Beautiful Bays and Blowholes. Bicheno. Chapter 5.
Steering clear of the out of control bush fires that were burning close by the Bay Of Fires we decided to head straight to Bicheno. Bicheno is about 20 – 30 minutes drive from the Wine Glass Bay Area and Freycinet National Park. Check out the scenery on the way down:-
We arrived at our chosen caravan park, called Sea View where an unpowered camp site was 7 dollars a night for a tent (bargain). The place was deserted, reception and the restaurant were closed but a sign directed us to a different hotel at the end of the port road for check-in. For our 7 dollars we got, laundry, fully equipped kitchen, hot showers and toilet facilities, a spectacular sunset,
silence, kangaroos, an overgrown tennis court, an extremely friendly local dog, no bikers, sea views from the dorm balcony and absolutely no one else on the site. Pure magic.
As we had spotted a large plume of smoke billowing up into the air behind the background hills across the water when we checked in we decided to head back to reception and ask for an update on fire alerts.
“Do we have anything to worry about?” we asked staff.
We all walked outside, leaned on the wooden balcony and stared thoughtfully at the smoke.
“Oh that’s along way off” they assured us. “Anyway June here lives just outside the park and will come and get you if anything happens”.
I was unconvinced. June had taken our booking and could not find us when we registered. June had also taken an order for tea, coffee, cake from us and not only charged us the wrong price but forgotten half the order when she brought it out to us. June had commented when said cake was requested “Oh I’m so sorry I forget things all the time”. June was a very nice lady but I had a feeling that in case of immediate fire danger and evacuation we would not be remembered. We sipped our drinks thoughtfully, keeping an eye on the dirty plumes of smoke drifting across the sky beginning to blot out the sunlight out and devised a fire plan, which was basically pray that June’s recall in times of emergency was on the ball. N.B. The day after we checked out Bicheno had a community meeting to discuss how to deal with the advancing fire.
What makes Bicheno special is the 3km foreshore walk which runs from Redbill bay to the Blowhole. Fire red, bright yellow and green lichen grow on boulders and rocky outcrops and make a visually stunning display
, whilst the blowhole provides a drenching on a hot day if you dare.
We took a bottle down to the blowhole, watched the sunset, checked the smoke coverage and headed back to camp for an early night after leaving a note on June’s door saying “In case of Fire don’t forget the tourists”.