This out-and-back hike through the wetlands, dunes, and beaches of Ansons Bay, lutruwita / Tasmania in Mt William National Park will leave you wanting more!


We acknowledge that this adventure is located on the traditional Country of the Pyemmairrrener people who have occupied and cared for the lands, waters, and their inhabitants for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Quick Overview

The out-and-back hike from Ansons Bay to larapuna / Eddystone Point Lighthouse in Tasmania’s Northeast is a four-to-five-hour return hike totalling 18km. Considered moderately challenging, the walk encompasses wetlands, rocks, low scrub, and beach sand.

About the Ansons Bay to larapuna / Eddystone Point Hike

This part of the world is beloved by those who live and holiday here. The town of Ansons Bay (population 62) has a sign at the entrance that reads ‘Ansons Bay – Remote Paradise’ and it could be the land time forgot: accessible only via gravel roads, it has no shops, not everyone has electricity, and mobile reception is selective depending on where you’re standing.

If you time your trip to catch the sunrise across the red rocks of the Bay of Fires, you’ll be standing at the foot of one of Australia’s oldest lighthouses in time for breakfast! 


History of Ansons Bay and larapuna / Eddystone Point

Ansons Bay was a rich fishing and hunting area for the traditional inhabitants, the Pyemmairrrener people. European settlers moved into Ansons Bay in 1830, and while logging was the main reason for their arrival, it soon became apparent that fishing in the sheltered bay was a huge drawcard. The small holiday village is 40km from the bustling mountain bike hub of St Helens, and 30km from the closest shop and servo in Gladstone.

The region known as larapuna extends the length of the Bay of Fires to the Eddystone Point Lighthouse and surrounds. The lighthouse has been standing sentinel over this rocky part of the Tasmanian coast since 1889 and was constructed from pink granite found in the area.

The land surrounding the lighthouse including the old keepers’ cottages has been leased back to the traditional owners – the Palawa people. Visitors are welcome to the area.


How to Get to Ansons Bay

Ansons Bay is around 160km from Launceston Airport. It’s tucked away and not really on the road to anywhere. If you’re driving from Launceston, you’ll pass through Scottsdale and the one-pub town of Gladstone (look out for the last service station before Ansons Bay).

If you’re driving up the east coast from Hobart, St Helens – a fishing town 40km south of Ansons Bay –  will be your last service station/bottle shop/sign of civilisation.

This region of Tasmania is dominated by gravel roads – you won’t reach Ansons Bay without hitting one, regardless of the direction you approach from. The roads are graded regularly and are usually in good condition.

You’ll know when you arrive because you’ll see that ‘Remote Paradise’ sign and say ‘Woah, it sure is!’.

Where to Stay at Ansons Bay

Unless you know someone with a property or have managed to snag one of the few houses on Airbnb for rent, you won’t be able to camp in Ansons Bay.

The good news is that you can camp for free at several campgrounds south of the bay. All campgrounds have basic facilities including hybrid toilets and cater to campers in campervans, motorhomes and tents. Note that fresh water is not supplied and you’ll need to be self-sufficient.

  • Policeman’s Point Campground is about 15 minutes’ drive from Ansons Bay and is just off the beach at the mouth of the Ansons River. It’s one of my favourite places to go and check out the incredible seabirds!
  • As you head towards St Helen’s there are campgrounds dotted along the coast.  From Binalong Bay up to The Gardens you’ll find popular campgrounds such as Grants Lagoon, Jeanneret, Swimcart, Cosy South, Cosy North, Seatons Cove and Sloop Reef.
  • Camping not your thing? You can stay in St Helen’s, 40km south of Ansons Bay where you’ll find accommodation options ranging from caravan parks to resorts. St Helen’s is a buzzing town that’s home to a thriving mountain bike community.
  • Looking for luxury? The Bay of Fires Lodge is right on the ocean – a stone’s throw from Ansons Bay – and is advertised as a luxury ecolodge. I haven’t stayed there but it does look pretty fancy! The Bay of Fires Lodge can only be experienced if you are walking with the Tasmanian Walking Company, which offers fully catered walking trips with gourmet food and wines. Walks include transfers from Launceston and start at $2500 per person.

Read more: Family Fun At The Bay Of Fires


Beach near Policeman’s Point Campground

Skill Level


The hike from Ansons Bay to larapuna / Eddystone Point is suitable for those with moderate fitness. Walking over wetlands, rocks, and through dense scrub can be challenging.

Distance / Duration / Elevation

18km return / 4-5 hours / 235m

Essential Gear List for the Ansons Bay to larapuna / Eddystone Point Hike

  • Tent and sleeping bag (if camping)
  • Cooking tools and utensils
  • Torches
  • Food and snacks
  • Water bottle (preferably full!)
  • First aid kit
  • Cameras and binoculars
  • Hiking boots – waterproof
  • Warm clothes and rain jacket
  • Long pants for walking through the scrub
  • Hat, sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Swimmers & towel
  • Walking poles (optional)

Read more: Remember to leave no trace

What it’s Like to Hike from Ansons Bay to larapuna / Eddystone Point

The night before our hike we camped on a private property in Ansons Bay enjoying a family reunion following a couple of years of not seeing one another.

We were up and stumbling around our campsite in the dark at 5:00 am, making coffee and pulling on our boots. We had pre-packed the night before, so we were on the road in a quick 15 minutes.

North Ansons Road to the Coast

Distance: 2km
Duration: 45 minutes
Navigation: All Trails Map

We walked north on North Ansons Road to Blue Gum Drive and continued to the end of the point before entering the wetlands. If you want to save some time and jet straight to the start of the hike, you can drive your car to the beginning of Blue Gum Drive and park there. When we entered the wetlands, we encountered silhouettes of black swans floating serenely, calling eerily to each other across the inlet.

We traced the water’s edge to avoid passing through dense trees and chose the driest path possible. After jumping a small creek, and weaving our way through trees, we reached the dunes. This part of the hike is probably the most challenging due to the lack of marked walking paths. The ground is very wet, so waterproof boots and spare socks are advised.

Once you get to the dunes there are several paths – marked and unmarked. We kept heading towards the ocean and eventually found ourselves on The Bay of Fires Lodge walking trails.

We had timed our start perfectly! As we stepped out onto the red rocks, the sun rose, casting a golden glow over the ocean. Trying not to sound too cliche here, but yeah, it was breath-taking!

Read more: Staying Safe on Coastal Rock Platforms



The Coast to larapuna / Eddystone Point Lighthouse

Distance: 6.5km
Duration: 1.5 hours

From this point, the trail follows the coast. If the ocean is not on your right, you’re heading in the wrong direction. Trails are subtle and often hidden by low scrub, so don’t get too distracted by the views!

Around 2km into this section of the hike are fine, white sand beaches that squeak under your feet. The rest is either through low scrub or over the rocky outcrops of the bay. We stopped for snacks and snaps along the way, and reached the beach under the Eddystone Point Lighthouse about 1.5 hours later. There’s a path up to the lighthouse from the beach too.

Feeling a bit warm after our walk, we stripped off and plunged into the fresh Tasman Sea before refuelling and heading back the way we came. Please note that two of us are native Taswegians and we swim rain, hail, or shine, so this activity is purely optional! On this particular trip  we didn’t encounter any other walking groups, but I have in the past.

While in this area you might be lucky to see some of the spiked, scaled, feathered, or furry locals in Mt William National Park named after wukalina / Mount William. The bush is abundant with Tassie marsupials including possums, wallabies, echidnas, wombats, and incredible birdlife. It’s also one of the sites where rehabilitated Tasmanian Devils have been released in recent years. Watch out for snakes – if you see one, stop, and let it slither off.

If you love this part of the coast, you can choose a starting point just about anywhere and hike for as long as you like. It’s all beautiful!

Read more: 10 Tassie Adventures That Are Out of the Ordinary


Tips for Hiking Ansons Bay to larapuna / Eddystone Point

  • Download maps before arriving at Ansons Bay – mobile coverage is hit and miss
  • Wear long pants to prevent scratched legs
  • Carry enough water to last the hike. Take a torch if you are setting off in the dark

FAQs – Ansons Bay to larapuna / Eddystone Point Hike

Where is Ansons Bay located?

Ansons Bay is located in North East Tasmania – 158km east of Launceston via Scottsdale. Or 300km from Hobart via the East Coast.

How do you get to the Ansons Bay to larapuna / Eddystone Point Hike?

If coming from Launceston, the drive takes approximately ninety minutes to two hours. If you’re travelling up the East Coast from Hobart (300km away), the drive takes around four hours – longer if you factor in rest stops.

When is the best time to do the Ansons Bay to larapuna / Eddystone Point Hike?

You can do this hike all year round, but you may have to bypass the wetlands and take the 4WD tracks if there’s been recent heavy rain.

Is the Ansons Bay to larapuna / Eddystone Point Hike good for beginners?

This is a moderate hike that crosses wetlands, dunes, and rocks, which may be challenging for beginners. However, you could choose to skip the wetlands and walk the sandy 4WD road to the beach, which is a bit easier.

How long does it take to complete the Ansons Bay to larapuna / Eddystone Point Hike?

Allowing for stops, you’ll need four to five hours to complete the return hike.

How long is the Ansons Bay to larapuna / Eddystone Point Hike?

The Ansons Bay to larapuna / Eddystone Point hike is just under 18km return.

Can you swim on the  Ansons Bay to larapuna / Eddystone Point Hike?

Yes, you can definitely swim on this hike if you are game (or Tasmanian)! The beach closest to the lighthouse is the nicest swimming beach for a dip.