Bay of Fires Lodge Walk
Forester Beach Camp to Bay of Fires Lodge

Forester Beach Camp

Bay of Fires Lodge

15.7km

170m

5-8 hours

The Hike - After an awesome Day One on the Bay of Fires Lodge Walk, both Caris and I had a broken sleep but that was nothing compared to our guides, Joel and Jessie. After we had gone to bed they told the group their plans to sleep under the stars that night on the beach. I knew the only rain forecast for the whole trip was for around midnight on the first night and can't remember if I shared that with everyone (I obviously didn't). The boys found out the hard way and apparently had to drag their mattresses and sleeping bags back to the tent in the pouring rain, much to everyone's amusement at the breakfast table the following morning. One of the things I'd planned to do on this trip was wake up for every sunrise and watch every sunset so I'd set my alarm early. I was up early anyway so snuck off in silence so I didn't disturb anyone else trying to sleep in and made my way up to the dunes to capture what turned out to be a pretty epic sunrise.

With no wind around the only sound was the waves lapping on the shore as the pre-dawn light glowed a lovely pink and purple. As time went on the oranges and blues replaced the pinks and purples and with some pretty cool cloud formations it looked spectacular. By the time the sun actually peaked above the horizon the grey clouds had set in and it was a bit of a fizzle so I was happy to see the bit bit of the morning. Caris had awoken early too and gone looking for me as I returned to the tent to find her missing. She was on the beach enjoying the sunrise and with the spectacle over we headed to the main dining area to see what the breakfast situation was. Joel and Jessie were up preparing the morning for everyone and to my delight there was a fresh pot of coffee ready so I enjoyed a brew while we waited for everyone else to rise and shine. Breakfast was an assortment of cereals and the boys had cooked up some porridge including a gluten free version that Jessie had lovingly made for Tom with lots of help from Amy who Jessie jokingly kept asking advice from for no good reason. When we had finished breakfast Joel explained what was in store for the day and with more hiking and even better beaches, it sounded like we were in for a treat.

 

Packing up our stuff and leaving the tents as we found them, we were soon all gathered in the morning sun ready to head out on the day's adventure. The skies had cleared as we set off along the first beach of the day that also turned out to be one of the smallest. 300m into the day and already we were heading inland for some variety and to hopefully see some wildlife. I stuck to the front of the group as Joel led us to the marsupial lawns that provide a year round grazing opportunity for the wallabies and kangaroos that inhabit the national park. As we entered the first lawn we spotted a couple of wallabies having a morning feed and were lucky when one decided to stick around. Feeling buoyed by this early wildlife sighting I begun to think that maybe we'd spot another wombat or even one of the Tasmanian Devils that have been reintroduced to the area after the horrible face tumour epidemic has affected so much of the population. 

Filled with hope we moved on through the coastal heath that ranged from grass trees to banksia to a patch of almost tropical looking ferns. Joel stopped us in one area as he noticed what looked like Tasmanian Devil scat and explained why he thought that (signs of bones were the big clue) along with some cool facts about the iconic Tasmanian predator. Another cool Joel moment came when he explained a fantastic use for the yellow banksia flowers that were found everywhere along the coast. The indigenous population used them to transport fire from one location to another when the rains were approaching. Peeling off the colourful portion of the flower, the remaining cylinder acts as slow burning yet insulated torch, cool enough to carry around and slow burning enough to last long enough to survive the passing rains. Moving through the marsupial lawns we spotted our first kangaroo before it jumped off into the bushes so it was turning out to be a good wildlife day. We popped out into an open area on the edge of a waterway and was told that this was Broad Creek. The Broad name is significant for Caris' family as it was her mother's maiden name (and thus Candy's family name too).

 

They both posed for a token photo in front of the creek to show Caris' grandmother when we returned home. Walking along the edge of the creek everyone was amazed at the colours on the other side of the water. The grassy vegetation there seemed to be multicoloured in the lighting, giving off a rainbow effect. I'm happy it translated to the camera as it was a very impressive sight that I would love to know more about. With it being autumn and a pretty dry one at that we maintained dry boots as we walked along the edge of the creek back towards the ocean. As we reached the white sands a couple of swan flew overhead and I was struggling to remember if I'd seen a swan fly before. It's certainly an odd spectacle as their long necks and heavy bodies mean it isn't the most graceful of movements but we did get to see their beautiful white feathers on display. As we reached the beach and continued down towards the water we noticed quite a few pairs floating in the surf. This would be the end of the inland walking for a while but I was happy to be on the white beaches again with the bright sun shining.