Nowadays Primary Forests and ancient trees are rare. There are still spectacular forests with a huge biodiversity or ancient trees to discover.
Mount Field National Park is a year-round destination. However, be prepared for fast changing weather and rain. Summer is the most pleasant time of the year for hiking. The Tarn Shelf Hike is a must in fall. During winter you can find at Lake Dobson Tasmania's only ski field situated at around 1000 meters elevation. It’s only 1 1/2 hours drive from Hobart to Mount Field N.P. the reason that it gets more crowded at weekends and holidays. The Russel Falls walk is wheelchair accessible. To escape the crowds drive up to Lake Dobson.
Weather and Seasons in the Mount Field National Park
The Mount Field area has a high amount of rainfall each year. Most precipitation from May until October. Even in summer, high rainfall can occur. The western side of Tasmania gets more rain than the east. Every season offers a unique experience of Mount Field and the Russel Falls.
The waterfalls; Russel Falls, Lady Barron Falls, Horseshoe Falls are at their peak, especially beginning of spring in September. The falls are spectacular during and after heavy rainfall which is more likely to happen until October. The echidna's hibernation ends between October and November depending on the temperature. September and October are pretty wet, and November gets a little drier. Daily average temps in September are around 12°C, in October around 14°C and November gets warmer. One digit night temps ranging from 5°C-6°C only.
High chance to spot echidnas until the beginning of fall. Summer is the most pleasant time for hiking and January and February are usually the “driest” months of the year. However, even during summer high precipitation occurs. The warmest months are January and February with an average temp of almost 20°C. The alpine areas e.g. Lake Dobson are much colder.
During autumn, mostly in April, the Tarn Shelf hike is a great highlight with a riot of colors from orange to red and gold. Usually, temps in March and April are still pleasant for hiking below 20°C. It gets colder in May with an average daily temp of 13°C. However, be also prepared for one digit temps and increasing precipitation.
Skiing at Mount Mawson from mid-July to mid-September. The average daily temp is 6°C though nights temps are below 0°C. High amount of rainfall or snow in August. A 4WD is necessary to get to Lake Dobson on the narrow gravel road during winter.
Where to Stay Nearby
There is just one hotel 400 meters drive to the Mount Field National Park. The National Park Hotel is basic but very clean with attentive staff. They offer fabulous food. You can't stay better and more comfortable. Camping is possible inside the park along the river with clean facilities and hot showers. However, consider nights can be pretty chilly with one digit temps. We stayed here twice and we always were glad to get one of the view rooms.
It's often discussed if it is worth to pay the high entrance fee to Horton Plains and hike to World's End. The hike itself is not outstanding, but the cloud forest with its inhabitants is. It's a unique hotspot for endemic species which you may watch here only at an altitude of 2000 meters and above. Continue reading to get all necessary information for this World Heritage Site.
The very best time of the year for visiting Horton Plains is from January to March very early in the morning. Early for two reasons; to dodge the crowds and for a spectacular view of World's End. You already need to leave Nuwara Elya at dawn. It's quite difficult to get here independent. It takes roughly 1 1/2 hours to get to the entrance. If you arrive early, you may spot samba deer. Their numbers increased in the last years. At the entrance, your bag may get controlled by rangers or security for plastic. The park is well protected and therefore very clean without rubbish along the trail. Try to be at the popular outlook before 9 am. Clouds and mist spoil the view frequently.
It's a circular trail. If you arrive a little late at Horton Plains walk to the left first. Direction left leads you faster to the World's End. Anyhow, don't come here in a rush otherwise you won't spot some of the endemic lizards like the rhino-horned lizard.
Rain occurs throughout the year, but there is less precipitation in the "dry" season from January to March. April is still a little drier. There is a big difference in the amount of rainfall. The highlands on lower elevation have an annual rainfall of more than 2000 mm while around World's End and the cloud forest on a higher elevation the amount is more than 5000 mm each year. The cloud forest is mistier during the rainy season especially from May to July. Usually the annual day temp is below 20°C due to the high elevation. Weather can change quickly, and it can get chilly within minutes. Bring a jacket for the evening. Expect one digit temps in the night.
World's End is a very popular and moderate hike also for the Sri Lankan people; the reason weekends are busier. Other trails in the park are not crowded. You have these trails almost for yourself. From 10 am onwards, it gets crowded.
Where to Stay in Nuwara Eliya
Nuwara Eliya has an immense variety of accommodations. We'd chosen the old colonial style Jetwing St. Andrew's. The breakfast and dinner were delicious. Ask for the renovated rooms. Anyhow, it's difficult to recommend one of the many hotels. Check out the 30 Best Budget and Luxury Hotels in Nuwara Eliya. There is much precipitation in this area. We got told that some of the hotels may have an issue with this high amount of rain. It can happen that rooms smell. Check out the guests' feedback before booking.