Freycinet National Park – Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach track
Freycinet is called “the jewel of Tasmania’s stunning coastline”, so that sounded pretty good.
Different tracks to chose from, from easy to difficult and from 10 minutes return to 5 hours circuit. We chose the Wineglass Bay/ Hazards Beach track, which is a 12km moderate circuit which we did in 3,25h. It’s categorized as a grade 4, with rough and steep sections. We started with the beach part first (up to the Hazards Beach), which is pretty flat. Some short uphills, but nothing too difficult. The part on the beach is not too long and is a welcomed change from the bush surroundings.
A little after that you get to Wineglass Bay – ideal for a short stop, which is recommended before starting the rough end part of this track. The last piece back to the parking area consists of – what appears to be – never ending stairs. Thank God there’s a lookout waiting for you at the top (Wineglass Bay lookout). As this lookout is easily accessible from the other side (also to tour groups), it’s typically pretty packed. From the lookout back to the parking is another 15 minutes.
Bay of Fires – The Gardens and Binalong Bay
Perfectly possible to do this in 2 hours. We first went to The Gardens (on the way from St Helens, take a left on the junction with Binalong Bay straight ahead and The Gardens 6km on the left), which has an abundance of rock pools and masses of rock formations. As you leave the parking area, the rocks immediately emerge. You can go onto them. As you continue the sandy stroll along the rock formations, you end up a small beach where you can enter the very cold water and take some other great shots. You can also go to the viewing platform on top, where you can look at all this dramatic scenery from a distance. As we visited later in the day, the late afternoon sun was ideal for some more dramatic effects.
Afterwards, we returned to the junction and then took a left to Binalong Bay. We continued past Meresta restaurant up until the parking area of Boat Harbour Point, where you get an excellent view on the stretch of the different beaches of the Bay of Fires from one vantage point.
Narawntapu National Park – Archers Knob track
Narawntapu is a totally different type of scenery. The Archers Knob track has a sandy road all the way and is very “chill”. It first goes through bush area, with a Bird Hide hut (after only about 20 min down the track) to watch the different (water) birds. As the area was super dry, there was no water at all and therefore also no bird life.
Continuing the track, there’re different side tracks on the left, taking you to the beach. At the end of the track you take a loop around the 114m high Archers Knob mountain, which provides you great views of the bush as well as Bakers Beach and Little Badger Head. We were really fortunate with the weather – no cloud in sight, which makes it extra special. Only downside were the millions of flies annoying us the entire time.
Going back down the same path, pass the beaches until you reach a junction with “Springlawn Loop”. Take left to Springlawn Loop and you end up into the swamp area where the Bird Hide out was looking over at. It reaches as far as the eye can see and is habituated by kangaroos. We saw about 10-12 of them. It’s the first national park we’ve been at in Tasmania where there’re kangaroos, so enjoyed this very much.
Other wildlife on the track includes pademelons (on the first part) and wallabies. We only saw the pademelons, given we visited in the early afternoon – so the wallabies were expected to be asleep at the time. We also saw 2 snakes again. All 3 types of snakes are represented in the park. We think we saw the tiger snake again. Always a startle when you see them. They quickly slither away though, into the bush.
Including the side track to Bakers Beach, this track takes about 10 km, which we did in 3,25h.