Walking to the Friendly Beaches Scenic Lookout

Photograph of long stretch of beach ending in a rocky point.

The Friendly Beaches are a long expanse of beach in Tasmania, Australia. They are just north of the famed Freycinet Peninsula on Tasmania’s East Coast. A scenic lookout overlooks the beaches.

Getting there

The Friendly Beaches lie within the Freyincet National Park, so visitors will need a current National Parks Pass.

The access to Friendly Beaches was from Cole’s Bay Road, which also led to Freycinet Peninsula. Friendly Beaches Road turned east off Cole’s Bay Road, then divided after about 1.9 kilometres. North (left) from the fork passed the Friendly Beaches Scenic Lookout.

Friendly Beaches did not have extravagant amenities at the time of our visit in September 2016. All of Friendly Beaches Road was unsealed, and the only facilities were toilets without running water at each end of the road. However, Friendly Beaches also experienced a fraction of the crowds that flocked to Freycinet Peninsula.

Track

The car park was well marked, but no signs drew attention to the track leaving it. The track simply passed between two barriers on its way down the hill. Once located, it was easy to follow. It was not particularly steep.

Plants

The vegetation was typical of Tasmania’s coasts, with short trees and shrubs capable of growing in salty soil and the occasional harsh inshore wind. Grass trees (Xanthorrhoea) were common. A modest assortment of spring wildflowers brightened up the landscape, including a few orchids for those who looked closely enough.

Lookout

The lookout itself was marked by an East Coast Whale Trail Sign. These signs appeared at a number of coastal locations. To actually see a whale, you would need to visit in the right season and be very patient. From this point there was a clear view of the southern sweep of Friendly Beaches to Friendly Point, with The Hazards on Freycinet Peninsula beyond. The view to the north took in Butler’s Point and Cape Lodi, but not the beaches themselves.

Facilities

Latest visit 27th September 2018
Road Unsealed for the 3 kilometres of Friendly Beaches Road
Parking Large, unsealed
Shelter None
Toilets None (go to Friendly Beaches Campground)

Opinions

Walking Stick

There was a view from the car park for those who do not wish to venture further. However, even a little stroll opened up new vistas of the stunning white beaches. The track was not steep but did have tree roots in places so care is needed to get down to the lookout proper. The track continued on all the way to the beach but this is not recommended for unsteady walkers. Drive further on to the car park right beside the beach to find a viewing platform on the sand.

Ambler

Walked 0.21 kilometres in 12 minutes. Spent more time scrutinising flowers than looking at the view. Considered this time well spent.

Should I visit?

If you want to see Tasmania’s most famous beach, go to Wineglass Bay. You will need to walk a long climb up stone steps, surrounded by many other enthusiastic visitors to Freycinet Peninsula. For a much shallower walk with many fewer people, come to the Friendly Beaches Scenic Lookout instead.

If you are planning a walk on Friendly Beaches, stop at the lookout first to gain a sense of the local geography.

References

Parks & Wildlife Service Tasmania – Freycinet Peninsula – Activites

StepScape – Friendly Beaches Lookout

Map of this walk

All photographs from this walk

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