Freycinet Peninsula

Coles Bay Rd, Coles Bay TAS 7215, Australia

One of the most stunning natural sites in Tasmania, the Freycinet Peninsula is most famous for a short but steep hike to the perfect white-and-turquoise horseshoe beach known as Wineglass Bay. It’s hard to believe the name comes from a gruesome whaling history that once dyed the bay the shade of red wine. Travelers on an expedition with Freycinet Adventures can kayak the electric-blue waters of Coles Bay and stay in a private camp on secluded Hazards Beach, where they’ll wake up to views of the rocky shoreline, sheathed in orange lichen, and the zigzagging Hazard Mountains, circled by sea eagles. No trip to the Freycinet Peninsula is complete without freshly shucked oysters from the Freycinet Marine Farm.

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Wineglass Bay

One of the star attractions of the savagely beautiful Freycinet Peninsula is this horseshoe-shaped beach with electric-blue waters. A hike (don’t be fooled by the Australian proclivity to refer to such excursions as “walks”) down to the sand brings you up close with wild wallabies and kangaroos, some of them so habituated to humans that they’ll nose up demanding picnic scraps.

Freycinet National Park, Tasmania, Australia

Australia does open-air dining like nowhere else on earth. Enjoy Australian seafood while surrounded by world-class beauty. At the Freycinet Marine Oyster Farm, guests at Saffire get fitted out in waterproof gear to explore the beautiful bay, and afterwards enjoy freshly shucked Pacific oysters with a glass of bubbly. Then explore Freycinet’s Wineglass Bay, one of the top 10 beaches in the world. Its dazzling white sands and sapphire waters make it one of Australia’s most stunning wonders.

Give Me High Seas

Lady Eugenie, heeling precariously, smashes through gigantic waves at 33-knots. It’s a four-hour sail from Great Oyster Bay to the safety of Triabunna as we out-run a cold front bearing down on Tasmania’s east coast. The full moon illuminates every white cap for miles across the eerie ocean. Jaw-dropping summits of the Freycinet Peninsula, site of today’s hike, have all but vanished in the night. We’re a ghost ship on speed. Bravely sitting on deck, I survey the scene in complete exhilaration (albeit comfortably numb thanks to pain-killers (for my aching blistered feet), Travel Calm (for seasickness) and a couple of local chardonnays (for patriotism)). Later, as I fall into my bunk, the 23-metre ketch hits another massive curl and lurches me back onto the floor. The brochure said “unique walking trip”. Yep. Would I do it again? You bet.

Work for it: Freycinet Adventures’ Ultimate Weekender

After kayaking the electric-blue waters of the Freycinet Peninsula, travelers stay in a private camp on secluded Hazards Beach. Wake up to views of the rocky shoreline, sheathed in orange lichen, and the zigzagging Hazard Mountains, circled by sea eagles.

Freycinet National Park

Although it is a small island, Tasmania can boast of having 19 national parks. From alpine summits to coastal rainforest, they together represent a stunning array of natural beauty. On the island’s east coast, some 70 miles north of Hobart, Freycinet National Park has been described as the jewel of the Tasmanian coastline. Wandering the wildly rugged Friendly Beaches, you may come across friendly locals like wallabies. Your are less likely to spot the rare New Holland mouse, though the beach is an essential sanctuary for this animal on Australia’s threatened species list. You’ll spend the night at the elegant ecolodge, Freycinet Lodge, located within the park and with views of Great Oyster Bay. For more details of Pamela’s itinerary and other trips to Australia created for AFAR readers, visit AFAR Journeys.

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