Freycinet National Park

Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park, Explore Australia Publishing
Barbecue Caravan Disabled Diving Drinking water Fishing Kiosk/Restaurant Park entry fee Shower Swimming Toilets Watersports Wildflowers Wildlife Aboriginal site Accommodation Camping area Information Picnic area Ranger Walking

Introduction

Freycinet National Park protects a whole peninsula of rugged mountains fringed with sea cliffs and picturesque white-sand beaches including the iconic Wineglass Bay. First glimpses of the park are of dramatic pink-granite peaks while within its pretty eucalypt woodlands and coastal wetlands an abundance of animal and birdlife matches its scenic beauty.

Fact file

Access

From Hobart via Tasman Hwy then C302 to Coles Bay; from Launceston via Midlands, Esk and Tasman hwys

Best season

Spring to autumn

Location

200 km north-east of Hobart

Park information

  • PWS 1300 135 513
  • PWS Freycinet (03) 6256 7000  

Permits

Park entry fee payable

Size

16 800 ha

Visitor information

Bicheno (03) 6375 1500

Featured Activities in the National Park

  • Go beachcombing among the rock pools and headlands of the Friendly Beaches

    Stroll around the Cape Tourville boardwalk for cliff-top views

    Search for rare orchids in the gullies and woodlands

    Photograph the perfect white-sand crescent of Wineglass Bay

See Also

A look at the past

Abel Tasman sailed up the east coast in 1642, but it was Nicholas Baudin, following in 1802, who named the peninsula after two of his officers, the brothers Louis and Henri de Freycinet. Sealers, whalers, miners and farmers soon arrived and the hut at Cooks Beach is a relic of this period. The national park was the first in Tasmania, declared in 1916. 

Aboriginal culture

Freycinet Peninsula is part of the territory of the Oyster Bay tribe. These people enjoyed a variety of seasonal foods from ducks, swans and shellfish in the coastal lowlands to wallabies and kangaroos inland. The Toorernomairremener band occupied the peninsula, and middens on the coast indicate where food was harvested and stone tools manufactured.

Natural features

Freycinet’s 23-kilometre peninsula is dominated by two rows of granite mountains that sweep up from the sea on either side of a narrow isthmus that connects its two famously beautiful beaches – Wineglass Bay and Promise Bay. Mount Dove (485 metres) and Mount Freycinet (620 metres) are the highest peaks. North of Cape Tourville the remote Friendly Beaches are backed by unspoilt coastal dunes. Schouten Island in the south is uninhabited and accessible only by boat.

Native plants

Around the beautiful coastline there are shady groves of she-oaks, while inland are blue gum, white peppermint and white gum woodlands with banksias and Oyster Bay pines. Black peppermint, brown-topped stringybark and silver peppermint grow where soils are poor. On the forest floor there are 43 species of orchid; two of the most rare are the horned orchid and rusty hood orchid.

Wildlife

Along with Bennett's wallabies, Tasmanian pademelons, sugar gliders, common wombats, short-beaked echidnas and ringtail possums, and some very bold brushtail possums around the campgrounds, the park is one of the few places in the state where you might see Tasmanian bettongs in the wild. These delightful marsupials are probably extinct on mainland Australia. Dolphins, humpback whales and southern right whales are seen around the coast. Among the numerous bird species here, the most conspicuous and noisiest are yellow-tailed black-cockatoos, green rosellas and yellow wattlebirds.

Introduction

The park offers magnificent bushwalking and some of the loveliest beach walking in Australia. Circular bays rimmed with white-sand beaches and lichen-leached boulders entice with romantic names such as Honeymoon and Wineglass. To see the park there are walking and hiking trails ranging from a few minutes to several days, as well as guided ATV tours to the southern Friendly Beaches and cruises to Wineglass Bay and Schouten Island. The boulder-strewn Bluestone Bay is accessible by 4WD only. In summer, there are slide shows, talks and spotlight walks to acquaint you with the park and its animals.

Beach and bushwalking

Cape Tourville circuit is a wheelchair-accessible track offering views over the Tasman Sea from several vantage points. The longer Wineglass Bay Lookout track (1 hour return) is the park's most popular short walk, climbing to breathtaking views of Wineglass Bay and Mount Graham. The Hazards Beach circuit (11 km) heads from the lookout down to Wineglass Bay (40 minutes) and either along the sand to its southern end (30 minutes) or across the isthmus to Hazards Beach, where tracks lead south to Cooks and Bryans beaches (3 hours) or back around the coast via Lemana lookout with spectacular views of Promise Bay (2 hours). The Freycinet Peninsula Track (3 days) leads from the circuit track to Cooks Beach, then up and over the East Freycinet Saddle and Mount Graham before descending to the southern end of Wineglass Bay. In the north of the park, Friendly Beaches offers secluded beachcombing amid headlands and rock pools.

Canoeing and kayaking

This coastline is excellent for inshore canoeing or ocean kayaking for paddlers of all abilities. There are coves, cliffs and sea caves to explore but keep an eye on the weather.

Fishing

 From a boat or the shoreline there is great fishing for trevally, flathead, trumpeter and salmon.

Rock-climbing

The park’s granite peaks offer some challenging climbs and it is a popular destination for clubs and independent climbers. There are no commercial tours. Whitewater Wall, south of Sleepy Bay, is easily accessible and is one of the most spectacular climbing sites in the park.

Scenic flights

Flights from the Friendly Beaches airstrip, off Coles Bay Road, take in the Freycinet Peninsula’s dramatic and beautiful landscape.

Campsites

Friendly Beaches camping area (bush camping)

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


Honeymoon Bay camping area

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


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

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


Whitewater Wall camping area (bush camping)

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


See Also

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