The iconic view overlooking Wineglass Bay in Tasmania features regularly in photographic media. That smooth semicircular beach, looking every inch like the bottom of a wine glass from a distance. Wineglass Bay was on my hiking bucket list. And after today, my list has one less item to cross out…
Today’s hiking maps:
Good Mrs and I stayed in a Coles Bay hostel, some kilometers up the road from Freycinet National Park where the Wineglass Bay hikes start. A short drive from there and I was soon in the carpark. Quiet early morning, less so later in the day.
The Wineglass Bay Track almost immediately arrives at a trail junction. To reach Wineglass Bay and its lookout, I turned left. Later in the day, I will return to here from the right.
The trail gradually ascends, making its way between two of the Hazards mountains. Mount Mayson on the right/south side and Mount Amos on the left/north side. Although the crossing between these two mountains was nowhere near their peaks. There are five mountains making up what is called The Hazards, all 400-500 meters tall.
Prior to arriving at Wineglass Bay Lookout, you pass Coles Bay Lookout. Westwards views, with Coles Bay across the water on the right.
The track up to Wineglass Bay Lookout is wide, well-maintained and includes benches supporting anybody struggling with the climb. This also appeared to be today’s hike’s most popular section. That iconic view attracts many…
Almost at the lookout, but please refrain from flying your drone there.
Arriving at the Wineglass Bay Lookout, you understand the bay’s attraction. On a day like today, the views were simply stunning. There is even a separate cloud system over the mountain across the bay.
I lingered on the lookout for a while, took plenty of photos, drank water, ate some fruit. Even some shade there. I took my time. Amazing place…
Beyond Wineglass Bay Lookout towards the beach, a warning sign appeared. Few hikers now, narrower and more traditional bush track.
Next destination was the beach at Wineglass Bay. Hence, the track descended although here below is flat. Below is also roughly where I surprised a tiger snake on the trail. Perhaps a meter long, I waited for it to disappear into the bush before proceeding. Sorry, no time for a photo.
My hiking book suggested you may like to wander the length of the beach and back. 1.7km one way making the overall hike 3.4km longer. Since I have walked along plenty of beaches, I declined. Not my hiking intention today.
Instead, the strategically “placed” tree remnant below provided a perfect table setting. One can not drink enough water on these hot days.
A couple more selfies on the beach at Wineglass Bay. Just to prove that I have indeed been there…
Isthmus Track then connects Wineglass Bay with Hazards Beach on the opposite side of the peninsula. Traditional bush hike to start with.
Along the way, you pass Hazards Lagoon. Dry grassland with no visible water today.
Approaching Hazards Beach, the grounds got sandier and sandier. Here, a rickety boardwalk provided the track…
…while later, Isthmus Track was plain sand.
Soon you approach an opening through the sand dunes. Water and a beach over there…
I arrived at the long, wide and beautiful Hazards Beach. Much firmer sand than the Wineglass Bay beach…
…which was great as next hiking section is to end of the beach.
The rocks at the northern end of Hazards Beach invited me to yet another break before going bush again. Clear signage provided of what’s next.
That final 5.5km back to the carpark looked mostly like below. You’re walking alongside and up and down the hill with Great Oyster Bay on your left. Occasionally, you cross a creek with water runoff from Mount Mayson to your right. I counted five creek crossings but that may be incorrect.
Remember the trail junction below. Circuit completed as I now returned here from the right.
Plenty more cars and people around the carpark now, the middle of the day. Many “non-hikers” too, carrying no provisions except for holding a single water bottle in one hand… But also properly equipped hikers heading out for the day. And perhaps beyond. Freycinet National Park offers several campsites.
So was the hike worth the effort? Absolutely!
The view from Wineglass Bay Lookout is doubtless amazing. The remaining circuit offers more traditional hiking, but nevertheless very interesting and beautiful.
I completed the hike in just under 4 hours. My hiking guide suggested 5 hours. I’d say that you can finish it in 3 to 3 1/2 hours if you want. I was not rushing today, took plenty of photos along the way while investigating and looking at things. Including a disappearing tiger snake.
And yes, THAT iconic view…