Tasmanian Landscapes, Oct 12 - 26, 2019
A 15-Day Photographic Journey with Jeremy Woodhouse & Luke O'Brien
(15 days – 14 nights)
“When you go out there (into the wilderness), you don’t get away from it all, you get back to it all. You come home to what’s important. You come home to yourself." --
Revelling in isolation, Tasmania is busting out with fab festivals and sensational food and drink, riding a tourism-fuelled economic boom that’s the envy of all Australia.
To understand Australian colonial history you first need to understand Tasmanian colonial history…and before that Tasmanian Aboriginal history. Tragic stories of the island's past play out through its haunting, gothic landscape: the sublime scenery around Port Arthur only reinforces the site’s grim history. It’s just as easy to conjure up visions of the raffish past in Hobart’s Battery Point and its atmospheric harbourside pubs. Elsewhere, architectural treasures include convict-built bridges at Ross, Richmond and Campbell Town, and Launceston's cache of quality domestic design. Meanwhile, the state's obsession with the (probably) extinct Tasmanian tiger continues – are you out there, thylacine?
Tastes of Tasmania
First it was all about apples…but now the Apple Isle's contribution to world food extends to premium seafood, cheese, bread, honey, nuts, truffles, stone fruit, craft beer, whisky, gin and intensely flavoured cool-climate wines. Many smaller producers are owned and operated by passionate foodies: Tasmania is seemingly custom built for a driving holiday spent shunting between these farm-gate suppliers, boozy cellar doors and niche providores. After you’ve sampled the produce, book a table at a top restaurant and see how the local chefs transform it.
From wine, beer and food festivals to hot-ticket arts and music events, Tasmania packs a lot of parties into the calendar. Hobart’s photogenic docks play host to many, from Taste of Tasmania over New Year to the heritage glories of the Australian Wooden Boat Festival. Art and culture get their game on during Ten Days on the Island, while winter's brooding, edgy Dark MOFO is building to rival the New Year party procession. MONA FOMA and Festivale bring the celebrations to Launceston, and The Unconformity unearths Queenstown's character. Escape for a long weekend – how many more reasons do you need?
Into The Wild
From the squeaky white sand and lichen-splashed granite of the east coast to the bleak alpine plateaus of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Tasmania punches well above its weight when it comes to natural beauty. Hiking opportunities range from short, waterfall-punctuated forest trails to multi-day wilderness epics with no one else in sight. You can explore the island's craggy coastlines and wild rivers by kayak, raft, yacht or cruise boat. Tassie's native wildlife is ever present: spy Tasmanian devils after dark, share the Southern Ocean swell with seals and dolphins or watch penguins waddling home at dusk.
Day 1: Sat, 12 Oct—Arrive Hobart
Australia’s second-oldest city and southernmost capital, Hobart dapples the foothills of Mt Wellington, angling down to the slate-grey Derwent River. The town’s rich cache of colonial architecture and natural charms are complemented by innovative festivals, eclectic markets and world-class food and drink experiences.
It’s a gorgeous place, but until quite recently Hobart was far from cosmopolitan or self-assured – it’s taken a while for Hobartians to feel comfortable in their own skins. Paralleling this shift (or perhaps driving it), the mainland Australian attitude to Hobart has changed from derision to delight: investors now recognise that Tasmania’s abundant water, stress-free pace and cool climate are precious commodities.
Not far past the outskirts of town are some great beaches, alpine areas and historic villages. And don't miss MONA, Hobart's dizzyingly good Museum of Old and New Art, which has vehemently stamped Tasmania onto the global cultural map.
Welcome Dinner at Hotel
O/N Macq1, Hobart
Day 2: Sun, 13 Oct—Mt Field & Styx Valley day trip
Departing from Hobart, we will visit some spectacular forested areas. Enjoy the cool greenness of Tasmania’s cool temperate rainforest and marvel at some of the biggest trees in the world. View beautiful waterfalls and cascading streams and take time out in this ancient environment.
Mt Field National Park
Mt Field, 80km northwest of Hobart and 7km beyond Westerway, was declared a national park in 1916. It is famed for its alpine moorlands, lakes, rainforest, impressive waterfalls, walks, skiing and rampant wildlife. It’s an accessible day trip from Hobart, or you can bunk down overnight. Either way, things can get mighty chilly here – bring a woolly hat!
The Styx Valley of the Giants is less than two hours drive from Hobart and home to some of the tallest trees on Earth. For years, it was one of Tasmania’s hottest conservation battlegrounds, with patches of its giant trees logged against the best efforts of environmentalists.
In 2013, the logging stopped and the Styx was finally given the recognition it deserved, protected as a formal reserve and added to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Now, the Styx offers a unique visitor experience. Free from the backdrop of conflict, controversy and destruction, visitors can explore the myriad of walking tracks throughout the valley and walk among ancient rainforests, towering eucalypts and along a wild, free-flowing river.
Sunset shoot Hobart
O/N Macq1, Hobart
Day 3: Mon, 14 Oct—Drive to Tesselated Pavement/Hobart
Sunrise (6:22) Tesselated Pavement, Tasman Island Cruise,
Leaving our hotel early, we will drive south to the Tesselated Pavement for sunrise
The isthmus connecting the Tasman Peninsula to Tasmania is covered in a pattern of regular rectangular saltwater pools. Although these depressions look distinctly manmade, they are the result of a rare type of natural erosion.
Occurring near sea coasts on flat rock which has broken into regular blocks, the effect is known as “tessellated pavement” for its resemblance to Roman mosaic floors (also called tessellated pavement). The pavement takes two forms. Depressions are known as pan formations, occurring when saltwater wears away the center portion of the stones into pools. The opposite effect is known as a loaf formation, when the edges of the stone are worn away leaving a rounded crown resembling rising bread.
Tessellated pavement is extremely rare, found only in a few places on Earth. The geology is not related to the effect that created the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland and Fingal’s Cave in Scotland. Those features were formed as basaltic lava cooled and fractured; tessellated pavement occurs as sedimentary rock erodes.
Tasman Island Cruise
This Pennicott Wilderness Journey takes you for a spectacular three-hour cruise along the extraordinary coastline of Tasman National Park, between Eaglehawk Neck and Port Arthur.
Close encounters with the highest sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere, rugged and spectacular coastal landscapes, waterfalls, deep sea caves, amazing wildlife on land and sea. Gaze up at the spectacular dolerite cliffs of Cape Pillar, marvel at the towering sea stacks like Cathedral Rock, the Totem Pole, Candlestick and glide in and out of sea caves.
You will join in the search for the abundant sea and coastal wildlife such as seals, dolphins, migrating whales, birds of prey, albatross and many other varieties of sea birds.
Sunset shoot Hobart
O/N Macq1, Hobart
Day 4: Tue, 15 Oct—Drive to Strahan
Drive via Lake St Clair, Nelson Falls
The Chicago Tribune newspaper once dubbed Strahan ‘the best little town in the world’ and it's easy to imagine why it did so. The town's pure air, affable locals and picturesque location tucked between Macquarie Harbour and the rainforest combines with top-drawer tourist attractions – Gordon River cruises and the West Coast Wilderness Railway – to make it one of Tasmania's most popular and family-friendly tourist destinations.
Lake St Clair
Lake St Clair is at the southern end of the world famous Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.Carved out by ice during several glaciations over the last two million years, this is the deepest lake in Australia and the headwaters of the Derwent River, upon which the capital city of Tasmania is located.
The area around Lake St Clair offers a wealth of walks, ranging from leisurely strolls to overnight bushwalks, as well as beautiful forests to explore. Lake St Clair is also the end point of the famous Overland Track, a long-distance walk which runs from Cradle Mountain in the north to Cynthia Bay on the southern shore of Lake St Clair.
Along the boardwalk to Nelson Falls you will come across interpretation panels highlighting the ancient plants you see along the way, including at least seven species of fern. These interpretation panels will take you on a journey back in time to when Tasmania was a part of the great supercontinent of Gondwana.
Among the forest trees you will discover ancient species that once dominated the Australian landmass, but are now confined to the wetter regions of Tasmania and southeast and eastern mainland Australia. Many of the species of these cool temperate rainforests are only suited to the cool, moist conditions of places such as the Nelson Valley.
The species of these rainforests have much in common with the rainforests of New Zealand and South America. Indeed, the ancestors of these plants once flourished on the ancient supercontinent, Gondwana, which comprised today's southern continents. Following the breakup of Gondwana, these species found themselves separated by vast distances. The similarity of the rainforest species of these continents is the legacy of this common origin.
Day 5: Wed, 16 Oct—Gordon River Cruise & Hogarth Falls
Gordon River Cruise
Glide past ancient rainforests aboard a morning or afternoon Gordon River Cruise from Strahan. With a choice of seating levels, departure time and duration, this cruise fits easily into any sightseeing schedule. Explore the beautiful Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area as you pass landmarks like Hells Gates and Sarah Island.
A pleasant 50-minute return walk through the rainforest to these falls follows platypus-inhabited Botanical Creek. The track starts at People’s Park, off the Esplanade opposite Risby Cove.
Head six kilometres west of Strahan's town centre to find Ocean Beach, awesome as much for its 40km length as for the strength of the surf that pounds it. This stretch of sand and sea runs uninterrupted from Trial Harbour in the north to Macquarie Heads in the south and is an evocative place to watch the orange orb of the sun melt into the sea. The water is treacherous: don’t swim here.
Day 6: Thu, 17 Oct—Corinna
Corinna is a remote historic mining town, now an eco-tourism haven set in pristine rainforest surrounded by stunning wilderness and great nature experiences.
This tiny 'settlement' sits at the southern end of the Tarkine wilderness area and is set amongst rainforest on the banks of the majestic Pieman River. Here, nature is the star and the old-growth rainforest is a living link with the ancient supercontinent Gondwana.
There are some iconic walks, from the accessible Huon Pine Walk to the more challenging Savage River, Whyte River and Mount Donaldson walks. These offer magnificent wilderness views.
Back at ground level, a river cruise aboard an historic Huon pine riverboat or kayaking journey reveal breathtaking rainforest reflected in the crystal clear waters. This is also a top spot for boating, fishing and bird watching.
Corinna was once a thriving gold mining town and is now an oasis for nature lovers wanting a genuine wilderness experience. Stay in self-contained retreats, historic miners' cottages, backpackers or camp sites and the local hotel serves up Tasmanian produce with a healthy dose of Tasmanian hospitality.
Montezuma Falls, near Rosebery on Tasmania's west coast, is Tasmania's highest waterfall. The track to the falls begins at Williamsford, two kilometres south of Rosebery.
This easy, three-hour return walk along a level track takes you to the base of the 104 metre falls through pleasant park-like rainforest of leatherwood, myrtle, sassafras and giant tree ferns.
You may see native wildlife along the way, including several species of birds. The track follows the historic route of the former North East Dundas Tramway right to the base of Montezuma Falls.
The creek immediately below the falls was once spanned by a wooden trestle bridge, 160 feet long and 50 feet high. Today derelict pieces of timber, moss-covered concrete piers and rusty bolts are the only remains of this bridge.
Day 7: Fri, 18 Oct—Corinna
Half day cruise aboard the “Arcadia II” to the Pieman Heads on Tasmania’s west coast where we explore the windswept beaches. West coast sunset session near Granville Harbour.
Pieman River Cruise
The Pieman River Cruise takes you on a journey in the Arcadia II, a huon pine vessel built in 1939. It was a cruise vessel on Macquarie Harbour from 1961 until it moved to the Pieman River in 1970. It is reputedly the only huon pine river cruiser in operation anywhere in the world (huon pine only grows in the wet, temperate rainforests of South West Tasmania). The cruise is a unique opportunity to see the heads of the Pieman River, to admire the fauna and flora of the area and to experience a rare pristine part of Tasmania's West Coast rainforest.
Waterfall and rainforest photography in the afternoon. Sunset
Day 8: Sat, 19 Oct—Drive to Cradle Mountain
Fungi and amazing myrtle rainforest along the track to Philosopher Falls.
Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
Part of the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Tasmanian Wilderness, this 1262-sq-km national park incorporates glacier-sculpted mountain peaks, river gorges, lakes, tarns and tracts of wild alpine moorland. Though it extends all the way from the Great Western Tiers in the north to Derwent Bridge in the south, its most beloved landscapes and walks – including parts of the world-renowned 65km Overland Track – are around Cradle Mountain. The park encompasses Mt Ossa (1617m), Tasmania’s highest peak, and Lake St Clair, the deepest (200m) lake in Australia. Within the park's boundaries are plenty of wildlife-watching opportunities – sightings of wombats, Bennett's wallabies and pademelons are almost guaranteed, and Tasmanian devils and platypuses are often spotted. The main tourist hubs are Cradle Mountain Village, a tourist settlement scattered along Cradle Mountain Rd, and the smaller Derwent Bridge near Cynthia Bay on Lake St Clair.
Follow the historic mining water race along an easily accessible walking track that leads to a view of Philosopher Falls – named after the man who changed the fortunes of the entire state of Tasmania through his discovery of tin at Mt Bischoff, near Waratah. Just a ten kilometre drive out of Waratah, on the B23 road to Corinna, you will discover this stunning short walk that provides a glimpse into the wild and mysterious Tarkine rainforest.
Autumn is the best time to see the cartoon-like fungi dotted all along the track, but at any time of the year this is an experience you don't want to leave off your bucket list. The Falls lookout is at the end of the 45-minute stroll into the forest (there is a stairway leading to the base of the falls), however even a short ten-minute walk in from the car park will reward you with a magical 'Alice in Wonderland' experience.
O/N Cradle Mountain Hotel
Day 9: Sun, 20 Oct— Cradle Mountain
Scenic photography at Cradle Mountain. Optional scenic flight
O/N Cradle Mountain Hotel
Day 10: Mon, 21 Oct— Cradle Mountain
Scenic photography at Cradle Mountain.
O/N Cradle Mountain Hotel
Day 11: Tue, 22 Oct—Drive to St Helens
Scenic photography at Launceston Cataract Gorge, Weldborough, St Columba Falls
On the broad, protected sweep of Georges Bay, St Helens began life as a whaling and sealing settlement in the 1830s. Soon the ‘swanners’ came to plunder, harvesting the bay’s black swans for their downy underfeathers. By the 1850s the town was a permanent farming settlement, which swelled in 1874 when tin was discovered nearby. Today, St Helens is a pragmatic sort of town, harbouring the state’s largest fishing fleet. This equates to plenty for anglers to get excited about; charter boats will take you out to where the big game fish play. For landlubbers there are some good places to eat, sleep and unwind, with beaches nearby.
Launceston Cataract Gorge
Cataract Gorge Reserve, or “The Gorge” as the locals call it, is a unique natural formation within a two-minute drive of central Launceston - a rare natural phenomenon in any city.
In 15 minutes you can walk from the city centre along the banks of the Tamar River into "The Gorge”. From here you follow a pathway along the cliff face, originally built in the 1890s, looking down onto the South Esk River. The Kings Bridge over "The Gorge" was floated into place in 1867. The First Basin, on the southern side, features a swimming pool and an open area surrounded by bushland. In contrast, the shady northern side, named the Cliff Grounds, is a Victorian garden where wilderness is created with ferns and exotic plants - nature is enhanced by art. There's a Restaurant and kiosk, rolling lawns and a rotunda, a pub with a view, a footbridge and chairlift across the river, peacocks in the trees, wallabies at dusk. This may be the nation's most alluring urban reserve.
Further upstream is the historic Duck Reach Power Station, now an Interpretation Centre. The Launceston City Council originally commissioned the Power Station in 1893, making it the largest hydro-electric scheme of its day. By 1895 it was lighting the city.
As the Tasman Hwy approaches Weldborough Pass – an arabesque cutting famously popular with motorcyclists – it traces a high ridge with vistas of surrounding forests and mountains. Near the top, the Weldborough Pass Rainforest Walk is a 15-minute interpretative circuit through moss-covered myrtle rainforest.
St Columba Falls
St Columba Falls State Reserve features beautiful forests and the cascading waters of the South George River that plunge over steep granite ledges. Surrounded by densely wooded hills, this reserve contains forests of tree ferns, sassafras, myrtles and beech, and provides a massive water catchment that flows year round.
The area was prime habitat for Tasmanian Tigers, once Australia's largest carnivorous marsupial, and long presumed extinct. The locals, however, will have you believe they're still around, with dozens of reported sightings every year. More likely, keep your eyes peeled for the elusive platypuses that burrow along the banks of the reserve's creeks.
A perfect stopping point for a rest stop, the reserve has a picnic area with views of St Columba Falls. A short walking track through the forest leads to a viewing platform at the base of the falls.
The intake bridge of an old water race is located just off the approach road to the falls and marks the starting point of a 45 km channel that was constructed in the early 1930s to supply water for tin mining near St Helens.
Further down the road is the Halls Falls walking track, a 90-minute return stroll through a dense forest of towering eucalyptus trees and centuries-old ferns to an historic weir built by timber workers in the late 19th century.
O/N St Helens
Day 12: Wed, 23 Oct—Bay of Fires
Explore Tasmania’s east coast from the rugged Hazards and sublime Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park to our base in St Helens. We sill shoot sunset and sunrise in multiple locations around the Bay of Fires.
Bay of Fires
Famous for its crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches and orange lichen-covered granite boulders, the Bay of Fires is one of Tasmania's most popular conservation reserves. The Bay of Fires conservation area extends along the coast from Binalong Bay in the south to Eddystone Point in the north.
Its name refers to the Aboriginal fires spotted by Captain Tobias Furneaux when he sailed past in 1773, but it could also apply to the brilliant orange lichen that grows on the granite boulders lining the bay. There is still evidence of the lives of the first Tasmanian along the coastline, in the form of middens (shell and bone dumping grounds).
The conservation area is divided into three sections, with Anson's Bay dividing the southern and northern ends. A scenic view of the bay can be glimpsed by driving along the coast to The Gardens.
O/N St Helens
Day 13: Thu, 24 Oct—Bay of Fires to Freycinet National Park
Scenic photography around Freycinet National Park.
Freycinet National Park
Freycinet National Park is home to dramatic pink granite peaks, secluded bays, white sandy beaches and abundant birdlife. Situated on Tasmania's beautiful East Coast, the park occupies most of the Freycinet Peninsula and looks out to the Tasman Sea from the eastern side and back towards the Tasmanian coastline from the west.
Freycinet National Park is loaded with natural assets, including the pink granite peaks of the Hazards Range that dominate the Peninsula and the iconic Wineglass Bay. The short trek to Wineglass Bay lookout is a bit of a scramble, but it's well worth it for one of Tasmania's most photographed views.
Day 14: Fri, 25 Oct—Freycinet
Sunrise. Walk to the Wineglass Bay lookout and admire stunning coastal scenery including the Cape Tourville Lighthouse and Honeymoon Bay. Optional scenic flight.
Day 15: Sat, 26 Oct—Freycinet to Hobart
We will arrive back at Hobart at around lunch time ready for your onward journey or return back home
END OF TOUR
Arrival & Departure
Arrival & Meeting Place
Weather in the Spring
Here is a link to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology for weather in Oct 2017
Average Temp: 8ºC - 17ºC (46ºF - 63ºF)
Average Rainfall: 62mm
What to pack
For Spring it's worth packing a raincoat and some warmer layers. You probably won't be swimming but there will be warmer days in October so keep that in mind.
Tour dates: Oct 12 - 26, 2019
Cost: Approx $8,850
Single Supplement: $1,500
Group Size: 6 - 8
1 SPOT OPEN
Photographer: Jeremy Woodhouse
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Once you have made your flight arrangements, please fill in the form at the link below
Tour Fee Includes
Tour Fee Does not Include
Paying by check
If you would like to pay your deposit and/or balance with a check, please make the check payable to: Pixelchrome, Inc and mail it to:
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Paying by Wire Transfer
Bank: Wells Fargo Bank, NA
Account #: 4428-000051
Routing #: 121000248
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Phone: (972) 439-3416