Coles Bay is a quaint holiday town, a popular spot to access the breathtaking scenery of Freycinet National Park. Two-and-a-half-hours drive from Hobart, slightly less from Launceston, Coles Bay is the gateway to all this stunning national park has to offer – picturesque Wineglass Bay, the imposing mountains known as the Hazards, Friendly Beaches, and Cape Tourville Lighthouse.
It's a place that attracts holidaymakers, fishing enthusiasts, hikers, divers, and kayakers. Tucked away on Tasmania’s stunning east coast, Coles Bay is also an idyllic getaway for those who just want a break from their busy lives to enjoy a swim, a walk through the forest, or overlook a peaceful bay while enjoying a plate of fresh seafood and a glass of Tasmanian wine.
It’s easy to overlook Coles Bay on your way to more well-known attractions like Wineglass Bay and Freycinet National Park, but there’s so much to this charming town. It’s surrounded by the pink-hued granite peaks of the Hazards mountains and the breathtaking coastal scenery of Great Oyster Bay.
A friendly town with a population of just over 500, Coles Bay is the perfect place to holiday. There’s a buzz as people head off for a trek or day cruise take off on a scenic plane or helicopter flight over Wineglass Bay, pop into the marine farm for the freshest seafood, or cool off with a dip at one of the pristine beaches.
A walk to Wineglass Bay lookout is on the top of most people’s list. The reward is one of the most magnificent views in Tasmania. Experience a day of adventure on the Freycinet Peninsula with a stopover at Coles Bay.
On ANZAC Day 2003, Coles Bay became the first town in Australia to ban plastic shopping bags. Ben Kearny, a local baker and then president of Coles Bay Tourism Association worked with local retailers to transition from plastic bags to alternatives.
It was an easy decision for locals to protect their beautiful and fragile environment. Each Coles Bay resident was given five calico shopping bags and retailers offered customers recycled and reusable paper bags and calico bags.
On Australia Day 2005, Ben Kearney was declared Australia's Local Hero for 2005 for his commitment to the environment. He was also awarded Tasmanian of the Year for 2005. Coles Bay received an Environmental Excellence Award from the Tasmanian government for banning the use of plastic bags.
In 2019 Fun Over 50 Holidays introduced a ban on plastic bags for staff and guests and on every tour since, all guests have been given a reusable calico bag.
There are many swimming spots in and around Coles Bay – some within walking distance and others just a short drive away. The uncrowded beaches and clear waters offer the ideal swimming conditions at places like Richardson’s, Muirs, Friendly Beaches and Wineglass Bay.
The imposing mountains that frame the coastal town of Coles Bay are called the Hazards. The rugged, pink-coloured granite peaks are a magnificent landmark seen from many locations across Freycinet Peninsula.
In the 2021 Census, 515 people were living in Coles Bay.
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