Tassie really blew me away. We only had 4 days for our Tassie holiday so spent most of our time on the Freycinet Peninsula, which juts out from the East Coast of Tasmania. Famed for its granite Hazard Mountains and world-famous Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park is paradise for hikers, foodies and beach lovers alike. These are the things we loved the most.
Best Things To Do In Freycinet National Park
Wineglass Bay Lookout
First thing on our itinerary was a hike to the Wineglass Bay Lookout, to get an aerial view of what is considered one of the world’s best beaches. It’s a moderately challenging climb from the car park to the viewpoint, but if this gym-shirker can do it in 35 minutes I’m sure you can too. (Kids were racing past me!) You’ll bump into wallabies and birds along the way and get a pretty vista of Coles Bay on the way down. The viewpoint offers a view of approx. 85% of the perfect curve of Wineglass Bay, and on a clear day the waters will shimmer enticingly.
Make sure the weather on the peninsula is ideal before setting off though or you may end up with an experience like this.
Wineglass Bay Scenic Flight
To fully appreciate nature’s mastery in Freycinet National Park you can take to the skies with Freycinet Air. Freycinet Air offer aeroplane and helicopter scenic flights from 20 to 45 minutes long, all of which will cover the full sweep of Wineglass Bay and the magnificent lumps of the Hazard Mountains. I read a lot of Trip Advisor reviews which said this is absolutely the best way to see Wineglass Bay but I unfortunately cannot vouch for that personally due to bad weather cancelling our booking. All communication I had with the pilot, Pascal, was super easy and straightforward though. Hopefully I’ll get to see Freycinet from the sky next time. Prices start from $130 per person for a 30 minute flight.
Wineglass Bay By Boat Or Hike
You can also hike to Wineglass Bay and take a dip in the sheltered waters. This is a more challenging walk, approx. 2.5 hours return or 5+ hours if you do a loop via Hazards Beach, with some sections exposed to the elements so pack supplies and lots of sunscreen. You can also sail to Wineglass Bay with Wineglass Bay Cruises – prices start from $140 per adult.
We stopped at Friendly Beaches purely by chance as the airfield for Freycinet Air was right near the turn off. This rugged stretch of amber rock, white sand and cobalt blue waters is just how I imagined Tassie would be. You can camp just behind the sand dunes here but there are basic facilities only. (Pit toilets, no water, fuel stove only area.) National park fees apply, but there is no camping charge.
Honeymoon Bay is a gorgeous protected cove close to Coles Bay (technically it’s a bay within a bay as it sits within the wider Coles Bay). Due to its enviable position between Coles Bay and the Hazard Mountains it can be incredibly popular and campsites during peak season are allocated via a ballot system. We found it difficult to get a parking spot (we visited in January) but if you’re game you can cycle from Coles Bay in about 40 mins instead.
Where To Eat In Freycinet
Most visitors to Freycinet prefer to self-cater and you’ll see lots of places to buy local produce including wine and oysters on the drive between Hobart and Coles Bay. There are 2 small convenience stores in Coles Bay – we preferred the one on Garnet Avenue – or a larger IGA a little further up the coast in Bicheno.
Devil’s Corner Winery
Shortly before you turn off the Tasman Highway for the Freycinet Peninsula you’ll spot the vineyards of Devil’s Corner. It’s a great place to stop as not only do they have free wine tastings and a cellar door but there’s a lookout and eatery with stunning views of the Peninsula. Stop here for a wood-fired pizza or freshly shucked Freycinet oysters washed down with a glass of sparking while watching the clouds roll over the mountains.
Géographe Restaurant + Espresso Bar
For your gourmet coffee fix head to Géographe in Coles Bay. They have a takeout coffee stand in the garden and a restaurant serving all-day food, including wood-fired pizzas, with views of the Hazards Mountains.
Where To Stay in Freycinet & Coles Bay
We found our Coles Bay accommodation on booking.com pretty last minute and absolutely loved it. The Whale Watcher Apartments (there are 2 you can book separately or as one for families) are situated in the north of Coles Bay, which make them slightly more affordable than the lodges nearer to Wineglass Bay. (We saw some places going for $2000+ per night – I kid you not!)
The 1-bed apartment we booked had direct ocean views (I barely left the balcony) and is a short walk from a beach, which rarely had anyone else on it. You can also see Dolphin Sands from the balcony, which turns an incredible shade of teal when the tide goes out.
You’re set up with everything you need to self-cater here – including a bbq & utensils – and basic provisions like tea and coffee are provided. The bed was super comfy, shower powerful but most memorable of all are the sunsets.
Know Before You Go
You will need a Parks Pass to enter Freycinet National Park. These can be purchased online in advance or at various National Park Visitor Centres – we bought ours at Friendly Beaches by popping cash in an envelope. It costs $24 per car per day or $60 for up to 8 weeks.
Our trip was self-funded. This post contains some affiliate links.