Freycinet Lodge review, Tasmania: A haven in one of the world's most stunning natural landscapes

Our rating

4 out of 5

THE PLACE

Freycinet Lodge has had many lives since its creation by Ron Richardson as The Chateau, in 1932, on land leased from Freycinet National Park on Tasmania's east coast, a three-hour or so drive from Launceston or Hobart. Richardson, his wife, Jilli, and friends created a central building and 14 units using bricks made by hand on-site. The Chateau became a popular holiday retreat and historic photos in the foyer track the always-smiling pioneer and the lodge's journey.

THE LOCATION

Prepare for nothing less than full immersion innature's wonders, within one of the oldest and the state's most visited and photogenic national parks. Take in scenes of the sheltered, clear waters and white sand beaches of Coles Bay, Great Oyster Bay beyond or the dramatic Hazards granite mountain range. The myriad attractions of the peninsula are just outside your front door.

THE SPACE

Extending over two levels, the welcoming lodge space includes a large deck area with chairs and tables overlooking the bay where guests can watch the comings and goings of cruise boats, water taxis and sea kayakers. Inside, an open fire, lounge chairs and couches fill the space for guests to relax into over a glass of wine and game of chess. Generally quiet during the day, the lodge livens up after guests return from their day of exploring and the billiards table gets a full work-out. Outside, on sunset, the water sparkles. You'd like to think Ron and Jilli would approve of such a convivial space.

THE ROOM

Following the opening of the couples' coastal pavilions in 2018, the mountain terraces, which face the Hazards, are the newest additions and include two family suites that each accommodate a family of four. Wallaby pelts soften Tasmanian-made plywood flooring, the handrail is wrapped in leather and the king bed with gold velvet bedhead feels decadent. A smaller second bedroom with two single beds accommodates the teen and the 'tween. From the leather lounge you can ponder your next Scrabble move while gazing through a wall of glass overlooking bush and mountain.

THE FOOD

The Bay restaurant offers some of the state's best produce, including Cape Grim eye fillet steak, Scottsdale pork belly and Melshell oysters. The wine list features the east coast's cool-climate wines, including Devil's Corner and Gala Wines. The bistro is a more relaxed affair and, happily, there's not a chicken nugget in sight. Breakfast at The Bay is included in the stay and the a la carte menu includes hearty dishes such as mushroom ragout with scrambled eggs and corn fritters with Scottsdale bacon for hiking sustenance.

STEPPING OUT

A guided tour by sea kayak with Freycinet Adventures (freycinetadventures.com.au) is a wonderful way to see the bay from a fresh perspective and to learn about the area's Indigenous and whaling history. The paddling is easy and there's a hot chocolate and coffee stop at Stingray Bay, one of numerous coves to explore. 

With so many visitors to this area, most wanting to capture a selfie at Wineglass Bay, Mount Amos is an alternative for a less busy but much more challenging hike. Your efforts will be rewarded with a panorama of Wineglass Bay, Hazards Beach, Schouten Island and Mount Graham.

THE VERDICT

An understated bolthole set within one of the world's most stunning natural landscapes.

ESSENTIALS

The RACT-owned Freycinet Lodge is set within the Freycinet National Park. The six new mountain terraces opened in August 2018 and  cost from $429 a night, including cooked breakfast.  

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There is a 25 per cent discount for RACT members and 15 per cent discount for interstate and international auto club members. Phone (03) 6256 7222. See freycinetlodge.com.au

HIGHLIGHT

The outside bath, positioned for privacy, is the perfect salve after a long hike. 

LOWLIGHT

Plastic-wrapped slippers are at odds with the progressive township of Coles Bay which phased out plastic shopping bags more than 15 years ago.


Jane Reddy stayed as a guest of the Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania (RACT).