Freycinet National Park is a must-visit destination on a trip to Tasmania and, after exploring the remote west coast village of Strahan, I was ready to spend two nights on the east coast on the next leg of my 8-night Tasmania road trip.
Some unmissable sights in Freycinet National Park include Wineglass Bay, Cape Tourville Lighthouse, and Honeymoon Bay. These spectacular Tasmanian landmarks were a “must-see” on my list of Australia’s best places to visit.
I already had an idea of what Freycinet National Park might have in store for us after experiencing 2-nights in Cradle Mountain, where enchanting mountain views, magical walking trails and the world heritage wilderness allowed us a glimpse of Tasmania’s unspoilt natural beauty.
Now we were ready to explore the stunning natural sights in Freycinet, Tasmania’s oldest national park.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Freycinet National Park?
Freycinet is on the mid-east coast of Tasmania. Coles Bay, located on the edge of Great Oyster Bay, is the access town for the national park.
Do You need a Tasmania Parks Pass?
Yes. To enter Freycinet National Park, you must purchase a National Parks Pass. If you plan to visit several Tasmanian parks, then a holiday pass will give you entry to all of them.
Is there parking in the national park?
Yes, there is a car park at the Freycinet national park visitor centre. You can also pick up a Freycinet national park walks map from there.
How long are the driving times to Freycinet National Park?
Launceston to Freycinet – 2 hours
Devonport to Freycinet – 3 hours
Hobart to Freycinet – 3 hours 30 minutes
Cradle Mountain to Freycinet – 4 hours
Strahan to Freycinet – 5 hours 30 minutes
Where is the nearest accommodation to Freycinet National Park?
Coles Bay sits on the edge of the park. It is the best place to book accommodation for visitors to Freycinet National Park.
I can recommend Edge of the Bay Resort in Coles Bay. It has a superb restaurant and bar and direct access to the beach. We booked a fabulous cabin with never-ending views across the sea to the Hazard mountain range.
Other Freycinet accommodation options are:
Eagles Peak Freycinet is a choice of luxury one and two-bedroom cabins set by the beach with garden and sea views.
Freycinet Lodge has a waterfront location and offers secluded cabins in a coastal bush setting, two restaurants and a bar.
Hazards Hideaway – An entire one-bedroom holiday house with one bathroom, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a patio with sensational views.
Freycinet Resort – Freycinet Resort offers luxurious accommodation with 360-degree views of The Hazards, Friendly Beaches, Great Oyster Bay and the Tasman Sea.
Big 4 Freycinet – This self-catering accommodation is just a minutes’ walk from the white sand beaches of Coles Bay.
Saffire Freycinet – For complete luxury that comes with a hefty price tag, Saffire is the most premium accommodation in Freycinet national park.
Is there any Freycinet camping allowed in the national park?
Yes. Richardsons Beach Campground is adjacent to the visitor centre within the park.
What to Bring to Freycinet National Park
There are no shops and limited toilets in the park, so make sure you stop in Coles Bay for provisions. If you plan to hike, then be prepared by using this checklist of things you will need to bring with you to Freycinet National Park.
- Good hiking shoes
- Protective sun hat
- High factor 50 sunscreen
- Insect repellent
- Plenty of fluids in an insulated water bottle to keep it cold.
- Umbrella for shade when needed
- A good daypack to carry it all
- A good level of fitness – there are some steep inclines and steps to navigate.
11 of the Best Things to Do in Freycinet National Park
Wineglass Bay Lookout Walk #1
The Wineglass Bay Lookout Walk was the top of my list of things to do in Freycinet. The 3k, 1-1.5 hour return walk took us higher and higher through huge granite boulders and eucalyptus trees until we reached the lookout point.
To reach the Wineglass Bay lookout takes a bit of effort as it is an uphill walk, and the Tasmanian sun is hot! Nevertheless, to see one of Tasmania’s most photographed views was worth it.
The bay was named in the 1800s when whaling was big business in Tasmania. The water in the bay used to turn red from the whale’s blood. From the lookout, it looked like a wineglass filled with red wine. A very sad fact that thankfully is in Tasmania’s distant past.
Wineglass Bay Beach Hike #2
One of the most popular walks in Freycinet national park is to the beach at Wineglass Bay. We contemplated continuing from the lookout point down to Wineglass Bay, but we were shattered, so we decided against it.
Those wanting to complete the 6k walk can start it from the car park, and it takes around 2 to 2.5 hours to complete (not including breaks). The walk will take you to the lookout point and continues over boulders, through the forest, along Hazards Beach and Wineglass Bay and finishes back at the car park.
Mount Amos Hike #3
The 3.6km Mount Amos hike involves scaling almost vertical rocks in places, which is challenging and only for the seriously fit. It is a 3 hours return hike, and needless to say, we didn’t attempt it but watched as quite a few bedraggled hikers arrived back at the car park after completing it!
Tours of Wineglass Bay #4
One of the best things to do in Freycinet is to get out onto the water. With lots of great water activities and water tours in Wineglass Bay, including the Freycinet Paddle, a 3 hour guided tour around the park by kayak, and the very popular Wineglass Bay lunch cruise, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
If you are looking for something unique, the flight above Wineglass Bay offers you a birds-eye view of Freycinet National park.
Catch the Freycinet Aqua Taxi at Boat Jetty #5
Getting around Freycinet national park by boat is easy and so much fun. Freycinet Aqua Taxi runs water transportation services departing from Coles Bay. The water taxi is the fastest way to Wineglass Bay for a day of relaxing on the beach or exploring one of the walking trails.
Wander along the beach at Honeymoon Bay #6
Honeymoon Bay is a 5-minute drive from the visitor centre along Freycinet Drive and is a lovely place to visit. It has large pink granite boulders, a rock and sand beach, clear blue water & magical mountain views.
Check out the unique boulders at Sleepy Bay #7
Sleepy Bay is a few minutes drive from Honeymoon Bay along Cape Tourville Road. We parked up at the small designated car park and walked the short trail, down the stairs and to the beach. We couldn’t wait to see what Sleepy Bay was like with such a charming name, and we weren’t disappointed.
Our first encounter in Sleepy Bay was with a wallaby relaxing on the beach – this was the Australia we had hoped to experience!
Sleepy Bay was small and tranquil, and its most unique feature was its huge boulders scattered along the foreshore. We thought that these pink granite rocks, with their strange natural features, looked a bit like prehistoric cave dwellings or like the “Remarkable Rocks” we had seen on Kangaroo Island.
Cape Tourville Lighthouse Walk #8
This stunning walk offers sweeping views of the Freycinet Peninsula, Wineglass Bay, the Tasman Sea, and Friendly Beaches. It is an easy 30-minute circular walk via boardwalks and takes you from the Cape Tourville car park to the lighthouse. It is relatively flat and so accessible for wheelchair users.
We loved how empty the trail was when we arrived in the late afternoon – it felt like we had the place to ourselves. The views out to sea from the various lookout points were breathtaking.
Between May and July and September and November, you can see Humpback whales in Tasmania along the east coast. We were there in February, so the wrong time for any sightings. We focused hard on the waters for any sea life activity, but sadly it eluded us.
Cape Tourville is a 10-minute drive from the park visitor centre or a 2-minute drive from Sleepy Bay via a turning off the main road just after the Freycinet Lodge.
Spot the Freycinet Park Wildlife #9
Keep your eyes open for all manner of native Australian wildlife in Freycinet National Park. We only spotted wallabies and birds but know that possums, echidnas, wombats and many other species call this natural setting home.
There were a few warning signs for snakes, but we didn’t see any in Freycinet or elsewhere during our trip around Australia. We were a bit disappointed as we both love snakes, but maybe not the ones that could harm us!
Watch the sunset or sunrise over Freycinet #10
As the sun goes down, the granite rocks around the Freycinet peninsula slowly turn from a pink hue to a burnt orange colour, and it was one of many beautiful sunsets we witnessed on our 6-week trip around Australia.
East Coast Beaches #11
Friendly Beaches is just outside Coles Bay and is, in fact, just one pristine white sandy beach with spectacular sea and mountain views. Visitors can reach the beach via a turnoff on Coles Bay Road.
In Coles Bay, you’ll also find Richardsons Beach and Mures Beach on either side of the village.
Places to visit near Freycinet National Park
Bicheno is the only beachside town on Tasmania’s East Coast and is a 30-minute drive from Coles Bay. It has incredible ocean beaches and beautiful seascapes.
There are plenty of things to do in Bicheno, including swimming, snorkelling, beach walks, fishing and fantastic wildlife experiences. In Bicheno, you can join a guided tour to see local wildlife. Tours include seeing Little Penguins and Tasmanian Devils; a must if visiting the area.
A one hour drive from Coles Bay will take you to Douglas Apsley National Park to see native forests and waterfalls.
If you are interested in tasting some of Tasmania’s finest wines, head to Devil’s Corner Winery in Apslawn. This beautiful setting, only a 25-minute drive from Coles Bay, has sweeping views across the land down to the sea; the perfect location to enjoy a light bite accompanied by local wine.
We arrived here on route to Coles Bay but didn’t get a chance to go in as it was closed. The garden area was full of butterflies, and it looked like a charming place to visit during the day.
Slightly further afield from Coles Bay is the Bay of Fires, a popular stop for travellers to the island of Tasmania. The two-hour drive up the east coast will take you to the orange-coloured granite rock formations formed by lichens, a combination of algae and fungus, and lovely rock pools.
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