Wineglass Bay, Freycinet Peninsula
[In 2009, it was my turn to be the Team Leader of K-Team, the Younger (K-T-Y), who were teenagers; one, of whom was a certain 15-year-old son who would’ve preferred to be playing computer games rather than travelling around Tasmania. This time the K-T-Y team venture to Coles Bay on the Freycinet Peninsula which is on the East Coast of Tasmania.
We need an Aussie “Brat Camp”, I thought as we trudged up the steep path. The best beach in the world, but did Son 2 care?
I turned and yelled, ‘Come on, son!’
My 15-year-old Son 2 shuffled up the slope, his head shrouded in emo black hair bent as he stared at the gravel. A cry sounding like a demented “Chewbacca” echoed through the valley, ‘It’s too hard!’
Son 1 and girlfriend had raced ahead.
‘Hurry up! We’re being left behind,’ I shook my fist at Son 2, ‘it’s getting late!’
‘Urgh! There’s flies!’ Son 2 batted the air around his face. ‘I need a rest! I’m tired!’
[Photo 1: Oyster Bay to the West with Maria Island © L.M. Kling 2001]
I stumped back to my son who then leaned against a rail. Oyster Bay glistened blue in the afternoon light and boats with white sails bobbed on the water. I was beginning to appreciate the effort and patience my Dad took to take my brother, cousins and me on safari all those years ago in 1981; our adventures documented in Trekking with the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981.
I waved a hand over the scene. ‘How can you not appreciate that view?’
Son 2 grunted.
‘It’s better on the other side,’ I said remembering our previous foray eight years earlier up and over the rise of the peninsula to Wineglass Bay.
[Photo 2: Anticipation of Wineglass Bay © L.M. Kling 2009]
Another grunt, then, ‘Okay, let’s go.’
We trod up the path.
I imagined Son 1 and girlfriend way ahead. But there, at the next lookout, Son 1 bent down, hands on knees, his girlfriend patting him on the back.
‘What’s wrong?’ I asked.
‘I don’t feel so well,’ Son 1 said. ‘I feel dizzy.’
Plan to hike to Wineglass Bay postponed until next morning, we trudged down to the car, and then drove the 20 minutes back to our cabin at Coles Bay Caravan Park. Son 2 grizzled all the way back. ‘Oh, why can’t we? I was just getting into it.’
[Photo 3: Compensation: Sunset on Coles Bay Beach © L.M. Kling 2009]
Bright and early next morning, the K-T-Y team made their second attempt to hike to Wineglass Bay. What a difference a good night’s sleep and early start make? So much easier; the air still cool from the night, and no mosquitos. In 2001, when a much younger K-T-Y team tackled the hike up and over the hummocks to Wineglass Bay, huge mosquitos, hovered around us. The route to the lookout over the bay seemed different, too; not as strenuous. Or was I just more fit?
[Photo 4: The seat of rest © L.M. Kling 2001]
[Photo 5: Umbrella Rock © L.M. Kling 2009]
Son 1 tried to catch tadpoles with his fingers while Son 2 rested on a crazy seat. I enjoyed photographing a cave nearby. After the umbrella rock, a narrow-slatted path lead to the lookout already crammed with other hikers.
Wineglass Bay in all its morning glory wooed us and once I had my turn to snap a few shots of the bay, we trod down the steep and slippery path to the beach. More amazing views through the trees and I unfurled my camera from its case. ‘O-oh,’ I checked the settings, ‘I must’ve had the camera set for the cave still.’ I realised that all the Wineglass Bay photos from up there would be over-exposed. Must take shots on way back.
[Photo 6, 7 & 8: Aspects of Wineglass Bay from Lookout © L.M. Kling 2009]
I remembered the time we enjoyed back in 2001, the boys playing pirates on the rocks, Mr. K and me relaxing on the shore of white sand watching clear cold waves crash to shore.
[Photos 9, 10 & 11: Memories of Wineglass Bay Play © L.M. Kling 2001]
This time, in 2009, we spent about 30 to 45 minutes at the beach, scrambling over the rocks, sitting and eating our nuts and chocolate, and taking oodles of photos. The kids hunted for fish, crabs and starfish. Son 1 chased fish with his camera, while Son 2 avoided the lens and disappeared.
[Photos 12, 13 & 14: Catching sea creatures with camera © W.A. Kling 2009]
I wandered over the black rugged boulders in search of Son 2. There in the distance, he appeared, stepping awkwardly from rock to rock, and then, in slow motion tumbling over.
‘Are you alright?’ I called. I had visions of broken arms, legs, and face all smashed up.
Son 2 emerged, again awkwardly stepping from rock to rock. ‘I’m fine,’ he replied.
We battled the stiff return climb up the hill and then relaxed as we trotted down the slope. The early afternoon sun shone on Oyster Bay and speed boats tracked across the water. And, once again, Son 2 was glad he’d ventured to Wineglass Bay.
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2019
Feature Photo: Best Beach in the World © L.M. Kling 2009
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And escape in time and space to Central Australia 1981…