The Bay of Fires
On the last day and a half of our Tasmania road trip we explored the north-east coast, which is relatively more unspoilt than the touristy east coast.
We spent most of the day on dirt roads leaving civilisation behind and swapping it for the silence and raw natural beauty of the Bay of Fires and sensational Mt William National Park region. We quickly left the populated villages of Binalong Bay and Ansons Bay behind in our search for more isolation. Further north, we found it at Eddystone Point and Deep Creek campground. Eddystone Point has a historic lighthouse made of granite rock from 1884. Several lighthouse keeper cottages still exist close by.
The heavily corrugated dirt road to Deep Creek will rattle your teeth for about 20 minutes as you drive at snail’s pace to avoid complete skeletal dislocation. But it’s definitely worth it when you arrive and can find a little break in the heath to park your car and setup camp directly on the beach, with the lighthouse blinking away from dusk to dawn. Fishing boats stay close to the bay overnight as they trawl for seafood, and the million star view with the Southern Cross above you is unforgettable.
The Bay of Fires area was named by English seafarers as they sailed along the Tasmanian coast and saw the fires of Aboriginal settlements. The majority of the environment within Mt William remains relatively undisturbed even after 200 years of British occupation, and therefore gives you a genuine feeling of what it must have been like living in Australia before the English arrived.
Cape Naturaliste lies at the northern end of Mt William national park, another isolated camping area, so named by French naturalist and explorer, Nicolas Baudin, who sailed to Australia on a voyage of discovery, at the same time as Matthew Flinders was charting the continent. From their written records, both were very interested in the Aboriginal culture and the natural uniqueness and diversity of Terra Australis.