We’re continuing our Tasmanian adventures, and this week I’m here with all the insider tips on where to kick back, camp, and grab a sunset oyster. What more could you possibly want from a Tassie itinerary?!
Blue Derby Floating Sauna
Relieve all your aches and pains after a day of hectic mountain bike trails (actually, you don’t have to have ridden to enjoy this!) Set at the edge of the lake in Derby, a short walk from the main drag, you can either pay to have the floating sauna to yourself, complete with Sauna Master, or you can pay a little less and you may share the experience with a handful of other sauna-goers. Do as the Scandinavians do and alternate between jumping into the cold waters of the lake, and climbing out to defrost in the sauna. Rinse and repeat and you’ll feel brand new. You can book here. You do need to book.
Pizza at Derby
Expending all that energy, you’re going to need to reward yourself with a wood-fired pizza, naturally. The Hub offers beverages, the aforementioned pizzas, and a few other hearty options. It’s on the main street of Derby, you won’t miss it. If you’re after something with more of a cafe offering, Two Doors Down cafe is my go-to.
Bay of Fires Trail
You can easily cut across to St Helens, a coastal town to the east of Derby either by car or, if you’re not all MTB’d out, there is a trail that connects Derby to Binnalong Bay, which is just a tiny bit north of St Helens. It’s called the Bay of Fires Trial is a bit over 41km.
Bay of Fires
While we’re on Bay of Fires, if you’re going in the warmer months, we recommend camping at The Gardens. White sand, beautiful rocks, a great campaign spot and so good ol’ freezing Tassie waters. If you’re there in the colder months, it’s still worth a visit, it’s no less beautiful, but you’ll need to be braver than me to swim.
If you head slightly south from Bay of Fires you’ll come to St Helens – a lovely town worth staying in if you’re after a few days in a sleepy coastal town. There are plenty of good beaches and the town is well equipped with amenities.
If you continue on even further south, you’ll be able to head down the Freycinet Peninsula, which, in this humble Tasmanian’s opinion, is the best spot in the state, which is really saying something.
Geographe is your best option for food; they serve wood fired pizzas, coffee, and some of the best hot chips this side of Bass Strait.
Head around to the Freycinet National park and choose a walk if you’re so inclined. Mt Amos is my favourite, but it’s steep and can be slippery. Read: wear proper walking shoes.
If camping is your jam, walk over to Wineglass Bay and camp at the far end. It’s sheltered and the views are incredible, looking back at the hazards. Be aware there’s no water at this campground.
If you’re a seafood fan, the Freycinet Marine Farm is an absolute must. Don’t be fooled by the tin-shed set up and low key approach to table service, the produce is as premium, and as fresh as you’ll find anywhere in the world. There are plenty of delicious dine-in options, but my M.O is to grab a few takeaway oysters and some beer and head to a beach in Coles Bay to enjoy – Honeymoon Bay is a good option.
While you’re at the marine farm, go for an oyster tour. Whether you enjoy eating them or not, it’s a fascinating and well run tour. You do need to book in advance.
If you were to head north instead of south from Derby, you’d hit Barnbougle. I’m no golf pro, so I won’t linger on the details too long, but I hear if you’re so inclined, it’s a pretty special please to chase a white ball. Hot top: There’s also a spa at Barnbougle. So if you’re in a situation where some of your travel party is golf mad, but others are less, so… well, you know what to do.