September, 2011 – Graham Miln

Bay of Fires

The Bay of Fires is a stretch of coastline along the north east of Tasmania. The name comes from sailors noticing camp fires lit along the coast by the local people. In tourist literature the name is also used to refer to the red lichen that grows on the rocks.

A view from St Helens look out

Fishing boat moored at St Helens

We drove from Launceston to St Helens in order to visit the Bay of Fires. Arriving at St Helens, we were disappointed to discover the road to the bay had been closed by flooding.

We spent the day walking around St Helens and visited the look out at the southerly end of town. The town is small and quiet. I expect it comes alive in the summer months when the tourists flock in.

Thankfully the road to the bay was reopened the next morning. We took the opportunity and were not disappointed.

The Bay of Fires has some of the most pure white sand I have seen. Looking around the beach you can find collections of white shells washed ashore. It did not take long to spot an example of each stage of the shells erosion into fine white sand.

White sand contrasting with the vegetation at the Bay of Fires

Pooling water at the Bay of Fires

Large areas of red lichen at the Bay of Fires

Red lichen growing on rocks

Natural seam in the rocks