Around-Oz: Living the Dream!

St Helens - East Coast of Tasmania
The Mini Riviera Right Here in Oz!

This truly is one of the most scenic spots on the east coast of Tasmania and is the gateway to the Bay of Fires area a little to the north and Scamander in the south. Thanks to the vision of the Break O'Day Council it is exceptionally CMCA friendly and we have yet to see a motorhome drive straight through. You can park all day on the extensive waterfront and then park overnight for free at the Sports Ground just behind the town proper. A dump point and fresh water has been thoughtfully provided and it is wonderfully peaceful spot at night. If you are in a smaller camper simply calling at the council offices on the waterfront in normal business hours will get you a key to the showers and toilets - around $5.00. The site is well grassed and nice and level. Now there is a No Dogs sign, but this applies to the playing fields and not the overnight area. Usual CMCA rules apply with regard to "on lead at all times" and of course clean up all "mess"! In return the council asks all members NOT to overnight on the waterfront, so as not to upset the locals and of course the caravan park owners, as this is after all a holiday area.


 
 

The photos above typify this beautiful area. The one on the left was taken from a little parking bay just south of the town. Now it is a very seafaring type of place, so we have provided lots of waterfront shots to give you a real feel for the place. Sunrise and sunset give lots of photo opportunities and usually is fairly calm as can be seen by the lovely reflections.


 
 
 

People sure make places and St Helens is full of wonderfully friendly folk. Steve the barber is the most unlikely looking barber you will ever come across, but he will have you in stitches as you wait your turn. We even got an invite out to his "shack" at Four Mile about 30 minutes south of town. He truly is a mine of information. The "fish lady" Tania Webster just around the corner is the spot to get your fresh lobster and prawns. We had some perfectly boned flathead during our most recent visit.


 
 
 

You can have lunch right beside the boats and there is a fish and chip shop right on the water open for lunches until 2:30 PM. The photo above right shows a really good evening dining option - on the deck of a delightful paddlewheel seafood restaurant! You can park your motorhome right outside. You can buy $10.00 meals to take away from 5:30PM.


 
 
 

The disposal facility pictured above is not for motorhome use, but what the heck, it really looks the business! The foreshore, as well as catering to the professional fishermen, is a marina as well. A great spot to park, as there is always something happening. Best not to park at the southern end as this is where the fisherfolk work on the boats and nets etc.


 
 
 

The photo below shows a few of the local children on a school excursion. The four page brochure shown below is available all over town. We got ours at the local BP. It has a good map of the area and lists all the info a motorhomer needs to know to make their stay more enjoyable. Yes, it does show long time local CMCA members the McLaughlin's motorhome right on the waterfront, but this is a promo photo only and we really aren't meant to park there in real life!


 
 
 

This is yet another initiative of the Break O'Day Council and it certainly gives one a warm and fuzzy feeling when one is handed to you - nothing quite like it on the mainland. Those attending the 2004 CMCA Tasmanian Rally at Quercus Park received one in their rally bag. We are certain that this would have convinced many members to visit St Helens and the magnificent Bay of Fires.


 
 
 

There are no major shopping centres as such, but this is a great spot to restock the larder as there are two great little independent super markets. Plenty of OP shops and lots of touristy shops as well. Rather oddly many of these don't open at all on Sundays. We used the Internet facilities at North East Computers near the picture theatre. Again wonderfully obliging people as they let us use our own laptops via their wireless network. The History Room is well worth a visit and you can also check email there as well.


 
 
 


We only have one criticism of this area - not enough rubbish bins. Pictured above right doing the right thing is Vic from the Roadrunners chapter of the CMCA. He collected two bags of rubbish - note the tongs he got at Chicken Feed for just $2.00. We went back to this same spot a week later and collected another bag ourselves. Our load had lots of bottles. We then found on trying to place the rubbish in town bins that you can't actually fit a bottle through the top slot in the bins. Yes there is a dump station, but it is out of town and hard to find. The photo is the same lovely spot shown at the top of this page. Our point is that the area could be left tidier if a bin was provided, such as the excellent concrete ones used by Break O'Day at Fingal.

In summing up this is a great spot to break your journey and we are sure you will have a great time just as we did. So far we have returned four times in three months and yes we are coming back at Xmas!

Absolutely totally recommended.

Chrissy Eustace

Hema 55 F 14

 

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