Coles Bay

Freycinet National Park, Nick Rains / Explore Australia Publishing

Population 305

Coles Bay is a little village of holiday homes and weekenders with a growing number of up-market accommodation including the ultra-luxurious Saffire Resort. It is a popular summertime family camping destination and a peaceful base from which to explore the area. The spectacular scenery of The Hazards and Freycinet Peninsula is on its doorstep and there are walking trails to secluded beaches, lookouts and remote peninsulas close by. The exquisite Wineglass Bay is regarded by many as one of the world’s best beaches.

Visitor Information

Freycinet National Park; (03) 6256 7000

Nearby national parks

  • Freycinet National Park

    Freycinet National Park protects a whole peninsula of rugged mountains fringed with sea cliffs and picturesque white-sand beaches including...more

  • Douglas–Apsley National Park

    Situated between the Douglas and Apsley rivers, this national park spans rugged hills of superb dry sclerophyll forest. Its tranquil...more

  • Maria Island National Park

    With a west coast characterised by gentle sloping hills and an east coast of towering cliffs dropping dramatically to the sea, Maria Island...more

Nearby towns

  • Swansea

    Perched on Great Oyster Bay, Swansea looks out to the Freycinet Peninsula. It is part of the Glamorgan/Spring Bay shire, the oldest rural...more

  • Bicheno

    Bicheno (pronounced 'bish-eno') has a chequered history. It was set up as a whaling and sealing centre in 1803, predating the official...more

  • Triabunna

    When Maria (pronounced 'mar-eye-ah') Island was a penal settlement, Triabunna (pronounced 'try-a-bunnah') was a garrison...more


Freycinet National Park This park is world renowned for its stunning coastal scenery, challenging rock climbs, abundant wildlife, and range of walking tracks. The park is covered in wildflowers, including 60 varieties of ground orchid. Visitors can take the 1 hr walk to the lookout over stunning Wineglass Bay, or the 2.5 hr return walk to the beach. There are many safe swimming beaches and waterskiing, scuba diving, canoeing and sailing facilities. Check with visitor centre for details.

Freycinet Marine Farm: working oyster farm with guided tours and sampling; open 5–6pm Mon–Fri; tour bookings on (03) 6257 0140; 9 km NW.

Moulting Lagoon Game Reserve: wetlands of international importance with many bird species; 12 km NW.

Fishing: Great Oyster Bay is a renowned fishing spot – species include flathead and Australian salmon. Coles Bay is also a base for big-game fishing, particularly southern bluefin tuna in autumn; contact visitor centre for tour details.

Fishing spots near town

Twin Lakes 79 km

I always thought the title of John Gierach’s entertaining book Where the Trout are all as Long as your Leg was a little farfetched, until I realised it related to a time when he was five years old. I am a little... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Diving and snorkelling along Tasmania's east coast 28 km

Although diving might not be your first thought when you head south to Tasmania, the temperate waters usually provide much greater visibility than tropical waters, and offer a surprisingly rich and diverse range of flora... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

The Bay Restaurant

The Bay Restaurant at Freycinet Lodge offers entrancing views across sheltered bays and craggy mountain peaks. Dining here is a tranquil, intimate experience, with a cosy open fire keeping the mood warm in winter. The... Find out more

The Edge Restaurant

Take table-to-ceiling views of an azure bay backed by sunset-tinted granite mountains, a plate of skilfully prepared Tasmanian seafood and bottle of masterful east coast wine, and you’ve got an idea of what The... Find out more

Tombolo Freycinet

You can’t judge a book by its cover. This tiny rustic cafe in Coles Bay town centre doesn’t look like a fabulous eatery from the outside, but it’s fast becoming a local summer hot spot. Take a table on... Find out more

Nearby eco-friendly places to eat

Purple Possum Wholefoods and Cafe 61 km

Purple Possum is in the great little town of St Marys, midway between St Helens and Bicheno. The cafe is wholly vegetarian, and you can take away a range of organic fruit and vegetables and locally grown supplies.... Find out more

Nearby breweries

Iron House Brewery 61 km

When White Sands Resort came on the market a few years ago it proved too tempting for Devonport businessman John White, who already runs several companies bearing his surname. Rebranded as White Sands Estate, the... Find out more

Campsites around town

Richardsons Beach (powered sites) camping area

There are 18 powered sites suitable for vans here, set on firm ground near the visitor centre and just metres from the beach. A day-use area nearby has a BBQ and picnic tables. If you are lucky enough to win a spot here... Find out more

Richardsons Beach (the Sand Dunes) camping area 1 km

In the dunes behind the southern end of Richardsons Beach are 25 tent sites (fewer in winter), allocated by ballot for the peak summer season each year. These are lovely sites with tracks to the beach and space for 1 car... Find out more

Honeymoon Bay camping area 2 km

This scenic spot is only open for the summer season and sites are allocated by ballot due to overwhelming demand. If you win a spot, you can pitch your tent above this deliciously enticing cove and enjoy one of... Find out more

Whitewater Wall camping area (bush camping) 4 km

This camping area is a favourite with rockclimbers attracted to the area’s granite sea cliffs. Turn left from Cape Tourville Rd, 2 km before the lighthouse, but be sure to check out the amazing view from the... Find out more

Wineglass Bay camping area (walk-in camping) 6 km

There is a small camping area at this unforgettably beautiful bay, 1.5 hr from the carpark trailhead. Drinking water is not always available here.... Find out more

Buckleys Rocks camping area 6 km

Named for the piles of black swan feathers that can sometimes be seen along its shoreline, Moulting Lagoon Game Reserve is an internationally recognised wetland. Camping here is restricted to a site at Buckleys Rocks.... Find out more

Hazards Beach camping area (walk-in camping) 7 km

This lovely camping area is at the southern end of Hazards Beach, reached after an easy 2 hr walk across the isthmus from Wineglass Bay, or 2 hr from the carpark trailhead via the Hazards Beach Track and Lemana Lookout.... Find out more

Cooks Beach camping area (walk-in camping) 12 km

This camping area is 2 hr from Hazards Beach and a 5–6 hr walk to Wineglass Bay over Mt Graham. The side track to Bryans Beach (1 hr) is well worth the effort. There is tank water here, at Cooks Hut, which should... Find out more

Bryans Beach camping area (walk-in bush camping) 14 km

A 1 hr side trip from the main track, there is no water or toilet here at Bryans Beach.... Find out more

Friendly Beaches camping area (bush camping) 15 km

Head to Friendly Beaches to get away from it all along this wild stretch of shoreline. There is bush camping near Isaacs Point in the northern corner of the beach and a much smaller area at South Friendly, which is... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Bicheno East Coast Holiday Park 28 km

This is a good quality tourist park with a larger number of sites. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies over public holidays.... Find out more

Ross Caravan Park 67 km

Close to the centre of town, on the banks of the Macquarie River and adjoining historic buildings, this small, appealing park is one of the better parks in the midlands. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Cove Beach Apartments

These two groovy self-catering apartments are located in the dress circle of Coles Bay, with views across the water to Freycinet National Park and the soaring granite peaks of the Hazards Range. Light and airy, with... Find out more

Freycinet Beach Apartments

These two architect-designed apartments combine the best of what Freycinet is renowned for. They overlook pristine waters in a secluded location with a deserted beach that is yours for the taking, while around you the... Find out more

Freycinet Lodge

This is as close as you can get to Wineglass Bay and still sleep in a bed, and a luxury one at that. Freycinet Lodge is actually inside the national park, and although it caters for 180 guests, each beautifully appointed... Find out more

Iluka Holiday Centre

In summer Iluka is bursting at the seams with campers, caravanners and backpackers, but it also offers good-quality cabins at excellent rates in an outstanding location, with the convenience of a supermarket, bakery and... Find out more


Set discreetly among undisturbed coastal woodland, this opulent 20-suite resort ticks all the boxes for inspirational scenery and five-star lavish luxury. A curvaceous, glass-fronted guest complex houses beautiful... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Rainbow Retreat 62 km

The owners of this 30-hectare nature reserve at St Marys are wildlife carers who rehabilitate then release wildlife on the property, so there are plenty of their old friends wandering around, including wombats,... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Coles Bay Camp Area 1 km

T/O 34 km NE of Swansea (R) or 9 km SW of Bicheno (L)

Large camp area located 29 kilometres south of highway near the foreshore. Limited shade.

NOTE: Powered sites available.

Moulting Lagoon camping area 6 km

T/O 34km NE of Swansea (R) or 9km SW of Bicheno (L)

On the foreshore surrounded by scrub 22km south of the highway via Coles Bay Rd.

Friendly Beach Camp Area 15 km

T/O 34 km NE of Swansea (R) or 9 km SW of Bicheno (L)

Small camp area located 14 kilometres south of the highway on the foreshore.

NOTE: Access road part unsealed.

Swansea park area 18 km

At Swansea

On the south side of town via the esplanade.

Cressy Beach park area 18 km

44km NE of Triabunna (R) or 5km SW of Swansea (L)

Secluded in scrub just off the highway on the foreshore.

Spikey Beach park area 20 km

42km NE of Triabunna (R) or 7km S of Swansea (L)

Just off the highway and on the foreshore.

Mayfield Bay camping area 26 km

34km N of Triabunna (R) or 15km S of Swansea (L)

Just off the highway among trees on the foreshore with excellent coastal views.

Bicheno park area 28 km

At Bicheno

On the foreshore on the north side of town.

Denison Beach rest area 33 km

6km N of Bicheno (R) or 51km S of Scamander (L)

Very small secluded area surrounded by scrub near the foreshore and adjacent to the highway.

Little Swanport rest area 37 km

21km N of Triabunna (L) or 28km S of Swansea (R)

On the north side of the bridge at the Swanport River.

Lagoons Beach camping area 53 km

T/O 29km N of Bicheno (R) or 28km S of Scamander (L)

Well off the highway with numerous secluded sites in the scrub between the lagoon and the beach.

Little Beach camping area 55 km

T/O 32km N of Bicheno (R) or 25km S of Scamander (L)

Well off the highway and near the beach.

Raspins Beach park area 58 km

1km N of Orford (R) or 7km S of Triabunna (L)

Adjacent to the highway overlooking the foreshore. Toilets located 200m south.

Ross park area 67 km

At Ross

At the historic bridge on the road into town.

Campbell Town rest area 70 km

At Campbell Town

On the banks of the river on the south side of town.

St Peters Pass rest area 74 km

8km N of Oatlands (R) or 28km S of Ross (L)

Just off the highway among a few trees.

Shelly Point Camp Area 77 km

4 km N of Scamander (R) or 14 km S of St Helens (L)

Small camp area located just off the highway in the scrub near the foreshore.

NOTE: Campervans only.

Scamander Forest camping area 77 km

T/O at Beaumaris

Among trees on the banks of Trout Creek 11km west of Beaumaris via Skyline Dr.

Conara rest area 78 km

At Conara

Just off the highway at the turn-off into town.

Oatlands rest area 78 km

At Oatlands

On the banks of Lake Dulverton, just off the main street.

Paddys Island camping area 81 km

8km N of Scamander (R) or 10km S of St Helens (L)

Just off the highway surrounded by scrub.

Dianas Basin camping area 84 km

T/O 10km N of Scamander (R) or 8km S of St Helens (L)

Well off the highway with numerous secluded campsites located in the scrub between the basin and the beach.

What's on around town

Fishing competition: Southern Game Fishing Club; Mar.

Three Peaks Race: sailing and mountain-climbing event; Easter.

Freycinet Challenge: running, sea-kayaking, and road and mountain-bike racing at Freycinet Lodge; Oct.

Mark Webber Challenge: Nov.

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