Freycinet National Park is one of the brightest jewels in Tasmania’s dazzling collection of natural gems. The precious nature of its granite mountains and glorious white sandy beaches were first recognised (at least officially) as early as 1916 when it became the island state’s first national park.
Situated about 200 kilometres north-east of Hobart on the ruggedly beautiful Freycinet Peninsula, the park is accessed through the town of Coles Bay.
As you enter the park you are greeted by the red granite peaks of the Hazards rising from the sea. Then, as you explore deeper in, you discover the beaches, the rocky headlands, the spectacular coastal scenery and, the piece de resistance – the truly iconic and perfectly-shaped Wineglass Bay. It’s no wonder Freycinet attracts some 200,000 visitors each year, making it one of Tassie’s most visited parks.
Evidence of the one-time presence of whaling parties, pastoralists, and tin and coal miners remain in the form of old camps, huts and abandoned mine shafts …and all add to the charm of this engaging place.
The 10,000 hectares of Freycinet National Park, which also includes Schouten Island, is not surprisingly a haven for wildlife and birdlife and it offers rich opportunity to observe such creatures as red-necked wallabies, Tasmanian padamelons and white-breasted sea eagles. One of the best ways to check them out is to take a few of the numerous bushwalks on offer, and there are plenty to choose from … so they can be as demanding as you want them to be. For example, a stroll to the Wineglass Bay Lookout will take you a couple of hours, or a walk along the Wineglass Bay/Hazards Beach Circuit can take half a day or so. In season, you are also likely to be treated so some marvellous wildflower displays.
Really, this is one of those rare spots that it is genuinely hard to do justice to with words. It is spectacular, atmospheric and fascinating. It’s the sort of place that you wish you could explore forever.
MAKE SURE YOU …
Get out and gasp at picture perfect Wineglass Bay; go wow at the wildflowers; enjoy some bushwalks; soak up the history of the area; take photo after photo of the sensational scenery.
WHERE TO CAMP
There are plenty of excellent camping options within Freycinet National Park, including Richardsons Beach, Honeymoon Bay (open summer/Easter only), and Ranger Creek. Electric barbecues, picnic tables, non-treated water and toilets are available at Honeymoon Bay and Ranger Creek. Only the main campsite at Richardsons Beach has powered sites and caravans are generally encouraged to go there.
However, be warned that, as previously stated, Freycinet is hugely popular and a ballot system operates for campsites from December 18 until Easter.
If you are feeling super energetic, have your tent with you and fancy an overnight bushwalk, small campsites can be found at Wineglass Bay, Cooks Beach and Bryans Beach.
If you are not into national park camping, there are caravan parks near its entrance in Coles Bay.
Royal Hobart Showgrounds