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When it comes to finding unspoiled and breathtaking nature in Tasmania, you won’t find anywhere more beautiful than Freycinet National Park.
Despite being a national park, there are plenty of things to do in Freycinet National Park to keep you busy for a couple of days.
The Freycinet Peninsula is made of spectacular pink granite mountains surrounded by azure bays, pure white beaches, coastal dunes, and a dry eucalypt forest.
Freycinet is full of hiking trails, amazing views, lakes and beaches, and wildlife galore. It’s undoubtedly in my top 5 favourite National Parks in Australia.
If you’re not sure what to do in Freycinet NP, then keep reading for some ideas…
- How to Get to Freycinet National Park
- Things to Do in Freycinet National Park
- 1. Hike to Wineglass Bay
- 3. Hike to Hazards Beach
- 4. Check Out Coles Bay Village
- 5. Check Out The Friendly Beaches, Freycinet
- 6. Visit Honeymoon Bay
- 6. Visit Cape Tourville Lighthouse
- 7. Walk the Freycinet Circuit Hike
- 8. Eat Local Seafood at Freycinet Marine Farm
- Freycinet National Park Accommodation
- Final Thoughts on Things to Do in Freycinet National Park
- More Tasmania Travel Tips
How to Get to Freycinet National Park
Located on Tasmania’s East Coast, it occupies a large part of the Freycinet Peninsula, named after French navigator Louis de Freycinet.
Most people choose to visit Freycinet from Hobart. The distance from Hobart to Freycinet National Park is roughly 195 kilometers and takes 2.5 hours of driving time.
The road to the Freycinet peninsula takes you along the A3, otherwise known as The Tasman Highway.
The views on the road to Freycinet are beautiful and you may want to stop off at some viewpoints on the way. Allow extra time for the drive to take in the scenery.
If you are travelling from Launceston, the drive is two hours (175 kilometres). From Port Arthur to Freycinet it’s 238 km and takes roughly 3 hours to drive it. The Port Arthur to Freycinet route is also scenic and should not be done in a hurry.
If you don’t want to rent a car, you can get to Coles Bay by public transport. There are buses from Hobart to Coles Bay twice a day.
Things to Do in Freycinet National Park
There are many amazing things to do in Freycinet National Park to enjoy the natural beauty. Freycinet ranks as one of my top places to visit in Tasmania, and after seeing all the highlights from our visit to this Tasmanian natural beauty below, you’re about to discover why…
1. Hike to Wineglass Bay
Within Freycinet Peninsular is famous Wineglass Bay – consistently rated as one of the world’s best beaches. It’s definitely one of the best beaches in Australia.
Three pink granite peaks – the Hazard mountains – rise dramatically protecting the bay from the infiltration of humanity.
You’ve probably seen countless photos, the shimmering crescent of white sand meeting the turquoise water is easily recognizable.
There are only two ways to see Wineglass Bay – hiking in, boating in, or from a scenic flight.
Much of its beauty lies in its isolation and ability to retain its untouched charm.
We started our Wineglass Bay walk early, at 5.30am, as we wanted to reach The Lookout for sunrise and to beat the anticipated crowds.
From the car park to The Lookout is approximately a 45-minute walk.
It’s a steady uphill climb up a well-made path. Whilst we didn’t have the kids with us this time we did witness many others hiking with kids so it’s not beyond a family outing.
Once you reach The Lookout your reward is a spectacular view over Wineglass Bay, and by arriving early we were fortunate to have the moment all to ourselves.
We had time to sit and take it all in, enjoy a light pre-packed breakfast, with nothing but the sounds of the surrounding bush and uninterrupted views
From The Lookout, the walk down onto the beach itself is steep but short, only taking 20 minutes. I couldn’t believe we were all alone on the famous Wineglass Bay.
What most people don’t know if there are actually different trails to Wineglass Bay. Here are the trails I recommend you take…
The Wineglass Bay Lookout
This takes you on a 2.9km (1.5 hours) loop hike to one of Tasmania’s most celebrated views. The track is a short, fairly steep climb to the saddle between Mount Amos and Mount Mayson.
This walk takes you directly onto the beach. It’s a 9.6km (2.5 hours) end-to-end walk from the car park to The Lookout then downhill onto the beach.
Take a 20-minute walk along the beach to the south will give you magnificent views back over Hazards Beach. Then you walk back the way you came in.
Wineglass Bay/Hazards Beach circuit
This is the longest walk to Wineglass Bay and essentially does a loop around the coast of the park. It’s an 11.2km (4 to 5 hours) walk from the car park to Wineglass Bay plus an additional 30 minute flat walk to Hazards Beach.
From Hazard beach, turn right and follow the beach to its northern end and join another track that follows the coastline for about 5 kilometres back to the car park.
You can view the full trail on AllTrails.
Tips for Hiking to Wineglass Bay
Before you put your walking shoes on, here are some tips for hiking to Wineglass Bay:
- Start early, arrive for sunrise, and beat the crowds.
- Take a light breakfast and watch the day begin with magnificent views.
- Take a tripod for the best photos + selfie shots.
- Carry plenty of water as there are no refuelling stations (you can refill your bottle at the visitor centre by the entrance to the park)
- Note the only bathrooms are in the car park, the beach has no facilities
- Wear mosquito repellent as there are a few mozzies on the trail.
- Wear sunscreen as much of the trail is open and unshaded.
- If you can, plan your visit for summer (June to November) when the whales are migrating.
- Bring binoculars to the lookout, as it’s often possible to see dolphins and seals playing in the waters of Wineglass Bay.
3. Hike to Hazards Beach
Just a 30-minute flat walk across the small strip of land from Wineglass Bay brings you to Hazards Beach, a beach that is pure, remote, desolate, peaceful, and breathtaking.
Along the track, we got lucky and came across a Wallaby going about his morning, and he was kind enough to pose so we could get a quick pic.
Freycinet is a great place to spot local Australian wildlife. Echidnas, kangaroos, wallabies, and white-bellied sea eagles call this park home.
Once you reach Hazards Beach, you’ll probably experience what we did and have this piece of paradise all to yourself.
Sit for a while, then wander the rocks around the headland at the northern end of the beach and you’ll find pretty shells and starfish.
Both Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach feature in our 38 best beaches in Australia list.
On a previous trip, I flew in a sea plane from Hobart to Hazards Beach. It was simply spectacular.
Tours of Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park
Video of Scenic Flight over Wineglass Bay
You can watch our video of our scenic flight over Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach here…
4. Check Out Coles Bay Village
The village of Coles Bay is known as the gateway to Freycinet National Park, and should not be seen as just a stepping stone. There are some great things to do in Coles Bay as well.
Set in a spectacular location with uninterrupted views of the red and pink granite peaks known as The Hazards, it’s a small town with a few shops and cafes.
Don’t miss Tombolo Restaurant and coffee bar for great coffee + wood-fired pizzas with stunning views.
You can rent kayaks or stand up paddle boards and head out onto the water. Freycinet Paddle Boards are the place to go for your SUP rentals.
5. Check Out The Friendly Beaches, Freycinet
The Friendly Beaches form part of Freycinet National Park.
Spectacular views and miles of unspoiled white sand beaches are the main features of The Friendly Beaches, which were added to the national park in 1992.
The beaches can be reached via a signposted turnoff on Coles Bay Road.
6. Visit Honeymoon Bay
Beautiful Honeymoon Bay is a bay within a bay, and is part of the larger Coles Bay.
It’s a popular destination for picnics and snorkeling and offers stunning views over the hazards.
6. Visit Cape Tourville Lighthouse
Located within the park is the Cape Tourville Lighthouse, which sits on the Eastern side of the park behind Coles Bay.
The lighthouse is unmanned and automatic, but still in full operation. It was built in 1971 and offers incredible views of the ocean.
The route to the lighthouse is scenic, winding through the eucalypt forest of the national park and occasionally offering a glimpse of the beaches below.
You can drive up to the lighthouse, and then walk along a short boardwalk to a viewpoint.
7. Walk the Freycinet Circuit Hike
If you want to do a challenging hike in Freycinet, the Freycinet Circuit is the hike for you.
It’s a 30.4-km loop trail (2 days, 3 nights) that is considered challenging because it’s long, but you can break it up over a few days and camp at the campsites in Freycinet.
The route takes you past Wineglass Bay, Hazards Beach, and Botanical Creek, to the summit of Mount Freycinet, to the summit of Mount Graham, Graham Creek, and several lookout points.
There is plenty of signposts to lead the way but you should take an offline GPS just in case.
8. Eat Local Seafood at Freycinet Marine Farm
The Freycinet Marine Farm is the place to go for your fish and chips. It has been operating since 2005 and serves up farm-to-table seafood from its very own farm.
You can try Pacific Oysters and Tasmanian Blue Mussels from the farm, as well as Atlantic Salmon, Octopus, Abalone, and Rock Lobster from off the coast of Tassie.
The Scallops and Sea Urchin Roe are also from the waters of Coles Bay.
Freycinet National Park Accommodation
When it comes to finding accommodation near Freycinet Peninsula, you need to base yourself outside the park in Coles Bay. Coles Bay is a great base to explore Freycinet National Park.
There are many accommodation options in Coles Bay and just outside the Freycinet National Park area.
Freycinet Lodge is the only accommodation located inside Freycinet National Park, and it overlooks the blue waters of Great Oyster Bay with the rugged Hazards Mountain range as a backdrop.
Luxurious chalets range from one and two rooms to exclusive couples’ retreats and luxurious, 4.5 star premier suites. There’s free parking, free wifi, and two restaurants.
If you’re looking for luxury accommodation near Freycinet National Park, Saffire Freycinet has won a ton of awards, including being the number 1 luxury hotel in Australia.
We haven’t stayed there, but it looks and sounds spectacular.
The Blue House, Coles Bay
This is where we stayed, and as soon as I saw it I knew we were going to love it, if not for the name alone.
“Mummy, can we go back to The Blue House, now please?” Kalyra would ask.
The Blue House is located where the Swan River meets Great Oyster Bay, only a 5 minute drive from Coles Bay and world famous Freycinet National Park. It’s serene and quiet and stunning and the perfect place for a family to stay.
The owners provide kayaks free of charge, there are fishing rods for use, plenty of games to play, shelves of DVD’s and piles of magazines to read.
Final Thoughts on Things to Do in Freycinet National Park
Whilst Tasmania has loads to offer as Australia’s smallest state with some lovely towns to visit, world heritage-listed wilderness areas, history, Australian wildlife, and a terrific food and wine industry, it’s Freycinet that really captured my heart.
We could have stayed at Freycinet National Park for at least a week.
Spending our mornings enjoying the walking trails around the national park, having champagne picnics at the lighthouse for sunrise, rock scrambling at Honeymoon Bay, and hiking down into one of the world’s most iconic and beautiful beaches – Wineglass Bay.
There really is nowhere else like it in Tasmania.
More Tasmania Travel Tips
We spent a month road tripping around Tasmania. Here are some of our tips and highlights that you may find useful…
- 19 Best Places to Visit in Tasmania
- 11 towns in Tasmania you must set foot in
- Walking around the Famous Cradle Mountain in Tasmania with kids
- Don’t Miss The Spectacular Gordon River Cruise in Strahan, Tasmania
- 6 Beaches in Tasmania you must set foot on
- 3 Hours of Unspoilt Wilderness on a Bruny Island Cruise in Tasmania
- The hauntingly beautiful Port Arthur Historic Site
- Introducing the ‘Bay of Fires’ in Tasmania
- Cruising the Rugged South East Tasmanian Coastline
- Liffey Falls and the Central Plateau Conservation Area
- Things to do in Launceston and surrounds – tips from the locals