Bicheno Dive Centre, A Bradley / Mr A Bradley

Population 639

Bicheno (pronounced 'bish-eno') has a chequered history. It was set up as a whaling and sealing centre in 1803, predating the official settlement of Van Diemen's Land by a few months. It became a magnet for men with violent tendencies, which often found expression in the abuse of local Aboriginal women. One of these, Waubedebar, became a heroine after saving two white men from drowning in a storm. Landmarks in town bear her name, and her grave can be seen in Lions Park. After a short stint as a coal port, during which time the population increased considerably, Bicheno relaxed back into what it does best – fishing – and is known today for its abundant seafood. Situated on the east coast, the town has the mildest climate in Tasmania. It is blessed with sandy beaches and popular dive spots, and draws holiday-makers from far afield. Native rock orchids, unique to the east coast, bloom in October and November.

Visitor Information

41b Foster St; (03) 6375 1500

Nearby national parks

  • Freycinet National Park

    Freycinet National Park protects a whole peninsula of rugged mountains fringed with sea cliffs and picturesque white-sand beaches including...more

  • Douglas–Apsley National Park

    Situated between the Douglas and Apsley rivers, this national park spans rugged hills of superb dry sclerophyll forest. Its tranquil...more

  • Ben Lomond National Park

    Ben Lomond National Park, enclosing the largest alpine plateau in the state, is a mountain environment with extensive and dramatic dolerite...more

Nearby towns

  • Coles Bay

    Coles Bay is a little village of holiday homes and weekenders with a growing number of up-market accommodation including the ultra-luxurious...more

  • Swansea

    Perched on Great Oyster Bay, Swansea looks out to the Freycinet Peninsula. It is part of the Glamorgan/Spring Bay shire, the oldest rural...more

  • St Marys

    Despite being the chief centre of the Break O'Day Plains, St Marys is a small town overshadowed by the magnificent St Patricks Head in the...more

In Town

Bicheno Penguin Tours Join a tour at dusk to watch little penguins return home from the sea. On most nights they waddle right past you as they make their way through the coastal vegetation to their burrows. At the peak of the season, close to 600 birds inhabit the rookery. It’s a popular and magical wildlife experience, run in an environmentally sensitive way. Tours depart from operator's office on Burgess St; bookings (03) 6375 1333.

Scuba diving Bicheno has some of the best diving in Tasmania and one of the best temperate dive locations in the world. The Bicheno Dive Centre runs diving tours to over 20 locations, including the main site at Governor Island Marine Reserve. In winter, divers have been known to swim among schools of dolphins or migrating whales that pass by Bicheno. Bookings (03) 6375 1138.

Bicentennial Foreshore Walk: a 3 km track with great views, it starts at Redhill Beach and continues to the blowhole.

The Gulch: natural harbour; foreshore.

Whalers Lookout: off Foster St.

Sea Life Centre: licensed restaurant and giftshop; 1 Tasman Hwy; (03) 6375 1121.

The Glass Bottom Boat: stay warm and dry while you drift above the watery world of Bicheno's marine life in Tasmania's only glass-bottom boat; bookings on (03) 6375 1294.

Fishing tours: rock lobster and premium gamefishing in particular; check with visitor centre.


East Coast Natureworld This park offers encounters with the region’s diverse fauna. The often-misunderstood Tasmanian devil is here, as are Forester kangaroos, Cape Barren geese and Bennett’s wallabies. (03) 6375 1311; 8 km N.

DouglasApsley National Park This national park is Tasmania’s last largely undisturbed area of dry eucalypt forest. It encompasses the catchments of the Denison, Douglas and Apsley rivers and has stunning gorges and waterfalls. There is a viewing platform at Apsley Gorge Lookout and Waterhole, and safe swimming spots. Contact Parks & Wildlife Service on 1300 135 513; 14 km NW.

Freycinet National Park: begins directly south of town; see Coles Bay

Vineyards: to the south-west of town, including Springbrook Vineyard and adjacent Freycinet Vineyard, which hosts a jazz concert each Easter; 18 km SW on Tasman Hwy.

Scenic flights: offered by Freycinet Air over the region; bookings (03) 6375 1694.

Fishing spots near town

St Helens 61 km

Most mainlanders once regarded Tasmania’s east coast seaport of St Helens as a gamefishing destination, and little else. Anglers came here to head offshore in search of marlin, tuna and sharks. However, the... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Freycinet Adventures 28 km

One of the best ways to experience the Freycinet environment is a morning paddle with Freycinet Adventures. You glide across Great Oyster Bay to a beautiful secluded beach, indulging in a scrumptious morning tea with... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

Cyrano Restaurant

The seaside-town surroundings, the out-of-the-way location and the casual atmosphere might suggest otherwise but Cyrano has a ten-year pedigree and a reputation for exquisite French cuisine. This is the only place on the... Find out more

Facets Restaurant and Bar

The best assets of Tasmania’s summery east coast are on show in this restaurant’s beautiful ocean vistas over Diamond Island and Bicheno’s sparkling beaches. The spotlight is on seafood – no... Find out more

Pasini's Cafe Bar Wine Deli

gourmet deli, takeaway and bistro serving local wines... Find out more

Nearby eco-friendly places to eat

Purple Possum Wholefoods and Cafe 34 km

Purple Possum is in the great little town of St Marys, midway between St Helens and Bicheno. The cafe is wholly vegetarian, and you can take away a range of organic fruit and vegetables and locally grown supplies.... Find out more

Nearby breweries

Iron House Brewery 34 km

When White Sands Resort came on the market a few years ago it proved too tempting for Devonport businessman John White, who already runs several companies bearing his surname. Rebranded as White Sands Estate, the... Find out more

Campsites around town

Apsley Waterhole camping area (walk-in camping) 10 km

For camping spots in dappled shade a short walk from the delightful Apsley River swimming hole, in the south of the park, turn inland from the Tasman Hwy (A3), 4 km north of Bicheno, onto Rosedale Rd. Drive 7 km to the... Find out more

Friendly Beaches camping area (bush camping) 13 km

Head to Friendly Beaches to get away from it all along this wild stretch of shoreline. There is bush camping near Isaacs Point in the northern corner of the beach and a much smaller area at South Friendly, which is... Find out more

Leeaberra Track (walk-in camping) 18 km

This moderate-grade 28 km walk to waterfalls, lookouts and gorges is named from the Aboriginal word for Douglas River. There is walk-in camping at Heritage Falls, 2 hours from the trackhead, and at Tevelein Falls on the... Find out more

Buckleys Rocks camping area 24 km

Named for the piles of black swan feathers that can sometimes be seen along its shoreline, Moulting Lagoon Game Reserve is an internationally recognised wetland. Camping here is restricted to a site at Buckleys Rocks.... Find out more

Lagoons Beach camping area 25 km

Between a long lagoon and a beautiful white beach, this extensive camping area has enough sites to accommodate everyone and is rarely full. Although it is very popular with families, the beach is wide and you will still... Find out more

Whitewater Wall camping area (bush camping) 26 km

This camping area is a favourite with rockclimbers attracted to the area’s granite sea cliffs. Turn left from Cape Tourville Rd, 2 km before the lighthouse, but be sure to check out the amazing view from the... Find out more

Richardsons Beach (powered sites) camping area 28 km

There are 18 powered sites suitable for vans here, set on firm ground near the visitor centre and just metres from the beach. A day-use area nearby has a BBQ and picnic tables. If you are lucky enough to win a spot here... Find out more

Richardsons Beach (the Sand Dunes) camping area 28 km

In the dunes behind the southern end of Richardsons Beach are 25 tent sites (fewer in winter), allocated by ballot for the peak summer season each year. These are lovely sites with tracks to the beach and space for 1 car... Find out more

Honeymoon Bay camping area 29 km

This scenic spot is only open for the summer season and sites are allocated by ballot due to overwhelming demand. If you win a spot, you can pitch your tent above this deliciously enticing cove and enjoy one of... Find out more

Wineglass Bay camping area (walk-in camping) 33 km

There is a small camping area at this unforgettably beautiful bay, 1.5 hr from the carpark trailhead. Drinking water is not always available here.... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Bicheno East Coast Holiday Park

This is a good quality tourist park with a larger number of sites. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies over public holidays.... Find out more

BIG4 St Helens Holiday Park 60 km

This is a good quality establishment 1.5 km south of town. The park is a popular holiday destination and bookings are required in peak periods; a minimum-length stay applies at Christmas, Easter and long weekends.... Find out more

Ross Caravan Park 70 km

Close to the centre of town, on the banks of the Macquarie River and adjoining historic buildings, this small, appealing park is one of the better parks in the midlands. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Bicheno Gaol Cottages

These self-contained cottages in a large, peaceful garden are just a short walk from sheltered Waub’s Beach. The cosy 1861 Gaol House has a queen and two single beds, a kitchen and open fire, and still retains its... Find out more

Bicheno Hideaway

These curved-roofed timber and glass oceanfront chalets are nestled into bushland at the edge of Bicheno’s amazing coastal rock formations. The most private – and romantic – of the chalets, with one... Find out more

Diamond Island Resort

This resort fronts a pristine white beach and takes its name from the small island it overlooks. The penguin rookery at the bottom of the garden is a clue to the magic of the place. The award-winning modern apartments... Find out more

Aurora Beach Cottage

This beachfront cottage is hidden away on 3 hectares of native bush and tall pines just a short drive north of Bicheno. The timber and stone two-storey building is just metres from a white sandy beach and startlingly... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Rainbow Retreat 35 km

The owners of this 30-hectare nature reserve at St Marys are wildlife carers who rehabilitate then release wildlife on the property, so there are plenty of their old friends wandering around, including wombats,... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Bicheno park area 1 km

At Bicheno

On the foreshore on the north side of town.

Denison Beach rest area 6 km

6km N of Bicheno (R) or 51km S of Scamander (L)

Very small secluded area surrounded by scrub near the foreshore and adjacent to the highway.

Friendly Beach Camp Area 13 km

T/O 34 km NE of Swansea (R) or 9 km SW of Bicheno (L)

Small camp area located 14 kilometres south of the highway on the foreshore.

NOTE: Access road part unsealed.

Moulting Lagoon camping area 24 km

T/O 34km NE of Swansea (R) or 9km SW of Bicheno (L)

On the foreshore surrounded by scrub 22km south of the highway via Coles Bay Rd.

Lagoons Beach camping area 25 km

T/O 29km N of Bicheno (R) or 28km S of Scamander (L)

Well off the highway with numerous secluded sites in the scrub between the lagoon and the beach.

Coles Bay Camp Area 28 km

T/O 34 km NE of Swansea (R) or 9 km SW of Bicheno (L)

Large camp area located 29 kilometres south of highway near the foreshore. Limited shade.

NOTE: Powered sites available.

Little Beach camping area 28 km

T/O 32km N of Bicheno (R) or 25km S of Scamander (L)

Well off the highway and near the beach.

Swansea park area 34 km

At Swansea

On the south side of town via the esplanade.

Cressy Beach park area 38 km

44km NE of Triabunna (R) or 5km SW of Swansea (L)

Secluded in scrub just off the highway on the foreshore.

Spikey Beach park area 40 km

42km NE of Triabunna (R) or 7km S of Swansea (L)

Just off the highway and on the foreshore.

Mayfield Bay camping area 47 km

34km N of Triabunna (R) or 15km S of Swansea (L)

Just off the highway among trees on the foreshore with excellent coastal views.

Shelly Point Camp Area 49 km

4 km N of Scamander (R) or 14 km S of St Helens (L)

Small camp area located just off the highway in the scrub near the foreshore.

NOTE: Campervans only.

Scamander Forest camping area 49 km

T/O at Beaumaris

Among trees on the banks of Trout Creek 11km west of Beaumaris via Skyline Dr.

Paddys Island camping area 53 km

8km N of Scamander (R) or 10km S of St Helens (L)

Just off the highway surrounded by scrub.

Dianas Basin camping area 56 km

T/O 10km N of Scamander (R) or 8km S of St Helens (L)

Well off the highway with numerous secluded campsites located in the scrub between the basin and the beach.

Little Swanport rest area 59 km

21km N of Triabunna (L) or 28km S of Swansea (R)

On the north side of the bridge at the Swanport River.

St Helens park area 60 km

At St Helens

On the foreshore on the south side of town. Adjacent to the highway.

Moulting Bay camping area 66 km

T/O at St Helens

In scrub near the foreshore 7km north-east of St Helens via Binalong Bay Rd and 1km (unsealed) south via Moulting Bay Track.

Dora Point camping area 67 km

T/O at St Helens

In scrub near the foreshore 8km north-east of St Helens via Binalong Bay Rd and 5km (unsealed) south of Binalong Bay via Dora Point Rd.

Campbell Town rest area 68 km

At Campbell Town

On the banks of the river on the south side of town.

Grants Lagoon camping area 69 km

T/O at St Helens

In a natural bush setting 10km north-east of St Helens via Binalong Bay and Garden rds.

Ross park area 70 km

At Ross

At the historic bridge on the road into town.

Jeanneret Beach camping area 71 km

T/O at St Helens

Surrounded by scrub on the foreshore 12km north-east of St Helens via Binalong Bay and Garden rds.

Swimcart Beach camping area 72 km

T/O at St Helens

Surrounded by scrub on the foreshore 13km north-east of St Helens via Binalong Bay and Garden rds.

Conara rest area 72 km

At Conara

Just off the highway at the turn-off into town.

Cosy Corner South Camp Area 72 km

T/O at St Helens via Binalong Bay Road

Large camp area in the scrub on the foreshore 14 kilometres north-east of St Helens via Binalong Bay Road and Garden Road.

Cosy Corner North camping area 73 km

T/O at St Helens

In the scrub on the foreshore 15km north-east of St Helens via Binalong Bay and Garden rds.

Raspins Beach park area 82 km

1km N of Orford (R) or 7km S of Triabunna (L)

Adjacent to the highway overlooking the foreshore. Toilets located 200m south.

St Peters Pass rest area 85 km

8km N of Oatlands (R) or 28km S of Ross (L)

Just off the highway among a few trees.

Oatlands rest area 90 km

At Oatlands

On the banks of Lake Dulverton, just off the main street.

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