A freelance writer with an interest in just about everything.
Published July 11th 2013
Rugged granite mountains and pristine beaches
Freycinet National Park is a peninsula of white sandy beaches, spectacular granite mountains and azure bays on Tasmania's east coast. Home to the perfectly-shaped Wineglass Bay and the rugged granite peaks of the Hazards, Freycinet is one of Tasmania's most-loved national parks.
Freycinet is formed by two eroded blocks of granite - the Hazards and the Mt Graham/Mt Freycinet sections of the peninsula - joined by a sand isthmus. The impressive Hazards welcome you as you enter the park, their imposing granite peaks looking quite spectacular in the early morning light.
The park is home to many beautiful white sandy beaches, but the most well known would easily be Wineglass Bay. This immaculately shaped bay features the white sand and clear turquoise waters Tasmania's east coast is famous for.
The walk up to the Wineglass Bay lookout takes 1-1.5 hours return and, although steep and with plenty of steps to navigate, is well worth it. The view from the lookout is a perfect visual explanation of how the bay got its name.
If you'd like to walk further, you can continue down the rough track to Wineglass Bay itself, and then complete the peaceful and picturesque circuit over to Hazards Beach. It's the best way to experience the best of Freycinet, and you can expect to see plenty of native wildlife along the way.
The clear waters of Freycinet National Park are ideal for kayaking, swimming and even scuba diving. The Hazards offer climbing and abseiling options if you're so inclined, while bird lovers can keep their eyes peeled for white-bellied sea eagles and large Australasian gannets.
Another area of the park worth exploring is the Friendly Beaches. Located at the end of a potholed gravel road, these secluded beaches are popular fishing and surfing spots.
Camping is available within the park, and there's a heap of other accommodation options in the Freycinet/Coles Bay area. I stayed at the Edge of the Bay Resort in Coles Bay. It offered lovely views across Coles Bay to the Hazards, along with plenty of native wildlife (watch out for wallabies on the road) wandering the grounds.
For more information about Freycinet National Park or to plan your visit, log on to the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service website.