So, you have landed in the best town in the world and want to know where to see some amazing attractions around Southern Tasmania with your camera in hand?
If you would like to visit locations that aren’t necessarily on the top Instagram list of places to see, I think I have just the places for you to go, and all of them within a day trip from Hobart.
Since making the decision to move my life from Melbourne to Hobart 9 years ago, I have spent many hours travelling and exploring Tasmania. Below is a list of my favourite, and less-visited jewels that you can find in and around Hobart and beyond. To get the most out of your trip though, stay a night and get to see some of these places at sunrise or sunset.
Tasmania’s Central Highlands
For anyone that visits Tasmania, there is at some stage a time when you will travel through the Central Highlands of the state. Beautiful open plains, stunning lakes and beautiful views from the higher altitude are on offer if you head north from Hobart.
Heading north from Hobart towards the Central Highlands also offers some beautiful driving roads. Driving up through Hamilton and Ouse, there are some stunning old sandstone buildings to capture along the way. Visit of the township of Tarraleah as the first port of call.
This ex-Hydro Electricity township has some pretty cool photography spots too. None more so than the Tarraleah Falls (also known as Wilson Falls). A beautiful, quiet and easy walk to the falls from the township will get your photography juices flowing. The falls are located via a forest walk which takes approx. 45min return. The falls and the surrounding forest are a lovely way to spend a bit of time.
As you continue onwards from Tarraleah you get the chance to head up to altitude and visit the Central Highlands Lakes and surrounds. A spectacular region of Tasmania and one that you could spend plenty of time photographing. The road from Bronte Park to Miena and the Highlands Pub has some beautiful dry forest scenes and if you are luckily enough to visit during winter you may also have some snow along the way
The Heritage Highway
The next region to see is the Southern Midlands of the island state. A land of endless plains and beautiful, gentle rolling hills. On the right day, this region of Tassie can be one of the best to photograph. The landscape is littered with gentles slopes that hold so much character and form when the sun is at the right angle. There is also a plethora of old rustic and historic buildings to use for your subject matter of photographs.
No visit to the Southern Midlands is complete without visiting the historic township of Oatlands. Sometimes easy to bypass as you make the Launceston to Hobart trip along the Midlands Hwy, Oatlands is a very cool town to take your camera through. Historic and old-time streets and buildings make for great subjects for black and white or sepia imagery. There is also a pretty cool windmill right in the middle of town that if conditions suit, would make a great shot with stars above; one that I am still attempting to capture.
If you are lucky enough to visit during the Autumn months April/May be sure to check out the rows and rows of Poplar trees that line the Midlands Hwy from Oatlands to Saint Peter’s Pass and as far north as the township of Ross.
The End of the Road (Southern-most point of Australia)
Head south from Hobart and you’ll feel the wonder of being off the grid without really being off the gird. A great day drive from Hobart to Cockle Creek is filled with loads of photography opportunities all along the Huon Valley and River. A highlight for me and a location that is highly recommended to visit if you have the time to is the Lion Rock walk from Cockle Creek to the spectacular coastal views of Lion Rock. A simple and straightforward 7 kms – 2hr each way walk will award you with amazing coastal views, isolation and pure wilderness joy. This walk can easily be done in a day, so pack a lunch, your camera and hit the track to this little hidden gem. If you’re looking to break up your drive on the way down, stop in at Hastings Caves with your camera ready to go.
We finish off our day trip itinerary by what I would consider the most scenic road in Tasmania. Departing from Hobart, head yourself out toward the Mt Field National Park.
Within the Mt Field National park is a series of wonderful waterfalls and if you head up higher to the peak of Mt Field, you’ll encounter brilliant lakes and stunning views. Even better, if you visit during the Autumn time, you’ll be rewarded with some of Tasmania’s best examples of the Fagus tree (Nothofagus gunni).
As you finish off your first half of the day you then head further west towards Strathgordon. This section of road is breathtaking from start to finish, Lake Pedder and Australia’s highest curved dam, the Gordon Dam. Endless lakes and incredible mountain range every direction and make for some incredible views and photographs to be taken.
Plan your trip to be out west late afternoon and after you have visited the Gordon Dam, head back towards Hobart, but take a right turn down the Scott’s Peak Dam Rd. This is a beautiful (unsealed road) that offers some amazing photographic opportunities. Late afternoon light on a nice day and you’ll struggle to keep space on your memory cards. The views, the landscape, the lakes, everything along this road makes this one of, if not my favourite road in Tasmania. And best yet, there is a fair chance you’ll have the place to yourself.
One thing to keep in mind along this road is that it is totally remote. There are no mobile phone towers, petrol stations, or hotels to rescue you in case of trouble. Be sure to enough fuel to drive the entire section of road and back to the main Strathgordon Rd – about 70km return. Your efforts for exploring this road will not disappoint. One of the best spots to capture the true wilderness feel of Tasmania would be the Red Knoll Lookout that is at the end of the Scott’s Peak Rd. Set up the tripod and watch the wonderland in front amaze you from all directions.
Check out the upcoming events in Southern Tasmania.
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