If you follow me on any of my social media accounts you may have noticed that I have a particular passion for aerial photography. I have been lucky enough to fly over many regions of Australia in light aircraft and helicopters for aerial photography missions, as well as becoming a slightly obsessed drone enthusiast over the past 12 months. So when the opportunity came up to work with one of southern Tasmania’s newest tourism ventures Osborne Helitours to capture some images and showcase their new helicopter flights over the Tasman Peninsula region of Tasmania, not only did I drop everything to be ready for this opportunity, but I also rescheduled everything for the couple of weeks (in case of our notorious Tasmanian weather issues) around it to ensure there was no way I would miss out on doing this.
The flights begin at the new Osborne Helitours base located approximately a 90 minute drive south of Hobart along the Arthur Highway (and directly across the road from the Port Arthur Lavender Farm). Shortly after takeoff which was just after sunrise, the pilot and I were above Fortescue Bay looking down at the beautiful sandy beach and the very popular campgrounds. At the entrance to Fortescue Bay is Cape Hauy which is where the iconic “Candlestick” and “Totem Pole” are located. If you look hard enough as you fly around this cape on some days you may be able to see crazy people climbing and down up these incredible structures.
As the flight continues it follows part of the new Three Capes Track (and in my opinion seeing it from the best possible vantage point) and on to Cape Pillar, which is home to the highest dolerite sea cliffs in the world at 300 metres high. The rugged coastline between Cape Hauy and Cape Pillar and beyond makes for some incredible photographic opportunities and I cannot describe just how amazing this part of our coastline looks from the vantage point of a helicopter. It looks amazing no matter how you see it, but flying along just above the edge of these cliffs and seeing the work of Mother Nature at her best will be something I will not forget for a very very long time. Anyone lucky enough to do this may be able to spot some whales along this coast line as they are making their annual migrations either north or south, depending on what time of the year it is.
Tasman Island is located just to the south of Cape Pillar and seeing it from the southern side looking back towards Cape Pillar puts a whole new perspective on what can only be described as an incredibly awesome sight. The Tasman Island Lighthouse looks tiny when compared to the immense sea cliffs it is helping to protect any sea going vessels from accidentally making contact with. You can see the power of the southern ocean relentlessly smashing against the cliff faces and slowly carving out new features as it does so. As we slowly pass around the southern end of Tasman Island we were able to look back up the coastline and see both Cape Pillar and Cape Hauy and beyond.
After passing Tasman Island we headed towards the historic Port Arthur and the calmer waters of Carnarvon Bay. From here you can also view the Isle Of The Dead which forms part of the tours offered from Port Arthur. As the end of the flight approached we were able to see Denmans Cove which is the starting point for the Three Capes Track, Stinking Bay and Stewarts Bay before making our way back to the Osborne Helitours base.
I may be a little biased here due to my love of aerial photography, but in my personal opinion this is the best way to experience and witness this incredible part of Tasmania. I have been lucky enough to see the Tasman Peninsula on foot via the Three Capes Track (and before the Three Capes Track launched), by water from multiple boat trips, and by air from seaplanes, light planes and by helicopter. The opportunity to easily capture more than 800 images from the comfort and vantage point of a helicopter has left me wanting to experience this many times again in the future, and I am sure anyone who goes up with Osborne Helitours will feel the exact same way. For photographers or thrill seekers alike, there is the option of doors off flights to allow for the best photography possible. For those seeking something a little more tame and touristy, the standard flights will have you flying in luxury.
These scenic helicopter flights will be available to the public from the 17th December 2016 and I am very sure this an experience that you will never forget.