The Bay of Fires has been a well-loved secret for Australian holiday-makers for decades. However, it's only recently been discovered by the rest of the world when Lonely Planet named it in their 'Top 10 Places to Visit in the World' in 2015. Since, the Bay of Fires has been gaining recognition. More and more visitors are finding their way to East Coast Tasmania to bask in the pleasant sun, enjoy coastal walks and swim in the vibrant blue waters.
One of the most striking features of the Bay of Fires is the intense colours revealed along the coast. From white beaches and turquoise waters to the bright orange lichen shining like fire on giant granite boulders.
While many of the Bay of Fire beaches can be reached with a short walk from the highway, there's no better way to experience the rugged beauty and hidden inlets than walking the full length of the track, which extends 50 km from Binalong Bay to Eddystone Point. If you're keen to discover the breathtaking landscapes of East Coast Tasmania, check out below 'Everything You Need to Know About the Bay of Fires'.
Best time to explore the Bay of Fires
Known for its striking moods, the Bay of Fires is a photographers dream in every season. From giant waves crashing in and storms brewing just off the coastline to brilliant blue sky days perfect for swimming in the protected bays.
The main hiking season runs from September through May, with the most stable months being January and February (Tasmania's summer months). Unlike mainland Australia, it's unlikely you'll experience unbearably hot days. Instead, even in the dead of summer, maximum daytime temperatures are between 21 and 23 °C. On the other end, winter highs hang between 13 and 14 °C and dip as low as 2 to 3 °C at night.
You'll also find chilly wind can surprise visitors at any time of the year, so it's always best to pack plenty of layers and be ready for four seasons in one day. Even at its busiest, the Bay of Fires remains relatively quiet, so if you have the flexibility and love warmer days, head over between November and March. Or, if you prefer ultra-quiet beaches and trails, visiting in September, October, April, or May is sure to please.
No matter the weather, you'll find the Bay of Fires lives up to its fame of being one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world.
Highlights of the Bay of Fires
1. Spot whales and dolphins along the coastline
Pods of dolphins love swimming along the coastline, especially near Binalong Bay. If you're lucky, you may also spot Humpback Whales and Southern Right Whales in early spring and late fall.
2. Swim in hidden rock pools
Dotted along the coast, you'll find many hidden rock pools perfect for taking a quick dip or relaxing in on a hot summer day. As most pools come and go with the tied, you'll have to time your swim with high tied and be prepared for your swimming pool to disappear slowly.
While you'll likely discover plenty on your own, a favourite of ours is located in Cozy Corner, tucked between large rocks and featuring waste deep water. Another great swimming spot is by the iconic lone tree located at the end of Binalong Bay.
3. Soak in an outdoor tub at the Bay of Fires Lodge
Access to the Bay of Fires Lodge is granted only to those walking a 4-day, 3-night Bay of Fires walking trip. Not much in life is more relaxing than soaking in a private outdoor tub, with Tasmanian wine in hand, overlooking the native forest and the sea.
4. Kayak the Anson River
When you think of the Bay of Fires, your mind likely doesn't go to kayaking a river. Yet, taking time to float down the gentle Anson River, surrounded by native bush and cheerful birdlife, will be an experience you won't soon forget.
5. Get up early to watch the sunrise
East Coast Tasmania, seeing the day's arrival well before much of the world, is one of the most magnificent places to watch the sunrise, seemingly straight out of the ocean. Set your alarm for the wee hours of the morning, and you'll be well-rewarded with the striking pinks and reds contracting the vivid blue waters.
Where to stay during your East Coast Tasmania visit
Campsite and hotels:
Accommodations are plentiful in St. Helen and Binalong Bay, and you'll find a choice of holiday homes, eco-lodges and glamping, all with varying price points.
If you're looking to camp near the beach, most campsites are only accessible on foot or by a sturdy 2WD vehicle. It's also worth keeping in mind that as the campsites along the Bay of Fires walk are on a 'first-come-first-serve' basis, you'll want to arrive early to ensure you get a good spot.
Bay of Fires Lodge:
Put simply, it's impossible not to fall in love with the Bay of Fires Lodge. Set on 20 km of pristine coastal wilderness and perched 40 metres above the sea, you'll spend evenings drinking local wine overlooking a never-ending horizon and mornings waking up to spectacular sunrises.
As the lodge itself is designed to blend in with the native environment and solar power provides the energy, you'll relax in peace knowing you're leaving a very minimal environmental impact. As the lodge is exclusive to those walking the Bay of Fires guided trip, you'll only be sharing this elegant accommodation with a few others.
Forester Beach Camp:
Stay metres from the sea, tucked privately in a protected sand dune swale, and wake up to the gentle sound of waves crashing along the shoreline. Forester Beach Camp sets the standard incredibly high for environmentally friendly and seasonal accommodations, while also allowing guests to take full advantage of the nearby white sand beach and protected rock-ringer 'harbour'.
What to bring on your Bay of Fires hike
Depending on if you'll be sticking to day hikes or if you'll be hiking from campsite to campsite will have a big impact on what you'll need to bring. If you're sticking to day hikes and visiting different parts of the Bay of Fires, a small day pack with a few layers, water, sunscreen, snacks, and any other items you'd like to have on hand will suffice.
However, if you're planning on camping, you'll need the whole shebang. An overnight pack will be needed, which will carry a tent, sleeping bag, cooking supplies and food, clothing and any other personal items.
If you are joining a guided Bay of Fires Walk, your pack will be much lighter. You'll be supplied with a 50-litre canvas pack which will hold a rain jacket, plenty of layers, water, a swimsuit, personal items and indoor footwear for use at the lodges. You'll also be provided with a sleeping sheet and pillowcase, and all other linen will be waiting at the lodge for your arrival.
How fit do I need to be to hike the Bay of Fires?
As the Bay of Fires coastline is relatively flat, you won't need to be prepared to hike towering mountains or worry about altitude. However, if you're planning on walking the full length of the Bay of Fires track guided or unguided, you'll want to ensure you do a fair bit of training and are comfortable walking 9 to14 km's a day. If you have concerns about your fitness, it's best to chat with the experts or ensure your travel plans allow for plenty of flexibility.