Monday 9/4/18 – Sunday 15/4/18
Leaving Swansea on Monday morning we continued along the east coast to Freycinet National Park and Coles Bay. Last time we were here it was pouring rain and the clouds were low. This day however was fine and The Hazards could clearly be seen looming over Coles Bay. After calling in to the visitor centre for more information about the area, we did the Cape Tourville short walk around the lighthouse and enjoyed the spectacular views. We decided to camp at Friendly Beaches that night. It was free camping and the sites were private and close to the beach. Very nice, although the possums here could be described as fiesty and persistent. It pays to go early in the afternoon for these kinds of camps as a steady stream of vans and motorhomes came in later trying to find a spot. It’s popular because of its proximity to Coles Bay and all the walks in the area.
Next morning we headed back to Coles Bay and did the 90 min circuit that takes you up to the Wineglass Bay lookout. The view was well worth the steep track and stairs.
After lunch we drove on to Bicheno. It is a picturesque little place however the weather had turned very windy and cold. The Bicheno Blowhole was putting on a great show and people gathered to watch. We stayed at a local van park that night and enjoyed the warmth and shelter of its excellent camp kitchen. That evening was made memorable due to a phone call from Josh and Ashleigh to announce their engagement. Very exciting and happy news!
In the camp kitchen at Bicheno, we met some people who told us not to miss camping at Chain of Lagoons. So we made that our next stop. It was a great place to stay. Beautiful scenery, right on the beach, great choice of spots to put the van and it was free! We stayed here three nights and enjoyed basking in the sunshine and perfectly blue skies. The water looked so clear and inviting that Brendyn braved the cool temperature for a dip! When feeling returned and he was able to speak again, he said it was very nice….
The weather turned again as we continued on to St Helens. The howling wind was unbelievably strong and then the rain started…. It was a bit of a miserable night at the van park we took shelter in. The facilities were pretty average for the amount paid and we were glad to get out of there the next morning. We stocked up on groceries, water and firewood at St Helens and noticed that prices here were significantly more than at other centres we’d shopped at. Nevertheless we gathered our supplies together in preparation for several days.
After such a dreadful day weather wise on the Saturday, Sunday was just beautiful and perfect for a Sunday drive in the country. We headed out of St Helens and stopped at The Shop in the Bush which has lots of interesting antiques and a lovely warm fireplace. From there we went to the Farm Gate Cafe and had a great coffee and looked out over impossibly green paddocks and the very contented cows. St Columba Falls walk was our next stop. It’s a beautiful walk down through lush rainforest to the bottom of the falls. These falls are one of the highest in Tasmania. On our way back toward St Helens we stopped at The Pub in the Paddock. Established in 1880 it is one of the oldest pubs in Tasmania. One of its current claims to fame is its beer guzzling pig.
We stayed away from Bay of Fires until Sunday afternoon as a big fishing competition had been held out there over the weekend. The place had been packed full of campers. Fortunately by Sunday afternoon many had left and we found a lovely little spot at Cosy Corner South. Can’t adequately describe how beautiful it is here and photographs don’t seem to capture it entirely. We will be staying a few days.
Freycinet National Park
Chain of Lagoons
St Helens and surrounds
Bay of Fires