Region: North East
Location: Freycinet National Park
Where: 2 hours and 30 minutes drive from Hobart
Walk time: 2-3 day hike (approx. 17 hours)
Walk distance: 29.5km (not including the 1.5km Mount Freycinet return walk)
Difficulty level: Difficult
10 December 2016
One of the most beautiful spots in Tasmania is the beautiful Freycinet Peninsula, with its majestic white sands and litter of small bays that stem around the coastline. The Turquoise blue water that you just can't wait to jump into, set off by the brilliantly coloured burnt orange rocks that frame the small inlets perfectly. A magical place that is so hard to capture its true beauty on film.
The Freycinet Circuit is a challenging yet rewarding walk. It begins with an easy stretch on a well formed path around the waters edge. The first day you pass bays, walk along beaches such as Hazards Beach on the nice firm sand after which you continue on through the bush until reaching Cooks Beach and at the end of Cooks Beach is a well laid out free camp area where you can choose a spot to your liking.
We chose a nice little spot beside the waters edge but on a higher ground so we didn't end up like castaways but still close enough to hear the peaceful sounds of the ocean whilst sleeping.
At Cook's beach there is a small cabin with a table, but because we had such glorious weather there was no way we were going to sit inside but it would be handy for a game of cards in the event of unfavourable weather. Next to the cabin was a rain water tank, which was great as we only had to take enough water for our walk to Cooks and not for the whole two day hike, this really helped to lighten the load. In saying this do check with the National Parks desk at Freycinet before commencing the walk and they will be able to tell you of the water levels are ok or if you do need to take 2 days worth of water with you as sometimes it can run low. It also does have a sign to say boil the water before drinking but we didn't and were fine, but if you want to be extra careful please do boil it.
Day 2...ouch!! Prepare yourself for a massive day. We started walking at 8:15am and didn't get back to the car until 7pm that night.
The only stops we had were about 3 x 10 minute breaks and 2 x 30 minute breaks. The first part of the walk goes up a mountain for about and hour then levels out a bit. Pass the turn of to Mount Freycinet and continuing on to Mount Graham where the real climbing begins. It's very steep but the rewards at the top are breathtaking!! Be careful coming down I had a bit of a fall causing havoc with my knee, then shortly after my friend followed, I must have started a trend. This meant the last 4 hours of walking were quite a bit slower than what was originally planned and unfortunately we didn't arrive into Wine Glass Bay until after 4pm.
Although we were late on our arrival I was determined to jump into that brilliant turquoise water and cool off. It was a moment of magic. The coldness of the water could be forgiven due to it's healing properties. Wine Glass Bay truly is a piece of paradise. There are no other words for it. We sat on the beach for a short time then decided it best we kept moving to ensure we got back to the car before the daylight hours had left us, not to mention we were greatly looking forward to smashing down a chicken parmie at the Coles Bay Tavern by that point.
The climb out of Wine Glass Bay took every inch of energy we had left in us. Each step got harder and our packs grew heavier.
As we deliriously made our way back up the hill we had a nice welcomed interruption of a group of 'German Carollers' as they called themselves come strolling down the hill in the opposite direction singing Christmas carols. It defiantly gave us a bit of a giggle and a much needed pick me up.
The walk out of Wine Glass back to the car only took 1.5 hours which surprised us greatly as we thought we were walking at a snails pace but I guess a good parmie at the other end awaiting your arrival can put the spring in anyone's step.
* We did this walk over 2 days but I strongly recommend doing it over 3 days and stopping for the night in Wine Glass Bay free camp area.
It's such a beautiful spot and would be well worth spending the extra time here. Plus it will make the last day of your walk that slight bit
* Take mosquito repellent as there are lots of the little buggers especially around the Cook's Beach area. I say that as I sit here writing this
scratching at my legs like a crazy person. Yep, I didn't take repellent.
* There is no rain water tank at Wine Glass Bay so make sure you fill up at Cook's Beach before you go, the water has to last all day until
you get back to the car.
* Phone reception (Telstra) for most of the walk except in Wine Glass Bay and an hour leading up to Mount Graham and beyond. At the top
of Mount Graham you might be lucky enough to pick up a bit of a signal.