Heading Further South to Swansea

19 February 2014


Coles Bay after the storm

Today we had booked a cruise from Coles Bay to Wineglass Bay on the Freycinet Peninsula, however we were advised late yesterday afternoon that the boat had broken down and the relevant part had not arrived for the repair, so the cruise would be cancelled (boat had broken down last Friday).  Very disappointed, but these things happen.

Had breakfast at the motel then made our way further south to Coles Bay.  Weather was cloudy but fine, but as we came closer to Coles Bay it started to rain, and by the time we arrived it was pouring down.  We had parked at the wharf at Coles Bay, and decided to stay there until the storm passed, visibility was very low!  As the rain got heavier, we decided to move to higher ground as the street gutters were gushing with water.  The storm subsided after about 10 minutes but it was a little scary while it lasted!  To recover we headed to the one and only cafe for a caffeine boost to calm the nerves and consoled ourselves with the thought that even if the boat had been repaired, the cruise would have been abandoned due to the weather.

To actually see a part of Wineglass Bay from the heights above it, it is necessary to walk a fair distance, but as the track was likely to be waterlogged, we decided (regrettably) to give the Freycinet Peninsula a miss and travel on to our destination of Swansea, which is on the other side of Great Oyster Bay.


Learning about 19th century Australiana at the Bark Hill Museum, Swansea

We drove off the road to Swanwick, a pretty village on Moulting Lagoon, a very pretty and peaceful spot.  It is only a short drive then  to Swansea, as we headed on we noticed the Bark Mill cafe and decided to explore their museum.  There was an extensive  exhibition of the history of Swansea, and the  French explorer Baudin who had explored many sites on the east coast.  In particular there was a great exhibition of the bark mill that operated for many years out of Swansea.  Workers would strip the bark from Blackwood trees and carry it back to the mill to be crushed for use in the tanning process.

An innovative local gentleman designed machinery (using many recycled products such as jam tins!) to produce a mobile machine that would travel to sites where the bark needed to be milled.  The museum is a real credit to those involved in its creation.  We spent an enjoyable time in the museum and as lunch time had come around, we ordered lunch in the cafe attached to the museum.

At Waterloo Point on the way into Swansea we stopped to view Great Oyster Bay in both directions, it is a beautiful vista.


Part of the walking track around Waterloo Point in Swansea on Great Oyster Bay

Once settled in Swansea, we drove around this very pretty town, visited the local museum and obtained a list of the heritage houses in the area, and drove around to take photos of some of them (so many wonderful heritage houses in Tasmania!)

Later we walked to Salt Shaker cafe overlooking Great Oyster Bay, and had a delicious dinner overlooking the Bay.  It had clouded over during the afternoon and rain started while we were having our meal, so we walked back to our motel in light rain and enjoying being in beautiful Swansea.


Morris’ General Store has been in the same family for three generations


The Information Centre and museum at Swansea, formerly the Swansea school

Tomorrow we head off for Pt Arthur, with only four more sleeps before heading home!

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