Part 32: Fishing and Freycinet national park

After a looong sleep I managed to shake off the worst of the illness, and I was able to still do go out the next day and enjoy more of Tasmania. We took the day quite steady though and had a relaxing day by the sea. We drove to a beach called Spring Beach along the east coast, but only stayed there for an hour as the weather was freezing! We therefore decided to go somewhere else, and so we went to to a jetty with Stewart’s fishing rod and tried to do some fishing using cracked mussels as bait. The fishing itself was a bit of a flopp as we just kept instantly hitting weed as soon as we threw the line into the water. However, cracking open the mussels was quite exciting as we discovered little parasitic pea crabs (Pinnotheres) eating away at the flesh inside! These crabs were so fat they couldn’t walk properly on the ground, so we had to pop them back in the water so they could swim away and find new hosts to devour! We quickly got bored of throwing the line out and catching weed, so eventually we decided to call it a day and go home. Back at the house we tucked ourselves under blankets infront of the TV and watched Puss in Boots (the movie) whilst munching away at my cheeseboard of brie, fruit cheese, salamanca market jam, apples and crackers! In the evening we made (lava) chilli con carne for the household as a thank you for making us dinner the night before!

Tasmania

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Tasmania

Tasmania

The next day we planned for a trip to the beautiful wineglass bay, on Freycinet peninsula, north-east of Hobart. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t it’s best, but it was dry and not too cold, so that was more than enough! It took nearly three hours to drive to the peninsula, so we were quite glad to get out of the car when we finally arrived at the car park, at the base of the walk. Wineglass bay has several walking tracks, and I think we were all keen to do a bit of walking after stuffing ourselves with so much cheese yesterday! We opted for a five our hike around Mt. Mayson, taking us us to wineglass bay lookout, then down to wineglass bay beach, around to the mounds of seashells at hazard’s beach, and then along the coastal cliffs of great oyster bay. The walk was fairly flat and well kept, so my foot and I had no problem walking the distance. The view of the bay was a bit underwhelming in the grey weather (and all the tourists hanging around), but walking the track was such a soul refreshing experience that it didn’t matter. Also, when we left the main viewing platform and onwards on the longer hike we left the crowds of tourists and got the park more to ourselves. We ate our packed sandwiches at lunchtime at wineglass bay beach, where a naughty wallaby was trying to get a bite! He stood around long enough for some photos before trying his luck at other groups of lunch eaters along the beach! He was very, very charming!

Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park

IMG_20160126_154103

Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park

When we got back we were very tired and nearly considering just going straight to bed that evening, but luckily Elisabeth forced us up to do the night drive we had originally planned! BOY was it worth it! We crept out of our driveway and drove around the narrow roads of Tunnock and surrounds. We saw so much wildlife it was silly! We saw kangaroos, wallabies, pademelons, bush-tailed possums (including a mother sitting on a post carrying a baby on her pack), TWO wombats and last but not least… A TASMANIAN DEVIL!! I actually thought I saw one on our first unintentional night drive on the night we were trying to find Stewart’s house, but I only caught a glimpse of it and Elisabeth and Mari didn’t see it so it was never confirmed. This time though, there was absolutely without a shadow of a doubt a tiny Tasmanian devil sitting right in front of us in the road, black as sot with the distinctive white v shaped collar. We all gasped in excitement and immediately stopped the car in front of the little creature (luckily we were only going at 1 km an hour at that time so we weren’t at all close to being a danger to it). There was a precious moment when we looked at the devil and the devil stared back at us for a while, before it realized it was probably best to move to the side of the road to the shelter of some bushes. We leapt out of the car to catch another glimpse of it, as well as naively hoping (dreaming) to maybe see it’s mother and other siblings as we were pretty sure it was a baby. We watched him sit in the bushes a while, curiously looking up at us weird humans that were up and about at 1 am in the morning. The little tassie devil looked far from frightened, but it eventually decided it had had enough of us and scurried away into the darkness. No photos were taken unfortunately, I was too caught up in the moment to try and get a shot. Moments like those, especially when it is with such a rare animal like the tasmanian devil, are best kept simple and real, no photos involved, and enjoyed in the present. Our moment with a wild tasmanian devil was definitely one of the highlight of my time in Tasmania, and even my entire Australia summer (it’s up there on the list with seeing wild koalas and swimming with dolphins).

Tunnock bush-tail possum

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