Tasmania

What a stunner….East Coast, Tasmania

One of the most famous images of Tasmania is the stunning Wineglass Bay. Right at the top of my list of things to do in East Coast Tasmania was to see this for myself, so the morning of our trip into Freycinet, I was up bright and early in eager anticipation!

Tasmania

Tasmania

Located in the beautiful Freycinet Peninsula, I had always believed that the name of this bay was for its distinctive shape, which with its perfect semi-circle looks much like a wineglass. I have since learned however that the real reason is infinitely less romantic. Many years ago there was a whaling station located there, and having harpooned them, the whalers towed the whales to shore in order to boil down the blubber. For years the water in the bay was a brilliant red due to the blood of the whales. The whalers noted it was the colour of claret and therefore this is the real source of the name “Wineglass Bay”.

Tasmania

Tasmania

Like the early settlers, whalers and fishermen, our first glimpse was by boat. However our mission was far more peaceful, on a cruise around the Freycinet Peninsula with the sole aim of marvelling at the beauty. Established in 1916, it is Tasmania’s oldest national park. It didn’t disappoint, it is absolutely stunning.

Tasmania

Tasmania

Along with the usual batch of tourists, our Skipper and First Mate, we were accompanied by Rastus, a friendly 12 year-old sea dog, who spotted dolphins and seals as we made our way around the coastline. We arrived at the most famous of bays, enjoyed some sparkling wine, fresh oysters, cheese and crackers, and admired the incredible bright and clear blue waters and sugar-white sand.

Tasmania

Tasmania

Our first glimpse of Wineglass Bay may have been the easy way on a boat, but later that afternoon we drove further into the park, and walked up to the lookout. The views over Wineglass Bay at the top of the lookout are breathtaking, which had nothing to do with the 30 minute hike to the top. The path takes you up a steep hill, with more than 300 steps, many made from the naturally occurring pretty pink granite, through the Australian bush, surrounded by massive boulders, and accompanied by birds singing all the way. It was as idyllic as it sounds.

Tasmania

Tasmania

Bay of Fires and the East Coast

After an overnight stay at yet another historic house, this time in the pretty little town of Swansea, we meandered our way further up the eastern side of the island, reaching Bicheno in time for morning tea. Bicheno boasts of being “Tasmania’s Tidiest Town, 2003” as you drive in, in true understated Tassie style. After a quick wander through the town, we soon discovered that it is also famous for its penguins, so we went off to find some.

Tasmania

Tasmania

First stop was the “Blowhole”, which was not blowing much due to the tide and lovely calm day. No penguins there, so we went to the nearby Redbills beach. We then discovered that the best time to spot penguins is at night-time, and during the day-time they are out doing whatever it is that penguins do to amuse themselves in the daylight hours. Not a wasted visit though, as it’s a very pretty little beach, and I can imagine that it’s a popular spot in the summertime.

Tasmania

Tasmania

We kept winding our way up the east coast. It’s a gorgeous coast line, which meant conversation in our car for the afternoon never really progressed beyond this:

“Look at the water – it’s so blue – incredible!”

“That sand, it’s like powder. And so white!”

“Those orange rocks look amazing against the blue water.”

“Isn’t it pretty!”

“Keep your eyes on the road!”

Tasmania

Tasmania

Finally we reached the Bay of Fires. It has been voted by Conde Nast as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, but in actuality it isn’t one beach, but is a collection of little bays stretching around 30 kms. But who can argue, as it was stunningly beautiful. We drove as far as the road would take us, pulling into a couple of little bays to walk on the beach, and look in awe at the amazing scenery.

Tasmania

Tasmania

It’s like a giant cliche – the water is a crystal clear bright turquoise, the sand is powder fine, and sugar-white. We have the bays almost exclusively to ourselves, and we are surrounded by forests not high-rises, or even any beach houses for the most part. Ringing the beaches are giant granite rocks and boulders stained with a bright orange lichen, while above it all is a brilliant blue sky and not a breath of wind. Pretty much perfect.

Yep, we’ve seen the natural wonders of Tasmania and we are hooked. All the hype is well deserved – Tassie, you’re a stunner.

Tasmania

 

 

 

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