What's the secret?
I made the journey from Melbourne to Hobart in search of some locations that have become increasingly popular on Instagram over the last 2 years, so much so that many professional landscape photographers in Tasmania were beginning to talk about the degradation of the landscape in those locations.
One such location is Secret Falls.
So why is it called Secret Falls? Because it used to be a secret, it’s now Hobart’s worst kept secret with countless posts of the location.
Deep within Mount Wellington National Park lies Myrtle Gully Falls, and as you trek through the forest you will begin to hear the sounds of running water and the waterfall as you approach. Myrtle Gully Falls is lined with a path and a little footbridge for hikers and photographers alike to set up compositions of this stunning little cascading waterfall.
Less than 50m downstream, the flowing water disappears into a cavern below, you have found what locals referred to as Secret Falls. The cavern requires access down a thick fern lined steep embankment which is maybe 5 metres deep from the walking path. Landscape photographers that would go in search of this waterfall, would walk further downstream and walk back along the stream and marvel in the beauty of the ancient world feel, lush green tree ferns and deep black rocks covered in dense and beautiful glistening moss.
BUT… two years on from my last visit, there has been significant changes. A beaten muddy path down the embankment now clearly marks a path to the falls, in fact it is so beaten you can’t possibly miss it. Once in the cavern, some of the lush tree ferns no longer remain and are now pushed into the stream and the lush green cavern is now mostly black, with the moss noticeably thinner. Paths line the falls, up the embankment, down the embankment and along the stream.
As I carefully approached the falls, I documented my entry and paths that were laid before me, the ancient world was no longer, although it is still beautiful the landscape no longer had the same impact it did two years prior.
“Photography is the art of frozen time… the ability to store emotion and feelings within a frame.”
It wasn’t because I had previously been to the location, what made Secret Falls spectacular is slowly disappearing. It no longer feels like that hidden ancient world that it once did. It was kind of sad sitting there and looking around and remembering what once was.