Home to Tasmania’s most famous beach and one of its oldest national parks, Freycinet Peninsula is framed in white-sand beaches and pink mountains.
The perfect figure of Wineglass Bay is the peninsula’s star attraction, but its entire coast is notched with small bays and long white beaches. Settle in for a few days and discover Freycinet’s coastal magic.
- Step onto the sands of Wineglass Bay.
- Explore Freycinet National Park.
- Scan the sea for whales from Cape Tourville.
- Lunch on oysters direct from the racks of a local oyster farm.
- Watch the sunset glow on the Hazards.
Coles Bay, the peninsula’s sole town, is a 2hr 30min drive (195km) north-east of Hobart. From Launceston, it’s a 2hr drive (175km) south-east.
Things to do
For a single beach, Wineglass Bay has so many angles. Climb to the Wineglass Bay Lookout nestled between the peaks of the Hazards for the classic view and then, if energy permits, continue down to the beach itself – it’s like a date with coastal royalty. The highest and most hard-earned view of the bay comes from atop Mount Amos, one of the peaks in the Hazards, though the climb is steep and requires some scrambling.
The rarest of Wineglass Bay views comes from the sea, on a half-day boat trip with Wingelass Bay Cruises, rounding the peninsula and drifting into the bay, often with dolphins for company.
The name is enticing enough, but the scene along this long white line of beaches on the peninsula’s north coast is every bit as good as the title. The sand stretches more than 10km, inviting walks of a few minutes to a few hours, with lagoons pooled behind the beaches.
There’s free national park camping for tents and vans at the beach’s edge at Isaac Point.
Other coastal treats
Scored with small bays and broad headlands, Freycinet is a treasure trove of coastal stops. Sleepy Bay is a tiny beach pressed between pink granite outcrops that stands witness to beautiful sunrises, while the boardwalk around Cape Tourville peers into the mouth of Wineglass Bay and out across the Tasman Sea. From about May to November, there’s the chance of spotting humpback and southern right whales from the cape – markers along the boardwalk provide a sense of the size of these ocean giants.
Dreamy Honeymoon Bay is a favourite visitor stop, and a good place to watch the sunset, with the Hazards glowing bright and brilliant in the day’s final light.
Glide through some of Freycinet’s most beautiful scenery on a half-day guided kayaking trip with Freycinet Adventures, paddling across Great Oyster Bay to Honeymoon Bay, with the Hazards as an ever-inspiring backdrop.
Take to the peninsula’s remote tracks on an All4 ATV buggy guided tour, motoring out to the southern Friendly Beaches or through boulder-strewn valleys to Cape Tourville. Get the sea eagle’s view of Freycinet on a scenic flight with Freycinet Air. Flights range from 30-minute spins over Wineglass Bay and the peninsula to hour-long ventures that range out to Maria Island.
Feast from the sea
Surrounded by water, Freycinet Peninsula serves up a rich bounty of seafood. Call in at Freycinet Marine Farm, just outside Coles Bay, to enjoy oysters and mussels fresh from the farm, along with scallops, abalone, crayfish and salmon. Get even closer to the source on a tour of the farm with Oyster Bay Tours, which will have you harvesting, shucking and eating oysters straight from the racks.
The Bay Restaurant at Freycinet Lodge also has a focus on local seafood, serving abalone, oysters, Bass Strait octopus, scallops and fish.