When you think about beaches in Tasmania, you probably imagine Wineglass Bay or Bay of Fires on the east coast. But as an island state, Tasmania is surrounded by stunning and often pristine beaches. North-West Tasmania is no exception. We have discovered some gorgeous gems on a recent north west Tasmania road trip. Some are well-known and loved, others are less familiar but not any less spectacular. Here is the cream of the crop.
Godfreys Beach, Stanley
Stanley is my favourite town in all of Tasmania. With its perfectly preserved historic centre, the towering volcanic plug, known as the Nut, and its gorgeous beaches Stanley has everything you could possibly ask for in a town.
Perched on a tiny peninsular that juts out into the Bass Straight, Stanley is almost completely surrounded by the ocean and the gorgeous sandy beaches.
The most popular beach in Stanley is Godfrey’s Beach. This curving 1.1 km long east-facing stretch of sand is washed by the brilliantly aquamarine waters of the bay and protected from the strong westerly winds by the two headlands. These badlands also provide a striking backdrop to the beach: one is The Nut that towers 150 meters over the beach and the other is home to the historic homestead at Highfield Historic Site.
The vies of the beach from either headland are mesmerizing. And if all this beauty wasn’t enough, Godfreys beach is also home to a colony of Fairy Penguins. You can watch them waddle to the shore after dark from the designated penguin watching platform.
There are plenty more things to do in Stanley if you are looking for a break from lazing on the beach, most of them are within an easy stroll from the beach.
How to get to Godfreys Beach
Stanley is located along Tasmania’s north west coastline and can be reached by Bass Highway from Burney (78.5 km), Devonport (124 km), and Launceston (213 km). Godfreys Beach is located on the eastern side of Stanley, starting at the foot of The Nut.
Where to Stay in Stanley
Since Godreys Beach is located near the historic centre of Stanley, I would recommend staying in this gorgeous part of town. Topping the list of my recommendations is the award-winning Ship Inn. Nestled at the foot of The Nut in a beautifully restored 1800s building, Ship Inn is all about charm, luxury and comfort.
Alternatively, here are some more suggestions for cute-as-a-button cottages on the historic Church Street: Touchwood Cottages, Beach Holiday Cottages, Gardenia House, Aston on Church. Or for something different, check out Stamps on Stanley apartments located in the post office.
Boat Harbour Beach, Boat Harbour
I never expected a Tasmanian beach to look so deceptively similar to the Maldives or the Philippines until I saw the impossibly clear water of Boat Harbour Beach. This beach is drop-dead gorgeous even by Australian standards. I would go so far as to say that Boat Harbour Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia. This, of course, means that it’s one of the most popular beaches in Tasmania and it gets quite crowded.
Boat Harbour Beach is sheltered by a 200-meter-wide shallow cove and because it’s shallow and the water is so clear, you can almost see the individual grains of the dreamy white sand on the bottom. It’s so pretty that despite the bitingly cold water, it’s hard to fight the temptation of at least wading knee-deep in its heavenly water.
How to get to Boat Harbour Beach
Boat Harbour is located just over 50 km east of Stanley along Bass Hwy or 79 km west of Devonport and 168 km from Launceston. The beach is reached via a 2.8km winding Port Rd from Bass Hwy and the centre of Boat Harbour town.
Where to stay in Boat Harbour
If you are looking for epic views of that gorgeous beach, check out Seascape Beach House. Alternatively, the quaint Boat Harbour Garden Cottages offer one or two-bedroom cottages set amid a beautiful garden.
Sisters Beach, Boat Harbour
To avoid the crowds at Boat Harbour, drive to the nearby Sisters Beach on the outskirts of the Rocky Cape National Park. It is one of the most unusual and scenic beaches in Tasmania. Here a small creek tinted brown by the tee trees growing on its banks, snakes across the white sand beach to meet the bright aquamarine waters of the Bass Strait. The contrast between these two brightly coloured bodies of water creates a strikingly beautiful scene.
There is a rope swing under the bridge that crosses Sisters creek, that’s popular with local kids. But the beach itself is likely to be deserted. You can splash around in the creek or brave the shallows of the main beach in the summer months. There is a shower at the car park so you can change into dry clothes afterwards.
How to get to Sisters Beach
Sisters Beach is only 8km west of Boat Harbour Beach via Sisters Beach Road. For part of the way the road travels through the Rocky Cape National Park, so it is a very pretty drive.
Where to stay at Sisters Beach
You could easily stay at Boat Harbour and take the 8 min drive to Sisters Beach for a day. But if you prefer the peace and quiet of a secluded location, check out Sisters Beach Paradise right on the beachfront.
Fossil Bluff, Wynyard
After the previous three beaches, the Wynyard Beach at Fossil Bluff doesn’t look like anything special at first. Until you climb to the Fossil Bluff Lookout and look at the beach from above.
From this high vantage point, the bright blue-green water looks so clear that you can see all the rocks on the sandy bottom. It almost looks like the Great Barrier Reef from above.
Back at the beach, there is another very interesting area to explore. The cliffs to your right hide thousands of 25 million-year-old fossilized shells. Called the Fossil Bluff, these cliffs were formed by immense geological forces from the crushing advance of an ice shelf at the time of the Gondwana supercontinent to volcanic eruptions 13 million years ago. Today’s idyllic appearance of the northern Tasmanian coast is a quiet moment in the geological storm that formed this region over millions of years.
How to get to Fossil Bluff
Wynyard is only 14 km east of Boat Harbour beach or 65 km west of Devonport and 154 km from Launceston. Fossil Bluff is a 2.9 km drive from the centre of Wynyard and the lookout trail starts from the car park just above the beach.
Where to stay in Wynyard
My top pick for Wynyard is the gorgeous Lylah’s By The Sea three-bedroom house nestled between the mouth of the Inglis River and the ocean. It is only a few minutes walk to the beach or to the cafes in town.
A little more upmarket is the Coastal Pods Wynyard – a cozy and offbeat two-bedroom pod apartment by the water.
Bakers Beach, Narawntapu National Park
Bakers beach is a different kind of beach. Less a tropical paradise and more a remote wilderness, this 6.9-kilometre long beach is protected by Narawntapu National Park. If you are looking for solitude and a beach that stretches for as long as the eye can see, you won’t find a better spot. While there are many deserted beaches in Tasmania, Bakers beach has a distinctly wild feeling to it.
Bakers beach is backed by 500-meter wide series of up to 15-meter high vegetated foredune ridges that make it feel even more secluded. The dunes are surprisingly tough to climb, but it’s only a short struggle from the car park. Or you can drive up the Beach Access Road and get even closer to the pristine beachfront.
How to get to Bakers Beach
Narrawntapu National Park is located 104 km east of Wynyard, 41 km east of Devonport and 76 km north west of Launceston. Bakers Beach is 1.8 km from the Parks and Wildlife Service office and Springlawn camping area.
Where to stay near Narawntapu
The closest town to Narawntapu National Park is Port Sorrell. My top pick for staying in Port Sorrell is the cozy Roosters Rest that offers a 1-bedroom cottage or 2-bedroom family bungalow nestled in a serene bush setting, minutes away from a beach.
Another popular choice is Tranquilles Bed & Breakfast which offers a selection of rooms and a luxury suite.
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