Mt. Field - A park of many moods

SNOWY PEAKS FROM ABBOTT'S LOOKOUT                                                                                                                                                                             Photograph ©Pat Murray                          
Mt. Field National Park is the second oldest of Australia’s national parks, found in south-east Tasmania, about one and a half hours’ drive from Hobart. Triassic and Jurassic rocks of the park and reserves show strong links with Antarctica, making Mt. Field a living relic of ancient Gondwana, some 400 million years ago.  During the period of maximum Pleistocene glaciation, a permanent snowfield covered the top of  Mt. Field plateau which fed surrounding valley glaciers. Today’s high peaks were the nunataks (rock exposed as low peaks above the snowfields).  The honeycombs of karst (limestone caves) makes it an important water source with, of course, spectacular waterfalls. The lower zone
(158 to 670 metres) is tall open forest with a wet understorey. The middle zone (670 to 940 metres is closed rainforest or mixed forest. The upper zone (880 to 1220 metres) is subalpine woodland. As in other parts of Tasmania, the species diversity and richness of the park increases with altitude, although the distribution of these communities depend on drainage, wind protection, the depth and duration of snow lie as well as the frequency of fires. The diversity of flora and fauna makes a visit to Mt. Field a magical experience at any time of year.

Further information:           Mt. Field National Park site

Snow gum bark
SNOWGUM BARK (Eucalyptus coccifera)                              Photograph ©Pat Murray

Nothofagus gunnii leaves
DECIDUOUS BEECH LEAVES ON ICE (Nothofagus gunnii)    Photograph ©Pat Murray

Drosera arcturi
ALPINE SUNDEW (Drosera arcturi)                      Photograph ©Pat Murray