Three Falls Circuit | The Best Short Walk At Mount Field

Arguably one of the most popular national parks in Tasmania, Mount Field is filled with an abundance of walking trails that weave among its ancient landscape. But if you’re looking for a trail that will encompass all there is to see in the foothills beneath the mighty mountain range, look no further than the Three Falls Circuit. 

We spent over a week exploring the depths of Mount Field National Park and fell in love with all the beauty the park had to offer. But there was one walk that took us by surprise, The Three Falls Circuit. The short yet jam-packed loop will take you on a journey to Russell Falls, Horseshoe Falls and Lady Barron Falls, linked by ancient forests filled with tree ferns and mountain ash – the world’s tallest flowering plant. 

Being the oldest national park – along with Freycinet National Park – and part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, you know you’re in for a treat when you visit Mount Field and walk beneath the canopy of old swamp gums littering the Three Falls Circuit. 

But perhaps the best part is the location and ease of access. The Three Falls Circuit in Mount Field lies just over 1 hour northwest of Hobart in Tasmania’s southwest and requires little effort. In this post, we’ll cover all you need to know to make the Three Falls Circuit part of your southwest Tasmania road trip.

Russel Falls on the Three Falls Circuit in Tasmania

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Exploring The Three Falls Circuit In Mount Field National Park

6km circuit

Grade 2 – some steep and uneven sections

1.5 – 2.5 hrs

Elevation Gain
242 m

Highest Elevation
260 m

Visitor centre, Toilet block

Entrance Fees
Tasmanian Parks Pass

Where Is The Three Falls Circuit

The Three Falls Circuit is located on the eastern fringes of Mount Field National Park, a park famous for its rich and varied landscape and explorable by an abundance of walking trails. The lower slopes of the Mount Field mountain range are littered with waterfalls flowing from creeks that begin in the high alpine lakes above. 

The Three Falls Circuit begins right by the visitor centre, which can be found 1 hr 10 mins northwest of Hobart.

How To Get To The Three Falls Circuit In Mount Field National Park

Mount Field National Park is located 1 hr 10 mins northwest of Hobart and 3 hrs southwest of Launceston. As it’s a very popular destination, there are plenty of signs and the roads to the visitor centre are all sealed and accessible for all vehicles. The visitor centre has a large car park that you can utilise for the day while you explore.

Due to its close proximity to Hobart, there are a few guided tour options or buses that can take you to the national park if you’d rather not drive yourself. 


Three Falls Circuit Trail Notes

The beginning of the Three Falls Circuit is found tucked behind the visitor centre, a place worthy of a few minutes to take a look through the Waterfall Gallery and Curiosity Room. 

Once outside, you’ll have the choice to take the circuit clockwise or anti-clockwise. We’ve completed it in both directions and found no real benefit of one over the other, except that if you walk clockwise you leave the biggest waterfall to last. However, most signs direct you anti-clockwise so that’s the way we’ll explain.

Russell Falls

Russel Falls on the Three Falls Walk, one of the best things to do in Mt Field National Park

A short 10-minute walk beneath towering tree ferns will deliver you to the base of Russell Falls, the multiple-tiered cascading waterfall that Mount Field is famous for. Vertical sandstone spires blend with horizontal Permian siltstone benches to create a mesmerising effect as the water descends 50m over the dark walls.

The path to Russell Falls is paved, making it one of the only wheelchair-accessible waterfalls in Tasmania. A wooden bridge allows you to cross the creek and view the falls from all angles before moving on, but before you do, don’t forget to look back to see the Russell Falls Creek flow beneath a swarm of tree ferns. 

Bonus Tip: If you’re staying the night nearby, take the walk to Russell Falls after dark to witness the millions of glow worms living in the vegetation. Handrails along the path will allow you to turn your torch off and truly experience the magic of these little insects.

Horseshoe Falls

Horseshoe Falls the second waterfall on the Three Falls Circuit in Mt Field National Park

A series of wooden stairs lead you to the top of Russell Falls, where you’re able to gain another vantage point of the iconic waterfall before continuing on for another 10 minutes to Horseshoe Falls. 

As you climb higher, moss-covered myrtles mix in with the towering tree ferns to provide a cool and vibrant green oasis surrounding the boardwalk. Horseshoe Falls is located just off a side path before you cross the river again. 

Horseshoe Falls may be much smaller than Russell Falls, but the deep colours of the forest flanking the single-drop waterfall shouldn’t be missed.

Tall Trees Loop

Once you’ve taken your time to wander about Horseshoe Falls, backtrack a little and continue across the creek via another bridge towards the Tall Trees Loop and Lady Barron Falls. 

The groomed path winds leisurely under a canopy of enormous swamp gums, tree ferns and myrtles, all covered in a healthy film of green moss and lichen. You don’t realise how big the swamp gums (aka mountain ash) are until you happen across a fallen giant along the trail.

After 800 m, you’ll find a fork in the path which indicates the beginning of the Tall Trees Loop. This loop has interactive signs dotted throughout and even a tree measuring device that you can use to calculate the swamp gum’s height. Astoundingly, some of these trees can grow up to 100 m tall and live for hundreds of years! 

The Tall Trees Loop will add on an extra 600 m, as you’ll do one part twice, but if you have the time it’s worth it to wander for a little longer among the tallest flowering plants in the world.

Lady Barron Falls

Lady Barron Falls on the Three Falls Walk in Mt Field National Park

Whether you choose to complete the entire loop or just one half, the Tall Trees Loop finishes at Lake Dobson Rd which you’ll cross to continue the walk to Lady Barron Falls. More swamp gums and myrtle beech trees shade the trail as it traverses the sloping mountainside on its way to Lady Barron Creek. 

The closer you get to Lady Barron Falls, the better the trail becomes. This is our favourite section, with many obscure fallen tree trunks and a thriving ecosystem of moss and fungi festering on the forest debris. 

After walking 1.5 km from Lake Dobson Rd, you’ll finally reach a set of stairs that lead to Lady Barron Falls, a cascading waterfall consisting of the same siltstone and sandstone combination. After heavy rain, this waterfall is magnificent and the best part is, most often visitors don’t bother with Lady Barron Falls meaning you’ll most likely have it to yourself – or at least with much fewer tourists than Russell Falls! 

Returning To The Visitor Centre

Once you’ve pulled yourself away from the mesmerising cascade flow of Lady Barron Falls, follow the path as it crisscrosses the creek. After a kilometre or so, the path turns to stairs as you climb almost 100m out of the gully and into a windswept woodland. 

This section was ravaged by fires a few years back and the blackened landscape is a stark difference from the thriving wet forest you’ve just emerged from.

The trail continues to descend through the regrowth towards Lake Dobson Rd, which you’ll walk along for approximately 200m before completing the circuit at the visitor centre where you can warm up with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. 

All up, the Three Falls Circuit should take you approximately 1.5 to 2.5 hours, making it the perfect walk to stretch your legs when you first arrive at Mount Field. It’s also a great all-day option for families, where you could pack a picnic to have beside one of the picturesque waterfalls. 

Best Time To Complete The Three Falls Circuit

Lady Barron Falls on the Three Falls Circuit in Mt Field

Seeing as the Three Falls Circuit is located at the base of the Mount Field mountain range, where it’s usually too low for snowfall, it’s easily accessible year-round with each season offering a slightly unique experience. 

As with anything, there are pros and cons to each season so in order to help you decide, here is a little guide.

  • Summer: While summer offers the mildest temperatures, this is also the busiest time and often the falls aren’t as full-flowing 
  • Autumn: In autumn, the waterfalls are often flowing with more force and you may even witness the Fagus changing colour from green to gold if you include a hike to the Tarn Shelf
  • Winter: You’ll need to wear multiple layers if you visit in winter, however, the waterfalls will be at their best and the crowds will be few and far between, you will also have a high chance of seeing snow at Lake Dobson if you visit during winter
  • Spring: Spring is also a great month for the waterfalls as we usually see a fair bit of rain during the season, this is also the best time to spot a platypus as they’re most active in spring

Leave No Trace

Tasmania has some of the most incredible and pristine landscapes that need our protection. When you visit Mount Field, or anywhere for that matter, please follow the 7 Leave No Trace Principles and ensure you leave a destination the way you found it – or better. 

There are plenty of facilities surrounding the visitor centre and up at Lake Dobson so please pack out all your rubbish, including food scraps and tissues – and use the toilets at the visitor centre before you set off on the Three Falls Circuit. 

It’s up to us to do the right thing and help save our wild places and animals.

What To Bring

The Three Falls Circuit is an easy and relatively short walk that can be completed within 1.5 – 2.5 hrs. Therefore, it’s not necessary to take too much with you other than a water bottle, a rain jacket and perhaps a snack. 

Even though the entire circuit is well-groomed, we recommend wearing a comfortable pair of trail runners or hiking boots for a little extra support and cushioning on the stairs and other steep sections. 

Here is our basic list of items that we recommend taking on the Three Falls Circuit

Where To Stay Near Mt Field, Tasmania

Mount Field is located just over an hour from Hobart and can be done on a day trip. However, there are also plenty of idyllic options if you’d like to stay away from the city and closer to the national park.

Mount Field

Nearest To Mount Field


New Norfolk

Free Camping Near Mount Field

There aren’t any legitimate free campgrounds near Mount Field unless you head into the alpine and remote camp. However, you can stay at The National Park Hotel for free if you’ve got a self-contained campervan.