Day 156 – Freycinet National Park
Weather Update: It was surprisingly warm here last night – I ended up sleeping half out of my blanket. It was comfortable walking around in my thongs first thing in the morning, too. The skies were light, but still very grey and overcast, though fortunately no rain on the radar.
We ducked off early and had breakfast at Honeymoon Cove, and this was my first taste of the beauty of Freycinet (Frey-shin-ay) National Park – The beautiful turquoise waters, the white sands and the orange lichen on granite outcrops.
Probably the most well known part of Freycinet N.P. is Wineglass Bay, which is only accessible via a mid-sized hike over a mid-sized hill. I didn’t pay too much attention to how long it took us, but I think it was a little over an hour from the car park, including a bit of a rest at the lookout mid way to take in the views (and catch our breath). Even in this cloudy weather, Wineglass Bay looked fantastic, almost blindingly white.
We were lucky to have beaten much of the crowd to the beach, so we had it to ourselves for quite a while (not that it was that busy). Up close it wasn’t as white as it looked from the lookout, but it was still very, very pristine, with that lovely squeak with each step you take. The water was gorgeous, but it felt like the water at the bottom of an Esky – icy. I told Risa that I wanted to go swimming in Tasmania, but after standing knee deep in it here I am questioning if I’ll actually go through with it (especially without having a hot shower waiting).
The plan was to return back to the car park, but somehow Risa agreed to the longer (8km vs 2km) return journey via Hazard Beach, mostly because it meant we wouldn’t have to climb up and over that mid-way hill again. The path was reasonably flat, so we kept a reasonable pace. From the lookout Hazards Beach looked like it had the most amazing water, but up close it didn’t look as nice as Wineglass Bay did, but it could be due to the weather closing in while we were there. It was a long walk along the beach into a strong, gusty headwind – I had to do my best to keep the sand out of my eyes with each gust (and to protect the camera…).
The path vaguely followed the coastline back to the car park, and every so often we’d come across another phenomenal bay with shining blue waters and glowing orange rocks. Though, most of the time it was just traipsing through colourless (and somewhat lifeless) pine trees along a sandy path.
We did come across quite a bit of wildlife, some of it welcome, some of it not so. We saw several wallabies, a rad little lizard munching on a (relatively) enormous worm, and this 1.5m snake. Risa has a borderline paralysing fear of snakes, and this one really pushed her limits. I tried to scare it off as best I could from a (very) safe distance, but it kept following the same path that we wanted to take… Eventually it disappeared in to the bushes not to be seen by us again.
It was an 11km hike in the end by the time we finally returned to the car park, and we were hot, sweaty and exhausted (we’re not very fit). At the car park there were even more wallabies hanging around, begging for food. They’ve obviously become quite accustomed to being fed as they weren’t shy coming right up close to people. I fought the urge to give them any food, even though they were so cute. Sadly, plenty of other tourists were feeding them… including one skank that fed them, then when they swarmed behind her car eating the food (and they wanted to leave) she moved the food in front of our car (while we were sitting inside watching them). The wallabies then moved to the front of our car, and soon after there were even more tourists giving them even more snacks… At least it gave us something to watch while we ate lunch…
A little north of Freycinet N.P. is the beachside town of Bicheno (I think the towns in this area are named after French wine regions?). My half-sister moved down here a few years ago and surprised me when she said it wasn’t that cold, and that the surf was actually really good. I also read that it is Tasmania’s hottest town, and it was certainly t-shirt and shorts weather, which is the first time since we left outback South Australia a few weeks ago.
First stop in Bicheno was the blowhole, which I had low hopes for after seeing so many dud blowholes on our trip. Risa decided to sleep in the car rather than go for a walk to see it, that’s how low our expectations were. I’m pleased to say that it was actually pretty damn cool. Even with this rather calm sea it was spurting more than 2m into the air. Bicheno had a nice feel to the town, though warm/sunny weather certainly helps give that feeling. Unlike many towns, it really didn’t feel much like a tourist town, which gives it bonus points. It was also interesting seeing sheep grazing on blocks of land with beautiful ocean/beach views, right on the edge of town.
A little north of town was Denison Beach. It was only 5PM (daylight savings time) and we only had a short distance to go to our planned stop for the night so I pulled in to have a peak. Risa was still exhausted from our hike, so she had a nap, but I had to come back and wake her up so she could see how amazing the sand was here, too. We’ve seen plenty of amazing beaches, and it’s hard to honestly judge between them, but I will say that this beach here is right up there with Cable Beach in Broome, and the beaches in Exmouth for super fine white sand. It was seriously like flour, throwing a handful of it would turn it to dust/smoke. It’s just a shame that the weather didn’t do this place justice, as I can imagine on a clear and calm day it would be incredible.
We’ve stopped for the night alongside another beach, but even though it is only 20km north, the amazing white sand has been replaced with (still beautiful) golden sand. But, it was starting to rain, so instead of exploring we cooked dinner, watched the MotoGP and relaxed after a big day (for us).
１５ 6日目 １０月 １6日（水 ） Freycinet 国立公園 がんばってハイキング
そして辿り着いたワイングラスベイ。 エスペランスやブルーム程ではないけど、なかなかきれいなビーチです。 昆布がいっぱい打ち上げられてたので磯のかおりが、北海道の海を思い出させます笑
私たちが、今日一番乗りにこのビーチについたので、波際を裸足で散歩。 まっさらなビーチに足跡をつけて歩くのって、冬の朝一にまっさらな新雪の上を滑るみたいな爽快で特別な気分♫ 水は、頭がキーンとするほど冷たい！
途中、１kmほどビーチを歩くのですが、風がものすんごく強くて、砂が目に入る！ でもこちらの湾Coles Bayもエメラルドグリーンの海がとってもキレイです。
後半は、ちょっと登りが出てきたり、太陽がさしていたので、かなり暑く感じてタスマニアにきて初めて汗だくになりました。 そして私の天敵、ヘビも出現。。。 黒くてけっこう太くて２mあったかも。 オーストラリアでは、ヘビに遭遇する確率が、この旅ではほぼ１００％海沿いなのでなんとなく嫌な予感はしてたけど、やっぱ嫌〜
でも駐車場につくとかわいいワラビーが寄ってきて、かわいかったー。 エサをねだってるだけなんだけど、それでもかわいい。 いやされる〜
Danison というビーチにも寄ってきました。 これが驚き、砂は、オーストラリアのどのビーチよりも白く、細かくとってもキレイで、なんとも肌触りが最高。 海もとってもきれいなエメラルドグリーンで、まさかタスマニアでこんなきれいなビーチが見られるとは。 しかも虹もでてたー♡