I have often pondered what it is about spending time in the midst of nature that so many of us find appealing.
Sometimes it takes a quiet glass of red, on a rock shaped like a chair, in the middle of an alpine water hole, in a national park, while you watch your children explore, for the glaringly obvious to become clear.
To be surrounded by an environment in perfect balance is to feel perfectly in balance.
That said… We just had a brilliant weekend stay at the government huts in Mount Field National Park. It was the type of weekend that makes you want to move to a shack in the bush and let your kids enjoy the school of life.
Mount Field is about one hour north west of Hobart and offers rainforest, waterfalls, glacial lakes, alpine moorlands, long and short trail walks, the tallest flowering plant in the world, snow-capped mountains, glow worms, platypus and lots of space to breathe.
We booked one of the rustic timber huts in the alpine area of the park which, for $45 a night, offer a fire box and wood, bunk beds for six, cold running water, a sink and kitchen table. It’s pretty much camping without a tent.
We were gifted stunning blue skies on days one and two, which allowed us to get out and explore the diverse landscapes within the park. Amazingly the temperature on Mt Field can drop 25C in one hour and on day three we woke to the soft fall of snow which slowly gathered force and blanketed the bush around us. Snow is pretty bloody exciting when you come from a state where it rarely drops below 20 degrees, so we got out amongst it and enjoyed a short lived snow ball fight before I fell over on a rock and the kids, who were wearing socks on their hands, started complaining about frost bite.
Mount Field National Park is a wonderful example of what our environment should look like. It’s messy, with fallen trees and branches rotting into the ground which provide the perfect base for moss and fungi as well as homes to local fauna and eventually fertiliser for the trees and ferns of the future. The walks within the park vary and we were able to tackle three easily with our children in tow.
Strangely, despite being in the middle of nowhere, we discovered the family in a neighbouring hut were originally from Armidale, where Jamie grew up, and they knew his parents. This led to red wine and great conversations around the fire with our new friends on night two. Isn’t the world a tiny place!
Highlights of this adventure
- Spotting an echidna on the tall trees walk, during which we strolled between seventy plus metre tall flowering swamp gums. (The world’s tallest flowering plant)
- Walking around Lake Dobson, through a thick Pandani Grove, which looked like the movie set from a prehistoric thriller.
- Sipping coffee next to the fast flowing Tyenna River, at the quaint ‘Possum Shed’, just outside the national park.
- Wandering through the stunning waterfall studded rainforest at the base of Mt Field.
- Waking to find snow drifting gently down to earth on day three.
- Staying in the rustic government huts, whose timber cladding has silvered with time to blend perfectly with the surrounding bushland.
- Watching our kids live life to the fullest, exploring, rock climbing, animal spotting and honing their UNO skills.
More photo’s of this beautiful park are in the gallery.