Freycinet National Park – named after French navigator Louis de Freycinet – was founded in 1916, just 15 years after Australia became a country. We can see why Tasmanians were so eager to preserve the 170-square-kilometre area. It has a pleasing ruggedness – pink- and red-tinged granite formations tumble down to pristine beaches, where turquoise water laps at beige sands.
The park is accessible via Coles Bay, a small town that guards the entrance to the peninsula. Past that urban development quickly thins out, giving way to densely forested hills and secluded bays. Many beaches are inaccessible by road, which is a large part of the area’s appeal.
The romantic-sounding Honeymoon and Sleepy Bays have their charms, but the stunning curvature of Wineglass Bay makes it the area’s most famous and popular attraction. You can reach it by foot, kayak, boat or plane. We suggest walking – it’s a six-kilometre return trip from the nearest car park, with a stunning reveal as you crest The Hazards, a group of craggy granite hills about halfway. More serious hikers can continue on to the steeper Mount Graham, and stretch the trip out to a full day. Either way, December to March is the best time of year to visit – it’s the only period when the temperature is consistently above 20 degrees.
Freycinet National Park is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Hobart. Qantas flies to Hobart multiple times a day. Accommodation in the park ranges from campsites and backpacker hostels to the luxurious $2100-per-night Saffire Freycinet, with many options in-between.