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Published: September 2nd 2018
Happy Australia Day!
We set off early after a quick breakfast, following the route we had taken the day before. We planned to do quite a long hike today as it would get back in the saddle for our multi-day hike in the Three Capes at the end of our trip. We came to the beach and the national park office area and then headed along the road to main part of the park. We weren't so lucky today and no one stopped to offer us a lift, so we had to do the whole walk, the uphill parts were a bit tough and it added at least another hour on to our hike. Not what we wanted when we had a long day ahead of us. I really wished that there was a shuttle bus in operation as it would make things much easier for those of us without access to our own transportation. Tasmania is definitely not the easiest place to get around without a car and numerous people we spoke to on our trip were surprised that we were able to cover so much ground using the local bus services. Still we were feeling pretty optimistic for
our day of hiking around the park. We had our itinerary planned. Yesterday, we had headed left up the Mount Amos track, which had given up spectacular views over Wineglass Bay. Today, we were heading right along the Hazards Beach Track to Cooks Beach, before returning to Hazards Beach to turn inland to follow the Isthmus Track, then take a detour down to Wineglass Bay, before following the Winglass Bay Track back to the starting point.
We got to the start of the trail and followed it in the direction of Hazards Beach. There wasn't too much to see on the first part of the trail as there were a lot of bushes on either side of the trail. I kept getting glimpses of the ocean and after a while, we came to the start of Hazards Beach. The beach was stunningly beautiful. I never knew that Tasmania had such amazing beaches. The beach was pretty empty too. We chilled there for a while, my friend went for a swim, while I was content to sit on the beach and take in my stunning surroundings. There were a couple of boats anchored offshore. To be rich and to be
able to jet about the Freycinet Peninsula by boat. That is definitely going on my bucket list for if I win the lottery. Since we were only at the start of the beach, we still had the majority of our journey ahead of us. The walk along Hazards Beach was really pleasant, but walking on sand was a little tough going. The walk along the beach took longer than expected, but it was worth it to look back and see the gorgeous beach from the other angle.
We headed a little inland and away from the beach. We stopped to have some lunch at a picnic spot. We saw a few people who were doing the overnight hike in the area. As much as I would love to do something like that the thought of carrying a tent and cooking on a campfire is a little 'too roughing' it for me. I totally hate carrying anything more than the bare minimum and was already a little worried for our multi day hike at the end of the trip. We then continued on a little further to Cooks Beach. Hard to believe, but this beach was even quieter than Hazards
Beach. We were treated to more gorgeous views. The sea was such a beautiful shade of blue and the skies were gorgeous. Coming from polluted, wintry China , where I felt at times that I could cut through the pollution in the air around me with a knife, this place was like heaven on earth. I bet my lungs were thanking me for all the fresh air, too. Since we still had quite a bit of hiking ahead of us, we didn't go too far along Cooks Beach and after a while headed back to Hazards Beach. All the walking on sand was taking its toll on me and I was definitely starting to feel tired. I was hoping that the start of the Isthmus Track was nearer to this end of the beach, but no, it was closer to the other end of the beach.
There were steps leading up to the Isthmus Track and the signpost at the bottom of the stairs promised it was a 30 minute, 2 kilometre walk. That didn't sound too bad. The walk was pretty nice and we passed the Hazards Lagoon, which wasn't really anything to write home about, but it
was nice to see a variation in the landscape after walking along the beaches. We reached Wineglass Bay and sank down in the sand. I think it was well after 4 o'clock by this point and we had been hiking all day. Wineglass Bay was different to the beaches we had been to on the other side of the peninsula. I can't really describe how, just the beach felt higher. There were more people on the beach compared to the other ones, but it still didn't feel crowded or overrun with people. I wonder if it was because we arrived so late in the day. I could have sat on the beach for hours, but we knew we still had a way to go. Also we knew it was time to go when a woman decided to get changed right in my view line. Old lady vagina was not something I had wanted to see, but I got a full frontal view.
The last part of the trail was uphill from the beach in the direction of the Wineglass Bay Lookout. That was tough going as I was tired by now and there were loads of sprightly people who
hadn't hiked 20 kilometres passing by us with a spring in their step. Eventually, we made it back to the starting point and with no other option headed back down the road to Coles Bay. We were hoping and praying that some kind soul would see us and how knackered we were and offer us a lift in their car, but we had no such luck. Every vehicle drove by without giving us a second glance. We made it to the beach by the information centre and I had to stop and take my boots off and dip my feet in the ocean. I need the water to rejuvenate my feet a little. It worked and they felt a bit better, but I was completely gutted about having to put my boots back on. We got to the town and the store was long shut and the cafe/bar/restaurant across the way was shutting up too. It looked like we would be going without dinner. We were hoping that there still might be options near our hostel. Our hiking itinerary for the day had been fine on paper, as we had expected to be able to bum a lift to and
from the info centre to the start of the trail, when that didn't happen it added an extra 6 kilometres or so to our walking.
We finally made it back to the hostel, well after nine pm. I was so knackered and the last bit of the walk was torture. I just wanted it to be over. We had hoped that something might still be open, but the shop and pub were shut or about to shut, so there was no way we could get a meal anywhere, just what you don't want after a 30 km+ day of hiking. We had a tiny amount of food left at the hostel, it wasn't really enough for one person, so having to share it between the two of us was pretty awful. We got half a bread bun each with a little bit of leftover pesto from the night before. Hindsight is definitely a beautiful thing and we should have stocked up on more food, but the local stores were expensive, we weren't staying long, and I don't think either of us had expected to spend so long hiking. We definitely went to bed feeling hungry that night, but I
had thoroughly enjoyed my two days hiking around Freycinet National Park. It is such a stunningly beautiful place, not just Wineglass Bay, but the other beaches we visited were utterly gorgeous, too. We had perfect weather as well which totally helped. It has definitely set the standard high for the rest of Tasmania and I was eager to see more.
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