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Autumn in Tasmania

April 29, 2013

The gorgeous Japanese Maples that Line Brisbane St Mall in Launceston

Japanese Maples that line Brisbane St Mall in Launceston

Autumn is without doubt my favourite season in Tasmania. The warmer weather has long left us, and the first frosty mornings arrive accompanied by a faint smell of wood smoke. Exploring Tasmania at this time of year may require more clothing, but it is no less rewarding than during the summer months.

While the temperature may have dropped considerably when compared with January, weather conditions tend to be more stable than at other times of the year. Dry and calm days have a habit of staying that way. These conditions provide a fantastic opportunity to explore the visual feast of autumn colours on display in Tasmania’s many parks, reserves and gardens.

Tasmania’s larger population centres have some wonderful parks and reserves. In Hobart, the Queens Domain is a large area of bushland situated just to the north east of the central business district. This parkland also contains the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. In Launceston, the Cataract Gorge Reserve is a massive area of bushland, some 200 hectares, starting only a few hundred metres to the west of the city centre. While these are fantastic attractions, it is the smaller parks situated within the built up areas that are really special at this time of year.

Queens Domain, Hobart


Tasmania’s European heritage has left its mark on a number of inner city parks and squares, resulting in a diverse array of flora. In Hobart, Parliament Square and St David’s Park are both wonderful spots to witness autumn colours. In Launceston, there are a number of parks taking up entire city blocks close to the main shopping district. These include City Park, Princes Square, and the Brickfields.

So grab a warm jacket, some picnic supplies and sit and relax while watching the leaves fall.

-Matthew Gurr

Hiking the Overland Track in Tasmania

April 11, 2013

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The Overland Track in Tasmania is possibly Australia’s number one and most popular long distance hike. Stretching 65kms from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair, Overland takes you through some of Tasmania’s most beautiful and brutal wilderness.

You have the option of doing Overland either independently or through a tour group. I was going to do it independently however having never done any hiking in my life I was slightly apprehensive (not to mention scared) about tackling the track independently. So when an invitation came to be a guinea pig for a new photographic tour group starting up, I jumped at the chance.

Overland Photo Tours are the newest kids on the block for organized tours hiking the Overland Track.

Founded by Cameron Blake, a Hobart photographer with a passion for capturing Tasmanian beauty. Overland Photo Tours came about when Cameron saw a niche for people wanting to hike Overland with a difference.

Cameron’s knowledge of all things photographic is vast. Whether you’re a professional or amateur photographer everyone will learn or re-learn shooting techniques from Cameron. Even this professional photographer got a few brush up lessons in basic tricks that had long been forgotten.

It’s not just Cameron’s knowledge on cameras and capturing that makes this tour so special it’s also Cameron’s effervescent personality. Combined with the global adventure chasing Trish this will be one tour you will never forget. Nights spent camping and chatting, days spent walking and whinging (well I was anyway) are all part of the fun of hiking the Overland Track. Trish and Cameron are not just fantastic guides, they are fantastic company.

If you prefer trekking whilst taking in the picturesque scenery that surrounds you, what better way to experience Overland than with Overland Photo Tours trek. I highly recommend it!

Here is my rundown of our fantastic trip!!


View of Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake from Marions Lookout

Day 1 – Ronny Creek car park to Waterfall Valley

Quite possibly the most difficult day, trekking along Crater Lake whilst adjusting to your pack (especially if you carry a heavy pro DSLR like I did) and climbing up the steep ascent up to Marions Lookout is brutal. But the view from Marions on a clear day is simply superb and worth every bit of blood sweat and tears shed on the climb up. Cradle Mountain can be very elusive most days so when it’s clear make the most of it and relish in the breathtaking view as much as you can. After Marions you walk alongside the base of Cradle Mountain and its gorgeous vistas making your way to Waterfall Valley. If you’re lucky (like we were) you’ll be blessed with a sensational sunset over Barn Bluff.

Sunset over Barn Bluff

  Sunset over Barm Bluff

Day 2 – Waterfall Valley to Lake Windermere

A relatively easy day to the point it’s almost like a stroll. Boardwalk covering most of the way, it takes you through pretty flora. Although be careful if its windy, it easy to lose balance and fall off the boardwalk as was the case with this ditzy blonde! Lake Windemere is a gorgeous spot to camp next to, if its warm enough there is a lovely area you can take a dip to cool off and relax after your first two days of trekking.

Boronia citriodora, Lemon-scented Boronia, or Lemon Thyme

Boronia citriodora, Lemon-scented Boronia, commonly known as Lemon Thyme lines Lake Windermere

Day 3 – Lake Windermere to Pelion  

After encountering a wild and windy night we were doubly unfortunate to be faced with a misty, foggy day. We sadly missed viewing the gorgeous mountain ranges that surrounded us on our super long walk. This day is the longest day of the entire track and there’s nothing quite like the feeling of seeing glimpses of Pelion hut after hiking 15kms! We were also fortunate enough to experience a helivac fly in and transport out an injured guide from another tour group. When you’re in the middle of nowhere without any modern conveniences the sight of a helicopter landing and taking off with Mt Oakleigh in the background is truly magnificent.


Mt Oakleigh

Day 4 – Pelion to Kia Ora

Waking up to the sun highlighting Mt Oakleigh brought on another spectacular view to be admired before we commenced our biggest day yet. Another tricky day, hiking up and up and up to Pelion Gap was difficult not to mention tiring at times and you will continually wonder “will this ever end?” but once at the top you’re rewarded and greeted with sensational views (if its clear) of Mt Ossa, Tasmania’s highest peak to your right and Mt Pelion to your left. The view is so spectacular you simply never get tired of staring at it. When we arrived at Kia Ora we had a quick dip in a not-so-secret watering hole before being blessed with a spectacular sunset and full moon rise over Mt Catherdral.

_B0X7084Mt Pelion

Day 5 – Kia Ora to Bert Nicholls

This is officially the day you get rooted on Overland! Walking through the gorgeous rainforest it’s the day of never ending roots. Twisted and raised they are easy to trip over. As it was misty and raining it was slightly slippery and tricky at times, however it was the perfect setting to shoot the gorgeous D’Alton and Ferguson Falls.

_B0X7163Ferguson Falls

Day 6 – Bert Nicholls to Lake St Clair 

The last hurrah! Your pack is super light, the track is dead easy and you almost want to run to the Lake St Claire Jetty. The thought of real food is on your mind as is a shower and hot water. You’re on a mission!! As you see the jetty and lake in the distance you’re elevated, relieved, sad.

A real sense of accomplishment ran through my mind as i sat on the jetty waiting for the ferry.  As was thoughts of hiking the Himalayas, Machu Picchu, Mt Kilimanjaro and the Kokoda Trail…then I looked down and discovered a leech in my cleavage…. maybe not just yet!!!   


A couple important things and tips I learnt whilst doing Overland Track!

Be prepared! Start training (walking with a pack on) about month before your departure date. 

Limit the amount you carry, you’d be surprised at how little you actually need (like a heavy 1DS MK III) if you can, swap it for something lighter and smaller do it.

Really wear your hiking shoes in before you set off. I encountered so many hikers who had feet covered in bandages and blisters.

Prepare for all weather conditions, in the space of a few days you will get all four seasons

Danielle Prowse

Saturday Mornings at Salamanca Market

March 10, 2013


Salamanca Market is a must do for any visitor to Hobart. Despite the Spanish origins of its name, the market is very much a Tasmanian institution. The thousands who flock here every weekend are at odds with popular opinion of this sparsely populated state and are evidence of the high regard Tasmanian’s hold for culinary pursuits.

Held every Saturday from 8 am, the market offers patrons fresh produce, local crafts, food and wine, as well as performance acts.  The market has been operating since 1972 and has become an essential element of any Hobart experience. Wandering among the stalls, tasting the locally made produce is a wonderful way to experience what Tasmania offers. The market is located on the waterfront, in the area which shares its name. Stalls line Salamanca Place for over 400 metres, with many of the stall holders maintaining permanent sites on a long term basis.

The fantastic thing about the market is that it brings together dozens of local producers in the one spot. This makes the job of the visitor to Hobart that much easier! It’s possible to taste and purchase honey, beauty products, confectionary, fruit and vegetables, wine as well as other gourmet Tasmanian products without having to travel out of Hobart.

One of my favourite parts of the market is the locally produced tea available. In particular, the stall I tend to spend the most time at is The Art of Tea. They have been producing tea for over 12 years and offer a wide variety. Personally, the Cinnamon Chai is my favourite, but if you love tea I also recommend the Winter Dream and Organic Earl Grey.  Luckily for those who don’t live locally, the Art of Tea can deliver anywhere in Australia!

– Matt Gurr

Retail Therapy in Perth

March 5, 2013

Momo's Vintage Beaufort StMo-Mo’s Vintage Beaufort St

Whenever somebody asks me where I like to shop in Perth, I can never pick just one place, as I find that there are hidden gems scattered throughout our ever-growing city. As my moods and fashion requirements are also known to change on a daily basis, I thought I’d share a snapshot of a few of my favourite shopping destinations, depending of course on the day of the week and / or occasion.

If you’re feeling upmarket and would like to indulge your retail senses, my suburb of choice is definitely Claremont, as one cannot go past the selection and quality of high-end retailers in the Claremont Quarter with its delightful cafes such as Koko Black (the iced-chocolate is to die for!), or trendy eateries such as Beluga..

Also worth a visit is ‘Ten at Times Pop Up Boutique’, situated in Times Square Claremont off Stirling Highway. This unique concept store houses a selection of local labels and designers under one roof, which allows for the ultimate shopping experience. Not only can you meet many of the designers in-store as they style you, but you will be able to complete your look with everything you need ranging from accessories, to shoes, swimwear and more. Local designers you can find here include Kim Barton, Cebiche, Truella, Jonté, Rue Stiic, Rosie & Broken, Zamora Shoes, Sarah Zel Chescoe and Peridot London.

For a vintage shopping experience, make time to spend an afternoon trawling the retro boutiques along Beaufort St, especially the highly acclaimed Mo-Mos Vintage in Inglewood. This is one store that you can lose yourself in for hours. The shopfront appears deceivingly small, but in fact seems to expand endlessly towards the back with racks upon racks of delightful finds from every era. With the recent rebirth of thrift shopping, this is definitely set to remain a jewel in the vintage shopping crown (the owner is also super friendly and helpful!).

A great place to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon for a more alternative atmosphere is Oxford St in Leederville. There are some uber-cool stores here, some of which stay open late, including the iconic Urban Records with its selection of music, fashion (‘Urban Depot’ fashion is inside), and funky bits and pieces, located next to Oxford St Books. Fashion boutiques Harry and Gretel and Atlas Divine stock a great range of edgy clothing and accessories to stand out from the crowd. Wild Lily Empire, across the road, is also an awesome little gift and homewares store with a lovely selection of cards and costume jewellery. You are sure to find an original and quirky gift if you visit Leederville!

Hopefully these insider tips will keep you busy for a few days.  However Perth has much more to offer for those wanting more retail therapy. So watch this space for more shopping hints straight from the mouth of a confessed but not-yet-reformed shopping addict.

Kasia McNaught

January 29, 2013

In early January 2013, parts of Tasmania were affected by bush fires that swept across the state. The results were devastating for those involved. At the time of writing, over 120 homes and business have been lost and even more lives have been turned upside down.  The spirit of the Australian community has been shining strong in the aftermath of these fires, with individuals and businesses contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to the support effort. Supermarket chain Coles has donated $350,000 alone, generated from their customers as well as from the company’s own finances.

Generosity like this goes a long way in helping those within the communities rebuild. The reality of bushfires is that the effects can be long lasting. An unfortunate consequence of bushfires is the negative vibe these events create.  The media do a fantastic, and potentially lifesaving job of spreading information about bush fires. However, they also portray images of a burnt out, unhospitable landscape. Images like this are not inviting for tourists.

After the fires have been extinguished, the toll can continue to rise through financial losses associated with a decline in the number of tourists, a tragic continuation of the fires effect. The summer months are the peak time for tourism operators in Tasmania to generate income.  So, it is important to remember that the vast majority of Tasmania’s tourism infrastructure remains open for business, ready and raring to help everyone make the most from their time on the island state. The weather is still great, the beaches are still stunning and the wilderness is as picture perfect as it has always been.

If you have travel reservations for Tasmania, make sure you make the trip!

If you do not currently have plans to visit, it’s an excellent time to come and see what this beautiful state has to offer!

– Matt Gurr

Oz Day Weekend in Perth

January 25, 2013

Skyshow Perth

This long weekend in Perth is going to be a busy one in and around the Australia Day celebrations.

This year’s Skyworks, “Our Country in Colour”, will be bigger and more spectacular than ever. 35,000 pyrotechnic shots will light up the sky with a dazzling display of fireworks over the Swan River foreshore this Saturday night.

It is recommended that people go to Langley Park rather than the Perth Water Foreshore to watch the show, as The Esplanade and foreshore from Barrack St to the Narrows will be closed as viewing areas because of the Elizabeth Quay Construction Works.

Festivities will start from 3pm, including entertainment for the kids followed by the exciting addition of a brand new Laser and Water Spectacular which will run in conjunction with the pyrotechnics show at 8pm, and can only be viewed from Langley Park.

If you find yourself south of the river, head to Bathers Bay in Fremantle, where you can also enjoy live entertainment and a free sausage sizzle, as part of the “Indian Ocean Skyshow” put on by the local councils to rival that of the city’s.

Friday night is when the Central Park-themed opening party for “Picturing New York” will take place at The Art Gallery of WA. This is a world-class Photo Exhibition transporting the soul of New York culture to Perth from The Museum of Modern Art. It runs until 12th May and is definitely not to be missed!

The Four Day Opening Weekend for “Fringe World Festival” also kicks off this weekend at the Perth Cultural Centre, allowing people to sample a taste of the exciting program that will be on offer with 20 shows running per night at PCC.

It’s time for a ‘Fringe Binge’!

-Kasia McNaught

Surviving Summer in Perth

January 14, 2013


Perth has already experienced a record-breaking heatwave with WA’s most scorching Christmas period in nearly 80 years. 20 people were hospitalized, after 7 days of continuous temperatures over 37 degrees. The barometer peaked at 42.1C on New Year’s Eve, which is 13 degrees above the average temperature for December! Perth was also the hottest capital city in the world on Christmas Day. 

Although temps have slightly cooled with some relieving rain coming through, the Bureau of Meteorology is predicting that weather records will be broken again, with continuing high temperatures throughout WA. Inland parts of WA are still experiencing the wrath of the heatwave with temperatures soaring to over 45 degrees!

If you aren’t already down south or spending your weekends at Rottnest, what do you do when not cranking the aircon at home or in your office to beat the heat and stay cool?

Many of us go to the movies to escape the brutal sun, and nearly a million people flocked to the cinemas across Australia on Boxing Day, bringing in their best ever takings at $10.8 million 

There are also many venues (Luna Palace,Moonlight Cinemas,Movies By Burswood) that offer screenings of outdoor movies, so you can experience watching a film under the stars on a picnic blanket on a warm summer’s night, or head to Northbridge Piazza where they are running free movie screenings as part of a great initiative ‘Piazzarama Northbridge’ offering free family activities thanks to the City of Perth. Northbridge also plays host to popular movie spot, Rooftop Movies 

There are many other upcoming summer activities to enjoy on the Perth Calendar, such as the Twlight Hawkers Markets, every Friday night from 5pm-9pm at Forrest Place until the end of April (apart from Friday 29th March on Easter). There will be delicious street food on offer from all across the globe, plus live music and entertainment. This is a great idea for meeting friends after work, or for a night out to sample a range of exotic flavours on a Friday night!

Please note that the Jeppe Hein’s Appearing Rooms installation known as The Water Labyrinth in Forrest Chase will not be running every Friday from 1.30pm until 26 April 2013 due to the Twilight Hawkers market. 

Also look forward to the OnWilliam Laneway Night Markets on Saturday 26th January from 4pm-10pm on Hook Lane. There will be more than 50 stalls by local Northbridge creatives and artisans, offering an amazing selection of food, fashion, art and giftware.

Fringe Festival is also bringing 4 weeks of awesome shows from Australia Day eve, 25 January to 24 February 2013. Acts on range from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ to ‘Alchemy: Ingredients of a Woman’. See the Fringe website for a full program and sign up to their newsletter to receive updates or enter your postal address to receive a printed program in the mail.

We are yet to mention the simple pleasure of enjoying fish and chips on the beach, or a visit to the beach in general, since we are so lucky to have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. What a great way to celebrate summer and get into the spirit of Perth!

-Kasia McNaught

Slasher Squad

December 30, 2012


Slasher Squad

HPG is proud to introduce you to an exciting Perth film project called ‘Slasher Squad’. Both of the filmmakers, Nathan Stone and Stuart Campbell, are from WA.

They are currently running a fundraising campaign on Pozible to raise the funds needed to make the film a reality: http://www.pozible.com/slashersquad

Slasher Squad is an 8 minute, action-horror short film about a team of sexy and deadly women who hunt slasher villains by using themselves as bait.

It’s not a comedy but has a wicked sense of humour, playing with the conventions of the genre alongside films like Wes Craven’s ‘Scream; and Joss Whedon’s recent ‘Cabin in the Woods’.

The campaign is at nearly 50% of its target with 32 days to go. Because Pozible works on an ‘all or nothing’ model, the project will only receive the funding if the target is reached.

To make a donation starting from $10 and to be a part of this awesome project you can:

1. Go to http://www.pozible.com/slashersquad and watch the video https://vimeo.com/55031895

Any contributions, small or large, would be fantastic – and in exchange you will get exclusive Slasher Squad gifts!

3. Go and like their Facebook page:


Or follow Slasher Squad on Twitter:


This will keep you in the loop with all of their exciting updates and progress!

Perth-goers may even be lucky enough to meet the Slasher Squad team in person next week, as they will be out and about in the city of Perth promoting their project… more details to come!
– Kasia McNaught

Francesca Gnagnarella – Dreaming in Colour Exhibition

December 5, 2012

Francesca Gnagnarella

The beautiful Francesca Gnagnarella and one of her impressive works.

On Friday 30th November, guests gathered at SIMA Art Gallery in Times Square, Claremont, for the opening of ‘Dreaming in Colour’, an exhibition by WA-based Italian artist Francesca Gnagnarella.

The glamorous and beautiful Francesca was dressed in an amazing creation by Charissa Schlink from the Perth Fashion Festival, fitting in with the colourful theme of the art.

Gold leaf infused with splashes of colour and earthy tones were prevalent throughout her exquisite collection, in what are definitely her boldest and most impressive works to date.

With titles such as ‘A Ghostly Heart Wrapped in a Bow’ and ‘All This And Heaven As Well’, the pieces carry an ethereal and dream-like quality, and make the room feel full of light.

The night was a huge success, with a big turnout and most of the paintings being sold on the night.

The exhibition will be on display at SIMA Art Gallery until 16th December (Monday – Saturday from 10am – 5pm), so be sure to make your way there and check it out for yourself!

For more information on Francesca and her work visit: www.francescagnagnarella.com

– Kasia McNaught

Winners of our Cover Competition

November 23, 2012

Big thanks to everyone who participated in our Cover Competition, we had a great response. 

Below are the 20 names we have randomly selected from all the people who voted. 


Amanda Moore,   Annie Mitchell,   Barbara Lazzaroni,   Gael House,   Geraldine Gillen,   Joerleif Joensen,   Julia Leichtenstern,   Karen Sutton,   Le-Anne Marchesani,   Lizz Clarke,   Lorena Busia, Margaret Sumida,   Nina Zuccolo,  Pat Egan,   Roxanne Bray,   Samantha Wynd,   Therese Campion, Thomas O’Brien, Tiffany Simmonds,  Zaib Formosa

Please email hippocket@desertsea.com.au as soon as you can so we can organise for you to download your free copy of Hip Pocket Guide – Perth e-book.

Dont forget to check your junk mail if you’re download link doesnt appear in your inbox

– HPG Team

Please help us choose a cover!!!!

November 6, 2012

We are having a real difficult time choosing the cover for the revised Hip Pocket Guide – Perth. So we have decided to ask you, the public which cover you like the best.

Simply like our Facebook page and go to our cover album here. Check out the three designs and comment on which image you like most.

We will randomly choose 20 people from the comments who will each receive a copy of Hip Pocket Guide – Perth e-book.

Competition closes Wednesday 21st November

We will contact the winners via Facebook and they will be announced Friday 23rd November

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