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Tasmania Trip

Day 7 of 17

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Thursday, December 27th
Freycinet Peninsula Tour

A few days ago I decided to reserve a spot on a tour to Freycinet National Park. I'd wanted to visit the park, but wasn't looking forward to the long (2.5 hour) drive to get there. So I figured we would leave the driving to someone else and just take a tour. I had looked into the tour a week or two earlier, and was glad to find out that there was still space for us.

The tour company will pick you up at your hotel, but since we weren't staying in one, we just walked over to the Hobart visitor center and met the bus there at 7:25am. There was just the driver/tour guide plus 19 of us on the tour (the bus only had 1 empty seat). It seems like a good size.

After less than an hour we stopped at a bakery, so that those who didn't bring lunch could get something for later, and others could just stretch or get coffee or snacks.

Our first real stop was at Raspins Beach Conservation Reserve. We walked out onto the beach and could see Maria Island to the west. Further up the coast we stopped at Kelvedon Beach Conservation Area. We were told to choose one sea shell each to take home (the place is littered with shells of all kinds).

Raspins Beach

Raspins Beach

Kelvedon Beach

Kelvedon Beach

Shells at Kelvedon Beach

Next up was Swansea, a sea-side town. We walked out onto the dock and looked out at kayakers. Beyond them was Freycinet National Park, where we would be going soon.

Kayakers in Great Oyster Bay

But first, we made a quick stop at Freycinet Marine Farm, where some of us picked up oysters and put them in the cooler on the bus for later (Australians call a cooler an Esky, after the popular cooler brand).

Finally, we reached Freycinet National Park. The bus driver stopped briefly at the entrance to pay the entrance fees, then mentioned that it was good to be taking a tour bus because it's hard to find car parking. And then of course when we arrived at the trailhead he couldn't find bus parking. He dropped us off, gave us directions on starting the trail, and told us he'd meet us in about 40 minutes at the overlook after he parked.

Some of the tour group hiked to Wineglass Bay and back, while others did a shorter hike to the overlook, then they drove around the park a bit more and had lunch. We decided to do the longer hike to Wineglass Bay.

After the hike, we rejoined the tour, meeting them near the trailhead. As we drove out of the park, we saw an echidna by the side of the road.

From there, we drove directly to Kate's Berry Farm in Swansea, arriving at 4:15pm, just before the 4:30pm closing. Kate started the farm 30 years ago. We were lucky enough to meet Kate herself in her little cafe, where she was selling jams and ice cream made with her berries.

After enjoying some ice cream, we continued on to the Spiky Bridge. The bridge was built by convicts in 1843. No one really knows why there are spikes on the sides.

Spiky Bridge

Spiky Bridge

We made a brief return to Raspins Beach before returning to Hobart. The driver dropped us off at the Best Western, just a block from our rental house.


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