Bay of Fires is on the north-east coast and was tagged as the “secret edge of Tasmania”. However, the 29km beauty is far from being secret, especially after Lonely Planet named it as the world’s “hottest” travel destination for 2009 (source: http://www.smh.com.au/news/news/tasmanias-bay-of-fires-worlds-top-spot-lonely-planet/2008/10/19/1224351032596.html) . Despite the popularity, I still observed that there were less visitors in the area compared to the national parks that we visited, to think that it was even Saturday of the Easter weekend.
The Bay of Fires extend from Eddystone Point to Binalong bay in the south. We were only able to go to the south part (maybe I should rename the post to Tasmania – Bay of Fires South?). Binalong Bay is 160kms away from Launceston and would take more than 2 hours of driving. You can take the path that passes through Scottsdale or the one that goes through St Marys. My initial plan was to take the upper route but I failed in navigating from Launceston so we ended up on the route to St Marys.
We were at Bay of Fires around 3PM of our first day and we tried to look for “The Entrance” that was on the map. I thought that it’s a lookout or something but we did not find any. We saw orange rocks along the coast and we stopped a gorgeous peaceful beach which I don’t know the name.
Before it got dark, we decided to find a place to park the van for our first night. Yes, we’ve got no accommodation reservations as all the campsites in the area are for free! There were only pit toilets on the sites though, and I asked Andrew if it’s ok for him if he won’t be able to shower for 1 night and he said he won’t mind. So why not grab the opportunity of having free night stay?
There was a series of campsites to choose from, we saw signs of these sites along the main street. The campsites were not visible from the road so we couldn’t tell which one was ok and which one was full. We first went to Jeanneret Beach because I just thought the name’s cool. Haha! Well, I didn’t see photos of the campsite and there were no descriptions on the park’s official site so I just based it on my gut feel. Too bad I wasn’t that lucky, the site was small and was already occupied by hippies with their tents. So we then checked the Swimcart Beach camping site. It occupies a long stretch of the beach and have slots for vehicles so you’ll have your own access to the beach. The site was pretty full of big caravans (with generators!) and I was already losing hope that we would find a spot. Luckily, we saw a car on one spot and it seemed like the old couple were not going to camp and were just fishing for the day. We parked behind the car and only after few minutes, they left! Yoohoo!
We prepared sandwich for dinner as we’re still lazy to use the stove. We had silverside (a kind of ham but Andrew said it’s not ham, it’s Silverside!) and cheese. The sunset sky was beautiful that afternoon and after few minutes the moon showed up. We just watched from inside the van because it was too windy outside. We slept before 9pm that night as we’re so tired from preparing for the 9AM flight from Sydney.
The next morning, we woke up at 6AM (without using alarm). We had some breakfast and I braved the cold wind and walked on the beach while Andrew was doing a bit of study.
Then we both walked to the rocky part of the beach because I want to see the orange rocks up close.
We left our camping spot around 9AM and headed to Freycinet Peninsula.
More information about Bay of Fires Conservation Area in the official Tasmania Parks and Wildlife website: http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=3999
This is offering a 4-day guided walk of the whole Bay of Fires for $2,000 AUD (And $500 if you want a porter): http://www.bayoffires.com.au/