The Tasmanian West Coast
After our wonderful time in Victoria, it was time to leave the mainland and head over to Tasmania.
Historic Porth Arthur
After a short one hour flight to Hobart, we took over our Mitsubishi ASX rental car and re-stocked up on gear and food.
Our first destination was White Beach on the Tasman Peninsula about two hours east of the state capital.
On the way, we stopped at Dunalley Beach where we enjoyed the sunny weather during a leisurely stroll on the beach.
The next morning the weather was not as sunny anymore and we got a first taste of the ever-changing Tasmanian weather. Nevertheless, we headed to the nearby historic city of Porth Arthur.
Port Arthur was a 19th-century penal settlement which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was quite interesting to wander through the remaining buildings and reading up on the stories of the convicts sent there from 1833 to 1853. They were normally sent to Port Arthur for committing a second offence while serving their time on the Australian mainland.
We especially enjoyed the lively introduction tour by the enthusiastic guide Brian. Even the rain showers in the afternoon couldn’t spoil our day.
Workout at Cape Hauy
After that much history, it was time for some hiking and so the next day we drove to Cape Hauy.
As Hazel didn’t feel much like hiking Kevin enjoyed the 9.4 km track by himself (but brought back a lot of pictures for Hazel).
The track is definitely a good workout and especially the few hundred stone steps guarantee some muscle ache the next day. However, the tired hiker is more than rewarded with fantastic coastal views and impressive cliffs along the way. Absolutely stunning.
As an additional reward, Kevin even managed to see an echidna. As he took a picture you can enjoy it as well.
On the way out of the peninsula, we also stopped at the Tasman Arch and Devils Kitchen lookouts for some more photo opportunities. A bit later we pitched our tent in Orford for two nights.
The next day was dedicated to resting Kevin’s tired legs (okay, it was not that bad), reading, a walk on the beach and some fish and chips (what else).
Popular Wineglass Bay
After a rather cold night (we think about 12 degrees) we continued our coastal journey north towards Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park. The first highlight was Kelvedon Beach on the way to the park. The long, flat beach produced a few hundred meter long waves which broke just before the beach. Highly impressive.
A bit later we arrived at the car park of Wineglass Bay. Being one of the major attractions of Tasmania we were, as expected, not the only ones. Nevertheless, the 40-minute hike up to the lookout didn’t feel too crowded.
Interestingly, we thought that the place is a bit overrated. Don’t get us wrong the view is very nice and the water has a deep blue colour. However, we thought that for example, Kelvedon Beach we saw in the morning was much more impressive.
In any case, Hazel was heading back to the carpark for some knitting and wallaby spotting (they were abundant) while Kevin didn’t yet have enough of hiking. He decided to circuit back to the car park via the Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach – a nice 11km loop with not much difficulty.
After that much hiking, we rewarded ourselves with some super-fresh oysters on the way to our campground in Scamander.
St Columba Falls
The next day was rather gloomy and it looked like heavy rain, which though never came. After spending the morning with washing we headed to the St Columba Falls which were nice. We also tried to visit the Ralphs Falls but turned around after a few kilometres of gravel road driving which became a bit too rough for our rental.
An air mattress and tent was again our choice in Tasmania:
- White Beach – White Beach Tourist Park nicely located just at the beach.
- Orford – Orford Beachside Holiday Park
- Scamander – Scamander Sanctuary Holiday Park
Hikes we did
- Cape Huay – absolutely breathtaking scenery and definitely a good workout
- Wineglass Bay and Hazardous Beach – not as spectacular but by far also not as taxing
Don’t forget to buy a national park pass here. The Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Website is, in general, a good source (whereas the tourist brochures are rather substandard compared to other states).
Wineglass Bay and Ralphs Falls