Today’s cautionary tale is based on a true story. Consider this a comedy; with tragedy, suspense and adventure all thrown in for good measure. The Visitor Information Centre (VIC) in St Helens provides the backdrop, and the lady behind the counter is our heroine.

VIC - St Helens Visitor Information Centre
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Visitor Information Centre (VIC) St Helens Tasmania

You, Me and the VIC

As we watched this encounter unfold, we didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. We’d been browsing the books and brochures at the St Helens VIC, launch-pad for the Trail of the Tin Dragon in north east Tasmania. We were almost ready to leave when a lone tourist sauntered up to the desk.

He was passing through town, he stated. While his partner used the public conveniences, he thought he’d just pop in for a quick chat. “What is there to see and do in St Helens” he asked.

VIC - Trail of the Tin Dragon
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Trail of the Tin Dragon, north east Tasmania

This was 2:30pm. So mid afternoon, okay? Our heroine – the VIC volunteer on duty that day – asked where he was planning to be that night. In Hobart, he said. We possibly sniggered right about then, but hopefully we did so very quietly. We stayed, purely to eavesdrop. That’s dreadful behaviour on our part, we know… but we couldn’t resist.

VIC - St Helens Marina
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Boats: St Helens Marina

VIC - Seafood
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Flathead: Blue Shed, St Helens Tasmania

St Helens to Hobart via Binalong Bay

Our heroine did her level best to encourage the gentleman to continue driving on to Hobart, so he and his partner would arrive at their accommodation safely at a reasonable hour. Say, 6:00pm allowing for comfort stops.

VIC - St Helens Mural
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Mural: near St Helens VIC

The tourist would not be deterred. He really wanted to see the local sights. Today. This afternoon even. We spent a full week in St Helens, and came away wishing we had more time, knowing there was yet more to do and more to see.

The bewildered lady put forward Binalong Bay as the highlight of the region. Perhaps he’d like to take a 15-minute detour, enjoy the Bay of Fires for maybe 30 minutes, and then return (another 15 minute drive) to St Helens before heading off to Hobart, to arrive by 7:00pm. He thought the suggestion was a splendid idea. But he wasn’t done yet. The plot was to thicken!

VIC - Binalong Bay
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

From St Helens: Binalong Bay, Bay of Fires

Drive to Arrive

As it turned out, our tourist duo were planning to visit the Freycinet Peninsula as well. That same day! They were going to walk up to the Wineglass Bay lookout, then proceed down to the beach before retracing their steps up and over the lengthy track. What the…?

VIC - Wineglass Bay Lookout
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Wineglass Bay Lookout (photo by Wayne Cartwright)

Our poor heroine may have blinked once or twice, but graciously took this news in her stride. She detailed all the times – both driving and walking – and wished the tourist well. We wondered if he would be safe. He would be driving a foreign and sometimes windy road, in the dark, with wildlife abound. Hopefully the little hire car and its occupants made it to Hobart in one piece.

VIC - Moulting Lagoon, East Coast Tasmania
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Moulting Lagoon Lookout, Tasmania (photo by Dan Fellow)

Here’s the moral of this story. Allow more time than you originally think to tour Tasmania. There’s lots to see and lots to do; and travel distances are deceiving. And if you can’t stay longer, be ruthlessly selective and choose wisely. We want visitors (and wildlife) to stay safe. And if an expert VIC volunteer is offering you advice… take it.

VIC - Tasmanian Wallaby
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Freycinet Wallaby, Wineglass Bay: wildlife

If you like this article about Tasmania, and you’d like to read more, just subscribe to our newsletter or join us on social media via FacebookTwitterPinterest or Instagram. If you really like this article, and you want others to see it, you can choose one of the “share” options below. We’d love that!

Comments relevant to this article are always most welcome, just leave a reply below. But first… please confirm the date of this article. Have you found something current, or is this ancient information? Either way, thanks for your company and come back again soon.

Map: St Helens VIC, Tasmania…

Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit
Get Directions