Tasmania - Freycinet National Park

Published: March 7th 2015
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Church of John the BaptistChurch of John the BaptistChurch of John the Baptist

Built by convicts in 1846. Famous for it's 14th century stained glass window.
Tuesday 3rd March 2015

A morning a little more on track than usual and we were on our way well before 1000 hours. The traffic into Hobart was light and we made good time there and through the city. A little holdup when we veered left after crossing the bridge but this was soon rectified.

Just outside of Buckland we stopped to look at a convict built church (we saw all the cars outside so had to stop), which is known for its 14th century stained glass windows which came from Hastings, England in 1846.

Here, we also had a coffee break at the local roadhouse as nature called.

The highway twisted and turned and after having several cars tailgating us even though we were moving, we thought, quite quickly, we pulled into a rest stop near a beach for a break. Here we admired the coast before continuing a short way to Spiky Bridge, built by the convicts. The bridge was constructed from field stones laid without mortar or cement and the parapet features field stones laid vertically, giving the bridge a spiky appearance. We read that the spikes were designed to prevent cattle falling over the sides of the bridge.

From here we drove into Swansea, the only sizeable town before Coles Bay. A walk along the coast and a visit to the East Coast Heritage Museum were interesting attractions here. We wandered through the museum which housed some of the local history and artefacts. Here, too, some provisions were bought as well as the all-important supply of wine from the bottleshop at the local tavern.

On reaching Coles Bay we eventually found the holiday house we would be sharing with Jan and Brett, as they indicated by text that they would be arrive about an hour after us.

We killed some time exploring some of the coastal walking tracks before finding Jan and Brett settling into the unit. We did the same and the late afternoon and evening was spent catching up over drinks, nibbles and maps planning tomorrow’s walk.

Whilst Brett did some needed washing and Judy had a cup of tea, Jan and Rags had another wine before we all contemplated going to bed early in readiness for tomorrow’s adventure.

Wednesday 4th March 2015

At about 1000 we were
Spiky BridgeSpiky BridgeSpiky Bridge

Named for obvious reason. Built by the convicts and aptly named.
all prepared to go on an 11kms walk in the Freycinet National Park. This walk entailed climbing the saddle between Mt Amos and Mt Mayson to a lookout of one of Tasmania’s most known views, Wineglass Bay, continuing on to the beach itself and then crossing the island at the isthmus and returning to the carpark.

The climb to the lookout was quite straightforward, the rangers having ensured the rocks were all stable and the steps made were even. Here we took some photos of Wineglass Bay seemingly a long way down in the distance before setting off down. Judy found the way down much easier than she would have if she hadn't thought to bring our hiking sticks. Rags commented that these made her much more confident and sure-footed.

Snacks were enjoyed sitting by the beach whilst watching others who also walked down. None of us braved the water; it even looked cold, but a few who did made for some nice scenery for the guys!

The 2 or so kilometre crossing of the island was an easy walk through undulating and changing tracts of vegetation; we were more watchful of where we stepped after seeing
Coles BayColes BayColes Bay

Brett & Jan invited us to their lovely base just out of Freycinet National Park
a black snake about 1.2m long cross the track in front of us.

Hazards Beach greeted us on the western side of the island and as the tide was out we had a smooth and hard surface to walk on for a while. At the end of the beach we stopped for lunch, giving Brett a chance to catch his breath a little as he was struggling on with pains in his thighs.

The final leg of the 11kms walk seemed never-ending, twisting up and down and around the coastline. We caught up with Jan in the carpark, as she arrived about 25 minutes before us and Brett arrived about 10 minutes after us.

No-one had much energy left in the evening so we settled on a meal of fried seafood and chips from the local eatery washed down with a few beers. The fish box included a scallop, prawns, fish and calamari and the chips were just as we liked them (which most probably explained why we ate more than we needed) A reasonably early night followed as we had to set the alarms for before 6 next morning to ensure we make the ferry to
Spiky BeachSpiky BeachSpiky Beach

Lovely coloured ocean
Maria Island.

Additional photos below
Photos: 22, Displayed: 22


"The Walk""The Walk"
"The Walk"

11kms but it seemed much further. Lots of ups and downs.
Wineglass Bay lookout. Wineglass Bay lookout.
Wineglass Bay lookout.

First stop, the going got a little harder after this.
Wineglass BayWineglass Bay
Wineglass Bay

Even though he ached, Brett persevered.
Wineglass BayWineglass Bay
Wineglass Bay

Jan contemplating on going for a swim?
We did it!We did it!
We did it!

Freycinet National Park
Wineglass Bay lookoutWineglass Bay lookout
Wineglass Bay lookout

That was easy!
Spiky BeachSpiky Beach
Spiky Beach

Another view

8th March 2015

East Coast of Tasmania
Hi Judy and Rags. Enjoying your Blogs from Tasmania. The 11 kilometre trek sounds a bit daunting to me ! I would have been the last one to finish, in an Ambulance !!!! Colin told me you were going to Pt. Arthur the day after you talked to him. Did you go ? I haven't seen any blog about it. I remember Mum and her neighbour (who's name I can't remember at the moment) went there and Mum went on the tour, but her neighbour left it half way through because she thought it was to sad. I wonder what you thought about it. Nothing new from this end. Looking forward to your next Blog. Love Mum. xx
8th March 2015

Port Arthur
We have booked Port Arthur and are going there on Tuesday - 2 more days. :-) Thanks for the comments, Mum. Hope you are feeling better.

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