For our latest Instameet, we headed off for the lush and tranquil Mount Field National Park to witness the changing of the Fagus, Tasmania’s only deciduous plant. Mount Field is also celebrating its 100th anniversary this year so our visit couldn’t have come at a better time to help promote the park and raise awareness of the great work going on there.
Our first port of call was the visitor centre where we had some delicious scones and coffee, which seem to have become the signature food for these events. And that’s most definitely a good thing as they’re always delicious and a perfect start to the day. We were introduced to the park by one of the rangers who told us the story of Bill Belcher, the very first ranger in Mount Field. We explored the original horse tracks which were used back in the early 20th century to bring provisions up to guests staying at the cabin built beside Lake Fenton.
It was at Lake Fenton where I got my first glimpse of the Fagus in all its Autumnal deciduous glory. There was every colour from green through to yellow and on to red on display and the little leaves certainly do make for a pretty picture. There was plenty more flora to be seen though, with a myriad of fungi to be seen on the trail edges. I’ve never seen such variety in colour, shape and size and some of the ones we found were amazing.
We were all treated to a yummy lunch after coming back down from the somewhat upper reaches of the park and few words were said between having our fill and editing the first photos of the day. Little did I know that the day had only just started photographically and there was LOTS more to come!.
After lunch, we made our way to Russell Falls, which is one of Tasmania’s more accessible waterfalls. With the dry weather recently, the falls weren’t perhaps at their most spectacular but I was still most certainly impressed by their scale and the stair-like structuring of the various cascades.
We weren’t done yet though as just a few more minutes up the hillside lay Horseshoe Falls, another popular and well visited attraction in the park. The name comes from the horseshoe shape of the falls when they are in full flood. Like their cousin further down, they weren’t in full swing but there was certainly plenty for us photographers to get excited about as myself and a few others stepped over the railing to get right up to the falling waters (Much to the annoyance/confusion of the more casual tourists on the decking no doubt).
And as if ALL of that wasn’t enough, there was still EVEN MORE photography opportunities in store on the way home!! Steven, who kindly drove myself and another lady up from Hobart, suggested we stop in a few places on the way back through the Derwent Valley. One of those places was Bushy Park and I can honestly say it is one of the most beautiful and serene scenes I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing. Perhaps it was the golden sunset that was bathing the area when we arrived, perhaps it was the Autumnal colours in the leaves or maybe even the curious ducks in the fishing pond but my God that place was a little slice of heaven during our visit.
We quickly found ourselves in a race against time to get a nice shot of the sunset and our first port of call was the Salmon Ponds, which unfortunately were shut by the time we arrived. All was not lost however as we spent far too long taking photos of a friendly goat 🙂
Steven then had one more trick up his sleeve as he pulled onto a dirt track and brought us up to a viewing platform overlooking the Derwent valley. The sun had already set by the time we arrived but that didn’t mean the view wasn’t still amazing. There were a few tinges of colour left in the sky as we took our last shots for the day and got back in the car for the journey home.
So as you can see, what a day! So many beautiful scenes and all within a short drive from Hobart. The more of this state I see with each of these Instameets, the more I realise what a wonderful place it is. There’s just so damn many beautiful sights within a stone’s throw of Hobart and the scarily exciting thing is there’s even more beyond that! This Island is something special and Mount Field is most certainly one of its best assets.
Huge thanks to Steven for driving us up there and for showing us those glorious bonus sights on the way back from the park. Big thanks also to Jared at Hobart & Beyond and the guys at Discover Tasmania for knocking it out of the park once again and providing us all with a truly memorable experience.