Freycinet National Park was the first national park in Tasmania, along with Mount Field and is situated two and a half to three hours from either Hobart or Launceston on Tasmania’s east coast. It’s a place of wild, natural beauty, from the towering, pink-tinged granite mountains of the Hazards, to the breathtaking beauty of Wineglass Bay with its white curved beach and calm, turquoise water.
The coastline is dotted with forests, bays, beaches, and inland lagoons. There are numerous hikes such as Wineglass Bay, Hazards Beach, or for the more adventurous, Wineglass Bay Lookout to take in the picture postcard views. A more relaxing way to see the area is by plane or helicopter with Wineglass Bay Scenic Flights or just sit back and enjoy the freshest seafood and a local wine.
Surrounded by the rugged peaks of the Hazards, Freycinet National Park stretches along the Freycinet Peninsula with beautiful beaches and bays looking out over the Tasman Sea. Thousands of visitors come each year to this fairly isolated area to dive, hike, swim, snorkel, or just immerse themselves in the natural beauty.
Freycinet National Park is home to an amazing array of animal life, attracting naturalists, wildlife photographers, and those who just want to glimpse some of Australia’s most fascinating creatures. Eastern quolls and red-necked wallabies roam the rugged coastal bushland, and the park is home to Bennetts wallabies, pademelons, and echidnas.
Look to the skies for white-bellied sea eagles or watch Australasian gannets as they dive under the waves in search of prey. Seals can be spotted lazing on the rocks, while Southern Right and Humpback Whales are a majestic sight as they frolic off the coast during the cooler months.
Freycinet National Park lies within the territory of the Oyster Bay Aboriginal nation which was comprised of around 600 to 700 people. Some were known to live on the now uninhabited Schouten on Freycinet Peninsula’s southern end. The Toorerno-maire-mener clan, are the traditional owners of this land.
Significant Aboriginal sites including rock shelters, quarries, and stone artefacts are found within Freycinet National Park’s coastlines, dunes, and estuaries. One of the most extensive shell middens known on the East Coast is located in the area and is of high cultural importance.
With European settlement came whaling parties, tin and coal miners, and pastoralists. Today the remains of old farmers’ huts, whalers’ camps, and abandoned mine shafts are scattered throughout the park and make up part of the area’s rich cultural heritage.
In 1916, Freycinet National Park was reserved along with Mount Field National Park, making them the oldest national parks in the state.
"Vanderlyn Island" was the last sighting of the area by Abel Tasman in 1642 before heading to New Zealand. The first landing by Europeans was by Captain Weatherhead in 1791 on the transport ship Matilda.
Both Tasman and Weatherhead mistook the narrow isthmus for an island. It was on a subsequent landing by French explorer Nicholas Baudin that it was identified as a peninsula and named after French explorer Louis de Freycinet.
The jewel in the crown of Freycinet National Park is the iconic Wineglass Bay. Its gently curved beach of white sandy and turquoise water is one of the most memorable and photographed views in Tasmania. Towering above Wineglass Bay is a low line of granite peaks that turn various hues of pink depending on the time of day.
Other popular spots are Friendly Beaches, a long line of fairly secluded beaches along the coastline, and Cape Tourville with its lighthouse and boardwalk offering superb views over Wineglass Bay and out to the Tasman Sea.
Yes, the Freycinet Visitor Centre at the entrance to the park issues park passes to Freycinet National Park as well as providing information. If you book a Fun Over 50 Tasmanian Tour, park passes are included in your ticket.
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