Everybody will tell you when you arrive first in Tasmania: you can’t leave the state without doing the east coast. And they are right. Most of the best beautiful places of Tasmania are on the east coast.
So after our wonderful journey on Bruny Island, we decided with Anna to do the east coast together and find others travellers to reduce the costs of the car rent. 1 day was enough to have our team 🙂 : Anna (Brittany), May (Provence) and Giacomo (Italy).
You can expect to do the east coast in 3 to 15 days, depending on how much time you got. I did it in 7 days! Some will start from Hobart and finish in Launceston; others will do a circle with Cradle Mountain included.
We didn’t had any plans like we will go there this day, we stay overnight at this place… We just wanted to take it easy and not spend any money for camping or hostels as we got tents with us. Our road trip just built himself day after day.
1st day: Departure from Hobart – direction Port Arthur, which is charged of history:
for the most curious, have a look on this website : http://www.visitportarthurtx.com/port-arthur-history/
You might don’t remember but at the beginning of February, Tasmania suffered from hot, dry and windy conditions, which sadly ends to massive and destructive bush fires, mostly on the tasmanian peninsula and on the west south side. More than 100 houses have been destroyed by the fires. People lost everything from houses to animals. Some people who was hiking were still researched by the police few days after the start.When we drove to Port Arthur this day, we couldn’t put a word on what we saw. We went through Forcett, which had nothing anymore to do with a town. Everything burnt there and it seems like it became more than a ghost town 😦
We finally arriving at Port Arthur, where we were just disappointed of the fact that we needed to pay around 60$ to see ruins without a guide, so we finally decided to not pay and to continue our road trip on the Tasmanian peninsula, where we found few lookouts along the Pirates Bay.
Regarding the history about Pirates Bay : About 6000 years ago the sea reached its modern level. The details of Pirates Bay beach and the rocky, coastal landforms here have all been shaped since that time. About 20,000 years ago the sea was as much as 120 metres lower, and the shoreline was near the Hippolyte Rocks. A plain extended from the modern sea cliffs to the distant shore. But geologically that is recent history. To understand the Tasman Peninsula’s amazing landscapes you have to reset the clock to at least 290 million years back. (Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania)
1/ Tessellated Pavement State Reserve: Tessellated Pavement
Fascinated landscape, where rocks have been fractured by the movement of the earth and eroded since then by the waves and sediment of the Tasman Sea…
2/ Tasmans Blowhole
The Blowhole, a former sea cave and tunnel, is an old blowhole. The roof at the rear of the tunnel collapsed to create a broad arch with a blowhole behind it. The Blowhole point was originally an unbroken line of cliffs of siltstone. This flat-lying rock was formed like a giant layer-cake when mud and silt were deposited on the sea floor about 270 million years ago and compacted under the load of later sediment. Earth movement cracked the rock, creating vertical joints, which enabled the sea to cut caves and tunnels into the cliffs. The Blowhole only lives up to its name when seas are rough and in the right direction. Swells enter the tunnel and sea-spray and air are blasted through the tunnel, creating an explosive effect in the small joints at the back of the inlet. When seas subside The Blowhole runs out of puff and it may then be described, although rarely, as « The Millpong ». (Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania)
3/ Tasmans Arch
Tasmans Arch is what’s left of the roof of a large sea cave, or tunnel, that was created by wave action over many thousands of years. The pressure of water and compressed air, sand and stones acted on vertical cracks (joints) in the cliff, dislodging slabs and boulders. When you look into Tasmans Arch it seems to be old. While it may be old, it is still changing. Is the arch growing, or is the rood thinning, or are the walls expanding? Below this viewing point and visible from the arch (opposite) is the entrance to a new cave, initiated by wave action. In the cliff-face opposite you will see many weak zones similar to those that gave way to create an arch. When the cave roof collapsed. This immensely slow process of erosion is continuing. This arch will eventually collapse and another « Devils Kitchen » will be formed. (Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania)
4/ Devils Kitchen
Travelling by car in Australia is just a big advantage: you decide to stop wherever you want and when that’s what we did when we found THE dream beach, where we finally camped for the night: “Roaring Beach”
= not alone finally 🙂 great to discover these tracks in the morning when you just go out from the tent 🙂
2nd day: on the road again, direction Freycinet National Park (where Wineglass Bay is !).
Nop we didn’t kill it but because it’s rare to see them : let me just show you what’s a wombat look like.
= an echidna
Little stop for lunch at “cressy beach” which was particularly funny : Giacomo recognized some friends he knew from Sydney 🙂 ! That’s the magic of travelling : you meet people weeks after you left them in one place you would never think about seeing them.
We found that evening a great spot to stay : « Honeymoon bay », with visits of wallabies and possums, which finally became our place for 2 nights, as we liked it so much 🙂 beside the possums maybe 😉
3rd day : Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach Circuit
The circuit is an easy hike, it took us from 5 to 6 hours, maybe more as we swam in both beaches. If you need to choose for one place on the east coast, pick this one, pick the Freycinet park and go to Wineglass Bay, which is just breathtaking 🙂
Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach Circuit is the beauty of Tasmania in one walk. And when you know that Wineglass Bay has been recognized as one of the top 10 beaches in the world , you just agree once you see it ! After a short uphill, we just got the most beautiful scenic view I think I never had until now in Australia.
The extra walk to the beach which is part of the Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach Circuit (11 kms) brings you to the beach directly. And once on the beach, you just cannot believe that the place is real 🙂
But even if the Wineglass Bay is really beautiful, the Hazards Beach is much more incredible: less touristic, as it’s part of the big circuit and most of the tourists stop before Wineglass Bay ; Hazards Beach just few minutes away from Wineglass Bay bring you directly to the paradise : white sand, shells on the beach, sky-blue sea, which just invite you to swim 🙂
4th day : From Freycinet to the Bay of Fire
After all we the beauty we got in the Freycinet national Park, the road until the Bay of Fire was a bit disappointed. We thought Bicheno was worth to stop because of the penguins but it’s just marketing: you need to get through a tour, whereas it’s free on Bruny Island, so we just made a stop at Binalong Bay to have a little swim :)…
…and to the Garden of the Earth…
… before ending at Cosy Corner, where we finally stayed 2 nights and got soooo lucky to see dolphins on our second day 🙂 More happy than that, I think it’s impossible: you sit on the beach and suddenly in front of you in the sea not so far away, while you’re chilling, dolphins are jumping in the water. One time, twice and more. You don’t need drugs to get hight, you need dolphins 🙂 I still couldn’t believe it one hour later 🙂 I never thought I could see some here in Australia, so I was like unexpected happy that day 🙂 !!! Next dream : swim with them 🙂
Cosy Corner, which is also a free camping spot is also a spot for « free » people, who just live here all the year and give to the place another face.
6th day : As our german friends took the ferry back for the mainland on that day, we just spend time together in Devenport, where we used the opportunity to get free shower at the beach.
7th day : My last day, as I was taking the bus to Launceston the next day. And it was a pretty busy day :
1st stop at the town named « Penguin », where there is no real penguins to see in fact. But to see a town named « Penguin » was pretty cool 🙂
2nd stop : Mersey Bluff Lighthouse, where we also see for the first time some Honey to sell based on « honesty »
3rd stop: Sister Beach : for the locals: one of the most beautiful beach in the north of Tasmania but we were a bit disappointed, maybe because of Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach or the weather ?
=one thing was sure : we couldn’t miss the barbecue, as it’s even on a road sign 🙂
4th stop: Stanley and his nut, which I really recommend, if you have the time. And the Turkine (rain forest) aren’t far from this small town of 500 habitants 🙂
If you like to know more about Stanley : http://www.stanley.com.au/
and about the Tarkine which I regret to haven’t see this time (maybe next time ;)): http://www.tarkine.com.au/
and for the first time in my life, I saw road signs with penguins 😉
We ended our day at Burnie, which is famous to see platypus in the wild (at the Fernglade Reserve) and surprising also for Penguins, where a really nice team of volunteers take time every night during the summer to explain us their actions to protect the penguins coming to the city. In order to not afraid the penguins, the volunteers are using a red filter on their lamp, so that’s way it also let us the possibility to take pictures without flash. Even if the quality isn’t so good, enjoy 🙂
To know more about Burnie, penguins and platypus: http://www.discoverburnie.net/what-to-see/penguins.html
Between the penguins at Bruny Island and Burnie, the dolphins at the Bay of Fire, the platypus at Burnie and all the new friends I met on the island through the overland track, my wwoofing experiences, the cygnet folk festival and the road trip on the east coast, I just had a wonderful time in Tasmania and highly recommend to everyone who has time and like nature to take a plane and discover as much as they can from this paradise 😉