The drive from Hobart to Freycinet was punctuated with stops to walk on beaches, to spread our eyes over the expansive sea, to follow the skyline shapes of Maria Island, Schouten Island and the mountains of the Freycinet peninsula. Collectively my travelling companion and I snapped hundreds of photos, as a record of the journey and of the way the landscape differed around each corner and over each hill.
Spiky Bridge is always worth a slight deviation from the highway. Well signposted, the left hand turn off when heading north leads to a tiny car park.
That part of the east coast of Tasmania is like none other in our state. Much of the land was cleared by convicts, sent out from England in rusting hulks during the nineteenth century, after acreages were granted to free men by the Van Diemens Land (the first name given to what is now Tasmania) government of the day – with no thought for the indigenous people who had lived on the land for thousands of generations. The poor soil quality meant little agricultural development except for sheep left to roam. In the past few decades, with access to water, enterprising farmers have now grown paddocks and paddocks of grapes, made wine and built cellar doors for tourists to pass by and taste their offerings. Some of these structures have won creative architectural awards such as the one for “Devils Corner”.
The further we drove north the sharper and more detailed the view of Freycinet Peninsula’s rocky granite mountains.
Once settled into our accommodation within Freycinet National Park, we looked out and up to a worn outcrop. In the freshness of a glorious next morning, more granite mountains were on show. These may have been Mt Amos (454 metres), Mt Dove (258m), Mt Baudin (413m) and/or Mt Parsons (331m) – all showing the effects of geological time.
As I walked to breakfast on day two, trees popped in shape and colour against the brilliant blue sky. A dramatic grass tree filled a large space between other native bushes and trees.
Near the jetty we looked back to the east coast of Tasmania, knowing later in the morning we would travel on that water with the expectation of enjoying the Peninsula from sea level.