We had now reached day seven (Thursday 3rd November 2022) of our Tasmania trip, and after just one night at Swansea we needed to travel to the Tasmanian capital, Hobart. In reflection, we should have spent longer in Swansea. One night was nowhere near enough and we were very pushed for time seeing everything in the area.
Above:- Map showing the route between Swansea and Hobart. Map c/o Google maps
On the day we had planned on activating Freycinet National Park and then visit Oatlands and Ross on our way to Hobart. The quickest way from Swansea to Hobart was via the coast and Triabunna, but Oatlands was a must for us. As it turned out our plans changed quite significantly.
We drove north on the Tasman Highway admiring the magnificent views of Moulting Lagoon Game Reserve and the Freycinet National Park.
Upon reaching the park we saw a cruise ship and Marija made some enquiries about a cruise to Wineglass Bay. Fortunately they were not booked out and planned to sail later that morning. So we decided to go on the 4 hour & 30 minute cruise to Wineglass Bay. This was a big shift in our plans for the day.
We had a little bit of time up our sleeve so we drove out of Coles Bay and into the Freycinet National Park VKFF-0188.
Above:- Map showing the location of the Freycinet National Park. Map c/o Google maps.
Freycinet National Park is 169 km2 in size and was established in 1916. It is Tasmania’s oldest park.
Above: Article from the Examinder Launceston, Wed 22 Apr 1914. Image c/o Trove
The park was named after French Navy officer and navigator Louise de Freycinet (b. 1779. d. 1841). In 1811 de Freycinet published the first map to show a full outline of the coastline of Australia.
Above:- Louis de Fteycinet. Image c/o Wikipedia.
The park comprises a large section of the Freycinet Peninsula and also Schouten Island, named after Joost Schouten, a member of the Council of the Dutch East India Company. Freycinet has rugged coastline and includes the secluded Wineglass Bay. A series of jagged granite peaks in a line, called The Hazards, can be located in the park.
More than 500 species of plant have been recorded in the park, including over 80 species of native orchid. Numerous native mammals can be found in the park including Red-necked wallaby, Eastern Quoll and the Tasmanian pademelon.
We found a nice little quiet spot off Freycinet Drive and decided to do a quick park activation from the 4WD. We ran the Icom IC7000, 100 watts, and the Codan 9350 self tuning antenna mounted on the back of the 4WD.
Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-
I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-
We were both happy as we had qualified the park fof the VKFF program with 10 QSOs.
We then headed back into Coles Bay for our cruise to Wineglass Bay.
The boat left Coles Bay and travelled the short distance to Honeymoon Bay where we picked up some more passengers. There are some amazing ‘coastal pavilions’ tucked in amongst the scrub at Freycinet Lodge within the National Park.
We then set out across Coles Bay and then out into the open ocean and along the spectacular coastline.
There was numerous wildlife to be observed along the way,
We then reached Wineglass Bay, one of the ‘must sees’ when in Tasmania. The boat moored in the bay and we sat back and enjoyed a brilliant lunch consisting of Tasmanian produce and a few cold beers.
We then sailed back to Coles Bay and departed the cruise. It had been a very enjoyable day.
As I had only 15 QSOs in the log for Freycinet National Park, Marija and I decided to set up again, hoping that I might be able to reach 44 QSOs and qualify the park for the global WWFF program.
Above:- An aerial view of the Freycinet National Park. Image c/o Google maps
This time around I ran the Yaesu FT857d, 40 watts, and the 20/40/80m linked dipole, inverted vee, supported on a 7 metre telescopic squid pole.
I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-
I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-
We then packed up and continued along. We stopped briefly at Moulting Bay Game Reserve to enjoy the view. We even saw some wild deer in the scrub.
It was slow going on the road out of the park as there was a lot of wildlife on the roadway.
We then commenced our journey to Hobart via the Tasman Highway.
We stopped off at Spiky Bridge which is part of the old convict built coach road which connected Swansea with Little Swanport and the east coast road to Hobart.
By the 1820’s the reaches of white settlement were being pushed further up Tasmania’s east coast. Settlers such as George Meredith and Francis Cotton, were drawn to the area by the prospects of farming and whaling. Despite constant complaints from the settlers to the Government regarding the lack of road access, by 1840 there was still no road between Little Swanport and the Swansea district.
In 1841, a ready supply of labour for the grueling tasks involved in road building became available with the establishment of the Rocky Hills Probation Station. Under the convict probation system that operated in the 1840’s, all convicts had to initially serve time in a government work gang. Previously , convicts had generally been assigned to work for private settlers upon their arrival in the colony. James Radcliffe’s “Lisdillon” estate and associated salt works were just two of a number of properties in the district that had relied on assigned convict labour.
At Rocky Hills Probation Station, the convicts were primarily employed on road works in the area, as well as clearing land and constructing station buildings. The Spiky Bridge and parts of the old coach road which are still visible today, remain enduring legacies of the convict workers from this station.
Our next stop was the Three Arch bridge at Mayfield Beach, a little further along on the Tasman Highway. It is not signposted, and is just a small bridge which was constructed in 1845 by convict labour from the nearby Rocky Hills Probation Station. It spans the outlet of the Old Man Creek at Mayfield Beach. The existing road is built over the top of the bridge. You can view the bridge after a short walk from Mayfield Bay campground.
We continued along the coast admiring the beautiful views.
We soon reached the town of Triabunna, but as we were running late we did not get the opportunity of stopping sadly.
Our next brief stop was at the small town of Buckland where we had a look at the old St John The Baptist church. Like so many other buildings in Tasmania, the church was constructed by convict labour in 1846. It is believed that the East Window in the church dates b ack to the 14th century.
We got into Hobart quite late and booked into our accomodation, the Rydges Hobart.
- Discover Tasmania, 2022, <https://www.discovertasmania.com.au/things-to-do/heritage-and-history/threearchbridgemayfieldbreach/>, viewed 27th December 2022.
- Discover Tasmania, 2022, <https://www.discovertasmania.com.au/things-to-do/heritage-and-history/stjohnthebaptistchurchbuckland/>, viewed 27th December 2022.
- Wikipedia, 2022, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freycinet_National_Park>, viewed 27th December 2022.