For my birthday, James and I decided to travel up the east coast of Tasmania to check out different beaches (Redbill, Bicheno, Swansea, 4 mile) and get a glimpse of the famous Bay of Fires. The first day was a beautiful drive through forests and pastures with grazing sheep or cows. After a delicious take-away lunch (instead of take-out) at Binalong Bay Cafe – if you aren’t on a strict budget like us, it’s a yummy place to eat with incredible views of the ultra marine blue bay . While capturing pic of the sunset that evening I slipped into the ocean on some rocks (up to my ankles) and properly soaked my hiking shoes. It was a happy, wet inauguration for them and I'm sure the first of many sloshy days for me. That evening after being rebuffed for dinner at 10 past 8 (too late!!) by the surly barkeep, James made me a birthday feast of toasted tunafish sandwiches. Honestly, I enjoyed eating my sandwich in the comfort of dry feet far more than any meal I would have had in my soggy hiking shoes.
On Wednesday morning we pressed north to Bay of Fires. We drove to the end of the Gardens Road and climbed up the dunes to see the ocean crashing on huge orange boulders piled along the coastline. We walked to the end of the beach, pausing to photograph and watch the powerful waves come up higher and higher over the rocks. I climbed to what seemed to be a safe perch from the water and took in the beautiful, yet violent view. I assumed the bay was named for the view of the bright orange rocks but it was actually named for the many fires visible from offshore that once burned here when Aboriginals heavily populated the area. Sadly now the only local population appears to be sheep. The land is protected national parkland, so it won't be developed but still depressing to think of the Aboriginals long ago driven off the land.