Sun March 29 – Wineglass Bay, Freycinet Peninsula

I’ve been very excited to see Wineglass Bay since I read about it 6 months ago.  It is supposed to be one of the premier beaches on the Tasmanian coast, a perfect semi-circle – like a wineglass (not that I’d know what a wine glass looks like.)

So this morning we set off to see Wineglass Bay, which is in Freycinet National Park on the Freycinet Peninsula. It seemed to take a long time to get there because the roads were so twisty and we were late getting started.  So we decided to nix our planned hike around and across the peninsula and instead concentrate on the hike down to the beach at Wineglass Bay.

Sad to say, I was somewhat disappointed with this Bay.  It was a lovely deserted beach and, as Peter pointed out, the surrounding cliffs were quite spectacular.  But perhaps all the lovely beaches we drove past on the way to the Park seemed just as nice (and free) and that makes me wonder if perhaps all the Wineglass Bay publicity is a way for Tasmania to increase their income from National Park entry fees!  And I would not begrudge them this – they have done a tremendous job on the building and maintenance of the trail down to the beach.  It’s long and steep but there are stairs built of natural rock and tree roots that look like they’ve been there a very long time.  I often found myself wondering if they were set up by aboriginals 12,000 years ago when they first existed in Tasmania.

We noticed on the drive to/from the Park that this area of the Tasmanian east coast has a lot of vineyards and (wait for it, Dad!) a lot of walnut orchards!  The walnut trees are clearly grown to produce walnuts, not wood, so they are all short and bushy.  Over 80 km, we probably passed 6 vineyards, an olive farm and at least 2 walnut orchards.  The climate here clearly supports these crops.

IMG_3035  Wineglass Bay from above.

IMG_3039  Wineglass Bay from eye-level.

IMG_3054  The view from tonight’s hotel room near sunset (taken by Peter with my iPhone.)

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