I visited East Beach last week for a quick swim on a hot day. When I arrived, I realised how much I’d forgotten about the location. For one, I’d forgotten that Low Head Lighthouse is visible from the beach. I had also forgotten that there is a giant sand dune at the other end of the beach. As if all of this wasn’t enough, East Beach faces onto Bass Strait. Whichever way you look, it’s a spectacular sight.
East beach is a surf beach. This might make you think twice about going there, particularly with kids, but it is a great beach for swimming. While I was there, kids in floaties swam in the surf with their dad and a toddler played with his father in the shallows. The water was warm and clear, the waves were gentle and the sun shone brightly. I would return there in a heartbeat.
The beach is also good for exploring. Lichen-covered rocks (like those found at Bay of Fires) can be found at the lighthouse end of East Beach, along with many interesting pebbles and shells. The dunes are rich with coastal flora and a good walk along the shore will take you to the impressively tall sand dunes.
What to Bring
For an enjoyable day at any beach, always check the weather and wear appropriate clothing. In winter, you’ll need to rug up as the coast can be cold. In summer, bring your bathers so that you can go for a swim (the water is beautiful!) and wear sunscreen and protective clothing. You won’t find a store nearby so bring some food and water. Low Head Pilot Station is three minutes’ drive away and has a café if you’d prefer that.
East Beach is about 45 minutes’ drive north of Launceston. Stay on the East Tamar Highway until it turns into Low Head Road. Turn right when you reach Gunn Parade (or East Beach Road – they create a loop). You’ll find ample parking at the beach near the picnic area.
As with all public beaches in Tasmania, you can access the beach for free. East Beach has a basic toilet and change-room block available for public use. You can also use the adjacent picnic table and barbecue facilities. Nearby East Beach Tourist Park has wood carvings on display that are sure to entertain the kids. Enjoy your day!
On your way to or from East Beach, I recommend visiting Low Head Pilot Station and Lighthouse, the Bass & Flinder’s Centre and Watch House at George Town and Hillwood Berry Farm. I’ve also visited several other places in Tasmania’s north and on the east coast – happy travels!