Photographer Alfonso Calero has made regular trips to Tasmania over the last 10 years. Only a 1.5 hour flight from Sydney has you in Launceston, ready to explore and photograph the diverse and untouched landscapes within. We’ll let his shutter tell the story…
Around 40% of Tasmania is protected National Parks and Reserves. If you’re looking to get off the grid and discover a magical wilderness, this is the place. Here are my favourite places to photograph during spring and autumn.
Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
A 2-hour drive from Launceston Airport takes you to Dove Lake and a spectacular view of Cradle Mountain. Tasmania National Parks have various walks that can take 2 hours or 6 days, depending on your level of fitness.
You can expect to see a few wombats, wallabies, and Tasmanian devils (in captivity). Unfortunately, there is a lot of road kill so best not to drive through these parks in the dark. The weather can turn on you at any moment so best to come well prepared with warm clothing and weatherproof gear.
Bicheno is located 176km southeast of Launceston. It used to be a whaling town in the early 1800s. Today it’s a charming seaside resort town and the local fishing industry’s catch includes substantial quantities of abalone, crayfish, scallops, and trevally. In the photo below you can see the famous Rocking Rock (an 80 tonne piece of granite). There are a number of interesting access points onto the rocks, which have a distinctive red color as a result of deposits of red lichen. The area is perfect for a slow shutter and a 10-stop filter if you choose to shoot in the middle of the day.
At night along the coastal beaches, you might spot some fairy penguins coming in after sunset.
Sleepy Bay, Freycinet National Park
Just a 30 minute drive from Bicheno is Coles Bay. Famous features of the park include its red and pink granite formations and a series of jagged granite peaks in a line called ‘The Hazards’. If you’re lucky you might spot some Bennett’s wallabies, brushtail possums, eastern quoll, echidnas, and wombats. Out in the ocean you might spot some humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins.
Up in the sky or perched on trees are white-bellied eagle, black-browed albatross, brown falcon, and fairy-wren to name a few. Banksia and Eucalyptus Gum trees dominate the area. There are various walks but the most common would have to be Wineglass Bay which has been voted one of the top 10 beaches in Australia.
The Tessellated Pavement State Reserve is on the Tasman Peninsula near Eaglehawk Neck. The region is popular with a short drive from here to Port Arthur Convict Settlement. Also known for being the site of the deadliest mass shooting in Australia’s history, the area has a melancholic feel.
The Tessellated Pavement is the best-known example of the geological phenomenon of the same name. The rocks appear as rectangular blocks, giving a naturally man-made look. The best time of year to photograph the chessboard-like pavement is in May when moss on the rocks is more abundant.
Only an hour and a half drive out of Hobart is Mount Field National Park, where you’ll find Russell and Horseshoe Falls. Nestled in a moss forest are towering swamp gums, the tallest flowering plant on earth, and species typical of wet forests and cool temperate rainforests, such as dogwood, musk, and myrtle. Towards the falls, the track is framed by stunning tall tree ferns.
In Liffey, many farms have abandoned houses and sheds. Rumored to have paranormal activity, this woolshed stands on its last legs. Liffey is also known for its cascading waterfalls.
The Derwent Valley
In May, autumn brings all the colours of the Derwent Valley to life. Head out to see the poplars that run along the Derwent River, only an hour’s drive from Hobart.