Freycinet National Park (Coles Bay)#1 in Best Things To Do in Tasmania
Occupying a peninsula just south of Coles Bay, Freycinet National Park is a prime spot for bird-watching, camping and scenic drives. The park also features white-sand beaches surrounded by pink granite peaks that are just as popular with photographers as they are with swimmers, kayakers and snorkelers. If you'd rather hike while exploring this protected area, you'll find multiple trails for short, half-day and overnight hikes on-site.
Visitors rave about this national park's scenery, adding that locales like Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach are so breathtaking that you could spend several hours admiring your surroundings. If you're short on time or new to hiking, travelers recommend trekking the Wineglass Bay Lookout path; for a more challenging hike, several suggest taking the path to Mount Amos. Reviewers also rave about the sunsets at Honeymoon Bay and Cape Tourville's lighthouse.
You'll find Freycinet National Park's main entrance and visitor center at the northern end of the park near Coles Bay. You can visit the park at any time year-round, but the visitor center is only open from 8 or 9 a.m. until 4 or 5 p.m. Travelers arriving by car will be charged 24 Australian dollars ($19), while pedestrians, bikers and motorcyclists must pay AU$12 (about $9.50). Parking is included in your park admission. Once inside the park, you'll have access to restrooms, a gift shop, picnic areas and an outdoor theater. To camp during Australia's summer season, you'll need to enter a lottery system; travelers who receive a campsite will be notified by mail in August. Additional information about park activities and sights can be found on Freycinet National Park's website.
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#2 Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park
Part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage area, this national park comprises two regions: Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair. In the northern Cradle Mountain section, you'll find the bulk of the attraction's facilities, including a visitor center, a gift shop and multiple cabins. Cradle Mountain is also the starting point for the Overland Track, a 40-mile path that takes at least six days to complete. The southern Lake St Clair area, meanwhile, features Australia's deepest lake, plus hiking trails and picnic areas. Lake St Clair is also the ending point for the Overland Track.
Past visitors said Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park is "a definite must when visiting Tasmania." On top of jaw-dropping forest and mountain scenery, you may see wild critters like wombats, wallabies and platypuses while trekking the park's trails. If you plan on hiking the Overland Track between Oct. 1 and May 31 (peak walking season), remember to make reservations in advance. A trail fee of 160 to 200 Australian dollars (or $126.50 to $158) also applies during these months. The trail fee does not cover park entrance fees.
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