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Top 10 Photography Destinations around Australia

Here are 10 of our favourite photography locations for the Australian holidays.

1. Coles Bay and Freycinet

Freycinet is a peninsula on the east coast of Tasmania that’s relatively easy to access and offers some wonderful photography opportunities. There’s the exquisite multi-hued blues of Wineglass Bay, Honeymoon Bay, Mt Amoswhich and more.

If you do head here, we recommend camping so you can optimise those beautiful sunrises and sunsets over the water. The mornings offer vibrant, fiery colours while evenings turn the landscape into a pastel painting.

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2. The Great Ocean Road and the Twelve Apostles

This 250 kilometre drive between Torquay and Warrnambool along Victoria’s southern coast provides a huge diversity of action and landscape photography opportunities.

You can choose to photograph the surfing crowds, the famous series of limestone rocks, or head inland to the Great Otways National Park to explore waterfalls and forests.

We recommend not just sticking to the famous Twelve Apostles but venturing further – to Loch Ard Gorge and London Bridge. Local Melbourne photographer Alex Wise recommends the Bay of Martyrs for its lonely limestone outcrops.

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Arriving at the Twelve Apostles before dawn means you’ll enjoy great lighting and less crowds. But you can really capture pictures any time of day – the midday sun will cast less shadows on the cliffs and can create sharper shots.

Cliff Kolber says a tripod is essential for this summertime road trip, but emphasises
the need to keep an eye on your equipment at all times in the strong winds.

3. Whitsunday Islands

The Whitsunday Islands offer so many superb photography locations, you won’t know where to begin! If you have the dosh, it’s worthwhile taking a flight over the islands to get brilliant snaps of such famous fixtures as Heart Reef and Langford Island.

heart reef in whitsunday islands

This is the place to go for underwater photography – no surprises there. But it also provides some great contrasts between the sharp, white sands, the pine tree forests, rocky shorelines and stark blue water.

The Wandering Lens recommends checking your white balance if you’re capturing the reef from above. Give your ‘cloudy’ mode a shot to increase vibrancy.

4. Blue Mountains

If you want to escape the heat, the Blue Mountains offer a refreshing blast of cool air away from the muggy Sydney heat.

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The Blue Mountains are all about rocky outcrops and sweeping vistas. This is a photography hotspot for panoramic photographs as well as nature shots, with a huge variety of wildlife around.

There’s not just that classic shot of the 3 Sisters. There’s also Flat Rock, great to capture at sunset with light filtering through the peaks, the Valley of the Waters for shaded waterfall snaps, and Govetts Leap Lookout (ideal for sunrises).

5. Sydney

Sydney shines on a clear-sky day, which makes it ideal for those summer shots when you can see more boats out in the harbour and sunshine lighting up the Opera House.

Head to Kirribilli in the early morning to capture the warm summer light bathing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. With a wide angle lens, you can snag both the Opera House and the Bridge in one shot. Photographer Rob Potter recommends photographing Jeffery St Wharf in the foreground for added interest. Just before sunrise and after sunset, the city lights are reflected in the water for a truly unique shot.

sydney harbour bridge from kirribilliPhoto courtesy of Rob Potter.

It’s also worthwhile heading out to the beaches to capture the vibrant crowds that descend to the waterline during those long heat waves. In the eastern suburbs, you’ll find beaches fringed by rocky outcrops.

6. Western Arthur Ranges

Back in Tasmania, we come to the Western Arthur Ranges, a great place to photograph thanks to its remote location and stunning landscapes. You have to work for these shots, tackling a rather difficult 6-12 day hike through the ranges the find the most breathtaking scenery of peaks, rock outcrops and forests.

The best time to go is between December and February for ideal weather.

western arthur ranges photograph

Photo courtesy of Steve Parish.

7. Launceston

We’ll stay in the Apple Isle for our next pick. Launceston’s southern position means the twilight periods are much longer. Launceston is great for its proximity to numerous famous Tasmanian photography locations, including the Bay of Fires and the Cataract Gorge.

Head to Launceston at the end of summer to capture the bold orange and red hues of incoming autumn. You can also enjoy early morning mists that will add more aura to your shots.

cataract gorge near launcestonPhoto courtesy of Peter Bushby.

8. Queensland Scenic Rim

The Scenic Rim in southeast Queensland offers something you might not expect in the state known for its beaches. The Scenic Rim boasts huge peaks, rolling fields, rainforests, lakes and endless roads.

queensland scenic rimPhoto courtesy of Scenic Rim.

In summer, it’s great for the storms that come rolling across the ranges. Get your timing right and these electrical storms can introduce a dynamic drama to your unusual summer shot. Stick around once the storm passes to capture the warm sunlight seeping through the evaporating clouds.

9. Byron Bay

Byron Bay is a great place to depict any time of year, but its surf beaches and hippy streets step it up a notch as the summer crowds descend on the coastal town.

As Australia’s easternmost point, it’s worth heading up to the famous Byron Bay lighthouse to capture the sun rising over the water on the horizon. Use the paths to line up a stunning composition.

For less touristy hot spots, head to the quieter bay Little Wategoes for sunrise or sunset or go to The Pass for your classic surfing images.

byron bay little wategoesPhoto courtesy of Larissa Dening Photography.

10. Cape Le Grand National Park

Heading across to the far west, you’ll find Cape Le Grand National park, a 31,801 hectare park southeast of Perth. This park provides ancient landscapes of white sandy beaches and granite shorelines.

Make the most of the peak studding the horizon and the rocky outcrops dominating the area. Follow the coastal trail to enjoy the beaches, of head to the top of Frenchman’s Peak for expansive views of the area. It’s great for sunrises and wildlife shots.

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If you have a favourite photography destination, please share it with us in the Comments section below. And while you’re here, check out our Summer Catalogue and range of camera products online and in store today.

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