Having undertaken a lot of hikes before and with the amazing memories from the overland track still fresh, it was time to set off on my first backpacking experience sleeping out in a tent and carrying between us everything we needed for three days on our backs. The overland track was magical and a different experience with the luxury of warm cosy fires and hot showers in the huts as well as amazing home cooked meals and wine. However this had none of that, well maybe a cheeky bottle of red wine for the first night.
I loved my One Planet rucksack, the Cradle Mountain Hut company provided, so I decided this was a great investment. So with my new rucksack packed we were ready to tackle the Freycinet Peninsular.
We had camped at the National Park at Coles Bay a few days before the trip and hiked the length of Friendly’s Beach, another of the 60 great short walks in Tasmania as well as having dinner in the lodge.
We had planned to be here for Christmas dinner, but due to our many car issues, it was not meant to be and so had Australia Day dinner instead, our first as Aussie Citizens. The lodge is a lovely stroll from the campsite along the beach and the menu is full of local produce. There are a few small powered campsites in the National Park, which are next to the showers ($2 needed for them in addition to your camp fees) Getting one of these sites or the non-powered sites that stretch the length of the beach is by a ballot system at peak times, but you might be lucky with a cancellation if you ask at the visitor’s centre. The visitors centre is really well stocked with backpacking odds and ends you might have forgotten. More car trouble meant we were camping in our RV2Oztent having been generously lent a Freelander from Simon a member of the amazing online Landrover community.
Day 1: We parked at the walker’s car park early, as it can get busy during peak periods and set off anti-clockwise. It’s a lovely easy walk through woodland with glimpses of Coles Bay, before heading down to Hazards Beach. Here we got the Jet boil out for a cuppa along with a little friend who was also keen for morning tea.
We arrived at Cooks Beach at lunch time and after setting up our tent with an amazing ocean view and re-fuelling, we did the side trip to Bryan’s Beach, where we cooled off in the slightly fresh but crystal clear Tasman Sea.
That night we cooked fresh fillet steak in our Sea to Summit X-Pot and washed it down with a glass of cheeky red wine a little bit of backpack glamping. We love this range with its neat stackable system. There was water available at this site from the volunteer ranger hut tanks but it did need filtering due to the mosquito larvae.
Day 2: This was a tough day and I was glad we decided to camp at Wineglass Bay. The first part of the hike was back along Cooks Beach, before starting the steady climb to the saddle. Here you have the choice of a side trip up Mt Freycinet but with heavy packs and Mt Graham looming straight ahead of us which is only around 50m lower, we decided against it and started our climb with stunning views rewarding us both on the climb and at the top. From the summit we could see Wineglass Bay stretching out in front of us, but it also seemed so far away and it was a long decent down which seemed to go on forever. We pitched our Big Agnes tent on the side of the beach with amazing views again and jumped straight into the water. There is no drinking water at this site and so you either need to replenish at a couple of the streams you cross or as we did carry everything you need. That’s where collapsible bottles come into their own.
Day 3: We got up early on our last morning and headed along the famous Wineglass Bay beach, before the short ascent upto the lookout and back down to the car.
My reward for surviving my first backpacking adventure was coffee and breakfast in Coles Bay before heading to Mt Field National Park. On a previous trip to Tassie we walked up Mt Amos which is a beautiful walk with amazing views and would be a perfect end to Day 3.
An amazing backpack, which I would highly recommend to anyone.
For more information visit www.parks.tas.gov.au
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