Above "The Hazards" at Coles Bay
Coles Bay (including Freycinet National
Park) Entry point for those eager to explore
the beautiful Freycinet National Park.
Coles Bay before the arrival of European sealers and whalers the area was popular with Aborigines and there are many shell middens along the coast suggesting that it was a popular retreat from the coldness of the Tasmanian winter.
By the early nineteenth century whalers and sealers were well established on both Freycinet Peninsula and Schouten Island. From this time the settlement of the area was largely restricted to adventurers and near-hermits. It was Silas Cole, a lonely lime burner who collected the shells from the Aboriginal middens and burnt them for lime, who gave the town its name. He loved the area and often described its beauty to his friends when he took his lime across Great Oyster Bay to Swansea.
It wasn't until 1934, when a retired auctioneer named Harry Parsons purchased 5 ha of land at Coles Bay, that any kind of settlement developed. Parsons' purchase became the land for the town - and the town became a popular haunt for fishermen and bushwalkers. It was a retreat from modern life. A true escape to a small community of shanties on the edge of a beautiful bay. A rough road was hewn around the coast but most of the building materials for the town arrived on the SS Koomeela which made regular journeys across the bay.
The appealing quality of Coles Bay and Freycinet National Park is that they haven't really changed in fifty years. Today people still come to the area to get away from it all. They fish in the waters of Great Oyster Bay, which are still rich in trevally, flathead, crayfish and trumpeter. They walk into the park and climb the Hazards or the mountains to the south, both of which offer marvellous views across the bay and out across the Tasman Sea. And they drive on the rough roads through the National Park stopping for a spectacular view or pulling off the road to go swimming in the clear, safe waters of the bay.
Coles Bay Tasmania is a lovely location with stunning walks and close to many fine beaches.