Filming trip to the West Coast

I have been fortunate in my work that it often affords the opportunity to see and experience aspects of Tasmania well beyond what is available to the average visitor or citizen.

A recent trip to the West Coast in the company of the crew from Hype TV to produce a series of new promotional videos for the West Coast Wilderness Railway allowed us to access the West Coast Wilderness Railway line in ways that few others can.

West Coast Wilderness Railway steward Tom Pavic records a piece for the video series at Queenstown Station
West Coast Wilderness Railway steward Tom Pavic records a piece for the video series at Queenstown Station

We had a busy schedule to film in Queenstown and then at Strahan, but we also had time to go out on track with members of the Railway track crew to film never-before filmed elements of the experience.

The top of the Rinadeena Saddle on the West Coast Wilderness Railway line
The top of the Rinadeena Saddle on the West Coast Wilderness Railway line

We were taken up to Rinadeena via the staff-only access road where the crew walked back down the track to position themselves safely to the side so they could film the steam loco climbing to the top of the Rinadeena Saddle using the Abt Rack and Pinion system, something impossible to observe when onboard the train (although passengers can certainly feel and hear the pinion cog engaging and disengaging from the rack).

The crew in high-vis vests walks back up the line after filming the train's arrival at Rinadeena Station
The crew in high-vis vests walks back up the line after filming the train’s arrival at Rinadeena Station
The West Coast Wilderness Railway arrives at Rinadeena Station after climbing using the Abt Rack and Pinion system
The West Coast Wilderness Railway arrives at Rinadeena Station after climbing using the Abt Rack and Pinion system

Hard work has its rewards, and after a long, hot and hectic day’s filming, dinner overlooking Strahan and Macquarie Harbour from the restaurant at Strahan Village was an enjoyable end to a satisfying day.

Strahan from the restaurant at Strahan Village
Strahan from the restaurant at Strahan Village
Macquarie Harbour from the restaurant at Strahan Village in Strahan
Macquarie Harbour from the restaurant at Strahan Village in Strahan

We needed images of other experiences in Strahan for the videos, including Morrison’s Sawmill, where precious Tasmanian timbers are sawn using techniques going back generations and then crafted into desirable household items for sale to visitors.

Strahan harbour from Morrison's sawmill
Strahan harbour from Morrison’s Sawmill

Again we travelled with the Railway track crew – the estimable Darren ‘Bogga’ Bryce and his offsider Jesse (see more of Bogga in this video produced by the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania here). This time we started at Strahan and travelled along the line up the King River to capture images of the major bridges along the line, which passengers can only glimpse from the train.

Iron Bridge over the King River along the West Coast Wilderness Railway line
Iron Bridge over the King River along the West Coast Wilderness Railway line
Iron Bridge over the King River along the West Coast Wilderness Railway line
Iron Bridge over the King River along the West Coast Wilderness Railway line
The crew films from the Iron Bridge over the King River
The crew films from the Iron Bridge over the King River
Rob files a drone around the Iron Bridge along the West Coast Wilderness Railway line between Queenstown and Strahan
Rob files a drone around the Iron Bridge along the West Coast Wilderness Railway line between Queenstown and Strahan

Before the railway ran all the way to Strahan, it extended to Teepookana on the King River, which around 1900 was one of the busiest ports in Tasmania. Initially used by piners to ship out Huon pine logs, it was used to ship minerals from the mines of Queenstown from the late 19th century. Little evidence remains of its existence adjacent to the Iron Bridge.

This patch of forest on the shores of the King River was once Teepookana, and one of the busiest ports in Tasmania around 1900
This patch of forest on the shores of the King River was once Teepookana, and one of the busiest ports in Tasmania around 1900
An historic photograph showing Teepookana at its most active
An historic photograph showing Teepookana at its most active

A little further along, a new bridge has been constructed from sections of the Bailey bridge which was a vital link across the River Derwent in Hobart during the years following the Tasman Bridge disaster in the mid 1970s. It replaces the original ‘Quarter Mile’ bridge, the remains of which can be seen off to one side.

Remnants of the original Quarter Mile Bridge over the King River on Tasmania's West Coast
Remnants of the original Quarter Mile Bridge over the King River on Tasmania’s West Coast
The new Quarter Mile Bridge over the King River on the West Coast Wilderness Railway line
The new Quarter Mile Bridge over the King River on the West Coast Wilderness Railway line
The King River near the site of the Quarter Mile bridge
The King River near the site of the Quarter Mile bridge
The new Quarter Mile Bridge over the King River on the West Coast Wilderness Railway line
The new Quarter Mile Bridge over the King River on the West Coast Wilderness Railway line
The King River from the new Quarter Mile Bridge on the West Coast Wilderness Railway line
The King River from the new Quarter Mile Bridge on the West Coast Wilderness Railway line
Hype TV's Rob Harrison flies a drone to film never-before-seen footage of the Quarter Mile Bridge
Hype TV’s Rob Harrison flies a drone to film never-before-seen footage of the Quarter Mile Bridge
Members of the West Coast Wilderness Railway crew watch as Hype TV's Rob Harrison flies a drone to filming the Quarter Mile Bridge
Members of the West Coast Wilderness Railway crew watch as Hype TV’s Rob Harrison flies a drone to filming the Quarter Mile Bridge

Having commissioned the videos, my role was to facilitate the production, with the capable assistance of my West Coast Wilderness Railway colleagues. Beyond that, and keeping the crew and staff members safe, fed, watered and generally happy, I also took the opportunity to use the occasion to promote the Railway by posting stories on our social media channels.

Every moment is a marketing opportunity! An Instagram story post during the filming
Every moment is a marketing opportunity! An Instagram story post during the filming

As well as Instagram stories, I posted a couple of live Facebook broadcasts of trains arriving and departing, such as this one of the train departing Regatta Point Station, headed for Queenstown. Such posts seem to have strong engagement so I generally try to do them whenever I have an appropriate opportunity.

Of course, on any trip, I generally find time to take some pretty pictures too, so here’s a few from this trip.

Lupins, considered a weed when they spread into bushland, are undeniably attractive when in a garden such as this one at the central highlands village of Tarraleah
Lupins, considered a weed when they spread into bushland, are undeniably attractive when in a garden such as this one at the central highlands village of Tarraleah
Queenstown Station and the Empire Hotel at dusk
Queenstown Station and the Empire Hotel at dusk
Hunters Hotel in Orr Street, Queenstown
Hunters Hotel in Orr Street, Queenstown
Sunset in Queenstown
Sunset in Queenstown

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.