Friendly Beaches Freycinet National Park Coles Bay Beach Walk Tasmania Australia

Visit long stretches of light sand running along the pristine east coast of Tasmania north of the Freycinet Peninsula. The trail to Friendly Beaches is listed as one of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks, and it takes little effort to get from the car park to the beach. A 10-meter long boardwalk leads to an overlook behind the beach and another 10 meters of steps take you down to the sand. From there you can take a short or long stroll along one of Tasmania’s most beautiful beaches, spending, as measured by the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, 5 minutes to 5 hours exploring Friendly Beaches. Whether you set aside a few minutes or several hours to visit Friendly Beaches, you should have a pleasant visit, and might want to stay even longer by spending the night at Friendly Beaches Campground.

Friendly Beaches Boardwalk
The viewpoint at Friendly Beaches

Start from the car park at the end of Friendly Beaches Road in Freycinet National Park. A dirt road to the left continues into the campground, but the trail to the overlook is to the right, heading straight toward Friendly Beaches. The short, level boardwalk quickly arrives at a viewpoint with a bench that looks south down an epic stretch of pale sand toward Freycinet Peninsula, which is topped with rugged mountains called the Hazards.

Below the overlook, steps lead down to the beach. Walk down the steps and sink your toes in the soft sand. Rocky Isaacs Point is just to the north, but there is 7.8 kilometers (4.85 miles) of beach running south down the undeveloped coastline to Friendly Point and Freshwater Lagoon. Farther south, you’ll spot the Cape Tourville Lighthouse on a bluff jutting out from the Freycinet Peninsula.

The friendly beach has a gradual, tapered pitch down to the water, making it a nice surface for a long beach walk. The sand is broken up by a few rocky outcroppings and there are tide pools to check out amongst the rocks. The beach is not patrolled, and the park advises against swimming.

Friendly Beaches Tasmania
Rocks on the beach

Friendly Beaches are important nesting areas for shorebirds like pied oystercatchers, hooded plovers, red-capped plovers, fairy terns, and little terns. From October to March, the park asks visitors to, “walk as close to the waterline as possible to avoid beach-nesting shorebirds.”

Walk as far as you like along the beach before returning to the car park. There is a toilet just up the road into the campground. If you’re looking for more beaches to enjoy, you can head north through the campground. There is a small beach within the campground and another long beach runs north from the campground for 2.9 kilometers up the coast to Butlers Point. If you were to walk down the main beach to Friendly Point and back, and then walk through the campground to the end of the northern beach and back, you would put in a total of 23 kilometers of beach walking. However, there is no need to go anywhere that far to enjoy Friendly Beaches!

Friendly Beaches Tasmania
Tidepools at Friendly Beaches

A national park entrance fee is required to visit Freycinet National Park. A single day pass will cost $40 or you may purchase an 8-week pass good for all of Tasmania’s National Parks for $80 (all prices in Australian Dollars as of 2021). There is no additional price to stay at Friendly Beaches Campground. Dogs and bikes are not allowed at Friendly Beaches.

Directions: Take Tasman Highway (A3) 11.3 kilometers south of Bicheno to Coles Bay Road (C302). Take this road southeast toward Coles Bay for 8.5 kilometers and turn left onto Friendly Beaches Road. Take this dirt road for 4 kilometers to the car park at the beach. Coming from Coles Bay, you will drive 17.5 kilometers up Coles Bay Road to reach the marked turn for Friendly Beaches.

Trailhead address: Friendly Beaches Road, Freycinet National Park, Friendly Beaches, TAS 7215, Australia
Trailhead coordinates: -41.992685, 148.285445 (41° 59′ 33.66″S 148° 17′ 07.60″E)

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These photos were taken in April of 2014. Click to enlarge.
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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.
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Nearby Camping & Lodging
Friendly Beaches CampgroundFriendly Beaches Campground
This primitive campground offers oceanfront camping surrounded by beautiful beaches in Freycinet National Park.
Richardsons Beach CampgroundRichardsons Beach Campground
This bay side campground near Coles Bay offers powered and non-powered campsites in Freycinet National Park.
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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.
Mayfield Beach Conservation Area CampgroundMayfield Beach Conservation Area Campground
This beachfront campground is located on Great Oyster Bay on the east coast of Tasmania.
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Tagged with · Australian National Parks · Beaches · Coles Bay · Freycinet National Park · Freycinet Peninsula · Ocean Views · Tasmania's 60 Great Short Walks
Distance: 0.1 kilometers / 0.05 miles · Elevation change: 10 meters / 30 feet

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