December 9, 2019, Monday, Saffire Freycinet, Tasmania

It remains windy with a high cloud cover. Although we had not planned an activity this morning, we decided to join the tour to Cape Tourville and Sleepy Bay.

Taking a ride through the town of Coles Bay, we move into the Freycinet National Park this morning. The lighthouse at Cape Tourville is modern and self-sufficient but the site has a long history of native and colonial inhabitants: from whalers, granite quarriers, miners, etc.

From the point, the beach at Wineglass Bay is visible. See below.

Sleepy Bay is more protected and offered some lovely inlet views. A few mosquitos showed up to accompany our walk to the beach.

The afternoon promised cloudy skies and lots of wind. We are taking a motor boat out to Schouten Island, across from the Freycinet Peninsula.

We hug the coast along the national park. We pass the original Freycinet Lodge one of the first accommodations for tourists. It has been remodeled by insurance investment and remains an active alternative to Saffire. Further along are the pink granite quarries which ceased commercial viability in 1970s and Hazards Beach.
In Great Oyster Bay, we pass Refuge Island And Promise Rock then on to Cooks Bay. We cross through the Schouten Pass. The island was named by Abel Tasman for a member of a Dutch trading company. In 1800s it supported 5 whaling stations, sealers, and later coal and tin mining commenced until it became no longer profitable. Sheep grazing was introduced in mid 1800s. When we are on the open sea, the wave chop is unbearable and are forced to head back and circumnavigate the island in the opposite direction.

We catch a group of Australian fur seals resting on the rocks. As we go around the island we view the layers of coal wedged in the walls of the rocks. When we reach Hen and Chicken Bay It’s tiMe to head for calmer waters and have tea. Actually it was a feast of oysters, canapés, trout, and a sparkling Riesling from Morilla winery.

Upon return to Saffire, we headed down to the Tasmanian Devil den where the 2 resident devils were just finishing up a possum meal. We caught the final mortals of sinew and fur.

This entry was posted in Sabbatical 2019-2020, Tasmania, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

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