The best view in Australia?
Mount Wellington, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Image: Katische Haberfield.
As a landscape and travel photographer, I've seen many spectacular views. Some of the most famous are captured at sunrise and sunset, when the colour palette of nature is at its best.
Most tourists, however, are still in their bed, or dining at the buffet in their hotel, dreaming of capturing a spectacular photo to post on social media, at that time of day. The good news is that I've found a view that does not need a sunrise or sunset to take your breath away.
Kunanyi otherwise known as Mount Wellington, has what I would consider Australia's best easily accessible view for tourists. There is no intrepid trek to reach it, and a tourist bus can get you there.
If however, you are feeling both fit and brave, you can don your lycra and cycle from Cascade Brewery, the 21 kilometres to the top. Warning, it is very steep- with an average of 7.2% gradient. The descent has been described by blogger "The Climbing Cyclist" as "long and bumpy and not all that fun, especially with cold weather".
We chose to drive, and thanks to my trusty discovery of ginger and peppermint essential oils, I managed as the passenger, to avoid motion sickness. The drive to the summit saw us pass through temperate rainforest and as we got higher, we passed into sub-alpine flora and ended at the summit with glacial rock formations.
The risk of course, is that you may see nothing from the top, as you are at the mercy of the weather. So you may receive a spectacular clear view, or nothing at all depending on the fog and cloud cover. At any time of the year there may also be snow.
The gods were smiling on us that day, as the temperature was in the mid thirties, and full sunshine. This was not typical for December, (there was snow on the mountain in early December, yet on the 25th December 2015 it was 35 degrees celcius!).
The view was uninterrupted. The fresh alpine air smacked me in the face filling my lungs, making me glad I brought a jumper, and ever gladder to be alive.
From the summit at 1269m above sea level you can see panoramic views of Hobart, all the way to Bruny Island; the D'Entrecasteux Channel and the World Heritage area to the west. Water and melted snow trickling off the mountain feed the waterways that flow down to the harbour, providing crystal fresh alpine drinking water.
There are 18,000 hectares of park to explore, including horse-riding and bushwalking tracks and opportunities for organized abseiling and rock climbing.
One of the distinctive features of Mount Wellington is the fluted columns know as "The Organ Pipes". According to the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service, the pipes are dolerite rock formed during the Jurassic period, when Tassie was in the process of separating from Antarctica.
At the top is also a magnificent enclosed viewing area, and a public toilets with arguably the best views in Australia. It is also the site of the Pinnacle (observable just about anywhere in Hobart) and the TV and Radio Transmitter for Hobart.
The Pinnacle: Image: Katische Haberfield
Mount Wellington is a must do on any traveller's list.
For comprehensive park information visit Discover Tasmania's Website.