Situated on Georges Bay, St Helens is the largest town on the north-east coast of Tasmania. A popular resort for fishing, swimming and other aquatic activities, its position makes St Helens a good base from which to explore the whole north-east corner of Tasmania.
Where is it?: St Helens is centrally located to the many natural attractions of north-eastern Tasmania. The town is 256 km north east of Hobart via Midland, Esky and Tasman Highways, and 160 km east of Launceston via Tasman Highway (via Scottsdale) or Eask and Midland Highways (via Conara)
Visitor Centre: 61 Cecilia St. St Helens. Ph (03) 6376 1999
Lookouts: St Helens Point is an elevated headland from which magnificent views of the coast can be obtained.
Events: St Helens Game Fishing Classic (every March)
Things to see and do:
Bay of Fires: A short journey north from St Helens along and coast brings you to Binalong Bay and Bay of Fires and Eddystone Point beyond. Bay of Fires is world renowned for its giant granite boulders covered in orange lichen and white sandy beaches (they are often named among the best beaches in the world). This whole coast is popular with divers because of its kelp forests and underwater caves. More >>
St Helens Point is an area of low sand dunes; its ocean beach and numerous beaches on Georges Bay are a short drive from the town. St Helens Point is popular for surfing, fishing, beach walks, boating, bird-watching and camping. Extensive sand dunes are a feature of the St Helens Point Conservation Area.
Surrounding area: St Columba Falls, the largest waterfall in Tasmania’s north-east, is 39 km east via Pyengana. This small village is known for its quirky cheese factory. Beyond the falls is an amazing forest of huge ‘Man Ferns’ (Dicksonia antartica). Here the track crosses a little creek where the rocks and logs are completely covered in mosses and little ferns.
Mt William National Park: North of Binalong Bay along a very corrugated dirt road into the Mt William National Park to Eddystone Point, where there is a lighthouse and the oldest standing lighthouse keeper residences remaining in Tasmania. Inland from Eddystone Point is Little Blue Lake, the brightest and prettiest blue colour you’ll ever see. The lake has been formed due to early tin mining and the exposed white clay reflects the sky, giving the water it’s colour. Website >>
Ben Lomond National Park: On Fingal’s doorstep is Ben Lomond National Park, Douglas Apsley National Park, Mathinna Falls and Evercreech Forest Reserve. Deep in this forest lives the tallest white gum in the world, standing tall at 91 meters, known as White Knights. Over the years, these trees (Eucalyptus Viminalis) has surprised scientists from all over the world, many who whom believed that this species could reach such a height. There are four specimens that were saved from logging due to their unbelievable size. They are believed to be over 300 years old. Website >>
Cafes and Take-Aways
Crossroads Bar & Cafe Shp 5/ 34 Quail St St Helens TAS 7216 (03) 6376 1011
Crossroads Winebar & Cafe Shp 5/ 34 Quail St St Helens TAS 7216 (03) 6376 1011
Bayside Inn 2 Cecilia St St Helens TAS 7216 (03) 6376 1466
Billie T 67 Cecilia St St Helens TAS 7216 (03) 6376 2363
Coffee Away 37 Cecilia St St Helens TAS 7216 0467 221 117
St Helens Bakery 8 Cecilia St St Helens TAS 7216 (03) 6376 1260
Latris Restaurant Marina Pde St Helens TAS 7216 (03) 6376 1170
Tidal Waters Resort St Helens 1 Quail St St Helens TAS 7216 (03) 6376 1999
St Helens RSL Bistro 35 Quail St St Helens TAS 7216 (03) 6376 1633
Paddle Wheeler New Wharf St Helens TAS 7216 (03) 6376 1148
Anchor Wheel Motel & Restaurant 59 Tully St St Helens TAS 7216 (03) 6376 1358
By the 1830s Georges Bay was being used by whalers and sealers. Not surprisingly the settlement which grew up on the shore became known as Georges Bay and the local Aborigines became known as the Georges Bay tribe. The first official land grant was provided in 1830 and in 1835 the small village was renamed St Helens. It would have continued to be an inconsequential port had not tin been discovered at Blue Tier in 1874. Suddenly the port, and the routes to the tin mines, were awash with mines. Over 1000 Chinese moved through the port. From 1874 until the turn of the century the tin mines prospered. When the mines closed the miners moved to the coast and many of them settled in St Helens. Slowly the port changed so that today it has a major fishing fleet which is supported by boat building, ships chandlery and other ancillary activities. In recent times tourism, driven by fishing and the town’s mild climate, has become important.