Today was one of those days that you just know you’re going to remember for a long time. I’ve had a few of them so far in Tasmania, mostly on the awesome Instameets whereby we pack in a whole heap of Tasmania’s finest delights in one day, so many that by the end of it your head is spinning from all the sights and sounds.
Went on an adventure to Crescent Bay today, a place I’m ashamed to admit I’d never heard about before. The plan was to hit up the Remarkable Cave on the way, then climb “Mount” Brown and then check out the beach at Crescent Bay. The Remarkable Cave has been high on my must-see list for quite some time so I was super excited to see it today and we timed the trip to perfection as the tide was out when we got there, unlike for some unfortunate souls who got well and truly soaked there recently.
Getting there is easy as the road runs out when you reach the car park at the end of Safety Cove Road. From here it’s a short walk to the viewing platform where the previously mentioned souls got more than they bargained for. Of course nobody wants to see a cave from a viewing platform so naturally you climb down over the railing and onto the beach below (Unfortunately the climb down is a little tricky so wouldn’t recommend it for those less able bodied). From here you enter the cave itself and if you’re lucky enough to arrive at low tide you can walk right through to the other side, or rather two sides as it splits in half towards the ocean end. It’s a pretty damn cool place to explore and walk around and you really get a sense of the sheer scale and power of the ocean when you look back up to the viewing platform several feet above you.
After leaving the cave, we made our way to our main objective, the trailhead leading to Crescent Bay, Maingon Blowhole and Mount Brown. The walk is pretty sandy at the start as you walk along sand dunes that have been taken over by dense undergrowth and small trees which seem to be home to some lovely sounding birds. I’d recommend not doing this in flip flops as there’s quite the abundance of Inchman ants that are freaking huge! Not to mention other creatures which we’ll get to later.
There’s plenty of great views along the way, back towards the rocky coastline at Remarkable Cave and then stretching all the way back West towards Cape Raoul in the distance with its distinctive candle-like rocks. After a little while you’ll come across Maignon Blowhole which is an impressive hole gauged into the a cliff face from the battering waves below. The water level was far lower than the hole when we arrived so I can only imagine the power of the waves that must have carved this feature over the millennia. If there’s anything I’ve learned in Tasmania, it’s that the ocean has truly incredible power and scale that’s hard to get your head around. I’m used to the gentle lapping of waves on the beach back in Portmarnock, so to see the entire ocean rising and falling by several feet before your eyes is just breathtaking.
Now, we could have retraced our steps back to the path and carried on that way but boooooorrrriiiiing! So naturally we made our way along the coastline which thankfully sank down towards the ocean so the whole walking on a cliff edge danger waned somewhat. Still had a few fun scrambles over ledges but it was definitely worth the detour. The ecosystem along this stretch was so fascinating, with little microcosms of life everywhere. From the seaweed desperately clinging on to the rocks, to colourful lichen like you see at the Bay of Fires, to beautiful colourful crabs that scuttled away as you came near their rock pools, except the one below who obviously knew they were fabulous.
We eventually rejoined the trail and made our way to the main event of the day, Crescent Bay. I’m seen some amazing beaches in Tasmania, and indeed in other parts of the world but few of them can hold a candle to Crescent Bay beach. It is……amazing. Huge towering sand dunes flank it’s borders while perfectly formed wave patterns line up along the shoreline. The sand is velvety soft underfoot and as an added bonus, makes that wonderful scratching sound when you drag your feet over its surface. It’s the little things in life that give the most pleasure I guess 🙂
The beach is split in half by a small rocky stage as it were, that’s also a handy place to leave your bags and gear while you explore the beach and try to conquer the towering dunes behind you. It’s hard work getting to the top and a part of me was hoping someone had left a board of some sort behind to surf back down. The beach offers great views of Tasman Island and the imposing cliffs of Cape Pillar on the horizon
After playing around on the dunes, our attention turned to the water splashing ashore. We hadn’t brought any swimming gear with us, or towels for that matter but when you’ve spent the guts of a morning/afternoon getting to a beautiful beach, these things become less of a concern. The water wasn’t actually all that cold and the gentle swell of the sea once you get out beyond the waves was nice and relaxing. Do be careful though as there’s a sudden drop-off beyond a certain point so best to have your wits about you and be ready to start swimming back to a stable footing.
Well that was quite the adventurous day James, surely that’s the end of the blog post then? No no my friend, there was still more excitement to come!
Okay that’s enough excitement for one day. Seriously though, what an epic day! More of those please 🙂