Today I continued my journey towards Cockle Creek, the southernmost place that can be reached by a road in Australia. My plan was to arrive there early enough so that I could then do the hike to South Cape Bay (16km) on the same day. The route was surprisingly hilly and the last 20 kilometres had to be covered on a very rough gravel road. Despite the cloudy sky, the road offered some amazing views and a strong feeling of remoteness.
I discovered the beautiful Recherche Bay, which was the homebase of Bruni d’Entrecasteaux in his explorations of Tasmania. For a moment I imagined the two tall ships anchored in the bay. This must have been a fantastic adventure for these men, discovering unknown land, fauna and flora and getting to know the local aboriginal tribes!
I arrived at Cockle Creek around 15:30 and after taking some information about the walk to the National Park office, found a nice spot to pitch my tent just near a group of people who were having a lot of fun playing “cross-country petanque”. While setting up my tent, we started to discuss together. They were a bit surprised to see someone coming there with his bicycle and I was a bit surprised to see people playing petanque in such a remote place. I told them that I would have loved to play with them (I love petanque 🤗), but that I wanted to do the hike to South Cape Bay.
I started the hike at 16:20. The path went through very diverse landscapes: at first eucalypt forest, followed by a long part on boardwalks across moorlands, then along a creek in a humid forest, where I would have been barely surprised to meet a dinosaur after one of the many bends!
Finally, the vegetation became scarce and suddently, after one last small hill, the ocean appears. The landscape was not at all what I expected: here, no dolerite cliffs. Instead, some sort of clayey marls, an amazing beach, and the roaring ocean. The stormy sky made the landscape even more dramatic.
While arriving back to my tent, I was thinking that I would have to be fast at preparing my now traditional “one pot” spaghetti with tomatoes, zucchini and hot salami, when the petanque players invited me in their roomy caravan and offered me chicken and vegetables. A family from Perth who had arrived a bit after me offered me a cooked schnitzel too. Instead of having to prepare always the same meal alone in front of my tent, I founded myself eating a good meal in a warm RV with some super nice people: Philip, Laura, Damien and Elaine. Phillip, the owner of the van, is a worldwide expert in beers who certainly knows more than me about Belgian beers. Damien & Elaine plan to spend a few days in Belgium end of June during a trip in Europe. Again, what a coïncidence! They proposed to welcome me in Hobart at my return from Cockle Creek in two days, and even to take me sailing on the Derwent River! On my side I gave them some advices on the best places to visit in Belgium.
Finally, to end this fantastic day, I had a Skype call with my girlfriend and my goddaughter’s parents. It is so nice to be able to meet fantastic new people here and at the same time keeping contact with loved ones in Belgium, even in such a remote place!