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Thursday, April 29, 2004

Tasman Trail Hike - Fortescue Bay to Eaglehawk Neck

I woke early, at about 6am, thanks to the fishermen, but lay in bed for a while. After striking camp, I was away by 8am.
The weather was cloudy as I walked along the beach to the north end, and into the forest. The forest was mostly dry eucalypt. I soon came to Canoe Bay, where there was an old wreck with many gulls perched on it. The track then started climbing , and I soon realised just how heavy my pack was. The track dropped again to Bivouac Bay where there is a big camp site with a toilet.

So far the track had been mostly near the shore, but in the trees. Now it started climbing, and I was working hard. (I definitely have to dump some stuff from my pack). The track continued to climb through bush until it suddenly broke out at the edge of a high coastal cliff. No wonder I'd been climbing for a while. The views were great. Continuing along the cliff edge, the track had great views of the cliffs as well as south to the distant Cape Hauy, where the candlestick could clearly be seen.

The track continued its climb, with good views occasionally, and the odd glimpse of Fortescue Bay, with golden white sand and emerald water.
Finally I reached the highest point on the hike, Tatnells Hill, and decided to have lunch. At this point I realised I'd forgotten to have breakfast! That couldn't have helped things on the climb at least I'd been eating snacks while hiking.
The view north from near the summit was excellent. I realised that Waterfall Bay, which was the next bay north, wasn't like the other three I'd passed it was lined with high cliffs.

The track descended fairly quickly into rainforest, but
appeared to be all regrowth, since there were lots of dead massive trees, but no live ones.
I took a side track at Camp Falls to go down to Shower Falls, just below, where I went behind the waterfall. Skirting the Waterfall Bay cliffs, the track came out at a road, and a lookout overlooking Waterfall Bay. The waterfall was just a trickle.

The track from here to Patersons Arch, the Devils Kitchen, and Tasmans Arch, was very good, with several lookouts. The arches and devils kitchen were formed in wave eroded slots in the cliff and were impressive.
I then walked around Pirates Bay on the road to Eaglehawk Neck and to the backpackers. By the time I arrived, my feet were very sore have to dump some stuff out of my pack!
Earlier, I'd called "Tiger Trails" (a guided hiking company) to organise going on a guided walk into the Tarkine, now I called the bus service to book a seat for the morning. The bus came at 6:45am! Nasty!
I packed my stuff and went to bed after a shower and dinner.

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