The walk to Mt Amos in Freycinet National Park was the last walk that I had planned to do during our 12 day trip in Tasmania. It would be an almost 3 hour drive from our accommodation in Hobart to the Wineglass Bay Walker Car Park.
The weather forecast indicated that showers were expected from mid morning. So I left our hotel at 5:30 am and reached the car park just after 8 am. When I arrived I was amazed at how big the car park was, there were literally hundreds of spaces! It must be a really busy place during the peak summer months. Fortunately for me there were only 4 other cars when I arrived. One of the many benefits of starting a walk early and during non-peak periods!
To my delight there were also clear blue skies in every direction, though the wind was blowing incredibly strongly and was bitterly cold. It actually felt colder than our time at Cradle Mountain!
As I started the walk I couldn’t help but notice how different the terrain was from the previous walks I had done throughout Tasmania. It reminded me more of walks I have done in Queensland, particularly of the closest mountain to my hometown, Mt Walsh.
Within 5 – 10 min of walking the views immediately opened up as I left the initial section of bush. The views across Coles Bay and towards Swansea were spectacular!
After leaving the initial section of bush the walk steepens considerably as the terrain changes from a mixture of dirt and rock to almost entirely rock. I could see how the combination of the steepness of the rock and its smooth texture meant that it would be very slippery to walk on when wet. Nevertheless, in dry weather it made for a good change from the swampy conditions I faced in Southwest National Park.
While ascending through this section I was very impressed by how well marked the route was. Reflective yellow arrows could be frequently found on the rocky surface of the walk. I was grateful for these markers as my brother and I had wandered from the actual route on a similiar looking walk in southeast Queensland.
I was making good, steady progress and the views were getting increasingly better the higher I climbed but the weather had also started to change. Gray clouds had started to roll in and it was getting even windier and colder than it was before. Still I was glad that it wasn’t raining and I was so excited to reach the top.
After an hour and 15 minutes of walking I had reached the top of Mt Amos. I was immediately struck by the dramatic lighting as I looked north across the Freycient peninsula. Tasmania is such a mountainous island and it is such a contrast to where I live on the mainland. Throughout my time here I have come to really appreciate all of the contrasting shapes and textures of the mountains. It is such a beautiful place!
As I looked south towards Wineglass Bay I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of disappointment. I thought that I had made it to the top before the weather had set in but within minutes of taking a couple of photos heavy clouds and light rain quickly blew over. As the rain became heavier and heavier I sheltered underneath a large boulder looking out towards Lone Rock Ridge.
It was at this point that I couldn’t help but feel a bit despondent and frustrated. So I stopped to have some morning tea underneath the shelter of the boulder and decided to wait and see if the weather would improve. While I waited I had a profound realisation. I had let my expectation of the walk determine my experience of it. We live in a world where social media is always showing places in their most ideal state. Before we ever step foot on a path we have a picture in our head as to what it should look like.
I was guilty of this as I had seen pictures of Wineglass Bay on a perfect blue sky day and in my mind that was what I was going to see. Thankfully nature isn’t one to conform to man’s desires, it is wild and untamed. It was during my time underneath the boulder where I came to realise that your experience is what you make of it, not whether it meets some preconceived idea in your head. In reality, I had just spent the last hour doing one of the things I love the most, walking in nature. I had watched as the morning light made its away across the ocean. I had felt the roar of a cold southerly wind on my face. I had seen rainbows unfold in front on me. I had watched as clouds rolled into one another to form the most interesting and unusual shapes. All around me there was beauty, rocky headlands, mountains, hills and valleys. What more could I ask for?
Ironically enough within minutes of having this realisation and finishing my morning tea the clouds blew over and gave way to a gloriously sunny outlook. You wouldn’t believe that an entire landscape could change so much, so quickly. It was breathtakingly beautiful and while I took a lot of photos I also just sat and enjoyed my time at the top of Mt Amos.
I didn’t want to stay on top of the mountain for too long though, I knew I had a steep descent across slippery rocks so I packed my camera away and headed down the mountain. It was definitely the right decision! Within 15 minutes the clouds blew over again but this time the weather had set in and the rain became heavier and heavier.
On my way back to the hotel I took the opportunity to make a few roadside stops. The drive between Freycinet and Hobart is incredibly scenic and I would definitely like to explore the area more on a future visit.
I arrived back at our hotel in the mid afternoon and spent the remainder of the day with my wife and daughter. We decided to have Italian for dinner, a perfect way to end the day!
As I am writing this today it has been 3 weeks since the birth of my second child. When I did this walk my wife was pregnant with my son. At the time we had no idea what his name would be but when he was born we gave him the middle name of Amos. We both like the name for its own sake but it is also special to me because it reminds me of the moment I spent at the top of this mountain.
Life really is what you make of it and while you cannot change your circumstances (or the weather) you can choose to be grateful for the things you do have. I for one am now often trying to see situations from another perspective, looking for the potential and not comparing to the expectation.