The Great Eastern Drive
One of the best ways to experience Tasmania is to drive up the east coast from Hobart to Bay of Fires and stop along the way, aka the Great Eastern Drive. We decided to do a 4 day roadtrip and stopped in Bicheno for a night and then the Bay of Fires for the remainder. The scenic drive up takes you along the coast as well as through farmland where you'll see plenty of lambs, sheep, and cows of varying colors. We stopped at Raspens Beach on the way to Bicheno to admire the view, use the restroom, and take some fun pics. If we had had more time, we would have stopped at Kate's Berry Farm for some fresh fruit.
We chose Bicheno for 2 main reasons: the famous penguin tour and its close proximity to Freycinet National Park. We still had an hour to kill before the tour began so we filled our tummies with fish and chips from the Salty Splash and headed over to the bay to watch the sunset. Both of which I highly recommend.
FREYCINET NATIONAL PARK
"Fray-sha-nay". That's how you pronounce this national park filled with a myriad of hiking routes and view points. The most famous view points are the Wineglass Bay lookout and Cape Tourville. We arrived around 9:30am at the Wineglass Bay parking lot and were one of the only cars there as well as some of the few people on the hiking trail which made it much more enjoyable for the 1.5 hour roundtrip steep hike. Hungry from the hike, we headed to Coles Bay for lunch at Tombolo, a cute Italian eatery with a patio overlooking Freycinet National Park. Filled up, we drove over to Cape Tourville which turned out to be an easy flat walk around the top of a cliff which truly makes you feel like you are at the bottom of the world as there was absolutely nothing else in sight. Just expansive water. We had heard there was lots of wildlife in the park and the rumor was true as we came across a little wallaby at the end of our hike!
BAY OF FIRES
The Bay of Fires are essentially a string of beautiful beaches known as The Gardens which you can easily hop from one to another. The views are incredible with signature orange-tinged rocks, clear turquoise blue waters, and pristine white sand. Essentially, where you'd imagine Ariel actually lived from The Little Mermaid. There are so many beaches here but the ones we visited were Binalong Bay, Taylor Beach, Cosy Corner, and our favorite - Jeanneret Beach. All of them are absolutely gorgeous but Jeanneret Beach seemed just a bit more untouched and had large flat rocks making it easier to climb around to enjoy different views.
Most of the commerce for Bay of Fires is located a 15 minute drive away in St. Helens where you can find a sprinkling of restaurants, the IGA grocery stores, as well as wifi for those that are traveling without it or just have poor cell service like I did. Our favorite was the Lifebuoy Cafe & Quail Street Emporium for brunch which is a cross between an antiques shop and a cafe. Filled with books, magazines, and tabletop games, it's the perfect place to rug up and read for a bit or explore all that is in the shop. The food was yummy and shop intriguing making it fun to eat and just hang out in on a cold day.
After a few days of repose at the beach, we headed back to Hobart driving back through the Midlands this time as we wanted to go to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. The drive started more mountainous than the Great Eastern Drive but then quickly followed by beautiful fields, cows, and more sheep. We tried to pickup some cherries at Somercotes unsuccessfully butit was still worth it to go to the property and hear more of the bahh'g sheep.