Bay of Fires Lodge Return
Bay of Fires Lodge Walk
The Hike - After such an exceptional day of hiking the day before, it was going to be hard to top that experience on Day Three. Again I woke up early for the sunrise but with little cloud cover around it was a nice, if not a bit undramatic viewing. With no one else really up and the hot water still boiling away (therefore no coffee brewing yet) I returned to the room and warmed myself up under the blankets. We had a bit of a later start to the day but all up we would be covering 14km on both kayak and foot. I thought my GPS would map out the two separate sections and be fine but apparently for it to reconcile it drew a big line to connect the end of the first bit of walking with the start of the kayaking, hence the 21km total showing on the map. The call out for breakfast rang around the lodge thanks to Jessie's impersonation of Joel's effort the previous morning and soon we were all gathered in the dining area for a lovely breakfast of mushroom, eggs and asparagus on toast with fresh coffee.
While we were enjoying our delicious breakfast there was a Paddy Melon grazing on the vegetation just outside the full length glass windows next to the dining table. They must feel very comfortable around the area as it wasn't the last one we saw for the trip. After everyone had finished breakfast and prepped for the day we were to meet in the courtyard area to begin what would be another fantastic day in the Bay of Fires. The day would be split up into three sections, a walk through the forest to catch a bus then kayaking along the Ansons River before walking back to the lodge through the dune system. There is a network of trails around the lodge that you can enjoy on the fourth day but they also serve to take you to different points on days three and four. The first section leading away from the lodge and day spa (more on that in the next day) is used a couple of times on the trip and takes you through some familiar coastal heath.
She Oaks, Banksias, ferns and grass trees line the single trail as you make your way down to one of the 4x4 access tracks. It's a pleasant start to the day and unlike most of the first two days we were all grouped up pretty tight (and in silence). When we reached the 4x4 track we all spread out with the extra room and began the stroll to where Jessie would be waiting for us with the bus. While not a big fan of 4x4 tracks, especially in stunted or coastal landscapes, this one actually turned out to be pretty good. Even in this "dry" part of Tasmania, the ferns lining the track made it feel very lush and reminded me a lot of the wetter and more mature of the Jarrah forests back home. To start with the scenery was very open and sandy but the further we got up the hill (and away from the coast), the lusher the forest became. Charlie, Tom and Lindy were part of the Tête de la Course with Caris and I the Chasse patate so I had plenty of opportunity to take photos of an empty forest and with people in shot.