Tasmania’s Bay of Fires is a long, peaceful expanse of sugar-white beaches, dotted with blazing orange granite boulders, on Tasmania’s east coast. We spent a morning at The Gardens and Cosy Corner, exploring the landscape of the Bay of Fires with our two kids.


Highlights

  • Accessible but not crowded
  • Loads of rock-hopping and climbing for the kids
  • No need for the lo-fi insta filter – the orange rocks really are crazy bright

The Bay of Fires on Tasmania’s east coast is a brilliant place to visit with kids. It’s accessible and sheltered, yet it feels wild, remote and full of surprises.

How The Bay Of Fires Got Its Name

Stretching from Binalong Bay in the south to Eddystone Point in the north, this beautiful coastline encompasses 50km of unspoiled, picture-perfect beaches. Soft white sand coupled with the clear blue waters of the Tasman Sea, contrast with the unique granite rocks spattered with bright red lichen. Fun fact! The Bay of Fires or larapuna isn’t actually named after the fiery red lichen – it was named in 1773 by Captain Furneaux, who spied the fires of the palawa (local Aboriginal people) on the beaches.

Family Fun At The Bay Of Fires, Leonie Waldron, lichen, rocks, water

Whilst there’s a slew of luxury walk options, day cruises and 4WD tours on offer , at its heart, it’s a beach – and who doesn’t love a simple day at the beach?

For a pretty low maintenance family with an eight and ten-year-old, we were happy to just go for a drive to the Bay of Fires, and see where the day would take us.

Visiting early on an October morning, we found the northern inlet known as The Gardens completely deserted. We parked here and pottered around for a while, exploring the tactile organic shapes of the rocks. Then, following a procession of fat, loud bumblebees along a paddock fence line, we took the Bay of Fires Coastal Walk north to another even more spectacular inlet.

The unique granite boulders, coupled with the abundance of crabs and rock pool creatures, meant we didn’t need to walk far to see awesome sights. The kids were content to take photos, rock hop, and muck around in the sand for ages.

Family Fun At The Bay Of Fires, Leonie Waldron, boy, rocks, water, photo

With the Bay of Fires covering such a long stretch of coastline, we wanted to see if some of the other tiny inlets were just as beautiful, so after a snack, we hopped in the car and set off back the way we had come, looking for the sweetly-named Cosy Corner.

With campgrounds at its north and south ends, this spot had a few more people around, but it was still quite peaceful.

Whilst the granite outcrops at The Gardens were flatter and more sea-weathered, some of the rocks at Cosy Corner were much taller. Fractured and striated into giant caves and mazes, they formed a natural playground that the kids couldn’t resist exploring.

Family Fun At The Bay Of Fires, Leonie Waldron, rocks, kids, lichen, sand

Essential Gear

  • Food and water – you’re a long way from any shops
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent (there were a few sandflies around)
  • Good grippy shoes for rock hopping
  • A rubbish bag so you can take your trash out with you and help keep this beautiful spot pristine

How To Get There

We stayed the night in St Helens and headed up the coast early the next morning. To get to The Gardens, follow Binalong Bay Road and then Gardens Road till you get to the small parking area. Our next stop was Cosy Corner North camping area.

Activities

  • Rock hopping
  • Swimming
  • Photography
  • Quality family time!

If you’re handy with a camera, check out some more epic photography spots further south near Binalong Bay.

Skill Level

Beginner

Distance Covered / Elevation Gained / Duration

It’s a beach, so flat as a pancake. There’s plenty of options to extend this walk, but we covered about 4km during our three hours of meandering.

 


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