LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY > MARIA ISLAND NATIONAL PARK AND THE EAST – TASMANIA > Bishop and Clerk (Maria Island National Park)
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Maria Island National Park off Tasmania’s East Coast is a remarkable little natural treasure. Although it has a convict history, it is now an abundant wildlife refuge for many animals such as wombats, forester kangaroos and endangered Tasmanian devils. Maria Island’s marine reserve is also rich with life, including mature southern rock lobsters, weedy sea dragons and banded morwong, a fish that can live to be over 100 years old. The ferry to Maria Island departs from Triabunna, and larger marine life such as dolphins, humpback whales and southern right whales are sometimes seen on the short journey across.
Maria Island is perhaps best known for its aptly named ‘Painted Cliffs’, a series of intricately weathered, beautifully patterned, multi-coloured sandstone cliffs. Fossil Cliffs are another impressive geological feature that are packed with the fossilised remains of sea life. A day walk to Maria Island’s ‘Bishop and Clerk’ cliffs provide fantastic views in every direction, including straight down to the ocean, some 620m (2034′) below. A longer day walk to Mt. Maria brings you to a stunning view of Maria Island’s white sand isthmus between the north and south island.
I got up around dawn to photograph Bishop and Clerk in the early morning light. When I got to the summit, it was clouded in unfortunately. I laid down on one of the boulders and decided to wait it out because I could see blue sky several metres above me. I was optimistic it would clear.
About an hour later the cloud began to part, and I dashed down a (rather precarious) rock scramble to a particular vantage point from which I wanted to photograph Bishop and Clerk. As soon as I got set up, the cloud came in again, and so I sat there…for another hour. I finally gave up and began packing up my gear. Just as I started to head down the summit, the cloud parted, so I dashed to my spot again, set up, and then–you guessed it–the cloud came in again…for another hour.
For six long hours I repeated this drill over and over again until I FINALLY got the shot. And I love it. I have rarely persisted with a single shot that long, but it was well worth the effort to me.