Loved for its remote wild beauty, the Tarn Shelf Walk is a spectacular 8 mi looped trail that starts and ends in the Mount Field National Park, Tasmania. Being part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and as one of Tasmania’s oldest national parks, this beautiful mountainous trail envelops hikers in its magic from start to finish as it leads them through impressive giant eucalypt forests, over glacial valleys and along picture-perfect mountain lakes.
The trail, which is usually completed in 5 – 7 hours, has a total elevation gain of 1561 ft and is graded as Medium difficulty. For information on how we grade trails, please click here
. Caution is advised on trail times as this depends on multiple variables. For more info, click here
The trail starts by leading hikers through some of the world’s tallest eucalypts and along tree fern-lined path and takes in the Tarn Shelf, Lake Newdegate, Lake Webster and the historic and fascinating Twilight Tarn, home to the Twilight Tarn Hut, were in the late 1920s its believed that the Tasmanian Ski Club built this rickety wooden cabin at the water’s edge for skiing and skating on the lake in the depths of winter. Today, hikers can step back in time, observing the ageing hut’s memorabilia as it gathers dust on the shelves.
Weather in alpine regions can be extremely changeable so hikers need to be prepared with sufficient supplies and clothing; boardwalks help to combat the mud but can become very slippery and icy.
Parking is available at Lake Dobson, around 16km from the Park entrance. To access the park, and all of Tasmania's national parks, a valid parks pass is required for entry, so make the most of your time in Tasmania and plan other walks on your route planner or hiking app before you go. You can buy your park pass from the Park’s visitor Centre at Mount Field which is open every day; there are picnic facilities, a café, a shop and information about other walks and activities in the area.
This hike is not suitable for wheelchairs but within the Mount Field National Park, there is a sealed track that is wheelchair accessible leading visitors to the popular Russell Falls, taking around 15 minutes.
Dogs are not allowed in Tasmania’s national parks and reserves for the protection and conservation of the park and its wildlife.