Making your way over the crest of the Hazards of the Freycinet National Park which protects Wineglass Bay you are immediately struck quiet by the signature of cursive script that shapes the famed beach.
Image – Wineglass Bay from Mt Amos on the Wineglass Bay Track, Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Adrian Cook
Yes, the water really is that blue. Yes, the sand is that white and the rainforest sprawling down to the beach really is that lush.
Yet there’s a strange disconnect between what is possibly one of the world’s most beautiful beaches and a light littering of large, sun bleached bones. It’s what makes Wineglass Bay so special. And so Tasmanian. Even here the island state finds a way to turn the dark history of the area into something stunningly beautiful.
Image – Wineglass Bay and The Hazards (L-R: Mt Mayson, Mt Amos, Mt Dove), Credit: Chris Bray Photogrpahy
Those thin shadowy loops, skirting the low dunes and in the shallows of the southern side of the bay are whale bones. Allowing the bones to remain educates visitors about the gruesome history of the bay – inviting visitors to imagine the big blue belly of “˜Wineglass’ as a once thriving whaling station that turned the bay crimson with the blood of slaughtered Southern Right, Humpback and Sperm Whales. So much so that the bay appeared as a glass of full bodied red wine. By 1840 whaling had come to an end in the Freycinet, yet the name endured as a constant reminder of what was almost lost forever, and what we now endeavour to preserve.
Image – Humpback Whale calf, Credit: Tourism Tasmania & bodhiimages
Each winter whale numbers increase and as the weather remains temperate even in the cooler months you can walk to lookouts and beaches to spot the ever growing population of returning whales along Tasmania’s East Coast. Besides, it’s at this time of the year you are far more likely to have the space and quiet to enjoy this very special pocket of Tassie. And this is exactly the kind of place you want alone time with.