After two days in Sydney, and two in Hobart, here we go… we’re finally off on our road trip through Tasmania, along its eastern shores.
Day one sees us driving up to Bicheno by the bay, some 180 kilometers that could be done in about two and a half hours.
Of course, we took longer, stoping here, and there, and everywhere.
Not really. We had to get up quickly, as the goal of the day was to hike to Tasmania’s Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park (more about the hike in the next post).
We left Hobart relatively early in the morning at around 9, and headed northeast on the Tasman highway (A3), connecting Hobart to Launceston along the shores of the Tasman Sea. Hence the name.
We passed through Tasmania’s agricultural pastures, fields and little hills, and drove through the towns of Orford and Triabunna without stopping. Our first major stop was quite far along: the Spiky bridge.
My sister, always nose-deep in the Lonely Planet or another travel guide du jour, is responsible for the sights, stops and walks that we do along our way.
I, however, am driving it all, and obediently stop whenever she shouts: hit the breaks!
And so we did.
It is really just a bridge, but it’s pretty cool. Spiky Bridge, built by convicts in 1843, was made from field stones laid one on top of the other without mortar or cement.
On the bridge, along the rail so to speak, stones were laid upright, giving the bridge the appearance that gave it its name.
Local legend has it that the spikes were meant to keep cattle from falling over the side of the bridge, but no one really knows if this is true.
Just after that, we drove over to Spiky beach, on Great Oyster Bay.
We only stopped a few minutes and walked to the cliff. However, we didn’t go down to the surf. But, as you can see in some of the pictures, the rocks already sported that orange-red moss that is so typical for the Tasmanian coast.
Across the Bay we could already see our destination: the stunning view of the mountains of Freycinet National Park.
Taking a break at Kate’s Berry Farm
We kept driving for a little while, until we came to Kate’s Berry Farm.
No longer an insider tip – as it was featured in the Lonely Planet – we met again the elderly couple we had chatted with on the Spiky bridge. We would see them a few more times on our trip…
We needed a coffee, a sandwich and some berry ice cream, and Kate’s farm provided it all. It’s a lovely quiet place with berry fields, on a hillside overlooking the bay and the mountains.
We kept joking about the luck Kate had had, when her berry farm was mentioned in the Lonely Planet. Jackpot!
One last stop brought us to Devil’s Corner Cellar Door, a local winery.
A modern watch tower gave us a great vista over the land.
Unfortunately, as I had to drive, no wine tasting was allowed. While I’m ok driving on the left now, I really better stay absolutely sober.
So we arrived at our destination, Bicheno by the Bay. It is a lovely family-run hotel with bungalows and cottages, just a few meters from the sea.
We only had time to dump our stuff in our cottage, as we had to get to Freycinet National Park.
The hike to Wineglass Bay awaited us.