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Discovering more of South Arm, a treasure trove for photography

Updated: Oct 3, 2021

South Arm, for those who don't know, is a peninsula that curls around to the south on Hobart's Eastern shore, as you can see below.

DAY 1 - Blessington Trail Walk


I have mostly been going to the long beach on the south side of the thin isthmus you see, which looks across to Betsey Island. However, I was recommended to go on the Blessington Trail, which starts in South Arm itself, near the War Memorial and curls around so you are following the coast on the west side, down to the elbow where you reach Cape Pillar and the Iron Pot Lighthouse.

It's a pretty easy walk, mostly flat, though if you go all the way to Cape Direction it's certainly not just a casual stroll, perhaps an hour to an hour and a half. In springtime it was very picturesque, bursting with colour from the many different flowers that adorn the track and surrounds. It didn't do my hay fever any favours, but it certainly made for an attractive walk. You also pass by many interesting houses, the kind you might expect to see on "Grand Designs", and yards containing all sorts of interesting things - cubby houses, bee hives, even a skate ramp....

When I'm walkin a trail like this I really like to find lots of little details along the way to tell a bit of a story of the journey, and the Blessington Trail is particularly interesting one visually.

But it's not just little details and colours, after the first section of track you walk along a couple of small beaches, which are certainly fairly low key and unexciting compared to what you see on other parts of peninsula, but they were pleasant enough to walk along and had a few interesting features including what looked like a makeshift hut made of branches. Looking back you could also get some nice views of Mount Wellington looming up across the water , the snow still visible from a big fall a few days ago. These broader, grander views are in contrast to the more intimate feel of the irst part of the track with its array of colour and quirky little details.

For the last part, to get to Cape Direction you have to pass by land used by the army and there are all sorts of warnings about their possibly being live ammunition used in the area or something like that, though I don't think there was any danger of that the day I was there. The scenery as you near Cape Direction is more rocky and rugged and you can see some impressive swells out around the lighthouse. With barely a breath of wind to be felt, I took the opportunity to fly the drone around a little bit around the coastline and out towards the lighthouse, and got some pretty decent panoramic shots looking down along South Arm and the isthmus.

I took a slightly different route on the way back and went by a war memorial and a sort of palm tree grotto which looked like it belonged somewhere far more tropical.

DAY 2 - Walking out to Cape Direction


I returned to South Arm a few days later, this time arriving at about 4pm ( now daylight savings time), but parked at the start of the trail just at the entrance to the Fort Direction military zone, from which the public is cut off. The trail from the road takes you down to the beach and from there I made my way to Cape Direction, bathed in brilliant golden light. The other noticeable different was that the sea was much stronger and wilder than before, with the waves getting bigger with every bay I passed through on the way to Cape Direction.

The view from Cape Direction was quite spectacular, with waves crashing in every direction, and I regretted not bringing my long lense to capture some of the big waves crashing dramatically around the Iron Pot Lighthouse.

I wasn't able to get the drone up for very long as, apart from a strongish wind, it attracted a flock of somewhat menacing birds, but nevertheless I managed to get enough for one composite portrait shot of the swells and the lighthouse.

There's also a step pathway down on side of the bluff to a secluded inlet protected from the wind, where I briefly attempted to fly the drone, but mostly I was taken by the dramatic waves surging in and the sound of all the rocks rolling back loudly as the tide pulled back after a big wave. Hopefully at some point soon, I'll post a video with some of the footage I've collected from these visits. So watch this space !

And to finish, here are a few of the pics from the way back as the sun was at its brightest and most golden.


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