Aqua and orange: the beautiful Bay of Fires

Today, we had a drive further up the east coast of Tasmania to see Bay of Fires. I’d seen pictures of this area and didn’t really believe the sea would be as turquoise or the rocks as orange as in the pictures, except maybe on the brightest sunny days. I was pleased to be proved wrong.

The first part of the journey north from Bicheno was one white sandy beach after another, lapped by beautiful turquoise sea.

After an hour or so, we stopped in St Helen’s for a coffee, and to take pictures of the boats reflected in the calm sea. Note my long suffering husband waiting for me in the car! We also had to stop and take a photo by the sign for Beaumaris! It’s been a lovely day… warm for winter… although it’s gradually become more overcast as the day went on.

Bay of Fires is famous for its crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches and granite boulders, covered in orange lichen. Apparently, this lichen is only found in Tasmania, South Africa and Antarctica. Bay of Fires is miles long, from Binalong Bay in the south to Eddystone Point in the north. Where we first stopped, just above Binalong Bay, the water was bright turquoise and, even on a fairly dull day, the colours were stunning. I loved it!

Further up the coast at The Gardens, the water was less turquoise but still crystal clear. Whereas the sea had been relatively calm near Binalong Bay, and felt quite relaxing, at the Gardens it was crashing onto the rocks. I loved its raw power. We spent some time taking photos and enjoying the views. We were very surprised and pleased to have the place to ourselves.

By now it was time for lunch. We popped into Binalong Bay but the restaurant I’d found on Tripadvisor was unfortunately closed. After a quick stroll on the lovely beach, we drove to St Helens and found a great cafe in an antiques/tat shop… it’s subjective! It was a great place though, and the food was good.

From here we drove up to Anson’s Bay and Eddystone Point, a journey which took about an hour through the bush on dirt tracks. We visited the lighthouses and wandered down to the beach where there were more orange lichen-covered rocks. I also took the opportunity to use the toilet, which was essentially a long-drop hole in the ground, but nevertheless very welcome!

On the way back down the dirt track, John pulled over to let a pick up truck, which was flying along, go past. Despite the amount of roadkill we’ve seen, we’ve decided that many of the locals aren’t worried about killing kangaroos, wombats and smaller animals. The farmers probably find them a nuisance. We were very sad to see two rather large wombats dead by the side of the road today. Anyway… as we stopped, we spotted a huge bird and got out to take some photos. We think it was a Tasmanian wedge tailed eagle, another endangered species.

On the way back we stopped at a lovely restaurant for dinner. After this it was very dark… there’s little light pollution here… and, once again, John drove relatively slowly, peering into the darkness, so we wouldn’t hit any furry creatures on our way back to the Airbnb. Tomorrow we move on to Launceston. I need to have a look at the guidebooks and choose what we’d like to do there.

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