Freycinet National Park and Wineglass Bay

You are standing on the edge of a cliff, looking out over what has to be one of the most spectacular views in the world. To one side you have a glimpse of the famous Wineglass Bay, and a hundred metres below your feet, the sea is so clear you can see the fish swimming in the water. Beside you rises the white, glistening tower of Cape Tourville Lighthouse, which warns ships away from this treacherous, rocky point. Out at sea, a graceful shape leaps into the air, and then another – two dolphins playing in the waves.

Price range

BUDGET

Contact details

Via Coles Bay Rd; Visitor Centre (03) 6256 7000

Don't Miss

■ The famous view of Wineglass Bay. The lookout is accessed by a steep one-hour return walk.

■ Honeymoon Bay, which is a lovely sheltered swimming spot that is ideal for learning to snorkel. In the clear water you might catch sight of a stingray or some scallops. You need to bring your own snorkelling equipment. There are also rockpools to explore here.
 
■ Muirs Beach, a sheltered, safe beach with soft sand, suitable for playing and swimming. Muirs Beach is accessed from The Esplanade, Coles Bay.
 
■ The white-breasted sea eagles, which are sometimes seen flying around the park. Their wing span can exceed two metres!

Fabulous Facts

Oddly, the beaches within Freycinet National Park do not share the same type of sand. This is because each one has been created by the erosion of a different kind of rock. Honeymoon Bay is fine gravel, recently created from pink feldspar pebbles from The Hazards above it, while the sand at Friendly Beaches (in the northern part of the park) squeaks when you walk on it because it has a high content of pure, rounded grains of silica – it is literally squeaky clean.

Insider Tips

■ Freycinet National Park begins just south of Bicheno, but a good place to start exploring is from the visitor centre located in the Coles Bay area of the park (about half an hour from Bicheno). You can obtain information here about the different walks and beaches. Most of the activities you will want to do are close to this visitor centre.

■ The Cape Tourville Lighthouse is accessed by a 600-metre circuit boardwalk. There are information boards to help you locate landmarks and explain the flora and fauna.
 
■ Picnic facilities, barbecues, water and toilets are available near the visitor centre and at Honeymoon Bay.
 
■ During summer, park rangers offer a variety of activities.
 
■ Camping is available in the park, but it is so popular that a ballot system operates for the peak summer and Easter periods.
 
■ The perfect sands of famous Wineglass Bay can be reached by an 11-kilometre hike. An easier way is on a Freycinet Paddle tour.
 
■ The Wineglass Bay Cruise sails inside the bay.

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