Taste fresh oysters, climb pink granite mountain cliffs, laze on stunning beaches and swim with dolphins at this national park on Tasmania’s east coast.
Enjoy the scenic coastline and pristine habitats of Freycinet National Park. Relax with a glass of Tasmanian wine and oysters fresh from the farm as you watch the sun set over the Hazards mountain range. Keep an eye on the horizon to spot whales. The park is also home to some of Australia’s other iconic species, such as potoroos, echidnas, quolls and wombats.
Vehicles are not allowed past Coles Bay, the main entry point to the park, so you’ll be doing much of your exploring on foot or by boat. Hikes range from short walks to the 2- or 3-day Freycinet Peninsular Circuit over the Hazards. Don’t miss the forest walk to picturesque Wineglass Bay. Take photos of potoroos (tiny kangaroo-like marsupials), which sometimes hop onto the white-sand beach.
Spectacular lichen-covered granite, basalt and dolerite form soaring cliffs and sea stacks around the peninsula. Go rock climbing if you have experience, to see it all up close. Rent a kayak for the day to explore Coles Bay, Friendly Beaches and Hazard Beach. Try to spot seals and penguins around Schouten Island. The best time for all this is between November to April, when the weather is warmer. For all activities bring enough supplies and protective clothing, as Tasmania’s weather is unpredictable.
In winter, take a boat tour to watch migrating whales in deeper seas. Join a fishing charter to catch bluefin tuna for dinner. If you don’t catch anything, the Coles Bay marine farm can help out. Buy succulent mussels, lobsters or oysters and enjoy the seafood with a bottle wine from the vineyards along the road to Freycinet.
The national park is conveniently located between Launceston, which is a 2-hour drive northwest and Hobart, 2.5 hours southwest. Buses from both cities run daily. If you come from Melbourne on the vehicle ferry to Devonport, catch a bus or drive over. Stay the night and go camping with bay views or book a rustic cabin or hotel room.