Through the Southern Wilds: South West Tasmania

January 03, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Happy New Year folks.

I am back home after a seven day trip through southern Tasmania. This was my second trip to Australia's southern most state and this time I took in the south-west corner of the island, home to the beautiful and remote South-West National Park. Covering a vast expanse of wilderness, the south-west offers plenty of landscape and wildlife photographic opportunities. I certainly recommend it as a destination for those seeking solitude away from the crowds.

You can access the South West National Park from Hobart, travelling via road past the ever popular Mount Field National Park and Maydena. From Maydena onwards, you start hitting miles of ancient pine and myrtle forests, rolling button grass hillsides and rocky landscape before ending up in Strathgordon. Other than a wilderness lodge and a worker's camp for the nearby Gordon Dam, there isn't much going on in Strathgordon, so it's best you come fully prepared and ready to hike the surrounds. 

Mount Wedge

South-West National Park, Tasmania

8 seconds, f/16, ISO 100

I visited Strathgordon over the Christmas period during the height of the Australian summer. From this recent experience, here are a few tips that you can take away. Firstly, the days are long and bright, with the sun rising before 6am and then setting around 9pm. This means the optimal golden light window is small. I found the best time to capture landscape images was after sunset and in the subsequent 30-45 minutes of twilight. Dawn shoots weren't terribly productive as the area was almost always blanketed in cloud, but you can expect this change depending on the weather and season. Outside of these windows, I packed the camera away and went on a few hikes and explored new locations for those evening and dawn shoots. My second tip is to pack light but pack right. One camera, a tripod and a wide angle and a standard length zoom lens is sufficient. If you have neutral density and graduated neutral density filters, make sure you pack these. Finally and most importantly, be prepared to be creative with your compositions. You will be surrounded by magnificent views but capturing this vastness within the confines of a frame will be challenging. While there are many beautiful peaks, the peaks don't dominate any particular area like some locations you may find in New Zealand and elsewhere. So be prepared to be creative with your compositions by making use of strong foreground subjects and leading and/or angular lines where you can find them.

 

Lake Pedder from Strathgordon

South-West National Park, Tasmania

4 seconds, f/18, ISO 100 

 

In summary, the South-West National Park is certainly worth a visit and a landscape photographers dream. At the peak of the Christmas season, it was free of all the tourists and travelers who typically flock to the more accessible locations. I found it to be a great place to enjoy a quiet experience in the wilderness and focus on the core elements of what makes landscape and wildlife photography so addictive.

If you want any further advice or tips on how to get the most out of a trip to this region, please feel free to get in touch.

Cheers,

Russell

 

 

 

 

 


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