Bluestone Bay, Freycinet National Park, Tasmania, 2020  

 

Photographs and commentary: copyright Jonathan Nevill 2020, unless otherwise credited. Camera: Samsung Galaxy S7

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I visited the Freycinet National Park on December 8 and 9, on an exploratory visit.

Below, the Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) map of the area.

I'm sorry about this... the labels seem to be a little hard to read...  they do cover the places mentioned below, however.

My 'places of interest' were (from left to right) Mount Amos (unfortunately just outside the map image, but note that the Mount Amos Track is accessed from the Wineglass Bay Car Park) Sleepy Bay, Whitewater Wall, Bluestone Bay, and Freshwater Lagoon, at the south end of the Friendly Beaches. The camping area marked at Whitewater Wall is small, with only a handful of level sites. All sites are among trees. First-come is first-served; all you need is a Parks Pass. There's an architect-designed toilet, but no drinking water. The camping area marked in the above PWS map at Freshwater Lagoon DOES NOT EXIST; it probably never did and never will exist. About 500m back from the beach is a small camping area called "Franks Camp", dedicated to a member of the Landrover Club who was an important PWS volunteer. However, due to the lack of level sites, the distance from the beach, lack of freshwater and toilets, and the danger of falling tree limbs, the attraction of this camping area is rather limited. Much better campsites are available (again, on a first-come first-served basis) at the north end of The Friendly Beaches. 

 

Spiky Bridge, although now disused, is close to the East Coast Highway, and has become a tourist attraction. I stopped there on my way to Freycinet.

Above, the west face of the bridge, and below, the east face.

I presume the spikes were built in to deter skate-boarders. See https://www.discovertasmania.com.au/home/local-tips/spiky-bridge

 

On Monday evening I made camp at the Whitewater Wall campsite.

There's plenty of fallen wood around, as open fires are NOT permitted.

 

The next morning I arose early.

At a cliff near Whitewater Wall, waiting for the dawn.  Whitewater Wall is a popular climbing site.

 

The sun did appear in the east, as I thought it would.

Whitewater wall faces towards the rising sun. The photo was taken a few minutes after sunrise.

 

Bluestone Bay is only a few hundred metres to the north, and faces north, protected (at least briefly) from the rising sun.

 

My friend Sohee Kim, a talented photographer, had encouraged me to consider the beach at sunrise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I left Bluestone Bay. Sleepy Bay was my next destination.

On the way I stopped at the lighthouse at Cape Tourville.

Looking south towards The Hazards (named after Captain Hazard, apparently).

 

Sleepy Bay. 

 

The beach sand here is course and varied in size, just right for my aquarium. I expect the sand is from recently eroded granite.

 

 

Even in late December, there were still many wildflowers.

 

Next: Mount Amos.

 

 

 

 

The Mount Amos track is very popular. There were about 50 walkers listed in the log book that day, and many more didn't bother to fill out the log book.

The track is marked with small yellow triangles.

 

 

The Mount Amos track is varied and very scenic, decorated with huge granite faces.

 

I decided to do a quick walk to the summit, leaving photographs for the descent.

The ascent took me 90 minutes. I spent 30 minutes on the summit. The descent, which is less strenuous but more dangerous than the ascent (due to the possibility of slipping on steep sections) took me 120 minutes.

From the summit: looking south over Wineglass Bay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above, from left to right: 1: Small multi-stemmed trees.. 2: Foliage from the same plants.

 

 

 

 

 

Above, from left to right: 1: As expected, the summit was a little crowded. 2: Can you guess who's been enjoying a stroll along the beach?  My guess is a wombat.

 

Isolated boulders, scattered randomly around the valley floor, seem like ancient monuments to some long-forgotten civilisation. 
They reminded me of the Plain of Jars, in Laos.

 

 

'Suzie' Subaru, preparing to go for a swim, or perhaps a paddle.
I do NOT recommend the South Friendly Beaches Track. There are more interesting places elsewhere, more easily accessible.
On my visit there was no other traffic, and I was mostly out of cellphone range. If you get stuck, no-one will be there to help you.

 

 

Looking north to The Friendly Beaches, on Tuesday evening, a few minutes after sunset.

 

 

Wednesday: a moon in the early morning sky, just before sunrise.

 

 

Sunrise lights the hills bordering the southern Friendly Beaches.

 

 

Before sunrise: mother and child: Pied Oyster Catchers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above, from left to right: 1: A mother, but where are the chicks?   2: The chicks know to keep perfectly still, with their heads hidden. But how do they know?

 

Lit by the rising sun, the edge of Freshwater Lagoon is startlingly white.

 

 

 

Freshwater Lagoon, sunrise.

 

 

 

 

A beach where the only human footprints were my own. Here a wombat has walked (away from the camera) and a wallaby has walked (hopped) from left to right.

 

 

Later in the morning: looking north.

I left this beautiful spot at 8am, arriving at Coles Bay, 9km away, at 9am. A slow road.

 

 

Close to the township of Coles Bay, the forest has been selectively logged, resulting in an open, park-like appearance. This area is State Forest, abutting the National Park.

 

 

 

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