Douglas River can be found on the east coast of Tasmania about 15 minutes drive north of Bicheno. It has many changing faces as it runs down out of the hills of Douglas Apsley National Park and out into the sea.

Douglas River - East Coast Tasmania Beach

Douglas River: east coast Tasmania (photo by Roger Findlay)

Douglas River via Bicheno Tasmania

by Roger Findlay

Since we first visited about eight years ago the beach has now accumulated timber that has washed down from the hills. You may be aware that St. Marys and Elephant Pass have been hit by floods in recent times and this is the result. This hasn’t stopped us visiting our favourite spot in Tasmania. In fact it is quite the opposite.

Douglas River - Fishing

Fishing for bream: Douglas River (photo by Roger Findlay)

Douglas River: Family Farm and Fishing

There is just one family living on Douglas River and they’re right on the estuary where we like to fish for bream. This family work the land right along the front and down to the beach. Sheep, beef cattle and pumpkins provide their living and have done for years gone by.

Being such regular visitors, we are treated like family. They are always glad to see us and we feel the same. The evening drinks are relaxing for both parties and the conversation is non-pretentious, basic stuff: weather, Tasmanian politics, Home and Away, etc.

Douglas River - East Coast Beach

Douglas River: pristine beach (photo by Roger Findlay)

You’ll Own the Beach

As we are given a key to a gate, we have access to private land and a deserted beach that stretches for miles in both directions. One day we got such a fright when another person appeared. Walking towards Bicheno, the sand dunes have been eroded into a formation that our friends call The Porches. Bird life is abundant and the giant kelp creates an attraction of its own.

Douglas River - Beach Seaweed

Roger Findlay: Douglas River (photo supplied)

Looking back up the estuary, the hills of Douglas Apsley are often capped by cloud. You can see the weather changing. At times Douglas River can be running fast but when the tide is out it can be extremely calm. About a year ago the authorities installed a steel platform in the river close to the bank. It may have been to monitor the flow. The experienced land owners advised what to expect and, when the floods hit, the platform washed away!

Douglas River - Tasmanian Weather

Douglas River near Bicheno (photo by Roger Findlay)

Accommodation Near Bicheno, Tasmania

If you are looking for good, clean and reasonable accommodation near Bicheno, I can recommend Douglas River Cabins. A three night stay would be ideal for visiting Bicheno, Coles Bay and St Helens to the north.

Douglas River - Douglas Apsley National Park Region

Rainbow: east coast Tasmania (photo by Roger Findlay)

For the walker, Douglas Apsley National Park can be accessed close by. There are two cabins that are suitable for a couple, small family or large group. Give it a try but don’t tell the world! You will not be disappointed.


Map: Douglas River Cabins, Tasmania…

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