Mt Field was one of several favourite childhood destinations for family picnics for me...walking to view the Russell Falls and the lovely damp rich smell of the surrounding bush, Lake Dobson, the forest walks, cooking lunch over an open fire and enjoying the rest of mum's wonderful picnics, she seemed to have the knack of being able to produce exactly the treat one really wanted just when one wanted it! The snow and ice in the winter, paddling and bathing in the Tyenna River on hot days, the abundant wildlife and identifying so many of the varied endemic plants with dad (who seemed to know everything about the bush when I was small)...all part of the wonderfully varied environment of this area that lives on in my memory. Tim also has lovely childhood memories of National Park as it was his first home. Living on a small farm in this area was a wonderful environment for a small boy, some of his happiest memories arise from that period of his life...not that we knew each other way way back then!
The Parks and Wildlife Service in Tasmania celebrated 100 years of operation on 29th August this year and the Parks are free of entry fees during the September school holidays to mark the event...as a consequence, there were a great many visitors arriving all day at the park.
Unfortunately we didn't manage to arrive in time to secure one of our favoured huts, one with an open fire hearth. These huts are lovely and cosy once one gets the fire going, as there is usually a cool breeze blowing except on the hottest of summer days, which this day certainly wasn't! Showers had been threatening in the Derwent Valley during the early morning, and snow had fallen to 900 mt during the night, so the breeze was a tad brisk, but we were lucky in that the rain cleared to a fine and sunny day with occasional clouds by the time we reached our lunch destination.
The hut we occupied had two electric BBQ's, indoor and outdoor tables, was right beside the Tyenna River, and rather isolated from others, so it was lovely and private.
They told me when they returned that I should have gone with them, as the track has been converted to a concrete walkway from the muddy uneven track of my childhood, the thought of which had prevented me from even trying to go...wonky legs and a walking stick being no match for treacherous walking surfaces! Next time I will go...but I enjoyed the lovely peaceful break I had anyway and Tim enjoyed pottering about visiting familiar favoured spots from his long distant local childhood and taking photographs. On the walkers return they said the falls were pretty spekky indeed, as there was lots of water in the river and Sarah promised to share some of her photos with me...so I had the best of both worlds.
Lake Dobson is one of my very favourite places in Tassie and I had some adventures there when I was a child...it always seemed so isolated and such an adventure to drive up through the rainforest with it's huge eucalyptus trees, past Wombat Moor and down into the dear little lake in it's sheltered hollow.
The unsealed road was very narrow with very limited passing spots, but as few cars travelled that way anyway, meeting another vehicle and the associated driver maneuvering on the slippery little track, especially if there was snow, just added to the excitement...for me, anyway.
The road is a bit better now, although still narrow, and still unsealed...large vehicles such as campers, motorhomes and buses are not permitted to use the road, there are restrictions during winter particularly due to rapidly changing and severe weather conditions that can come at you very rapidly out of the blue, so a lot of visitors simply do not visit the area...today there were about a dozen cars parked in the car park at the lake when we arrived. There are many beautiful walks around and about the lake, and it is a spot used by skiers when the snowfall is deep enough, as they walk from the Lake Dobson car park to the Mt Mawson ski fields... (See the Mt Mawson Snow Cam, here)...
We had a rather chilly wander around the lake edge boardwalk near the car park, none of us were dressed for anything more adventurous and the day was drawing in anyway...we took some photos and were rather glad to get back into the comparative warmth of the car. There was some patches of snow visible on the ridges of the surrounding peaks, certainly there was enough snow to keep the wind quite invigorating!
It was after five by the time we had returned to the Visitor Centre, ready to start on our journey home...we travelled on the Eastern side of the Derwent River this time, enjoying the late afternoon sun..the river is bounded for quite a distance on the Eastern side, by rocky Dolerite outcrops