As a Tasmanian, it makes me feel proud that Lonely Planet chose our island as number four on their list of “10 best regions to explore in 2015”. To me, this is an amazing achievement for such a small island. Come and discover Tasmania through my lens.
Tasmania is small but geez she packs a huge travel punch. I grew up Melbourne and lived there for 32 years before deciding to follow my passion for landscape photography.
My wife and I moved to Tassie and now we live in Hobart.
Living in Tasmania has allowed me access to some of the world’s most amazing areas to photograph. To celebrate Tasmania’s inclusion on Lonely Planet’s list, I thought I would share a list of my own – the four places I love to visit and photograph in Tasmania.
So make yourself a cup of tea, sit back and let me guide you around my home state.
The Franklin River
The Franklin River runs through some of the most untouched, pristine forests on the planet. For 10 days you are swept down the river, which feel more like a time machine followed by a river trip.
Apart from rafting, there are only a couple of ways to access the Franklin River.
Firstly, there is a picnic area on the banks of the upper Franklin River. It’s a surreal spot as the river here is gentle and gives no indication of the wild waters below.
The second way would be to take a scenic flight over the Franklin-Gordon Wild River National Park.
I have been on the river twice. The first time I was with some mates and we had little to no idea of what to expect. We survived but it had a lot to do with luck.
The second time was the river was with Franklin River Rafting Company. They pretty much take care of everything for you. You need to have some fitness level but most people could do this trip without too many issues.
The Overland Track
This track has also been rated in the top 10 walks in the world, once again proving how versatile Tasmania is and what a wide range of adventures there is to do.
If you are ever in the need for an amazing walk through some of Australia’s most breathtaking scenery then the Overland Track is the walk for you.
You can do a six-day guided walk along the track with the added bonus of professional photography tuition the entire walk.
I have done the Overland Track about six times and I run guided photography tours along the track.
One of my favourite places along the track to photograph is at the start of the track, near Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff.
Another favourite spot is deep within the rainforests towards the southern end of the track. These two places offer amazing scenery for photographers to discover Tasmania.
The biggest challenge is the weather. Having said that, the weather is what makes this place so unique. One minute it is sunny and warm, then next it’s snowing… anytime of the year.
My most memorable moment is when one of my tour clients turned to me on about day four and said, “thank you so much… I get it. It’s all about the light.”
This was a touching moment for me because I was so pleased that this client got it. Understood photography. They were really embracing the trip and this just topped it off for me.
There are a few ways you can experience the South West of Tasmania. You can drive south of Hobart to Southport or you can drive west towards the always controversial Lake Pedder.
Regardless of what way you travel, you will experience some of Australia’s most breathtaking scenery.
Lake Pedder is hydroelectricity created dam. Prior to the present Lake, the old Lake Pedder was considered a jewel in the southwest of Tasmania.
It was unique in many ways, but one major distinction of the lake was its pink quartz stone beach that was over two kilometres and 300m wide.
Driving to the southwest can only lead you so far. Lake Pedder and the Scotts Peak Dam road are to the west and can get you pretty close to the coast, but it’s still about 40km away.
There is a road to the south that leads to Cockles Creek which allows you access to the southwest coast walk.
The roads are sealed most of the way. The Scotts Peak Dam road is dirt but still a good dirt road that a two-wheel drive can handle in good weather.
To really get a good look around the South West you would need a couple of days.
Cradle Mountain is one of Tasmania’s iconic tourist regions, for good reason. There are not many places in Australia where in such a small area you can view so many amazing, breathtaking sights.
There are mountains, waterfalls and ancient rainforests. There is snow, running rivers and wildlife. It’s a photographer’s delight.
At Cradle Mountain, you will see all types of Tasmanian animals. Frequently you will see possums, wombats, wallabies, paddymelons, quolls and plenty of bird life.
Cradle Mountain is – in my opinion – one of the trickiest mountains to capture.
The weather is forever changing and the clouds can block her out in minutes. The best times to capture the mountain would be at dawn or late afternoon.
Anytime of year, it is beautiful up there, just make sure you have warm clothes for the changing weather.
My best tip for photographing Cradle Mountain would be to get there at the right time. Early morning I feel is best as the skies can look simply magnificent.
You will need a tripod and it’s always good to have circular polarising filters.
Be patient, and stay warm. I also run three-day photography workshops at Cradle Mountain.
Cameron Blake is an award-winning photographer based in Tasmania.
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