This was part of the Tour with Iron Pot Cruises.
Lichen And Moss Along The Tasman Peninsula
I thoroughly enjoyed exploring around Eaglehawk Neck but, as usual, I got distracted by the moss and lichen. There were so many different varieties! This post curates my favourite images from the day.
Devils Kitchen is also the start of a bushwalk to Waterfall Bay. We didn’t spend long here but I’m definitely keen to return. I expect there would be different specimens when I got closer to the waterfall areas.
The Unzoo is a small wildlife park located in Taranna, closer to Port Arthur then Eaglehawk neck. There was a diversity of environments and an emphasis on education about plants. The contrasting environments meant that there was a lot for me to look at 😀
We spent a good three hours here. Next time, I’d have liked to explore the garden section to see if there were any other species in there.
The pavement here is the start of a nature reserve. The lichen and moss on the walk from the carpark to the pavement actually interested me more then the pavement itself. I’ve been trying to find out if there are any walks nearby.
Exploring Eaglehawk Neck On The Tasman Peninsula
It was our second full day in South Eastern Tasmania – and it was time to explore the Tasman Peninsula! I’d visited there once before as part of a mega tour but that trip had primarily focused on Richmond and Port Arthur. Mum was keen to visit Dootown and we wanted to go to a local wildlife park, so decided to focus on the Eaglehawk Neck region.
Our first stop for the trip was Dunalley Bay.
We discovered the cute township of Dunalley when we had a toilet break at a stop next to the Denison Cancel. I’d made a mental note to return here…. until we drove a few kilometers further and made an impromptu stop at this beach. It was so beautiful and the 20 minutes we spent there didn’t do it justice.
One one side (above) there was a sandy beach. The tide was out and led to interesting water formations. Incredibly photographic. On the other side (below) there were rocks that were home to a myriad of sea creatures.
We had a lot of luck finding animals. Seth found the above crab, as well as the below mantid that I’m tentatively identifying as a purple winged mantid.
The 20 minutes we spent here definitely wasn’t enough. Alas, we had to push on to get to the zoo.
We spent about 3 hours at the Unzoo and could have easily spent more but alas, it was only a day trip and we had to keep exploring.
Our next stop was Dootown which was a bit of a letdown. The house names were hilarious but there was no context, no information brochures in Hobart or information for Tourists. We laughed reading out the names but ended up at The Blowhole quicker then we’d thought.
The blowhole itself was a bit of a letdown. We didn’t have the time to wait for giant waves to cause the water to go high. Instead, mum and I had a lot of fun watching the waves crash into cliffs from a separate lookout. We’d wait patiently for a good wave to create a spectacular photography, but they only seemed to come whenever we turned around to leave. It’s a beautiful little area.
I was in awe of how some of the trees managed to stay alive in such challenging conditions.
Opposite one of the lookouts was Pirates Bay, an area that definitely is worth exploring. There were a number of birds resting on the rocks here. I spotted a juvenile gull (either pacific of kelp), a white faced heron, number of crested terns and the ubiquitous silver gull. The rocks were also good for looking for sea animals, but I cautioned Seth to keep his distance from the birds.
Aside from the wildlife, the whole area was incredibly photogenic. Seth and I spent about 10 minutes looking around and could have easily spent longer.
Tasman Arch is basically what is left of the roof of a large sea cave, or tunnel, that was created by wave action over many thousands of years. The pressure of water and compressed air, sand and stones acted on vertical cracks (joints) in the cliff, dislodging slabs and boulders. Eventually the arch will collapse and Tasman Arch will become another ‘Devils Kitchen’.
via Parks Tasmania
The angle of the lookout meant that it was difficult to get good photos from here, but it was fascinating to observe the geology of the region. You can also walk to the next point, Devil’s Kitchen, from here.
This geological feature probably started as a sea cave, then a tunnel and developed into its modern form after the collapse of the cave roof. The view was obscured slightly because of the trees. This, combined with the later views of different areas of the peninsula, made me fall in love. I know the great ocean road has beautiful lookouts but this felt like it was a different scale of grandness. Perhaps I’ll change my views after doing more sections of the Great Ocean Walk?
There are some lovely walks that leave from this area to explore Waterfall Bay. They were immediately put on the bucket list. 🙂
Tasman National Park Lookout
We were nearing the end of the day and all of us were getting tired. There were a couple more places on the bucket list but we were running out of energy and were facing an hour long drive home.
This lookout was quite beautiful. It was one of the few moments I regretted not bringing the telephoto lens! I could see areas in the distance that I know Tasman Island Cruises would explore, and it only increased my longing to do the Three Capes Track. I always knew this area was amazing and had planned to explore it properly but it felt like the immense cliffs were taunting me, reminding me I probably wouldn’t be able to return for at least a year.
They’ll definitely be worth it.
Our final stop for the day was at the Tesselated Pavement. I don’t know whether it was because the tide was in but I found it to be a bit underwhelming. I could definitely see the photographic potential, and the nearby bush had a lot of interesting plants. I was started to develop a migraine at this point and my body was conking out, which was probably contributing to the blah feeling.
I definitely want to bring Glenn here and it is a place I’d love to explore at different times of the day.
It was a brilliant day trip and definitely contributed to the love I have for the state. Since returning, I’ve been dropping subtle hints to my partner about moving to Tassie so I can properly explore it. This peninsula has so many hidden gems and we only explored a tiny fraction of it.
If I was visiting again, I would definitely base myself around Eaglehawk Neck for a couple of days so I can explore it outside of the tourist times and rushing.
Exploring The Derwent River With Iron Pot Cruises
I’ve fallen in love with the ocean. It started when I explored the rockpools near Apollo Bay. The geology and sheer diversity of ocean life hooked me. I didn’t know what I was looking at but knew I wanted more.
Last month, I explored Port Phillip Bay with South Bay Eco Adventures. I got to see the wildlife within the bay as well as see the coastal area near Port Nepean.
I knew when I started planning to go to Tasmania that I wanted to go on another boat cruise. Tasmania fascinates me. The years being separated from the mainland has shaped the flora and fauna in different ways. I wanted to learn as much as possible but, seeing as I was only there for three days, didn’t want to do a cruise as part of a full day tour.
Discovering the Iron Pot Cruise, from Pennicott Wilderness Journeys, was brilliant. It was only two and a half hours, which meant I could easily combine with a morning exploring Hobart. It was a slightly cheaper option. I probably wouldn’t see as much wildlife but that was fine. I just wanted to learn as much about Hobart and surrounds as possible.
The trip was a blast. Tim was a fantastic leader. He did made a few slight errors when talking about the birdlife – the main bird around that day was kelp gull, not pacific, but only nerds like me would pick that up. He pointed out all the white bellied sea eagles and was obviously passionate about the area. I got lots of ideas for places I want to explore on land next time.
The first in this series of photos focuses along the coastline of the Derwent River, just before we went to Betsy Island and the Iron Pot Lighthouse. These are the cliffs after the Taroona area.
We got to meet this friendly seal who occasionally waved at us.
And see the tip of the Tasman Peninsula. This was so exciting, as I was going there the next day.
Iron pot lighthouse
It was fascinating to get up close to the Iron Pot lighthouse and learn more about its history.
Iron Pot is the first lighthouse built in Tasmania. It is also the second oldest lighthouse in Australia and was the first to be converted to solar power in 1977. Many families lived on the barren rocky outcrop. the island is so barren that a vegetable garden was set up on the banks of the Derwent River estuary so that the families could grow fresh food.
via Bruny Island
The whole area was extremely photogenic and the skipper made sure we got to see it from multiple angles. We were able to get close to see the seabirds, although the stench from their feaces was a tad overwhelming.
Want to learn more? Check out:
After leaving Betsy Island, we headed back towards the harbour. We had spent longer exploring then planned so the sun was starting to fall.
There was smoke in the distance, from what I assumed was burning off. This led to great photos as the sun was trying to break through the cloud and smoke.
I thoroughly enjoyed this tour. This, combined with exploring the Tasman Peninsula, has given me a better understanding of the area and its geology. I’m now even more fascinated by Tasmania and its history. I hope to return and do it again once I have a better understanding of photographing in tricky light conditions.
Moss, Fungi and History: Walking To Silver falls, Mt Wellington
We were outside Fern Tree Tavern, at the base of Mount Wellington. It was our final day in Tasmania and I really wanted to show mum how cool Tasmania can be for fungi. I had wanted to travel further to Mt Field to find really cool specimens, but that was too far away.
I’d picked up a copy of Hobart’s Best Bush, Coastal And City Walks from the information centre and this particular walk stood out to me. In the book, it (walk 25) is a 2.8 km circuit that visits Silver falls, The Springs and Redfords monument. Mum and I are as bad as each other when it comes to photography so we just ended up walking to Silver Falls and back.
Now, as walk summaries go, this is pretty basic. It is short walk and is incredibly easy to find your way there. This post is more to give you ideas about possible walks to do in the region. 🙂
This is only a short section but it more then suffices if you are looking for a quick rainforest walk. It starts off as a damp area that is dominated by trees.
As you walk further, small tree ferns appear. This is where we started to slow down, as the moss and lichen led to interesting patterns.
The remnants of the old pipeline led to interesting photography.
As you get closer to the falls you see more ‘signs’ of the local history. You can easily spend hours along this short walk just taking in all the details.
About two thirds of the way in, a small stream appears. Getting closer can lead to better photos but be warned: there are leeches here. My mum is terrified of leeches and remained calm but firm when one landed on her phone.
The waterfalls are quite basic but aren’t bad for what is meant to be a 15 minute walk.
If you are short on time, this is a great walk. I still believe the area warrants a lot more exploration and it almost feels like a betrayal to explore just a small part of it.
We spent an hour walking to the falls and back and that definitely wasn’t enough. We heard bird calls and saw signs of insects but didn’t have the time to investigate. I highly recommend it.
Moss, Fungi And Lichen
We loved exploring the natural history side of things. What what really stood out was the moss, lichen and fungi found along what was 1km distance. Imagine what we could have found if we had done other walks!