Because it’s school holidays and my work hours don’t have to coincide with school drop-offs and pick-ups, I’m able to work longer hours most days and fit my working hours into four days instead of five and have a day off each week.
This is one of the best things about working part-time!
Slabs is on holidays too, and we thought we should do something to get out of the house since, we don’t have many days where we’re all at home together.
So we drove up to Mt Field National Park. There are several short walks in the park, most of which we’ve done at least once on previous visits, so today we decided to take the walk to Lady Barron Falls, which we hadn’t done before.
This is a 40 minute one-way walk, which can also be included on a longer circuit that takes in all three of the falls at the park (Russell Falls and Horseshow Falls are the others) as well as the Tall Trees walk.
The starting point for the walk is just at the start of the Lake Dobson Road, past the entrance to the camp ground. It’s just a short walk from the car park at the Visitor Centre.
The walk starts off among the tall trees, which are a familiar sight in the lower parts of the park. As we set off I mentioned to Slabs that it didn’t really seem like a forest because we could see through it to the mountains in the distance.
The first part of the walk is a fairly easy uphill walk through the tall trees. As we got deeper into the forest we passed some people coming back, who told us we were about to get to the steps going down.
This was the first I’d heard of the steps, so I wasn’t quite prepared for the rather sudden downhill drop as we commenced our descent. The lower we got, the cooler it became and the less I was looking forward to climbing back up again.
The dry, airy forest gave way to the familiar wet forest that is found on the way to Russell Falls. Apparently it’s a wet sclerophyll forest area. To quote directly from the Parks & Wildlife site:
The lower zone, from 158 m to 670 m, comprises tall open forest dominated by swamp gum Eucalyptus regnans and/or stringybark E. obliqua, with a wet understorey characterised by musk, Olearia argophylla. [. . . ] The park is particularly significant for the representation of a high diversity of wet sclerophyll forest communities, including at least eight different types. The Eucalyptus regnans – E. obliqua wet forest community that occurs along the Lady Barron Track between the Old Farm and the falls is considered to be poorly reserved.
That’s your botany lesson for the day.
Steps. Yes, the steps.
We didn’t count the steps on the way down, but Slabs and Juniordwarf did on the way back up. I think Slabs’ count of 239 is more reliable than Juniordwarf’s count of 325, mainly because Juniordwarf didn’t count the top step of each set and then, further up, started counting every step he took across the platforms.
Once you get to the bottom of the steps (and wonder how you’re going to make it back to the top – there are strategically placed seats on some of the platforms and at the top for people who need a rest), it’s a further 20 minute walk along the river to the falls.
As you’d expect, it’s a beautiful walk just like the walks to the other falls. Lots of photo opportunities, even though the middle of the day isn’t the best time to try and take pictures.
We could hear the falls a while before we got there, and there was a lot of water in there.
I didn’t think these falls were as picturesque as Russell Falls or Horseshoe Falls, and there weren’t a lot of photo spots. But it was still amazing to stand and look at the huge volume of water cascading over the side of the cliff face. I think the noise might have been a bit much for Juniordwarf because he was keen to away from there.
So back we went.
I had to stop a few times to look at the fungi that we’d missed on the way down, because I’m fascinated by them and I love spotting them whenever we come to this park.
Not for the first time I wished I knew how to take decent macro photos.
Juniordwarf spotted this crocodile.
And on we went.
Up the steps.
And it was a lovely way to spend half a day.