Tasmania – Wineglass Bay Cruise

Working out what to do when you are travelling is one thing, but then sometimes the plans fall apart or you realise you have forgotten to plan anything for a particular day. That is pretty much what we worked out a couple of days ago. We spent some time looking around for things to do in Coles Bay and saw there was a boat cruise to Wineglass Bay, apparently a must stop if you are in the area. 


Wineglass Bay Cruises start in Coles Bay and take you out of the bay, north up the coast to Wineglass Bay where you have lunch and then return. While they don’t promise you will see lots of wildlife, you know you will see quite a bit. The Australian fur seals are fairly normal to see, and we did see quite a few of them. There is also an abundance of birds to see, but we also got to see the nest of a white bellied sea eagle, and there were two sitting in it.

Seeing dolphins and whales would be spectacular, you know when you go out that it is unlikely. We didn’t see any dolphins, sadly, but we spent a lot of time watching a couple of humpback whales in the water. It was the first time I had ever seen whales in the wild and it was so good. It will be a highlight of the trip, I’m sure.

The cruise was great and we really enjoyed it. We stayed out the front for the whole way to Wineglass Bay. It was cold and windy, but standing at the front as the boat went up and down with the waves was fantastic. Best ride I’ve been on for a while. We are doing the Tasman Island cruise early next week, so I’m looking forward to that one as well. If you don’t get seasick, then the front when it is out on the open water is just wonderful. The only thing that was disappointing was that it wasn’t rougher.

You get to see the Tasmanian coast which is fall of cliffs covered in orange lichen. They are incredible and you do spend a lot of time just watching in awe of them. I think the coastline here would rival any other in the world.

Lunch is provided and you are given a bento style ploughman’s lunch. We were curious about it, but it turned out fine. While there were things in it that I didn’t like, there were enough things that I did. I had a good lunch and wasn’t hungry after.

The tours are well organised and give you a lot of history about the area as well. They stop along the way and do their best to make sure everyone can get photos. You do find some photo hogs, that won’t move from the front position, but you know how it is, there is always one. On our cruise, that hog was me. Yes, I didn’t want to miss anything.

I think if you are travelling to Coles Bay it would be a great one to add to the list of things to do. They have a website where you can book, here is the link Wineglass Bay Cruises. The tours start at $140, and last for at least 4 hours. They say from 10am to 2pm, but we didn’t get back until 3. We spent too much time looking at the whales.

It was a great day, and while it rained on the way back it certainly didn’t damper the experience. If you want to do it remember to dress very warmly and be prepared for whatever the weather throws at you.

Here are some more photos from the day. Quite a few I’m afraid, I took over 700 so narrowing it down to 27 was very hard.

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  1. All of the above Leanne Glad you enjoyed the rough weather. You said 700 photos? I would have been up in that number too if we had been there. yes it is hard to cull them out after a trip like that. Some good photos ther and a couple of great ones. Loved the one of the seals on the rocks Well done TFS

  2. Was this on the 11th September? If so, you would have seen the 75 foot ketch I was on in Wineglass Bay. One of those Wineglass Bay Cruise launches passed by quite close to us.

    However, it looks more cloudy than it was for us though so it was probably on the 12th. We didn’t see any whales but there lots of fish in the bay, many birds divebombing them and a colony of seals on the rocks and in the water. We also saw several dolphins on a couple of occasions in the water. I also had some prolonged eye contact with a dolphin when I was sitting on the bow the previous day.

    (I’ll start posting on Tassie soon after returning to Canberra but it will probably take several months before I get to Wineglass Bay).

    1. No Murray, we were there the day after on the 12th, we arrived in Coles Bay on the 11th.Lucky you to be on your own boat.
      We saw the dive bombing birds, they were fun to watch. We were very lucky with the whales, they hadn’t seen any for a couple of weeks,so we were really happy. We didn’t see any dolphins, hoping we might see some when we do the boat cruise down at Port Arthur. Let me know when you post some photos. Thank you Murray.

    2. I hope you had a great time there as well Murray, I loved it. It looks like you saw a lot more of it than me. Thanks for the links, and yes, please do update me. Thank you Murray.

    3. I had an amazing time and hopefully got some commensurate images. I expect to post about twice a week. It will take a while.

    4. That’s great to hear, and good to hear you are happy with your photos. It can take a while, I will be them for a while as well.

    1. I understand why you would be looking forward to it, it is such a beautiful place. I could live here. Thank you Erich.

    1. It was Pam, did you do the boat cruise? We didn’t do the walk to the lookout over Wineglass Bay, we were going to do after the boat, but it was raining. Still we got to see it. I bet you can picture yourself there, we will have to compare photos. Thanks Pam.

    2. We didn’t do the cruise there. We took the walk to the lookout. It was raining for a while, but then it stopped and was just cloudy. I photographed from the lookout.

    3. The rain really set in after the cruise, so no chance of the walk. Interesting we have both seen the bey but from different viewpoints.

  3. Sounds and looks like a great trip. It’s always thrilling to see whales in the wild. Seeing the eagles in their nest must have been very cool too.

    1. It was Laura, we had such a great time, a lot of laughing was involved. It was my first time and I really hope not my last. The eagles were cool, thank you Laura.

    1. I wish we had more time there to explore more, oh well, you often don’t know until you go there for the first time. Oh yes, do the cruise, it was fantastic. Thank you Carol.

  4. Lovely Photos, what gear have you got with you not counting infra red

    1. Thank you Geoff, I took my D800 with me, and on the way out I put a cheap 70-300mm lens on it and on the way back I used my 24-70mm.

  5. Great series – looks very familiar! And so lucky to get the whale… I like the fact you don’t get seasick – a major advantage, especially for photography and general well-being.

    1. Thank you Chris, We were, apparently they hadn’t seen one for two or three weeks, so it was great to see one. Oh yes, I think so too, no seasickness for me. the boat from Melb to Devonport was very rocky and a lot of fun too.

    1. I think so too Jo, they were incredible, it was so exciting to see them. I want to see more. It is beautiful down there. Thank you Jo.

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