#wandervictoria: Earlier this year Tourism Victoria launched a campaign to draw Victorians out into their own backyard with the encouragement to explore a little deeper, discover what’s quite literally just up the road. The campaign entices Victorians to slow down a little and really connect, creating a far more memorable experience, reminding them that we really do have everything right here in Victoria…
A team of ‘digital influencers’ was quickly gathered by Tourism Victoria, compiled of some of Melbourne’s most promising Photographers and Instagrammers. We all gathered together for a welcome meet & greet / wine & dine where we met a broad spectrum of people from other influencers, bloggers, food photographers and even rubbed shoulders with the ‘big wigs’ of Tourism Victoria. To top this introduction off, spoilt with a nights accommodation at St. Jeromes, The Hotel (Rooftop tents in the heart of Melbourne CBD! Awesome!).
The following morning armed with our individual itineraries and each of us destined for a different corner of Victoria, we all set off to grab our hire cars and hit the road. I got a Holden Cruze in the most dreadful blue colour imaginable.
My destinations (in order) included: Bright, Mount Buffalo, Mount Hotham, Dinner Plain, Gippsland & Wilsons Promontory. As one of the influencers with a higher following, I was able to negotiate my itinerary and also extended by campaign to a week, allowing me to fully cover the regions and achieve all the targeted areas with less risk. I had my hire car and I couldn’t wait to hit the road. Home was on the way from the hotel to my first destination, so i popped in for a quick stop to pick up a few things and get myself sorted… I no sooner sat down with a cuppa to further study my itinerary than i noticed my first meeting with Tourism North East was in less than 3 hours… My drive to Bright was a minimum 3.5 hour drive! So, not off to a good start I made haste and got moving, making the call to Tourism North East along the way that i was going to be slightly late for lunch, by just a tiny 2 hours! So lunch was pushed out to 3pm and all was well… What a great first impression!
Mount Buffalo: That first afternoon i was shown around the area by a lovely gentleman named Brendan @brightmystic, he showed me all his favourite spots, and we finished off shooting sunset up on Mount Buffalo. I had been up there before but not seen it with ‘photography eyes’, i was instantly in love with this breathtaking scenery, and having been there no more than 5 minutes, promised myself i would be back! I shot here for the next 2 days, morning night and astro, The Sentinel and The Cathedral are stand out locations and i cannot wait to attack them in winter! This place is just magic and i thoroughly loved every moment spent here, and some epic light and astro was shot… I left this place having fallen even deeper in love. The snowshoes and the tent will be at my side upon my next visit to this mountaintop wonderland.
Mount Hotham: The ascent to Hotham was an amazing drive, the views out over the valley are second to none, even on a blue bird day. I arrived just after lunch, the Cruze loves a fang… To fill in my afternoon, i managed to find myself an open gate where there should not have been an open gate, and made my way out to the orchard on a lift maintenance road, and might i say the Cruze does quite well on unkept gravel roads! I managed to drive about 3km out to the Orchard Chair, where i parked and went for a little wander… Fearing i would get in trouble for quite literally trespassing on private property, i packed up and made haste back to the main road. Next stop, an early dinner… The General at Hotham has amazing food, awesome staff and a good selection of beer, my place of choice when at Hotham, the pizza there is second to none, get the Brokhoff… I hiked up and shot sunset from the top of the hill, i found myself an epic little spot, my own little cliff with views looking out over the rolling hills in the valley below… And what a sunset it was, like fire in the sky, i attained a few frames i was super stoked with. That evening, i stayed at Dinner Plain, due to the time of year (summer), i was the only person in my entire building which made for a relaxing yet slightly creepy night.
Gippsland: My time at Gippsland was a vast change from the mountains i had become so accustomed to looking at over the past days, i would always choose mountains over the ocean, this was on my mind as i came down the hill back into the valley on the other side… First stop, Metung! My accommodation had well exceeded my expectation, an apartment right on the water. I shot the sunset over the bay, and sunrise in the harbour, the light didn’t really come to the party here, so sadly i didn’t get anything that blew my mind, nor that i was satisfied sharing for the campaign.
Sale: My old home town! I made Sale a stop on my itinerary because why not, its home and you’ve got to stop in and have a cuppa with the old Bat. Not only that, Sale has one impressive Port full of beautiful old wooden boats, some so old they are broken and sunken into the water… My favourite place in town to watch the sun set. Just magic!
Tarra Bulga National Park: A quick stop in between Sale and Wilsons Prom. How did i never visit this magical little wonderland until now!? If you get the chance to see this place, GO!
Wilsons Promontory National Park: After a huge day of driving, i arrived at Wilsons Prom. Dead tired, my quick power nap turned into sleeping like the dead and i almost missed sunset, so i made the decision to get eaten alive by mosquitos and stay for astro, my preferred ‘dusting of stars’ was on the menu tonight, and the sky delivered! Wilsons Prom is a place you need to spend a long weekend in, at the very least… With so many hikes, views, and beaches to explore, it’s very much on the hit list in the near future for an extended trip.
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