By Julia D’Orazio – Mar 29, 2019
Who said all gate-crashers were bad?
Imagine having your very own private island getaway with your mates only for it to be gatecrashed by an army of cuteness – penguins. Luckily for us, this peer and penguin unison happily exists at Tasmania’s island private retreat, Picnic Island.
Situated less than a kilometre from Coles Bay and Freycinet National Park area, this tiny east coast island allows you to soak up Tasmania’s stunning coastline in chic coastal comforts and experience close encounters with its adorable inhabitants.
Up to 10 guests can access the island via a scenic 10-minute water taxi ride from Coles Bay. (So start thinking about who you would like to be cast away with!)
Tasmania’s unique island refuge is made up of five sustainably, eco-built luxury waterfront bungalows (both king beds and twin singles) sitting along narrow broad walk. The simple bungalows have its natural luxe benefits; hearing the soothing sounds of the ocean waters gently kissing the islands’ rock-strewn coastline from underneath proves to be a blissful remedy for a good night’s sleep.
The accommodation headquarters, a communal ‘Birdhouse’ is complete with a wooden kitchen and airy lounge area with a striking UFO-like floating fireplace as the centrepiece.
Even just partaking in a morning ritual of having a coffee turns into something of a remarkable experience on the island. Sipping on a fresh brew in the ‘Birdhouse’ comforts with a view of the sun emerging from the ocean feels like an awakening in itself (caffeine excluded). Beanbags are also perched along the island boardwalk to encourage moments of reflection and full appreciation of Tasmania’s wilderness. Coupled with Tasmania’s fresh ocean air and the sense of feeling anew is quickly felt.
It is an easy walk around the island, taking roughly 20 minutes to conquer. From grasping the grandeur of Freycinet National Park’s coastal mountains to looking beyond the horizon, no angle from the island is ever a dull one.
Despite the island’s compact size, it’s packed with activities for you to enjoy life in the slow lane. Snorkelling is permitted around the island those brave enough to embrace its cold waters. (Luckily, thick water suits and snorkel gear is on standby.) Fishing and kayaking activities are also at your disposable and for the yoga lovers, the island features a luxe platform surrounded by shallow waters.
Come night time and the island morphs into something extraordinary. Once the sun goes down, the red torches are in tow for a night of penguin spotting. Guests are to follow a designated path area along the grassy terrains on top of the island to observe the penguins and shearwaters in their natural habitats. It makes for fascinating viewing, whispery playing wildlife bingo under a blanket of stars.
Time to gather the flock as a private island with penguins is a Tassie paradise worth the migration, folks!
Lead photo credit: Picnic Island
Julia travelled as a guest of Tourism Tasmania and Picnic Island and all thoughts and opinions are of her own.