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Freycinet Peninsula Circuit Hike, Tasmania

Hiked in January, 2022, this was our first multi-day hike in Australia and we choose a ripper! It was a roughly 30km loop hike covering mainly beach and forested terrain. To check out the Parks Tasmania info on it, click here. There is a larger loop that you can do, which includes Mt. Freycinet & Mt Graham but we hadn't hiked summits for awhile and wanted to take it easy. We were also a little concerned about the possibility of running out of water as we were hiking in peak summer and carried our entire water supply - aka our load was heavy enough without added strain of extra distance. See the route we took highlighted in green on the map below.


Day One = Car park to Cooks Beach campsite via Hazards Beach (8km, 17K steps)

Day Two = Cooks Beach campsite back along Hazards Beach to the Isthmus Track and right to the Wineglass Bay campsite (KM unsure, 13K steps)

Day Three = Wineglass Bay campsite to the Wineglass Bay Lookout before finishing at the car park (all stats unknown - yes I'm just as irritated at myself for this as you)

Map of hiking route around Freycinet Peninsula.
Map of hiking route.

What was the hike like? Read on!


Day One = Car park to Cooks Beach campsite via Hazards Beach (8km, 17K steps)


We set off bright an early for this one but it wasn't long before we were sweltering in the heat. The first section from the carpark around to Fleurieu Point was tough going with plenty of hills and rocky sections. There were plenty of rest stops & lucky just as many great views to enjoy them with.

We more than prepared ourselves from the water front carrying a whopping 13L between the two of us. I've never carried a heavier pack in my life (and actually tottered when I initially put my pack on!) but we ended up drinking it all in the three days so it was a good decision. The only downside of keeping hydrated is that eventually... you need to pee. I started to need to do this about half an hour into our 2km hike down Hazards Beach.

If you've walked it, you'll know there's nowhere to hide or zip off to discreetly. It's you and miles of clear beach ahead. So while the scenery was jaw-droppingly beautiful I was very distracted. I ended up dropping the pack 50m out from Cooks Beach camp and hotfooting it to the drop toilet. Never have I been so glad to see one!

After doubling back to get the bag, we greeted another pair of hikers who had rolled in for a snack before they continued on to Bryan's Beach and then set up camp. Despite the popularity of this walk we had the entire site to ourselves... well, us and the pademelons. We enjoyed a hot dinner and ate it on the rocks overlooking the bay. It was super calm and pleasant. Loved it.


Day Two = Cooks Beach campsite back along Hazards Beach to the Isthmus Track and right to the Wineglass Bay campsite (13K steps, KM unsure)


After a delicious brekky on the rocks we packed up our gear and hit the beach! It was a lot more enjoyable without constant pressure on my bladder and I was conscious today of moderating my water intake. In any case, it was still a bloody long walk on sand - it's amazing how much slower you are. Time really stood still and we questioned ourselves more than once if we had missed the turn off to the Isthmus Track.

Eventually after a well-deserved break on a very-appreciated bench, we conquered the stairs and were rewarded with a beautiful flat section across the isthmus with trees for shade. The path cut between a pair of lagoons, which were beautiful but were attracting a lot of mosquitoes so we didn't linger. We started seeing a lot more hikers here - people crossing over from busy Wineglass Bay to the quieter Hazards Beach.

Eventually the scrub cleared and we found ourselves on the world famous Wineglass Bay Beach. It was gorgeous. All of a sudden we were very conscious of our woolen socks, long pants and hot boots. The water looked so inviting and it was right there! But, we knew once we stopped, that was it, so we pushed on right the way to end of the bay to the campsite.

We arrived just before lunchtime and were the first hikers there, affording us the luxury of the prime campsite on top of a small dune overlooking the bay. It was, and remains, the best campsite I've had on a hike. We set up, had a hot lunch then changed into bathers and hit the water. It was every bit as satisfying as you're imagining it was. The water was so clear we could see schools of fish swimming amongst our ankles like slalom skiers. We lazed away the afternoon, swimming and sun-baking - chatting to the occasional hiker and sailors as they brought their boats in.

After a delightfully lazy afternoon we enjoyed a hot dinner while we watched the sunset. By this time we had been joined by a group of about 10 hikers but they camped so far from us we didn't hear a peep from them. It was so nice being clean on a hike and we relished the twilight hours, watching the plovers and seagulls try to intimidate each other for territory along the shoreline. Beautiful day.


Day Three = Wineglass Bay campsite to the Wineglass Bay Lookout before finishing at the car park (unknown KM, unknown steps)


We regretfully said goodbye to the most beautiful campsite in the world (happily would have stayed there another two days) and trudged our way back along Wineglass Bay Beach. It was quite hot, sweaty work despite being up early. In 40minutes we experienced four distinctly different weather patterns, which was really odd - not sure if the weather is known for being to temperamental there. Mostly we followed a pair of the red footed plover birds and dodged the beachy tumbleweeds that were everywhere. Sadly we saw a deceased seal that had washed up overnight but due to the early hour, we otherwise had the entire beach to ourselves.

After this slow stretch, we were greeted by 1000 vertical steps up to the Wineglass Bay Lookout. We hadn't actually researched this prior to the hike and legitimately thought the lookout was going to appear around the next corner for 3/4 of this ascent. There was nowhere else to go but up... and up... and up. It was a long haul. Our fatigue was definitely a result of lack of training and I'd been carrying an extra 4.5kg on what I'd normally carry due to the water for the past two days. I normally love collecting hike stats like KM and steps but I was evidently so tired that I forgot to record them, which is a shame. It's a very popular hike though so someone out there will have done the math if you want an exact day split.

Reaching the Wineglass Bay Lookout was another one of those postcard moments. I'd seen the view online so many times while planning this hike but it was still surreal to see it in person. It was so cool to be able to see both our campsites from the top.


The walk from the lookout to the carpark was surprisingly still quite challenging, though it was nice and short. We had a ripper of a time. Despite the extra effort involved in carrying all our water, it was one of the most relaxing hikes I've done and certainly gave plenty of reward for the struggle involved. Highly recommend.

 

Would we hike it again?


Absolutely. But I'd want to tick off a few of my regrets on a return trip. These include:

  • Mt Amos

  • Mt Freycinet

  • Mt. Graham

  • Bryan's Beach

 

Want to hear more? Hiking adventures continue on my blog:



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