Tasmania’s Bay of Fires is anything but a burning hell. Its azure waters, pristine sandy beaches and giant orange-hued granite boulders make this one spectacular coastline oozing Tassie’s north-east coastal cool.
Running from Binalong Bay to Eddystone Point, this 50 km conservation stretch gets its name from the Aboriginal Fires spotted by Captain Tobias Furneaux in 1773. Its name could also be derived from its hard-to-miss burnt giant orange rocks making it an iconic setting, no filter required.
Its distinctive coastline makes Bay of Fires one of Tasmania’s most scenic drive routes, a 3-hour drive from Hobart and 2-hour drive east of Launceston. (You can expect your journey from one end to another to be a stop-start exercise you would be most tempted to hop out to explore its tucked away secluded beaches, climb its rocky gorges and venture into its inlets.)
If long stretches of white sandy beaches are your thing, then it would be wise to GPS your way to Binalong Bay – the area’s main beach. Its Scattergories list of activities starting with S – surfing, snorkelling, swimming is at your leisure in its sublime crystal clear waters.
Another gem along the Bay of Fires is the stunning, untamed wilderness of Georges Bay. Despite its magnitude of beauty, this part of Tassie’s famed coastline is relatively quiet, making it a perfect pit stop to saviour its for an overnight stay.
Neatly tucked away fringing corner of the bay is the newly opened NRMA St Helens Waterfront Holiday Park.
Both appealing to campers, caravans and those lux cabin travellers, this accommodation offers creature comforts in vibrant and colourful caravan park surroundings. If you want to treat yourself, go for the cabins with verandah views of St Helens Bay. (Double dip on Tassie’s delights and BYO some of Tasmania’s excellent wine and cheese to enjoy porch side overlooking the bay.)
Once your hunger for exploring Tasmania’s spectacular coastline is satisfied and seeing a gorgeous purple-pink hued is ticked off, I recommend tucking into this coastline’s pot of good fortune – its food.
Its latest restaurant offering, Parkside Bar & Kitchen fringes the Bay and makes for an exceptional introduction to Tasmanian locally sourced produce. Exceptional may be a big word to use but it is all relative to the generous fare served on its signature Taste of Tasmania share platter (and for a too-good $75 steal too!).
The platter is stated to feed two people; however its servings of oysters freshly plucked from the bay, quail, prosciutto-wrapped lamb cutlets, melting pork belly strips, sundried tomato goat cheese topped eye fillet, bunches of smoked salmon, grilled fish is enough to feed a third wheel (a lucky one at that!).
The good flavour of the Bay of Fires is not just contained to the bay itself. En route from the Bay of Fires and beyond, make sure you make last-minute shackle stop at farmer market Lease 65. At $18 a pop for a dozen of fresh oysters, these could possibly be the cheapest dozen in Tassie. You can literally taste the freshness of the Pacific Ocean; its fresh catch is evident with its fully-loaded oyster crates on display.
This Tassie coastline proves to be different (not just on the waistline either) and worth firing up the car engine for.
NRMA St Helens Waterfront Park – budget to mid-range accommodation available. Campsites (from $31 per night), powered sites (from $41 per night) and cabin stays (from $160 per night).
18 St Helens Point Rd, St Helens TAS 7216
Parkside Bar & Kitchen – 8 St Helens Point Rd, St Helens Tasmania 7216
Lease 65 – 444 Binalong Bay Rd, Saint Helens, Tasmania, Australia 7216
Article first published on So Perth: How to Keep Your Cool at Tasmania’s Bay of Fires
Feature image: Anthony D’Orazio