Monthly Archives: April 2017

Best Things To Do in Tasmania this Spring

Spring is a magical time of year to visit Tasmania and signals the start of the mean tourism season in Tasmania that starts in October and runs to around Easter. If you are planning a trip for next spring in Tasmania then here are a few suggestions from us for things to do.

Raft the Franklin River

Rafting season on the Franklin River starts in October and runs through to April. The spring months on the river tend to be quite interesting with snow melt from the high plains around Lake St Clair creating higher water levels and more exciting rapids. On the lower sections of the river you can often see a huge array of bird species including the huge Sea Eagles that nest high up above the river. If you are looking for a company to go down the ditch with check out Tasmanian Expeditions or Franklin River Rafting.

Explore the new trails

During winter the local trail fairies get to work building new trails and upgrading old ones. Recently we have seen some amazing tracks and new trail networks pop up from the new Blue Derby trails in North East Tasmania to the amazing Clarence and Meehan Range trail networks. If you really want a challenge make sure to sign up for the Meehan Monster race happening on the 25th of October.

Explore Maria Island

Maria Island off the East Coast of Tasmania is a virtually untouched national park with heaps to see and do. The Island has no motorised vehicles so the only way to get around is on foot or by bike which you can hire or bring your own. There is also very little accommodation on Maria Island so if you plan to stay overnight or for a few days then best bring a tent. The easiest way to get to Maria Island is by the ferry which runs multiple times a day between Triabunna and Maria Island.

Bloomin’ Tulips Festival

The Bloomin’ Tulips Festival is a one day event happening on the 10th of October and celebrates the vibrant colours of the tulips that grow throughout the region around Table Cape. The festival features everything from art, music and great food to more interesting events like a colour run along the beach.

Walk the Three Capes Track

The new Three Capes track on the Tasman Peninsula opens in November 2015 and is set to become one of the most popular and spectacular walks in Australia. The walk is a multi-day 46km trek taking in Cape Pillar and Cape Hauy along the huge dolerite cliffs that tower above the water. The walk also uses huts and dedicated camp sites for accommodation that include mattresses which also means you can make the trip with a lot less gear.

Explore Bruny Island

Bruny Island is always a popular destination all year round but spring is a great time to visit with slightly cooler weather and some great sunsets. Spring is also breeding season for marine life such as whales and fur seals with Bruny Island attracting both. Last year whales were spotted almost daily in Adventure Bay and you can also take a boat cruise that will take you around the cliffs and to the seal colonies.

Wine Tasting in the Tamar Valley

The Tamar valley is one of Tasmania’s largest and best known wine producing regions with a number of large wineries including Jansz and Josef Chromey Wines being based in the region. Many of the wineries offer tours as well as cellar doors and tastings so you can easily try a great variety of our local wines. There are also a number of bus tours from Launceston if you feel like getting a little tipsy over the day.

Road Trip on the East Coast

The East Coast has some of the best driving in Australia with the coastal roads providing some spectacular views. Driving from Hobart north you get to take in some amazing spots including Freycinet National Park and Coles Bay. Further north at St Helens you can explore the amazing Bay of Fires and see the famous red and orange lichen covered rocks. The beaches are also perfect for swimming though maybe wait till November if you don’t want a cold shock.

Visit the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens

The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens are some of the oldest in Australia and contain a wealth of Tasmanian horticultural heritage. During spring many parts of the gardens come to life with many parts of the garden coming into bloom. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of gardening or gardens this is a great spot to take a picnic or just relax in the spring sun.

Visit the West Coast

The West Coast is an awesome road trip to make from Hobart taking you over the high planes along the Lyell Highway to Queenstown and Strahan. If the drive doesn’t wow you then make sure to take a cruise on Macquarie Harbour and up the Gordon River which is absolutely stunning to see. You can also jump on the West Coast Wilderness Railway and explore the forrest up close in a restored steam train.

Amazing Winter in Tasmania

Spring is here but winter has been long, very cold and full of fun things to do. From Dark MOFO to all the amazing snow that had Hobartians freaking out. We keep pretty close tabs on all the things happening on social media, here is all the stuff you guys were showing off and interested in this winter.

Dark MOFO

Dark MOFO was back for it’s third year with huge public art exhibitions and some amazing performances. This year we saw Dark Park take over much of the waterfront area around Macquarie Wharf with some amzing displays including the huge fire organ and Bass Bath.

Lots of Snow

With one of the coldest winters on record we got an amazing amount of snow all around the state. From Hobart to Cradle Mountain there were plenty of places to get out and make a few snow angels. Hobart was also lucky enough to get a once in a generation dumping with snow down to sea level.

Even though it’s absolutely freezing this morning there was no return to #snowbart overnight. But because I’m not ready to let go of snow shots just yet, here’s another capture from Monday morning. Enjoy! | Canon 6D EF 24-70mm f/2.8L | 24mm, f/8, ISO 200, 1/50 second

We also saw a huge amount of snow at Ben Lomond and Mt Field offering plenty of opportunities for skiers and snow boarders to get out and explore the landscape in a different way.

We explored the unknown and landed in this Ben Lomond National Park that is 1500 meters above sea level. It was -5.5 degrees Celsius and it was the coldest I’ve ever really experienced in traveling. Thank goodness I brought my blanket over and I looked like Doctor Doom from Fantastic

Winter Aurora

We have had a number of big Auroras this winter that sent our local photography community scrambling for their gear and the car keys. A number of photographers were lucky enough to grab some amazing shots with breaks in the weather.

Festival of Voices

Festivals of Voices brings choir groups together from all of the country and the globe for a week of performances and workshops. One of the big highlights of the festival is the Bon Fire and big sing event in Salamanca where people gather for a night of singing, performances and a huge fire in the middle of Salamanca Place.

Autumn in Tasmania

We keep close tabs on what is happening all over Tasmania in social media and see plenty of amazing photos and videos produced by our community and visitors as well. Here’s what has been popular this Autumn in our social media feeds.

Turning of the Fagus

The Turning of the Fagus happens every year in Autumn and is a popular event for our local photography community. The Fagus in the Autumn months changes colour creating these amazing yellow, orange, gold and red hues that are often in stark contrast to the deep greens found throughout most of the Tasmanian landscape.

Fagus or Deciduous beech (Nothofagus gunnii) if you want to get technical is a plant native to Tasmania and not found anywhere else in the world. It grows in the more mountainous and alpine regions of Tasmania meaning it’s not always that easy to get to.

Have I told you how amazing this place is? Cradle Mountain is a photography mecca. A perfect spot for a photography workshop for 3 days… smile emoticon Here are some more shots from earlier this morning. We visited the Waldeim Chalet, Weindorfer’s Forest and then moved just down the road to Mt. Kate’s Hut. All within walking distance of each other.

Fagus is also nicknamed Tanglefoot by local walkers as it’s branches which tend to hang around ankle height are easy to get stuck in and makes walking in areas it inhabits often difficult.

New trails at Derby

Derby has seen an explosion in new trails over Autumn with the new Blue Derby trail network opening up and becoming one of the hottest destinations for mountain bikers in the Southern Hemisphere almost overnight.

 

Currently there is almost 40km of single direction trail dedicated specifically for mountain biking in and around the town of Derby with another 40km mapped out or under construction. Trails range in difficulty with multiple lines and are perfect for both XC riders and those wanting to push their new Enduro/All Mountain rigs a little faster.

If you are looking for more information make sure to check out the Ride Blue Derby website.

Snow

Our first major snow of the year arrived in early May and proceeded to drive most Tasmanians into their wardrobes to find the winter puffer jacket. Iconic spots such as Mt Wellington and Cradle Mountain all received fresh coverings with snow on a number of days this Autumn down below 700m (same altitude as the springs on Mt Wellington).

For walkers and those out on some more remote tracks this autumn the fresh snow adds an extra layer of complexity to their trips but does mean we get to see awesome shots like these.

People seem to think wombats don’t like the snow. Those people are probably right! However, fresh snow doesn’t stop a hungry #wombat from exploring and foraging for its next grassy meal. On my hands and knees, I went fully wombat mode and chased after some cuties today around Cradle Mountain – with @kathflem we found six wombats today, which is awesome added with yesterday’s eight! If you’re wanting to see these guys in the wild, this area is a hot spot for them.

The snow also doesn’t slow any of our native wildlife down with plenty of wombats being spotted braving the cold conditions. We saw some great shots on snow days from Cradle Mountain with Wallabies, Wombats and Pademelons all featuring heavily in our Instagram feeds.

A number of our photographer friends also ventured further afield with areas such as the great lakes providing some amazing shots and slippery conditions for drivers. If you plan on driving up into high altitude areas remember to take snow chains.

Bioluminescence

Hobart residents were treated to a bit of a surprise this week with bioluminescent phytoplankton washing up on a number of beaches around Hobart including at South Arm and Kingston.

Mother Nature at her finest. Here you are seeing a large number of bioluminescent dinoflagellates creating phosphorescence in breaking waves. The most frequently encountered bioluminescent organisms may be the dinoflagellates present in the surface layers of the sea, which are responsible for the sparkling phosphorescence sometimes seen at night in disturbed water. This was my first time seeing this occurrence. No trick photography, no filters, this is what I could see with my eyes! Beautiful! As you walked towards it the ground glowed where ever you placed your feet! Was I excited? You bet!

The phytoplankton are a form of algae that under the right conditions can bloom and wash up on beaches creating this amazing light display.

The phytoplankton in spots were over an inch deep and up to two metres wide enabling people to walk out into it and set off the light generating chemical reaction. Even ripples and small waves were enough to generate the amazing blue light.

Shipsterns

Autumn is the perfect time of year for surfers visiting Tasmania with antarctic swells from the Southern Ocean smashing up against Tasmania creating some massive surf breaks.

The massive break at Shipsterns Bluff on the Tasman Peninsula produces huge 20 foot barrels and attracts some of the best big wave surfers in the world. This surfing spot is also incredibly dangerous with a history of causing broken bones and near death experiences.