Breathtaking Wineglass Bay sits on Tasmania’s Freycinet Peninsula, in Freycinet National Park. A beautiful crescent of sand sits in the shadow of verdant green peaks. The park is a haven for hikers and kayakers, swimmers and snorkelers who can expect close encounters with the area’s varied wildlife, including wallabies, brown falcons, white-bellied sea eagles, and more.
Continuing south along Tasmania’s east coast, Crystal Endeavor
calls later in the day at Coles Bay, on the southern edge of Freycinet National Park. Pristine beaches and bird-filled lagoons beckon to both swimmers and hikers. Encounters with wombats and wallabies are among the highlights of a visit to the park, as are sightings of large yellow-tailed black cockatoos, white-bellied sea eagles, and other bird species.
In the evening, you’ll sail to Maria Island, home to one of the country’s most intact convict settlements, which operated from 1825 to 1832. Given its past as a penal colony, Maria Island’s current role as a haven for endangered animals is perhaps surprising. The island earned the nickname Tasmania’s Noah’s Ark in the 1960s when it welcomed a number of imperiled Australian species. More than 125 bird species are found here, including emus, endangered swift parrots, and forty-spotted pardalotes. Its diverse wildlife also includes bare-nosed wombats, eastern grey kangaroos, red-necked wallabies, ring-tailed possums, and even some Tasmanian devils that have been successfully reintroduced here.