I often hear people say that you can ‘do Tasmania in three days’. I am not sure how this is possible, as I felt like I needed a week in each destination, and this was particularly true for Binalong Bay and its breathtakingly beautiful Bay of Fires.
It is not hard to understand why this beautiful patch of coastline is called the Bay of Fires. Looking at the spectacular coastline, the vivid orange hued boulders that line the perimeter of the bay do indeed look like a blaze of fire. Having said that, it was actually named the Bay of Fires because back in 1773 when Captain Tobias Fureaux was travelling along the coast in his HMS Adventure, there were in fact fires, lots of them, lit by the aboriginal people of the area who had their own name for the area; Larapuna.
The beaches are powder white, the ocean an intense green, then turquoise, then jade and the boulders spectacular shades of orange, ginger, saffron and olive leaf green (can you tell that I am a foodie?). I had seen many images and thought, “Yep, Photoshopped,” but it’s not. The colours are as brilliant in life, perhaps even more so.
It was a bit of a dull old day on the day of our arrival. Few squalls of rain here and there, the full 50 shades of grey as far as the clouds were concerned, and probably another 23 shades of blue, green and 19 or so of orange – this region almost has the full Pantone colour spectrum. JUST. BEAUTIFUL.
Our initial plan was to head up to Ansons Bay and just start walking, and were the weather cooperating, then we most certainly would have done so. But it was a bit drizzly, so we drove to The Gardens instead and walked the small loop there. If you don’t have much time, then this is a great little walk where you can appreciate the beauty of these colourful rocks without having to venture too far. Be warned though… it is a busy little area.
The Gardens itself, was named by the wife of Governor John Franklin, Lady Jane Franklin, who had apparently ridden her horse all the way from Georges Bay, and a pretty little vantage point it is too. Loved the farmhouse just back from the lookout. What an amazing spot!
We would like to have explored the area north a little more thoroughly – next time. Apparently there are quite a few middens along the beach, and I am sure rich cultural history, but I was a little disappointed that in my research, there is no direct mention of aboriginal myth or legend of the area. I can’t help feeling that the beauty of the incredible splashes of colour for which the area is renowned, would have inspired some fabulous tale, and I am a little sad to find that there is no record of this. If anyone out there can point me in the right direction, it would be much appreciated. I do believe they do cover off on some of this history in the guided walks and the Eddystone Point region was recently handed back to the Aboriginal community, in order to help reclaim and preserve some of their cultural history, so hopefully so time in the future these stories will be retold.
We went back to Binnalong Bay for some fish and chips (from Moresco – awesome). Our initial idea was to wander down to the beach and enjoy our spoils there, but it was blowing an extraordinary gale and my calamari ended up with a crunchy coating of sand, so we abandoned that plan as well and drove back to the beach house where we were staying and tried to salvage what was left of our lunch.
Fortunately the weather cleared a little in the afternoon, so we gathered up the courage to wander down to the beach again and explore the coastline immediately out the front of where we were staying.
From there it just got better and better. We did the 20 minute walk to Skeleton Point and by the time we got there the sun was blazing in afternoon glory. Wow. The colour of the bay, framed by those wonderful rocks and boulders. It is not something you can just take someone’s word for – you really have to see it for yourself. The boulders stacked in a row, do look uncannily like a skeleton protruding from the water, the surf thrashing around it.
Incidentally the colour of the granite rocks that have been in the making for some 380 million years, is created by a lichen that grows on the surface. In some spots it is almost crimson, while in others it is olive green and yellow. I am not sure whether it is the combination of seawater or angle of the sun, but it sure is pretty.
Oh, and the giant sea kelp! It is INCREDIBLE. Like giant elk horns they are firmly suctioned to the side of boulders where the waves break, and it is another medley of colour in itself – khaki, yellow, green and brilliant hues of magenta against the rock face. And so much of it! It was weird to touch. It didn’t feel real. Didn’t stop me wanting to work out how I could turn it into something edible. Not even sure it was edible. Would have made a humungous sushi roll J.
Anyway, adventure over. Two nights, was not nearly enough time. Next time I’m packing the tent and I am beaching it. However it was enough of a sampler to make me want to come back for more. Hopefully next time it will be a 50 Shades of Bay adventure, rather than a 50 Shades of Grey 😉
Where to Stay:
Bay of Fires Seascape – Binalong Bay
Bay of Fires Seascape is a beautiful beach house right on the bay. Plenty of room, you will have no problem feeling right at home here. Views of the bay, fireplace for the cold nights, and sprawling decks to take in the scenery, I doubt you will find a better place to stay. The owners are lovely and helpful, and don’t forget to stop at Lease 65 on the way to Binalong Bay to stock up on fresh oysters
Where to Eat:
Moresco’s is by far the best place in town to eat – actually I think it might be the only place really, but the food is awesome so you wouldn’t bother looking elsewhere. Lots of seafood options, views of the bay and enough variety on the menu to make you want to come back several nights in a row, as we did. Also fabulous fish/calamari and chips to takeaway. Loved it!
This story was written by Petra Frieser – Pebbles + Pomegranate Seeds. Petra’s visit was paid for and unannounced.