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Travel > Travel Guides > Tasmania > Wineglass Bay and the Freycinet Peninsula

Wineglass Bay and the Freycinet Peninsula

- by Bettina James

Things to do
> Tasmania
> Port Arthur
> Salamanca Place
> Wineglass Bay & Freycinet Peninsula
> Barilla Bay Oyster
> Tasmanian Devil Park
> Tahune Air Walk
> Tahune Eagle Glide
> Hastings Caves and Thermal Springs
> Sea Kayaking
 




The Freycinet Peninsula (pronounced fray-sin-ay) is approximately 3hrs drive from Hobart, on the central eastern coast. The highlight attraction of Freycinet National Park is Wineglass Bay, which is a challenging 45minute hike to the vantage point in from the Coles Bay car park. To get down to the beach, it takes approximately 30 minutes one way.

Although our group aren’t the most active people, we made it all the way up to the lookout. The climb was tough in parts, but if you stop for regular breaks, it would be an easy to moderate hike. The path is well worn and there are sign posts to direct you to the lookout or the beach. I found that since we were going at quite a quick pace, I didn’t get to stop and appreciate the landscape. Take the time to look up every so often and snatch a view of the pink and grey granite boulders protruding from the landscape, but don’t get daunted by the height of the ranges, you don’t need to get to the top to get a spectacular view.

There were a range of walkers on the track, some of them looked like they were destined for the campsite in the National Park, others were families with small children and retirees on holidays.

Once you leave the car park, there are no amenities or drinking fountains. So before you take off on the hike, be sure to you have everything you need. It’s recommended that you take some water, as you will definitely crack a sweat on the walk. If you don’t have any water with you, you can get some from the visitor centre, where you pay for your National Park pass. All National Parks in Tasmania require payment of an entry fee. The money raised goes directly towards the maintenance and protection of Tasmania's National Parks. You also need to sign into the book, stating your departure time and a contact number, this will ensure that if you get lost, people will know and go searching for you.

Other things you should consider bringing

  • Sunscreen
  • Sturdy walking shoes
  • Jumper
  • Water proof jacket
  • Insect repellent

Once we walked to the lookout, climbed up some granite rocks and soaked in the tranquillity (there were 20 others there, but we were all soaking majestic glory like a first time church goer) and we took our pictures. Yes, the bay does have the shape of a wine glass. This is because of the distinction between the bleach white sand and the crystal clean aqua water. I would say it actually looks more like a blue and green cocktail because the water is so vividly clear. After taking our pictures, we swapped cameras with the other tourists, did some snap-snapping for them and headed down towards the beach. This is approximately a 20 minute walk down from the vista, where you enter from the left side of the bay (when looking out from the beach). To walk all the way around the wine glass, it took us another half an hour – with a few rests in between. The sand is coarse when you first hit the beach, but the further you go, the finer it gets, until it’s so fine that when you walk on the dry parts it squeaks. Our group all thought it would have been a great place to crack open some wine and eat some gourmet cheese and crackers. If we were better organised, we would have bought a little picnic, next time!

Other activities which are popular in Freycinet are scenic drives, water activities like swimming, snorkelling and diving, exploring rock pools, kayaking, mountain bike riding, wild life watching (birds, quolls, wallabies, wombats, possums, Tasmanian Devils, swans, dolphins, whales and sea eagles), mountain biking, camping and abseiling/rock climbing.

LOCATION:

The park is about 2½ - 3 hours drive from either Hobart or Launceston via the Tasman Highway (A3) (which runs down the east coast of Tasmania). Turn on to the sealed Coles Bay Rd (C302) 12 km south of Bicheno. The turnoff to the Friendly Beaches section of the park is via a gravel road about 2 km (turn left) after leaving the A3. The main park entrance and visitor reception are about 28km further on, just after Coles Bay township. Please take special care when driving between dusk and dawn as this is when wildlife is most active on the roads.

TELEPHONE:

+61 3 6233 2621

PRICES:

Tasmanian National Parks Entry Fee
$20 per vehicle, maximum of 8 for the daily pass.