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After bringing you the delights of Freycinet Peninsula and Bay of Fires, I’m backtracking a little and giving you a glimpse of the best of the rest of the East Coast of Tasmania.
From Hobart this spectacular drive north through hills, sheep farms and eventually spectacular coastline, starts at Orford. The the drive extends with over 200Kms of breathtaking scenery, a number of pristine beaches and national parks.
Along the way you can follow a taste trail of superb fresh seafood, wines and local ales. For the more active there is walking, kayaking, diving, sea cruises and much more.
Orford is a popular holiday township that offers riverside and bayside beauty, plenty of beaches, interesting bushwalks and a great base from which to explore Maria Island National Park.
Popular swimming beaches close to town include Raspins, Shelley and Spring Beach – linked by a two-kilometre coastal walk that passes through an old sandstone quarry.
Of course there is great fishing in the Prosser River and out into the bay with a bounty of fresh seafood including flathead, abalone and southern rock lobster.
Maria Island is a natural wildlife sanctuary and off-shore island on the East Coast with historic ruins, sweeping bays and dramatic cliffs which are accessible by ferry from Orford. The island offers excellent walking and cycling journeys. You can explore the buildings and ruins of Darlington – a ghost town with a convict past. The waters around Maria Island include a Marine Nature Reserve and are visited regularly by seals and whales. The abundant marine life and clear waters makes for spectacular diving and snorkelling.
Mayfield Bay’s sandy beach and coastal area offers good camping, fishing, swimming, surfing and diving, as well as wonderful views across Great Oyster Bay to Freycinet Peninsula.
A little further north from Mayfield Bay is the convict-built Spiky Bridge. This strange looking bridge was built in the 1840s by a convict road gang. The bridge was built from local fieldstone with stones placed vertically along the parapet, giving the bridge its spiky appearance. Legend has it that the spikes were designed to prevent cattle falling over the sides. Ouchy!
A pretty seaside village that looks out over Great Oyster Bay to the spectacular granite peaks of Freycinet National Park, Swansea has a rich colonial history, unique attractions and old world charm. The rose garden at the Information Centre was absolutely glorious!
There are beautiful beaches and of course a bit jetty for fishing.
You can see Freycinet Peninsula across the bay.
A little further out of town you will see the Freycinet Vineyards.
Located north of the Freycinet Peninsula, is the small seaside town of Bicheno. Offshore, the Governor Island Marine Reserve has some of the best diving spots in Australia, with kelp-covered reefs and spectacular sponge gardens.
This water wonderland can also be experienced by kayak or glass-bottomed boat with water clarity like this.
Located between St Helens and St Marys on the banks of the Scamander River, this seaside spot is popular with surfers for the surf breaks at Scamander Beach. A popular local attraction is Henderson Lagoon, a hidden gem with clear waters and 7Kms of well-marked trails.
The largest town on Tasmania’s North-East Coast and just a few kilometres away from Binalong Bay and the southern end of the beautiful beaches of the Bay of Fires, is the fishing port town of St Helens. Renowned for its catches of deep sea fish and lobster and a popular destination for recreational fishing.
It goes without saying that these East Coast spots are abundant with seafood and a haven for fishermen, divers and snorkellers. With such pristineness and relatively uninhabited areas along the East Coast it is a wonderland of the ocean’s bounties. I could happily wile away a few weeks here and scoff myself with some of the divine feasts from the sea!
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)January 29, 2016
Thanks for such a comprehensive tour of Tasmania, Kathy. It’s glorious. I can’t believe it keeps getting left off the map! It’s the jewel in the crown I think.
KathyFebruary 8, 2016
You are very welcome Michelle. I loved touring around the Apple Isle and yes I was horrified about it getting left off the map on those Aussie Day caps! If it wasn’t for their cold weather I could possibly move there tomorrow! :)
Rhonda AlbomJanuary 30, 2016
That’s a great list, I had no idea that there was this much to do in Tasmania.
KathyFebruary 8, 2016
Thanks Rhonda. Tassie is full of great places and incredible scenery that takes your breath away. I can highly recommend it. :)