DRIVES AND ROAD TRIPS

Stay and play – St Helens, TAS

Saintly: It's time to get to know this inviting town.

Positioned on glorious Georges Bay, St Helens exudes a relaxing yet lively vibe. And it’s ideally placed near some of the state’s most breathtaking natural wonders.

Sparkling attractions like Binalong Bay are within grasp. Credit: J. Da Seymour Photomedia.

Where is it?

St Helens is 165km east of Launceston (2hr 10min drive) or 250km northeast of Hobart (3hr 10min drive) along the northeast coast of TAS.

Why go?

For its widespread appeal. St Helens attracts those who crave adventure or relaxation and nature or history. And these surrounds gift a litany of astounding photo opportunities.

Photo ops abound. Location: St Columba Falls State Reserve. Credit: Tourism Tasmania/Andrew McIntosh, Ocean Photography.

Mainly Maritime

This captivating maritime museum allows visitors to delve into a private collection curated over decades and numbering a staggering 10,000-plus items. Even more impressive is that some relics date several centuries.

Paintings, maps, posters, models, ship artefacts, dairies, and personal accounts of navy life are among the many, many fascinating objects to view via dedicated exhibition rooms.

St Helens mountain biking trails

The town has positioned itself as a premier destination for biking with the opening of the $4.5 million St Helens Mountain Bike Trail Network in late November 2019. This includes the 42km Bay of Fires Trail along with various shorter loop options that reveal a wealth of glorious landscapes.

The new paths complement the established Blue Derby network, which boasts 125km of purpose-built mountain bike trails among lush rainforest inland from St Helens.

St Helens has become a leading mountain-biking destination. Credit: J. Da Seymour Photomedia.

St Helens History Room

St Helens has a rich history covering a wide assortment of themes, and this is the best place to unearth it all. The likes of maritime, mining, indigenous, and early-settler heritage is retraced through a collection of 1000-plus artefacts and more than 20,000 photographs. Also found here is the local visitor info centre.

St Helens Point Conservation Area

The beautiful coastal setting is home to rugged beaches that suit surfing and fishing along with vast sand dunes. This is an excellent spot for a stroll, and there are various tracks to choose from.

St Helens Point is a standout area.

Fishing in St Helens

Those who like angling will love St Helens. Regarded as the state’s game-fishing capital, the town boasts ample opportunity to land a catch, and abundant varieties are found in these waters.

Solid recreational fishing can be enjoyed around Georges Bay, either from the shore or vessel, with easy access to the water via three boat ramps. Fishing charters are available, too.

Hook in: Anglers should find St Helens to their liking. Credit: Tourism Tasmania/Rob Burnett.

Priory Ridge winery

Wine lovers won’t want to miss this boutique beauty, occupying space in a character-filled heritage building on the outskirts of town. Sample a small but delicious range of cool-climate wines in rustic surrounds.

Milk the opportunity to indulge in tasty wine at Prior Ridge. Credit: Pete Harmsen.

Must-visit attractions near St Helens, TAS

Bay of Fires

The star-studded Bay of Fires conservation area stretches roughly 50km along the coast from Binalong Bay in the south to Eddystone Point in the north and is simply mesmerising.

The expansive combination of glittering white-sand beaches, gin-clear waters, and orange-coated granite boulders is irresistible for photographers and hikers. An absolute must-do when visiting St Helens.

Distance: 12km north of St Helens (to Binalong Bay).

Bay of Fires lives up to its red-hot hype.

St Columba Falls State Reserve

The picturesque reserve is home to a feast of forested landscapes in addition to its signature attraction: St Columba Falls. This is one of the state’s tallest waterfalls, cascading roughly 90m. Various viewing areas are on offer, and the reserve creates an excellent picnic setting.

Distance: 30km west of St Helens.

The reserve is awash with gorgeous greenery and other scenery. Credit: Pierre Destribats.

Evercreech Forest Reserve

Entering oxymoron territory, this towering attraction is a hidden gem. Evercreech is engulfed by gorgeous scenery, highlighted by a collection of the world's tallest white gums. Some reach a neck-craning height of 90m-plus and can be admired along various walks.

Distance: 35km west of St Helens.

Douglas-Apsley National Park

Diverse treasure bursts from a national park that could be considered on the underrated side. Waterfalls, wildlife, waterholes, gorges, and eucalypt forest can all be explored on a web of walking paths in this protected area, which is shadowed by a dolerite-capped plateau.

Distance: 78km south of St Helens.

Attention-dodger: Douglas-Apsley National Park. Credit: Simon Sturzaker.

Random fact

St Columba Falls State Reserve was once a prime playground for Tasmanian tigers. Although the carnivorous marsupials are now believed extinct, there have been several accounts in recent years from people adamant they’ve seen these creatures roaming around the area. And supposed sightings are not limited to these surrounds.

St Helens, TAS accommodation

Looking for accommodation in St Helens? Check out this award-winning BIG4 park.

BIG4 St Helens Holiday Park

Park type: Holiday.

Spotted just 300m from St Helens’ waterfront, this first-class holiday park has a generous assortment of cabin accommodation as well as ensuite, powered, and unpowered sites. There’s shared backpacker-style accommodation available in the MTB bunkhouse room and pet-friendly options for dog owners.

BIG4 St Helens abounds with first-rate facilities and accommodation. Credit: J. Da Seymour Photomedia.

Facilities abound for families, couples, and mountain-biking enthusiasts. For kids, there’s a sizeable indoor play area with a toddlers’ section and various recreation. It’s joined by an outdoor playground, including a jumping pillow and grassed play area.

The indoor play area suits families.

Elsewhere, there’s an indoor and an outdoor camp kitchen complete with wood-fired pizza oven. And a large chain fire pit in the park’s new MTB Bunkhouse area makes a great social setting. The communal atmosphere extends to the regular in-park events with appeal for all.

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Happy hour: Guests congregate to the park's MTB Bunkhouse space.

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