On day 3 of our Tasmanian adventure we hit the road west along Glenora Road, en route to Mount Field National Park. It’s a beautiful drive from Lachlan, hugging the river, winding through green hills, and alongside numerous fields growing a large quantity of Australia’s hops (which pleased the beer aficionados in the car greatly).
A fairly casual booking structure left me in some doubt that our accommodation at Russell Falls Holiday Cottages had actually been secured, and the lack of any humans in the reception area seemed to confirm my worst fears, until I spotted an envelope with my name on it containing keys to our cottage and a lovely hand-written note from the owner. Our cottage was literally a stone’s throw from the mighty Tangara River, with a beautiful fern-dotted lawn running right down to the water, and a deck just made for enjoying an evening glass of wine.
The following morning we drove the short distance to Mount Field National Park and set off on the Lady Baron Falls Circuit, a 6km loop track that takes in the 3-tiered Russell Falls, the Tall Trees Walk (home to the tallest flowering plants in the world!), Horseshoe Falls, and Lady Baron Falls. It’s a beautiful and highly atmospheric walk through dense, damp rainforest, with an abundance of birds and the occasional pademelon.
After looping back to the Visitor’s Centre, we took our rental car (a moderately inappropriately vehicle for the terrain) off-road to Lake Dobson, a 20km drive along a somewhat precarious dirt road that winds up into the mountains. The temperature rapidly dropped the higher we climbed, and beanies, gloves and weather-proof outer layers made an appearance. It was amazing how quickly the landscape changed from swamp gums, ferns, and rainforest, to a desolate but beautiful alpine tundra. Despite a huge interest (by me) in trekking the Seal Lake lookout, at the rate the weather was changing and the fact that we were becoming more and more ensconced in a low-hanging fog and blasted with occasional flurry of snow and/or sleet, it was decided (by Paul) that a more sensible leisure activity was in order. We opted for the Pandani Grove Walk, which took us around the lake, through low-lying rainforest-like scrub dotted with beautiful pandani, ferns, and pencil pines.
Next, we headed further west to the literal end of the road: Strathgordon. Stay tuned!