A three-day guided hike takes in 37km of the legendary Bay of Fires coastline and some of Tasmania’s most delicious produce.

Story By Ken Eastwood

Wind hurtles down Stumps Bay like a freight train, furiously flinging what seems like most of north-east Tasmania’s sand towards exposed eyes, ears and flesh. In the howling gale, heads are tucked, conversation is minimal, and the gorgeous scenery that the Bay of Fires is renowned for can only be viewed begrudgingly through half-shut eyelids and a haze of swirling sand and spume.
Carefully watching his nine middle-aged charges, 26-year-old guide Barrie Cole makes a call: “We’re pulling out”. It’s times like these that walkers can be grateful that an itinerary dreamed up in an air-conditioned office somewhere doesn’t have to be religiously followed by those on the ground. A company experienced in the outdoors, such as Life’s an Adventure, which is running this trek, empowers experienced guides to adjust to the conditions. And Barrie did this walk 20 times last year, so he knows it well.
Having been turned back from trying to climb 216-metre Mt William by a flooded track, Barrie uses a satellite phone to call Peter Bergersen, a former soldier who served in Afghanistan and is in charge of logistics for this expedition, and Peter trundles up in a Troopie to pick up the group. They won’t be staying under canvas tonight as planned – these winds are too dangerous. Instead, everyone retreats to Life’s an Adventure’s homely holiday shack on the shore of Ansons Bay, with a coffee machine and roaring fire going, to dine on roast Tassie lamb, chicken curry and baked potatoes, with local berries and double cream for dessert, washed down with plenty of Boags and Ninth Island pinot noir.

This story excerpt is from Issue #94

Outback Magazine: Apr/May 2014