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.

Tasmania Beach: Freycinet Peninsula
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Friendly Beaches: Freycinet Tasmania (photo by Dan Fellow)

They don’t want you to know, 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.

Opossum Bay, Tasmania: Beach
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Tasmania beach for safe swimming: Opossum Bay

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.

Tasmania Beach Houses: Opossum Bay
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Tasmania: beach houses, Opossum Bay

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.

Wineglass Bay, Tasmania: Beach
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Wineglass Bay, popular Tasmania Beach (photo by Dan Fellow)

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.

wildlife in Tasmania, beach locations
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Gavin with friendly wildlife at Freycinet National Park

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.

Bay of Fires, Tasmania: beach photograph
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Bay of Fires Beach, Tasmania (photo by Dan Fellow)

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 boys 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 swim, Binalong Bay
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Swimming at the beach in Tasmania

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.

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