I wasn’t expecting much luck with the weather – the day before it had rained miserably – though I had hope the blue sky would break through the plump silvery clouds. Staring at the beach from the two storey sea view holiday home I was staying in I wrestled with my decision, to head down to the beach or keep driving in hope of outrunning the rain that seemed to just pour all day yesterday.
The call of the salt water and sand proved too much for my inner water baby so quickly packing the car I made my day to the beckoning sands of Binalong Bay.
People were scurrying to pack their fishing and boating gear away as I parked the car in the boating parking lot, the last ebbs of sunshine succumbing to the growing grey clouds and fat water drops began to settle on anything in their path. People were clearing the beach, all bar a few Chinese tourists who were having too much fun posing for photos on the orange-hued granite stones famed in the area famous.
Carefully making my way across the fast running stream that cut the beach in half, I walked along the waters edge for a few hundred metres letting the cold water hit my toes, ankles and shins. Moving back from the waters line I sank onto the sand. Turning my head left then right I realised there was no one. The damp drops were steadily falling but the beach was still mine to enjoy in near solitude, no one else was on the sand.
I shut my eyes listening to the familiar rhythmic beating of the waves, breathing in deep breaths of the salt water – it reminded me of my hometown.
Even without the sunlight illuminating the bay, the colours were brilliant. The dramatic grey sky contrasted with the forget-me-not blue peeking through in parts; the bright orange rocks, a stark contrast to the shades of brown and black surrounding them; the turquoise tinted waters and lime streaked rocks ran from the river into the bay at such speed I almost ended up falling into the waters, though later on I noticed that the stream was perfect for young locals to go bodyboarding on under the watchful eye of Mum and Dad.
Sitting on the sand I let my bare toes bury into the damp sand, hugging my legs into my body, nesting my neck on my knees and just gazing listlessly at the ocean. The rays of light that managed to penetrate the clouds danced on the lips of the waves as I shut my eyes and hummed the song I’d been listening to in the car – ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams – while the water continued to roll in and the rain drops kept dropping.
“…can’t nothing bring me down…”
Still humming the chorus, I opened my eyes and started to make my way back to the car. The colours somehow looked brighter and I hoped that meant the sun would show, though the skies battle still raged.
With hope that the rain would soon stop I drove along The Gardens – the name of the picturesque drive between Binalong Bay and Eddystone Point – deciding to start at the northern end and work my way back towards Binalong Bay – if the rain got heavier at least I could escape into the Binalong Bay Cafe when I got back to the town to warm up!
Making a U-turn to begin the drive back I noticed that a streak of brilliant blue painted the horizon. Even though the grey clouds were still present the colours of the land seemed just a little brighter.
I laughed at the sight before me, it wouldn’t have been Tasmania without some cows living across the road from the beach, overlooking the bay as they grazed on the grasses.
Through the car windscreen, I watched as the area lit up as thick rays of sun illuminated the area. The blue skies were winning the war against the grey clouds.
Quickly, I drove into the nearest beach parking lot – there are dozens scattered along the drive – and got out of the car with my camera in hand. The sun still remained, beaming down on the cream coloured sands.
The Bay of Fires is one of Tasmania’s best kept secrets. People seem to travel to the tropics of Queensland to experience beautiful beaches but they pale in comparison to the 12 kilometres of pristine aquamarine waters that stretched to the north and south of where I was standing.
Though Lonely Planet may have named it the second best beach in the world in 2009 as I stood on the sand I was in awe. There was not a single person in sight, though this would probably be different if the weather was a little better, I couldn’t think of a seaside that was more beautiful, with cliffs hugging the ends of the beach, the stark green reeds acting as a natural barrier between beach and road, the pale sand and the sparkling water before me – who couldn’t fall in love with the beauty of such a place.
Sitting on the sand I repeated the process from Binalong Bay. Settling my chin a top my knees and hugged my legs to my chest I silently thanked whatever creator made this beautiful place as I listen to the crashing waves, felt the warmth of the sun on my face, and then began humming again –
“Sunshine she’s here, you can take away…because I’m happy…”
Now it’s over to you:
Would you like to drive along the Bay of Fires?
Do you have any bad weather-turned-good stories?
- The drive between Binalong Bay and Eddystone Point takes approximately 60-90 minutes.
- Don’t rush the drive! There’s plenty of things to stop and enjoy including beaches, lagoons and a walk through Mt Pearson State Reserve.
- There is very limited phone reception for all phone providers though Telstra’s service is the best.
Listen to ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams
My trip to Tasmania was arranged by Tourism Tasmania,
part of their Go Behind the Scenery campaign.
All thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own.