After our arduous journey (okay, I’m exaggerating) up and down Freycinet National Park’s lookout points, we woke up feeling sore all over (not exaggerating here) and still quite tired. Thankfully, today we were going to visit yet another quiet and lovely seaside town called Bicheno.
We were thoroughly looking forward to lazing by the beach and watching the fairy penguins trot out at dusk. More on that later!
For now, we settled in for an easy half-hour drive up the east coast of Tasmania.
Day Six: Bicheno
We didn’t have any breakfast left, so we had to endure the early morning hunger all the way to Bicheno. We were rewarded by some delicious pastries at Blue Edge Bakery.
We watched local after local go in and out the doors, ordering their regulars, proving that we’d indeed made the right choice.
Stomachs filled, we headed over to our Airbnb apartment to check-in. It was a bit hard to find, but was in a great location right by Diamond Island.
Diamond Island Nature Reserve is where the penguins wander out in the evening. It is accessible by a small strip of sand that appears during low tide. However, it is also guarded very closely by – surprise, surprise – Diamond Island Resort, whose vigilant staff ensure its monopoly of that area.
What this means is that only the resort’s guests can access Diamond Island. The rest, as we would realize, would be chased out swiftly.
How do we know this? Well, we decided to drive to the end of the resort to have a look at the island from there. As we were on the way in, I felt an inexplicable presence hovering behind our car. Peering into the mirror, we realized – and it was so ridiculous at that time – that one of their staff was tailing us in a buggy.
Wow. Talk about being on-the-ball.
Anyhow, there wasn’t any space to park our car, so we did a U-turn and headed back out. We had seen penguins back in Melbourne anyway, and we certainly weren’t about to get into a fight with the resort’s staff and spoil our mood.
Another thing we wanted to do was to take the glass-bottomed boat out into the sea to catch a glimpse of the local marine life. Unfortunately, it does not operate during the winter.
So, we went to straight to the main attraction: the Bicheno Blowhole.
Surrounded by beautiful red rocks, the Bicheno Blowhole was a whole lot more active than the one over at Tasman Peninsula. We ended up spending a lot of time here. And took a whole lot of pictures and videos as well, of course.
You’re probably wondering, what’s the big deal? Are these people crazy for staying so long? And honestly, we were thought we were mad too. But time just flew by as we watched bursts of water gush into the sky, and explored the area.
Oh, this area is also home to the Rocking Rock (yes, it’s really called that). It’s basically, uh, a big rock. We didn’t get to see it rock, but a bird found it to be a nice perch.
With some time to kill before dinner, we headed back out onto the highway to get some famous homemade ice cream at The Pondering Frog.
We were surprised to see no one around when we arrived. It was so quiet that we thought the place was closed. The owner came out to say hi, however, so we went in to taste the goods.
According to the owner, The Pondering Frog is usually packed with tourists from all over in other seasons. In winter, though, you could hear a penny drop around these parts. Which actually turned out rather well for us – we had a great chat with the owner over the refreshing ice cream.
Appetizer done, we headed back into town for the main course. What we weren’t counting on, however, was that everything would be closed by the time we got back at around 530pm.
If you thought shops in Melbourne or Sydney closed early, you should come visit Bicheno. It was quite literally a ghost town, and we were starving!
Fortunately for us, there was one Chinese restaurant that hadn’t closed yet. I know, we shouldn’t be eating Chinese food when we’re in Australia – but we didn’t have a choice.
Two packets to go!
We took this opportunity to relax and chill in our apartment. Tomorrow we’d be in for our longest drive yet – over 2.5 hours to Launceston.
Next up: Day 7: Launceston