Sunday, October 18, 2015

Mount William and George Rocks

Mount William National Park, on the northeast tip of Tasmania, spans 30 kilometres of coastline and, as it abuts Bay of Fires Conservation Area to the south, preserves a big chunk of this corner of Tasmania. Inland there is coastal heath, banksia forest and large grassy meadows popular with kangaroos and pademelons. 

Looking out to Bass Strait from Mount William

There is a good but short walk up Mount William from Stumpys #4 campground. The track meanders through burnt banksia forest before joining an old road and crosses a few small streams. After about 45 minutes, you reach the parking area for the closer and higher track head, and then climb a short bit of well marked track through granite boulders to the trig station and large granite boulders at the summit. There are good views south to Eddystone Point, north to the islands in Bass Strait and west to the high country around Mount Cameron. The walk is signed as taking five hours, but, can be done easily in two to three.

 Doug on the beach at George Rocks

South of Cod Bay, and about three kilometres off the coast is a cluster of rocky islets, boulders and two larger islands known as George Rocks. In all, there is probably 50 or more rocks, islands and islets, and, from what we could tell, very few people visit. We launched the kayaks from the beach just north of Boulder Point and paddled south along the coast passing many large granite boulders and the most fantastic giant kelp forests. The water is an indescribably beautiful green colour and clear as glass. 

 Doug paddling through George Rocks

About a kilometre past Cobler Rocks we paddled directly out to George Rocks. This makes the crossing to where you can land a kayak about six kilometres long instead of three kilometres if you go out from the shortest point. We had very calm conditions, with virtually no swell or wind, so paddling out from Cobler Rocks was easy and took about one hour. These little islands are just beautiful. On the west side there is a couple of sandy beaches where you can easily land a kayak. The sand is literally covered with bird tracks, barely a square centimetre of sand is unmarked by bird tracks and the grassy land behind the beach is full of birds nests. Everywhere there are granite boulders, big boulders, small boulders, odd shaped boulders, and boulder domes. Many sit in turquoise clear water with the wonderful kelp forests. 

 The obligatory kayaks on a deserted beach photo

Before returning to the mainland, we paddled all around the various boulders, islets and islands passing through narrow passages and gazing down at waving kelp forests. Back at the north end of Cod Bay we landed for lunch just as a pod of dolphins swam by. Beautiful paddling, great walking through the heath and on the beach and sheltered camping, what more do you need to know to go?

No comments:

Post a Comment