After driving some 200 kilometers from Hobart on that day, and quickly checking into our cottage, we rushed out again to drive over to Freycinet National Park.
Freycinet National Park
The National Park, founded in 1916, occupies a large part of Freycinet Peninsula, which was named after French navigator Louis de Freycinet.
He circumnavigated the earth, and in 1811 produced the first map to show the full coastline of Australia.
The Peninsula has quite a rugged coastline and includes the secluded Wineglass Bay, our destination of the day. Wineglass Bay has been voted as one of the world’s ten best beaches.
The rest of the peninsula though is also quite impressive. A huge mountain range called ‘The Hazards’, made of red and pink granite and rising in jagged peaks, makes for quite an impressive scenery.
And quite a fabulous obstacle to overcome, if you want to see Wineglass Bay.
It was announced as a two and a half hour walk to the lookout in the mountain, down to the beach, and all the way back.
It was already about 4pm, we had gotten our entry tickets into the National Park and some mosquito spray, and were ready to hike up, with lots of water in our backpacks.
Well, to be honest it wasn’t that easy at first. Maybe we rushed it a bit, and we were soon out of breath and pretty red in the face.
But once we had adjusted to the rhythm, the breathing and the hike, our bodies adapted and we advanced rather fast. Even though we were overtaken by young German students, a Chinese tourist group and a couple of families with small children.
In short: we felt old.
Once we reached the lookout, we waited patiently for our turn for the obligatory photo. While the pictures I chose here look like we were alone, there were plenty of other hikers around.
On we went, for the 30 minute descent to the beach. If we made it this far, we should go all the way. Although we were a bit weary about having to go it all up again.
It went rather easy though, and soon we were on the pristine, white beach of Wineglass Bay. After a round of pictures, we had a little rest, and a picnic with a banana and some fruit.
Other hikers continued along the beach, to the overnight camping spot at the far end of the bay. We could also have done a circle walk over to the bay and back to the car park, but it was way too late for that.
We didn’t stay down too long, afraid that climbing up would take us too much time. The sun would set rather soon, too, se we started our return.
It’s a pity, we should have brought something to swim, though, and more time to enjoy this amazing, crystal blue water.
Hiking up – again
So after that quick rest on the beach – maybe half an hour – we were hiking back up again, unsure how long it might take us now. We were tired already.
But to our surprise, the hike back wasn’t as bad as we thought. We also only took some 30 minutes up to the lookout.
From there just another half hour on the way back, a slightly alternate route, that brought us to the carpark quickly.
All in all: quite a feat, and we sure felt our legs after all that.
But it was definitely worth it. I wish we had made it a full day trip with a full-blown picnic and a nap on the beach.