with Jeremy Woodhouse & Luke O'Brien
(15 days/14 nights)
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?
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.
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
Visitors to Tasmania seek so much more than cocktails and selfies; instead drawn by adventure, learning, authentic experience and genuine connection. With this in mind, we have created a new category of hotel, a storytelling hotel, that goes well beyond mere historical interpretation, to become an immersive storytelling experience.
In the late afternoon we will head up Mt Wellington to photograph the diverse landscape, finishing off with elevated views of the city of Hobart below.
O/N Macq1, Hobart
Day 3 — Hobart - Corinna
After an early sunrise shoot in Hobart we will have breakfast and then begin our drive to Corinna stopping off at Mt Field National Park, Lake St Clair and the scenic Nelson Falls.
Mt Field, along with Freycinet, is Tasmania’s oldest National Park. Renowned for its majestic tall trees, stunning green rainforest and fast flowing waterfalls we will spend the morning here on our way to the western wilds.
A highlight of Mt Field is walking among the Eucalyptus regnans – the king of the eucalypts, and the tallest flowering plant in the world. Russell Falls and Horseshoe Falls are a must see and provide great photographic opportunities.
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.
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.
Day 4 — Corinna
Half day cruise aboard the “Arcadia II” to the Pieman Heads on Tasmania’s west coast where we explore the windswept beaches. Late afternoon coastal photo 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.
Originally opened up as a soldier settlement area at the end of World War 1, today it only has a few permanent residents and numerous holiday shacks. The fishing is excellent. Granville Harbour is 30kms along a sealed road which then turns onto a gravel road for a further 8kms. Granville is a small fishing and holiday community.
Day 5 — Corinna
Today we begin with a private boat charter to explore the tributaries of the Pieman river—hopefully there will be some early morning mist.
Based on your energy level, in the afternoon we will walk up nearby Mt Donaldson. Located 10 minutes north of Corinna, the Mount Donaldson walk offers sweeping panoramas of the Tarkine, the Pieman River and out to the Southern Ocean. Beginning from the Savage River bridge, this medium difficulty walk climbs through rainforest before reaching the exposed buttongrass moorland mountain summit at 420m. From the moment the trail enters the thick forest, you are welcomed with a lush patchwork of stunning moss-covered rainforest trees and ferns. For the next few kilometres, the trail gradually climbs, weaving its way through the beautiful forest. Keep an eye out for freshwater crayfish and their burrows as the trail ascends.
After 45 minutes of climbing, the trail opens onto rugged buttongrass moorland and the Pieman River comes into view. For the next hour, the trail zigzags across the exposed section of the mountain. Loose rocks and narrow foot placements can make walking difficult. In poor weather, hiking this section is more challenging due to high winds. Eventually, after a number of false summits, a trig point marks the top of the mountain at 420m.
Once at the top all-encompassing views of the Tarkine wilderness area, the Pieman River and the Southern Ocean are presented.
Day 6 — Corinna - Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
After breakfast we will begin our drive to Cradle Mountain, stopping off to hike to Philosopher Falls. You will enjoy the wide variety of fungi and the amazing myrtle rainforest along the track to Philosopher Falls. 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.
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.
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.
O/N Cradle Mountain Hotel
Day 7 — Cradle Mountain
For the next 2 days we have a variety of activities. Depending on the energy level of the group we will explore some of the scenic trails around the park which could include any one of the following:
Enchanted Forest Walk is a 0.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is accessible year-round.
King Billy Pine Lookout Track is a 1.2 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located in the state of Tasmania, Australia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.
Cradle Summit and Hansons Peak via Overland Track and Face Track is a 10.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking.
Crater Lake, Marions Lookout, Lake Lilla, Dove Lake Loop is a 5.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located in the state of Tasmania, Australia that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from September until April.
O/N Cradle Mountain Hotel
Day 8 — Cradle Mountain
Scenic photography at Cradle Mountain. Optional scenic flight if interested.
O/N Cradle Mountain Hotel
Day 9 — Cradle Mountain - The Bay of Fires
Using St Helens as our base, we will spend the next 2 days photographing around the Bay of Fires including an excursion out to Picnic Rocks and to Eddystone Point.
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.
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 Bay of Fires
Day 10 — The Bay of Fires
Landscape photography around the Bay of Fires. We will photograph sunset at Binalong Bay.
O/N Bay of Fires
Day 11 — Bay of Fires - Freycinet National Park
Scenic photography around 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 12 — 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 13 — Freycinet - Eaglehawk Neck (Tesselated Pavement)
After a sunrise shoot at Sleepy Bay we will return for breakfast before heading down to Eaglehawk Neck where we will spend the next 2 nights. We will photograph seascapes at the Tesselated Pavement towards sunset.
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.
O/N Eaglehawk Neck
Day 14 — Eaglehawk Neck
Sunrise shoot at the Tesselated Pavement.
After lunch we will head out to Cape Huay where we will hike out to the headland. The Cape Hauy Walking Track is a 6.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round. It's a long journey to the end, and there are lots of stairs along the way, but in the end the view is worth the hike! The rock stairs along the way are very well maintained. Absolutely stunning walk.
O/N Eaglehawk Neck
Day 15 — Eaglehawk Neck - Hobart
If you would like another crack at the Tesselated Pavement this will be your chance. By mid-morning we will be ready to head back to Hobart stopping on the way to photograph anything of interest.
Arrive in Hobart in time to catch your flights home.
END OF THE TOUR
Average Weather in Tasmania in Nov/Dec
7 SPOTS OPEN
Tour Cost: $7,600
Maximum group size: 7
Tour Fee Includes
- Ground Transportation with local photographer/guide for 15 days
- All meals
- Tour accommodation, as listed
- Tasman Cruise
- Corinna (Pieman River cruise)
- Corinna (Private Boat Charter)
- National Parks entry fees
- Tasmanian Devil Park.
Tour Fee Does not Include
- Arrival/departure flights
- Optional scenic flights
- Travel insurance
- Pre- and post-tour accommodation
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:
605 Rouen Drive,
McKinney TX 75070
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.