After breakfast on day three, our next destination was the track to the Wineglass Bay Lookout. Neither my friend or I had any serious inclination to clamber up to the Lookout – we had both made the walk before although a long while ago. We were simply curious to see ‘developments’. And developments we did see! Acres of car parks layered with bitumen and painted lines to indicate parking spots for cars and camper vans. This was a site developed for massive tourism. An extensive array of information boards preceded the new fine gravel track.
I was entranced by the large metal sculpture representing a whale. This was a reminder that the early Europeans culled whales by the hundreds in the nineteenth century. Wineglass Bay was a centre for such activity, so much so that the Bay was coloured like a glass of red wine. Think back to my photos of that summery aqua green water that is typically to be seen in the Bay these days.
We set off on foot towards Wineglass Bay.
We walked along the track in wonder. Perfectly suitable for prams and wheelchairs. A veritable ‘highway’ for tourist ‘bushwalkers’.
With increasing elevation grander and grander views were spread before us.
The native Tea trees were flowering and young bottlebrush flowers stood tall.
The sheer volume of people was astounding – this is still the Covid era when many locals and nationals are not yet travelling often, and the impact of allowing international tourists into Australia was yet unknown. It was impossible to stop for five minutes and listen for birds or quietly enjoy the landscape; a constant stream of people were plodding or rushing past, albeit with friendly hellos. The day was bright bringing out the pleasant social character of all. After the gentle rise of the path we reached the start of the steeper section. We started walking up the well-built granite stone stairs but, like the images of lines heading up Mt Everest in mind, I looked at feet in front of me and felt heavy breathing from behind and knew I was not interested in ‘discovering’ this new track to the top. Jeanette’s photo below shows some customised steps – for a moment without people.
In turning back, I realised I was glad to have seen this new creation. However because I prefer immersing myself in landscapes where few if anyone else is around, I won’t be returning although I recognise that this level of comfort and safety is what many crave.
Back to the carpark. Now where to go? Having seen the Cape Tourville lighthouse from the boat during the cruise, we set off to approach it from land.
The road was well signposted and the carpark smaller, with fewer tourists in sight.
Once on the top of the Cape, I had a sense of immense space. After the claustrophobia of our eco cabin set within a tight Tea tree (melaleuca) forest, and then too many people on the Wineglass Bay Lookout track, I relaxed into the pleasure of clear views to Wineglass Bay, Mt Graham and Mt Freycinet at the southern end of the Peninsula, and then who knows how far I was seeing to the north.
All around were more sensationally dramatic cliffs, and a big wide sea under a massive blue sky.
The locked lighthouse was introduced by an information board.
With time to wander the paths leisurely and quietly, large fat native lizards ran across the dry stony ground, and could be examined closely.