Tasmania is Australia’s smallest state and is a great travel destination featuring many outstanding photography locations. Nowhere else in Australia offers such a rewarding variety of scenic landscapes in such a compact and convenient to visit area as the island state of Tasmania. From the beautiful blue seas and calm, inviting beaches on the east coast; rugged mountains and dark, mesmerizing rainforest of the west; and the historic buildings and towns which dot the countryside, there are many rich rewards awaiting the traveling photographer.
The island is compact enough that you need not drive more than around two hours before encountering a new and rewarding destination to explore, meaning that your time in Tasmania does not need to be taken up with hours and hours in your car. You will no doubt start your trip at one of the major cities – Hobart or Launceston (accessed by air), or Devonport (most commonly accessed by sea, onboard the Spirit of Tasmania ferry from Melbourne). Below I’ll introduce you to some locations to include in your visit to the capital city, Hobart.
Hobart is the largest city of Tasmania, and home to many historic buildings dating from Tasmania’s colonial history. Most of the buildings you see are made from sandstone, and the softness of this stone has allowed intricate detail to be carved into the building blocks. Take a walk around the city centre, the waterfront (including Hunter St — great coffee, galleries and restaurants) and Salamanca (where Australia’s largest outdoor market is held every Saturday from 8:00am to 3:00pm). The beautiful streetscapes of Battery Point feature quaint coffee shops and bakeries which also worthy of some time set aside in your travel photography itinerary. Photographing these old buildings when they are lit up at night gives great atmospheric shots of a well preserved historic city centre. And best of all, all these areas are within a comfortable walking distance from the Waterfront hotels.
Arriving in Hobart you are greeted by Mt Wellington rising on the western horizon, with the River Derwent in front. The Tasman bridge links the eastern shore (where the Airport is located) to the western shore (where the CBD is). A drive up the mountain is a must, and takes approx 30 minutes from the city centre. Basically you follow Davey St up, up and up; and you will see the turn off to the top just before you reach the shop and tavern at Fern Tree.
On a clear day the views are magnificent, and the rugged mountain peaks of south west Tasmania spread out on one side, while the panoramic views over Hobart and the River Derwent are unforgettable. Be aware that the peak is 1270m above sea level, and it is safe to assume that the summit will be approx 10 degrees cooler than central Hobart. The winds can be fierce too, so if you are spending a few days in Hobart, then check the forecast before heading up. Being located a long way south, the temperature is quite cool compared to the Australian mainland.
For some interesting photographic rewards, try any of the following (and remember — even though you might be on holiday, sunrises and sunsets over Hobart can be incredibly rewarding, owing to the hilly landscape, waterways and rocky foreshores).
Bellerieve foreshore — great Hobart skyline and sunset/sunrise colour over Mt Wellington are best viewed from here. Stop in Bellerieve Village for dinner or a drink, then follow the road through town to the foreshore.
Mt Wellington — the views from the top are an obvious attraction on a clear day, but don’t despair if the mountain is covered in cloud on your only day in town. The alpine snow gums and dolerite boulder fields make excellent subjects for nature photos with their own beauty which is highlighted when the long distance views are impossible.
Great views of the Tasman Bridge can be found in Lindisfarne, if you turn left at your first opportunity after crossing the bridge, head down to the water, and turn left again. The bridge looms close here and is a great photo opportunity particularly when lit up at night.
Clifton Beach — slightly out of town, past Lauderdale, is this great surf beach covered in colourful shells and book-ended by dramatic sandstone sea cliffs. Faces east so is very suitable for photographing sunrises. Clifton Beach is approximately 30 minutes drive from central Hobart.
This is obviously just a taste of what to look for during your stay in Hobart, but it should be a good start towards you achieving some unique images of the well known scenic and historical photographic locations of Tasmania.