Guide to Camping Coles Bay


Coles Bay is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Tasmania, drawing visitors from all around the world to view Wineglass Bay and to explore the Freycinet National Park. Due to its stunning beauty and the diversity of the activities you can undertake in this part of Tasmania, it is also a haven for local (people from all across Tasmania) to head to Tasmania’s sunny East Coast and to camp in Coles Bay and the Freycinet National Park. There are a range of campgrounds in the Coles Bay area and the Freycinet National Park, both free and paid. But please note, it is near on impossible to get a campsite in this area from mid-December until after the Australia Day long-weekend. Many interstate visitors simply arrive in Coles Bay towing a large caravan in late December / early January only to learn that a ballot operates to assign campsites during Christmas and again at Easter. The ballot closes towards the end of July each year and is drawn on the 1st August to allocate sites for the Christmas summer season period from 18th December to 10th February and also over Easter. One entry per family or group is permitted for Christmas and another may be entered for Easter. If successful, the maximum stay is 10 nights for up to 6 people per site. For the non-ballot period, bookings for campsites can be pre-booked through the Freycinet Visitor Centre and full payment is required to hold the campsite. Outside of the Ballot period the maximum length of stay is 14 nights. Each site can accommodate up to 6 people. Please notify the Visitor Centre if you plan to arrive a day late. All bookings not taken up by the first night will be deemed a no show and cancelled (cancellation fees will apply). At all times of the year, please don’t just turn up and expect to be able to camp at Richardsons Beach of Honeymoon Bay – always call as far ahead as possible and seek a reservation. There are two campgrounds outside the National Park that can’t be booked – all camping is on a first come, first serve basis. These are River & Rocks and Friendly Beaches, but again they are extremely popular from mid-December until early February each year and again at Easter. Freycinet is a Fuel Stove Only area as it is very dry and vulnerable to fire (most recent fires September 2023). Fires are NOT allowed in the Freycinet National Park. Gas and fuel stoves can be used except on days of Total Fire Ban, when no naked flames of any sort, including gas and fuel stoves, are allowed in open areas. The electric barbecues provided at Ranger Creek and Honeymoon Bay picnic areas can be used for cooking on these days. Unpowered sites are $13 per night for 2 people, with powered sites $16 per night for 2 persons. Each additional adult is $5 in an unpowered site, and $7 in a powered site up to a maximum of 6 people per site.

Bookings are required at all times of the year – camping is not possible from 18 December until 10 February and again over Easter unless you have been successful in securing a campsite in the annual camping ballot Freycinet National Park. The Richardsons Beach Campground is adjacent to the visitor centre and has accessible toilets, and accessible powered and unpowered sites. for recreational vehicles.

Bookings are required at Honeymoon Bay. The campsites at Honeymoon Bay are individual, tent-only camping nodes situated on a granite knoll overlooking Honeymoon Bay. The sites are only open over summer holidays and at Easter and require a small walk to the amenities. There are electric barbecues, picnic tables, non-treated water and toilets  available in this area.

Bookings are not possible at River & Rocks. The River and Rocks campsite is located app. 20 km south of the turnoff to Coles Bay and is signposted off from the Tasman Highway. River Rocks campsite is easily accessed and suitable for big rigs including motorhomes, caravans, camper trailers and campervans as well as for basic tent camping. It is only fairly small and fills to overflowing during the busy Summer holidays and over Easter.

Friendly Beaches campground Coles Bay Freycinet National Park offers free campsites in an amazing location. Friendly Beaches is small and best suited to small vehicles and camping in tents – bookings are NOT possible, and you must carry your own water, and a fuel stove. Fishing, surfing, diving, walking on the beach. Ranger present during Spring, Summer & Autumn, must have a National Parks Pass. This campsite is only small, and almost always full from mid-December until early February.

Bookings are required – camping at Rangers Creek is not possible from 18/12 to 10/2 each year unless you have been successful in the annual camping ballot. This campsites at Ranger Creek are next to Richardsons Beach and Honey Moon Bay and are a perfect spot to explore Freycinet National Park’s many attractions like the walk to Wineglass Bay.

The Cooks Beach campground is suitable for walk-in camping only, and is located some 12km from the Freycinet Ranger Station. The walk to the small Cooks Beach camping area will take 3-4 hours one way. There is a rainwater tank, but it is unreliable – especially during Summer so please carry plenty of water. Freycinet is strictly a fuel stove only area. Camping is free of charge, but you must have a valid National Parks Pass.

​​​​For overnight bushwalkers there are small campsites at Wineglass Bay, Hazards Beach and Cooks beach. There is a rainwater tank, but it is unreliable – especially during Summer so please carry plenty of water. Freycinet is strictly a fuel stove only area. Camping is free of charge, but you must have a valid National Parks Pass.

If you miss out on a campsite at Freycinet, free or paid, there are other options but we again urge you to book well in advance. They include Freycinet Paintball, The Pondering Frog, Big4 Iluka Caravan Park and the Freycinet Golf Club Campground. Click on each link to read more.

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