(Dec 18, 2020 – written by Nancy)
Well, I should have put my foot down yesterday about getting a cabin over camping as the rain started falling last night around midnight and didn’t let up again until after 10am this morning. We hung out in the tent until the little cafe nearby opened at 8am and then ran over there to get a hot cup of coffee and some breakfast and watch the rain continue to come down. We dawdled in the cafe as long as it seemed polite to do so, even ordering a second coffee to see if the rain would let up a little.
After looking at our maps and drinking coffee verrryyy slowwwlly, the rain eventually did slow down enough that we decided we should just grin and bear it and head out to Freycinet National Park to see if we could catch a glimpse of the famous Wineglass Bay. Before leaving we stopped by the caravan park office to see if they might have a cabin available for tonight, as overnight rain is forecast again. Luck was with us – they had a cabin, even less expensive than the one they quoted us yesterday. So we made arrangements to move into the cabin once we got back from our foray into the park. That made riding out in the wet a bit more bearable – at least we knew we’d have somewhere to dry everything out once we got back.
We put on all of our raingear and rode the 7k or so to the park’s Visitor Center to get some information about the walk up to the viewpoint. The park is putting in an additional viewing platform up at the top of the walk and apparently the walk was closed yesterday to allow them to work on it. But the friendly rangers confirmed it was back open today so we headed to the start, locked up our bikes and started up the walk to the top.
The walk includes 300+ stairs and goes up to a little saddle between two larger peaks that provides a view over the other side to Wineglass Bay. It was raining pretty good as we made our way to the top – it’s only about a 40 minute walk so really not that bad, though the rocky steps seem pretty slippery in the wet. There weren’t too many people on the trail – between the weather and the reduced number of tourists here there doesn’t seem to be a problem with crowds right now! There are some gorgeous rock formations in the park, and the peaks seemed particularly stunning with the wet showing off the colours.
When we finally got to the top we were rewarded with a view of Wineglass Bay, as the clouds had blown through enough to see down to the bay. It wasn’t quite the stunning view that you see in all the publicity photos, but it was pretty all the same. The viewing platforms and associated infrastructure is well done and on a nice day it would be a great spot to sit and have a bit of picnic lunch or just take in the views. It wasn’t quite ‘picnic day’ weather but we did hang out a bit to watch the clouds move across the various peaks, changing the views of the bay along the way.
It had pretty much quit raining by the time we headed back down, and we passed quite a few people headed up to the top. By the time we got back down to the bikes we could see some blue sky and the roads were almost dry as we made our way back into town. ‘Town’ is a bit of a misnomer though, as what they call the town center here is just a little convenience store/post office, an ice cream shop, and a small cafe. Despite the fact that we hadn’t yet had lunch Dave insisted we have an ice cream so what could I do? After enjoying our delicious ice cream we headed back to the caravan park to move our things into the spacious cabin that we now occupy. Two days in this would have been wonderful but I’ll take what I can get!
In other news, unfortunately it looks like New South Wales has had another outbreak of the Corona virus and most of the other states are imposing restrictions of some form on travellers who have been in the hotspots (or for WA, to the whole of NSW). Fortunately, the relevant dates seem to be from 11 December onwards and we arrived in Hobart on 10 December, and the hotspot areas don’t include our suburb or anywhere we have been. Tasmania is now not allowing people from the relevant areas to come here without special permission and is asking people who have already travelled from NSW that were in the hotspots at the relevant time period to self-quarantine here. It looks like we got out of Sydney just in time! Perhaps we’ll have to hang out in Tasmania longer than we expected…
While I typed these notes, Dave went down to the store for dinner supplies and yes, he found a nice ale take-away at the pub. It took him a long time – I guess because he wandered down and took more photos of the stunning red rocks of Big Oyster Bay. His photos are nice but I think he might have actually been in the pub watching cricket for at least part of the time he was away. India is playing Australia in Adelaide and when Dave sees it on TV it is like a magnet – I know, weird.
Tomorrow we head north again. It is a short day to the next stop, so if it’s raining in the morning we can hang out in our nice little cabin until the very last minute.