5 Must Visit Locations on Tasmania’s East Coast
Tasmania has so many stunning natural wonders. Hiring a car and doing a road trip is a great way to see the island state. However, with limited time it is impossible to see everything. So here is my list of five must visit natural locations on the East Coast of Tasmania.
1 – Bay of Fires
In 2009, the Bay of Fires was named by Lonely Planet as the hottest travel destination in the world. The Lonely Planet guide described it as “white beaches of hourglass-fine sand, Bombay Saphhire sea, an azure sky – and nobody”. While the sand, sea and sky have stayed the same, there are a lot more people now visiting this pristine location. It is also famous for its orange lichen covered granite boulder which are shown around the world in countless photos.
The Bay of Fires conservation area is located in the northern part of the east coast of Tasmania. While it is called the Bay of Fires it is actually a series of bays. It stretches from Eddystone Point in the north to Binalong Bay in the south.
The name, Bay of Fires, comes from the Aboriginal fires that Captain Tobias Furneaux saw as he sailed along the coast in 1773.
You need to spend at least a day, if not longer at the Bay of Fires. You can drive from cove to cove and explore the beaches, rock pools and boulders along the way. As you travel along the bay you will find some busy beaches, but you will also come across more secluded areas which make for great photo opportunities as well as exploring.
If you have less than a day, it is quickest to reach the southern end which is a 13 km stretch of coast from Binalong Bay north to The Gardens. Binalong Bay is about 16k km north of St Helens.
On the day we visited the Bay of Fires it was overcast and rained on and off. We stayed the night in St Helens and when we woke up the next morning it was a beautiful sunny day. So we headed back up to Binalong Bay to get some photos with a blue sky.
2 – Bicheno Blow Hole
Bicheno is a seaside town north of the Freycinet Peninsula and 88 km south of Binalong Bay in the Bay of Fires. The blow hole is a short walk out onto the rocks and due to the power of the ocean, the blow hole shoots water to varying heights every few minutes.
The blow hole is powerful, and you need to keep your distance. But it does make for great photos.
There are other places to visit in Bicheno but give yourself at least an hour to spend at the blow hole to get some great photos of the blow hole itself and also of the amazing shoreline around it.
3 – Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park
Wineglass Bay is part of Freycinet National Park and is found about 18 km south of Bicheno. The pristine beach has been named one of the best beaches in the world at different times.
The National Park and Wineglass Bay is very popular. When we arrived the car park was full and cars were parked along the road leading to the car park. We ended up parking about 1.5 km from the car park and walking from there. As the road is only one lane each way, with national park on each side, you need to walk along the road to the car park so you do need to watch for cars and buses.
There are different walks that you can take but the most popular is the walk to Wineglass Bay. But it is important to understand that it is not an easy walk. You need to head uphill on a well maintained path to a lookout overlooking Wineglass Bay first. This walk is about 1.5 km and is fairly steep. Once you reach the lookout you will be welcomed by spectacular views of not only Wineglass Bay but Freycinet National Park and the ocean also.
The walk from the lookout to the beach is about 1.3 km. When heading back from the beach it is a steep climb over rough and uneven bush rock steps. You will need a reasonable level of fitness to do this walk. You need a minimum of 4 hours to visit Wineglass Bay. If you want to spend time at the beach, you should plan to spend longer.
If you want to visit but do not want to exert yourself, a boat cruise to Wineglass Bay may be more to your liking.
4 – Maria Island
Maria Island is about a 30 minute boat ride from Triabunna. Triabunna is about 85 km south of Freycinet National Park and the same distance north of Hobart.
When visiting the island there are four main options. As we only had a day, we decided to take a boat trip around the island which stops in a beautiful bay on the far side of the island for lunch and allows you to spend a couple of hours on the island in the afternoon before returning to Tribunna. You can also take the ferry to the island for a day trip, camp on the island or take a four day guided hike around the island.
Our boat trip around the island gave us the opportunity not only to see the amazing coastline but also sea birds and dolphins.
The island is a significant historical site. It is home to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Darlington Probation Station which makes up part of the 11 Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property. The station consists of 14 convict buildings and is the most intact example of a probation station in Australia.
But it is not only the convict history that you visit the island for. Maria island, like the sea around it, has an array of wildlife.
5 – Tessellated Pavement
The Tessellated Pavement is a state reserve is at Eaglehawk Neck on the Tasman Peninsula in Tasmania. It is about 83 km south of Triabunna and 25 minutes from the historic Port Arthur site.
We stayed at Eaglehawk Neck overnight which allowed us to take the short drive to Port Arthur to be there when it opened. It also allowed us to see this amazing formation both at dusk and the following morning.
From the Tessellated Pavement State Reserve car park it takes a couple of minutes to walk along a bush track and down a few flights of stairs to this amazing rock formation.
The formation began around 60 million to 160 million years ago when pressure caused cracks in the rock. Since then the ocean has eroded the areas between the cracks giving the tiled appearance we see today.
The rocks can get slippery so be careful when walking on them.
For more on the Tessellate Pavement, click here.
Maria Island was my favourite spot in Tasmania. If you ever go back, you need to stay the night since that’s when all the wildlife come out. We were literally surrounded by wombats, pademelons, wallabies and kangaroos!
Thanks Taryn. We wanted to stay for a few days on Maria Island and do some hiking also but unfortunately we were there just after New Year and it was booked out. Next time!
Great guide! Would love to visit Tasmania someday
Thanks Hayley. And if you’re in Australia, definitely head to Tassie.
I always love my trips to Tasmania. Such a beautiful place and not far from Melbourne
It’s the perfect weekender from Melbourne. Wish it was that close to Brisbane!
This post makes me miss Australia and Tasmania. It is simply stunning! And your photos are pretty freakin’ awesome too! I’m so glad my mum practically forced me to visit Tasmania when I was living Down Under. And I’m ever grateful her for that. Only wish I could go back soon.
Thanks Anna. We live in Brisbane and this was our first visit to Tasmania. It is so stunning and we definitely want to return too. Oh and your mum definitely give great advice!
I’ve been wanting to visit Tasmania but mostly for the food. The scenery is so beautiful in your photos. Now I want to visit even more.
Thanks Mindi. We spend a day visiting wineries and also were there for the Taste festival. Food and wine are definitely great reasons to visit.
Tasmania is beautiful! On my bucket list. Hope to see it one day.
It is definitely worth visiting Alma.
Wineglass Bay and Bay of Fires look amazing! I never think about Tasmania and exploring the amazing beauty there but I should. So lovely and great post.
It is absolutely stunning Kelly. Definitely worth visiting.
I’ve never seen Tasmania look so gorgeous! While in Jordan recently, i was on a tour with a couple from Tasmania and they spoke of its beauty. I see now what they mean. I’m sorry that I never made it to Tasmania when I was in Australia. I hope I can soon rectify that. Amazing photos!
April, when you return you definitely need to visit Tasmania.
We adored Tasmania especially Freycinet. We didn’t do a couple of these so I will definitely add to our itinerary next time. We found one visit not enough and can’t wait to return ASAP!
Totally agree Tracy. We had a week there and needed much more time.
I didn’t realize just how beautiful Tasmania is! Your pictures are stunning. Clearly I need to add this to my bucket list. Pinning for future reference!!
Thanks Nicole. It really is beautiful and well worth visiting.
I already wanted to visit Tas for the wildlife, the forests and the hiking, but I had no idea the coastline had so many gorgeous views too!
This is just another reason to make me reeeeally keen to visit!!
Tassie has so many amazing things to see Josy. We did some hiking while we were there too as well as a lot of wildlife spotting.
Okay, embarrassing moment alert, I totally thought Tasmania was its own country haha. ITS ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL THOUGH!
Tassie is definitely part of Australia Kay. And yes it is absolutely stunning. It’s a must for any trip to Australia.