Freycinet National Park

Published: April 8th 2018
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Today we learnt what it was like having a rushed booking. This evening, long after it had occurred, we realised we’d missed one of the tours our agent had organised for us! And, because we were a day behind, almost didn’t realise we had one tomorrow, as we thought it was the following day. At least we know now!

Anyway, apart from that realisation this evening, our day was quite nice. We woke up to our alarm at 7:15 after a very good night’s sleep in our Launceston hotel. The bed was comfy and we were both very tired still from the boat trip over.

After showering and packing, we went downstairs for breakfast in the dining room. It was your standard hot food and cereals and fruits, though we were confused on what we could eat. We were asked if we wanted the continental breakfast or the hot food breakfast, so weren’t sure if we could eat the continental food when we asked for hot food.

Either way, it wasn’t cheap, but fed us nonetheless.

We went back upstairs to collect our things and checked out around 9. We had a tour booked at the James Boag’s brewery just down from our hotel at 11, so we thought we’d explore some of the shopping while we waited.

We learnt very quickly that the Sunday business hours in Tasmania are very different to those back in Canberra. Even in Canberra, shops are open around 9 or 10 in the morning and remain open until about 4 in the afternoon. Here, most said in their windows they opened at 11, or didn’t open at all.

With a little longer time to kill, we took a short trip to Kmart (trusty 24 hour Kmart) and then headed back to the brewery.

Upon entering the brewery, we were greeted with an old building that had been renovated, though some aspects had been preserved, such as the wallpaper. We were directed upstairs where a museum was about the beers and the history of James Boag’s beers. There was another couple up there already, and in the end, it was just the four of us on the tour.

Our tour guide’s name was Tayla, and she was very knowledgeable of the process and history of the company, as well as very friendly.

At first, we were able to taste some of the ingredients used to make the beer, such as the barley, which was a very interesting experience. After that (and washing down the flavour with some water) we crossed the road to the actual brewery.

James Boag’s is a Tasmanian brewery and is solely manufactured in Launceston on that street. They own the majority of buildings on that street and use them for various aspects of making the beer.

The first place we went was the actual brewery where it is all put together. Being a Sunday, all the workers had a day off, meaning the machines were unfortunately not being used. On the plus side of this, we were able to go to places that weren’t allowed during the active working days.

I’m not really a beer person, but it was still fascinating to see the process of how it was made and to learn that one batch can make around 1 million bottles or more.

After walking through parts of the brewery, we then went to the packaging area and watched a video of how the bottles are packed. It’s fascinating, the machinery that is used, and how fast it works. The bottle capping part can cap 700 bottles a minute!

After the video, we went into the packaging room, but like the rest, it wasn’t in use. We were still able to see all the parts, which was interesting.

By this time, it was time to head back and do some tasting. I didn’t partake in this part, but ate the various cheesed that were served with it! Of the three beers that could be tasted, only 1 of them is distributed outside of Tasmania. Albert said he liked them and we are now trying to find out how much we can take back on the boat with us as it may be the only way he’ll get to have it again.

We got talking to the other couple in our tour, who were friendly and had been in Tasmania for a wedding. They were heading back to Melbourne today, though we got talking about sport and found we all had one thing in common – we all supported the Sydney Swans!

After the tour ended, we headed off to our next destination, the Freycinet National Park. The drive was nice, however there isn’t much to see. We needed to drive through the middle of Tasmania, which is mostly farms and national parks all the way through.

Midway, we found a small town called Campell Town, which had some food options. We were very excited to see a Subway drive-thru, so of course, needed to try that! After waiting quite some time, I think we decided it was faster to just go in ourselves.

There was a small park next to it, so we ate there and then went across to a really nice bakery. They made some really delicious cheese and bacon rolls.

Although Campell Town is small, it has a convict history, including being the place Ned Kelly’s father was sent originally.

It was another hour to our stop for the night, and by the time we arrived, we were glad to see some houses and civilisation again. To enter any national park in Tasmania, you need to pay, and considering our accommodation is in a national park, we stopped by the visitor centre to get a ticket. We opted to get the holiday pass, which is $60 and can be used up to 8 weeks in all national parks in Tasmania. We’ll be coming and going and going to other ones over the coming weeks, so thought it useful.

Knowing that we were on our way to a place called Freycinet Lodge, in the middle of a national park, we weren’t entirely sure what to expect. But any concerns were soon abated when we walked into reception. It may be in the middle of bush, but it’s lively and very modern and very, very pretty.

And expensive.

Freycinet Lodge overlooks Richardsons Beach, has around 60 cabins varying in size and type, a bar and two restaurants. It’s also very busy with people and clearly very popular.

Our cabin is a deluxe spa room, with a king bed, TV and large, modern bathroom.

Once settled in, we decided to go for a walk down to Richardsons Beach, where we saw a little wallaby. The beach is calm with no waves and very peaceful to walk, though it is very cold today!

We then went to the bistro for dinner, as you aren’t required to book for this and they said the restaurant was all booked out when we arrived. It was after dinner we realised we missed our tour to see the little blue penguins and a lesson learned to look more carefully at our itinerary. We knew we were going, but thought it was tomorrow night instead. From now on, we’ll be checking it every day to make sure we have it right!

We are also lucky we checked, as we weren’t planning on tomorrow’s activity until the day after. So, at least we know now we need to be ready to be picked up at 9am!

Now, we are sitting in the main lodge with plenty of other people, enjoying the warmth it has to offer. We are looking forward to exploring the area tomorrow and maybe even doing some walking tracks they have to offer!

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