If we squint really hard and look into the distance, you can see the glow from the light at the end of the Covid tunnel that will see us travelling around our great country once again; camera in hand of course.
Once of my favourite spots in Australia to shoot is Tasmania and I don’t think I’ve ever had a workshop participant disappointed by the landscapes of the island state. This week I’d like to give you a quick walkthrough of some of Tassie’s treasures, though it will barely scratch the surface, so diverse are the opportunities.
Visitors to the Apple Isle of Tasmania will generally arrive and commence their journey from either Hobart, the state capital, or Launceston. We’ll assume a Launceston start as our first stop with be Cradle Mountain
Cradle Mountain lies within the Lake St Clair National Park and boasts a myriad of walks and hikes ranging in duration from less than an hour to multi-day hikes. Upon venturing into the park, a park bus will drop you off at Dove Lake at the last stop. From here photography opportunities sprawl about before you from Cradle Mountain across the lake, the ‘Boat shed’, Glacier Rock and more. Make sure you stop off around Ronny Creek in the mid-late afternoon as you're almost sure to find a wombat or two.
If you have time, make sure you allow a couple of days to appreciate all Cradle has to offer. Accommodation varies from camping to high-end facilities, though I prefer to stay at Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village for all round quality.
The next stop on our tour of Tassie is a visit to the Tarkine region.
The Tarkine boasts some of the most untouched landscapes in Tasmania and while some areas are challenging to get to there are still vast amounts to discover and photograph. If you can spare a day or two in the area, a base in Smithton gives you ready access to most areas and a very good option for accommodation is the Tall Timbers Hotel. With camera in hand you will find large, natural sinkholes, ancient ferns and mosses and travel to the coast to discover the ‘End of the World’.
Time to drive. Heading from the west coast to the east coast and the Bay of Fires. St Helen’s provides a good base for the area, providing access to some amazing coastal landscapes including the beautiful Binalong Bay and Picnic Rocks. If time permits, a trip out to Mathinna Falls is also worth the effort.
Continuing down the eastern coastline the next main area on which to focus is Freycinet National Park. You have a number of options for accomodation when exploring this area this area:
- Hotels inside Freycinet - Great access, high quality, fairly expensive;
- Coles Bay - Adjoining suburb, rental homes, Airbnb options, 10-15 minutes away;
- Bicheno - Town just NE of Freycinet - 45 min drive, hotel style accommodation, more affordable that the Freycinet hotels.
Multiple days at Freycinet are a must as there is much to see including Wineglass Bay, Sleepy Bay, Honeymoon Bay and The Hazards.
From Freycinet you will probably head towards Hobart. While not particularly a landscape photography option, the tourist or historian in you may wish to visit Tasmania’s historic Port Arthur region. Port Arthur was constructed as a penal colony in the infancy of Australia and provides an interesting insight into how many of the early Australians lived.
Once at Hobart, a sunset shoot from the top of Mt Wellington is all a good choice. If you go a little early and shoot towards the east, down below you will see the city of Hobart running along the Derwent River. You can then move to the west and use the rocky foreground to compose your sunset image.
If you’ve got one more day up your sleeve, spend the morning at Mt Field National Park. Within very short walking distances from the car park, you will come across Russell Falls and Horseshoe Falls and both will provide you some amazing images. If time permits, Lady Barron Falls is a further hike, tough this is approximately a 3 hour round trip from the car park.
Well it seems we’ve run out of time and of course, you can never see everything so I guess that’s a good excuse to go back again. Tasmania has so many more gems to offer from countless waterfalls and cruises on the pristine Gordon River to the ruggedly beautiful 3 Capes Region or a morning spent at the tessellated pavement.