Bushwalking/ Hiking – Tarn Shelf

It was a lovely warm day yesterday, so I decided to head out & tackle a long walk I’ve been meaning to do for some time; the Tarn Shelf.

The Tarn Shelf is in the Mt Field National Park, which is about 75km from Hobart. It lies (funnily enough) between Mt Field East and Mt Field West. Once you get to the Mt Field Visitor Centre, take the dusty Lake Dobson Road which goes for 16km and ends, surprisingly, at Lake Dobson.

This whole place is basically a ‘choose your own adventure’ of walks (and skiing in colder months). Numerous short trails & walks are available. I went the long option; and ended up trudging for 18.5km on a hot sunny day.

Lake Dobson is at about the 1,000m level. According to my GPS I got up to 1,278 metres and down as far as 817 metres on the trek. I’ll try to embed a link to the Endomondo ‘workout’ below:
<a href="https://www.endomondo.com/embed/workouts?w=geZRWKMugiw&width=580&height=600&width=950&height=600” target=”_blank”>

From the north and eastern end of the Lake Dobson car park, there is a gated four-wheel drive (4WD) trail that heads roughly north. I started at about 09:45am.

For anyone interested, I just take pictures on my phone (Galaxy S5).

A friendly native

From there you reach the first of many signs.

Now I don’t know what it is about Mt Field, but every walk I’ve done up here has a tree blocking the trail.

The walk on the eastern side is quite pleasant. I went past a couple of side paths. One to Platypus Tarn that I started to follow, until it dropped away quite steeply. I figured from my map I would be able to see this tarn later when I circled back (and up), so I returned to the main trail. For the same reason, I didn’t divert to Lake Seal.

A pond, perhaps?

Self-explanatory sign

Not going to Lake Fenton today

After an hour and a half, I came upon Lake Webster.

Lake Webster draining away

Heading off from Lake Webster, I turn roughly west and head off toward Twilight Tarn, but on the way, another obstacle…!!

And again… seriously, I’m doing a collection to buy the park ranger a chain saw

Heading west (still) and walking steadily upwards

Hut at Twilight Tarn

Twilight Tarn. Luckily no glittery vampires…

Inside the Twilight Tarn Hut

I’d been going for two & a bit hours, so I stopped here for lunch. My view for lunch (at Twilight Tarn…!)

There were a few of these walkways along the trail, very helpful. From here I went back toward the south, and up a whole lot more. Again, I was able to walk (rather than climb).

For a moment I thought I was back in Gondor…

Water, rocks

Which way to Lake Dobson…?

I must say, that despite my attempt at humour, it would be very difficult to get lost on this trail (unless it was in snow season). It’s well marked & signed.

Making my way past Twisted Tarn

Lake Newdegate

Water, rocks, burnt trees

A massive poisonous snake. He looks small, but those are Giant’s boot-prints next to him. He escaped, unharmed.

On a serious note, I have come across a few snakes in the wilderness, and I understand that every Tasmanian snake is deadly poisonous. The younglings are just as poisonous as their parents… so it’s always best to leave them be, and wait for them to wander off.

This rock was slowly trying to drown itself

This rock reminded me of the Easter Island fellow from Night at The Museum

And another Tarn, on the Tarn Shelf…

Seal Lake (and Platypus Tarn behind it)

Ski lifts!

I almost fell to my death here, but luckily I noticed this

A few cracks opening up in the pitch. That’s a cricket joke, in case you don’t get the humour…

Once past the views, it was a bit of rock-scrabbling to get to and then head past the ski club & along a 4WD track back to Lake Dobson. I finished at about 3:30pm, after a long break for lunch and stopping to take loads of photos. It was a long trek, and quite tiring, but loads of fun with awesome views.

Thanks for reading!



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