After leaving Bonorong, we decided to drive up the east coast of Tasmania in the time left that afternoon. We were pleasantly surprised by the fine weather as we headed north up the coast. We stopped at the first seaside village we reached for lunch and a visit to the tourist information office. The two ladies there offered us several good suggestions for our afternoon and recommended the Colonial Tea House for lunch. The lady who owns the tea shop told us she had been a farmer, but when that became too difficult she decided a tea shop would be a fine thing to do and bought this house to convert. We do think she made a good decision.
After lunch we proceeded up the coast with a couple of stops at spectacular beaches and the Spiky Bridge. The bridge was one of the many things built by the convicts during Australia’s early history. We learned the next day that the mortar for this bridge was made from the lime of seashells taken from an archaeological midden in what is today Freycinet National Park.
After heading inland across the island to the main north-south highway we drove back to our condo. Our only stop as the light faded was in the small town of Ross. Ross had some interesting old buildings and has an old ‘factory’ or women’s prison for transported convicts. We would like to visit this one someday, too.
The next day, after looking at the weather forecasts, we decided to head back up the east coast and this time go all the way to Freycinet National Park. After a two hour drive we stopped at the Pandering Frog, a small restaurant and ice cream shop for lunch before entering the park. The owner suggested an itinerary for us that skipped the 90 minute climb to the Wineglass Bay Lookout which is the iconic hike in the park. Another time perhaps although I think I would just as soon take the boat trip that visits Wineglass Bay and also offers a close up opportunity to see some of the sea birds that are always in the area.
Instead we visited the several scenic beaches in the park and drove up to the Cape Tourville Lighthouse for the great views from there. This turned out to be a good plan as we left the park just as the sun was lowering itself over the horizon. It is an impressive park with many hiking opportunities of varying difficulty. We did several of the short easy hikes beginning with one out the back of the excellent visitor center. On a warm summer day with more time, any of the beaches would be a fun way to spend some of what Linda calls, ‘down time.’ On this rather windy afternoon, they were still beautiful to spend a few minutes viewing. Probably the most exciting thing we saw, however, was the mama kangaroo with joey peeking out of her pouch.