Bay of Fires Conservation Reserve - East Coast
Famous for its crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches and orange lichen-covered granite boulders, the Bay of Fires is one of Tasmania's most popular conservation reserves. The Bay of Fires conservation area extends along the coast from Binalong Bay in the south to Eddystone Point in the north.
Its name refers to the Aboriginal fires spotted by Captain Tobias Furneaux when he sailed past in 1773, but it could also apply to the brilliant orange lichen that grows on the granite boulders lining the bay. There is still evidence of the lives of the first Tasmanian along the coastline, in the form of middens (shell and bone dumping grounds).
The conservation area is divided into three sections, with Anson's Bay dividing the southern and northern ends. A scenic view of the bay can be glimpsed by driving along the coast to The Gardens.
The Bay of Fires area contains rocky gullies, with many small secluded beaches and inlets to explore. Binalong Bay is the area's main beach – a beautiful stretch of white sand and clear water for swimming, snorkelling, surfing or simply relaxing.
There's a wealth of local wildlife to discover, too, including birds that can be encountered on self-guided and guided walks. The area is renowned for game fishing, with numerous boat ramps. The offshore reefs contain rich marine biodiversity that attracts divers and snorkelers.
Campsites are located in the southern and middle sections of the conservation area, with toilet facilities in the southern beach sites. Camping is not allowed in the northern section, but there are campsites at Deep Creek, just outside the conservation area in the adjoining Mount William National Park.
Other accommodation is available in and around Binalong Bay, including remote eco-lodges. The coastal town of St Helens is located at the southern entrance to the conservation area and offers more places to stay, plus services and facilities.
For more things to do on Tasmania's east coast see the self-drive journey, the Great Eastern Drive.