Day 5 – Coles Bay and Freycinet National Park


our little blue tent in the cyclist/backpacker area

After an easy morning we packed and headed off to the National Park office we hadn’t made it to yesterday. It was a few kilometres of hills (okay, maybe 3 or 4), and absolutely bursting with visitors. We were the first cyclists for the day and got to choose our spot from the five small cyclist spaces grouped close together in a circle just down from the centre. These are kept especially for cyclists and backpackers who rock up on the day. The toilet block was only a short walk across the day-use car park. It had a cold shower (brrr…) and drinkable water as well. Beautiful Richards Beach was a short walk across the sand dune.

Richard’s Beach

Apart from the fact it was incredibly windy and the smell of stagnant water kept wafting across from the nearby creek, the campsite was great. Frederico, the Italian backpacker, set up camp, as did a young couple from Melbourne called Ivan and Evie, who we had met the day before.  

If you’re going to ride all the way to Coles Bay, you really need to do a walk, at least to the Wineglass Bay lookout. It is the shortest walk you can do, 40 minute return trip from the car park. To get to the car park we had to ride a few kilometres of good Tasmanian hills of course, which felt a little hard after yesterday’s journeys. We had not brought a hat so we just wore our bike helmets and Da Brim helmet brims. They worked great!

Wineglass Bay – it was packed with tourists and a bit too busy for our liking. Beautiful view though!

By the time we made it back to our campsite, we were ready for lunch, so we strolled to the Coles Bay township, a 15 minute walk. The closest cafe had a nice outlook and good beer and pizza so we sat there for a good hour taking in the views. One beer was all it took and the rest of the afternoon was spent sleeping on the beach.

The camp kitchen was sheltered and we cooked dinner on my Trangia while chatting to the young couple from Melbourne. They mentioned the ‘a***hole factor’, which is when you roll into town and see people arriving in cars and feel rather self-righteous. Bec and I never suffer from ‘a***hole factor’, we are better.

Kitchen area at Richards Beach

During the night the possums decided to attack. We had, rather negligently, left the rubbish in a bag inside the tent vestibule as there is no rubbish bin and you have to carry it out with you. The possum crawled into the vestibule on Bec’s side and started trying to get whatever food it could. In her half sleep Bec was about to open her screen door and let the possum in the tent! With me on one side loudly whispering “don’t let the possum in!,  and Bec banging her side of the tent, the possum eventually scattered….to the young couple’s tent! I heard a commotion and then Evie was laughing and commenting on the fact the possum got into their peanut butter!

Apart from a rough night with the possums, we slept okay and were packed up and at the coffee shop by 8.30am the next day.

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