Thursday, February 18, 2016

Talk About Kicking Back!

A beautiful creation each evening!
As we were planning this adventure and saw that the travel agent had booked us in a one room cabin in the national park, I was expecting a rustic cabin, maybe a fireplace and probably a little worn. Much to my surprise – and pleasure – we were in a beautiful modern unit at Freycinet Lodge, which is a resort within the Freycinet National Park! There was nothing “lodgie” about this place; it is a 4-star resort. Nice!

A beautiful location for a national park. Coles Bay is on
the left and the Tasman Sea is across the way on the right.
The lodge is set on Coles Bay within Freycinet National Park, one of the first national parks in Australia, at the foot of the dramatic pink granite Hazards Mountains. The town of Coles Bay is just across the bay and can be reached by a long beach walk or by car. There wasn’t much there, but the view of the Hazards mountain range and the national park was beautiful. We were in search of a seafood restaurant, but ended up back at the lodge.

Coles Bay, which is inside Great Oyster Bay, was named after Silas Cole. He arrived in the 1830s and is known for burning shells from Aboriginal middens to produce lime which was used to make mortar to build the town of Swansea, a little south of the bay. The beach sand here is sugar white and very fine. This is because of the granite particles.
Dennis found his little reading nook.
Not a bad view from our room - especially at sunset
As for the meaning of middens, I found this: Shell middens are places where the debris from eating shellfish and other food has accumulated over time. They can contain: shellfish remains, bones of fish, birds, and land and sea mammals, used for food, charcoal from campfires, tools made from stone, shell, and bone. Shell middens tell us a lot about Aboriginal activities in the past. The types of shells in a midden can show the type of marine environment that was used, and the time of year when Aboriginal people used it.

Across the isthmus is the famous Wineglass Bay, shaped like a goblet. The only way to get to the bay from land is to hike one of the most popular walks in Tasmania. We did not do this as it was a steep one and a half hour climb up and over the saddle to the beach. And then you have to do the reverse to get back to the parking lot. There is a lookout part way which reduces the time, but it is still a steep climb.  There are a number of hiking circuits and walks in the park as well as many free campsites. I am not a great climber, so  I usually pass on these events.

Coles Bay beach
We took a long walk on Coles Bay and a hike to Honeymoon Bay where we explored the rock formations. The lichen-covered rocks glow with orange color in the sunlight.

Again, the wind was very strong the day we were there. The weather was beautiful when we arrive, had a drizzly morning the next day with afternoon clearing and then a lovely day when we checked out. We took advantage of the wet weather to vegetate a little and read. It was nice to be off the boat in a homey atmosphere with a great view.

Looking back from the other end of Coles Bay beach

Honeymoon Bay below the Hazards Mountains

No! He is not doing what you think!

Beautiful and colorful rock formations everywhere!

Interesting shapes and layers.

Dennis exploring at the limits-again!

One is mine, really!

I will let the photos tell the story.
For all you trekkers out there, this place should be on your bucket list. It is wonderful here.
We lovingly refer to the birds as Bill and Thelma /
Monnie and Joe - our parents!

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