Mount Field National Park is a national park in the West Coast of Tasmania a little over an hour away from Hobart. The park is home to Russell Falls, a three layer waterfall and numerous glacial lakes that make this park the way it is. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, one of only two sites anywhere that fulfill seven out of the ten criterion needed to be a UNESCO WHS.
The park was established in 1916, making it, along with Freycinet National Park, Tasmania’s oldest national park. However, even before that, the area around Russell Falls was protected for its natural beauty since 1885, and making that Tasmania’s first nature reserve. The last known wild thylacine was captured in the region in 1933. The reserve was called “National Park” before 1946, but was officially renamed to its present name in 1947, and hence why on some maps, the area surrounding the park is still called “National Park”.
During the Pleistocene period, snowfield covered the top of the Mount Field plateau and fed glaciers in the surrounding valleys. A large, 12 km long glacier formed the broad river valley and the cirque walls above Lake Seal. Twisted Tarn, Twilight Tarn, and the tarns on the tarn shelf were formed by glacial scouring and a glacier flowed south from the Rodway Range, forming lakes Belcher and Nelton, and north to form the Hayes Valley and Lake Hayes.
The park has fair representation of much of native Tasmanian fauna including wombats, platypuses, eastern barred bandicoots, echidnas, and icon of Tasmania, the Tasmanian devil. The park also has a large diversity of fauna, with numerous types of plants and fungi.
The climate of Mount Field National Park is generally cold in the winter and regularly drops to the negatives while it rarely goes above the twenties during summer. Being in the west of the state, it rains quite regularly in the park.
- 1 Mount Field Visitor Centre, 66 Lake Dobson Rd, Mount Field, ☏+61 3 6288 1149, MtField@parks.tas.gov.au. 9AM–4PM. General information about the park, and into hiking in desolate isolated areas. Also where you’ll need to check in for accommodation, and remember to check in this visitor centre if you are going out into an isolated area, and check back out once you’ve come back. (updated Nov 2021)