*Pic: Paul Fleming’s pic of sunrise on Mt Wellington …

When Tourism Tasmania asked Paul Fleming if he wanted to be part of social media history his response was “Sure, can I go crazy?”

Tasmania will feature in an innovative and world-first social media initiative this Sunday 27 September, which will see over 60 countries and 80 destinations around the world showcase inspiring Instagram images. The idea for #helloworldRELAY was conceived by Australia’s leading integrated travel group, helloworld, to celebrate United Nations World Tourism Day, which recognises the importance tourism plays in today’s world. With Instagram as a primary channel, the #helloworldRELAY provides a platform to showcase the unique attractions and diversity of Tasmania.

As a photographer and destination advocate Paul Fleming was a natural choice to share images that make Tasmania so extraordinary. Working alongside helloworld and Tourism Tasmania, Paul has crafted a bespoke itinerary that will see him showcase the island’s alpine and accessible wilds and wildlife through to its history and the coastal experiences and iconic Wineglass Bay on its east coast, all over 12 hours, from sunrise to sunset.

The Tasmanian native grew up in Launceston and has always been a passionate advocate for showcasing Tasmania’s incredible natural assets. Now residing in Hobart, Paul was first introduced to Instagram by a friend, “I never intended to make a business out of Instagram, I’ve always been a keen photographer so I started sharing my everyday life and it snowballed from there,” said Paul.

“I love to photograph things that are stunning but accessible so anyone could experience what I’m sharing through my lens. I generally go for beautiful destination shots where there is lots of colour.”

Paul thinks people will be surprised by what they will see on Sunday, “When I first heard about the #helloworldRELAY I was excited by the challenge and thought it was a great opportunity to showcase Tasmania’s diversity. You can be 1200m high on Mount Wellington, with 360-degree views of Hobart within a 20-minute drive from the city. I wanted to create an itinerary that was a little crazy to show the variety of experience people can have here.”

It is no surprise that Mount Wellington will feature as part of the itinerary for the relay, providing the perfect vantage point to capture the rising sun. “Mount Wellington is a classic experience in Hobart and the view provides a really good sense of place. We’ll watch the sun come up over the bays and peninsulas of southern Tasmania – signalling the start of the relay and our day of adventure.”

After descending the mountain, Paul will embark on an ‘amazing race’ style quest to capture Tasmania, from Hobart’s harbour-side vibe to Tasmania’s most visited waterfall, native baby animals and even a whiskey distillery. Lesser known look outs and viewpoints will also be featured and expect to see iconic shots such as Wineglass Bay and Coles Bay, where the relay will reach it’s stunning conclusion. In total, Paul will cover 370kms in one day, dashing around the island.

When asked what he is most looking forward to shooting, Paul doesn’t hesitate. “I’ve got two favourite shots, sunrise on Mount Wellington and sunset at Coles Bay, Freycinet Peninsula. The sun rises and sets at a slower pace in Tasmania, so the colours tend to linger longer in the sky and makes for an incredible shot”.

As the sun rises in each destination on World Tourism Day, Instagrammers will commence posting images until the sun sets in their location. Beginning at sunrise in Samoa, the westernmost point of the earth, and travelling across the world like a Mexican wave until it finishes at sunset in the Cook Islands 36 hours later.

Residents of Hobart and surrounding areas also have the chance to be part of social media history as the city will host an Instagram meet up (insta-meet) as part of the #helloworldRELAY for two hours during World Tourism Day, inviting other social media enthusiasts and travellers to get involved.

Hobart and Beyond, Hobart and Southern Tasmania’s Regional Tourism Organisation, has created a mobile Instameet, kicking off at 10:30am 27 September with morning tea at the Lenna of Hobart. Built in 1874, Lenna is a landmark Hobart hotel associated with Hobart’s early maritime history. Next the group will jump on the Red Decker – a distinctive bright red UK double decker bus, to experience the architectural and cultural beauty of Hobart. Key highlights include Hobart’s oldest and historic suburb Battery Point, the stunning city’s waterfront, the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, Australia’s oldest operating brewery Cascade and the World Heritage-listed Cascades Female Factory. To get involved RSVP via Instagram to @hobartandbeyond.

Follow Paul’s adventure on Instagram @LoveThyWalrus @Tasmania #DiscoverTasmania.

To see other destinations in the relay follow @helloworldAU on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter or go online at relay.helloworld.com.au or simply search #helloworldRELAY.

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