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Unleash your Inner Van-turer at Bay of Fires, Tasmania: A Camping Gem

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

Are you ready for a road trip of a lifetime? Tasmania's Bay of Fires, known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant orange-hued lichen-covered boulders, is a destination that should be on every traveler's bucket list. And what better way to explore this natural wonder than with a van, giving you the freedom to experience the Bay of Fires at your own pace? In this travel story, we'll guide you through the best routes, campsites, activities, and essential tips to make your Bay of Fires van adventure an unforgettable experience.

A women at The Gardens, Bay of Fires Conservation Area on a chill evening with a blanket and a bennie
Credit: Lisa Kuilenburg

Plan Your Route

  • Starting Point: The easiest is to begin your journey in Launceston, the largest city in northern Tasmania. However if you want to do the entire East Coast, then landing in Hobart is a good alternative as it allows you to do a big loop from the Southernmost city of the state.

  • Route Options: Depending on your preferences, you can take the Tasman Highway along the East Coast, which is a scenic drive offering numerous picturesque stops along the way. Alternatively, if driving from Launceston, consider the St. Helens route, a more direct but equally beautiful option.

Must-Do Activities

Beach Hopping

Beach hopping in the Bay of Fires is a captivating and must-do experience in this picturesque Tasmanian destination. The region is famed for its pristine white sandy beaches, each offering its own unique charm and character. From Binalong Bay to Cosy Corner North and beyond, you can enjoy sunbathing, swimming in crystal-clear waters, and leisurely walks along the shoreline, all while surrounded by the iconic orange-hued lichen-covered boulders that make the Bay of Fires so distinctive.

van parked in front of turquoise beach at bay of fires in tasmania
Credit: Stu Gibson

Beach hopping allows you to uncover a different, breathtaking view at each stop, creating a sense of discovery and wonder as you explore these coastal treasures. Remember to bring sunscreen, swimwear, and a sense of adventure to make the most of your beach-hopping adventure while respecting the natural beauty of the area by leaving no trace.

Hiking Trails

Bay of fires taken showing the beautiful coastline from a drone shot
Credit: Stu Gibson

Hiking in the Bay of Fires presents an enchanting opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the region. The Bay of Fires Coastal Walk offers an exceptional trek along the coastline, where you'll encounter pristine beaches, lush forests, and diverse wildlife. The trail provides a captivating journey with its stunning vistas and the chance to immerse yourself in the area's unique flora and fauna. It's important to prepare with suitable gear and be conscious of changing weather conditions, all while respecting the environment and following responsible hiking practices to ensure the preservation of this remarkable Tasmanian gem.

Snorkeling and Diving

Young man ready to go snorkelling in Bay of Fires
Credit: Sean Scott

Snorkeling and diving in the Bay of Fires is an enchanting experience characterized by crystal-clear waters and a vibrant underwater world. This coastal gem offers prime snorkeling locations, such as Binalong Bay, where you can explore rocky coastlines and encounter a diversity of marine life, from colorful corals to various fish species. It's essential to come well-equipped with snorkel gear and prioritize safety while being mindful of changing tides. For those new to snorkeling or seeking a guided adventure, local tour operators provide informative and safe excursions. Respect for the delicate marine ecosystem is paramount, making responsible snorkeling practices imperative to preserve the Bay of Fires' underwater treasures.

Essential Tips:

  • Weather Preparedness: Tasmania's weather can be unpredictable. Be sure to pack clothing for various conditions, as well as sunscreen and insect repellent.

  • Respect the Environment: Practice responsible tourism and help preserve the natural beauty of the Bay of Fires by following the local guidelines and respecting wildlife.

  • Safety First: Always let someone know your plans and itinerary when traveling in a remote area like the Bay of Fires.

  • Pack Essentials: Stock up on food, water, and camping equipment before embarking on your journey, as supplies can be limited in some areas.

Where to camp in Bay of Fires?

Cosy Corner North Campground

Drone shot from Cosy corner campground in Tasmania
Cosy Corner - Credit: She Who Explores

Cosy Corner North is a beachfront gem located at the northern end of the Bay of Fires. This campsite is a prime choice for those who want to wake up to the soothing sound of the ocean and incredible sunrise views. Nestled among the dunes, the campsite provides easy access to the pristine white sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters that Bay of Fires is renowned for. It's a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, beachcombing, and taking leisurely strolls along the shore. The campground offers basic facilities such as pit toilets and picnic tables. However, keep in mind that this area is quite remote, so it's essential to come well-prepared with supplies and camping equipment. Due to its popularity, it's advisable to book in advance.

Jeanneret Beach Campground

Drone shot from Jeanneret Beach on a summer day with a person walking along the beach in a bikini
Jeanneret Beach - Credit: She Who Explores

Jeanneret Beach Campground offers a more secluded and serene camping experience. Tucked away from the crowds, it's an excellent choice for those seeking a tranquil escape. This campsite is surrounded by lush coastal vegetation, and it's within walking distance of a stunning, unspoiled beach.While the facilities at Jeanneret Beach are more basic, with pit toilets and minimal amenities, it's the perfect place for those who relish a more rustic camping experience. This spot is great for nature lovers and birdwatchers, as the area is teeming with wildlife. As with any campsite in the Bay of Fires, it's crucial to respect the environment, follow camping regulations, and practice responsible camping. Additionally, Jeanneret Beach, like other Bay of Fires sites, can get busy during peak seasons, so booking permits ahead of time is advisable.

Keep in mind that camping fees and permits are often required, and it's important to follow Leave No Trace principles when camping in the Bay of Fires.

Choosing the Ideal Van to explore Bay of Fires

Selecting the ideal van for your Bay of Fires adventure is a crucial decision that can greatly impact your overall experience. Begin by assessing the size and space requirements for your travel party, ensuring that the van comfortably accommodates everyone. Consider the amenities that best suit your needs, such as a bed, kitchen, and storage space, which can enhance your convenience during the trip. Budget, rental company reputation, additional features, and insurance coverage are all important factors to weigh as well.

"Our favorite van to visit Bay of Fires is kunanyi"

awd adventure van equipped for tasmania roadtrip
kunanyi is equipped with all terrain tyres and is 4WD

Furthermore, think about the type of van you require, whether it's a 4WD or 2WD model, depending on the terrain you plan to navigate. Before finalizing your decision, ask all the questions you might have ahead and plan your journey. Choosing the right van, backed by meticulous research and consideration, will ensure a comfortable and enjoyable road trip to the breathtaking Bay of Fires, allowing you to make the most of this spectacular Tasmanian destination.

In conclusion, exploring the Bay of Fires with a van is a remarkable adventure that will leave you with unforgettable memories. The combination of stunning natural beauty, outdoor activities, and the freedom of van travel makes this journey a must-do for any nature lover. Remember to plan your route, choose the right van, select the perfect campsite, and immerse yourself in the countless activities this spectacular region has to offer. Discover the Bay of Fires' hidden gems for yourself and experience the magic of Tasmania's eastern coast. Happy van-tures!

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