fagus(1).jpgFagus turns

When: Late April - May

Where: Lake Fenton – Mount Field National Park; Cradle Mountain

The deciduous beech, or Fagus, is Australia’s only cold climate winter-deciduous tree, and you’ll find it nowhere else in the world except Tasmania. The fagus autumn display is superb. Fagus turns a spectacular range of autumn colours, from rust red through to brilliant gold, during late April and May.

Fagus prefers cool, damp places, so it’s often best seen in remote highlands but non-bushwalkers can still find easily accessible stands of fagus.

The most easily seen is around Lake Fenton in Mt Field National Park, where there is an observation area. In the north, some of the best fagus is found around Cradle Mountain. The Loop Track, which circles Dove Lake, is an easy two-hour walk that passes through patches of fagus. The even easier Weindorfers Forest Walk also offers easily accessible fagus, including trees that are much taller than the more usual stunted alpine form.

Image: Deciduous fagus / Credit: Chris Crerar