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Onbaord the boat
Onbaord the boat
Wineglass Bay

Isle des Phoques

Thursday, May 27, 2004
Brendon is on a high powered adventure in Tassie’s world class stretch of sand.

The east coast of Tasmania is a place of contrasts. It is full of history, beauty and adventure, beaches, wildlife and sea life, wine, rivers, wonderful produce and is a haven for bushwalkers and nature lovers.

Place names reflect early explorers and settlers — Dutch navigator Abel Tasman, Nicolas Baudin from France and Welsh miners. Aboriginal names remain, indicating thousands of years of their presence.

Captain Nicolas Thomas Baudin was a navigator and naturalist. He appealed to General Napoleon Bonaparte to allow him to command a scientific expedition and his two ships left Le Havre in 1800. Each had more than 100 people, including First Mate Freycinet, and what they saw here must have been more beautiful than anything they had seen before.

This is an area still renowned for natural scenery, bright blue water and white beaches. Rugged headlands and red granite mountains dominate the coastline. An outstanding feature is Wine Glass Bay, voted one of the top 10 beaches in the world.

Freycinet includes Freycinet Peninsula and Schouten Island. They were declared National Parks in 1916 and 1967 respectively. Coles Bay nestles in a sheltered nook and from there it is a short walk to the perfect half moon of Wineglass Bay.

Native animal and birdlife abounds, including black swans, Pacific gulls and pelicans. And from May to August, humpback and southern right whales can be sighted. Dolphins are a common sight.

Duncan Sinclair owns and runs Freycinet Sea Charters, which operates two vessels. Kahala is a 10m self-contained power cat and Harbour Blaster an 8m rigid inflatable. Kahala can accommodate 12 people and has a galley, toilet and sleeping quarters. Harbour Blaster is suited to short cruises — it is open-topped, fast and versatile. It carries 10 people.

Isle Des Phoques is a tiny rock in the middle of Great Oyster Bay with up to 1000 Australian fur seals in residence. It has several spectacular caves large enough for Harbour Blaster to enter which provide some of the state's best diving. The two-hour cruise returns to Coles Bay via Schouten Island, telling some of the history en route.

Kahala takes four-hour trips to Wineglass Bay, the ultimate Freycinet experience. The cruise goes down the inside of the peninsula and you hear an interpretive commentary on the history of whaling and Aboriginal occupancy. The natural flora and fauna and clear waters are superb.

At uninhabited Schouten Island, the boat moors in one of the secluded bays. From there it heads up the east coast of the peninsula to enjoy the sight of granite cliffs and sea caves. At Wineglass Bay you can swim in the crystal water, walk on the beach or stay aboard and enjoy afternoon tea.

Location

Off the east coast of Tasmania

Cost

Freycinet Sea Charters have a number of tours, starting at $55 per person. They operate year round.
Please note prices are valid at time of filming.

More information

Freycinet Sea Charters
Jetty Road Coles Bay 7215
Ph: (03) 6257 0355, 0417 355 524
www.freycinetseacharters.com
kahala@bigpond.com

Qantas 13 13 13.

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