There’s not as much ‘hype’ amongst the travelling community for this region of Tassie, but it sure didn’t disappoint! We loved the fact that we had camp grounds to ourselves, had waterfalls and beaches to ourselves, and that there were plenty of free adventures to be had, keeping the travel budget nice and healthy!
We based ourselves at Black River, a low cost camp at $50 for 7 nights! No ammenities, but we were tucked under a forest canopy, within a stone’s throw to a little tidal back flow beach, and better still – had the whole area to ourselves!
Our other recommendation as a base for this area would be Tall Timbers Free Camp. We took a drive through Tall Timbers to check it out and it is the most beautifully kept free camping area we have ever seen! Manicured lawns and a gorgeous little river flowing through it, you just need to be comfortable with neighbours as it was most definitely a popular place.
We originally set out to camp at Boat Harbour as it had outstanding Wiki Camp reviews! However, when we first drove in it was so crowded that we could barely navigate the road in with our van. We parked up and went for a quick look to see if there were any spots at all suitable and sadly the only two sites left were very sloped so we didn’t feel safe parking the van and decided to move on. What many don’t mention about Boat Harbour is the fact that it’s just a strip of underdeveloped land on the side of the road, across from all of the beach houses. You’re packed in like sardine and the camping itself is not actually ‘beachfront’, it’s in front of the rocky area on the other side of the bay from the nice beach seen in all the pics. Still only a 1-2 minute walk to the gorgeous ‘insta-worthy’ beach, but not what we were expecting. The beach itself though is stunning and well worth a day trip if you decide not to camp.
Stanley & The Nut
Whilst visiting the Cradle Coast, we explored the quaint little village of Stanley, and hiked around “The Nut”. You can have a free penguin experience in Stanley too! There’s a boardwalk set up at Godfrey’s beach and the penguins start waddling in each night at around 10pm. Just ensure that you have sufficient (multiple layers of) red cellophane over your torches so that the little guys don’t get frightened. Godfrey’s Beach has the most amazing beach combing on low tide. Check out some of the creatures we found after a quick 10 minute stroll…
Dip Falls & The Big Tree
Such a gorgeous little mini hike! It seriously only takes around 5 minutes to get to both of these beautiful spots that also happen to be within a stones throw of each other. The Big Tree in particular is absolutely amazing! I have never seen such a giant in real life. Lots of steps at Dip Falls but plenty of resting benches for those with bad knees or fitness levels not quite what they used to be!
The Tarkine Drive
When doing the Tarkine Drive, wear hiking boots (or runners at the very least) as there’s lots of short hikes along the trail to stretch the kids legs. Also pack lots of food for the day! Don’t rely on buying much along the track as apart from Arthur River there’s really nowhere to buy decent food. We would suggest allowing 5-6 hours if you’re not intending to do any of the walks, or closer to 8 hours if you are aiming to stretch the legs. You can hire kayaks and dinghies at Arthur River. We didn’t as the kids were horrendous that day, but may go back and hire a dingy to go up the river and explore further!
Handy Traveller Tips:
Smithton has a great Woolies to stock up on groceries. Stanley also has some great places to dine out, but book ahead if you’re hoping to go for dinner!
Wynyard has a great little Laundromat, well priced and clean. While you’re there, take the kids to Fossil Bluff Beach and hike up to the lookout. The Visitor Information centre in Wynyard was very helpful and had lots to read and explore also.