Continuing our northward journey, we came to Binalong Bay.
Binalong Bay Beach, which borders the vivid blue water of the bay, is said to be one of the loveliest beaches in Tasmania—and it certainly seemed so to me. This is a popular holiday area, with nearby clusters of holiday cabins. However, most of the area around the bay is either conservation area or national park, so there are few buildings and beaches are wide open.
As the coast sweeps northward, Binalong Bay transitions into the Bay of Fires and then takes a sharp turn out to Eddystone Point. The scenery becomes more dramatic and even more beautiful.
The Bay of Fires was named by Captain Tobias Furneaux in 1773. Furneaux (who, despite the evidence of his name, was a British naval officer) had accompanied Captain Cook in 1772–1775, commanding a companion ship. Becoming separated from Cook when they reached the southern seas, Furneaux charted the east and south coasts of Tasmania before locating Cook and friends in New Zealand. While in this area of Tasmania, he saw a surprising number of fires burning on the beach. He named the spot Bay of Fires, guessing (correctly) that there must be a fairly substantial Aboriginal population in the area. (In fact, there is still abundant evidence of those early occupants, including middens of bones and shells scattered among the sand dunes—and visitors are warned not to disturb any Aboriginal artifacts or middens they might find while hiking.)
The expedition with Cook ended in 1775, and by 1776, Furneaux was off the coast of South Carolina, contributing to Britain’s efforts to get the revolting American colonists under control. (I am always astonished at how far flung were the adventures of the seafarers of this era—and how interconnected were events worldwide.)
At Binalong and Bay of Fires, the beach alternates between granite boulders and soft white sand. We sampled a bit of both, and enjoyed the cool water and the area’s beauty, before heading off to the evening’s camp site.