Freycinet

Jenni and I organised a 2 night camping break in Freycinet. We haven’t camped in months and after some research Freycinet came out top of the list of amazing camp sites within 2 hours drive from us. Our research was spot on, the site was the best we have stayed in.

Campsite 25, Freycinet Camping Grounds

The campsite is on the Freycinet Peninsula on Richardson’s Beach and is very beautiful, but then being Tasmania it would be. The specific site we booked, number 25, costs $12 per night and is about 5 paces from a most delightful beach.

So close to the beach

Day One

We arrived and set up the tent quickly and then headed out to explore the area. First stop, Mount Amos. This is our Proof of life picture before we started the climb

Mount Amos here we come

Mount Amos is 445 metres high, the walk is supposed to take between 3 and 5 hours. It is communicated a million signs on the way from the car park to the start of the walk as being steep, clambering over rocks and only for the very fit.

Mount Amos, steep ascent. This is from half way up. The yellow markers indicate the path.

We left it quite late to start the climb and had dinner plans later so intended to go up for one hour and turn around. The climb was a lot harder on me than I anticipated and although Jenni was happily gamboling up the steep slope like a very elegant and super fit mountain goat I was puffing like a steam train. I guess working for 4 hours renovating the beach shack this morning before this was a mistake. I stopped halfway up and decided to go no further today. We’ll have to leave the rest of the climb to another day.

Making our way back down Mount Amos

This peninsula has an abundance of animals as we discovered. At the car parks at the base of the mountain and saw this cute Echidna.

Echidnas are also know as Spiny Anteaters. Along with Platypus they are the only living mammals that lay eggs.

Then at the car this mumma roo was waiting at our car. She had a little Joey in the pouch but it went for a sleep before I could get a picture.

Hey, can get lift?

Before we drove back to the tent we decided to go visit Cape Tourville lighthouse.

Cape Tourville Lighthouse was built in 1971.
It was perfect weather. Appearing out my right ear is Wineglass Bay. There is a picture pointing exactly the opposite direction just a little further on, keep reading.
These islands are “The Nuggets” and are just off the headland. More of them later.
The sign, the Nuggets,

The walk around the lighthouse is short but rewarded by multiple views like this. After the walk around the lighthouse we went back to the canvas hotel and prepared for dinner in the Freycinet Lodge. The Freycinet Lodge was a beautiful 10 minute walk along the beach, we ordered several share plates. I even got dressed up. The sun was setting on the walk home and I tested the water for swimming temps.

It was probably Tasmanian person swimming warm, not Jimmy warm enough.

That night, after the sun went down, the sky was clear and the half moon was high, too much moon for a quality sky pic. About 5 paces from the camp site was the beach. As a lazy photographer I took those 5 paces and snapped a couple of pictures to try and capture the beauty of the scene.

Night sky over Freycinet camp site. The lights are the Freycinet Lodge and the mountain range is called The Hazards.
The pretty reasonable night time view out over the bay from the camp site

Day Two

Breakfast station

We woke early and took the camp chairs down to the beach to have our coffee and first breakfast. We got a visit from a family of very bold Oyster Catchers.

It was another beautiful morning, perfect where what we planned today.

We’d booked a boat trip on Pennicott Tours that would take us around Freycinet Peninsula to have lunch in Wineglass Bay. I was very excited.

Jenni and I have been on two Pennicott Eco Tours and both times the experience was worth more than the fee. If you ever get a chance don’t dither and go on one of these tours.

The sea was calm and the weather very fine. With Covid restrictions the boat was almost empty so we had the back deck to ourselves most of the trip. Almost everyone else that was outside was up the front.
We stopped at a clump of twigs. This clump of twigs is 2 metres across and is a Great Sea Eagle Nest or GSEN as it is known by it’s designation. You can see something poking it’s head above the nest, we thought it may be a chick. You need a big nest for a big bird. The Great Sea eagle measures anywhere from 66 to 94 cm (26 to 37 in) in total length with a typical wingspan of 1.78 to 2.45 m (5 ft 10 in to 8 ft).
This is the view of The Hazards from the other side

The captain told us that this was the last few days of whale season but that they hadn’t seen any whales all week. He said he was going to take the boat out farther from shore to see if we could catch some sightings. We struck lucky.

We saw several whales bobbing around, none closer than 50 metres away. Finally one did the dive and I managed to get the classic tail shot I was hoping for.

We stayed for ages watching the whales and then set off for Wineglass bay stopping at “The Nuggets” to view the seals and the birds.

Fur seal colony on “The Nuggets”
Arctic Tern colony
It is a sight to see so many Arctic Terns on the rocks at this time of year. Artic Terns are the longest migratory birds on the planet with a round trip of over 70,000kms per year. They are rarely seen on land. Another Tern fact, they can live up to 30 years of age. We also saw two Albatross on the water, they can live up to 70 years.
180 degrees rotation from the Nuggets is the Cape Tourville Lighthouse. A different perspective.

Wineglass Bay

Remember the pic of Wineglass Bay coming out my ear, this is the view from our anchor spot in Wineglass Bay. The headland on the distance is where the lighthouse is that we visited the previous day.

Lunch was served and it was delicious and plentiful. We couldn’t finish ours and took some back to the tent for evening or breakfast treats. Just before we left the iconic Wineglass Bay Captain Pennicott of Pennicott Tours (for it was he driving the boat) informed us that it was NOT named that because it was shaped like a wine glass but because the water in it was turned red with blood when they slaughtered whales there.

Shortly after leaving Whale Slaughter Bay, ironically, we happened across another pod of whales who put on a show for us.

A mother and calf waved at us before we set off back to shore.
The views on the way back were just as spectacular as on the way out.
A big rock
You see that rock clump thing on the left that might look like it’s climbing the mountain. It’s called “The Bear”. We actually stopped and had this pointed out to us, it’s a feature.

We got off the boat happy and elated, it was early afternoon and a tad early to go to the bar so Jenni and I fired up the laptops and caught up on some work. We used our new solar panel, bike battery, McGuyver 1000w 220 vac pure sine wave inverter concoction I built to test on this trip. It worked a treat.

For followers of this blog this is a familiar view of me in my office while camping.
This is the first person view of the same scene, I love this office.

The afternoon meandered on, we worked a bit more and then Jenni heated up the leftovers from the first nights meal in the restaurant we brought home and set it out with the leftovers from the boat trip and we had a sumptuous meal in the tent. As a result we didn’t go to the pub for dinner like we had planned and were so very happy for it. Did I mention we had stopped at a bottle shop on the way here so I had access to some excellent craft beer as well. In the words of  Darryl Kerrigan in that most quotable Australian movie The Castle, “Why would you go out?”. What? You’ve not seen The Castle. Well correct that immediately.

We were leaving the next day so retired early.

Day 3

The weather on leaving day was ok in the early morning but was due to start raining about 10am. We were up early to get packed up before the worst of the weather hit. We were hit with a couple of showers during pack up but nothing serious.

Me packing up the tent.
Camp site cleared, Tassie Mazzie all loaded up and we were on our way by 9am. The rain came over just as we left. That pack up goes straight to the pool room.

The Freycinet Peninsula is a treasure. This camp site’s location was incredible. We will return for sure, and next time I will climb Mount Amos.

Till next time.

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