Wineglass Bay Walk and Hazards Beach Circuit (2023 Guide)

We managed to do a lot of hiking in Tasmania during our three month road trip around the state and the Wineglass Bay hike was definitely one of the highlights of the whole trip.

During our research on where to go and what to do here, it became clear that Freycinet National Park had to be right at the top of our list.

Known for having some of the best short walks and beautiful beaches on Tasmania’s east coast, the Freycinet Peninsula on the island’s east coast rightly holds its place as Tassie’s crown jewel.

Look at any guidebook for the state and there’s a fair chance Wineglass Bay is on the cover.

Despite being one of Tasmania’s most popular destinations and only 3 hours from Hobart, it’s still entirely possible to find yourself all alone on a beach or walking through native bushland without another person in sight.

The pink granite peaks of the Hazards range and the sheltered crystal clear waters of Great Oyster Bay really are as spectacular as the pictures make them out to be.

There are a number of ways to explore the best of the park, including a short walk to Wineglass Bay Lookout, the challenging yet rewarding Mt Amos hike (don’t miss our walking guide for it) and even the 3-day Freycinet Peninsula Circuit.

But the best value for money is undoubtedly the 11km Wineglass Bay Walk and Hazards Beach Circuit, which takes you all the way down to the famous crescent-shaped beach rather than just admiring it from above.

Want to know more? Let’s get straight into our latest walking guide to help you know what to expect and plan your day trip to Wineglass Bay Freycinet National Park.

Alesha looks at the beautiful view from the Wineglass Bay Lookout

Wineglass Bay Walk and Hazards Beach Circuit Walking Guide

  • Required time: 4 to 5 hours
  • Distance: 11 km
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Start/end points: Wineglass Bay car park

If you love spectacular views, a walk you shouldn’t miss while visiting the Hazards Beach area is the Wineglass Bay Walk, maintained by Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service.

The stunning 11km circuit takes around 4-5 hours of walking depending on your fitness levels (and how much time you spend on Wineglass Bay beach) and can be done either clockwise or anti-clockwise.

Watch video about the walk!

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Taking the walk clockwise from the Wineglass Bay Car Park, you go uphill on the Wineglass Bay Lookout Walk and then follow the steps down to the magnificent Wineglass Bay Beach.

From the beach you follow the path through the bush, over the isthmus and jump out at the point on Hazards Beach.

Continue along to the end of the beach, follow the signs back on the path, then climb up and around the cliffs of Mount Mayson to reach the Coles Bay side and then back to the car park.

Hiking anti-clockwise you follow the same Wineglass Bay track, first around the coastal edge near Coles Bay, rock hop down to Hazards Beach, over to Wineglass Bay and then up the steep steps to the viewpoint.

From here you get the iconic view down to Wineglass Bay and over to Mt Graham, then it’s a short walk down to the car park.

Dangers Beach water color
Look at the color of that water! Hazards Beach is incredible and the white sand is so soft.

Personally, we recommend doing the Wineglass Bay Walk and Hazards Beach Circuit in a counter-clockwise directionfinishing at Wineglass Bay Lookout before the short return to the car park.

However, this means you have to climb the steep steps to the view, so if you struggle with ascents, consider going clockwise.

Now that you know the logistics of the hike, here’s what to expect.

The highlight of the trail is of course walking past the Wineglass Bay Lookout and getting to explore the wide, beautiful beach at Wineglass Bay itself.

However, the full 11km circuit also takes you to some of the quieter parts of Freycinet National Park, including bushland across the isthmus between Mt Amos and Mt Graham, and towards the wonderful sea at Hazards Beach, with some of the loveliest water, you will ever see.

Steps to Wineglass Bay Lookout
The stairs on the way up to the Wineglass Bay Lookout. You do not need a map on these tracks.

Whether it’s at Wineglass Bay Beach or Hazards Beach, be sure to bring your swimmers and take a dip in the ocean (although the water gets pretty chilly any time between April and October).

At least take off your shoes, dig your feet in the sand and maybe have a picnic on one of Australia’s most picturesque beaches, surrounded by granite peaks.

It really is one of those best things to do in tasmania.

Not to forget, the sandy walk across the wide isthmus is also hugely beautiful, with lots of native flora and fauna flourishing and an earthy smell drifting through the trees.

Watch out for snakes though, and be careful with your footing.

We spotted a big one tiger snake just past the isthmus that enters Wineglass Bay basking in the sun just meters from the path.

He was more scared of us than we were of him, but it sure stopped us in our tracks!

Tiger Snake
We saw this tiger snake baking in the sun.

The views along the route are spectacular, especially from the Wineglass Bay Lookout, but the low rocky coastline and cliffs overlooking Great Oyster Bay and Coles Bay in the national park are also worth a few photos.

The Walk to Wineglass Bay Beach combined with the Hazards Beach Circuit showcases some of the best, easily accessible parts of Freycinet National Park and we highly recommend it for people of all ages with a reasonable level of fitness.

Hazards Bay Circuit Beach Views
Hazards Bay – A long white sandy beach.

Track conditions

As Wineglass Bay is a popular walk in Freycinet National Park, this path is well marked and well maintained. You can clearly see where the path goes and you won’t get lost.

The steps from Wineglass Bay Lookout down to the beach are steep and can be tiring to climb, but they are not difficult.

The path across the isthmus and into Hazards Beach can be sandy and slippery when wet. Watch your footing here.

READ MORE: Enjoy walking in this park and other places in the state in our comprehensive guide on how to spend 2 weeks in Tasmania!

Facilities at Hazards Beach and Wineglass Bay Beach Walk

If you need to use the bathroom on the trail, your only option is a drop toilet at Wineglass Bay Beach.

There are no facilities at Hazards Bay and Wineglass Bay Lookout in Freycinet National Park.

There is a new, clean toilet block by the car park.

What to bring to Wineglass Bay Beach and Hazards Beach Circuit

As it’s only a short walk of 11 km at a moderate level of difficulty, you don’t need to bring a lot.

Here’s what we recommend:

  • Comfortable day pack
  • Supportive walking shoes
  • Comfortable walking shoes, trousers/shorts and a shirt
  • Water (at least 1.5 liters per person)
  • Sun cream
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses (we love Sun god glasses)
  • Snacks or lunch
  • Bathers to swim in the crystal clear sea
  • Towel
  • Rain jacket (just in case)
  • Camera
Wineglass Bay Track from the car park
The course from Wineglass Bay car park to Hazards Bay.

The story of Freycinet and Wineglass Bay

Toorernomairremener the people and Tasmanian Aborigines are the traditional custodians of this land and have called this region home for over 30,000 years.

However, with modern history since European settlement, the area around the Freycinet Peninsula has been turbulent and tragic.

Many people believe that Wineglass Bay Beach got its current name because of the shape of the bay.

Unfortunately, this is not the case, and the area’s history has not always been so beautiful.

Since the early 19th century, this area was a the largest hub for whalingand whalers used to collect these beautiful creatures and push them into the bay where they would be brutally slaughtered.

To the fisherman who would stand at the lookout, the bay below them would turn red from all the blood.

So many whales were killed that the color of the water resembled a glass of red wine. And that’s how Wineglass Bay got its name.

Fortunately, the industry ended in the 1840s and the area was reserved as a national park in 1916 (along with Mt Field National Park) to protect the local flora and fauna.

The whales are now slowly returning to the area, but not in the same numbers as previously seen.

READ MORE: Check out our list of others best places to visit in Tasmania!

How to get to Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park

It takes around 3-4 hours to drive to Freycinet National Park from either Hobart or Launceston.

Wineglass Bay is at the southern end of the national park and the day trips around here, including Mt Amos, Mount Graham, Wineglass Bay Lookout and the Hazards Beach Circuit, as well as the large multi-day trek, all leave from the same car park just past the visitor center as you drive through Coles Bay.

From the car park it is less than an hour return to the lookout, 2 hours and back to the beach, and 4-5 hours return for the whole circuit.

The best way to get around is to rent a car and explore on your own! We recommend Rental carswhich has the largest selection of vehicles at the best value on the market.

View to Wineglass Bay Lookout
Freycinet National Park is definitely a place not to be missed on your Tasmania trip.

Where to stay in Freycinet National Park

There are a few accommodation options along the Freycinet Peninsula and if you are traveling in high season or during school holidays you will need to book in advance.

Accommodation in Freycinet National Park

Accommodation in Freycinet National Park and Coles Bay are some of the more expensive options in Tasmania, especially if you’re trying to travel on a budget.

Here are our recommendations. Remember to pre-order online as far in advance as possible, especially in the summer.

Budget

That BIG4 Iluka Holiday Centre is the best choice for value in Coles Bay. It is a 2 minute walk from the sandy beaches of Coles Bay.

Middle class

If you are traveling as a couple or with your family, take a look Acacia Cottage and Mason Holiday House.

Luxury

If you want to stay in one of East Coast Tasmania’s best retreats, don’t miss out Sapphire Freycinet. Located in the heart of Coles Bay Road, you are so close to all attractions and your stay is absolute luxury.

Camping in Freycinet

If you plan to camp in the national park, whether in an RV or tent, arrive early.

You will find limited spaces at the national park campsite, and the motorized ones are booked months in advance.

Call the information center on (03) 6256 7000 or email [email protected] to make a reservation.

Not too far up the road is the beautiful Friendly Beaches campsite too, but if you stay here you’ll have a bit of a drive.

Check out our guide on camping in Tasmania while you are also in the state to help you make the most of your trip.

We hope you found our Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach Walk guide useful. If you did, leave a comment below and tell us what your favorite part of going to the track was. For us it was swimming in the sea and the view from the top.

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