Freycinet National Park’s main campground is popular for a reason. Its campsites are spaced out behind an inviting sandy beach in a bay at the top of Freycinet Peninsula’s sheltered west coast. Richardsons Beach Campground boast fine bay views and is close to the town of Coles Bay and walking tracks in Freycinet National Park. With both powered and non-powered sites, Richardsons Beach Campground is a great place for tent and campervan camping.
The 52-site campground is split into three areas on the coast along Coles Bay Road, between one and three kilometers south of Coles Bay Township. There are eighteen powered campsites (sites 1-18) at the north end of the bay near the Freycinet Visitor Center. These sites aren’t suitable for long RVs, but are good for campervans and vehicles up to 18-feet long. The campsites are approximately 7 meters by 4 meters and include dedicated power outlets at each site. This area has two paths down to the beach, drinking water, and grey water disposal, as well as a toilet block.
Sites 19 to 45 make up the main area of the campground. Called “the dunes sites,” this camping area is nestled in brush-covered dunes just behind the Richardsons Beach. The campsites are spaced out in a long line to offer a lot of privacy and quick beach access. There are drinking water spigots throughout the campground, flush toilets, and cold showers. Each of these tent sites is approximately 7 meters by 6 meters of flat dirt framed up by wooden railings to help protect the surrounding plants. Each campsite has parking for one vehicle and there are several short paths to the beach. Most sites will have some views over the water and south toward the Hazards Mountains that rise up over the Freycinet Peninsula. You can get even better views of these mountains and out over the bay by strolling along the beach.
Farther down Coles Bay Road, just past the road to Cape Tourville, there is another camping area called Honeymoon Bay. These tent sites, numbers 46 – 52, are approximately 7 meters by 6 meters, with access to drinking water and toilets. The last two sites, 51 and 52, are at the bottom of a steep driveway suitable for four-wheel drive vehicles. These sites are also furthest from the toilets and the picnic tables in the day use area.
Campfires are not allowed at Richardsons Beach Campground, which is a fuel-stoves-only campground. You won’t find fire rings around the campground and there aren’t picnic tables at sites either. Up to six people can stay at each campsite and the maximum length of stay is 14 nights. The campground is open year-round and sites may be reserved in advance.
The powered sites are $16 for two people per night. Additional adults are $7 per night. Children under 5 are free and children 5 – 17 are an additional $3.50 per night. There is a family discount where 2 adults and 3 children can camp for $22 per night. The non-powered sites are $13 for 2 people per night. Additional adults are $5 per night. Children under 5 are free and children 5 – 17 are an additional $2.50 per night. The family discount for 2 adults and 3 children is $16 per night. To make a reservation, contact the Freycinet Visitor Center by calling (03) 6256-7000 or emailing email@example.com. In addition to the campground fee, a National Parks Pass is required to visit Freycinet National Park. A single day pass will cost $24 per vehicle or you may purchase an 8-week pass good for all of Tasmania’s National Parks for $60 (all prices in Australian Dollars as of September, 2014).
A ballot system is in place when the campground is at its busiest, from December 18th through February 10th and over Easter Weekend. Download a ballot entry form and e-mail, fax, or mail it to Freycinet National Park:
Fax: (03) 6256-7090
Address: Freycinet National Park, Private Bag, Bicheno, TAS 7215
The ballot to allocate sites is drawn on August 1st, so applications should be submitted before July 31st. Notification of the ballot draw results comes a couple weeks after the draw. Only one entry per family or group is allowed for Christmas and another may be entered for Easter. The maximum stay during the ballot season is 10 nights.
If you are not able to get a campsite through the ballot process, consider staying at Friendly Beaches Campground, also in Freycinet National Park, or at Big 4 Iluka on Freycinet Holiday Park in Coles Bay. Those who stay at Richardsons Beach Campground will enjoy great beach camping in a beautiful park on Tasmania’s east coast.
Directions: Take Tasman Highway (A3) 11.3 kilometers south of Bicheno to Coles Bay Road (C302) and take this road southeast toward Coles Bay. After 26 kilometers, pass through the town and continue straight on Coles Bay Road for another kilometer to the park visitor center, which comes before the main camping area.
Campground address: Coles Bay Road, Freycinet National Park, Coles Bay, TAS 7215, Australia
Campground coordinates: -42.126067, 148.299051 (42° 07′ 33.84″S 148° 17′ 56.58″E)
Use the map below to view the campground and get directions:
|Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach Circuit|
This approximately 12-kilometer loop (shorter if you skip two overlooks and longer if you do extra beach strolling) takes a rewarding route through Freycinet National Park, visiting pristine light sand beaches at Hazards Beach and the renowned Wineglass Bay.
This hike explores a long, pristine beach on the east coast of Tasmania north of the Freycinet Peninsula.
This 0.6-kilometer circuit provides big views along the east coast of Freycinet Peninsula, circling 100-meter tall bluffs to reach the Cape Tourville Lighthouse.
|Tasmans Arch & Devils Kitchen|
This 0.9-mile walk visits two impressive features on the coast of the Tasman Peninsula, a natural bridge and a chasm carved by the sea.
|Blowhole & Fossil Bay Lookout|
This short walk in Tasman National Park reaches a coastal vista point and a wave-carved tunnel through a rocky point that has the potential to spray up like a whale spout.
|Coal Mines Historic Site|
This 0.8-kilometer loop through the Convict Precinct explores the ruins of an old prison and coal mine that relied on convict laborers.
This 12 to 14-kilometer hike explores the pristine coastline at the southwest end of the Tasman Peninsula, reaching a cape with daunting 200-meter tall cliffs dropping to swirling seas.
|Apsley Waterhole & Lookout Track|
This 1.4-kilometer loop travels through a eucalyptus forest to a popular swimming hole on the Apsley River in Douglas-Apsley National Park.
This 3.4-kilometer loop combines Zig-Zag Track, Cataract Walk, and Bridge Walk to explore Cataract Gorge Reserve, an impressive natural area just outside the center of Launceston.
This 2.2-kilometer walk passes the Upper Cascades on the Liffey River to reach the base of lovely Liffey Falls, one of Tasmania’s finest waterfalls.
This 3.6-kilometer out and back hike tops a short summit that is the high point of Mount William National Park with panoramic views over the coastline at the northeast corner of Tasmania.
|Octopus Tree and Circle Track|
This 1.1-kilometer loop in Hobart’s Wellington Park reaches a unique eucalyptus tree with tentacles for roots that wrap around a boulder.
|Pinnacles Boardwalk & Summit Trig|
The 0.3-kilometer round trip walk on Pinnacles Boardwalk can easily be extended to a 0.75-kilometer walk on the top of Mount Wellington, checking out another short boardwalk and the trig station at the summit.
|Russell Falls & Horseshoe Falls|
This hike in Mount Field National Park visits one of Tasmania’s most famous and beautiful waterfalls and can be extended from 1.8 to 2.65 kilometers by venturing to the top of Russell Falls and nearby Horseshoe Falls.
|Saint Columba Falls|
This 1.2-kilometer round trip hike descends into a rainforest to the base of a powerful 90-meter tall waterfall.
|More trails in Australia|
Explore other destinations in Victoria and Tasmania, Australia.
|Big 4 Iluka on Freycinet Holiday Park |
This holiday park in the coastal town of Coles Bay at the top of Freycinet Peninsula offers tent sites, campervan sites, and cabins, as well as quick access to nearby Freycinet National Park.
|Friendly Beaches Campground|
This primitive campground offers oceanfront camping surrounded by beautiful beaches in Freycinet National Park.
|Mayfield Beach Conservation Area Campground|
This beachfront campground is located on Great Oyster Bay on the east coast of Tasmania.
|Lime Bay State Reserve Campground|
This shaded campground is bordered by sandy beaches in a cove on a remote thumb of the Tasman Peninsula.
|Stumpys Bay Campground|
This campground is split into four areas along Stumps Bay with numerous campsite for visitors to Mount William National Park.
|Treasure Island Cabin and Caravan Park in Hobart|
This holiday park on the River Derwent outside of Hobart offers tent sites, campervan sites, and cabins on a peninsula near the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).
|Treasure Island Cabin and Caravan Park in Launceston|
This holiday park in Launceston offers tent sites, campervan sites, and cabins on a hillside near the city center.