Late Sunday afternoon it rains heavily as we travel toward Launceston. I am counting my lucky stars we have successfully completed hiking in the Bay of Fires before this bad weather reached us.
Having just finished three days of hiking in the Bay of Fires along the pristine and undeveloped beaches of northeast Tasmania. It’s mesmerizingly beautiful walking along a coastline which is just stunning in its beauty: white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and birds and wildlife to keep it interesting.
The sky has been an integral part of our hike, changing the mood each day. Not a cloud in the sky our first day of hiking in the Bay of Fires. The white sand appears to be glowing brilliantly in the sun and makes for some great, ocean pictures.
Then dark, almost-purplish clouds, keep us company most of the second day and it threatens but never quite manages to rain. The contrast with the turquoise water, white sand and deserted beaches made for some fabulous photos. And on this, our last day of walking, the weather in the morning presents us with lovely blue skies with fluffy, white clouds for friends. The sun also comes out for most of the afternoon.
Hiking in Tasmania is a Highlight
The Bay of Fires is one of several signature hikes in the “Holiday Isle” or “Tassie” as most Australians call Tasmania.
If you have never considered hiking in Australia, you should. There are great hikes in every Australian state. But for me at least, Tasmania steals the show for longer distance hiking.
Along with the Overland Track from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair, Freycinet Bay and the South West Walk, there is no shortage of great hiking, where you find solitude and magnificent mountain or beach scenery. Over 45% of Tasmania has been reserved as national park, world heritage area or in some other way protected. Being able to hike through world heritage protected forests is one of the great pleasures about walking in Tasmania.
Here in Tasmania, you can walk in some of the world’s most stunning scenery in an unspoilt environment. For many years we have harbored a desire to hike in Tasmania’s signature areas. So we were very excited to be at last hiking along the spectacular beaches of the Bay of Fires.
Spectacular Hiking in the Bay of Fires
Welcome to the Bay of Fires walk in Tasmania. Right by the northeast tip of Tasmania, the hike commences at the little-visited, Mount William National Park and ends at the rather attractive beach called “The Gardens”, some 23 miles (37 kilometers) to the south, still quite a distance from the nearest town St. Helens, a good 12 miles away.
With the exception of a lighthouse, there is no development in the Bay of Fires so the area manages to maintain its pristine past. Three days ambling along the magnificent white beaches with only the people in our small group of 12 for company.
Here you will not see another soul. The wide, white sandy beach is easy to walk on. Navigating the rocky outcrops separating the glorious beaches of the Bay of Fires.and crossing the small streams running from inland into the ocean are our only challenges. Tannins occur naturally in the water and where these rust colored streams hit the crystal blue water, the ocean appears a lovely olive green color.
The 3 Day Hike in the Bay of Fires
Driving from Launceston to the start of the hike in the Mt William National Park, means the first day of hiking starts around midday. Echidnas, black swans, wallabies and wombats, and 7 miles (11 kilometers) of beach hiking later we arrive at our destination of Deep Creek at about 4pm. And at the end of day one, the shuttle is waiting to take us to dinner and a real bed at our accommodation in Anson’s Bay.
Very pleasurable walking along long stretches of stunning beach scenery from Deep Creek to Anson’s Bay, a distance of about 9 miles is our second day. Grey and purplish cloud formations accompany us for most of the day. The third and final day sees us walk 7 miles from Anson’s Bay to The Gardens. It is hard to believe, but for the third day in a row we walk along pristine white beaches, overlooking beautiful blue-green waters and we don’t see another soul. It’s fabulous.
Not seeing cars, hotels, people and having no mobile phone or internet adds to the relaxation. Completing the feeling of remoteness of this hike. You can really get away from civilization here if you want to. It certainly is mind-cleansing with awe-inspiring scenery.
And the scenery? It’s difficult to pick the highlight:
- The stunning white beaches?
- The turquoise waters?
- The brilliantly orange colored rocks? What a contrast with the sand and the water
- The fabulous skies?
- Or the combination of all the above?
Or is it the fact that you just won’t see another person outside your group? Whatever it is, the Bay of Fires delivers in spades if you want spectacular beach-side scenery.
After such brilliant days of hiking, only one thing could be better.
Hiking the Bay of Fires Comfortably
After such brilliant hiking, it would be somewhat disappointing to have to camp and cook for yourself. We took the opportunity of hiking in the Bay of Fires with Life’s An Adventure. The fully inclusive trip includes guiding as well as all transport to/from Launceston, accommodation, meals and drinks.
Hiking in the Bay of Fires in this manner is actually a series of day hikes, with transport provided to/from the walk.
A rustic 4-5 bedroom house in Anson’s Bay (behind the ocean beach), complete with 2 good-sized bathrooms and comfortable beds provides our accommodation. Anson’s Bay is gorgeous with many opportunities to photograph the pelicans and black swans.
Day’s end finds us at the very popular outdoor table with our fellow guests for local food and drinks including Tasmanian beers and wines, as well as King Island cheeses, Blue Sky dips and the wallaby cabana ( a highlight). Forming friendships during these informal, social gatherings and walking and talking all day make for great memories.
Life’s An Adventure, has gone out of their way to cater for the meals on the hike by using many, small Tasmanian food suppliers as possible. Part of their philosophy is to support high quality, local food suppliers and we also feel very strongly about supporting local producers and businesses.
The food was perfect after a day of hiking! Following our return cold drinks (including wine and beer) and snacks await. This was an opportunity to try some of the local dips, cheeses and charcuterie, including the locally produced wallaby cabana.
On the first night we were treated to local salmon, chicken, panzanella salad and Mediterranean vegetables. It was well cooked and presented by Chelsea and Kelly, our intrepid guide and cook. This was all followed by pavlova and fruit (an Aussie favorite).
On the second night we enjoyed pan-fried flathead fillets (a very popular local fish) and roasted pork fillets, together with a pear, cheese and walnut salad. This was followed by baked apples, a highlight in Tasmania.
Breakfasts were also filling and featured cereal, muesli, fresh fruit, eggs, sausages and bacon. The locally produced bacon and sausages were a definite highlight.
Hiking in the Bay of Fires
Forget the mobile phone for three days. There is no service and though occasional text messages got through most people were overjoyed to be able to switch off their mobile phone for three days and truly relax. Honestly, this may have been one of the highlights of the trip.
The Bay of Fires is remote. Life’s An Adventure will provide you with a suggested packing list. Make sure you bring a good hiking hat with a wide bream and sunscreen as the Bay of Fires Walk is very exposed. You will be walking along a white sand beach in the sun for most of the time. There are no facilities along the hike, there is the odd campground and toilets available.
Over the course of three days, a camaraderie develops amongst our merry band of hikers. Our fellow hikers were a great bunch ranging between their late 40’s to early 70’s in age.
We hiked the Bay of Fires as a guest of Life’s an Adventure. Combining a great hike with some good food and good company and sleeping every night in a real bed made this a fantastic experience. If you would like to hike some of Tasmania’s and Australia’s iconic hiking trails Life’s an Adventure is a great choice. Great hiking, friendly guides, good local food and great company combine for a fantastic experience.