Over 20 years ago I stood at Wineglass Bay lookout and dreamed of the day I would be able to venture down into the depths of the Freycinet Peninsula and explore the more remote areas. Along time has passed since that day, but I firmly believe that life is about timing, and now is the right time for this adventure, an overnight hike onto the Peninsula with a good friend who is equally excited about this adventure.
We arrived the day before, with time up our sleeves and decided to get a preview of what lay ahead by climbing Mt. Amos, which is a four kilometre return walk up a steep and rocky incline. We found very quickly that it was not for the feint hearted with large expanses of pink granite rock, which was sometimes slippery in places. However, it was well worth it as the view from the top, as it was a clear day and we were struck with a full panoramic view of the whole Freycinet Peninsula.
The next day found us starting our epic overnight walk of the Freycinet Peninsula. This day covered about 15 km of the Peninsula’s coast line from Coles Bay, along Hazards Beach track that hugged the rocky coastline, the crystal clear blue waters enticing close, but out of our reach for the casuarina and banksia woodlands and steep cliffs. Our first close encounter with these pristine waters was when we approached Hazards beach. We were graced with a clear day so the water was a vibrant blue and the pink granite rocks, which are a feature of this area, had tinges or orange lichen on them, again a feature of Tasmania’s east coast.
After traversing Hazards and Cooks Beaches we arrived at our campsite, known as Cooks Corner. We arrived late afternoon which gave us plenty of time to set up camp on the edge of a dune, not far from the water’s edge under the shade of a casuarina grove and looking forward to falling asleep to the sound of waves lapping up on the beach. I headed down to the water’s edge with my camera to explore the nearby rock pools and my friend headed inland to spot birds. After dinner we sat and watched the sun set, unfortunately it was very subdued as clouds had swept in and the sky had become quite overcast and grey.
The next day saw us waking to a very overcast day, nice cool hiking weather, although it looked like it could potentially rain later in the morning so the thought of getting wet was not something I wanted to entertain. The return trip ahead was a tough traverse inland from Cooks Beach, up to the saddle between Mt Freycinet and Mt Graham, a gradual and manageable climb through tall forest. However, from the saddle we then ascended the last 170m to the top of Mt Graham (579m) along a very steep single track peppered with small rock faces that were best tackled on all four’s as water trickled freely across them.
From the peak of Mt. Graham, we walked a broad ridge line that provided sweeping views north to the Hazards and south to Schouten Island. We then traversed a steep undulating track down along Quartzite Ridge, one small stretch was quite memorable for me as it was peppered with small bright white quartzite rocks. We then descended to Wineglass Bay, where the sun emerged and it became a hot sunny day. The home stretch was along the pristine white and very soft sands of Wineglass Bay, up to the saddle past the Wineglass Bay Lookout and back to the car park at Coles Bay.
More images can be found in my Tasmania Gallery