It’s hard to believe that the Bay of Fires is located in Tassie, and not in the northern state of Queensland where these views are endless. But these crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches and orange lichen-covered granite boulders is an absolute highlight of Tasmania’s East Coast, and one that is not to be missed on your visit.
Known as the Bay of Fires, this conservation area extends along the coast from Binalong Bay in the south to Eddystone Point in the north, with countless beaches and bay in between. We could have easily spent ages here, the Bay of Fires was just so outstandingly beautiful.
Unfortunately, as is often the case when travelling with a large group of people, we didn’t get to spend nearly enough time here due to my sister being in an exceptionally bad mood. Honestly, sometimes we question why we ever travel with other people, it can just be way too difficult.
If you’re heading over to the Bay of Fires, here’s everything you need to know for your visit.
About the Bay of Fires
The Bay of Fires has a rich history, dating all the way back to 1773 when Captain Toias Furneaux sailed past the secluded bay. From the water he could see the flames from Aboriginal fires around the beaches.
It has been said that the name also comes from the bright orange lichen that grows on the granite boulders that line around the beach.
These days there are many areas of the Bay of Fires that is considered a protected site, where Aboriginal middens (shell and bone deposits) have been found in the sand dunes. If you do come across any of these middens during your visit, please make sure you do not move or disturb these sacred sites.
The northern half of the bay is part of Mount William National Park, while the southern half of the bay is protected as a conservation area, which is further divided into three sections.
What to do at the Bay of Fires
The main reason people keep heading to the Bay of Fires each summer time is because of the beautiful main beach at Binalong Bay. In fact, this beach can often be found listed as one of the best beaches in Australia.
Binalong Bay is a great spot for swimming or surfing, with good waves often present along the beach. There is a lot of marine life around here as well, with the clear water offering great conditions for diving and snorkelling offshore.
If you want to get out of the water for a little bit, head inland to explore the peaceful rural valley of Priory. Check out Mt Pearson Reserve and have a break with a local wine tasting at the nearby cellar door.
Head north in the Bay of Fires to Ansons Bay where fishing and boating is popular with visitors, as well as kayaking in Ansons Bay Lagoon. If you grab yourself a fishing licence, you can fish for your dinner right off the bay as people often catch crays and abalone here.
Camping at the Bay of Fires
One of the best way to really experience the Bay of Fires is to camp along the foreshore. There are lots of places along Binalong Bay where you can camp right next to the beach, what a beautiful place to wake up in the morning!
The following because and campsites are found in the southern section of Binalong Bay:
Grants Lagoon – a large, open, grassed camping area with access to the lagoon. Caravans and motorhomes are allowed to camp here although access is limited.
Swimcart Beach – ample grassed and sandy, sheltered campsites that accepts small caravans and campers.
Cosy Corner – biggest and best campsite for caravans and motorhomes. Cosy Corners has two separate entrances, with one leading to well protected campsites amongst the trees and the other leading to a more open grassy area.
Sloop Reef – bayside campsites on either the left or right of the access road into the reserve for camping in cars and tents only. There are no toilets or facilities here.
With the exception of Sloop Reef there are pit toilets available at all campsites, however there is no water or firewood and no rubbish collection. Please make sure you take any and all rubbish with you when you leave, to leave the site exactly as you found it. Maximum stay in any of these campsites is for weeks.
Seatons Cove, Taylors Beach and the Gardens Beach are all day use only areas and do not have any facilities. There is no camping allowed in these locations.
If you’re planning to stay in the mid section of the Bay of Fires, also known as Policemans Point, you need to be self-sufficient, as there are no shops or any facilities in the area. There’s also a boat ramp at Policeman’s Point.
The northern section of the Bay of Fires is for day use only. There are no campgrounds here.
Getting to the Bay of Fires
Located on the north-east coast of Tasmania, the Bay of Fires is stretches for more than 50 kilometres between Binalong Bay in the south and Eddystone Point in the north. Driving here will take you 3 hours from Launceston or 4 hours from Hobart.
The closest town to the Bay of Fires is St Helen’s which is just a 10 minute drive away from Binalong Bay. From St Helen’s take Binalong Bay Road (C850), turn left at the C848 at the sign that says ‘The Gardens – 13kms’.