About two hours drive from Coles Bay is Binnalong Bay, home to Bay of Fires Eco Tours. A newly created tour company, they specialise in showing you the best way to see the Bay of Fires – by water.
And I am lucky enough to be the only person on the ride today, so I have a nice personalised tour! Aboard the custom built eco-friendly boat Infurneaux, rugged up in a massive coat and beanie, along with my scarf and jacket underneath, I sit back and wonder at what awaits me.
The Bay of fires is 28kms in length extending from Binnalong Bay in the south to Eddystone Bay in the north. It was named by Captain Tobias Furneaux in 1773 when he noticed numerous fires along the coast from the Aboriginal inhabitants of the area. The red colour of the granite rocks lining the bays is caused by lichen.
The tour is about two and half hours long in which time you’ll see loads of beautiful rock formations (not only those of the Bay of Fires) and beautiful clear blue water, hear all about the area and its history and, if you’re lucky, see plenty of sea life. Unfortunately there was only one little seal playing on my time…
The boat is designed to ensure a smoother ride, but you may want to take some seasickness tablets beforehand if you tend to suffer for motion sickness. Also make sure you take enough warm clothes – even if if it looks like a bright day. I had so many layers on and was still cold at times, and of course, you need to be prepared for that windswept hairstyle once you disembark the boat.
Such a great morning and I’d definitely recommend the tour!
From Binnalong Bay, back on the road, I stop in at St Helens, park my car and sit peacefully picking at my fish and chips whilst watching the seagulls circling the harbour.
Then it’s time to get back on the road because I have another couple of hours of driving before I get to my accommodation for the night in Launceston.
In Launceston, I head straight to my accommodation for the night at the Leisure Inn Penny Royal Hotel. It was built in 1840 as a corn mill and then moved 54 kilometres, stone by stone, to be rebuilt as a hotel over 130 years later. It’s full of character – a sweet alternative to a big chain hotel, even if there is no lift.
It’s been a long day of driving on some pretty windy roads and I can’t wait to have some dinner and a glass of wine at the restaurant downstairs and hit the sack.
Tomorrow is for checking out Launceston.