With soaring pink granite mountains that rise abruptly from the sea, a chain of luminous beaches, and turquoise waters teeming with marine life, Tasmania’s Freycinet Peninsula is a technicolour dream! Gemma and her friends jumped in a kayak with Freycinet Adventures to explore this contrasting landscape more closely.

We acknowledge that this adventure is located on the traditional Country of the toorernomairremener people who have occupied and cared for the lands, waters, and their inhabitants for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Quick Overview

Stretching roughly 30km from Friendly Beaches in the north to Coles Bay in the south, the magnificent Freycinet Peninsula makes up part of Tasmania’s larger Freycinet National Park.

It’s a beauty of a spot for all manner of outdoor activities – both land and sea-based – and driving up from Hobart will take you around 2.5 hours.

About the Freycinet Peninsula

Carved into Tasmania’s East Coast and making up a fair chunk of Freycinet National Park, the Freycinet Peninsula is a breathtaking geological formation that’ll have your camera roll absolutely popping.

Often thought as the gem in the state’s jewel-heavy crown of natural beauty, this is an area of white sandy beaches, spectacular rock features laden with orange lichen, and water so freakishly clear you can see straight to the bottom – making it glorious for kayaking!

Perhaps the most iconic feature of the Freycinet Peninsula is Wineglass Bay: a crescent moon of a beach widely regarded as one of the world’s most stunning.

Read more: Remember to leave no trace

Freycinet Peninsula History

Freycinet National Park is a place of enormous cultural significance, with a rich history dating back tens of thousands of years.

For generations, the toorernomairremener people collected shellfish, hunted wallabies, and cut through the waters here in bark canoes.

Countless sites within the national park have a strong and continuing connection to the Tasmanian Aboriginal community, and it’s crucial that visitors respect that.

The park’s European name comes from the French navigator Louis de Freycinet, who sailed through the region in the early 1800s.

It was made a national park in 1916, making it one of Tasmania’s oldest. Whaling parties, coal miners, tin miners, and pastoralists also came through the area, and evidence of their settlement can still be seen today in the remains of whalers’ camps, old mine shafts, and abandoned farmers huts. Creepy but cool!

How to Get to the Freycinet Peninsula

By Car

The three-hour morning and twilight Freycinet Paddle tours with Freycinet Adventures depart from Coles Bay, which rests at the foot of the Hazards mountain range.

Getting to Coles Bay from Hobart is around a 200km drive, which’ll take you roughly 2.5 hours.

By Bus

There are several private tour buses that can take you to Coles Bay from Hobart, or you can jump on a public bus from the city and switch in either Swansea or Bicheno, depending on the time. Note that these public buses only run once a day.

Where to Stay Along the Freycinet Peninsula

The best places to camp on the Freycinet Peninsula are all metres from the water’s edge: Richardsons Beach, Honeymoon Bay, and Ranger Creek – all of which require bookings through the Tasmanian National Parks website. You can also throw up a tent or park a campervan in the bush at Isaacs Point, Friendly Beaches.

For a touch of luxury without leaving the national park, indulge at Freycinet Lodge. You may even find yourself in an outdoor bath gazing at the starry night sky.

If you’d prefer to snooze in town, Coles Bay has plenty of cabins, resorts, and holiday lettings to choose from, and also offers camping at Iluka Holiday Centre and BIG4 Iluka on Freycinet Holiday Park. There are several cafes, restaurants, and a pub here too.

Skill Level


Beginner kayakers are super welcome and the experienced guides will teach you everything you need to know.

Unfortunately, those with accessibility needs will need to find other ways to enjoy Freycinet National Park, such as visiting Cape Tourville Lighthouse, which is wheelchair accessible. All-terrain wheelchairs are available for use from TrailRiders, and the park’s visitor centre is fully accessible.

Distance / Duration

Variable, depending on weather / 3 hours return

Essential Gear for Kayaking the Freycinet Peninsula

  • Water bottle
  • Waterproof shoes (or just go barefoot)
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Raincoat
  • Swimmers (or a wetsuit) in case you want to get in the water
  • Warm clothing (though a snug fleece can be supplied)
  • Camera (the team at Freycinet Adventures can provide you with a waterproof bag to keep your things dry)

All the additional gear you need will be provided and explained to you, from the vessel and the paddles to a life jacket and spray skirt.

What it’s Like to Paddle the Freycinet Peninsula

You know those moments where you’ve got a huge grin plastered to your face that you just can’t shake? Well, that’s what three hours of kayaking the Freycinet Peninsula with Freycinet Paddle was like!


Paddle the Freycinet Peninsula – A Guide to Kayaking This Spectacular Tassie Coastline, Remi Chauvin, ocean, coast, kayak, couple, friends, paddle


Launching from Muirs Beach in Coles Bay – decked in a warm supplied fleece (because Tassie), life jacket, and a sprayskirt, (which does a remarkable job of keeping you dry inside your kayak), we started our journey in the early afternoon.

Ahead of us lay the towering pink peaks of the Hazards mountain range. Emerging sharply out of the sea and contrasting magnificently with the dancing blue water, they provide the kind of backdrop that needs to be seen to be believed.

Our perfectly-paced paddle took us past the most jaw-dropping scenery – from tranquil coves and creamy beaches to rocky outcrops and hidden caves, though the route you take will depend entirely on what the wind and rain are doing.

Peering over the edge of the kayak, it was as if the ocean was glass – and boy was it full of life. We glided over seagrass meadows, coral kelp forests, and rocky reefs: home to lobster, octopus, moray eel, snapper, cod, seahorse, rays, sea stars, and more. We were also told to keep our eyes peeled for cheeky seals and friendly dolphins!

Morgan – our rampantly enthusiastic guide – spun a bunch of romantic stories about shipwrecks and early settlers, and also made us feel very safe with her instruction.

Though we didn’t get a roaring red sunset due to the cloud cover, the whole experience was so wonderful, and the three of us firmly agreed that it was one of the best things we’ve ever done in Tasmania.

Paddle the Freycinet Peninsula – A Guide to Kayaking This Spectacular Tassie Coastline, Remi Chauvin, ocean, coast, kayak, couple, friends, go fast

Tips For Paddling the Freycinet Peninsula

Weather in Tasmania can always change rapidly – so pack for rain, sun, cold, and warmth! Though your sprayskirt should keep your lower half dry, your top half will likely get wet from the splash of your paddle, so it’s best to wear a raincoat if you’re not keen on soggy sleeves.

Accommodation-wise, this area is exceptionally popular – especially in the warmer months and Easter holidays – so book your place to sleep well in advance. In fact, a ballot system operates at some campsites that’s drawn in August, if that gives you any indication of how prepared you need to be!

The availability of drinking water can be variable depending on the time of year too, so check with the Freycinet National Park visitors centre prior to your arrival.

A valid parks pass is always required to enter Tasmania’s National Parks. Choose from a range of options depending on how long you plan to be there.

Avoid driving at dawn, dusk, and night if you can, because cute Tasmanian creatures (from wombats to devils) hang out around the roads and far too often become roadkill.

FAQs for Kayaking the Freycinet Peninsula

How much does a kayaking tour with Freycinet Adventures cost?

A three-hour morning or twilight kayaking tour with Freycinet Adventures costs $120 for adults and $108 for children under 15 years old.

Do I have to book my kayaking tour with Freycinet Adventures?

Yes! It’s important to book your kayaking tour with Freycinet Adventures in advance, as they’re super popular and often book out!

Do I need a National Parks pass to go to the Freycinet Peninsula?

Yes! A Tasmanian National Parks pass is required to enter Freycinet National Park, including the Freycinet Peninsula. You can purchase a pass at the visitor centre or online.

Is kayaking the Freycinet Peninsula okay for beginners?

Kayaking the Freycinet Peninsula can be suitable for beginners, but you need to make sure you go with an experienced guide!

That’s why tour operators such as Freycinet Adventures are so fabulous, as not only will they supply all the gear you need, but their local and technical knowledge will ensure you have an amazing and safe time.

Do you need a 4WD to get to the Freycinet Peninsula?

Nope! All the main roads leading to the national park are sealed. Some of the access roads to certain bits of the park, however, such as the Bluestone Bay, require a 4WD or high-clearance vehicle. It’s important to check road conditions and restrictions before driving to these areas!

Images thanks to @monsieurremi