Tania wrote about the Bay of Fires in a previous article detailing some of her favourite beaches, but here’s a bit more information from me. When travelling to the area, you’re off to a good start when you arrive in St Helens. The town of 5,000 locals offers terrific services, plus a fishing fleet and an extremely pleasant location.

Bay of Fires, Tasmania
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Bay of Fires (photo by Dan Fellow)

Tasmania Highlight: Bay of Fires

My local source told me the population of the town doubles (at least) in the summer. Tourists flock to the area for the love of a good beach. I only noticed flocks of the feathered variety during my visit, which made for a relaxing stay.

St Helens Marina, Tasmania
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Marina: St Helens, Bay of Fires base

Bay of Fires: Hot Topic

St Helens in north-east Tasmania, has a big range of activities within comfortable driving distance of both Hobart and Launceston. But the town of St Helens will be a whole other story. This current article is designed to reflect on the winner of the Hottest Travel Destination 2009 as judged by The Lonely Planet: Bay of Fires.

I’m sometimes sceptical of tourism brochures showing idyllic, tropical-deserted-island type images. A first-hand visit on this occasion however, actually confirms this to be true of the Bay of Fires. The sands were pure white; the water was turquoise and the vast expanse of beach was deserted.

Binalong Bay

The township of Binalong Bay marks the southern gateway to this beautiful region in north east Tasmania. Apparently the Bay of Fires was named such following sightings of aboriginal fires by Captain Furneaux in 1773. The significance of the area has been acknowledged with conservation status.

The Gardens, Bay of Fires National Park
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The Gardens: Bay of Fires National Park

I drove about 13kms along the scenic road to The Gardens, enjoying views of the picturesque bay. I checked out the rugged camping sites along the way, where you either seriously rough it or take your own luxuries in a motorhome. The northern end of the section (via unsealed roads) includes Mt William National Park and the Eddystone Point Lighthouse on the most eastern tip of the state.

Peron Dunes: St Helens Point

St Helens Point must be almost as easterly as Eddystone. Peron Dunes provide outstanding fun for energetic kids and a delightful prospect for the amateur photographer. You could easily get the mistaken impression that you’re the first to stumble across this treasure. It’s all wind-swept and natural, coastal bushland.

St Helens Point near Bay of Fires
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St Helens Point: East Coast Tasmania

Lonely Planet didn’t mention Peron Dunes, but their proximity to Bay of Fires makes them dual attractions.

Peron Dunes near Bay of Fires
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Peron Dunes: St Helens Point, Tasmania

Bay of Fires Rocks

We must mention one final highlight from the experience. The rocks! How could rocks be a highlight, you may well ask?

  • a pushover in the photography stakes, they have an indescribable magnetism
  • ranging in colour from granite pink to fiery orange, they dominate the landscape
  • you can perch upon the rocks for seaside gazing or clamber on for fun and exercise
Orange lichen-covered rocks: Bay of Fires, Tasmania
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Lichen-covered rocks: Bay of Fires (photo by Dan Fellow)

The Bay of Fires has something for every coastal-lover to enjoy

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Map: Bay of Fires, Tasmania…

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