A 10-day journey around southern Tasmania with four of Australia’s top instagrammers – Lauren Bath, Garry Norris, Jewels Lynch and Paul Vella – reveals photos that will make you drool. Think golden sunrises and awe-inspiring sunsets. From Hobart we travel south to discover Tasmania, visiting quaint fishing villages, lonely beaches and enchanted forests with magical waterfalls. Here are the highlights of our Instagram road trip to discover Tasmania.
1. Port Huon
Once a trading port, for a world-famous apple growing region, these days Port Huon is the departure point for boat cruises on the Huon River. It’s a scenic spot close to Hobart. The region is home to Atlantic salmon farms and the Kermandie Hotel, which has been around since 1932. The port is home to Australia’s oldest sailing charter vessel, Olive May, which was built in the 1880s.
There’s not a lot to do in the sleepy town of Southport, 100km south of Hobart, but doing nothing is exactly what attracts travellers who want to escape from the city. Southport Lagoon Conservation area has a unique natural heritage and plenty of Tasmanian flora. The region is the place for boating and fishing, camping, kayaking, bird watching and bushwalking. Or just sitting by the seaside and soaking up the views.
3. Barretts Beach
Southern Tasmania offers tranquil sunrises and plenty of beautiful undiscovered beaches. The views of the coastline are soothing to the soul. Chances are you’ve never heard of Barretts Beach. It’s hard to believe that a beach as stunning as this is relatively unknown.
4. Ida Bay Railway
Tasmania’s last operating bush tramway – a rocky 14km ride in a World War II locomotive. The Ida Bay Railway is Australia’s most southern railway, if you can call it that. Well, it’s more of a fun tourist train.
The journey begins at Lune River station and rambles through the wilderness to Deep Hole and Elliott’s Beach, which is in a secluded spot. There’s a quick stop at a cemetery where the guide regales us with ghostly tales of early settlers.
5. Hastings State Cave Reserve
The vast dolomite Newdegate Cave in Hastings State Cave Reserve is simply jaw dropping. It’s like walking into Aladdin’s Cave and has soaring chambers that began forming around 40 million years ago.
Discovered in 1917 by timber workers, the cave was named after a former governor, Sir Francis Newdegate, and is the largest dolomite tourist cave in Australia (most other caves are limestone). Also in the reserve is a thermal springs pool.
6. Southwest Wilderness
Most of Tasmania’s Southwest National Park is not accessible by road. Spread across a vast area of a remote corner of the island, some parts of the wilderness are more than 50 km from the nearest road. Although the region is remote, you can visit as a day trip from Hobart.
You fly there and land on a white gravel landing strip at Melaleuca. There’s a winding boardwalk through the Port Davey Marine Reserve, which is a patchwork of button grass moorlands, heathlands, rivers, bays and estuaries. It’s a drowned valley with Bathurst Harbour at its centre.
7. Bruny Island
Not far from Hobart, South Bruny National Park offers a Tasmanian wilderness bush walking experience. The island is also a drawcard for foodies and has farms and producers who make handmade fudge, chocolate, truffles, berries, cheese, fresh oysters and wine. This is where you’ll find Australia’s southern-most vineyard, excellent restaurants and good cafés.
8. Mount Field National Park
From tall swamp gum forests and massive tree ferns to rainforest along the Lake Dobson Road and alpine vegetation, there’s a range of vegetation in Mount Field National Park. The walk through magnificent fern forests past tall trees takes you to picturesque Russell Falls. For longer walks, head to Lake Dobson, where there are all-day walking tracks, skiing areas and dramatic mountain scenery.
9. Tasselated Pavement, Tasman Peninsula
The coastal scenery of the Tasman Peninsula is simply breathtaking and the most popular place for photographers to capture a stunning sun set is the Tassellated Pavement. This is an inter-tidal rock platform created by unusual geological circumstances, a rare landform where flat-lying siltstone was cracked by stresses in the Earth’s crust 160 million years ago and 60 million years ago creating an illusion of tiles.
10. Port Arthur historic site
Port Arthur historic site is on the Tasman Peninsula, south east of Hobart. It seems almost incongruous a brutal penal settlement with a violent past is located in such breathtakingly lovely scenery. Few prisonors managed to escape. In 1842, convict bushranger Martin Cash and two friends escaped from Port Arthur by swimming across the shark-infested waters. Cash told his tale in a best-selling 1870 autobiography The Adventures of Martin Cash.
11. Tasman Island Cruises
Pennicott Wilderness Journey’s eco-cruise between Port Arthur and Eaglehawk Neck is a memorable way to see a wealth of marine wildlife. Seals and sea lions lounge on rocky outcrops and seabirds soar past the towering sea cliffs of Tasman Island and Cape Pillar. When the sun shines, the scenery looks like it’s a backdrop to Lord of the Rings. But the star of the show are the dolphins and whales that often turn up and swim alongside the boats.
A visually lovely city with oodles of historic charm, Hobart is truly a delight to explore. The city’s alluring waterfront is a treasure-trove of old-world buildings. And the shops at Salamanca Place are fun to explore. Mount Wellington is the spot for sweeping views over Hobart and if you’re keen enough to get up there at sunrise, you’ll be rewarded by a spectacular scene.
Watch this video to see what happened behind the scenes to produce these amazing shots.
You’ve seen the results of the Instagram road trip. Which photo impressed you the most?
Christina Pfeiffer was a guest of Tourism Tasmania.
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