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It also goes by the endearing names of Nothofagus gunnii or tanglefoot.
Bushwalkers can vouch for tripping on the crawling, twisted branches of a tree that fights to reach two metres in height.
The locals call it the ‘turning of the fagus’.
It’s a colourful insight into our Gondwanan heritage.
- Discover Tasmania Our Fields of Gold route is named in honour of the picturesque beauty of Tarn Shelf and the Mt Field alpine regions come Autumn.
Each year, in the weeks leading up to Anzac Day on the 25th April the Northofagus gunnii turns.
Nicknamed 'Fagus' by our local residents, this plant is Australia’s only cold climate winter-deciduous tree, growing at a very narrow altitude band in the mountains.
Mt Field is one of the absolute best places to see the Northofagus gunnii which turns from yellow to red to orange, before the leaves fall to the ground or are blown into the tarns where they float like royal confetti.
This route begins at the Lake Dobson Carpark at the top of the Lake Dobson Road.
This is only accessibly by private vehicle.
The route traverses this loop in an anticlockwise direction, initially passing Lake Dobson on the Lake Dobson Track, a well groomed fire trail, before turning right and heading down the valley on the Lake Webster Track past Lake Seal.
After passing Lake Webster the track then climbs gradually but continuously up to Tarn Shelf and the famous Twilight Tarn Hut.
In Autumn this region is a paradise for photographers.
After pausing the gather your breath you will then meander back along Tarn Shelf past numerous small lakes and tarns.
This will be a highlight of the trail as you gaze up to the Rodway Range (1377m).
This range is also covered in expansive fields of Northofagus whilst the tarns provide a magical swimming experience, especially when the red and gold leaves lazily float on the water's surface.
After reaching the far end of Tarn Shelf and the Mt Field Ski Area, you will descend quickly down a large fire trail back to the Lake Dobson Carpark.
If you are brave, Lake Dobson also provides a refreshing swimming experience after your day on the trail! Whilst this route is magical at many times of the year, Autumn is especially rewarding for the rich blaze of colour here in the mountains.
Winter can be a very problematic time due to substantial snow and ice cover and we strongly discourage participants from venturing here during that time of year.
Summer and Spring are both glorious too with many plants flowering and adding colour & perfume to the day.
Just be wary of snakes during peak summer!