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Although Freycinet is one of Tasmania’s most popular national parks – visited by more than 200,000 people a year – few visitors see beyond the perfect curve of Wineglass Bay,
Sleepy Bay, Freycinet Peninsula, Tasmania.
On a map, Freycinet Peninsula comes very close to being a place set apart from Tasmania, hanging off its east coast like the chain of islands Abel Tasman mistook it for in 1642.
A quiet dawn at White Water Wall, a cliffface popular with climbers in Tasmania’s Freycinet National Park.
Thirty-three years ago Bob (pictured) made the first climb on ‘Beowulf’, a fairly difficult route that traverses above a sea cave, on rock scratched and notched by time and tide. It was an era when the former art teacher had a virtual monopoly on new climbing routes at Freycinet, including, as an 18-year-old, the peninsula’s first recorded climb in 1969 on Sow Spur.
A red carpet of beaded glasswort rings the shore of Moulting Lagoon, one of 10 wetlands of international significance in Tasmania. This succulent provides important habitat for the lagoon’s resident waterfowl.
The calm waters of Saltwater Lagoon in Freycinet NP. The park hosts a plethora of birds, says ranger Rob Connell. “Generally we have around 7000 swans, a few thousand ducks of various species, as well as grebes, cormorants and terns.”
A little black cormorant flies over oyster rack posts in the Swan River. “We’ve been proven to increase biodiversity in and around our oyster beds because we put up all these lovely sticks and baskets that are essentially shelter for larval fish,” says oyster farmer Giles Fisher. “Birds then increase, and away it goes.”
The Friendly Beaches, along the east coast of the peninsula, were added into Freycinet National Park in 1992 – this was following attempts to mine their white sands for zircon to make glass.
Freycinet National Park has many wetlands of international importance.
Sunset lights up the trees of Coles Bay in Freycinet, Tasmania.
Today, by contrast, most vehicles hurry along the sealed road, speeding towards Coles Bay and the walking track to Wineglass Bay. Very few stop at Moulting Lagoon, even though the road passes within metres of its shores.
From across Coles Bay, the bare 370-million-year-old granite of The Hazards glows in almost pinkish tones created by the feldspar within the rock.
A classic view of Coles Bay, on Tasmania’s Freycinet Peninsula.
When French explorer Nicolas Baudin sailed along Tasmania’s rugged east coast 160 years after Tasman, he corrected the Dutchman’s mapping error, recognising Freycinet as a peninsula and naming it for the brothers Louis and Henri Freycinet.
Home Travel Destinations Gallery: Freycinet Peninsula, Tasmania
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