Tasmania. Beach. Those two words in the same sentence? Yep, this site is all about Tassie. And nope, we’re not kidding. This is one of the tip top secrets safeguarded by the locals: there’s great beaches.
Some locals don’t want you to actually know their secret, so you must promise not to tell. There’s an astonishing assortment of seaside villages. Many of them boast bucket loads of charm, pure sand and the most crystal-like water you could possibly imagine. We were surprised and even shocked when we discovered Tasmania had these little gems.
So, taking into account the following criteria…
- a top coastal spot in Tasmania
- a beach that’s easily accessible from accommodation
- a unique quality that sets it apart
…here’s our top three bays. For today, anyway!
Tasmania: Beach #1: Opossum Bay
This quaint village at the tip of South Arm Peninsula in southern Tasmania faced Hobart across the River Derwent. It appeared to be a favourite with locals, especially families with young children. The waters proved shallow, calm and comparatively warmer than open ocean.
There was an eclectic mix of houses ranging from weekender shacks to upmarket mansions resting along the foreshore. The owners were offered the ultimate views across the water to city lights. During the appropriate season (October to April) cruise ships would glide through the estuary headed for their stopover in Hobart.
Beach visitors to O’Possum Bay can hope for dolphin, seal and penguin sightings. From the jetty, fishermen can potentially catch a feast of seafood: octopus, squid and Flathead on the Tasmanian menu. Perfect with a glass of wine, perhaps?
Tasmania: Beach #2: Wineglass Bay
While on a family touring holiday from Hobart to the north east of Tasmania, we had a stop-over at the township of Coles Bay. Like many, many other tourists we did the hike up to the viewing platform over Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park.
We were a little unlucky with the weather on the day, with intermittent showers affecting the spectacular views. But the hike was still worthwhile. The kids found the uphill climb a “walk in the park” while I came to resent the nasty steps. On the way down, we met a high-school group who were hiking up to the viewing platform, and then continuing on down to the beach. They had huge camping packs and enthusiasm to match.
Since our trip, I’ve spoken to others who would rate this an easy hike, so maybe I just need more practice. I’d return anyway, just for the friendly local wildlife. A wallaby came and sat alongside our group, as if joining us for lunch.
There’s no denying the dramatic scenery on the east coast of Tasmania. It’s simply breathtaking, and by the time we reached St Helens on our tour we did wonder if there was anything that could beat it, really.
And then we took a casual little drive from our accommodation overlooking the marina, to the Bay of Fires.
Tasmania: Beach #3: Binalong Bay
The much revered Lonely Planet Guide named the Bay of Fires coastline as “the hottest travel destination for 2009”. That’s from all the places in the entire world. Wow! Apart from tourism industry peeps, the locals weren’t happy with this blatant promotion. It showed a complete disregard for keeping their seaside beauty hush-hush.
I did read the Lonely Planet review. But our little family of four took our own vote. We unanimously agreed that Binalong Bay, with its sparkling water and whiter-than-white sand, was the best of any beaches we’d ever seen.
The kids found the whole panorama too tempting to resist. Despite having no bathers or towels, they went for a quick dip. It was apparently quite unusual for early May, but on this day, the Tasmanian weather proved unbelievably perfect for just such spontaneity.
With not another soul in sight, it could’ve been a deserted tropical island, instead of a national park and Tourism Tasmania icon.
Tasmania: beach shacks, fishing, surfing, sailing. The list of coastal highlights is endless. But one thing is certain: the phrase “Life is a Beach” must have been coined by a Tasmanian.