Friendly Beaches and other places near Freycinet

There aren’t many campervan sites on Freycinet Peninsula (previous post) and over-casual visitors are bumped out to free camping areas on the Friendly Beaches or near Moulting Lagoon, or to commercial van parks around Coles Bay. I therefore spent one night at each of the National Parks locations before heading North to Bicheno and then South again to the Three Thumbs and the Tasman Peninsula.

Moulting Lagoon

Lurking quietly between Coles Bay, Bicheno and Swansea is a large shallow estuarine area, a RAMSAR-proclaimed wetland and bird sanctuary. As Wikipedia says,

It comprises two adjacent and hydrologically continuous wetlands – Moulting Lagoon and the Apsley Marshes – at the head of Great Oyster Bay, near the base of the Freycinet Peninsula, between the towns of Swansea and Bicheno. Both components of the site are listed separately under the Ramsar Convention as wetlands of international significance. Moulting Lagoon is so named because it is a traditional moulting place for black swans.

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Freycinet National Park

The Freycinet Peninsula (map) is one of the most beautiful parts of Tasmania, which I think makes it one of the most beautiful parts of the world. Nearly all of the Peninsula, plus some nearby coastal areas, is National Park. There are access roads, camping grounds and day-use areas within the park but nothing else man-made apart from a network of walking tracks.

I admit that beauty is somewhat subjective but it’s hard to resist the claims of scenery like this:

Freycinet peaks
Freycinet from Honeymoon Bay
Hazards Bay beach view
Hazards Bay, Freycinet NP

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kunanyi – Mount Wellington

The pinnacle

The mountain rises to 1271 metres, dominating the skyline of most of Hobart. It has officially been “kunanyi / Mount Wellington” since 2013 and locals are beginning to call it simply “kunanyi” so perhaps this is a good approach to restoring indigenous names elsewhere.

Whatever we call it, it’s always ten degrees cooler than the city but the spectacular views and unique landscape make it a high priority for me when I’m in Tasmania.

Bruny Island from kunanyi
Looking South from the pinnacle. The long beach in the distance is Bruny Island’s isthmus

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Tasmania was beautiful last month

Russell Falls, Mt Field NP
Russell Falls, Mt Field NP

We spent most of the last month in Tasmania and it was beautiful.

That’s both a  reason for the recent gap in blog posts and a promise of what’s to come.

The plan is that this post will outline our trip and that subsequent posts will deal with particular places we visited, and that I will add links from this page to the new posts as I go.

That’s what I did with our Cobbold Gorge trip six months ago, and it seemed to work well then.

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Wattlebirds

Soon after my visit to Southern states in December 2017 I wrote about “honeyeaters and their next-nearest kin, mainly because I have … seen species which don’t live around Townsville” and I’m doing it again now.

Wattlebirds are the Southern equivalent of our Friarbirds: big, noisy, gregarious (and often aggressive) honeyeaters. The Red and Yellow are the largest of five species at 38-48 and 31-39cm respectively; the Yellow (Anthocaera paradoxa) is restricted to Tasmania but the Red (A. carunculata) occupies a broad coastal arc from Shark Bay in the West to Brisbane.

wattledird on bottlebrush
Yellow Wattlebird in a South Hobart garden

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