An inspiring travel guide featuring 12 incredible things to do in Freycinet National Park on Tasmania’s rugged east coast. Experience world-renowned white-sand beaches, iconic wildlife, scenic hiking trails and awe-inspiring viewpoints in one of Tasmania’s first National Parks (1916).
Visitors planning a trip to Tasmania’s Freycinet Peninsula are all undoubtedly eager to see the pristine shores of Wineglass Bay. But, what if I told you that there are so many more things to do in Freycinet National Park?
In this guide, I’ll reveal to you all of the best activities to do, things to see and spots to visit for your next trip to Freycinet. I spent a fair bit of time exploring this incredible Tassie gem, photographing and documenting its beauty from the park’s world-class hiking trails and awe-inspiring lookouts.
So, as usual, I’ve also written independent blog posts for many of the Freycinet National Park attractions listed in this guide. If you’re searching for more information, tips or inspiring photography, you’ll find the link to each post underneath each section here. Furthermore, at the bottom of this post, I’ve included a short but useful guide to visiting Freycinet National Park. This includes tips on parking, accommodation, park fees and more.
Best Things to do in Freycinet National Park
1. Hit The Trails
Without a doubt, the best thing to do in Freycinet National Park is to go hiking! There are plenty of epic bushwalking trails to explore. All of these depart from the end of Freycinet Drive, just 10 minutes from Coles Bay.
Hikes on offer cater to most, from short walks to epic overnight treks to granite-scrambling peaks. The most popular hike is the Wineglass Bay Lookout walk. But, even if you’re only stopping by, I highly recommend exploring what else is on offer (there are more viewpoints with much better views of Wineglass Bay). For an inspiringing list of hikes and bushwalks in Freycinet National Park, read my full list here.
BEST-RATED GUIDED WALK IN FREYCINET NP: Experiential Tasmania Guided Walk
MOST COMPREHENSIVE GUIDED WALK: 4-Day Full Freycinet Walking Experience
By far, the best hiking trail in Freycinet National Park, and consequently, the best way to see and experience everything this incredible place has to offer is the Freycinet Peninsula Circuit. That link leads you to my comprehensive hiking guide on my experience hiking this trail, including recommendations on the best route.
2. Watch the Sunrise from Mount Amos
So, you’ve heard of Wineglass Bay lookout, right? What if I told you that the view of Wineglass Bay is infinitely times better from Mount Amos? The thing is, you actually have to earn this one.
Mount Amos is one of three dominant granite peaks overlooking the Freycinet Peninsula. These are known as the Hazards and Amos is the only one with a dedicated hiking trail. If you’re only in the park for a day, then I’d say that climbing Mount Amos for sunrise or sunset is the best thing to do in Freycinet National Park.
While certainly more difficult than regular sealed trails, I still think that this hike’s difficulty is grossly overhyped. As long as you have a decent level of fitness, are okay with heights and pick a dry day, you will be fine. If you’re still worried about the steep scramble, I’ve written a hiking guide to climbing Mount Amos (with more photos), which you’ll find below.
FULL POST: Mount Amos Hike in Tasmania
3. Swim at Wineglass Bay
If you’ve already seen it from above, then I’m sure that the allure of that jewel-coloured water is ever so tempting. Most visitors will tell you that swimming in the fresh waters of Wineglass Bay is another one of the best things to do in Freycinet National Park and one worthy of any Aussie bucket list.
To get to the shore, hikers will need to take the Wineglass Bay lookout trail and continue on down “100 steps” to the beach. I could imagine that this might be a little demanding for some. But, the good news is that instead of walking back up these steps, walkers can loop back around the longer but less-steep Hazard’s Beach Circuit.
FROM HOBART: EPIC 5-Day Tasmania East & West Coast Organised Trip
4. Go on a Quad Bike Adventure
If you’re looking to get off-the-beaten-track in Freycinet National Park, then the best way to do so is on an epic 2-hour Quad Bike adventure.
This trip is often recommended as one of the best things to do in Freycinet National Park because it’s a small-group guided adventure that allows visitors to see so much more of the park. Adventurers depart from Coles Bay and drive to spots like Bluestone Bay, Cape Tourville Lighthouse, remote beaches and boulder-strewn valleys.
BOOK NOW: Quad Bike 2-Hour Adventure
5. Visit Cape Tourville
Cape Tourville is located on the eastern side of the peninsula, opposite Coles Bay. It’s famous for its quaint lighthouse overlooking the Tasman Sea. There is a sealed road leading to a car park where you can walk the rest of the way.
The Cape Tourville Lighthouse walk is rated as very easy and follows a scenic raised boardwalk for most of the track. Views from the cape include the Hazards, Wineglass Bay and “The Nuggets”.
FULL POST: Cape Tourville Lighthouse and Lookout
HEADING TO MARIA NEXT? DON’T MISS: Maria Island Tasmania: 15 Incredible Things to Do
6. See Freycinet National Park From the Sky
If a scenic flight has always been on your travel bucket list, then let me assure you that there isn’t a greater place to enjoy one than Freycinet National Park.
Surprisingly, scenic flights over Freycinet are relatively affordable, especially since the company that operates here runs awesome, 3-hour trips. This means that you can expect so much more than just a quick flight. Each trip includes a flight over both Freycinet National Park and Maria Island. You’ll also get to land on Maria Island on a guided wildlife-spotting tour and lunch before taking off again for the return.
Scenic flights depart from Cambridge daily, but you can easily book online to organise hotel pickup and drop off.
BOOK NOW: Freycinet & Maria Island Scenic Flight (all fees included)
7. Climb Mount Freycinet
Mount Freycinet is the park’s tallest peak and offers the best vantage point over the entire peninsula. But, getting to the summit is no easy feat. Hikers will need to plan to spend at least one night camping at one of the many free walk-in sites in the park and tackle a steep ascent. However, let me assure you that climbing Mount Freycinet is well worth the effort and easily one of the best things to do in Freycinet National Park!
The climb is an optional side-trip on the Freycinet Peninsula Circuit (more below). However, it’s also possible to reach the summit in one long day of hiking and return the following day.
8. Go Beach Hopping
The Freycinet Peninsula is edged with jaw-droppingly beautiful beaches all with pristine, turquoise waters lining their shores. There are a couple of beaches that can easily be accessed by car including Honeymoon Bay, Richardson’s Beach and Sleepy Bay.
However, the most beautiful spots will require a bit of a walk. I highly recommend checking out Hazards Beach, Cooks Beach and of course, Wineglass Bay beach.
9. Spot Iconic Aussie Wildlife
Freycinet National Park is a haven for thousands of native Tasmanian wildlife species. Therefore, one of the best things to do in the park is to spot wildlife.
For the best chance, take a walk off-the-beaten-path around Coles Bay or on the Hazard’s Beach Circuit. You’ll also see an abundance of native nesting and migratory birds on the Isthmus Track, close to Wineglass Bay.
You might even see wallabies, pottaroos, wombats and more on the drive into Coles Bay! That’s why Tassie Parks recommends that visitors don’t drive in the region at night (Tasmania is Australia’s unofficial roadkill capital).
10. Camp at Cooks Beach
Cooks Beach campsite is one of the most popular free spots to camp overnight on the Freycinet Peninsula Circuit. However, when I was here I realised that many people spend the night here without attempting the whole loop.
Cooks Beach is an incredibly beautiful beach on Freycinet’s south-west coast. There are plenty of flat, sandy spots to pitch a tent, a dedicated compost toilet and even an old hut with clean tank water (subject to rain). Getting here takes approximately 3-4 hours on a mostly flat, 12KM track, passing Wineglass Bay lookout and beach on the way.
11. Experience it all on the Freycinet Peninsula Circuit
I know I’ve mentioned it before on this list of things to do in Freycinet National Park, but I will say it again. The Freycinet Peninsula Circuit is by far, the best way to see all of the attractions this incredible park has to offer.
What you might not know is that this track is recommended as a great introduction to overnight hiking in Tasmania. That’s because it is relatively easy to navigate and traverse. I walked this circuit, including a summit of Mount Freycinet and a side-trip to Bryan’s Corner in two days. However, it’s also possible to take a bit more time and walk it in three days.
Overnight camping is free in Freycinet National Park, which means you can experience pretty much everything on this list without paying a cent (bar the NP fees).
12. Watch the Sunset from Coles Bay
Coles Bay is the primary township providing access to Freycinet National Park. Consequently, all visitors pass through here on the way to the park. However, while often neglected, Coles Bay is a great attraction in itself and also one of the best places to stay during your visit.
One great perk is that Coles Bay is an excellent spot to see the sunset near the impressive Hazards mountain range. I recommend heading down to the boat ramp or the free river and rocks campground to watch a stunning sunset paint its vibrant colours on the pink granite peaks.
Freycinet National Park Resource Guide
Now that you’ve discovered many of the incredible things to do in Freycinet National Park, you might be interested to read this quick, yet useful travel guide.
How to Get to Freycinet National Park?
The park is located right next to the township of Coles Bay, on Tasmania’s east coast. Since Coles Bay serves as the primary access point to the park, visitors should aim to head here. This trip is approximately 190 kilometres or 2.5 hours from Hobart and 175 kilometres (roughly 2 hours) from Launceston.
There is only one road into Coles Bay, named Coles Bay Road. This road is sealed the entire way and accessible by any car or bike. However, I’d avoid driving at night since the road is in the middle of wilderness areas and there are loads of wallabies and wombats around.
Once at Coles Bay, you’ll need to take Freycinet Drive (also sealed) all the way to the end to reach the carpark for Freycinet National Park.
How much is the Freycinet National Park Fee?
Unlike many other Australian states, visiting Tasmania’s National Parks requires a paid permit. It’s possible to purchase these online or at the visitor centre on Freycinet Drive. These passes are valid for entry to all of Tasmania’s parks and the receipt must be displayed in your vehicle. If you are spending a fair bit of time in Tassie, then I recommend picking up the Annual pass as it covers your vehicle and up to eight people in your party.
National Parks Pass Cost:
- 24-hours: $40 per vehicle/$20 per person
- Holiday Passes – up to 2 months: $80 per vehicle/$40 per person
- Annual Pass all parks: $90 per vehicle (up to eight people)
Where to Stay in Coles Bay Near Freycinet National Park
Ever wanted to stay on a private island? What better place to do so than on Picnic Island, a beautiful island gem just off Coles Bay. Visitors will have the entire island to themselves with rustic waterfront cabins and a fully-equipped kitchen and living area. Read about my experience on Picnic Island here.
Located in a waterfront location within Freycinet National Park, Freycinet Lodge offers luxury cabin-style accommodation, two restaurants and a bar. You’ll also get a buffet breakfast included. This is one of the best-located spots near Freycinet National Park.
Another great option is Eagle Peaks, which has good WiFi and free private parking near Coles Bay. This is a unit-style accommodation option featuring a dining and seating area, a fully-equipped kitchen and great scenery at your doorstep.
Camping Near Freycinet National Park
We explored Tasmania in our self-converted campervan, so I consider us experts at finding free campsites. After spending several nights across a few free spots in the area, I can certainly recommend the River and Rocks campsite, which is a little out of Coles Bay but completely free. Otherwise, there is a convenient spot within the park but this requires entry into a ballot system well in advance.
Below are a few more spots work checking out:
- Big4 Iluka
- Swan River Campsite
- River and Rocks Campsite (free)
- The campground at Freycinet Paintball ($10)
Tips & Important Things to Know:
- Cases of Ross River, a mosquito-transmitted disease have been found in Freycinet National park. It’s a good idea to bring mosquito repellent (deet) to prevent bites.
- Unfortunately, there is a bit of Phytophthora around in Freycinet National Park. This is an introduced pathogen that attacks the roots of native plants, causing them to die and “rot”. As a result, you definitely want to clean your gear and boots before setting off to other parks around Tassie after hiking in Freycinet National Park.
- Once in the park, there are no bins. This means that you have to follow the leave no trace principle, and pack out all of your rubbish.
- Make sure to check out the visitor centre for more inspiration and to plan your hikes in Freycinet National Park.
More Things to do in Tassie
I hope that you enjoyed my guide to the best things to do in Freycinet National Park, Tasmania. I spent several months exploring and documenting the best attractions on this incredible Australian island. So, if you’re interested in more inspiration for your trip to Tasmania, make sure to check out some of my other articles below.
MY CAMERA AND PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT
- Mirrorless Camera: Canon R5
- Drone: DJI Mavic Pro 2
- 360 Action Camera: Insta360 One X2
- Landscape Lens: Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L
- All-Round Lens: Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L
- Telephoto Lens: Canon RF 100-500mm f/f/4.5-7.1 L
- Long Action Pole: Insta360 Invisible Pole (BulletTime)
- Landscape Lens Filter: Hoya Circular Polarizer
- Camera Backpack: F-Stop Tilopa
- Favorite Photography Accessory: Peak Design Capture Clip
For a list of all my recommended photography gear (including what I use and why) check out my guide to camera gear for travel.