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Published October 5th 2017
Go on - explore Tasmania
Freycinet National Park is located on the Freycinet Peninsula on Tasmania's East Coast. It takes about 2.5 hours to drive to the park from Hobart or Launceston, taking the Tasman Highway towards Coles Bay. The main visitor centre is just after the Coles Bay township and this is where National Park passes and information can be obtained. You are also able to fill water bottles here.
A striking feature of the park is the granite mountains which tower above the gorgeous aquamarine bays and beautiful beaches of pebbles and white sand. Multi-day hikes and hikes for the experienced bushwalker are available here but there is also much to offer families.
Here are my Top 3 Activities for children:
1. Wineglass Bay Lookout
Wineglass Bay is the must-see view at Freycinet National Park and once you are at the lookout it is easy to see why. The scenery here absolutely stunning and words simply cannot do it justice – you need to see it for yourself. Although steep in parts, children from around the age of 4 will be able to complete the walk from the car park to the lookout, although may need a couple of short breaks. The estimated walk time is 1-2.5 hours depending on how long you stop for and general fitness levels. Our group ranged from 4 years to those in their 40s and it was easily achievable for all. Children will enjoy ascending the stone steps and seeing the huge granite boulders on the way. It also provides them with a great sense of achievement when they return to the car park and look up and see where they managed to climb to.
2. Cape Tourville Children seem to love lighthouses and this one is in a fantastic setting. Accessed by well-maintained boardwalks with informative signage along the way, Cape Tourville is an easy walk from the car park – approximately 20 minutes return. It is suitable for people in wheelchairs provided they have someone to assist them and also suitable for strollers. Therefore it makes a great alternative if you feel that your children are not quite up to the steep ascent to the Wineglass Bay Lookout. Although constructed in 1971 and never manned, the lighthouse still looks like a traditional lighthouse. Let's face it though, the main attraction here isn't the building but the absolutely awe-inspiring coastal scenery. There are plenty of bird watching opportunities too.
3. Sleepy Bay With a beach of tiny pebbles rather than sand, this is a beach to capture the imagination of children. It takes about 10 minutes to walk from the car park to the beach. Although I am told the sea can get quite rough here, on the day we visited it was pretty calm. It isn't a swimming beach but it is a great beach for rock hopping, paddling and walking barefoot on the little pebbles – surprisingly tickly! If you are organised and can be bothered, Sleepy Bay makes a great place to enjoy a picnic lunch. There are also some interesting shells to find, although make sure to educate children about the need to leave them at the beach for other people to enjoy.