Freycinet National Park
Jutting out between The Tasman Sea and Great Oyster Bay on Tasmania’s east coast, Freycinet Peninsula (58 east by road) is one of Tasmania’s most visited destination. It is a rugged and beautiful stretch of land, noted for its white-sand beaches, secluded coves, panoramic vistas, rocky cliffs and excellent bushwalks through the Freycinet National Park. Coles Bay is the only settlement on the peninsula.
In its own way Freycinet National Park is one of Australia’s most interesting wilderness areas – where else in the world do you see red granite cliffs tumbling into the cold ocean? This 10 000 ha park is alive with unusual animals – Tasmanian pademelons, white-breasted sea eagles, red-necked wallabies – and in season offers spectacular displays of rare native flora, notably a wide variety of native orchids. It is fair to say that it is one of the country’s most spectacularly beautiful areas and when the weather is perfect it is hard to imagine a more peaceful and awe-inspiring piece of coastline.
Schouten Island, to the immediate south of Freycinet Peninsula, is part of Freycinet National Park. Named by Dutchman Abel Tasman in 1642 after after Joost Schouten, a member of the Council of the Dutch East India Company, is a rugged, uninhabited island surrounded by cliffs, broken by sheltered bays. From 1850 Schouten was used for grazing sheep, with grazing leases only expiring in 1969. The island is popular with campers and kayakers and is currently used as a site for ecotourism experiences such as diving and seal-watching, out of Coles Bay.
Maria Island (49 km south) is an uninhabited, serene place where the visitor feels they have left civilization behind and stepped into another world. The main attraction is the beautiful scenery and wildlife, however the remains of the abandoned convict settlement of Darlington adds to its uniqueness and sense of isolation. A day trip is just enough time to get the feel of the place, but to explore it in detail you would need much more.
Lake Leake (37 km west) is a popular boating and fishing spot, with excellent lakeside picnic and barbeque facilities. Campbell Town is an historic town on the Midland Highway midway between Hobart and Launceston.
A majestic, tall waterfall plunging the Cygnet River into a gorge below. The walking track to the viewing platform is a 15 minute round trip, but is a little steep in places. The walk down to the falls lookout is easy to follow and there is a good view of the falls from the lookout. The walk down to the river and the base of the falls is much harder. The track is steep in spots and could be very slippery after rain. You actually arrive at the river downstream from the falls. There is a deep water, steep sided, narrow passage through the rock in the river band just below the falls. Getting past this requires some perilous climbing (or a swim). Reaching the base of the falls is quite difficult.
Location: via Lake Leake Highway from either Campbell Town or Swansea.
A tall waterfall that flows seasonally only. The viewing platform is a short distance from the parking area.
The fall itself is a reasonable drop with a small cascade near the top and then a fall over a rock into a pond, then another long fall over rocks that slope steeply down into the deep ravine. At the bottom there is another fall into the river bed. Little of this can be seen from the lookout. It’s a long trip to the other side of the valley, and not any easy place to get a good photographic souvenir of your visit.
Location: via Lake Leake Highway from either Campbell Town or Swansea. The entrance is across from the turnoff leading to Meetus Falls.