A tour to remember
My favourite mornings are when the sky holds subtle pink hues, where the suns glow turns orange in the distance and you know that whatever the day holds in store – it will be good. And my small group half-day guided walking tour through Freycinet National Park didn’t disappoint.
With a friendly guide, and an all-inclusive lunch and morning tea, Freycinet Walking Tour (operated by Experiential Tasmania) is a must for anyone. Especially those who like to experience the beauty of Tassie alongside the knowledge and charm of a friendly tour guide.
Nestled away on Tasmania’s east coast, with its five protruding Mountains centered in the middle of the peninsula is Freycinet National Park. A beautiful spot decorated by islands all along its surrounds. What better way to see this gorgeous part of the world, than on a guided walking and boat tour that takes you past the towering granite cliffs and deep through the Australian bush.
We started our day by boarding the Aqua Taxi to take us to our landing spot on the beach further south (due to the weather today’s tour is in reverse). As we set off and chartered further away from our guest house at Freycinet Lodge, splashes of water hit my face as we glide over the waves – our friendly and welcoming host Amber makes sure to point out the historic sites of the local area.
As we approach our landing site at the beach, I notice something peculiar - no jetty. As I sense that my morning was about to get somewhat hypothermic, I roll up my pants and prepare to step off the boat and into the ice-cold water before running onto the beach. If I wasn’t awake before, I certainly am now. But it was worth it. At this time of the morning we are the first footsteps on the beach, the first to disturb the tranquility of the sand glazed over by the water the night before.
Trundling along the beach, through the scattered charm of birds, seaweed and the occasional stick – we’re reminded of the thousands of years of indigenous history in this very location – a nod to our history and the traditional custodians of the land. As the glow of the morning sky opens up to windswept clouds, we take a moment and pause before heading inland, listening only to the wind sweeping by our faces.
As the sand turns into boardwalk, the beachside shrubs turn into towering trees. Different shades of green painting a brisk picture of the landscape peppered with the occasional colour of a flower or bird. With the track snaking its way through denser bush, the trees start to caress the sky, covering the path in an archway that evokes a sense of welcomeness and awe in this mighty National Park.
We stop by a lagoon – the recent rain means its full to the brim – and if you crouch down low enough the water casts a reflection of the mountains in the background. Never have I felt such peace in my surroundings, broken only by the occasional wallaby splintering through the grass in the distance. A sense of wonder and achievement in what nature defines as a possibility.
The truth is, by this stage my senses are overwhelmed. I couldn’t possibly absorb any more, nor could I listen to any more stories about the types of grass growing around me – well maybe one more – as I tuckered into what I was told was a species of edible grass. Chewy and slightly sweet… not what I would usually have as a side dish. But perhaps enough to get me up 1000 steps and on to the lookout where we stopped for a picnic lunch.
After we finished off our grazing plate of prosciutto, roast beef, roast capsicum and a scrumptious seaweed salad, we took the obligatory ‘arms-wide-open’ photo overhanging the lookout. I might be deathly afraid of heights, but with my eyes closed I manage to trundle out to the furthest edge of the lookout platform.
Words: Drew V.