With some spare time on my annual leave I decided to pack up my most beloved camera and head off to the West Coast. Leaving from Devonport I travelled through Burnie before heading south on the Murchinson Highway, my destination for the week was Granville Harbour. I had arranged to rent a private shack there for a week of quiet escape.
Travelling through Zeehan I stopped to take a photo of the Gaiety Theatre on my iPhone. I had been to Zeehan on many occasions but all of these had been during my work role and and never had the time to admire this impressive building. After my quick stop I proceed to travel the 20km to Granville Harbour. About half and hour later I was turning off the main road and heading towards the wild Indian Ocean to the shack I would call my home for the week.
What a superb sight I was greeted with. A little shack over looking the notorious Granville Harbour. With massive waves pounding on to the rocks I could not imagine anyone surviving if they dared to venture out into the harbour in a boat. The locals assure me though that if the surf conditions are right, that it is an excellent spot for cray fishing and abalone diving.
As a person who is a little dependent on my mobile phone I quickly learned that there is no phone coverage at Granville Harbour. The only covereage is back up the hill in a paddock – even here it is a little dicey with reception coming and going.
My first day at Granville Harbour was a little unexciting but nice. With the sounds of the massive surf I settled onto the couch and proceeded to read a novel. Something I have not done for a long time. This consumed my day.
The second day at the shack I decided to take a little walk. Granville Harbour is an amazing place which attracts 4x wheel drives and trail bikes to explore the many tracks around the place. My Mitsubishi sedan however would not stand 2 seconds on these tracks so it was my feet I had to rely on. After a short walk I found a lovely little beach, sheltered from the big surf by massive rocks. This beach was covered in thousands of little shells. On a warm day this would be a brilliant place to bring a book/magazine and laze in the sun. No one would ever know you were there.
Day three I decided to go for a little drive. No phone service was bearing a little to much for me and I also wanted to check out Trial Harbour, situated near Zeehan. So back to Zeehan I went. With the lighting conditions just right and not a lot of traffic to be seenI set my tripod up in the middle of the street to take a photo of the suburb building that I had admired a few days before. I wanted to take a photo of it using a ‘real camera’. Once I was happy with my results and a call back to my partner at home to tell him I was still alive, I set off to Trail Harbour.
At Trail Harbour I took my camera on to the beach and began snapping away at this amazing lovely beach. This beach is one that when the weather was warm enough and the surf conditions were right you could enjoy a swim. However there are signs warning you of the fierce conditions, and that it is not a beach to be taken lightly. After spending nearly 2 hours walking and snapping with my camera I packed up and went back to my lovely little shack at Granville.
On the way back in the car the local Queenstown radio station was predicitng fierce wind conditions for the West Coast. So while I knew that it would be a rough night nothing prepared me for the night I was about to experience. With wind, lighting, thunder all crashing around me I expected to go outside in the morning and find my car on its roof or damage to the shack. However I was fortunate and none of these things happened.
However I can say that I did not get alot of sleep that night!
The last day at the shack was spent with my partner and his children. They decided to drive down and spend and night with me. My quiet little solitary holiday was gone once the children arrived however I now had access to a four wheel drive. So braving the rough, mud sludge tracks filled with lots and lots of puddles, (and these were not small puddles either) we took off north in search of the sand dunes. After half hour of driving we came upon magnificent dunes. You felt as though maybe you were in the middle of a desert for as far as you could see was just sand. It felt like another part of the world. It was totally mind blowing.
Other things I enjoyed while at Granville were spending hours trying to capture the wide range of bird life with my camera, collecting shells with the children on the beach I mentioned, but most of all kicking back and forgetting that there is a world of technology, work and chores which constantly nag at you in the real world.
It was a perfect place to recharge the batteries.
Ally Rolls is a young photographer from Northern Tasmania whose work we discovered from a facebook post.
Ally Rolls Photography