A road trip with a Tasmanian
If you’ve ever met a Tasmanian, you’ll understand my hesitation to spend a long weekend on a road trip with one, especially in their home state. The pros far outweighed the cons though, Tassie is one big beautiful island and I’ve not seen enough of it. Good mate and ex-local Alex Wise was my guide for the weekend and we were keen to pack in as much as we could. On the way from the airport, we jumped straight into the Dark MOFO festival.
Like a search light thrown up in Gotham City, Articulated Intersect was an incredible light show featuring 18 powerful lights that sliced through the Hobart sky above Sullivans Cove every night from dusk til dawn. Each light movable by a series of levers that were accessible to the public, it was a stunning show put together by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, a mexican-canadian electronic artist.
Next morning we were up early to head south side. Sitting at the end of a stunning drive through the Huon valley, the Hartz mountain range was our destination. Alex mentioned that these mountains were kind of underexposed in Tasmania. I really enjoy checking out the less popular spots when travelling as the chance of discovering something unique increases. Popular spots are great and they’re popular for a reason (because they’re amazing) but if you’re looking to come home from your travels with a unique story and some different photos, always make time to check out some quieter spots.
Our aim was to head up to a couple mountainside lakes and see what we could find. The hike up was stunning, long board walks through classic Tassie terrain. Halfway through the weather came in pretty severe (as did my man-flu) and visibility up high dropped to virtually nothing, we made the decision to turn back, but not before having a good look around the lakes and surrounding terrain. On the way back to the car, we made a quick side trek to Arve Falls, a stunning little waterfall not far from the main road.
Dawn patrol saw us out early the next morning to check local Hobart surf spot, Clifton beach, an amazing little spot not too far from the city. What I would give to be able to hit up a beach like that for a quick paddle before work in Melbourne. It was pretty chilly and not much swell so rather than paddle out we went for a hike along the cliffs, beautiful spot. Highly recommended for a quick trip from Hobart to fill half a day. Be sure to bring some decent shoes for the cliffs and rocks though, things can get a little sketchy at times.
Bicheno on the east coast was our next stop. Sitting in a sweet spot between Freycinet National Park and Bay of Fires, Bicheno has incredible coastline with pristine and deserted beaches. The drive in was awesome with lots of fantastic side tracks along the way that we could have spent days exploring. A main feature of Bicheno is Diamond Island and the bays that surround it. A penguin and nature reserve, Diamond is a small island just off the coast, on low tide you can wade over to it for spectacular views back to Bicheno and on decent swell several point and a heap of beach breaks would be firing. Shooting from Redbill beach on sunrise and in the middle of the night was incredible, as was wandering the rocks south of the town the night before.
A quick weekend getaway is always a great way to recharge and I can’t recommend Tasmania enough. Yes I was hesitant to hit the road with a Tasmanian, perhaps it was just my mainland stereotypes speaking but perhaps it was genuine fear I’d catch a bit of Tas-mania and never want to leave, whatever the case, I can’t wait to get back down there.
Big Thanks to Alex Wise for showing me around, check out more of his work here. He’s got a great blog, definitely worth following if you’re into all things photography.