#710. Un-destination photography Tasmania

By Dallas Thomas | Travel Photography

Apr 07

Could Tasmania be classed as un-destination photography as decreed by Pascal and Philippe in #582. Un-destination photography in Aigues-Mortes, France

First thoughts are no, let’s review the rules:

  • Beautiful in its own way – tick
  • Off the beaten path for all but local togs – tick
  • Challenging, because of its lack of iconic features – tick

I’m sure some readers may recognise the place names but most likely not the images.

Tasmania is a landscape photographer’s dream, with huge areas of pristine wilderness, mountains, lakes, rivers, waterfalls (I failed miserably to capture any worthy of sharing) and coastline just take your pick. The constant cloud assisted with the lighting.

Cradle Mountain is one of the best known locations and a place I’ve wanted to visit for many years. But as, sometimes destinations close to home, well, 2 hours on a plane and then another 2 hours are neglected for far off travels to other world destinations. 

Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife describe it as: 

“The jagged contours of Cradle Mountain epitomise the feel of a wild landscape, while ancient rainforest and alpine heathlands, button grass and stands of colourful deciduous beech provide a range of environments to explore. Icy streams cascading out of rugged mountains, stands of ancient pines mirrored in the still waters of glacial lakes and a wealth of wildlife.”


Cradle Mountain


Button grass


First impressions are that I wouldn’t argue! The pristine wildness needs to be seen to be believed, especially if you are a city dweller. Dove Lake in the foreground and the majestic Cradle Mountain behind covered partly in mist is a sight to behold.

Dove Lake with Cradle in the background


The old boat shed


Early morning Dove lake


Australian Gum Tree surrounded by button grass



Thousand Lakes is a place like no other. It is almost otherworldly, remote and barren yet beautiful and unique. Wrapped inside Tasmania’s World Heritage Area, Thousand Lakes Lodge is your haven to simply relax, or your base to explore the trails and lakes of this unique alpine wilderness, and discover the real Tasmania. While I was at the lodge I attended a weekend photographic workshop (at my own expense) run by Roy &  Coreena Vieth of Shutterbug Walkabouts – a very worthwhile experience.

Unfortunately the lake water levels are down, this doesn’t lessen the beauty of the landscape and its surrounds. 

Cracker sunset even with blown out highlights and all



Long exposure B&W


Shooting Astro in a gale is something different the foreground shrubs didn’t want to play nicely, you would have needed a shutter speed over 1/500 plus to freeze them in the conditions we encountered.

A little milky way and the Southern Cross


Coles Bay faces east and is the perfect place to capture sunrise, on this occasion the clouds played along. Spectacular rocks with orange algae are dotted along the coast line. The water colour is a deep aqua.

Coles Bay


Coles Bay Sunrise


Coles Bay Sunrise


Coles Bay Sunset

Trees are an integral part of any landscape and I found myself wanting to try and capture them on my travels.


Binalong Bay is located in the Bay of Fires and has a  similar landscape to Coles Bay except it has long white sandy beaches.

Seascape photography is real hit and miss genre especially if you are after that brilliant colour explosion. Mostly they are dull and uninspiring, occasionally you are rewarded.

One of those rare colour bombs, well nearly anyway!


The Binaway Bay Tree something of a must shoot when in the area.


Wilderness/rainforest is abundant on the east coast areas and is dotted with numerous waterfalls and lovely walks.


This has been my first real landscape photography trip, prior experience has been mainly with seascapes, as a personal observation I find it much harder to get good composition with pure landscape work. This is something that I’ll pursue in the future.

In summary the small area of Tasmania that was explored and photographed by myself and 2 friends Alan and Phil was a very rewarding experience and if you are every in the neighbourhood drop in, spend some time, you won’t be disappointed, beware the weather can be fickle we were lucky and only had rain one morning out of 9.

Images were taken on a Nikon D810 using either a Zeiss Milvus 2.8/21, 1.4/35, 1.4/50 or 2/135, filters were used in some shots.


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  • philberphoto says:

    Dallas, your pictures just flat out blew my mind. Jem after jewel after wow! after wall-hanger! Total congrats! While this could be an un-destination, just can’t pick any un-favorites…

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Number 1 – it’s only “off the beaten track” for people from the other side of the world. Aussies have been trekking through Tassie since about the mid 19th century.

    Number 2 – the weather is more benign than other parts of Australia. Ignoring rain, which is an occasional pest for ‘togs, the climate is generally less subject to extremes of hot or cold, dry or wet, than other places. The reason is because it’s a smallish island, surrounded (as islands often are) by the ocean. I once had to go to a week-long conference which was re-routed to Queensland, FAR closer to the equator, rather than being expected to freeze to death in Tasmania. Unfortunately, the temperature was 10 degrees hotter in Tasmania for the duration of the conference, and we all froze to death in Queensland, instead.

    Number 3 – I defy you to find scallops anywhere else in the world, that are better than Tasmanian scallops. And if you’re keen on the food provide to Paris from the Ile de France, you’d love the rest of the food in Tasmania.

    Oh – and Tasmania is the ONLY state of Australia which has achieved carbon neutral status. Perhaps it’s because of their huge forestry reservers and their hydro power system. And the fact that if you drove around Tasmania as far as I did once, years ago, to move from one Aussie capital to a new job in the the one next door, you would get so dizzy that you would have to stop the car and give up before you finished doing it.

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    PS – Dallas I couldn’t resist coming back and having another peek at all your photos. Next time, try the south west corner of the island – the Franklin/Gordon River complex, which starred in a major battle between “progressives” and “conservationists” 40 years ago, is stunning in its beauty. That’s not to say there aren’t other equally beautiful places elsewhere – but of course that means they aren’t in Tasmania, either!

    • Pete, Agree Tassie has lots to offer and as they say “I’ll back” to explore more in the future not sure when that will be.

      • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

        I might try talking you into a detour. When I was a kid, my uncle in Melbourne took me for a drive with my cousins, to the Dandenongs – to a magical place, where I was shown platypuses swimming in the creek. The scenery on the way there and back was incredible. I don’t remember, 60 years on, exactly where it was, but I am sure my cousins can still tell me. You can add it to your bucket list – you didn’t fly direct into Tassie, I feel sure you came through Melbourne to get there, so it wouldn’t be too much of a detour for you.

  • Anton Neilson says:

    The orange algae are lichens.

  • Alan Park says:

    Dallas you have been busy! Wonderful photos showcasing the Tassie trip and great travel documentary. I particularly love your Binalong tree

  • Adam Bonn says:

    So little worthwhile to add except that these are stunning images, a place in the world that’s very far from me, and full of things that aren’t really my bag to shoot, yet I find myself completely drawn in by your images Dallas

  • Boris says:

    Tassie is (probably together with Iceland) my favorite place in the world for landscape photography. I’ve been there twice and the next two trips to Tassie are already planned (despite more than 35 hours of travel time one way from Germany). Therefore I really enjoyed seeing your images here on DS.
    But in my opinion it’s not really an un-destination. Contrary to the definition above it has some really famous iconic places, like for example the Dove Lake boat shed and the Bay of Fires you shot, as well as the Wineglass Bay and the Horseshoe Falls.
    If anybody plans to travel to Tassie end of December and/or next summer we could meet there. Just send me a short notice at wild-places.com.

    • Thanks Boris, your images are spectacular, to be truthful you are right Tassie is not un-destination but sounds good in an article title. I would love to have joined but I will not be around unfortunately. By chance are you the Boris that Philippe has mentioned to me on more than one occasion?

      • Boris says:

        Thanks Dallas! And yes, I’ve travelled together with Philippe to the Lofoten and Patagonia. It was a great experience and we had a really good time shooting together in these awesome places.

  • Tim Collisbird says:

    Great images, all of which should sell Tasmania as a destination for landscape photographers, great variety great accommodation great Island ..

  • Kim Howe says:

    I liked my photographic trip to Tasmania so much that I moved here over ten years ago. While the selected areas aren’t really un-destination there are plenty of un-destination places in Tassie. I have 50 acres of my own Tassie paradise (well, actually Paradise is a town about 15kms north). It’s not only a great landscape photography destination, but is great for wildlife too – Platypus down at the Mersey River bridge 1.5kms away, Echidna wandering around and posing, not to mention the local birdlife. So long as I don’t get swamped, I’d be interested in possibly meeting up with visiting photographers – and may be able to point to a few interesting locations.

    • Thanks Kim I’m sure many would love to meet a local wine I done you way again i will take you up on your offer .Boris who also commented will be travelling down your way later in the year so maybe contact him.


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