Freycinet National Park Things to Do

  • Full of fossils
    Full of fossils
    by balhannah
  • View from Lookout
    View from Lookout
    by balhannah
  • One of the tapestries
    One of the tapestries
    by balhannah

Most Recent Things to Do in Freycinet National Park

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    The exquisite pink granite

    by seamandrew Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    A pink granite boulder at Freycinet N.P.

    As you ascend to the Wineglass Bay Lookout, take a moment to study the boulders and outcrops all along the path. These boulders are high in pink feldspar which gives them their color. One wonders at times how some of these boulders ended up where they did. The only plausible explanation is that glacial movements shifted them to their current resting spots.

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    Heaven, I'm in Heaven, and my heart beats so....

    by seamandrew Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Liz's footprints at Wineglass Bay Beach, Tasmania.

    When Liz and I saw Wineglass Bay Beach from the Lookout up in the Hazards Mountains, we knew something very promising awaited us. Visiting this beach was part of our plan for the day so we pushed forth and made the 40 minute hike down from the lookout. When we finally hit the beach, words could not begin to describe our awe!

    You see, our guidebook and other sources had listed this beach as one of the top 10 beaches in the world (Outside Magazine for one). This beach is blessed with an exquisite, gently curving white sand beach and crystal blue waters reminiscent of many beaches in the Caribbean. This beach is as close to a heavenly experience as one can have. When we arrived, we got to witness all this, plus the sky opened up as if on cue. It was overcast most of the day before that.

    The only way to the beach is by foot. You can take the approximately 1 hour hike to the beach (via the lookout) or the 4-5 hour loop around the flatter side of the peninsula. So, be prepared to work for this treat. It is just a miracle of a place and hopefully will remain as remote as it is today for many years to come. This way, the beach stays as pristine and as protected as it has been for the past few thousands of years or so.

    If you're lucky, wallabies hangout along the edge between the forest and the beach. You may see one hop in for some sun (don't feed them, or they won't learn how to forage for food on their own!). Some other visitors to the beach are sea eagles and occassionally, though rare, we were told you can see seals, pods of dolphins, and whales from the beach. Only possible between May and August when they migrate.

    I consider myself a well-traveled person, and I've loved most of the places I have visited in life. However, this is one of few places I can't get out of my mind. It's almost feverish. My next trip to Australia will most certainly include a camping trip to this beach.

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  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    CONVICT QUARTERS and more.....MARIA ISLAND

    by balhannah Written Jan 6, 2010

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    Convict quarters on maria island

    The area of Darlington on Maria Island actually pre-dates Port Arthur as a convict settlement and is listed on the National Heritage Register.

    It was once the home to the Tyreddeme Aboriginal people of the Oyster Bay area.
    In 1642 the island was named by Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, then in 1802, became popular with Whalers. From 1825 to 1832 the island was a penal settlement for up to 150 convicts, until it was abandoned in favour of Port Arthur.
    More than 600 convicts were returned to the island from 1842 to 1850.

    Of interest are......the Palace (1888), .....the penitentiary cells,..... a miller’s house on the hill, and the ruins of Bernacchi’s war-time cement factory.

    On another part of the island, the walls of Howells Cottage are papered in the daily news from 1924; the house was inhabited until the 1960s when farming was bought to a halt by the declaration of a fauna reserve for the whole island. Joseph Howells was an English convict transported for sheep stealing in 1852 and stayed on after he was pardoned, raising his family of 10 children here.

    The Commissariat Store now serves as an information centre and you can stay in the Bunkhouse.......

    Details: Stay in bunkhouse accommodation in the former penitentiary cells,
    For more information or to book campsites and the penitentary, contact the Parks and Wildlife Service on Maria Island on (03) 6257 1420, or visit www.mariaisland.com.au

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  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    FOSSIL CLIFFS @ MARIA ISLAND

    by balhannah Updated Jan 6, 2010

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    Full of fossils

    To reach Maria Island we caught the ferry from its departure point at Triabunna.

    We did the walk to the Fossil Cliffs which had good ocean and cliff views, as well as wildlife..... passing Kangaroo's and Cape Barren Geese on the way.

    Once reaching them,we were amazed to discover just how many thousand fossils there were here, the rocks were riddled with them! The soft parts of the creatures have rotted away, leaving only the hard shells, which have lasted almost 300 million years.

    On the lower rock shelf there were sea fans, coral-like creatures, scallop shells and sea lilies. It is thought that such an extensive accumulation of fossils may be related to the cold conditions associated with the polar sea of the time.

    Amongst the fossils are some large rocks, called dropstones. These made for a seat to rest on after our walk there! As the ice began to melt, the stones fell to the sea floor and have been transported here this way. The stones consist of different rock types, including granite and quartz, and may have come from nearby, or from great distances away.

    The walk takes 1.5 – 2 hours return and is moderate with no steep sections.

    The cliff exposure in the Fossil Bay area is recognised as the best example of lower Permian strata in Tasmania, if not the world.

    www.parks.tas.gov.au/file.aspx?id=6728

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  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    PAINTED CLIFFS on MARIA ISLAND

    by balhannah Updated Jan 6, 2010

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    The Cliffs
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    A MUST DO ON THE ISLAND.

    Start from the Ranger station (school house) and head the opposite way to the jetty. The walk will take about 2-21/2 hours return.

    Although this sort of rock formation is not uncommon, it is rare in a natural situation for it to be so extensively and beautifully exposed. The wonderful patterns are caused by ground water running down through the already formed sandstone and leaving traces of iron oxides, which have stained the rock formation. This probably occurred millions of years ago in a monsoonal climate.

    More recently, sea spray hitting the rock face has dried, forming crystals of salt. These crystals cause the rock to weather into honeycomb patterns. Wave action has also created some interesting features. Rock fragments moved around by the water have gradually worn small potholes and notches into the cliff face, eventually resulting in the undercutting of the cliff. This is a continual process and as you walk further along you can see how quite recently the cliff top has collapsed, plunging sandstone blocks and she-oaks down to the sea.

    This is a very fragile environment so please do not walk on the cliffs or scratch the formation.
    The are beautiful, and it would be a shame for them to be spoilt. They are bordered by rock pools that have marine life.

    The CLIFFS ARE BEST VISITED 2HOURS BEFORE LOW TIDE.

    The tidal information is on display at the Information centre, near where you disembark from the ferry.

    Reached by ferry from Triabunna from 9.30am, returns at 4.30pm, 7 days week.
    Cost 2008 $25 return.

    This is an extremely beautiful area. A MUST SEE!

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  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    TRIABUNNA VISITOR CENTRE

    by balhannah Written Jan 6, 2010

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    One of the tapestries

    A visit to the Triabunna Visitor Information Centre, located on Spring Bay and overlooking the Tasmanian Seafarers’ Memorial Wall, marina and local fishing fleet, was quite a surprise!

    Not only did we found out information and were given assistance about the local caravan park where we ended up staying, there was Internet access, rest rooms and showers. They also filled us in on ferry services to nearby Maria Island, an Island worth a visit!

    A feature of the Centre was a collection of tapestry wall hangings made by local residents, depicting the Aboriginal and European history, development and culture of the area, there were lots on display.

    Triabunna is a scenic port town on Tasmania’s east coast, 88 kilometres north-east of Hobart.

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  • seamandrew's Profile Photo

    Mt. Freycinet at Freycinet National Park

    by seamandrew Updated Oct 10, 2009

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    Mt. Freycinet as seen from Hazards Beach

    There really is not much to say about Mt. Freycinet other than this peak, appearing to rise from the ocean, forms a dramatic backdrop to the beaches, ocean pools, and quiet bush paths where animals and wildlife is found in abundance.

    I know some trails take you along side the mountain, but I'm not sure if there are any that allow you to climb to the summit. It wouldn't be too hard of a climb for the experienced climber, but what's the point when you can ascend the Hazards with much more ease and have just about as good a view as you would from up there.

    Mt. Freycinet is a can't miss. It is an integral part of the beauty that this park possesses. Without this peak as a backdrop, the beaches would seem a little less special.

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  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    EAST COAST ....FREYCINET...MT. AMOS

    by balhannah Updated Oct 7, 2009

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    Map of Area
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    Mt Amos is part of the range of granite mountains, known as the Hazards, which dominate Coles Bay.
    The track to the summit is steep and strenuous
    Spectacular views over Wineglass Bay, with its sandy white beach, makes the climb worth while. We didn't get the best of days, so photo's didn't turn out like the ones you see in the magazines.

    This walk is not recommended for the elderly or young children. Walkers must be equipped with good walking shoes or boots as the track climbs steeply over sheets of bare rock and can be slippery, especially after rain. Caution should be exercised on this track.

    Don't try it in "Heels" or "Thongs"!!!! Surprising what you see some people wearing on some of these tracks.

    The walk was good though, and should take 3+ hours return, depending on your fitness level. If asthmatic, remember your inhaler!

    Entry fees to the park are.....
    * 24hours (DAILY PASS).....per vehicle (up to 8 people) $20.00
    * per person/passenger $10.00
    You can also buy an annual pass.

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  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    EAST COAST....FREYCINET... CAPE TOURVILLE

    by balhannah Updated Oct 7, 2009

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    On the boardwalk

    The 6.4 kilometre road to Cape Tourville leaves from the main road just after the Freycinet Lodge.
    There are wonderful views along the coast from the lookout at the end of the road.

    A short, easy, 500metre circuit walk at Cape Tourville, with a board walk around the cliff edge gives you nice views of Freycinet, Wineglass Bay, Tasman sea, The Nuggets and Friendly Beaches.

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    Whaler's Lookout - BICHENO

    by balhannah Updated Oct 7, 2009

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    View from Lookout
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    Whalers Lookout, is a prominent hill in Bicheno. It was used by the Whalers in the years gone by, as a lookout for the Whales. Bicheno was a Whaling centre in 1803.

    This has now become a well established Lookout for tourists.
    It has walking paths, approx 400mtr and two lookouts, one to the south and one to the north. These give a wonderful, 360degree views of the area, from the Ocean to the Douglas Apsley Range.

    If you are here in October or November, then you see the wild Rock Orchids

    A FANTASTIC LOOKOUT

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  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    SPIKY BRIDGE NEAR SWANSEA

    by balhannah Updated Oct 7, 2009

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    Spiky bridge

    Located 8kms from Swansea, this is another convict built bridge, built in 1843.
    It was constructed of field stones, and the parapet had the field stones facing upwards, this is said to stop cattle from falling over the edge.

    This is not used anymore, but stop and have a look, its right next to the main road.

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  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    WALK THE HISTORIC SWANSEA

    by balhannah Written Oct 7, 2009

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    Meredith House 1853
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    SWANSEA is on Great Oyster Bay and looks across to the Freycinet National Park.
    Its a pretty setting with lots of Historical buildings.
    Europeans settled in 1820, and it wasn't until 1827, that there was a substanial amount of people. In 1830, there were 150 residents and 170 convicts, the convicts working on roads in the area.
    The same year, a Military post was set up in the town and stayed until 1860, when a rural municipality was established.

    Morris's General Store, is a three story high building on the main road. It started as a single story in 1838, the other stories were added on as business expanded

    Schouten House was built in 1845 as wedding gift by Mr. Champion to his daughter Theresa. It became known as the Swansea Hotel and had a brewery in the southern wing. When Theresa died in 1855, it was sold, and became a Grammer school. By 1860, it was a private residence.

    Meredith house, is colonial accommodation now. At one time, it was used as a school.

    There are many more historic buildings and houses, it really is a lovely, interesting walk.

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  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    Pacific Gulls on MARIA ISLAND

    by balhannah Updated Oct 7, 2009

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    Pacific Gull

    While waiting for the ferry, watch the Pacific gulls.
    They feed on clams, snails and sea urchins.
    These Gulls are very clever, as to open them, they drop the food from quite a height onto the hard surface, hoping that it will crack open. If it doesn't, then they do it again and again until it does.

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    BICHENO ON THE EAST COAST

    by balhannah Written Oct 7, 2009

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    We loved this little seaside town............It was another fishing town, with the fleet sheltering in the harbour called "The Gulch" This is an area where Petrels breed, so expect to see plenty of these Birds.
    There is a lovely foreshore walk that goes for 31/2 ks, passing the Blowhole and giving good views of the Govenor island Nature reserve.
    Waubs beach is a safe beach for swimming and surfing.
    There is a dive centre here at 2 Scuba court, Phone (03) 6375 1311.
    We went to see the Penquins, it was only an hours tour .....
    cost 2008 $20.

    Their website is : www.bichenopenguintours.com.au

    We stayed at the caravan park, which was good also.

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    Coles Bay

    by iandsmith Written Feb 13, 2008

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    Coles Bay 6.00 am
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    Wineglass Bay isn't the only walk that you can do around Coles Bay. You can go further as Seamandrew did in his tips or there are peaceful spots around Coles Bay where you can wander.
    I did such a stroll early in the morning to get all the shots you see here except for pic 4 which gives you a much better idea of what the Hazards will look like if you see them in the sunshine.
    Another noted walk is the cliff top Cape Tourville track.
    There are also a lot of other activities you may choose to join in, such as kayaking and fishing, both popular in these parts.
    Coles Bay is also the name of the town that services Freycinet and it's located 27 kilometres down a sealed road off the main east coast highway.

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    • Kayaking

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