We departed from Port Arthur early in the morning. Our next destination was several hours away and we wanted plenty of time to hike there. We were headed for the Freycinet National Park and the beautiful beach at Wineglass Bay.
The drive continued along windy, narrow roads. Ashley described the land as looking a bit like Cornwall (the fact that we’re listening to an audiobook set in 1920s England may have helped inspire that comparison). It is a mixture of pastures, old trees, and lots of sheep. This morning, a beautiful fog hung over the farmlands. We stopped to get a few pictures of the fog and the dew covered spiderwebs on a fence. From there it was off to the park.
There are two ways to hike to the bay. The first is a 200m elevation change (both up and down, each way), but is only 3km each way. The other is a much flatter route, but is 9 km each way. In the interest of time, we opted for the steep, short route. Roughly 300 steps up led us up to a beautiful overlook on a saddle between two mountains. Fortunately, this is where most people stop.
The walk down to the bay itself was steep, but nothing too treacherous. What awaited was a pristine white sand beach overlooking a bright blue bay. The water was too cold for swimming, but neither of us wanted to hike back wet anyway. We sat on the rocks eating a picnic lunch and enjoying the quiet – there were a maximum of 20 people on the beach the whole time we were there. We were amused by the persistence of a shore bird was unable to ply any crackers away from us and spent most of the time making sure the other birds knew we belonged to him.
On the way back to our lodgings, we stopped at Devil’s Corner to sample the wines. It was very relaxing to sit and sip on a glass while overlooking the ocean. The wines were quite delicious and we sent a few bottles off to wait for us in Alice.
We stayed at a holiday park about an hour south. They had a small herd of European deer which seemed out of place, as well as wallabies and possums. We were warned about the possums being overly nosy. Not long after returning from dinner, Drew went out for some fire wood and found one of them perched on the railing
… we made sure all of the doors and windows were closed before going to bed.
We spent the next day driving to and enjoying Launceston. Nothing dramatic or exciting, but a very relaxing day. We enjoyed being in a city for an afternoon, with shopping and good food a few minutes stroll away. We’ve made plans for the next day or two that will take back out bush, but it was nice to be in civilization again for a bit.