It’s been a grey, drizzly weekend in Tassie, so to keep my inner sun shining I thought I would reminisce about our recent camping holiday to the stunning Bay of Fires (BOF) on the states North East coast.
My parents were visiting with us from Perth and I wanted to show them some Tasmanian coast line to rival that of beautiful Western Australia. Well rival it did!
The Bay of Fires is not one but many small bays. Pure white sand and crystalline water, bookended by ancient rock formations splashed with fire-red algae, which I initially thought gave the area its name. Actually, the name originated when an early explorer, sailing past the area, noted numerous fires along the coast which had been lit by its many aboriginal inhabitants. Officially BOF runs from Binnalong Bay in the south through to Eddystone Point in the north. It’s a four-ish hour-long drive along the coast road from Hobart with many a winding road to travel and I would suggest packing the kwells and sickie bags if you or your kids suffer from motion sickness. From Bicheno to St Helens notable wineries line the road and the lush beauty of wine country really enhances the journey.
There are a number of free camp sites dotted along the beaches which make up the BOF and after a decent recon we decided on the perfect spot in Jeannerts Beach. Our nomad’s castle was set up metres from the white sand and lapping waves with a long wild beach to one side and a kid friendly gentler bay to the other. The sites are basic with no facilities apart from eco drop toilets, though I would much rather camp rough than set up our tent right on top of the next family in one of the “Big Four” camp grounds. Each BOF camp ground has numerous sites set into bushy alcoves so, although you are not alone you enjoy complete privacy. This definitely helps when the camp shower comes out!
Parks and Wildlife camping details http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/indeX.aspX?base=3999
We spent our days splashing, surfing, exploring rock pools, attempting to fish, reading, kipping and reapplying sun screen. If you haven’t experienced the Tasmanian sun before then come prepared as even a sunny day of 24C is more than enough to turn you into a rock lobster in 15 minutes. The water temperature is certainly a bit chillier than we are used to but we all got in for a refreshing dip/shower and the kids swam until their lips were navy blue and their limbs par frozen.
There is a great side trip to Pyengana, cheddar capital of Tassie, which is well worth doing (post to follow) and would be a great way to spend a day if the weather goes bad.
My camping holiday highlight was slurping spanking fresh local oysters from the shell (post to follow) and sipping Tassie bubbles on the beach while the kids snuck in a final evening swim each day. Following this ridiculously civilized ritual our fire would be lit, BBQ heated up for the nightly grill and the cards would come out. I’d like to tell you it was a friendly game, but then I’d be lying.