|Beautiful Monday morning at Franklin Wharf, Hobart|
It was a beautiful Monday morning. The sun had long risen by the time we went out at about 8.15am, and the air was cool and fresh. Both of us had a walk along the Davis Street and in the Franklin Wharf. We had a good browse of the parked yachts, witnessing helicopter coming down through the water, gazing the surrounding buildings, gawking at the flying seagulls in the sky, and not forgetting to record this moment into our phone camera :)
Actually I would love to walk further to the Salamanca area, but the time was limited and we had to go back to our apartment. As soon as we returned, we made ourselves a quick breakfast. Mine was sandwich made of two slices of multi-grain bread spread with local-made strawberry jam with pan-fried sausage and spinach leaves in the middle, plus a cup of coffee with cream and sugar. Hmmm… what a lovely breakfast!!! :)
We left Hobart in a short while and drove all the way to the direction of Freycinet National Park. On our way there, we passed by brownish and greenish fields on our left and right side, with herd of sheep, cow, horses occupying the area; passed by some lovely and colorful vineyards (usually in yellows); and stopped by at Moulting Lagoon Game Reserve for a short break and enjoyed the great view it’d offered.
Finally, after getting lost for a while (due to insufficient direction in the GPS), we found our way to the Freycinet Lodge. We rented two separate rooms; each was inclusive of a private balcony and no TV available. However, they provided the CD player with CD inside, playing a very soothing, romantic kind and relaxing music, allow us to rest ourselves fully in a comfortable bed provided (as usual, I slept at the extra bed – this time a very big sofa bed only for myself hohoho…).
|Our room at Freycinet Lodge|
Once we checked in, we headed to the Freycinet National Park office located not very far from the lodge. There, we had to pay A$60 per vehicle (up to 8 people) to entry all parks (including Cradle), which was valid up to 8 weeks. Ohh… I’d never encountered before paying for the entry of the national park, a bit surprised though. But then it’s mentioned there that the money raised from park fees would go directly towards the upkeep of the parks and reserves, also to maintain and upgrade visitor facilities, walking tracks, and information booth. Well, fair enough then.
We had a bit of time before our kayaking’s appointment and after consulting with the staff, she suggested us to have a short drive and walk to Honeymoon Bay. However, we were running out of time, therefore, after arriving at the area, we just stopped at the car park and had our quick lunch there. Hehe… Everything was quick and short. We just finished up our stock by eating everything that was left in our stock, like bread, ham, cheeses, chips, strawberry, and raspberry, just to ensure that we had enough energy to paddle :)
We enrolled the Freycinet Paddle that last around 3 hours including briefing, about 2-hour paddling and refreshment break on a beach. All sea kayaking equipment and gears were included, such as: warm polar fleece, spray deck or spray skirt (to prevent water to enter to the kayak), spray jacket, lifesaving jacket, and kayak shoes. They also provided dry-bag to put our personal items like camera, hand phone, etc.
|Freycinet Paddle in Tasmania :)|
Nathan, our instructor, guided us the steps on what to wear first, how to paddle forward, backward, and to stop, what should we do in case the kayak capsized (as a safety precaution), and what the person who sat behind should do when stir the kayak (to the left or to the right). Since there were five of us, Celipu paired up with her hubby, SJ paired up with Aileen, while I paired up with Nathan :)
It’s said that the Freycinet Paddle was listed as the #4 must-do experience in Australia on the Nine Network’s Things to Try Before You Die. Hahaha… Now seemed like I could die in peace :D Just kidding. Anyway, I was eagerly waiting for this day to come as this would be my first time in my life to experience kayaking. I was not often doing the water sport and by doing this, in this place, at this time, was simply incredible experience that you too, should do, in case you come here. It cost A$95 per person, but the experience that we went through was all worth it. Perhaps, we were very lucky as the weather that afternoon was very good. There was a sun, but it wasn’t that hot. There was wind but it wasn’t that strong too. The water was calm and still. Everything came perfectly!!!
|Beautiful evening (Photo courtesy by Celipu)|
We hooked the paddle to our boat. Put our personal belonging (dry-bag and water bottle) in front of us (secured tightly with the rubber string). We sloped ourselves into the boat, secured the spray skirt properly into the boat, and there we went! Nathan pushed our boats to the water one by one and we started to paddle around to the way directed by him. All of us were trying hard to familiarize ourselves to paddle correctly, also to turn to get fast and to slow down.
Since Nathan was experienced and he could paddle very fast, lots of time we (Nathan and I) were separated from the other two kayaks. We always came first in front while the other two were paddling slowly behind, enjoying the chit-chatting, and I was envy listening to their laughter and they even sang a song. Oh my…. Hahaha… The good thing paddling with Nathan was that I didn’t have to paddle as much as they did since like I said, Nathan was strong and experienced. He knew how to turn, how to control, while I was just helping him to paddle ahead. And many times, we had to slow down or to stop, waiting for the rest to catch up with us.
While waiting, I would just take a rest, take photo, look at the birds flying (such as: white-bellied sea eagle, silver and pacific gull, etc.) or stopping by at the tree’s branch, and enjoy the peace and calmness of my surrounding. I felt very close to the nature. Sometimes I would put my hands into the water, play with the water, feel its coldness, look at its clarity wondering what lies beneath, and just enjoy that present moment of being there. Like I said, the experience was priceless.
|Refreshment time :)|
We paddled towards the other side of the mountain and stopped by at the beach. Nathan took out the flask and few plastic containers filled with cookies, coffee and cream powder, tea bags, sugar cube, marshmallows, and plastic cup. He asked us what we wanted and he would concoct the beverages for us. We took a rest munching cookies and sipping our tea or coffee while enjoying the beautiful natures surrounds us. We chit chatted too of what they’d seen along their way.
|The wooden bridge with birds' view :)|
Once the break was over, we continued our paddling journey. This time, we headed to a bridge topped by many birds on it. We headed closer to the bridge and after, Nathan asked us to cross under the bridge, which we hadn’t thought about it since the height of the bridge from the water wasn’t that high. SJ and Aileen managed to cross under the bridge safely, so with Nathan and I. However, Celipu and her hubby weren’t giving enough space while turning. She herself still concerned and gave a warning to SJ to be careful of SJ’s head, not to knock the wooden bridge, which ended up their boat went to the wrong hole. At first we tried not to laugh, but the scene was just too funny and all of us burst out laughing over the incident. It was still vivid in our mind how they crushed their boat to the wrong side.
|Finally managed overcoming the hurdle :)|
Luckily they managed to control their boat and cross under the bridge safely and in right direction. Nathan gave a comment, “I would give them one out of ten for that,” still laughing as he couldn’t resist it as well.
|"What friendships are for? YOLO!!!"|
Finally we’re back. By the time we reached, it was almost 5pm, and sunset was arriving.
|Enjoying beautiful sunset at Freycinet Peninsula, Tasmania|
|Our sumptuous seafood dinner at The Bay Restaurant :)|
Since there was no kitchen inside our room, we decided to have our dinner outside. There were only few eating places available in the area. After asking around, we all decided to have our dinner in the restaurant provided by the lodge. It was quite expensive though, but we had a sumptuous seafood dinner resulting a swell in our bellies full of satisfaction ^^
|Wine, cheese, cracker and chips of the day :)|
After dinner, we went back into our room. We took a bath and like usual, we had our gathering at one of the room, enjoying the cheese and wine plus chat session until we couldn’t stand anymore and went to bed for a very good rest zzz… zzz… zzz….