Freycinet National Park

Thoughts on Location No 24

Freycinet National Park, Lower East Coast, Tasmania

What a lovely place to stay and one we are glad we didn’t miss.

After leaving St Helens on Monday morning, our first destination was Freycinet National Park. The peaks of the peninsula greet you long before you arrive and I had Dean pull over so I could photograph them.  The Freycinet is effectively two eroded blocks of granite joined by a sand isthmus.

Unable to park our van in the designated area of the National Park (can you believe our mini home was too big?), we then headed to the Big4 Iluka and Freycinet Holiday Park at Coles Bay and promptly paid for two nights.  It was already after 1:00 pm and the walk we wanted to accomplish needed to be tackled in the morning, not late in the afternoon.

We set up and settled in, went for a walk along the beach, hand in hand I might add, and enjoyed dinner at the Iluka Tavern.

Tuesday morning we set off and were surprised to discover it was quite some distance from the park Information Centre to the assigned car parking area for walkers.  We’d planned to do the Wineglass Bay/Hazards Beach Circuit and we headed off at 9:00 am to enjoy all the splendour of the Freycinet wilderness along this five to six-hour bushwalk.

It was nice to have a registration station with forms for recording your details – name, date, walking track, car registration and mobile number.  This is the first time we’ve come across this type of safety regulation and it would be nice to see it elsewhere though not all parks have staff managing them full time.

As we headed up the track, it wasn’t long before we came to a ‘fork in the road’ so to speak. On the left, the Wineglass Bay Lookout. On the right, the Hazards Beach Circuit.   Although I must admit I wanted to see the bay from the lookout, it was tempting to not go in that direction.  The sign however said it was only 40 minutes, so we decided ‘why not?’.  We would venture towards the lookout first, then back-track and continue along Hazards Beach Circuit.

Taking the left side of the fork would prove to be a very good decision.

The track led steeply to the lookout and the going was not without the odd break or two to catch my breath, but the view when we finally arrived was breathtaking of another kind altogether.

Wineglass Bay from the Lookout

Wineglass Bay from the Lookout

On the way to the top, we met a lovely young lady named Tami who told us this was her favourite place in the world. She spoke of visiting Canada and Ireland, and yet, right there, looking down on Wineglass Bay, was just the best in her books.

We hadn’t realised we could continue on the Hazards Beach Circuit from the lookout when we started our walk and I thank the Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania for the clear signage throughout the park.

In taking the left side of the fork earlier, we ended up walking the Hazards Beach Circuit in a clockwise direction and as I said, this proved to be a very good decision.  Leaving the lookout behind and following the track, we then headed down to Wineglass Bay.  This was a very steep decent, down purposefully placed stone steps.

My initial comment was ‘wow’, but 30 minutes later, all I could say was ‘Thank Goodness’.  Thank Goodness I was walking down the steps and not up them.

We enjoyed an early lunch on the shore of Wineglass Bay and then walked across the isthmas to Hazards Beach.

Entering Hazards Beach

Entering Hazards Beach

The track continued along the beach and after leaving the beach behind, the balance of the track was laid out ahead of us.  Another 6.5 kilometres (4 miles) of rugged bush, with lots of undulating areas, albeit in some places it was dramatically undulating, including areas of slippery exposed rocks.  We were lucky there hadn’t been any recent rain, though I lost an argument with one of the larger rocks and twisted my knee.  Nothing serious, just a little annoyance.

This final part of the track took more than half the time to complete the walk and I’m very confident I could not have negotiated those stone steps at the end of our day.  Actually, I know would have been completely depleted of energy and dread to think of what may have happened had we followed the path in an anti-clockwise direction.

The circuit is a total of 11 kilometres (6.8 miles) and I’m feeling rather proud of myself that I can say I walked around Mount Mayson in the Freycinet National Park.

It was really hard to choose the photos to share, but I had to draw the line somewhere.  I’ve added a new gallery to the Photography page, so pop over there and take a look.  I’ve also had time to load photos from Maria Island and Darlington.  My thoughts on those will follow soon.


The caravan park we stayed in was nice enough, despite the poor reviews we’d read online. It wasn’t anything fancy and on that note, perhaps a little expensive at $36/night.


 

14 Comments

  1. I’m smiling here after reading your report, I was waiting to hear how you’d coped with the walk into Wineglass Bay. We didn’t know about a circuit though and walked ….huffed and puffed……. back up all the steps. It is a special place.

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    1. Thank you Sue,

      It certainly is a wonderful place, so glad I didn’t have to walk up those steps and I feel ten feet tall having walked the circuit.

      Clare

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  2. Great walk Clare!
    I can only suggest the camping area is a bit more expensive than expected as its an iconic location for tourists to visit…?
    I’m looking forward to re-visiting and having time to do more than walk to the lookout. Definitely won’t be in peak season though! 😊

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    1. Thanx Dayna,

      I was tired by the time we finished, actually, I was exhausted, but it was worth all the energy it cost. Make sure you bring your thermals, I’ve not doubt it will be very cold in a few weeks time.

      Clare

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    1. Thank you,

      It is so wonderful being here, finally, after wanting to visit for so long myself. To be able to see all the wonder and beauty that Tasmania holds in store is almost beyond words and Freycinet NP is one of those sites that simply has to be seen. We are so glad we didn’t drive past in a ‘rush’ to reach Hobart.

      Clare

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  3. I went and looked at your photography page to see your photos of this magnificent park. What a beautiful place! Your pictures are breathtaking!

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    1. Thank you Nancy,

      Freycinet National Park was a very beautiful place to visit and I’m glad we had the chance to stop by on our way past. I’m smiling at your comment about my photos. I do try to look at things differently through the lens, some shots work, some don’t.

      Clare

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  4. Pleased that you experienced it. It was raining heavily when we were in the national park so didn’t do the walk Would love to visit that part of Tassie again

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