Tasmania: Wineglass Bay
Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park is one of Tasmania’s greatest icons.
I know, it doesn’t resemble a wineglass. I was confused, too.
When I arrived at The Lookout I said to myself, “That doesn’t look like any wineglass I’ve ever seen.”
After the hike, I did some reading and learned that its name has nothing to do with the shape of the bay.
In the 1820s, whalers came to Wineglass Bay. The whalers set up shore bases in the bay, sparking violent clashes with the Pydairrerme. An American whaler, Captain Richard Hazard of the Thalia, would give his name to the great granite peaks that loom over the bay and the bay itself would take its name from the whalers’ method of hunting. From shore, they would set out in small boats to chase and harpoon passing whales, then tow the carcasses back to shore to butcher and boil down the blubber to extract oil. The oil was shipped to Britain to be used for lighting and the whalebone for ladies’ corsets and hoop skirts. Shore-based whaling lasted about 20 years on the peninsula but in that time, whenever the whalers were about their grisly business, the bay was dyed red with blood – like rich red wine in a glass.
So there you have it.
From the parking lot to Wineglass Bay’s famous Lookout is only 1.5 km, however it’s a fairly steep climb to the saddle between Mt Amos and Mt Mayson.
It isn’t a difficult hike thanks to the well-paved track and steps.
Take your time and know that once you arrive, you will be rewarded with spectacular views over Wineglass Bay.
From The Lookout you can continue another 1.5 km down to the beach:
Wineglass Bay Beach is stunning with silky white sand and sparkling aqua blue water.
There’s no wondering why Wineglass Bay Beach is one of the top 10 beaches in the world.
We walked the beach, the rocks, and simply took our time admiring the scenery and inhaling the tranquil salt air.
The walk back to the parking lot is along the same track, so uphill to The Lookout, but then a steep downhill glide back to your car.
Be careful on the downhill sections as the loose gravel surface can be slippery.
Plan at least 2.5 hours for the Wineglass Bay Hike, longer if you want to spend extra time on the beach.
401 Freycinet Drive
Freycinet, TAS 7215
Hazards Escape, a self-catering cottage in Coles Bay.
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