Douglas Apsley National Park, East Tasmania, Australia

Posted on December 1, 2015








Really not thrilled about not being able to go in.






I’m a little distressed because it’s so bloody beautiful but so darned cold!








It was winter and it was cold. I’d just come from being snowed in at cradle mountain. I never did see the mountain because the snow was so heavy the road going up there was closed but I did almost perish in a 4 hour hike where the snow, at some points, was waist hight. But that’s another story.

In this story I am alive and I am really pissed off. In this story I have on thermals and I also have a bikini in my back back because optimism and denial of the cold go hand in hand with being a serial bather.

I made my way from Cradle Mountain to Frecynet and Bicheno and stayed in that area for a couple of nights. I don’t know where I heard or read about Douglas-Apsley national park but I must have sniffed it out on the wind somehow. So, despite the cold, I found myself driving into this place and hoping like hell that somehow the water would be okay, hoping that despite it being about 10 degrees outside that I’d be able to whip off the thermal wriggle on the bikini and go in. This is the way my mind works.

I shoved my hand in the crystal blue water and it went a deliciously human sort of pink. The kind of pink that happens when your body goes into survival mode. I was in distress: The water looked good. Too good — it was like those fake dishes in the window of Chinese restaurants that are all glazed and perfect, frozen in time, and looking delicious. But … inedible. Similarly this place was… unswimmable.

I paced across the smooth rocks and shoved my hand in the water some more before promising to come back some day when my boobs might not freeze off.

And so I went onward with the image of that water burned or frozen into my memory. But the rescued animals at my friend’s property, FreeHearts Animal Sanctuary, made it all better. There I was not able to swim but I was able to snuggle with goats rescued from peril in the goat milk industry, beautiful boy calves rescued from the dairy industry, lambs and sheep rescued from the meat industry as well as an array of rescue cats and dogs, turkeys, pigs, horses, chickens and ponies. There was loads of love there to make up for the lack of swimming. If you can spare a few pennies FreeHearts could use a little financial love.

Anyhow… I hope it’s warmer when you visit this stunning place. And remember the Confessions Code.

x Allison


Where: The park is easy to get to, it’s just north of Bicheno and there’s clear signage on the main road.


Getting to the spot: Park in the car park and follow the track, which is well signed.


About the spot: It’s an easy walk in but there appears to be a lot more to explore in the park. The website mentions waterfalls and the Leaberra walking track that leads to remote camp spots.


Accommodation: You can camp in the park close to the swimming spot and further in the park off the Leaberra walking track.  A variety of accommodation is available in nearby Bicheno and Freceynet including camping in the caravan park.


Facilities: There’s a toilet by the car park as you enter.


About the area: The closest popular holiday town is Bicheno that is famous for its fairy penguins. Tours are available. Frequent is also popular and does have limited accommodation. Plan ahead if you’re looking at visiting in holiday season.


Nearby known swimming spots: I’m yet to fully explore Tasmania more so please share your secret spots!


Nearby towns: Swansea, Bicheno, Frecynet.