If you’re going to recognise anywhere in Tasmania, it will be Wineglass Bay. The lookout above the Bay is one of the most popular photo spots in the state and the panoramic views it offers are breathtaking and iconic.
Wineglass Bay lies inside Freycinet National Park, just over 3 hours drive north of Hobart. The rest of the National Park is incredibly beautiful, packed with white-sand beaches, turquoise waters and lush rainforested mountains – but most visitors to Freycinet come for Wineglass Bay alone.
The famous Wineglass Bay lookout is a steep hour-long return hike from the car park, which is clogged with tour buses and motor homes. The hike is challenging but if the eighty year old couple we passed could do it, you can too.
The climb is obviously worth it as the views are spectacular. Don’t, however, expect to have the vistas all to yourself. The reality is that you will have to elbow bus loads of tourists and families out of the way to get your perfect shot.
Once you’ve soaked in the view, peel away from the crowd and head in the opposite direction. Most just do the circuit to the lookout and back but if you have another 4 hours to spare, there is so much more to see.
Clamber down to the sandy shore of Wineglass Bay itself to experience the bay in all its glory. Picnic on the sand and cool off in the amazing crystal waters. There are a lot fewer crowds down here and the beach is big enough to find your own patch of sand.
When you’ve finished relaxing it’s time to carry on the hike. Delve into the forest for an easy 30 minute stroll across the isthmus (which Google informs me is: ‘a narrow strip of land with sea either side, forming a link between two larger areas of land’) – whatever it is, it’s beautiful.
The isthmus leads you to Hazards Beach, my favourite part of the hike. Hazards Beach is stunning and on a clear day looks like it has been plucked straight from a Grecian island. A few yachts bob in the shallows, hikers take a dip in the cool water and then amble along the sand.
Feeling totally refreshed after the beauty of Hazards Beach, you’ll be ready when the hike steps up a notch. The most challenging part of the hike, for me at least, was the initial hike to the lookout. The rest of the hike is undulating at times but perfectly manageable for unfit messes like me!
The hike concludes with lovely views over the azure ocean and shaded sloping paths. It’s one of the best hikes we have done in Australia and well worth the sore feet at the end!
Remember to stock up with plenty of water and snacks and take your camera along to capture the photogenic scenery!