For New Year’s Eve, Willow and I found ourselves camping at the spectacular Flinders Bay on the Tasman Peninsula. The private property has recently been opened up to the public as a camping spot available to be booked out by the night.
We joined a group of our friends who had arrived with their own caravans and tents to enjoy the NYE weekend.
At the end of a 5km dirt track sits the sheltered bay which is enclosed by she-oak and gumtree adorned hills.
The location once played a part in the region’s convict history when it was set up as a probation station. In the 1840s, gangs of hundreds of men were used on public works such as road building and forestry. This was short lived as a bushfire wiped out the station and the convicts were moved to Port Arthur.
The only reminder of those days is the remnants of the old jetty that extends out into the sand flats.
Despite its gruesome past, the bay is now a much cherished holiday destination for the lucky few who own the shacks dotted along its shore.
The ground was a little rocky and uneven but we found the perfect spot to park the van with a view of the bay. Willow jumped out and explored the area before finding a prime spot by a fallen tree to take a nap.
We don’t often pay for camping but there are some places worth making an exception for. At a flat rate of $100 per night the campsite allows for 15 guests, so split between the 8 of us it’s a pretty good deal considering the unique location.
I took the paddle board out as the sun set and it was so peaceful. A small sailboat silhouetted against the sun gently spun as the tide turned. I floated out only hearing the sound of the paddle hitting the water and the distant chatter of my friends voices on the shore.
The shallow waters had been heated up all day and were the perfect temperature for taking a dip.
Back at the camp we shared food and had a campfire. After dinner we cooked marshmallows.
An old tree trunk was the perfect stage for Willow to pose against the setting sun.
And so, we saw in the new year and then it was time for bed. I dozed off, salty and smokey from the fire. With a sleepy little cat curled up by my legs as I thought about what the next year would bring – the beaches and forests to discover, all with our lazy little adventure cat, Willow.
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Flinders Bay, what a place! There are many hidden bays and secret coves along the peninsula just waiting to be discovered. The next day I took the paddle board out again and paddled the 5km return to Sommers Bay, another spectacular place.
Thanks for joining us on our NYE weekend. I’m hoping you got the chance to celebrate in one way or another.