As Far As You Can Go

As we had done the Hartz Mountain hike the day we arrived, instead of the next day, we found we had a day up our sleeve on our recent Tasmania trip. We were due to spend the night at Mt Nelson, a suburb of Hobart, but we had all day after spending the night at the free campground at Arve River, way downstream from the falls in the yesterdays image. 
So we checked out the map and the local tourist centre and decided we would head south to Cockle Creek, in fact as far south as you can go by road in the whole of Australia. This would take us down to a section of South West National Park, the biggest National Park in Tasmania. It rained pretty much all the way down and we had to get out our rain gear and get ready for our first wet hike. Fortunately the rain started to ease off after about 15 minutes and we took off on the Fishers Point Trail around the  Recherche Bay shoreline and we were treated to some spectacular conditions as the clouds were dark and dramatic as they finally started to clear through. The clear patches of blue sky made a great contrast, especially when reflected off the sand as shown in this image.
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Minerva Watches......

Another opportunity on Tuesday morning to capture another well known Ballarat building before dawn. This is the Mechanics Institute building in Sturt Street that has recently undergone a refurbishment and with the lights on it looks fantastic! And in case you were wondering...that's Minerva standing tall!


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Arve at Hartz

Even though I've plenty more images from South Bruny Island to share, I thought it was time we moved on. After leaving Sth Bruny we headed west over to Hartz Mountains National Park. Did a really big hike to the top of Hartz Mountain and then made a stop on the way out to do the walk to Arve Falls. This image is just upstream of the main falls which cascaded over an edge just below the lookout point and you really couldn't see too much. Really needed the drone to get that shot! Even so, I though this was still a pretty nice spot and quite a surprise to see these falls in the midst of this park. And we had timed it just right....the falls were in shadow at this time of the day, so no glaring sun on what had been a cloudless day.
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USA National Parks

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The Grieving Mother

A nice start to what promises to be a very warm week. One of Ballarat's iconic views is the Arch of Victory on the western end of Sturt Street. They have recently opened the new "Garden of the Grieving Mother" statue next to the Arch and whilst I always enjoy photographing the Arch itself, especially from up high, I think this view of the statue is quite unique.


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Another Day, Another Sunrise!

I thought one more image from South Bruny Island in Tasmania was worth sharing before we move along.....
Though the second sunrise I had at Adventure Bay didn't have the clouds of the spectacular sunrise from the day before, I think you'll agree this is still a pretty nice image! We had visited this spot the day before later in the afternoon and I thought it had some great potential if the tide was at the right level. 
I'll be going back to South Bruny at later date as I have many more images worth sharing...tomorrow we move on to Hartz Mountains National Park.
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Some Early Fog

The forecast for Sunday was pretty warm with a chance of some fog in the morning. Out at Mt Warrenheip I caught a nice panorama at the top of the road that goes up to the summit, and then a bit later the fog was rolling through and constantly changing across the top of the mountain. This series I captured from the Kryal Castle carpark, as well as one out to the north west looking across the paddocks towards the wind farm.




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The Neck

The two islands that make up the Bruny Islands in southern Tasmania are separated by a long, narrow strip of land known as "The Neck". We visited here after our trip down to Cape Bruny earlier on the day and spent some time on the beach. Though the weather had cleared a bit from earlier in the day, there were still some great clouds around and this section of shore grasses contrasted nicely with the darker background.
We've been back three weeks today from our Tasmania trip and I've only just got through the first week in posts - plenty more great images to come, too!
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Up in the Sky.....

...it's a bird, or two!
A distinct avian theme in todays post. Saturday morning I was up for the sunrise at Lake Wendouree and initially the conditions looked pretty flat. So I decided to try and capture something that happens right around sunrise everyday at one of the islands on the west side of the lake. These islands are home to many birds, most notably the egrets. However I've noticed a few times in the past that you get this incredible swarm of smaller birds, maybe swallows?, that take off as one and do a couple of huge fly bys. And then a bit later on some clouds had built up out of nowhere just as the sun got into a nice position behind the clouds to create some fantastic rays. I took quite a few images here just waiting for the egrets to fly through the scene.
However, probably my favourite recent bird shot comes from earlier this week at a fantastic sunrise I had out at Lal Lal Reservoir. Once again a huge swarm, this time of galahs, took off in a mad frenzy, and this time the light was perfect!


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Coastal Cliffs

As I mentioned in Friday's Tasmania post, South Bruny National Park was our first taste of the fantastic coastal scenery you get down the south east of the island. And with the sun floating across the landscape between the clouds, there were some great plays of light. This is just one of the many viewpoints from right near the lighthouse before the dark and threatening clouds moved in.
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Friday Fun

On Friday evening I got to play amongst the rocks at Lake Burrumbeet. On the way out west the clouds were looking good, however they mostly cleared away, though I was still left with enough to make me happy. It was very windy which was creating some great water textures, even when I've slowed things down with a long shutter speed on the last one here.



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Drama at the Lighthouse

After the spectacular sunrise from last nights post, we had that day to explore South Bruny National Park. The first place we went to was right down the south of the park to Cape Bruny. I's here that we had our first taste of the fantastic coastal scenery this part of Tasmania is known for - I'll get to that next. This post, however, shows the lighthouse and though when we arrived here it was quite sunny, it didn't take long for the weather to change and some dark, threatening clouds moved in to really highlight the contrast between the white of the building and the dark, foreboding clouds.
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Final Preparation

I was back at Lake Wendouree on Thursday morning and once again it was the rowing activity that kept me busy. This time I was at the end of the rowing course where a number of crews were coming in and out and from up high you get some great viewpoints. It's the last one here that's my favourite....I really like the shadows of the rowers cast onto the lake surface!




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Blue

After the first evening at South Bruny National Park, I was really happy with what I had captured, little realising the sunrise the next morning was going to be one of the great ones, not just for the Tasmania trip, but for the last 10 years. As soon as I hit the road well before sunrise I could tell the clouds were perfectly positioned for some big colour, and I headed off to the location I had scouted the day before. Coal Point is a great rocky point that overlooks Adventure Bay with South Bruny National Park in the distance. I did post an image from here whilst on the trip showing some of the incredible colour and even as the colour faded the sky still put on an amazing show with the blues coming to the fore. I could actually post a whole gallery from this sunrise .... this is just one of many amazing images from that morning.
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On The Lake

On Wednesday morning I spent some time at Lake Wendouree. Conditions were quite calm and well before the sun rose I caught this image of the Ballarat Grammar and Ballarat High School Rowing sheds. With the Head of the Lake coming up this weekend there has been a hive of activity on the lake as the crews put in some last minute training, and in this image you can see the entire Grammar rowing crews meeting out on the front deck of the shed. Quite a unique shot, I would think.
A bit later and not too far away after the sun had risen, a lone grebe swimming caught my eye with the great reflection .... and then the reflection changed dramatically as the swell from one of the passing boats added this fantastic distortion to the refection. Probably one of the best reflections I've ever captured at the lake.


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South Bruny Sunset

Though I have many more great images from Mt Field National Park, the next day we headed south to South Bruny National Park. To get to North and South Bruny Island you catch the ferry at Kettering for the 20 minute trip, always a nice break on a trip from all the driving. We stayed 2 nights at Adventure Bay and on that first evening we went for a walk around the bay into the National Park. I wasn't really sure what I was looking for as the sun was setting, so I settled on some of the great rocky outcrops that line the coast and waited for the sun to set. This was just the start of a great couple of days spent along the coast...great to be able to play around with water themed images. And the sunrise the next day....WOW (with capital letters!)
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Lal Lal Land

A great pre-sunrise on Tuesday down at Lal Lal Reservoir. The low lying mist across the water adds a fantastic atmosphere to the view, especially when looking down from up high.
And once the sun had come up - wow! (Those to follow......)

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High Up at Mt Field

A follow-on from yesterdays post from Mt Field National Park in Tasmania. As I previously mentioned we stayed at the Government Huts located about 16km into the park on a road that climbed all the way and puts you above the treeline. Some really nice open expanses up here with these lovely little tarns scattered around. This view is from the morning and was handily placed...only a couple of minutes from the hut. I was really glad we made the effort to stay up here - it was a lovely spot that I would love to re-visit.
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The King of the Sky

On Monday morning I was out at The Farm, the year-long project I am working on. The plan was to capture a herd of cows being moved along the back tracks behind the farm and then down the road to their new paddock. Whilst I was waiting for the cows to arrive I kept myself busy, first with a nice view across the paddocks to capture the light moving through. And then I was witness to a bit of an airborne battle. An eagle (I think it's a wedge-tail) came into view being chased by a few others, I think the one here up close is a magpie. Quite thrilling to watch....the eagle didn't seem to be bothered at all by the attention! I've included a close up crop of the maggies attack.
I'll get to the cows later...they're great!


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Mt. Field Magic

After leaving Lake St Clair our next target in Tasmania was Mt Field National Park. This park is home to one of Tasmania's most iconic sights - Russell Falls. Though the flow wasn't strong, it still looked fantastic and it was easy to see why this waterfall has been such a favourite for so many years. And this park has so much else to share....more waterfalls, massive trees and the drive we took about 16km into the park and getting higher the further we went, was a real treat. We spent the night in one of the old Government huts and though they were quite basic, it was a terrific experience with some fantastic landscapes around. More of that tomorrow....!
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Winter, Already?!

A real taste of winter on Sunday with cold, grey wet conditions for most of the day.....and it was cold!
I was out around Mollongghip late morning where the dark clouds can sit low on the horizon, often broken up by the breaks of sun in the distance.
And a cold end to the day at Lake Wendouree where the grey skies carried on right to the end of the day, though at least with a touch of colour and promise of some warmer weather to come this week.


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Where the Waters Meet

The trail to "Watersmeet" is only 1.7km from the Visitor Centre at Lake St. Clair and is a pretty easy walk. This spot is where the Hugel and Cuvier Rivers meet (get it...."waters meet"!) before the river then flows into Lake St. Clair. I grabbed this image off the bridge on our morning walk there, a pretty nice spot on the way to Platypus Bay.
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Lal Lal Falls Up High

After my visit to Lal Lal Falls on Saturday with the Knox group, I was keen to return whilst the water levels are so high. So on Wednesday m...