Day 52 – Wine Glass Bay

Trip Start Jan 11, 2012
1
52
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Trip End Apr 14, 2012


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Flag of Australia  , Tasmania,
Friday, March 2, 2012

We came to Tasmania for the hiking, the food and the wine. Today we found all three.  We had been looking forward to our hike to Wine Glass Bay for a long time.  We were a touch disappointed when we woke up this morning to high winds and overcast skies but decided we were going to make the best of it and ventured out to the park.

Freycinet National Park occupies a large part of the Freycinet Peninsula, named after the French navigator Louis de Freycinet.  He circumnavigated the earth, and was one of the first to produce a comprehensive map of the coastline of Australia.  The Peninsula was declared a National Park in 1916 making it Tasmania's oldest park.  Freycinet includes pink and red granite boulders and mountains, sweeping coastal views, secluded beaches including the iconic Wineglass Bay, coastal cliffs, varied bushwalks, forested hills, marine reserves, abundant birds and readily visible wildlife.  We chose an 11k hike that included Wine Glass Bay and Hazard Beach.  This is the longest hike in the park without staying out over night.

We parked the car and we were getting our packs out of the trunk when we looked over and saw a Wallaby standing a few feet from us.  He was so cute and so friendly.  Obviously people have been ignoring the signs and feeding the wild life.  We got a few pictures and gathered what we needed for a long day of hiking.  We made it another 100 meters to the information sign and stopped to play with two more Wallabies.  We managed to pull ourselves away and sign in and start off down the foot path.

Immediately the hike was beautiful.  I could not stop taking pictures.  Everywhere I looked there was something else to admire and capture on film.  We immediately saw a grand old silver gum tree.  Gum tree is the more common term for eucalyptus tree.  There are 700 species of eucalyptus and only 9 of these species live outside of Australia.  The bark on these trees is very fibrous and peels off to display a beautiful trunk.  The colors in the trunks differ depending on the species.  We also spotted smoky tea tree, various pines, banksia trees, grass trees and many more we couldn’t begin to identify. 

Our first official stop was the Wine Glass Bay lookout.  If you have ever seen a picture of Tasmania you have probably seen a picture from this lookout.  The views were amazing in all directions.  It was a little overcast and windy so we did not get the typical sunny skies and azure water but still terrific.

We then hiked down to the actual Wine Glass Bay Beach.  This has been voted one of the top ten beaches in the world several times over.  The sand was very white and very fine and very soft.  The first thing we saw when we arrived on the beach was a wallaby.  He posed for some pictures and told us he was starving but we didn’t believe him.  We found a good rock and sat and ate lunch and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings.

After lunch we continued our hike through the forest to Hazard Bay.  The landscape changed several times along the way.  We came across pine forests, marshy areas and even a dead zone.  We learned from one of the informational signs that there is an invasive mold that has found its way to Freycinet and is causing widespread root rot and killing off patches of the forest.  We also spotted one of the largest Kookaburra’s we have seen since arriving in Australia. 

Hazard Bay was another beautiful white sand beach.  This beach was full of shells including oyster shells, power shells, mussel and clam shells and spiral shells of all colors.  I could have spent the day gathering shells and stones from this beach.  Of course the views were spectacular as well.  We walked the beach for about a kilometer and then picked up the trail again. 

The rest of our hike was through the woods with occasional scenic look-outs.  Some of the cliffs we viewed have bright orange streaks of lichen through them.  We spotted tons of secluded beaches and islands and mountain cliff tops and giant red granite boulders.  We even came across a grass tree that someone carved and trimmed to look like a totem of a person.  We were quite entertained by this bush

We arrived back at the car park just about five hours after we began the hike.  The wallabies that greeted us in the morning were still hanging around looking for handouts.  We signed out of the log book and took one last look back towards the mountain tops towering over the tree tops.  We loved this hike and we were a little sad it was over even though our legs were tired.

We drove through the park to see the Tourville Lighthouse.  This is an unmanned lighthouse that was constructed in 1971 to assist with safe passage along the East Coast of Tasmania.  It was not the most impressive lighthouse we have ever seen, standing only 11 meters high; however the views were outstanding.

We headed back to the B&B for a snack and to clean up for dinner.  We went to a local café for dinner called Madge Malloy’s.  This is a quaint little restaurant run by a couple.  They own a fishing boat and spend most of their days fishing.  They serve only locally caught fresh fish and organically grown local produce.  The menu was small but full of fresh food and everything was prepared perfectly.  Eric and I shared a scallop salad and then I had perch and he had Tuna.  We also chose a 2004 Preece Cabernet from their wine list.  The Preece sparkling we had two days ago was so good we thought we would try the Cab.  It did not disappoint.  Ange, your Australian relatives make superb wine.


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Comments

Melissa on

Amazing photos of a beautiful hike Deb! Thanks for sharing your travels!

Sue Glazier on

Great pictures. What beautiful beaches-a person could spend days there.

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