The above photo was taken as we walked the rocks at Friendly Beach, Bechemo, Tasmania, Australia. The is just a sample but the rest of our photos will follow. However, for now we recommend opening the hyperlinks in the text marked ‘`PPD’ for some excellent photos in public domain.
After three fabulous days based in Hobart, it was time to start exploring Tasmania. We planned to do a large anti-clockwise loop, taking two weeks plus. We headed up the East Coast, targeting the Freycinet National Park (FNP)[PPD] . Accommodation in Tasmania is limited. We based ourselves in the beach resort of Swansea [PPD] in a very comfortable B&B for two nights, a half an hour south of FNP. Eating options in Swansea were limited but we had excellent meals each evening.
The Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service publishes a free booklet entitled ’60 Great Short Walks -Tasmania’. A first walk was the spectacular ‘Wineglass Bay and the Hazards Beach Circuit’ in FNP. This was a 11km circuit, described as ‘Grade4. Steep uphill climb and a rough path descent’. The first part of the walk takes in a climb to the Wineglass Bay lookout, one of Tasmania’s most celebrated walks. The second section includes a steep descent down to the beach at Wineglass Bay. Once we got to the beach, we took a short break and admired the fabulous bay. We were then expecting a three-hour flat walk but that was not to be. The third part crossed the isthmus from Wineglass Bay to the Hazards Beach – it was a narrow path through the bush. Finally, we emerged at Hazards Beach and thought we would finish with a relatively easy section. Well, we left the beach several times, following a rugged path over the rocks, ascending and descending quite steeply, with many sections on cliff ledges. The views were stunning but we were happy when we reached the end.
The next day, we headed north to Bicheno [open link for photos] and walked the Friendly Beaches [PPD], stopping to explore the Gulch and the Blowhead, before driving on to the historic coastal town of St. Helens [PPD]. Just north of St. Helens, we took the short (12km) detour to Binalong Bay and Humbug Point Reserve [PPD], with exceptional views, walks, white beaches and opportunities to see estuarine birds. Next we explored the famous Bay of Fires Conservation Area [PPD], stretching from Binalong Bay to Eddystone Point, with brilliant white beaches, emerald coloured waters, lagoons, wildflowers and lichen-covered granite rocks.
Later we stopped at the St Columba Falls State Reserve [PPD] and completed another of Tasmania’s 60 great short walks, culminating in seeing the magnificent 90 metre St Columba Falls. We then passed through the pretty town of Derby [PPD], once a thriving mining town in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and today a tourist stop.
Our third night after leaving Hobart, we spent the night in Scottsdale [PPD], the largest town between the East Coast and Launceston, Tasmania second city. This was probably a mistake as the accommodation was a bit basic and our evening meal in the local pub was a disaster too.
Next, we plan to explore Tasmania’s North Coast, finishing at the End of the Earth. Stay with us, as Tasmania is truly stunning.