TWO RECENTLY RELEASED MOVIES — Van Diemen’s Land and The Hunter — caused me to reflect on my trip to Australia in late 2011.
Van Diemen’s Land, better known today as Tasmania, is Australia’s only island state and a place that my camera took a particular shining to. After watching these movies and having so many memories come flooding back, it made me think about the beautiful locations I saw during my time there that I would love to see as a movie backdrop. Like these.
With an abundance of streams and rivers, it felt like every couple of minutes I was passing a sign pointing out another waterfall. Here, the log of a fallen tree balances itself against the flowing waters
The stone building which houses Cascade Brewery was built in 1832; it's still actively producing beer today.
The Richmond bridge is Australia's oldest standing bridge. Geese gliding across the water and the sound of the wind flowing through the reeds were the only things left to contemplate.
The preservation of Richmond's sandstone structures are a big tourist draw.
Hobart is the capital of Tasmania, but as Mark, from The Lark Distillery, explained to me a when I met him, it's a country city. It's still got a small town feel where you can be downtown one minute and in a forest on a bush walk the next.
I came across this stairway on Bruny Island, a small island off the coast of Tasmania. Once at the top, the image on the right was the view that I had.
Port Arthur is one of the cornerstones of Tasmanian history. It had a short lived life as a timber mill station for a few years around 1830. In 1833, when the penitentiary was established, it became the Port Arthur as people know it today. The penal colony was setup as a secondary offender site; it was where the bad of the bad were sent. Convicts who committed a second offense while already in the custody of the British were sent packing down to this lovely establishment.
The Southern Tasman coastline is a hell of an intimidating place. We were touring the area on what the captain called a "calm" day. These stone pillars, hundreds of feet high, are the first thing that massive swells, produced by Antarctic storms, encounter after brewing up thousands of miles to the South. It's an imposing landscape and a place you would not want to find yourself going for a little dip.
Tasmania has roadtrip written all over it. Endless amounts of unexplored roads, no traffic and views around every corner.
The North Eastern Coastline of Tasmania is screaming for Tim Burton to make this the backdrop of one his films.
Wineglass Bay has been voted as one of the top ten beaches in the world.
The Bay of Fires got its name from a French explorer who saw fires on the beaches lit by the aborigines back in the 1700's when it was "discovered" by Westerners. The name can easily be confused for coming from the color of its rocks. The rocks have an orangey glow around them and really make a surreal scene against the backdrop of the white sand beaches.
While in Tasmania, I had the chance to meet many wonderful individuals and talk about the expanding global market for Tassie wines. We spoke of the hunt for the the perfect Pinot Noir - the holy grail for vintners, as my guide described it. As we sipped a glass of Pinot, siphoned directly from the oak barrels in the vineyards storage house, I may not have fully understood everything about tannins and the recent shift towards gastronomical tourism in Tasmania that the guide spoke about… but the wine that I drank sure made me feel like I did.
Tasmania may be a hiker's dream come true. Due to Tasmania's remote Southern location, lack of major development and distance from other major land masses, it is actually where the world's cleanest air has been recorded.
Not another soul in the park. Chirping birds and the crashing sound of fresh water were my only company at Liffey Falls.
For a few weeks of the year, the Wynard tulip festival turns this oceanfront patch of land into a real life kaleidoscope.
When I was making my way through Western Tasmania and saw this scene I stopped the car for a little rest stop. It's not hard to get yourself in a real relaxed mindset when you can pull of the "highway", stare at this, and not have one car pass you for half of an hour.
Cradle Mountain is Tasmania's most famous National Park. As I drove up the narrow strip of bitumen on Dove Lake road, I couldn't help but be reminded in a strange way that I was driving up the valley floor of Yosemite National Park in California. Although the parks are different in many ways, there were subtle reminders, which more times than not, brought me back to the Sierra Nevadas. It's as if Cradle Mountain was the smaller more manageable sibling to Yosemite.
The island feels like a last frontier of sorts. Especially when a thick blanket of fog moves in right before sunset like it did on this day, which made it near impossible to see the road in front of me.
Pristine creeks snake their way through green pastures, while moss covered stones work their hardest to divert the waters path.
Cruising along the Gordon River, I felt guilty because the river was so tranquil, so beautiful and undisturbed. I felt bad being on a boat that was sending out ripples from our wake destroying this. I've never seen such gorgeous reflections on water before.
The surface of the earth which surrounds Queenstown looks like Mars. Due to a mixture of deforestation from local mining and heavy annual rainfall (which has cleared away any remaining topsoil), the earth now has this other worldly look to it. I remember driving through forests for hours and then out of nowhere winding my way up these barren copper colored hills and thinking to myself, Where the hell am I?