Day 22: Finishing Mt Field and Tarn Shelf

Sunday December 11, 6.2km/3.9mi

Twilight Tarn Campsite (21.7/990m) to Lake Dobson Carpark (27.9/1030m) (TAS)

I had a great night of sleep at my little camp spot. As I hiked out at 7:30am, I could hear the other campers complaining about mice, a good reason to avoid the old huts! The track was very nice, with lots of bridges and boardwalks across the wet spots.

Despite the afternoon forecast for heavy rain, the morning was delightfully sunny.

It was a short walk to complete the Tarn Shelf Loop, only two hours back to my car. As I got closer to the trailhead, I kept seeing Pademelons hop away as I approached. Finally I was able to get a photo of one, when it stood still for a few seconds. I think this one also had a baby in her pouch (they are marsupials).

Yesterday was all in the alpine, but today was at lower elevations and everything was so green!

When I got back to Lake Dobson, I knew I was basically finished.

I was back at the car at 9:30am, and drove the 30 minutes back to the Park visitor center. There was a gift shop, cafe, ranger station, and a few short dayhikes to waterfalls. I hiked the 15 minutes to Russell Falls, and it was cool seeing so many people out enjoying the morning in the park. At an elevation of only 160m/525ft, the valley felt like a tropical forest.

Russell Falls is the lower of the 2 waterfalls, and much taller.

I hiked 10 minutes up to Horseshoe Falls, which was up a few hundred stairs. It reminded me of the little waterfalls along the PCT in Washington.

On the hike down from Horseshoe Falls, I realized that all the tourists from the lower falls were slowly making their way up here too. It’s so different from US tourists, who are less likely to do “extra” hiking or climb lots of stairs. Cool. Back at the car, I decided to drive across the street to a picnic area by the Tyenna River, to see a platypus. No luck, but I’ll get to see one eventually! I drove the 90 minutes to Hobart, where I have a cheap hotel room booked. It’s supposed to rain all day tomorrow, so I’ll get a shower and laundry done, and regroup before my final week in Tasmania. At the Woolworths (grocery store), I was happily surprised to see ice cream sold in slices. Perfect appetizer before dinner!

It felt great to be clean again, and I spent the evening planning my few remaining hikes. Hopefully I can avoid most of the forecasted wet weather.

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