Great Oyster Bay, on Tasmania’s east coast, is an expansive yet sheltered bay that opens onto the Tasman Sea. The bay is surrounded by the lush forests of the Freycinet National Park and rocky mountain peaks known as the Hazards. Pink granite cliffs stand in stark contrast to the teal-coloured waters lapping against secluded, white sandy beaches.
Tasmania’s Great Oyster Bay is part of the wild, untamed beauty of the Freycinet Peninsula with its many bays and beaches. Offering incredible panoramic views of the Hazards and Schouten Island, Great Oyster Bay’s sheltered position makes it one of Australia’s best vantage points to watch the annual whale migration during the colder months.
Great Oyster Bay is one of the most scenic stretches of water in Australia. It boasts gorgeous views, sheltered waters, and small, isolated beaches, popular with locals and visitors. Towns on the bay include Swansea and Coles Bay.
Swansea has wonderful beaches, and spots for boaties to access the bay and is the perfect stepping-off point to explore the wonders of Freycinet National Park. Fishermen pull in Australian salmon, trevally, flathead, and trumpeter while sea kayakers take to the calm waters of Coles Bay. Nature lovers come all year round to see the graceful Australian fur seals and playful dolphins frolicking in the bay.
The winter months attract whale watchers with their binoculars and cameras, keen to catch a glimpse of the magnificent Humpbacks and Southern Right Whales as they begin their long northward migration from polar waters. Another spectacular sight is the sun setting behind the pink granite peaks of the Hazards.
Before Europeans arrived at Great Oyster Bay, the area was occupied by Tasmanian Aborigines. The Linetemairrener people lived at the lagoon all year round, while various groups gathered in the coastal areas to harvest shellfish and marine vegetables from Autumn through Winter until the end of July.
During the 19th century, shore-based bay whaling activity took place throughout the Freycinet Peninsula area and Coles Bay. The area attracted whaling parties as well as pastoralists and tin and coal miners. Fortunately whaling ceased in the area by the 1850s and today, tourists can visit some of the remaining old farmers’ huts and abandoned mining shafts.
In 1916 the area, along with Mount Field became Tasmania's first national park. Aquaculture has been practiced in the region since the early 1970s. True to its name, Great Oyster Bay was a commercial hub for the cultivation of Pacific oysters, native oysters, scallops, mussels, sea urchins, and abalone.
Great Oyster Bay is nestled on the east coast of Tasmania on the Freycinet Peninsula in the southwest of the Tasman Sea and is part of Freycinet National Park.
There are many secluded beaches to enjoy at Great Oyster Bay. One of its gems is Hazards Beach, opposite Wineglass Bay. Visitors enjoy walks along the beach of clean white silica sand before paddling out into the clear, aquamarine water.
Renowned as one of Australia’s best vantage points for whale watching, visitors can see Humpbacks and Southern Right Whales swimming through the clear, aqua waters between May and September.
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