SATURDAY 18 DECEMBER COLES BAY
This was our last day here.
The weather was showery. What had happened to summer?
We had a driving day, to try to explore a little more of the east coast area, because I couldn’t see us getting back up here on this trip.
We drove north to Bicheno, then a bit north of the town, took the road inland to the Douglas Aspley National Park and the Aspley Gorge area.
There, we did the Lookout/Waterhole circuit walk. There was not much water at all in the river, but it was a pleasant short walk. We dawdled, looking at birds. Back in the carpark, John found $4 on the ground.
Refuelled at Bicheno. 87cpl.
We then continued driving up the coast. Had lunch at Seymour Beach, looking south towards Bicheno along a superb long beach. We’d had to do a bit of moseying around to find a spot to access the beach, as most of the little tracks led to private property, but John found one beach access track.
On the beach, we saw the rare hooded plover again, and a dotterel type bird we could not identify.
Continued driving north, then left the coast road and climbed up the winding Elephant Pass, to St Marys. That road was narrow in places – almost single lane. Fortunately, we met no logging or business trucks on it.
St Marys seemed small and languishing, but with some nice old houses.
We then followed the Esk Highway further inland, through Fingal to Avoca, down the valley of the South Esk River. This was sheep country, though there was coal mining at Fingal.
At Avoca, we turned off for Royal George – quaint name, but a real little backwater. Then took the unsealed track through the forest – the old coach road – to Cranbrook, back on the highway.
Overall, it was a pretty day’s driving, though John was getting tired towards the end. We drove 256kms, which he said was about 100kms too long! But we got to see some varied country, and places I’d not been to before.
We decided that all the packing up could wait until tomorrow! It was still very windy at Coles Bay.
Tea was smoked salmon, avocado and salads, followed by raspberries and fruche.