Bay of Fires

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesSt Helens
FinishThe Gardens
DifficultyDifficulty 1/5
Suitable for4WD AWD 2WD Caravan Camper Motorhome Bike 
Distance45.54 km
Minimum Days1
Average Speed42.76 km/hr
Driving Time1 hr 3 mins
Page Updated: 28 Oct 2008

Description

This trek note takes in the southern Bay of Fires section between Binalong Bay and The Gardens. The trek also takes you through the Humbug Point Nature Recreation Area, where you can go on one of the many bushwalking tracks ranging from 1 to 6 hours long, and visiting places such as Skeleton, Grants and Humbug Point. Some of these walking trails are close to the coast and it always seems surreal walking through the bush and being able to hear the ocean!

The major highlights of this trek includes; the historic fishing and timber town of St Helens, the secluded Dora Point, the lovely Cosy Corner and without doubt - the picture-perfect Binalong Bay. Binalong Bay is up there with Tasmania’s best beaches, offering hourglass-fine white sand, azure blue waters and granite rocks - which are speckled with orange lichen that gives the view an attractive glow. These rocks are nicely rounded and protrude above the water on low tides - a photographer’s delight! Binalong Bay also offers an array of accommodation, fishing and diving facilities, and a general store and cafe.

To the northern end of the trek is a small town called The Gardens, named by Lady Jane Franklin, the wife of Governor John Franklin, who spent some time in the region in the 1840s. If you go out to The Gardens, you will need to double back a bit to pick up the track. There are sweeping views of the coastline to the north, good (unpatrolled) swimming beaches, lots of rock pools to explore and orange lichen-covered boulders to climb over and paddle between. Within the Bay of Fires Conservation Area, there are heaps of free camping spots with most overlooking the beach, and being a conservation area, rather than a national park - you can even bring your dog!!

How to Use this Trek Note

Click the "Map" tab below to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places on each POI page.

If you'd like to save this information there are a couple of ways to go about it, depending on what you're actually after:-
  • Ideal solution - download the ExplorOz Traveller App from Google Play or the App Store. The app enables you to carry the ExplorOz Places, Treks, & Maps data offline in your mobile device ready for your adventures. It is a complete mapping, navigation and tracking app. For more details, read our ExplorOz Traveller page.
  • You can print a paper copy of the text using the print icon button shown above, near the social media buttons. For the best output it is advised to open each tab/section to load all images and artwork. You will still need to click open each Place page (listed in Where to Stay, What to See) to print off all available information.
  • If you have a Hema Navigator or use Mapping Software such as OziExplorer, or TrackRanger AND you are an ExplorOz Member, then you can click the Download Trek button at the top of this page to obtain the raw data files (eg. GPX) for this Trek.
  • If you're not a Member, or you'd like to batch download the entire Treks database you can obtain this by buying a product called EOTreks Route Files from our online shop.

Environment

The beaches in the Bay of Fires are pristine white in colour, whilst the ocean backdrop ranges from an azure bluey-green. There are many rocky outcrops that are scattered with super-sized granite boulders covered in bright orange lichen.

In regards to flora within the Bay of Fires Conservation Area, you will find heath, which attracts a large number of birds, including yellow-tailed black cockatoos, wattlebirds and honeyeaters. Coastal and sea birds include the spectacular white-breasted sea eagle, gannets, petrels and even the occasional albatross.

During the Spring wildflower season, the area is ablaze with colour. The distinct yellow cones of Banksia marginata are a common sight. Early European explorers observed that Aboriginal people would pluck the flowers and suck them to extract rainwater and nectar. The yellow fleshy fruit of pigface (Carpobrotus rossii) was also considered to be a delicacy.

History

Bay of Fires was given to the area by Captain Tobias Furneaux, in 1773, when he noticed numerous fires along the coast. This led him to believe that the country was densely populated. Abundant evidence of this occupation by Aboriginal people can be seen along the coast today.

Just 20km from Binalong Bay is an area known as The Gardens, named by Lady Jane Franklin, the wife of Governor John Franklin, who spent some time in the region in the 1840s.

Preparation

The majority of this trek note is on good bitumen roads or gravel tracks that head towards the many beaches and coves en-route. Please note that food and fuel must be obtained from St Helens, so make sure you stock up because there are very limited supplies and/or facilities to the north.

In the southern section of the Bay of Fires Conservation Area, there is no fresh water or firewood supplied at any of the campsites; therefore you must bring your own. Please take all rubbish away with you. For camping with facilities, please use the commercial caravan parks in the townships.

Permits

No permits are required for Bay of Fires Conservation Area or the Humbug Point Nature Recreation Area. Please be aware that Aboriginal middens (shell and bone deposits) are found in the sand dunes. Please do not disturb these protected sites.

For more information for the region please click: Bay of Fires Conservation Area - Southern Section or contact:

St. Helens Field Centre

Eagle Street
PO Box 353
St. Helens TAS 7216
Phone: (03) 6376 1550
Fax: (03) 6376 1258

Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel Symbol
DieselULPLPG
4cyl 6 litres4cyl 7 litres4cyl 9 litres
6cyl 7 litres6cyl 8 litres6cyl 8 litres
8cyl 7 litres8cyl 8 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

All year round

Closest Climatic Station

St Helens Aerodrome
Distance from Trek Mid Point 10.37km S
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Mean Max. °C22.721.820.818.416.013.913.514.315.917.319.321.0
Mean Min. °C13.213.311.59.67.15.44.85.46.57.810.311.5
Mean Rain mm50.764.264.258.245.861.046.270.552.665.670.647.9
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended

Services & Supplies

Map

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What to See

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Showing 5 Places

Where to Stay

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Directions

LocationsDistanceDirection Time
St Helens to George River2.21 kmNE63° 2 min
George River to Bayview0.85 kmN
Bayview to Walk Track to Humbug Point5.79 kmNE34° 6 min
Walk Track to Humbug Point to Binalong Bay Rd & Gardens Rd2.67 kmN359° 3 min
Binalong Bay Rd & Gardens Rd to Binalong Bay Rd & Dora Point Rd2.76 kmE83° 3 min
Binalong Bay Rd & Dora Point Rd to Dora Point1.81 kmSE147° 2 min
Dora Point to Dora Point Campground0.48 kmSW214° 2 min
Dora Point Campground to Binalong Bay Rd & Dora Point Rd2.45 kmN342° 4 min
Binalong Bay Rd & Dora Point Rd to Binalong Bay Rd & Grants Point Access1.5 kmN17° 2 min
Binalong Bay Rd & Grants Point Access to Walk Tracks to Grants Point1.57 kmE79° 1 min
Walk Tracks to Grants Point to Grants Point0.03 kmNE36° N/A
Grants Point to Walk Tracks (South of Grants Point)0.97 kmS166° 1 min
Walk Tracks (South of Grants Point) to Walk Tracks to Skeleton Point1.44 kmNW314° 2 min
Walk Tracks to Skeleton Point to Binalong Bay Rd & Grants Point Access1 kmSW231° 1 min
Binalong Bay Rd & Grants Point Access to Binalong Bay1.43 kmNW317° 2 min
Binalong Bay to Boat Harbour Point0.04 kmN351° N/A
Boat Harbour Point to Binalong Bay Rd & Gardens Rd2.94 kmSW222° 3 min
Binalong Bay Rd & Gardens Rd to Old Man Rocks5.4 kmN349° 5 min
Old Man Rocks to Cosy Corner1.63 kmN21° 2 min
Cosy Corner to Seaton Cove1.73 kmN342° 3 min
Seaton Cove to Bay of Fires Camp Area 0.54 kmNW333° 1 min
Bay of Fires Camp Area to Sloop Lagoon, Gardens Rd1.41 kmNW294° 2 min
Sloop Lagoon, Gardens Rd to Big Lagoon, Gardens Rd2.86 kmN354° 2 min
Big Lagoon, Gardens Rd to Gardens Rd & Old Gardens Rd0.43 kmNW334°
Gardens Rd & Old Gardens Rd to The Gardens1.6 kmNE41° 1 min
St Helens to The Gardens45.54 km  1 hr 3 min
Distance is GPS recorded driving distance (not straight line), Direction is straight line from start to end, Time is calculated from actual GPS driving data.

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