Mention Coles Bay and Wineglass Bay on the Freycinet National Park to a Tasmanian and you'll see eyes light up with thoughts of fishing and boating, bushwalking, sea kayaking, rock climbing, sun and sand, and spectacular coastal scenery.
Where else in Australia can you find pink granite mountains rising straight from the sea to form a magnificent sheltered waterway or one of the top ten beaches in the world, Wineglass Bay?
Coles Bay, sits at the foot of the granite mountains known as the Hazards and on the edge of the world-renowned Freycinet National Park and Wineglass Bay, about two and 1/2 hours drive from Hobart and Launceston on the east coast of Tasmania.
In 1642, Abel Tasman explored Tasmania's east coast and named Schouten Island, a small island which the French explorer, Nicholas Baudin later landed on in 1802. There were two senior officers on the Baudin expedition, the Freycinet brothers, one of which the peninsula was named after.
During the early 1800s, the region was popular amongst whaling parties and from 1842 the discovery of coal and tin attracted miners. In 1916, the area was declared a national park, making it Tasmania's equally oldest, along with Mount Field National Park.
Facilities in Coles Bay or on the Freycinet range from luxury accommodation and gourmet restaurants to wilderness camping and self-catering. Freycinet National Park is home to the only interpretation centre on the east coast of Tasmania.
Coles Bay, Tasmania: Australia's First Plastic Bag Free Town.
There is an abundance of wildlife on the Freycinet Peninsula ranging from wombats, wallabies and quolls to sea eagles, black swans, whales and dophins. Sadly our population of Tasmanian Devils has been severely reduced by Devil Facial Tumour Disease. Unfortunately as much of the wildlife is nocturnal, there is a high risk of encountering animals on the roads at night, and visitors travelling the Coles Bay Road are asked to keep their speed under 65kmh dusk til dawn to help reduce the risk of injury to animals.
How do you get ashore?
Ships stop in the bay so you come ashore by the ships tenders.
Where are these bays?
They are located about half way up the east coast of Tasmania, on the Freycinet Peninsular. Not many cruise ships stop here so if yours does its a treat. By road its 2.5 hours drive from Hobart.