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Mount Field and New Norfolk

Tasmania, Australia
Level Contributor
39,862 posts
67 reviews
311 helpful votes
Mount Field and New Norfolk

Mount Field, about 80km north-west of Hobart, is one of Tasmania's most beautiful National Parks. The park features mighty trees, spectacular Russell Falls and is handy to several other worthwhile attractions in the area. It's an easy day's trip from Hobart, via New Norfolk.

New Norfolk Town http://www.newnorfolk.org/

New Norfolk is about 40 minutes north-west of Hobart, on the beautiful Derwent River upstream from Hobart. It's the perfect base to explore the surrounding areas. Mount Field National Park with its rugged beauty and seclusion is only 30 minutes further away.

Willow Court Insane Asylum in New Norfolk. http://www.newnorfolk.org/~willow_court/

'Willow Court' is a beautiful old stone building which was built as a military hospital in 1830-31 by Major Roger Kelsall. The building is only one room wide, with wide verandahs and gabled two storey sections at the corners and in the centre. It was originally intended by the Governor of Van Diemen's Land, George Arthur, as a place where invalid convicts could be housed. It was named 'Willow Court' because Lady Franklin (the wife of a later Governor) planted a willow in the courtyard. Willow Court is part of the former Royal Derwent Hospital and is the oldest mental hospital in Australia on its original site. It is a remarkable and simple building of great elegance and character. Since May 2010, Willow Court has been “temporarily” closed for renovation work, but things may change.

Grave of the First White Woman in Australia. http://www.newnorfolk.org/~betty_king/

Betty King was sentenced to seven years' transportation for the theft of five handkerchiefs to a value of one shilling. She was the first woman ashore at Botany Bay when she arrived on 26 January 1788 on the Friendship. This would make her the first white woman to set foot on Australian soil. Her grave is at Magra, across the Derwent River, 3km north of New Norfolk.

The Salmon Ponds. http://www.salmonponds.com.au/

The Salmon Ponds is on the road from New Norfolk to Mount Field.

Built in about 1861, it is the oldest trout hatchery in the Southern Hemisphere. It was the birthplace of trout in Australia and the origin of Tasmania’s legendary trout fishery. Take a walk back in time amidst the historic buildings, hatchery and fish ponds – all set within the original 19th century English style public open space of superb trees, hedges and lawns. It is on the way to Mt Field National Park, via the Glenora Road, (B62) which runs along the western side of the Derwent River, a scenic alternative to the Lyell Highway (A10) after New Norfolk.

Mount Field National Park Highlights. http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=3601

Mt Field National Park is one of Tasmania's most loved national parks. The park has a wide variety of scenic features and wildlife and offers excellent facilities for day visitors.

Few other national parks in Australia offer such a diversity in vegetation, ranging from tall swamp gum forests and massive tree ferns at the base of the mountain, through rainforest along the Lake Dobson Road, to alpine vegetation at the higher elevations.

The park has two visitor sections. The first, near the park entrance, includes picnic facilities and the famous Russell Falls. The main walk to Russel Falls, which goes through the Visitor Centre, is suitable for wheel-chairs. Stunning walks through enormous fern forests and some of the tallest trees in the world are available in this area.

The second visitor section is centred at Lake Dobson and includes the long day walks and skiing areas. Dramatic mountain scenery and alpine plant communities are a feature of the higher parts of the park.

Russel Falls Walk. http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=1494

At the Park, you must take the short walk to see Russel Falls. The falls are serene - except after heavy rain! - and you're certain to see wallabies on the walk to the falls.

The main walk to Russel Falls, which goes through the Visitor Centre, is suitable for wheel-chairs.

Styx Big Tree Reserve. https://www.wilderness.org.au/styx-self-drive-and-walking-guide

About 17km beyond Maydena is the Styx Valley Big Tree Forest Reserve. Turn right off the main road, then follow the dirt road back under the roadway to the south.

There's parking at the start of the short walk to the Big Tree. The track has a formed walkway which is suitable for wheelchairs.

Walk further through the forest to see some of the "Bigger Tree". These are some of the tallest flowering trees in the world.

Creepy Crawly Trail. http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/?base=3809#1

Take a walk through a lovely section of cool temperate rainforest. Signs along the way help you discover the world of rainforest plants and invertebrates. The fully-boarded track gently weaves its way around moss-covered trees and over giant logs. The 165 steps on the track are gently graded and in short sections. However the track is not recommended for people who cannot climb a lot of stairs or who are unable to bend down and duck under branches. The walk is located 2.5 km after Frodshams Pass along the Scotts Peak Road.

Gordon Dam. https://www.hydro.com.au/community/sites/south-west-area/gordon-dam-wall

Continue along the road beyond Mount Field to the Gordon Dam for spectacular views of this huge man-made lake.

Lake Pedder http://www.discovertasmania.com.au/attraction/lakegordonlakepedderstrathgordon

Or take the southern fork in the road to see the other mighty man-made lake - flooded Lake Pedder.

4 replies to this topic
Sunshine Coast...
Level Contributor
1,276 posts
99 reviews
85 helpful votes
1. Re: Mount Field and New Norfolk

Thank you Luigi for this link. We are going to see this area in the next few days!

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
41 posts
13 reviews
4 helpful votes
2. Re: Mount Field and New Norfolk

What season would be your pick for this area? Have't been to New Norfolk or Mt Field before but it sounds great & now added to my wishlist for a short break nearish Hobart. Autumn colours vs spring wildfowers? Also, would a July vist be dismally cold & wet or peaceful with snow?

Tasmania, Australia
Level Contributor
39,862 posts
67 reviews
311 helpful votes
3. Re: Mount Field and New Norfolk

Mount Field is the best destination for the Fagus autumn colours in about mid May. There is often snow in late winter, but it can be difficult to get to at the higher altitudes near Lake Dobson.


Level Contributor
33 posts
4. Re: Mount Field and New Norfolk

Thank you so much,

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