Park Trek » Tasmania’s east coast highlights 8-day walking tour
Park Trek walking holidays, Australia
Email | Call us on (03) 5639 2615
Duration: 8 days
Location: ex Launceston
Price: from $3950
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Bay of Fires Hiking - rugged Tasmanian coastline

See the best of Tassie’s east coast delights

Explore the highlights of the magical Tasmania’s East Coast over eight fantastic days of walking and sightseeing. This itinerary incorporates some of Tasmania’s most spectacular scenery.

Enjoy the incredible fiery red rock beaches of the Bay of Fires and Mt William National Park, the dramatic granite peaks and crystal-clear waters of Freycinet and Wineglass Bay, the rugged cliffs and spectacular scenery on Maria Island, the towering clifftops, and amazing rock formations of the Three Capes region, and visit historic Port Arthur and take a cruise around the spectacular Tasman Peninsula. This last section of the walk is rated moderate to hard, with rocky surfaces, many steps and climbs to navigate so come prepared!

The trip departs from Launceston and returns to Hobart.

Tour inclusions:

  • Two Park Trek guides who will drive, cook and care for you
  • Guiding and interpretation by experienced local Park Trek guides on the walking trails each day
  • Transport which includes collecting from Launceston and returning you to Hobart following the conclusion of the tour. We use a comfortable 12 seater mini coach with a trailer attached for luggage. Plus we use the coach to drop off and pick up during the course of the day.
  • Tasting of local oysters and mussels at locally owned Freycinet Marine Farm
  • Spectacular award-winning three hour Wilderness Cruise around the Tasman Peninsula
  • Entry and visit to Port Arthur Historic Site
  • 7 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 5 dinners. Plus trail mix, fresh fruit, pre-dinner nibbles and snacks
  • Group and individual thermos with plenty of tea, coffee, hot chocolate and biscuits/ cake
  • 7 night’s accommodation on a twin share basis (single supplement available at additional cost)
  • Small group of 10 or less

Trip dates 2019

  • Contact Park Trek office for more details

Day 1

Launceston – Musselroe Bay to Boulder Point

13km walking, approx. 5 hours of walking, including breaks (easy to moderate grade)

Today we depart from Launceston with pick up at 8am. We head out into the northern section of Mount William National park to begin the beach walk at the northern end of Musselroe Bay. We walk from the remote coastal conservation area of Musselroe Bay to Boulder Point along the beach. The incredibly scenic coastline of deserted white-sandy beaches punctuated by windswept headlands, sheltered lagoons and estuaries is a haven for birdwatchers.

Following on from this we head off for an easy one-hour return walk to the top of Mt William. From the peak (216m) on a clear day you can enjoy extensive views over the coast and inland, while to the north you’ll see some of the Bass Strait islands, which once linked Tasmania to Wilsons Promontory, on Victoria’s southern coast. We then head back to our accommodation and after some time to settle in, we enjoy pre-dinner nibbles followed by a two-course meal prepared by your guides.

Overnight accommodation at Icena Farm Stay – about our accommodation

We stay within a short drive of Mt William National Park in self-contained farm-house style accommodation. Each of the two houses (Bandicoot and Platypus) are air-conditioned (heat-pump), fully furnished 4-bedroom homes. In Bandicoot House one queen room has an ensuite, while the other bedrooms in each House contain a mixture of queen, double and single beds. There are blankets on all beds and the houses are furnished with TV, DVD, dishwasher and washing machine, fan-forced oven and microwave, as well as a barbeque and outdoors deck (Bandicoot House), offering a peaceful rural view.

Meals: Lunch and dinner

Day 2

Deep Creek via Eddyson Point to Anson’s Bay

12 km, approx. 6 hours walking, including breaks – (moderate grade)

After breakfast and lunch making we begin our beach walk today at Deep Creek and head south to beautiful Anson’s Bay.

Bird life is rich and varied, with nearly 100 species occurring here. The extensive coastal heaths favour various species of honey-eater including the tawny-crowned and crescent honey-eater. Other heathland species include the superb blue wren, flame, dusk and scarlet robin. Being a coastal park, Mt. William is an excellent area for observing sea birds. Gulls, terns, gannets, albatrosses and white bellied sea eagles can be seen, as well as both the pied and sooty oystercatcher. Frequently these birds will come close to you as you walk along the untouched and often uninhabited beach.

After the day’s walk, we head back to our accommodation for well-earned pre-dinner nibbles followed by a fabulous two-course meal prepared by your guides.

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Overnight accommodation at Icena Farm Stay

Day 3

Coles Bay and Mt Amos

6km walking, approx. 5 hours of walking, including breaks (hard grade – difficult and challenging walk)

Today we depart from our Farm Stay accommodation and drive to Campbell Town for a morning tea stop. We continue our drive to the east coast town of Coles Bay. Here we will stop for lunch before commencing our walk up Mt Amos.

Mt Amos is one of ‘The Hazards’ which are a mountain range within the Freycinet National Park. The Hazards are made up of the iconic rock known as ‘pink granite’ and therefore are a stunning pink and sometimes orange colour. This beautiful mountain does not cover great distances but it presents us with a more challenging walk, however, we will be well rewarded at the top with a stunning view of the world-famous Wineglass Bay!

We walk from the base of Mt Amos and wind our way up this stunning mountain. This walk does include some rock walking and scrambling but please be assured we will manage this safely and if conditions are not appropriate then we will change the walk to another day, or offer an alternative walk. Due to the nature of this walk, people may experience vertigo due to height gain, we will be walking at a very slow pace to manage this. You will get to experience walking up the beautiful pink granite through low lying shrub, halfway up you will have views across Coles Bay and the Moulting Lagoon which is famous for its oyster farming and bird species. Your effort we will be greatly rewarded at the top of Mt Amos (458m) with stunning views of Wineglass Bay, the Mt Graham and Mt Freycinet range and surrounding islands.

Once we reach the bottom of Mt Amos and return to the vehicle we will then drive to our accommodation. Here we will unpack, settle everyone in. Dinner tonight is at the local Tavern (Iluka) at guests own expense.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, (dinner at own expense)

Freycinet Cottage – about our accommodation

We stay at the Freycinet Cottages which are located in Coles Bay. The one and two-bedroom cottages overlook Freycinet National Park, Coles Bay and across to the Hazards Mountains. They are within walking distance to the shop and café, and just a short stroll to Richardson’s beach. The one-bedroom cabins set a lovely rustic bushland surrounds offer a queen bed with ensuite bathroom. The two-bedroom cabins have a queen master bedroom and a second bedroom with single beds. Both cabins contain a well catered full kitchen, comfortable lounge area and covered private balcony with stunning views over the water. Access to the beach is right across the road, and the National Park is only minutes’ drive away.

Please note you may be in two-bedroom cabin (which has a shared bathroom) which you may be sharing with one or two other guests. If you book a single supplement, you may be in a one bedroom or two-bedroom cabin in a room by yourself.

Day 4

Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach circuit

11km, approx. 5.5 hours walking, including breaks – easy to moderate grade

After breakfast and lunch making we head off for the day’s walk which takes us to Wineglass Bay beach and Hazard’s beach on a circuit track.

Freycinet National Park is 100 years old which makes it one of two of the first National Parks in Tasmania. Freycinet has a unique geological history and therefore some of the most picturesque beaches in the world. Most famously the pink granite beaches and contrasting white quartz beaches which we will be visiting today. Its unique history and rare plant life provide guests with an educational journey while taking in the sights on today’s walk.

Whether you would like to watch for birds or spot native wildlife, there’s always something to see in this beautiful national park. The section of trail we travel on today is one of the more popular in the area but it is not to be missed. Today we explore Wineglass Bay and Hazard’s Beach which both hold their own unique history and beauty. Today’s trek includes some bushwalking, beach walking and a slight ascent and descent but the scenery and experiences are well worth the effort.

Freycinet National Park offers some of the most unique and diverse wildlife experiences. Keep your eyes peeled and if we are lucky we may get to see a migrating Southern Humpback whale or Southern right whale making their way down south. More commonly spotted wildlife includes the White-bellied Sea Eagle, Bennett’s Wallaby’s, short-beaked Echidna’s, Pied and Sooty Oyster Catchers and Australasian Gannets.

We stop to explore Hazards Beach and its history before continuing to Wineglass Bay Beach for our lunch stop – don’t forget to pack your swimmers and a light towel. At Hazard’s Beach, you will be given an insight into the history and life of our Tasmanian Aborigines who occupied this area dating back to 40,000 years ago. Our guides will inform you of The Oyster Bay Tribe who occupied the east coast and the significance these areas hold for the original custodians of this land. We will learn more about their history as we walk this pristine coastline before arriving back at the vehicle by early afternoon.

After the day’s walk, we then head off to the local oyster farm to experience some fresh, local produce straight from the farm. Guests will be treated to a fresh taste test of the local produce. On our return to the accommodation, one of your guides will have pre-dinner nibbles waiting and a fabulous two-course meal prepared by your guides will be served shortly after.

Overnight accommodation at Freycinet Cottages

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5

Maria Island – Fossil Cliffs walk

4.5 km, approx. 2 1/2 hours walking, including breaks – easy grade

This morning we depart from our cottage accommodation in Coles Bay and head off to our next destination – Maria Island. It’s around an hour and a half drive to the small town of Triabunna where we will enjoy some morning tea at the Visitors Centre before we board the ferry at the terminal for our 30 – 45-minute cruise across to Maria Island. From the ferry terminal, we walk to the stone Commissariat Store, which houses the visitor’s centre, collect a map of the Island and begin the Fossil Cliff walk.

The Fossil Cliffs offer an insight into the past environments of Maria Island. Extending along the northern shores of the island, these spectacular cliffs plunge sheer to the sea. This walk takes you to the edge of the cliffs where you can see expansive views of Freycinet Peninsula and Schouten Island. A former limestone quarry allows you a close look at the many animals immortalised as fossils in the rocks.

We stop along these cliffs to enjoy our lunch and take in the expansive views. The walk finishes back at the stone house visitors centre, and from here we board the ferry for our return journey to the mainland. Next, it’s onto our accommodation at the picturesque Stewart’s Bay Lodge. This evening we enjoy dinner at Richardson’s Bistro, at guests own expense.

Stewarts Bay Lodge – about our accommodation

At Stewarts Bay Lodge, we stay in two-bedroom log cabins. The property itself sits on the edge of an amazing untouched coastal reserve and overlooking the water. Here we stay in two-bedroom
cabins for three nights of the tour. These cabins have two rooms with the one shared bathroom between the two rooms and a shared living area. Each cabin has its own bathroom, but none of the individual rooms within the cabin have their own ensuite. You can choose a single supplement if you would prefer not to share a room, this means you would have one room in the two-bedroom cabin and could be sharing the cabin (and bathroom) with one or two other guests.

Meals: breakfast, lunch (dinner at guests own expense)

Day 6

Fortescue Bay to Cape Hauy

8km, approx. 5 hours walking, including breaks– moderate to hard grade

This is a well-constructed trail with fantastic views. This walk is spectacular however is graded moderate to hard due to several hundred metres of steps that go up, and down (you must navigate these heading out to the Cape and on the way back again). Extra care needs to be taken when navigating these steep steps on this part of the trail.

The Cape Hauy trail heads follows the rocky coastline and as the trail climbs, the She Oaks and Banksia’s of the lower coastline give way to dry sclerophyll forest.

The walk starts at a beautiful cove and there are some steep sections with stairs that you need to navigate in both directions. There is a steep climb at the start (and end of the walk), but once at the top of the first saddle extensive panoramic views stretch far north past the Forester coast to Maria Island and south, detailing the ridges of Cape Pillar.

Towards the end the track follows the cliffs edge, providing thrilling views. The final segment of the trail, before reaching a large plateau, is quite steep and narrow and again care needs to be taken to navigate this section. Once at the end you are able to clearly view the exceptional rock formations of the Candlestick and Totem Pole, large columns of dolerite rocking out of the ocean. The Hippolytes, a large section of rock also sits severed from the mainland just east of you. We then return via the same route.

The terrain is quite rocky and there are ups and downs but it is a magnificent walk when you are prepared.

After the day’s walk, we head back to our accommodation for well-earned pre-dinner nibbles followed by a fabulous two-course meal prepared by your guides.

Overnight accommodation at Stewarts Bay Lodge, Port Arthur

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7

Just south of Port Arthur to Cape Raoul

14km, approx. 6 hours walking, including breaks – moderate to hard grade

After breakfast and lunch making we begin our walk today out to Cape Raoul. Offering some of the most spectacular coastal lookouts in Tasmania, Cape Raoul is an excellent return day walk within the Tasman National Park. With only a few steep sections, the walk is a comfortable walk allowing ample time to relax and enjoy the expansive views of the surrounding Tasman Peninsula and further south to Bruny Island.

At the trail head for Cape Raoul there are toilet facilities available on a small donation basis. We start walking through heathland and after a short gradual climb we cross a fallen log bridge above a small gully.

The bushland then opens up with spectacular views of the incredible dolerite cliffs of the Tasman National Park. Cape Raoul is just beyond the lower plateau to the east. A short distance to your right is another open section of the cliff top allowing you a stunning view down to Shipstern Bluff, beyond to Bruny Island and Tasmania’s southern coast. From these lookouts, we also may have our first encounter with the intense winds the Capes are famous for (some of the strongest recorded winds in Australia). The trail heads east from here along the cliff tops, descending the steepest part of the trail first onto the Cape Raoul plateau.

Once on the plateau the landscape changes to stunning coastal banksia scrub and soon we see our first glimpses of the northern coastline including Mt Brown, Arthurs Peak and Mt Fortescue.
Situated a little further east, are the impressive 300-metre-high cliffs of Cape Pillar.

Following this walk, we visit the Port Arthur Historic Site for an introductory walk and talk. Following the tour, guests have some time to explore the site themselves. There is the opportunity to take an audio tour of the site. Blending history, music and readings from colonial-era journals and books, this is the official audio-visual guide to the Port Arthur Historic Site. Listen to stories from those who lived, worked in and visited this infamous place, both during the height of the convict settlement and in more recent times.

Overnight accommodation at Stewarts Bay Lodge, Port Arthur

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 8

Wilderness Cruise and visit Port Arthur site

2km approx. of walking around Port Arthur – easy grade

After breakfast and lunch making, we head out for our final day. This morning we head out on the 3-hour award winning Wilderness Cruise which departs daily. Make sure you dress warmly for the cruise – warm jackets are provided. Scarves, beanies, gloves and wet weather gear is recommended.

The boat passes close by the spectacular rock formations along the coastline and stops regularly for easy viewing and photography. See seals, albatross, white-bellied sea eagles and enjoy an exhilarating ride on this fantastic cruise.

We are back on dry land by 1pm and we then head back to Port Arthur site to explore this fascinating historic site again. We depart Port Arthur at approx. 3.30pm and return to Hobart by approximately 5.30pm, where we drop you at the Quest Hotel in Elizabeth St, or at Hobart airport.

If flying out after the tour please do not book flights before 6.30pm.

Meals: breakfast, lunch

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Images courtesy Tourism Tasmania and Stuart Crosser, Paul Fleming, Rob Burnett, Glen Gibson, Andrew McIntosh, Ocean Photography, Graham Freeman, Adrian Cook, Andrew McIntosh, Paul Sinclair, Daniel Tran, Wineglass Bay Cruises, Kathryn Leahy, Andrew Wilson, Nick Osborne and Pete Harmsen.