Tasmania boasts a wild and rugged landscape filled with soaring peaks, valleys, and pretty waterfalls. Russell Falls is arguably its most stunning waterfall – at the very least, it is the most photographed.
Set in the sprawling expanse of Mount Field National Park, a part of Tasmania’s beautiful World Heritage Wilderness Area, it is an easy one-hour drive from the capital of Hobart. Russell Falls forms the centrepiece of the park, with many walks and trails spidering off from every direction around it.
The Falls itself boasts two distinct falls and is alive with its own unique personality. From the edge of the park to the falls, there is a pleasant twenty-minute return walk that takes you up onto a boardwalk through the canopies of the surrounding rainforest. As you go, you’ll pass huge swamp gums set in wet forests, and ancient dogwood, musk, and myrtle forests. By the trail, the tracks are flanked by tall ferns that frame the scene.
Camping is a popular activity by the falls, and it’s possible to visit the site at night for a unique perspective of the area. To help night-walkers, there is a wooden handrail that follows the path around, taking hikers into hidden recesses that are home to thousands of glittering glow-worms – just turn off your torch and watch the magic unfold.
There are two other stunning waterfalls in the park, Lady Barron Falls and Horseshoe Falls, both of which offer their own unique surroundings both by day and at night. To take in all three, there is a trail that takes you around the park’s lower altitudes, passing by the three waterfalls, as well as towering eucalyptus forests.
There is another section of the park you can visit, which takes you 15km up into mountain scenery and to Lake Dobson. Here, you can witness breath-taking mountain views and discover alpine plant varieties that can only grow at higher altitudes.
As you make your way back to Hobart from the park, keep your eyes peeled for the picturesque Derwent Valley and Derwent River. On the way, you can stop off at New Norfolk, one of the oldest towns in Tasmania that’s home to numerous antique stores and boutique shops.
If you fancy staying longer at the falls, there are on-site camping facilities, including toilets, barbecues, a kiosk, and a visitor’s centre. A visit to Russell Falls and its surroundings provides the perfect day trip from Hobart, and gives you the chance to experience the unique beauty of Tasmania’s countryside.