Wineglass Bay Lookout – Getting There and What You See

The view from the Wineglass Bay Lookout in Freycinet National Park is one of Tasmania’s best known images and most popular attractions. As exciting as it is to see it with your own eyes, there are, some other views around Freycinet National Park that are just as good, or better, than you get at the Wineglass Bay Lookout.

Read our Wineglass Bay Lookout guide to learn how long and hard the Wineglass Bay Lookout walk is, what you see when you get there, different ways to see Wineglass Bay and some of the other great views you can get in Freycinet National Park.

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Getting to Wineglass Bay

Wineglass Bay is in Freycinet National Park. From Hobart it will take you a bit over 2.5 hours to get to Coles Bay which is the small town in the heart of Freycinet National Park.

While you can visit Freycinet National Park as a day trip from Hobart, it is a big day. You are better off basing yourself in Coles Bay or even nearby Bicheno if you are looking for a more convenient base. Bicheno is only 30 minutes from Coles Bay.

From Coles Bay you follow simply follow Freycinet Drive to the Wineglass Bay Lookout car park.

Wineglass Bay Lookout FAQs

National Park Pass?

Do you need a National Park Pass?

You do need a valid Tasmania National Park Pass to enter Freycinet National Park and get to the Wineglass Bay Lookout

Parking at Wineglass Bay?

Is parking free at the Wineglass Bay Lookout carpark?

There is no fee for parking at the Wineglass Bay Lookout carpark, but you do need a current National Park pass. In peak season – January and school holidays – the carpark can be busy. If you are visiting then, arrive early.

The carpark is also the starting point for the difficult Mount Amos track and the longer Hazards Beach Circuit.

How Long?

How long is the walk to Wineglass Bay Lookout

The Wineglass Bay lookout walk is a 2.6km circuit walk, it takes between 60 and 90 minutes to do.

How Hard?

How hard is the walk to Wineglass Bay Lookout

The Wineglass Bay Lookout Track has a steady uphill slope that gets a bit steeper towards the end. The track is well-formed, well-marked and heavily used so it is unlikely you will get lost.

Wineglass Bay Walk

The Walk to the Wineglass Bay Lookout

After a fantastic couple of days on Maria Island, we headed to Bicheno for a few days and went to Freycinet National Park from there. From the carpark, locating the path to the Wineglass Bay Lookout is easy, there is plenty of signage.

The first part of the walk up has lovely views of Coles Bay, Mount Mayson and, on the other side, Mount Amos. The dramatic peaks are a spectacular distraction from the gently ascending path. The further along we went, the steeper the track gradually gets, and we found ourselves puffing a bit as we made our way up the last of the rock steps of which several sets to go up.

Towards the top, the path alternates between a dirt and cobblestone surface, it passes between some huge granite boulders and through bushland. The steepest section of the path ends with a rustic recliner for you to sit on. Don’t catch your breath for too long, the lookout is right around the corner.

Wineglass Bay

How good is the Wineglass Lookout view?

There are a couple of things that are pretty much guaranteed when you reach the Wineglass Bay Lookout. First, sure enough, the view of Wineglass Bay looks just like all the pictures you have seen. Second, unless you walk to the lookout very early in the day or in terrible weather, you will be sharing your time there with quite a lot of people.

The view is literally picture perfect. It is exactly what you have seen on dozens of websites and Insta’ pictures. It is a distant view of three quarters of Wineglass Bay. On a good day, the crescent shaped bay is turquoise blue and the sand bright white. It was beautiful, albeit familiar looking sight.

You can climb onto some granite boulders to get a more elevated perspective or to see a little more of the bay. There were half a dozen people doing that when we were there. The viewing area at the Wineglass Bay Lookout is reasonably sized but there are prime picture taking spots. With 6 or 7 of us there we all took turns getting pictures from the best vantage point. If it was any busier it would be a bit crowded.

Where do you go from the Wineglass Bay Lookout?

You have a couple of options for what to do once you reach the Wineglass Bay Lookout and have finished taking in the views.

Wineglass Bay Walk

Boulderfield Junction Track

Your first option is to return from the Wineglass Bay lookout to the carpark via Boulderfield Junction. Start returning the way you came up and about 400m along there is a fork in the path, one fork is the Boulderfield Track.

This is a detour worth taking. It doesn’t add to the length of the walk, and you won’t have people walking up towards you because it is a one way track down. You pass between some enormous granite boulders; it is a spectacular walk back that goes all too quickly. In a couple of places, it feels like you are in a rock maze. If you have dragged children to the lookout, they will love this walk back. The track merges with the main path near the carpark.

Wineglass Bay Lookout Walk

Walk down to Wineglass Bay

If seeing the view from the Wineglass Bay Lookout isn’t enough, you can do the 3.4km return walk down to the beach and back. As inviting as the beach might look, be ready to walk up 1000 steps to get back to the lookout.

If you do go down to the beach, you will have no trouble finding a patch of sand for yourself. The walk back up (or the long loop walk around Mount Nayson mentioned below) puts most people off. The walk from the carpark to the lookout and down to the beach and back is 6km.

Freycinet National park Walk

Wineglass Bay – Hazards Beach Circuit

This third option is longer again. From the lookout you go down the steps to Wineglass Bay, walk across the isthmus to Hazards Beach then walk around the base of Mount Mayson back to the Wineglass Bay Lookout carpark. This walk will take you 4-5 hours and is 11km long. A Grade 4 track, it is rough and steep in parts.

More beautiful views in Freycinet National Park

There are plenty of beautiful views around Freycinet National Park that rival the view from the Wineglass Bay Lookout. Here are a few more places to check out if you are spending a day or two in Freycinet National Park.

Wineglass Bay Cruise

Wineglass Bay Cruise

A fun way to get a different view of Wineglass Bay is to go on a Wineglass Bay Cruise. We did this, and despite some terrible weather, we had a great time. Departing from Coles Bay, you cruise past some spectacular coastline, perhaps spot dolphins, seals and whales, the stop in Wineglass Bay for lunch.

The water is crystal clear and the view from the boat looking back at the full arc of the bay is beautiful. The route takes you past Hazards and Bryans Beach and between the Freycinet Peninsula and Schouten Island on your way to Wineglass Bay. The coastline is stunning and the boat, even for our cold, damp cruise was very comfortable. It is a top way to see more of the national aprk and spot some wildlife.

Freycinet Aqua Taxi

Catch a Freycinet Aqua Taxi

Another option if you want to set foot on Wineglass Bay, but don’t want to do the 1000 steps from the Wineglass Bay Lookout or the long Hazards Beach Walk, is to get an Aqua Taxi. These leave form Coles Bay and can drop you at Hazards Beach where you can walk for 30 minutes across the isthmus to Wineglass Bay.

The Aqua Taxi is also a good option if you want to get some camping gear to the campgrounds at Hazards Beach and Wineglass Bay. The service can also get you to Schouten Island.

Cape Tourville Lighthouse

Cape Tourville Lighthouse

If you don’t have a lot of time to spend in Freycinet and you want a great view, this is the place to go. The views from the lighthouse boardwalk are brilliant. Best of all, it is accessible. The wooden boardwalk is especially designed for people with mobility issues and prams.

The views here are no less spectacular than you get from the Wineglass Bay lookout. You can see the corner of Wineglass Bay, the impressive Freycinet peaks and an expansive view of the Tasman Sea and nearby islands called The Nuggets. There is also a lot of birdlife in the scrub surrounding the walkway.

The short board walk winds its way around the cape, the scene changing as you go around each corner. The lighthouse is not one of the oldest you’ll see. Built in 1971, it works to this day.

Honeymoon Bay

Honeymoon Bay

This is another picturesque spot. Like much of the area, it has an imposing view of Mount Mayson and Mount Amos. They are a wonderful backdrop for enjoying the crystal clear water and rockpools of Honeymoon Bay.  It is a lovely spot for a dip or a paddle.

Granite boulders surround the beach on two sides. Bushland comes right up to the sand. Between the rocks and trees. There are campsites, electric BBQs and picnic facilities behind the beach. Over summer you need to go into a ballot system to secure a campsite. It’s not hard to see why it is so popular, it is a beautiful location and a must see for day-trippers.

Freycinet Beaches

Friendly Beaches

If you couldn’t make the walk down to Wineglass Bay, you can still get the sand between your toes at Friendly Beaches. If kilometres of unspoilt white sand and blue water is your thing, this is the stop for you.

As the name suggests, these inviting calm beaches are a great family spot. It’s an ideal place for sandcastle building, long walks on the beach or sitting back and watching the waves roll in. You can all but drive onto the beach, no multi hour hikes required!

Coles Bay

Coles Bay

For a great view, it is hard to go past the Coles Bay jetty. It is not in Freycinet National Park, but for a little taste of what awaits, it is a great place to start.

The three peaks of Mount Amos, Mount Baudin and Mount Parsons, also known as the Hazards, are an imposing sight, there are perfect reflections of boats in the bay and the water is crystal clear. It is a lovely place to grab a coffee or an ice cream and contemplate the beauty of Freycinet.

Wineglass Bay Day Tours

National Parks Pass

Daily Passes are available for $40 per car for entry to national parks for a 24 hour period. (excludes Cradle Mountain). Purchase online at the Parks Pass Portal or at the National Park Visitor Centres. Alternatively you can purchase a holiday pass for $80 to cover entry to all national parks including Cradle Mountain.  Holiday Passes are valid for 2 months.

If you enjoyed this story you might also like:

Salmon PondsMt Field Waterfalls & Walks  |  Maria Island Camping

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