Bay of Fires

Though Miss 9 was keen to stay in Coles Bay and play with her new friend, we headed East up the coast toward ‘the Gardens’ at Bay of Fires. My Tassie friend formerly from Melbourne had sent me a list of recommended places to stay which included the Gardens so I checked WikiCamps for a campsite and found the Lagoon campsite so we headed there stopping at St Helens on the way when we noticed a few shops we needed. Since we planned to spend the next few days at the beach, we needed either an umbrella or a beach tent (we couldn’t decide between the two so got both) and a boogie board now that the kids had a love of waves.

We soon headed toward the Lagoon down a narrow road after passing multiple signs for other campsites along the way. We eventually reached a sign that said ‘no camping beyond this point’ so had to make the most awkward U-turn with the camper, edging close to jack-knifing to turn around. We then stopped at a little side road with a small sign about fires where I gave the kids the UHF and sent them for a walk to check for possible campsites. They confirmed a few available but they’d all be looking out onto the Lagoon rather than the ocean so I checked Camps 8 for alternatives and noticed that the Cosy Corner North campsite was rated highly so we headed there knowing that we had the Lagoon as backup if no beach sites were available.

Arriving at Cosy Corner North, the campsite looked pretty packed already so I pulled over and sent the kids off with the UHF radio again to search for a spot. Soon after Miss 9 was excitedly on the radio to tell me they’d found a spot so I headed off to park in what was a shady spot under a few trees where we faced the ocean and had only a few metres to get to the sand. After setting up and having some lunch, we headed to the beach to try out our new shade set up, boogie board and the giant inflatable mermaid tail.

The sand was squeaky white and the water crystal clear turquoise and azure with the white-tipped waves gently crashing on the sand. The colours looked like that in a postcard or ideal painting of the beach where the azure darkens to a navy where it touches the horizon and the light blues of the sky take over.

Master 17 enjoyed riding the waves on the mermaid tail while Miss 9 struggled a little with her new boogie board on the waves. The sandbar near our camp meant fairly gentle but relentless waves crashing onto the shore so she opted instead to build sandcastles.

The following day we chilled in the morning before we headed down to the other end of the beach to avoid the wind and our shade tent blowing away to where ‘Cosy Corner’ I’m sure got it’s name. There were a lot of rocks that sheltered you from the wind and waves and the rock pools while the tide was out were interesting to investigate and the rocks fun to clamber on.

Master 17 continued to have fun riding the waves on the giant inflatable mermaid tail – seeing it floating about far out on the water or crashing into the surf on the waves most certainly made me giggle a few times. Miss 9 was a lot more confident riding the gentler waves at this end of the beach and I was happy to wade in the water with them. Miss 9 was fascinated by the giant kelp growing on some of the larger rocks, including one that I thought would make a great ‘mermaid rock’ for her to sit on but it was too slippery for her to climb onto.

We had originally thought we’d stay here for 2 nights and then Policeman’s Point for one night but we loved our campsite and this little spot on the beach so much that we decided to stay here the three nights.

We spent the next day at the end of the beach and Miss 9 and I headed there in the morning while the tide was in. The Cosy Corner was very different while the tide was in and the rocks that we’d adventured around the afternoon before, Miss 9 and I climbed awkwardly around along the shore trying to get to the sand as most of the rocks we’d travelled via the day before, were all under the water! (even ‘mermaid rock’ was completely under water). Once we finally got there, another beach goer kindly told us of a path in the bush that was easier to get us to and from the main beach. When we got to our little nook among the giant rocks, we soon found there was no shade at this time of the day and it was going to be a 35 degree day so we called Master 17 (who was going to head to the beach much later) and asked him to bring down the shade tent and to check out the deeper and calmer morning waters of Cosy Corner.

We spent hours at the beach before I ventured back to make us some lunch to bring back to our neat little spot on the sand (at 3pm!). It’s hard to believe how the Bay of Fires ‘busy’ compares to the Melbourne beach ‘busy’ – despite there being a lot of families and dogs on the beach, it was relatively quiet and we had so much space to just relax and frolic in the water.

We eventually headed back to camp where we all chilled a little while Miss 9 happily played with our neighbour’s Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy (that was nearly as big as her) in the black and ashy sand that is everywhere near the campsites. By the time it was bedtime, I had to stand her in the tub for a thorough wash before she could get into the bed!

On our final day at Cosy Corner we decided to get up for sunrise – that was, until the alarm went off and I couldn’t convince either of the kids to get up with me! I wondered down to the beach to watch the sunrise. The morning was calm and warm enough to be in a T-shirt with a thick band of cloud along the horizon that hid the sun for some time. The reflection of the sun on the clouds overhead however, was still evident and the gorgeous colours shifted from bright white and yellow lights, to oranges and reds. A giant sausage shaped cumulus cloud spanned the sky above me and felt close enough for me to put my hand out and touch. While it was calm on the beach, the air overhead wasn’t so calm as the cloud was moving quite quickly above me from south to north.

As the sun finally kissed the clear sky, the wind started to pick up on the beach and I could smell the distinct scent of fire smoke. I couldn’t see any smoke but it was a poignant reminder of the fires currently ravaging the southern parts of the state.

Back at camp I jumped back into bed with Miss 9 to warm up as the wind had really picked up while I was sitting on the beach and I was a bit cold in my T-shirt! We eventually got up and made pancakes for breakfast and chilled for the morning before packing up at lunchtime to head inland for our last few days in Tassie.

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