Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tasmanian Holiday 2008

We recently had a week long holiday in Tasmania. Here's what we did and what we saw. Make sure you click on the photo links - there are almost 200 photos. I've created a map you can view here.

Our journey started with an overnight ferry ride from Port Melbourne to Devonport. I was surprised and impressed with how much the ferry was buffeted by the waves. It was quite a rocky ride once we left the Port Phillip heads, and we had some trouble sleeping.

In Devonport we had no time to waste, having to rush to Corinna to catch a cruise along the Pieman River.

Corinna

Corinna was an old mining town, but is now a wilderness village on the edge of the Tarkine Rainforest. It is somewhat remote, being almost an hours drive to neighboring towns.

Pieman River Cruise - all photos

We managed to make our river cruise - after some upsets along the way, and thanks to the cruise operators waiting for us.

The cruise takes place on the Arcadia II - built of Huon pine in 1939.


View from the Arcadia II as we cruise down the Pieman river from Corinna

The cruise takes you to the rugged beach on the west coast of Tasmania. It is a very scenic trip viewing the rainforest bordering the Pieman river.

This photo is a sea eagle we saw on the way back.

A sea eagle watches as we cruise the Pieman river back to Corinna

Corinna Township - all photos

In Corinna, we stayed in a self contained cottage. Since Corinna is so remote, the township relies on rainwater collection and solar electricity generation. We didn't have to rough it though, the accommodation is very cosy.

Our cottage in Corinna, nestled in the Tarkine rainforest

Walks - photos & more photos

There are beautiful rainforest walks leaving from the Corinna township. The Huon Pine walk is a short (20 minute) boardwalk following the Pieman river downstream. The Whyte River walk leads upstream, and is much longer so with a young child we could not go very far.

A large mushroom on the White River walk from Corinna

Parts of the walk felt like you were in Middle Earth.

Flora & Fauna - all photos

The locals were not to shy either. This is a Tasmanian Pademelon, a bit smaller than a Wallaby.

A Tasmanian Pademelon (similar to Wallaby) near the cottages in Corinna

Cradle Mountain
Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village - all photos

At Cradle Mountain, we stayed at the Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village. The accommodation was very nice, and I would certainly recommend it to others.

Our lounge room at Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village

Dove Lake - all photos

We didn't go on the longer walks that set off from Dove Lake however I did make it down to the lake to take some photos. This photo shows an old boat shed on the lake.

The old boat shed on Dove Lake with remnants of snow on Cradle Mountain in the distance

You can just see the last remnants of snow on Cradle Mountain in the distance.

Fauna - all photos

There was lots of wildlife at Cradle Mountain - literally on the side of the road.

A pale brown wallaby at Cradle Mountain

Walks - photos & more photos

The Ronny Creek to Snake Hill walk is around 45 minutes and shows the sometimes harsh landscape of Cradle Mountain. It is all boardwalk, though there are stairs in parts.

A harsh landscape where trees struggle to survive on the Ronny Creek to Snake Hill Walk in Cradle Mountain

The Enchanted Walk more closely resembles the rainforest we saw in Corinna.

The Enchanted Walk at Cradle Mountain takes us into the tranquil rainforest


Marakoopa Cave - all photos

On the way to Westbury, we stopped at the Marakoopa Cave near Mole Creek. The guided tour runs for almost an hour and is interesting and informative.

A large stalactite formation spills down like a waterfall in the Marakoopa Cave

Westbury
Elm Wood B & B - all photos

We stayed at the Elm Wood B & B. It was very relaxing accommodation and the hosts were helpful.

The gardens were great with lots of pretty flowers.

Colourful tulips in the gardens at Elm Wood B & B


We ate at the Fitzpatrick's Inn and the food was beautiful.

Westbury Village Green - all photos

Our B & B fronted onto the Westbury Village Green. This large park is surrounded by historic buildings, and lovely old trees.

The town of Westbury dates back to the 1820's and the Village Green is apparently the only traditional village green in Australia.


The village green of Westbury bordered by tall trees

Cataract Gorge, Launceston - all photos

I guess we found this a bit average compared with some of the other places we had been. That said, we didn't have time to do any of the longer walks.

The bridge at Cataract Gorge


Bicheno - all photos

We now head down the east coast towards Swansea. The coast is extremely pretty, making you think it is somewhere tropical.

In Bicheno we find rock formations that have lichen which gives them a bright orange colour.

Huge cube shaped boulders are covered in orange lichen at Bicheno

Swansea

Meredith House B & B - all photos

We now stay in the Meridith House B & B in Swansea. Swansea doesn't seem to have the wow factor of Bicheno, nor the history of Westbury - but it is overlooking Coles Bay and the Freycinet Peninsula.

Nine Mile Beach & Dolphin Sands - all photos

Much too cold to swim. You can see the mountains of Freycinet on the horizon.

View from Nine Mile Beach with the mountains of Freycinet on the horizon

Freycinet National Park

Cape Tourville Lighthouse - all photos

We had to backtrack from Swansea to get to the Freycinet National Park. When we arrived it was raining lightly (the first bad weather for our holiday). Lucky for us the weather was clearing by the time we got to the lighthouse.

The lighthouse was a bit disappointing - I guess I thought you could at least climb up and read about some of the history.

The rocky coastline was impressive.

The rocky coastline looks like stacked bricks when viewed from the  Cape Tourville Lighthouse


Sleepy Bay - all photos

We went to Sleepy Bay, based on a recommendation from the National Parks officer.

Sleepy Bay was stunning and beautiful. It certainly made our visit to Freycinet worth it.


Stunning vista of the ocean framed by a rocky shoreline at Sleepy Bay

It's a pity we couldn't see more of the Freycinet National Park - but other sights (like Wineglass Bay) were too far for our young child and my back.

Richmond

On the way down to Hobart we stopped in to the historic town of Richmond.

Richmond Bridge - all photos

The Richmond Bridge was built in 1825 by convict labour. It is the oldest bridge still in use in Australia.

View of the arches of Richmond bridge - the oldest bridge still in use in Australia

Old Hobart Town Model Village - all photos

Old Hobart Town is a model village of Hobart based on plans from 1820.

As a photographer, I'm aware of a technique whereby people distort real photos so that they appear to be of miniature models. For example, photographing a real train so it looks like it is actually a toy train set. A friend of mine has some great photos showing the effect.

Anyway, I couldn't decide on how I should shoot these photos of actual miniatures. Some have a shallow depth of field and look down from above therefore accentuating the miniature model effect. While others have a larger depth of field where I've tried to make them look real(ish).

Miniature figures on a path at Old Hobart Town Model Village

Tahune Forest Airwalk, Geeveston - all photos

The Tahune Forest Airwalk is just a big promotion for Forestry Tasmania. While it certainly demonstrates the ability of the forest to regenerate even after clearfelling, I don't think it is then justification for them to have access to old-growth forests. They don't take into account the loss of diversification of species after regrowth, or the impact on wildlife.

This 597m walk amongst the trees gets you 20m above the ground. A cantilever section that is 48m above the river level, provides views of the forests and the junction of the Picton and Huon Rivers.

Tall trees viewed from the Tahune Forest Air Walk

Mount Wellington

Mount Wellington is 1271m high and is a great panoramic view over Hobart. Make sure you bring some warm clothes, since it dropped from 17 degrees to 8 degrees at the top - and it was blowing a gale too.

Here's a stitched panorama produced by joining multiple photos together:

View from the top of Mount Wellington

Ross - all photos

Now driving back to Devonport through the midland route, we stop off in the historic town of Ross.

Similar to the town of Richmond, Ross also has a old bridge built by convict labour - this one built in 1836 (being the third oldest bridge still in use in Australia).

Ross Bridge reflected in the still water


Clarendon Homestead - all photos

Clarendon Homestead in Evandale is a Georgian mansion built in 1838. It is now restored and owned by the National Trust. It has large formal gardens and beautiful parklands.

Front entrance to the grand Georgian mansion Clarendon Homestead

4 comments:

Ben Thomas said...

A great read and really nice photos Mark - they look very professional.

Teh Dude said...

Tasmania looks amazing - plenty to do and see. I love the photos from the enchanted walk. A luxury Australia holiday is great for exploring different areas of this diverse country.

Nathan Price said...

Well done Mark, you're pics are awesome and they really portray the beauty of some of Tasmania's most amazing natural landmarks. You should check out the Discover Tasmania Blog, it has loads of info on Tasmania and it's amazing natural beauty.

Rekha Chauhan said...

Great post,very well written. thanks for sharing informative post with us. tasmania holidays