To give you more of an idea as to what you can expect during a visit to Tasmania, we spoke to professional photographer, Cameron Blake, Director of Tasmania’s Overland Trek Photography Tours, who has been exploring the southern island to capture its overwhelming natural beauty, charm and character. Here, he reveals the unmissable parts of Tassie, what he loves most about the island, and why you shouldn’t forget your camera.
Why should travellers and tourists make the journey over to Tasmania from mainland Australia? What makes it unique?
Tasmania is unique in the way that it is unlike anything on the mainland of Australia. The small island of Tasmania is packed full of amazing natural sights ranging from ancient rainforests to Jurassic mountainous landscapes to brilliant white sandy beaches. To travel to Tasmania is only a short flight from Melbourne or Sydney and the island can be travelled around in only a few days. Spending a week or two in Tasmania will allow you to experience everything there is to offer. Aside from the natural beauty, Tasmania has an amazing collection of historic architecture and townships scattered all over the island.
As someone who lives in Tasmania, what are your favourite things to do that take advantage of the island’s landscape?
Living in Tasmania is perfect for someone like myself, a photographer. The ability to have some of the world’s most amazing landscapes in your backyard makes it so easy to just pack up for a weekend and explore the untouched regions of the island.
Easily my favourite location within Tassie is the Cradle Mountain region. This region offers so many differing landscapes with unique fauna and flora. I enjoy heading up to Cradle with camera gear in hand and finding new and never explored regions. Hiking through the rainforests with no one else in sight is something that I cherish greatly and something not commandingly found in the world today.
Can you suggest anywhere that visitors should go to eat and drink?
A close second to Tasmania’s amazing natural appeal is the food and wine. Thanks to Tasmania’s clear air and healthy weather, there is an abundance of food and wine choices for the hungry traveller. If looking for a great place to eat and relax over a few beverages, then the Salamanca area of Hobart is a must. Numerous restaurants and bars with a healthy nightlife is very appealing for a night out.
What would you advise travellers do before and after an Overland Track Photography Tour?
If you are signed up for one of my photography tours you can ensure that you will get a great dose of the natural beauty of Tasmania. The Overland Track covers everything Tasmania offers for nature lovers, so after completing the tour I would suggest heading to Hobart (where our tours drop you off) and explore the southern regions of Tasmania. Locations such as the Port Arthur Historic Site, MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) Mt Wellington, Salamanca Market and Hobart.
Another great region to explore is the East Coast. There is a magical drive up the coast that has been recently voted one of the top 10 coastal drives in the world. So hire yourself a car and start exploring the East Coast, Wineglass Bay and the Bay Of Fires.
Where or what is your favourite photography opportunity?
To me the best location along the Overland Track for photography would have to be either the first night’s camp under the peak of Barn Bluff or the hiking through the old growth rainforests on days four and five. Our campsite at Barn Bluff is one of my favourites. After the first day of walking you put packs down, set up camp and relax in the shadows of this mighty peak. This peak offers some brilliant photography opportunities as the sun sets behind it.
You offer tour passengers the option to scale Mt Ossa; how is this undertaken and in what condition? Does the whole group have to or just a select few? How does a passenger request to do it?
Mt Ossa is the highest peak in Tasmania and one that demands respect. Each tour will have the option to climb this peak if the weather conditions allow. The climb is quite an exposed climb so safety of our clients is always paramount. If the weather is fine then we will gauge from our group who wants to climb Ossa and go from there. If there is only a few people that want to go, that’s fine, we have at least two guides on every tour so one can climb and the others can go relax and set up camp for the day. Our tours allow plenty of flexibility along the way and we can accommodate for most requests to explore the regions of the track if required.
What is Tasmania weather like? Is it typical to Australia? Can it ever affect the tour?
Tasmania is synonymous for her “interesting” weather. Weather in Tasmania varies, and varies quickly, but most of the time days are very similar to the mainland. On average, Tasmania’s weather is about 5-7 degrees cooler than, for example, Melbourne. Summers are warm and winters are cold. We run our tours in the peak hiking season which is from spring to autumn. Winter tours can be arranged but minimal number conditions would apply.
Where would you advise travellers to Tasmania go that aren’t covered in the tour?
If travelling to Tasmania and exploring without the hiking pack and multi day walking, I would suggest that the best plan of attack would be to do a Lap and the Map. Start in Hobart and do a multi-day tour of the island. The west and east coast offer a complete contrast to each other. The alpine regions are simply magnificent and the small towns throughout the island always offer a great insight to the beauty of Tasmania and her history.
You can discover Tasmania with the Overland Track Tour and Cradle Mountain Workshops of Overland Track Photography Tours.
For more information and to book tours visit www.camblakephotography.com.au
Photos courtesy of Cam Blake Photography