The #1 Place You Must Visit In Tasmania!
Ask anyone who's visited and they'll tell you it's a must without hesitation.
Freycinet National Park
Tasmania's oldest National Park, Freycinet (pronounced Frey-see-né, with a silent T and kind of like Beyonce), is a promontory that spans 38km of sugary-white sand, turquoise seas and wilderness. Among many other attractions, the Peninsula most famously features pink and orange glittering granite mountains, known as the Hazards, as well Wineglass Bay - one of the World's Top 10 Beaches.
An equal and well worth 2.5 hour drive from both Launceston and Hobart, getting there early is recommended in order to experience everything this World Heritage site has to offer.
How To Fill Your Day:
While we only walked to the lookout and then proceeded to Honeymoon Bay, here is a small round-up of recommendations from locals.
- Sleepy Bay: 10 minutes return, and apparently great location for snorkelling.
- Wineglass Bay Lookout: 1.5 hours return, suitable for most ages and fitness levels. Our experience is at the end of the post for those interested.
- Cape Tourville: 20 minute circuit walk, found after driving a 6.4km sealed road. From the carpark you can take a short walk along the boardwalk around the cliff line and to the lighthouse.
- The Friendly Beaches: depending on how long you want to walk, it can take 5 minutes or 5 hours, and holds incredible views of unspoiled white sand beaches
Wineglass Bay: 2.5 - 3 hours return with stunning panoramic views. Tripadvisor members note that this extension of the Lookout walk requires a higher level of fitness - especially on the way back when you have to climb back up the hill. Add another 40 minutes if you want to walk to the southern end of the beach once you're there.
Mount Amos: 3 hours return. Outstanding views, lagoons, colourful coastline and pristine beaches.
Wineglass Bay/Hazards Beach Circuit: 4-5 hours return via Wineglass Bay. A challenging walk with breathtaking mountain-top views.
We stayed at the top of the Wineglass Bay lookout for quite a while, enjoying the view and having lunch. With plenty of picnic spots around, from the beaches to mid-way through your walks, it's the perfect way to unwind. Remember to leave nothing but footprints - please dispose of your rubbish responsibly!
Explore the Bays and Beaches
There are too many to count, but you can't go wrong with Honeymoon Bay. A short 5 minute drive from the Wineglass Bay carpark, this picturesque bay within a bay is the perfect spot to spend the day.
Perch yourself on the granite rock, close your eyes, and pay attention to the rustling eucalyptus leaves, waves hitting the shore and chatter of birdlife. It's comfortable and relaxing - I only wish I'd remembered to pack my bikini, hat and sunscreen! Explore the cove a little more and find out why it's called Honeymoon Bay.
Our Walk To The Lookout
We set out on a Friday morning, arriving to the National Park at around 1pm and made our way up to the entrance of the Wineglass Bay Lookout.
I'll be honest, I was a bit nervous. I read countless of reviews of the walk on Tripadvisor, as well as blogs, and it was mixed. Some said it was hard, some said it wasn't, but all agreed it was worth it. As I read further, I realised there were a total of 300 - 400 stairs throughout the walk, but more prominently near the top. Whenever I see the word walk with the word stairs in the same sentence, I half-panic and think of the 1000 steps in Victoria, which gets my heart pumping every time. This led me to Google this one sentence for the next few hours, to no avail - How hard is the Wineglass Bay Lookout compared to the 1000 steps???????
Here's my verdict: Not very hard. I feel silly even comparing it - if you do walks regularly, it will definitely feel like a good workout but nothing that is pushing you too hard. Also if you have a DSLR, bring it.
I went with my Mum, who found it difficult but said she'd do it again without second thought. It's one of those things where you get to a point and think you can't go any further then you realise you're at the end and you've already done it.
We stopped a lot along the way to take photos and catch our breath, so if your fitness is average or below, or have any health conditions, I highly recommend doing this to pace yourself. It'll be over before you know it, trust me.
Note: this only some of the stairs you climb near the beginning - most of the stairs are steeper, closer together, and formed out of rock. You'll get a better feel for it in my Tasmania vlog coming in a few weeks!
Take Note Before Going:
- Eat a light breakfast - We had oats/muesli, an apple each and a coffee in Campbell Town, about an hour out from Coles Bay.
- Bring at least a litre of water - I found a guide which said 750ml is enough for two people (if you're doing the walk to Wineglass Bay Lookout), though I recommend bringing a 600ml - 1L each, just because you should be drinking plenty of water anyway, regardless if you're doing a walk or not.
- Pack your lunch - We had two sandwiches each packed with loads of green veggies and hummus, as well as muesli bars for some sugar.
- Check the level of walks and plan according to your own fitness level - The Parks Tasmania website is fantastic for this, as is Tripadvisor. Parks grade their walks and tell you the level of fitness it's recommended for, as well as things you should bring per walk. Tripadvisor, on the other hand, is fantastic for other peoples experiences!
- Get in early - We visited Freycinet on a Friday afternoon and it was very busy. Most people recommend getting there around 8am, or even earlier to witness the beautiful sunrise.
- You pay an entry fee - $24 per car for the whole day. Very cheap. Or per person, which is cheaper if you're going solo.
- Bring a good camera! For all of those photos you can hashtag with wanderlust