The town of Bicheno sits on the coast just above the far northern end of the Freycinet National Park, and makes for an interesting stop off on our tour. Depending on where you spent the previous night, you may like to choose Bicheno for a good night’s rest – there are certainly plenty of hotels to choose from here!
What to See and Do in Bicheno
Bicheno may not be a large town but it does have a surprising number of quirky attractions! Named after James Ebenezer Bicheno, one of the British Colonial Secretaries for Van Dieman’s Land (the original name for Tasmania), it was proclaimed a township in 1866, though it had been used as a whaling port since 1803.
The Grave of Wauba Debar – Not exactly an attraction which you’re going to want to photograph but important in the history of Bicheno all the same, is the grave of Wauba Debar. Wauba was an aboriginal woman who was taken from her tribe as a teenager in order to be used as a ‘sealer’s woman’. Despite this mistreatment she saved two sealers from drowning when their ship was wrecked. Although she survived this shipwreck she later died on the seas and her bravery was remembered and memorialised through the headstone which local settlers raised money to erect.
You may recognise the name, as Waub’s Harbour in Bicheno was named after her.
Merchant Navy Memorial – In between Wauba’s grave and the sea is the Merchant Navy Memorial, an attractive boat shaped memorial dedicated to the Australian Merchant Navy.
Diamond Island – Just off the coast of Bicheno is Diamond Island. This small island is a nature reserve and is connected to the mainland via a sand spit which allows visitors to walk across it at low tides. The main attraction here is the colony of Little Penguins.
East Coast Natureworld – The East Coast Natureworld is a popular attraction for visitors wanting to see the local flora and fauna up close. There’s plenty of wildlife here including Tasmanian Devil and wombats and visitors even have the chance to feed kangaroos! There are also a great many birds as well as reptiles here.
Sea Life Centre – Also popular, the Sea Life Centre features many of the region’s marine creatures in the Aquarium though there’s also a great steak and seafood restaurant here where you can sample some of the local seafood delights!
The Gulch, the Blowhole and the Rocking Rock – Bicheno’s natural attractions include the Gulch, a sheltered area which was traditionally used by fishing boats during storms. Walking around you’ll see that many of the coastal rocks have a red hue to them – this is as a result of the red lichen which grows in the area. You may also come across a fairly substantial blowhole which water blows out of when a wave strikes underneath, and right next to this is the Rocking Rock – 80 tons of granite which actually rocks with the movement of the tide!
‘Touring Tasmania – The Freycinet Coast to Bicheno’ by Claire Bolgil