The turning of the fagus is an annual event in Tasmania. The general wisdom is to head to your favourite areas in the mountains around Anzac Day to bask in the glorious autumnal glow of the golden leaves as they change colour.
What is the “Turning of the Fagus”?
The reason this event is so noteworthy is that Tasmania’s humble (and endemic) “fagus” tree (Nothofagus gunnii for the scientifically minded), is Australia’s only native deciduous tree. The scene in mountainous Tasmania (eg Mt Field; Cradle Mountain and the Overland Track; Mt Murchison and the West Coast Range) is really quite unique in the Australian context. Alongside the deciduous fagus you will invariably find stands of ancient pines such as Pencil Pine and King Billy Pine. These pine species too are endemic to Tasmania, and the turning of the fagus is another reason (along with the abundant fungi of the rainforest) I consider autumn to be the best time of year to visit and photograph Tasmania.
Fagus 2014 – better late than never!
This year, however, has seen a very late turning of the fagus. Yesterday (May 1) I visited the Tarn Shelf at Mt Field and found that it is almost at its peak but there would still be a good week or two of viewing up there. The fagus lower down (ie near Lake Fenton and the “Woodland Walk” is still almost completely green, with tinges of yellow just starting to appear.
If you are travelling to Tasmania this autumn or winter and would like a fully guided photography tour please look at my Photography Tours and Workshops page. Images in this post are available as fine art prints.