Freycinet National Park

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesTasman Hwy & Coles Bay Rd
FinishTasman Hwy & Coles Bay Rd
DifficultyDifficulty 2/5
Suitable for4WD 
Distance109.41 km
Minimum Days1
Average Speed37.73 km/hr
Driving Time2 hrs 54 mins
Page Updated: 12 Aug 2009

Description

This trek starts off from the Tasman Highway and heads south towards Coles Bay. This town is the major hub of Freycinet Peninsula and the first stop where you can stock up on food and fuel supplies, or obtain your park pass at the National Park visitor centre. Heading south, you soon arrive at the popular swimming and snorkeling spot called Honeymoon Bay - a place that presents amazing views of the two pink granite peaks of Freycinet - suitably called ‘the Hazards’. Further southwest, there are numerous holiday homes and a nice walking track at a place called The Fisheries.

There is a sealed road that heads around 6.4kms towards Cape Tourville and the lighthouse. Along the way you will stumble across Sleepy Bay, which reveals graded steps that lead to the rocky shoreline in which, despite its name, often experiences wild and rough seas. To get to the beautiful white lighthouse, you walk along the Cape Tourville Circuit - an easy 20 minute boardwalk that reveals amazing views of Wineglass Bay, ‘The Hazards’, and Friars further south. Back on the main road, there is a nice 4WD track that leads toward the Bluestone Bay area. This location also known as Whitewater Wall is a fairly popular spot, providing camping opportunities and rock climbing for the more adventurous. Little Bluestone Bay further south is an incredibly beautiful place, but the area has such a steep slope and is heavily vegetated that there is probably no chance of camping there. From Whitewater Wall/Bluestone Bay there is an alternative 4WD track that you can take back to the main road - it’s a little longer but well worth the effort.

Friendly Point is the next destination and you can get there on the Coles Bay dam 4WD track. This track is a relatively long 30 minute journey that meets the southern end of Friendly Beaches. Depending on the season and weather conditions, this beach can get quite wild, and a river can form blocking access higher up the beach. There is a nice and quiet campsite which is set back from the beach access and a locked gate to prevent people driving onto the beach itself.

The campgrounds at Moulting Bay are certainly nice but they can be quite crowded especially during the peak times. Another popular spot for camping is Friendly Beaches (Isaacs Point), which can be reached by turning off the main road 18km north of Coles Bay. This spot provides adequate campsites and basic facilities. The beaches are generally more protected from the winds and offer spectacular views and kilometres of unspoiled white sand.

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Environment

The Freycinet Peninsula was formed over 400 million years ago and the tectonic (mountain building) activity below the earth’s surface resulted in the separation of a large granite mass. Freycinet is in essence - two eroded blocks of granite joined by a sand isthmus. These are ‘The Hazards’ and the Mount Graham/Mount Freycinet sections of the peninsula. The Freycinet Peninsula is one of the State's most scenic coastal areas. The imposing granite peaks of ‘The Hazards’ and the many white sandy beaches that dot the peninsula are among the highlights of the park.

The most identifying aspect of Freycinet is the pink to cream tinge that can be seen on the boulders and outcrops throughout the park. The pink tinge of ‘The Hazards’ is caused by iron oxide impurities in feldspar, which is a component of granite. Added to that is the orange lichen cover on many of the rocks and when combined, produce the pink tinge that makes ‘The Hazards’ and other areas which are dominated by granite its intriguing look.

Bird Spotting

There are many species of birds that live in or stop over at Freycinet and the surrounding area. Some large birds you may see are white-bellied sea-eagles gliding overhead and large Australasian gannets diving for food in the ocean. In the forest and bushy areas, you may encounter smaller birds such as eastern spinebills, New Holland honeyeaters and yellow-tailed cockatoos. If you enjoy bird spotting, then Moulting Lagoon Game Reserve is one place well worth the visit.

History

Abel Tasman sailed past the region in 1642 and mistook the Freycinet Peninsula for an island. It would have been an easy mistake to make because the peninsula is joined to the mainland by a narrow strip of land. French explorer Nicolas Baudin named the land mass in 1802 after one of two Freycinet brothers, who were officers on his ship.

Those who have lived and worked on the Freycinet Peninsula since the early years of European settlement were whaling parties, tin and coal miners, and pastoralists. Old mine shafts, abandoned farmers' huts and the remains of whalers' camps today form part of the rich cultural heritage of the park.

The tranquility and majestic beauty of Freycinet's granite mountains and pure white, sandy beaches have long been admired by naturalists, artists and writers. The area was reserved as a national park in 1916, making it (along with Mt Field National Park) the oldest national park in Tasmania.

Preparation

Permits

National Parks Passes

Current park passes must be purchased for entry to Tasmania's National Parks. There are a few options available and they include: Daily, Holiday, Annual, Annual Renewal, and Two Year Park Pass. It is a good idea to seek out the pass that best suits your travel plan. For example, visitors to the State may consider the ‘Holiday Pass’ because it provides entry to all Tasmania’s National Parks for up to two months.

For the current fees, please click National Parks Passes

Camping

Freycinet National Park can get extremely busy during the peak season (18th December until Easter) so a ballot system is in place for campers to try to secure a campsite. The ballot system is drawn early August and applications should be received by the 31st of July. For more information about camping in Freycinet NP, the ballot system, or to download the ballot form, please click Freycinet NP Camping

For more information about camping fees for Richardsons Beach, Honeymoon Bay, Ranger Creek as well as info on other areas, please click Freycinet NP Camping Fees

Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel Symbol
DieselULPLPG
4cyl 15 litres4cyl 18 litres4cyl 22 litres
6cyl 17 litres6cyl 20 litres6cyl 19 litres
8cyl 17 litres8cyl 18 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

Can get very cold during the winter months.

Closest Climatic Station

Friendly Beaches
Distance from Trek Mid Point 7.83km SE
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Mean Max. °C23.022.621.418.616.114.013.714.716.717.919.721.6
Mean Min. °C13.213.211.99.88.26.45.66.37.58.510.211.7
Mean Rain mm57.159.458.153.056.140.942.658.338.558.359.640.4
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended

Services & Supplies

Map

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What to See

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Where to Stay

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Directions

LocationsDistanceDirection Time
Tasman Hwy & Coles Bay Rd to Coles Bay Rd & Friendly Beaches Rd8.38 kmS160° 5 min
Coles Bay Rd & Friendly Beaches Rd to Coles Bay Rd & River and Rocks Rd10.37 kmS186° 6 min
Coles Bay Rd & River and Rocks Rd to Coles Bay Rd & Friendly Pt (Alternate Tk)6.63 kmSE134° 5 min
Coles Bay Rd & Friendly Pt (Alternate Tk) to Coles Bay Road & Friendly Point Track0.51 kmSE149°
Coles Bay Road & Friendly Point Track to Coles Bay0.61 kmS195° 1 min
Coles Bay to Freycinet NP Visitor Information3.06 kmE97° 5 min
Freycinet NP Visitor Information to Ranger Creek Day Use Area0.22 kmSE155°
Ranger Creek Day Use Area to Freycinet Drive & Cape Tourville Rd1.43 kmS174° 1 min
Freycinet Drive & Cape Tourville Rd to Honeymoon Bay0.31 kmW260°
Honeymoon Bay to Freycinet Drive & Cape Tourville Rd0.31 kmE80°
Freycinet Drive & Cape Tourville Rd to Sleepy Bay (Day Use Area)1.59 kmE73° 2 min
Sleepy Bay (Day Use Area) to Sleepy Bay0.04 kmSE115° N/A
Sleepy Bay to Sleepy Bay (Day Use Area)0.04 kmNW295° N/A
Sleepy Bay (Day Use Area) to Cape Tourville Rd & 4WD Tk0.96 kmN14° 1 min
Cape Tourville Rd & 4WD Tk to Cape Tourville2.64 kmE72° 3 min
Cape Tourville to Whitewater Wall2.63 kmN350° 7 min
Whitewater Wall to Little Bluestone Bay0.43 kmS175° 2 min
Little Bluestone Bay to Whitewater Wall0.43 kmN355° 2 min
Whitewater Wall to Cape Tourville Rd & 4WD Tk3.47 kmSW214° 11 min
Cape Tourville Rd & 4WD Tk to Sleepy Bay (Day Use Area)0.96 kmS194° 1 min
Sleepy Bay (Day Use Area) to Freycinet Drive & Cape Tourville Rd1.59 kmW253° 2 min
Freycinet Drive & Cape Tourville Rd to Ranger Creek Day Use Area1.43 kmN354° 1 min
Ranger Creek Day Use Area to Freycinet NP Visitor Information0.22 kmNW335°
Freycinet NP Visitor Information to Coles Bay Road & Friendly Point Track1.39 kmW291° 2 min
Coles Bay Road & Friendly Point Track to Filtration-Pumping Station1.67 kmNE58° 3 min
Filtration-Pumping Station to Flood Bypass Track1.56 kmNE45° 3 min
Flood Bypass Track to Creek Crossing3.41 kmN350° 9 min
Creek Crossing to Franks Camp2.45 kmN8 min
Franks Camp to End of Track (Friendly Point)0.76 kmN349° 3 min
End of Track (Friendly Point) to Franks Camp0.76 kmS169° 3 min
Franks Camp to Creek Crossing2.45 kmS188° 8 min
Creek Crossing to Flood Bypass Track3.41 kmS170° 9 min
Flood Bypass Track to Filtration-Pumping Station1.56 kmSW225° 3 min
Filtration-Pumping Station to Coles Bay Rd & Friendly Pt (Alternate Tk)1.32 kmW266° 1 min
Coles Bay Rd & Friendly Pt (Alternate Tk) to Coles Bay Rd & River and Rocks Rd6.63 kmNW314° 5 min
Coles Bay Rd & River and Rocks Rd to River and Rocks Rd (Camping Area)0.58 kmSW216°
River and Rocks Rd (Camping Area) to Merideth Point Reserve1.56 kmNW304° 1 min
Merideth Point Reserve to Moulting Lagoon Game Reserve0.96 kmNW296° 1 min
Moulting Lagoon Game Reserve to Merideth Point Reserve0.96 kmSE116° 1 min
Merideth Point Reserve to River and Rocks Rd (Camping Area)1.56 kmSE124° 1 min
River and Rocks Rd (Camping Area) to Coles Bay Rd & River and Rocks Rd0.58 kmNE36°
Coles Bay Rd & River and Rocks Rd to Coles Bay Rd & Friendly Beaches Rd10.37 kmN6 min
Coles Bay Rd & Friendly Beaches Rd to Friendly Beaches Registration Station1.85 kmE93° 2 min
Friendly Beaches Registration Station to Friendly Beaches Lookout1.09 kmNE45° 1 min
Friendly Beaches Lookout to Friendly Beaches Campsites0.92 kmNE61° 1 min
Friendly Beaches Campsites to Isaacs Point0.53 kmNE30° 1 min
Isaacs Point to Friendly Beaches Campsites0.53 kmSW210° 1 min
Friendly Beaches Campsites to Friendly Beaches Lookout0.92 kmSW241° 1 min
Friendly Beaches Lookout to Friendly Beaches Registration Station1.09 kmSW225° 1 min
Friendly Beaches Registration Station to Coles Bay Rd & Friendly Beaches Rd1.85 kmW273° 2 min
Coles Bay Rd & Friendly Beaches Rd to Tasman Hwy & Coles Bay Rd8.38 kmN340° 5 min
Tasman Hwy & Coles Bay Rd to Tasman Hwy & Coles Bay Rd109.41 km  2 hr 54 min
Distance is GPS recorded driving distance (not straight line), Direction is straight line from start to end, Time is calculated from actual GPS driving data.

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