On a sunny, calm day, we took to the seas in the exquisite Bay of Fires on Infurneaux. The sole ship in the Bay of Fires Eco Tours fleet, it is luxurious! The seats are very comfy, which doesn’t sound too important, but it will be once you’ve been sitting for three hours! We were provided with warm, waterproof jackets.
To prepare for your journey, limit your cups of tea beforehand! I had one too many and needed to use the loo on board. While I can now tick that off my bucket list, it’s probably best if you don’t need to use it at all! Another thing that you need to be aware of is that, while it might be a hot day on the sand, it’s always much colder out on the water. Wear layers (lovely Tasmanian merino is a great idea) but don’t wear a hat as it may end up overboard. If you think that your head might get cold, wear a hooded jacket or jumper. Even though the boat has a canopy, I would also recommend wearing sunscreen due to the sun, wind and spray. If you experience sea-sickness, see my Bruny Island Cruises post for tips from the Ancient Mariner (Dad).
Your journey through the Bay of Fires will take you up the coast, showing you a range of beaches and sites. The Aboriginal midden (bone and shell heap) at the end of Jeanneret Beach is enormous and it’s a privilege to see it from offshore. You’ll also have a few opportunities to take stellar photographs of the lichen-covered granite rocks from the sea. Our guide paused to show us various bird life, including a gorgeous sea eagle and several black-crested cormorants. We sailed very close to Sloop Rock (named so because it looks like a ship rising up out of the water). This rock plunges 18 metres down to the ocean floor and is quite a sight to behold. The best part of the tour, in my opinion, is seeing Mount William National Park. The park is quite hard to get to so it was very special to see Anson’s Bay, the Park’s pristine beaches, Bay of Fires Lodge, Eddystone Point Lighthouse and Mount William itself from the water.
At larapuna (the Aboriginal name for the area where Eddystone Point Lighthouse stands), you’ll have the opportunity for a complimentary biscuit and a fabulous photo of the Lighthouse and the Keeper’s Cottages. After this, you’ll take to the open waters in search of wildlife.
We saw three shy albatross (one of which wasn’t shy at all and posed for several pictures!) on the return journey. These birds are beautiful. We also encountered a lone seal who was a bit annoyed that we were interrupting his meal. Pufferfish, anyone? It was then a lovely boat-ride, with only a pot-hole or two, back to base.
For instructions on how to get to the Bay of Fires, read my post about the region. Once you’ve made it to St. Helens, follow signs for Binalong Bay and then drive along the coast, past Moresco Restaurant, until you reach Titley’s Shack on the left (look for Bay of Fires Eco Tours signage).
As for similar cruises in Tasmania such as Bruny Island Cruises (you can read about my experience here), adults cost $135, children (5-years-old and above) cost $85 and a family costs $380. There are two shorter afternoon cruises which cost slightly less. It would be fabulous to see the small seal colony at St. Helens Island and I am considering doing this tour in the future. I recommend doing the full Bay of Fires tour instead of The Gardens tour, if time permits. Seeing Eddystone Point Lighthouse is well worth it!
To read about my other journeys on Tasmania’s stunning east coast, click here.