Sunday, February 07, 2016

Tasmania: Freycinet National Park.

After two days in Hobart we began our adventure for real, leaving the city and driving up the east coast. Our first stop was Freycinet National Park, where we would stay in the nearby town of Bicheno.

Tasmania's east coast is warmer than Hobart, full of beautiful beaches and more vineyards than you can keep track of. We made our way to the iconic Wineglass Bay—I was hoping to do more hiking on some of the more scenic trails on this day but sadly we couldn't, as Martin's leg needed a rest from our climb up Mt. Wellington the day before. So we only did a small 45 minute hike to the Wineglass Bay lookout, where dozens of other people clamoured to see the view. I must admit it felt a little underwhelming especially given the scale of our experience the day prior, but had we hiked to the actual beach on Wineglass Bay (or done an aerial tour!) it probably would have been far more enjoyable.

We ran into a couple of small, wild Bennett's wallabies in the carpark too. That's something probably more unique to Tasmania: throughout the trip we saw a lot more wildlife going about their daily business, even in busy tourist destinations.

The very next morning, we got up as the sun did. We were leaving later that day and I didn't feel as if I had spent enough time here. So we drove back into the national park and headed to Friendly Beaches to admire the sunrise from there; a sunrise mostly covered by soft clouds that every now and then would let the sun peek through, its rays casting shimmering reflections on the silvery water before fading away once again. It may not have been golden and full of striking, bold colours, but it was peaceful and beautiful in its own right. Perhaps that was just the kind of sunrise we needed that morning.

The shore was littered with lots of large boulders, remnants of the Earth's movements hundreds of millions of years ago. Orange lichen covers many of them, a sight we'd see more of as we travelled further up the coast. It was difficult for me to capture the beauty of the shoreline—I wasn't convinced I was doing it justice—so we lingered, walking slowly up the beach, making note of the different shells and rocks, and the large clumps of kelp that had washed ashore. This is my way of seeing, before the camera even comes to my eye; of truly committing an experience to memory before I choose to capture. Sometimes we're too quick to let the cameras do the work of remembering for us.

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