It’s only after a half-hearted dip and slip down some slimy rocks at the northern end of Friendly Beaches that I read in a guidebook:
Tempting as it may be, it is advised that people do not swim. The water is perishing for much of the year and there are rips.
Water droplets sit on top of goosebumps. I haven’t even wet my hair.
D-man goes for the full submerge. ‘You’ll feel good. It’s not too cold once you’re in,’ he says. I try to recall that sticky heat feeling of our Wineglass Bay to Hazards Beach walk, but it’s no good. I can’t do it. I scoop up handfuls of chilly water and shriek and shiver with every torrent that I pour over myself.
It’s done. I’m not convinced that I’m clean, but I’m refreshed. I’m also a little envious of D-man’s submerge; I’d love to feel fresh-haired but I just can’t bring myself to jump in.
Back at camp, wrapped in down jackets, we set up the camping chairs in a sunny spot at the back of our van, and we sip local Pinot Noir and slip lemon juiced oysters out of their shells. A wallaby nibbles on the bush some three metres away, occasionally looking up at us.
Other than the wallaby, we’re alone. Anyone staying the night at this part of the Freycinet National Park has pitched up and retreated to their own little camping coves.
The wind blows my towel off its makeshift hanger for the second time, earlier warnings of an impending storm showing signs of an imminent arrival in a sky top heavy with grey.
Time, then, for one last beach stroll before retreating to the comforts of a camper van.
And time to put away the guidebook. Too late to start caring about warnings at this stage.
What’s your experience of camping in Tasmania? I’d love to hear your thoughts and recommendations.