Photographing Tasmania’s Fagus on Mt Murchison (Part II)
I followed up my brief visit to Mt Murchison from early this month with another trip on Anzac Day to photograph Tasmania’s autumn leaves. There was still plenty of yellow leaves to be found, although perhaps the peak has passed – there are also now plenty of bare branches meaning that winter is getting closer – certainly the sun is rising late and setting early now, meaning plenty of tent time on trips out!
The clouds were skimming across the top of the mountain for most of my stay, but luckilly rain stayed away for most of my shoot, in fact just as I was lining up the shot above the first drops started to fall signalling an end to the days shoot.
Just as I thought the red leaves were going to elude me this year I found the above little branchlet on a rockface. The yellow leaves are most common with the fagus, so I am always on the lookout for splashes of red. The bright autumn hues contrast strikingly with the grey tones of the twisted trunk and branches of the fagus, which at this altitude grow prostrate on the rocks.
The hike to Mt Murchison starts on the Anthony Link Road (B28) not far out of Tullah. The start of the track is clearly signed. The walk to the peak takes around 2.5 hours of steady uphill climbing, first through dark forest, then through banksia and scoparia scrub before getting into the really rocky section where the fagus and King Billy pines appear. I wouldn’t class it as a difficult walk but it is strenuous. Take plenty of water, and care should be taken to keep your eyes on the tags and cairns that mark the trail at higher elevations, particularly when the weather is not cooperating.
You will be rewarded with views of the peaks of the Overland Track, including Cradle Mountain, to the east once you leave the tall forest, and the view at the top of the hollowed out core of Mt Murchison with a couple of lakes and steep cliff walls is spectacular.