The Balconies, Grampians National Park, Victoria
@Willamazing's favourite Instagram locations in Australia
@Willamazing shares her tips for taking Instagrammable photos in the Land Down Under.
Australia is one of the best countries to embark on a self-drive journey because traffic is relatively low, especially in the countryside, and it offers countless of beautiful touring routes that connect picturesque landscapes with cultural sights. Most of the time, the majority of destinations are not accessible via public transport anyway.
What I love most about self-driven road trips is the complete freedom and convenience as you can quite literally take full control of your own adventure and plan it out the way you want it. For example, stopping along anytime for picture-perfect backdrops, and never needing to worry about figuring out public transport or catching the last bus.
And to get that Insta-worthy shot, remember that lighting is king. Always shoot in natural light and avoid using flash. If you find the image to be overly dark, use a photo-editing app like Snapseed to selectively brighten areas. My favourite time to shoot is during magic hour – one hour before sunrise and one hour before sunset.
Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
Highlight of the Hanson's Peak trek is the breathtaking view across Dove Lake to Cradle Mountain. It's a reasonably easy 3h return walk with a few steep, rocky sections but overall effortless compared to Mount Amos (Wineglass Bay) – and is already one of my favourite trails to date.
Tip: Give a subject perspective in your photos. Whether it’s a breathtaking mountain view or a dreamy forest backdrop, have yourself or someone stand in the photograph dressed distinctively. Images are taken mainly with Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and lenses: 25mm F1.2 PRO and 7-14mm F2.8 PRO.
Wineglass Bay and Mount Amos, Tasmania
Wineglass Bay Lookout has quite a spectacular view of the bay’s crystal clear waters and a white sandy beach that rivals the likes of Bora Bora and the Maldives. Although a steep uphill walk, the 1.5h return track is well constructed and easy to manage – and I'd recommend taking this trail if you're not keen on the Mount Amos hike.
Mount Amos, on the other hand, is a challenging 3h return bushwalk that offers the scaling of slippery, large granite rock faces at many points – but is a must for any adventurous hiker heading to Freycinet National Park. The reward at the top is a panoramic view of Freycinet in its majestic glory, including a view of Wineglass Bay unmatched by any other location in the park.
Tip: We always plan to reach the photo-worthy location at least half an hour or so before sunset, so we can decide on the best angle and spot, as well as test the light.
Table Cape Tulip Farm, Tasmania
Early October is your best chance to see the tulips in bloom, but we went in the middle of the month and fortunately still got to witness the best of this 90-acre farm located in Wynyard (3 hour return drive from Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park).
Tip: If you’re a fan of blooms, try allocating at least an hour to soak it all in. And look out for colours that match your outfit for the perfect photo backdrop!
12 Apostles (Gibson Steps & Loch Ard Gorge), Victoria
Only a few minutes drive from Port Campbell, the Twelve Apostles is surely one of the most spectacular stretches of coast anywhere on Earth. All you have to do is route to the carpark and take a short walk through the tunnel, under the Great Ocean Road.
I would recommend paying a visit just a bit before sunset because the colours unfold wonderfully like a scene from a movie!
Tip: The hottest tip I can give is that there is actually a carpark right by the Gibson Steps (we actually took a long walk all the way from The Twelve Apostles). These glorious steps will then take you down to a lush beach, where you will find the postcard worthy scene to be completed by two jutting rock stacks named Gog and Magog.
And close-by (mere few minutes drive away) is also the magnificent Loch Ard Gorge that looks like something straight out of a storybook and is home to a smooth, pearlescent bay and inlet of clear, blue water.
The Balconies at the Grampians, Victoria
Less than a half hour uphill drive from Halls Gap, the Balconies set within Grampians National Park is the best spot to take in the panoramic views of Victoria Valley and the surrounding ranges. To get to the Balconies, park at Reed’s Lookout and take a gentle 1h return walk. And emerging at the end of this track is an interesting rock formation aptly known as the ‘Jaws of Death’ (resembling the huge jaws of a T-Rex). The area is fenced off safely, so only do it for the ‘gram at your own risk'.
Tip: There are many flowering plants along the uphill drive towards Reed’s Lookout that make for great outfit snaps.