Would you like to spend four days hiking the beautiful unspoilt beaches of Tasmania? Me too!
Sadly I haven’t made it to Tasmania yet but Tassie is right up there on my big fat travel bucket list so when Seana Smith offered to write about her recent experiences hiking the Bay of Fires trail on the apple isle for Get In the Hot Spot I eagerly agreed.
Seana’s a lifelong travel lover from Scotland who currently lives in Sydney and blogs about Sydney, Kids, Food + Travel. She doesn’t mention it here but the Bay of Fires trip was a special kid free birthday treat to celebrate the big 5-0 so a belated happy birthday to Seana from the Get In the Hot Spot team.
It’s fantastic to see Seana’s adventurous ways are showing no signs of disappearing and time for me to hand you over to Seana so we can learn all about the Bay of Hires beach walk along with the all important hiking tips to make sure it goes well.
Long beach walks are ideal for the slightly lazier walker like myself, and for those of us whose knees are getting just a little bit creaky.
Look, I have been up and down a few mountains in my time, the High Atlas in Morocco and Mt Kinabalu in Sabah spring to mind. Honestly, I can still feel how sore my knees were after coming down both of those. Many of Scotland’s Munros have had me hiking up and down them too: gorgeous and very wet and windy.
But my latest long, long walk was basically flat and I loved it. It was the four-day guided Bay of Fires Lodge Walk, a fairly luxurious hike through some of the most spectacular scenery in Tasmania… and that’s saying something as Tasmania is an island that presents visual glory after spectacular sight.
On the Bay of Fires Lodge Walk there are two long days of walking, and two shorter ones. Our group of ten happy beach hikers covered a total of 33km. That’s not too far at all, but as we learned along the way, there are some important preparations to make sure this sort of a walk works well.
Here are my beach walking tips:
1. You Need Strong Boots Even For The Beach
Our tour company insisted that footwear must be tough hiking boots which supported the ankle. Quite right because even walking on the more or less flat sand is still heavy on the feet and they must be protected well.
Also there was plenty of rock scrambling to be done, and some walking through bush. Tough is better.
2. You Need To Walk Those Boots In… Well In…
The biggest issues with this long beach walk are blisters, sunburn and dehydration, with the blisters being way ahead of the pack.
Even though a beach walk is flat, your feet will still be moving for most of the day. Wear in your boots for many, many hours before setting off to be sure that you won’t get blisters. Our guides were super duper blister carers, but still blisters were a literal pain for a few of the group.
3. Walk On The Harder Sand
The beaches at the Bay of Fires are generally very wide and pretty flat. This meant that there was usually hard, wet sand for us to walk along. That’s SO much easier than hiking along through soft sand, which we did have to do occasionally. It also meant that the sand is flatter.
4. Work Out How Flat The Sand Is… Then…
If the beach you are walking along is sloped then you can expect some parts of your body to get sore because your old hips are having to tilt.
This didn’t happen to me on this walk but others swore by walking backwards at times when on steeper beaches.
5. Just Walk
Some of the beaches we walked along were five kilometres long. You’d think that the landscape wouldn’t change much, but it did and no beach ever felt like the other, none ever felt dull.
There’s something quite hypnotic about spending hours and hours listening to waves curl in and crash, curl in and crash and curl in and crash again.
The Bay of Fires Lodge Walk Day by Day
We set off from Launceston after packing up our kit. A three hour drive took us to Stumpy Beach and off we set, with two guides looking after ten walkers. The weather on our first day was pretty grey but we still had to watch out for sunburn though.
After 9km of pristine beach, and without seeing another human being nor any sign of one, we arrived at our camp at Forresters Beach. This is a semi-permanent camp, dry goods are choppered in at the start of the season. Our guides carried in fresh food and carried out all our rubbish.
On the second day the sun came out and made all the magnificent colours of the rocks and sea in this beautiful Bay leap out. We walked 14km along glorious beaches and past Eddystone lighthouse, stopping to swim in a pretty little bay, and to eat the lunches we’d prepared. Our guides point our interesting flora and fauna and show us ancient middens used for centuries by the aboriginal people of this area.
The Bay of Fires feels remote and totally unspoiled because it is remote and totally unspoiled.
The foot spa at the Bay of Fires Lodge itself was a MOST welcome sight, as were the comfy king size beds.
This was a day off for those in need of a rest, or a kayak and walk day: we chose to kayak and loved the 8km paddle. Walking home for five miles along a flat beach barefoot was also a high point of this journey.
There’s a bit of time in the morning to read and enjoy the magnificent views from the Lodge. Then a hike through coastal bush land leads back to the bus and the long ride back to Launceston.
Our coastal walking holiday was quite literally a breath of fresh air. To be surrounded by such pristine beauty was a treat.
Read more about the Bay of Fires Lodge Walk here.
The same company manages the Cradle Mountains Huts Overland Track Walk, that’s a six day walk with a lot more up and down than our coastal walk.
But we’re keen, so limbering up already and getting some leg muscle strengthening done in preparation!
Seana Smith is a Sydney-based family travel blogger, find her over at Sydney Kids Food + Travel. Seana won her Bay of Fires Walk as a prize at the Australian Society of Travel Writers Trivia Night- amazing! She paid all flights and extra accom herself and even took her hubby along for the ride.