Worth getting out of bed for
Given that as part of your stay you're gifted a free spa experience (from a 60-minute treatment in a Luxury or Signature Suite to 120 minutes in a Private Pavilion), you'd be mad not to make time for a visit to intimate Spa Saffire, on the ground-floor of the Sanctuary building near the gym. It's a simple elemental space in dark wood and white, with soothing water features and soft lighting. Saffire's Jewel Collection of deluxe facials drawing on the rejuvenating powers of sapphire, diamond and gold are a particular speciality, as the experienced therapists have all been trained by celebrity facialist Marionne De Candia. Book prior to arrival if you can and get ready to feel like a million dollars.
Saffire also has an inspiring smorgasbord of complimentary activities, ranging from one to three hours' long, designed to help you explore the area and indulge your love of adventure, gourmet treats, romance or all three. Some of our favourites include donning waders at the nearby Freycinet Marine Farm to check out the secret life of oysters, spending an hour with the hotel's two-hat award-winning chef learning about local produce (and tasting some of it, 'natch) and visiting arcing Wineglass Bay in the Freycinet National Park, considered one of the world's most beautiful beaches. You can also quad bike around the wetlands, mountain bike on rugged tracks, jog on the shore or trek in the bush. Kayaking, fishing, bocce, beach cricket and volleyball are just a few of the beach larks up for grabs.
The fun doesn't even stop at nightfall, when nocturnal wildlife safaris in the woods and star-spotting around the campfire come into their own. If that all sounds a bit too energetic, then request a chilled out gourmet picnic with a view of the Hazards, take a dip in the ocean or just crash out in a double hammock and let the day drift by.
Experiences which cost extra include helicopter tours (often teamed with fly-fishing and golf), trips to Wineglass Bay look-out and the bay itself with a gourmet lunch and launch cruise, and the hotel's signature Schouten Island Experience, a boat trip to this rarely explored wild island and its surrounds, with possible sightings of fur seals, albatross, Little Penguins, dolphins and whales, and definite plans for a sumptuous Tassie lunch on a pristine white-sand beach.
Need something to wash it down with? This area may not be as famous for wine as Tasmania's Pipers River further north, but Spring Vale, Milton or Freycinet Vineyards are all worth a visit if you want to sample the region's best drops.
For oceanic treats make for Madge Malloys (+61 (0)3 6257 0399), at 3 Garnet Avenue in Coles Bay, where the owner wields her own fishing boat to delicious effect. The result is mouth-watering oysters, wine-poached calamari and ridiculously fresh catch of the day, along with some decent local wines. The Oystercatcher (+61 (0)3 6257 0033), nearby at number 6, offers views of the Hazards peaks to accompany lunch and dinner in summer, with tasty brunch, breads, fish 'n chips and oysters to eat in or takeaway.
For hefty pub meals, cold beer and chats with the locals, Coles Bay stalwart Iluka Tavern (+61 (0)3 6257 0429) on the Esplanade is a good bet. Order a cold lager, chow down on seafood paella or even catch the occasional live band in summer.
Local mainstay the Freycinet Bakery & Café (+61 (0)3 6257 0272) serves up day-long breakfast, tasty baked goods, pies, wraps, sandwiches and cakes, as well as keeping fruit juices and coffee coming. It's at Iluka Holiday Centre on Coles Bay's Esplanade, handy for pittstops before or after treks.
March The annual Three Peaks Race (www.threepeaks.org.au) sees yachting crews passing through the Freycinet Peninsula en route from Launceston to Hobart, climbing three peaks along the way. May Nearby small town Swansea's From France to Freycinet Festival (www.fromfrancetofreycinet.com.au) celebrates the peninsula's Gallic roots, with its name hailing from a French navigator. December–Febuary Australia's summer ushers in the warmest seas, making this prime time to visit east Tasmania.
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Smith extra at Saffire
A bottle of French champagne