height of 98.2 m, is
the largest eucalypt in Australia.
Anglican Church (built 1889), near
Maps of the area and details about the roads
can be obtained at the Australian Newsprint
Mills Office in the town.