During the first three weeks of March, 2017 I was lucky enough to head down to Tasmania. Whilst I was primarily there on behalf of my workplace, I had the weekends to myself and dedicated one of the those weekends to solely exploring certain parts of Tasmania and photograph my travels in the process. I was lucky enough that the weekend that I chose was a long weekend (due to Monday being Labour Day) and as such spent 3 days exploring as set out below:
Friday - After finishing work in Launceston at 5pm I packed my photography equipment in the car and made the relatively short drive (~1.5h) down to Cradle Mountain. I got there just at the start of golden hour, and despite the sunset being a bit of a fizzer I hung around and took photos throughout twilight and into the night. I hadn't really gone out and tried the low light capabilities my camera bundle before this time (which consists of a Nikon D800 and a Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 lens) and was in awe at how well it performed in low light.
Saturday - As with the sunset the evening prior, the sunrise really wasn't anything amazing on the Saturday morning, and add to the fact that as soon as I got to the boathouse to set up my camera a group of 6 other photographers all showed up clamoring to get the best position made it very difficult to get any good shots. Following this however I completed the trek to the summit of Cradle Mountain. It was an epic 6.5 hour trek via Lake Lilla and Marion's Lookout, with the last hour involving literally rock climbing in sections in order to reach the summit. Whilst being one of the hardest hikes that I have ever completed, the 360 degree views at the top of the summit are unparalleled and showcase amazing natural scenery as far as the eye can see. Coming down was much easier in comparison, and despite being exhausted by the time I reached the carpark, it was well worth it and something that I would definitely again and would recommend to others (provided that they are fit and are not afraid of heights).
Sunday - During the night, clouds had rolled in across Tasmania, leading to a fairly drab and overcast day. These conditions are perfect for photographing waterfalls, and after doing some quick searches I found that there were a couple of great waterfalls in Meander Valley, about an hour from Launceston. After getting lost amongst the maze of potholed dirt roads in Meander I eventually found my way to the carpark and set off hunting down these waterfalls. The first one, Chasm Falls, took just over an hour to reach through fairly dense rainforest. Due to the rain the night before the waterfall was flowing well, but the damp conditions had also brought out other creatures, and upon reaching the falls I realised I had three leeches sucking away at my left leg, one of them through the sock that I was wearing! Chasm Falls itself was absolutely beautiful and I spent around an hour exploring the immediate area and photographing it from various angles. From there I hiked up to Smoko Falls, which was around 2 hours through dense rainforest along a slippery and often poorly marked out track. Smoko Falls itself was a bit of let down, however there were numerous other waterfalls that I stopped over both going to and coming back from Smoko Falls which made the hike worth it.
Monday - Once again woke up at dawn to capture, the sunrise, this time over the Tamar River in downtown Launceston. Unlike the day before, this sunrise was really nice and whilst the sky was cloud-free, the golden hues reflected by the moving water was really beautiful to see. I made the 2 hour drive from Launceston to Freycinet National Park where I completed the hike to the summit of Mt Amos. This is a harder version of the walk to the lookout over Wineglass Bay, however gives even more stunning views of the surrounding coastline, including Wineglass Bay. Unfortunately for me, the day was fairly overcast, and whilst the views were still stunning, the intense contrast between the deep blue of the ocean and the white sands during a clear day would've made for a better photo. Whilst not on the same day I also ended up heading down to Liffey Falls after work one day and was lucky to capture a few shots of it before the sun set and darkness set it.
All in all it was a very productive weekend and I was able to see and explore new places and get some pretty good photos in the process, which I was really happy with. Tasmania is really a stunning place in terms of natural scenery and I will definitely return here in the future (hopefully sooner rather than later).