Gateway to the Bay of Fires, St Helens is set on picturesque Georges Bay. Originally a whaling station in the early 1800’s, St Helens is now renowned as the game fishing capital of Tasmania and is a mecca for all types fishing and water sports. Visitors can board fishing charters or try their luck casting a rod off the pier. St Helens is the perfect place for local seafood. Enjoy fresh oysters straight from Georges Bay. Gather all of the essentials for your holiday from one of the many supermarkets, bakeries and bottle shops.
There are a number of restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy a tasty meal or kick back with a coffee and watch the world go by.
The largest town in North East Tasmania, St Helens is approximately two hours drive from Launceston and three hours from Hobart.
Things to See & Do
It is not far from St Helens to explore the beautiful coastline of the Bay of Fires conservation area or travel to St Helens Point to take in the remarkable Peron sand dunes.
Only a short drive away, discover the dairy country of Pyengana and visit the cheese factory, the Pub In the Paddock or the spectacular St Columba waterfalls. Journey up to the Blue Tier reserve, a stunning forested plateau that offers a range of walks and world-class mountain bike trails.
Local tip – For a scenic lunch, grab some fish and chips or local oysters and head down to the foreshore.
A picturesque coastal village with friendly laid-back locals, Binalong Bay is the perfect base to explore the Bay of Fires. Renowned for its crystal clear azure water, stretches of pure white sand beaches and burnt orange lichen covered granite boulders; this is arguably one of the most beautiful parts of Tasmania.
Things to See & Do
At Binalong Bay you can do as much or as little as you like…
Relax on the main beach or head further north to explore Jeanneret Beach, Cosy Corner or one of the many other secluded beaches. For those more active there are numerous kayaking, hiking or mountain biking opportunities.
It is worth doing an early morning hike to Skelton Bay or the top of Humbug Point reserve for a spectacular sunrise.
Keen anglers will also not be disappointed with Australian salmon, flat head, trevally, yellow fined tuna, striped marlin and mako shark just some of the species on offer. Abalone can be picked up snorkeling off the gulch and beautiful tasty Tasmanian crayfish can be caught during the season for those with a fishing licence.
For those without their own vessel, board the Bay of Fires Eco tour to experience the coastline from the water and view some of the diverse marine life. Explore the area by land on a TAS4x4 tour, which takes you as far as Eddystone Lighthouse located at the northern point of the Bay of Fires Conservation area and the most easterly spot in Tasmania.
With so much to see in such a beautiful part of the world, your visit to Binalong Bay is guaranteed to leave you with lasting memories and a burning desire to visit again soon.
Local Tip – Try snorkeling in one of the numerous rock pools, you will be surprised at the marine life – it is like being in a giant aquarium.
The Gardens is an ideal spot to get away from it all and offers some of the best vistas of the Bay of Fires. This scenic part of the East Coast was named by Lady Jane Franklin, wife of the governor of Tasmania in the early 1800’s, due to the abundance of wild flowers in the area. Perched over looking the coast, exclusive holidays homes at the Gardens have access to one of the best beaches in Tasmania.
The Gardens is 13km north of Binalong. It is around 15 minutes drive from Binalong Bay or 25 minutes from St Helens.
Things to see and do
There are many secluded beaches and rocky inlets to explore between the Gardens and Binalong Bay. Taylors Beach is an expanse stretch of white sand beach – perfect for a long beach walk or to take a fishing rod to while the day away. Swimcart beach is one of the best surf fishing beaches in the area and hosts an annual fishing competition around April. Over this weekend, the normally quiet beach comes alive with keen anglers looking to reel in a prizewinning fish.
An abundance of wildlife can been seen from the Gardens. You maybe lucky enough to spot a pod of dolphins or migrating Southern right or Humpback whales from the comfort of your deck.
Local Tip – Take a picnic to Honeymoon Point. Only a couple minutes drive from the gardens with it’s own private beach and pristine turquoise waters, this secluded spot is one of the romantic nooks at the Bay of Fires.
For a change of scenery it is only a short half hour drive to the lush green dairy country of Pyengana. From here you can visit the magnificient St Columba falls – one of Tasmania’s highest falls with a drop of over 90 meters. It is an easy scenic walk through beautiful rainforest to a viewing platform to see the spectacular falls up close. For those unable to do the walk the falls can also be viewed from the comfort of your vehicle in the car park.
Pyengana is 26km west of St Helens and is around a half hour scenic drive.
Things to see and do
It is a must when visiting Pyengana to drop into the Pyengana Dairy company who have making cheese for over 100 years. Here you can sample their award winning Tasty cheeses, peruse the local crafts and pottery and try their delicious homemade icecream and milkshakes.
Just up the road be sure to visit The Pub in the Paddock – a heritage listed hotel licensed since 1880 serving counter meals accompanied by local Tasmanian ales.
Local tip – When visiting the Pub in the Paddock be sure to say hello to Priscilla the famous beer drinking pig!
Not far from St Helens, the Blue Tier is a sub-alpine plateau which boasts world class mountain bike trails and a large range of walks through stunning native forests. The tiny village of Weldborough is one of the closest towns to the Blue Tier. If driving through the town it is worth visiting the historic Weldborough Hotel. This quaint country pub serves hearty meals using locally sourced produce and boasts an impressive range of Tasmanian beers and ciders on tap.
The Blue Tier Forest Reserve is 32km north west of St Helens and is approximately a 45 minutes drive.
Things to see and do
Blue Derby is 80 kilometers of world class Mountain bike trails surrounding the township of Derby and linking all the way up to the Blue Tier. The trails are located in lush rainforest and take in some of the most spectacular scenery in the state.
If you are not into mountain biking there are a number of walks in the area ranging from short scenic strolls up to more challenging all day treks.
Local tip – Take the Blue Tier Giant walk to see The Big Tree, a huge Eucalyptus which towers around 60 meters with a massive girth of 19.4 meters.
Larapuna (also known as Eddystone Point) is situated in the Mount William National Park and marks the most northern tip of the Bay of Fires region. Larapuna is the homeland of the Palawa (Tasmanian Aboriginals) people and features the historic Eddystone Lighthouse.
Larapuna (Eddystone Point) is located in North East Tasmania and is 52km from St Helens.
It is approximately a 1 hours drive north from St Helens on mainly unsealed roads. The small coastal hamlet of Ansons Bay is a short detour on the way to Larapuna.
Things to see and do
There are a number of tours that travel to Larapuna.
From Binalong Bay Tas 4×4 tours will take you off the beaten track and can customise a private tour to include the historic site. To view the Lighthouse from the water Bay of Fires Eco Tours offer a Bay of Fires Discovery cruise, a 3 hour boat tour departing from the Binalong Bay boat ramp.
For a cultural experience join the Wukalina Walk. This four day, three night aboriginal guided tour departs from Launceston and includes two nights in bespoke palawa inspired huts and one night in the renovated Lighthouse Keepers cottage.
Local Tip – Divert off the beaten track further north of Larapuna to visit the Blue Lake. Located between Gladestone and Derby, this lake was originally a mine hole and is often an amazing aqua colour due to the high mineral content in the base.