Freycinet is a national park on the east coast of Tasmania, Australia, 125 km northeast of Hobart. It occupies a large part of the Freycinet Peninsula and Schouten Island. Founded in 1916, Freycinet is Tasmania’s oldest park, along with Mount Field National Park.
Freycinet receives on average 600 mm (23.6 in.) of rain per year. It has a climate similar to that of France with on average more than 300 days of sunshine.
Bordering the national park is the small settlement of Coles Bay, and the largest close town is Swansea. Freycinet contains part of the rugged Tasmanian coastline and includes the secluded Wineglass Bay, voted by several travel authorities as one of the world's ten best beaches.
Famous features of the park include its red and pink granite formations and a series of jagged granite peaks in a line, called "The Hazards". The Hazards are distinctive rugged mountain chain positioned between Coles Bay, Tasmania and Wineglass Bay and are said to be named after local whaler, African-American Captain Richard Hazard.
Freycinet National Park is a peninsula of pink granite mountains, pure white beaches, coastal dunes and dry eucalypt forests on the island's east coast.
The Hazards are made of granite. Orthoclase, a pink feldspar gives the mountains and coastline their characteristic pink tint. Amos and Dove are two of the more well known mountains, with the track to the Wineglass Bay beach and lookout, lying besides Mount Amos.
French explorer Nicolas Baudin named the land mass in 1802 after one of two Freycinet brothers, who were officers on his ship. The highest peak in the Hazard Range is Mt Freycinet at 620 metres (2,034 feet). US magazine Outside has named Wineglass Bay one of the top 10 beaches in the world.
Wineglass Bay is just one of the region's white sandy beaches and the pure clear turquoise waters that are perfect for sea kayaking, swimming and scuba diving. The Hazard Range offers climbing, abseiling and mountain walking, and the coastal heathlands have wonderful day walks.
Bird lovers may see a white-bellied sea eagle gliding overhead or large Australasian gannets diving for food. In the forested areas visitors will often see or hear small nectar-feeding birds such as eastern spinebills and yellow-throated or crescent honeyeaters and yellow-tailed black cockatoos, which often feed and fly in raucous groups.
Moulting Lagoon Game Reserve, just outside the park on the Coles Bay road, is a wetland of international importance.
Short Walks in Freycinet National Park include:
* Cape Tourville (20 minutes)
* Wineglass Bay Lookout (1-1.5 hours)
* Wineglass Bay (2.5 hours)
* Hazards Beach (3.5 hours)
Long Walks in Freycinet National Park include the Freycinet Circuit (two days).