Triabunna to Binalong Bay via Coles Bay
It was a cold and windy morning, but at least it looked dry and sunny. I went for an early morning walk around town, along the waterfront, checking out the boats in the marina. On my way back I got some fresh fruit and other supplies from the store.
After a visit to the petrol station just outside the campground, I was soon on the way towards Swansea. The wind was so strong and gusty that I had difficulty keeping the bike steady and avoid drifting into oncoming traffic. Other than that I enjoyed the ride in coastal landscape and sunny weather.
I didn’t stop in Swansea, but took the turnoff to Dolphin Sands and Nine Mile Beach. On the map this looks like a wonderful location, but it’s actually just a long stretch of private properties. Certainly a great place for those who own a house there, but for tourists there is no point driving all the way to the end of the road, because there is nothing to see. Halfway through on Dolphin Sands Road there is a public access path to the beach, and it’s worth stopping there. The beach is one of the greatest in Tasmania and offers views of The Hazards. Beautiful place on a clear and sunny day.
Shortly after Dolphin Sands I stopped at a vineyard. I drove past there several times in the past but I could see from the road they had built a large lookout tower for tourists since my last visit to Tasmania. I climbed up the tower and enjoyed the view. I knew they built the tower in the hope of getting people to stop and then buy a thing or two at their cellar door shop. Unfortunately I don’t drink alcohol so I don’t have much use for wine, but thanks for the lookout tower, it was worth stopping.
The road down to Coles Bay was fantastic. Fast curves, great tarmac, no traffic — full throttle all the way. In Coles Bay I went for a scenic ride along the esplanade before riding to Wineglass Bay. In hindsight I’m not sure why I even went there, because upon arriving I realised it would take too much time to walk to the lookout, let alone walk to the beach. And by then it was around 22ºC and sunny, so I would either have had to change clothes or sweat like crazy in my motorcycling gear.
I decided to skip it and have lunch in Coles Bay, then later stop at Friendly Beaches instead. There’s only one petrol station in Coles Bay, and next to it is a bakery where I remember having a snack way back in 2008 when I was cycling around Tasmania. Food was great and I enjoyed sitting outside in the sun.
I rode to Friendly Beaches but it was a long gravel road, so I ended up parking at a lookout point instead of riding down to the beach where the campsites are. It’s one of the greatest locations to camp in Tasmania, and I wished my schedule would include an overnight stop there.
Next stop was in Bicheno where I spent some time walking around the rocks. I had visited Bicheno in the past, but never checked out the blow hole before. In many ways this trip was about visiting a lot of places I had skipped on previous occasions.
Another quick stop before St Helens was at Four Mile Creek. I just wanted to enjoy the views and watch the waves crashing for a few minutes, when a local guy arrived with his dog. He let the dog out of the car and went on to walk straight down to the beach, when he noticed the signs that dogs were banned on the beach, to protect endangered birds like the Hooded Plover. He then remembered me and my camera — an awkward moment. He stopped and pretended for a few seconds to simply enjoy the views, before returning to his car and driving off moments later. I’m tired of people like that. There’s a reason dogs are banned from many nature reserves and parks, and people should respect it.
My plan was to camp at the Bay of Fires, so in St Helens I took the turnoff to Binalong Bay. Unfortunately I didn’t have mobile reception there so I wasn’t able to check which road to take. I followed some signs to bush reserves and campgrounds and ended up camping in Humbug Point Reserve. Only later I found out I had taken the wrong road. Nevertheless this was a great spot to camp in beautiful bushland, right at the beach, and it was free. The downside of being free was that it attracted a bunch of longterm campers who were either homeless or perhaps otherwise in trouble.
It was one of these guys who helped me pull my bike out of the sand after I managed to get stuck while cruising around looking for a good campsite bay. Never judge someone based on their looks, smell, or the bottle of beer they carry around.
I set up my camp in a sheltered spot, but only about 50m away from the beach. It was sheltered enough from the wind, but I could still heard the waves crashing. There was a water tank and toilets on the campground, but the water was yellow-brown-ish and looked disgusting, so it was totally unusable. Fortunately I carried enough water for cooking and other things.
The night was mild, so I tried some night shots of the stars before going to bed.