Breathtaking and idyllic are the most apt descriptions for the seaside hamlet of Boat Harbour in Tasmania. When we first clapped eyes on Boat Harbour as we drove along the escarpment and the aqua blue colours of the ocean came into view. First impressions took our breath away and we could do little more than look at the overwhelming beauty and say to each other “wow”.
Boat Harbour is located on the north coast of Tasmania. It is 2 hours 15 minute drive east from Launceston and 1 hour 10 minute drive east from Devonport. Boat Harbour is a popular summer coastal location with many holiday rentals in the area and camping. It is also a favourite spot for day trippers and surfers when the conditions are right.
I can’t remember how long we initially thought we’d stay in Boat Harbour but it ended up being a week and included Christmas Day 2017.
Boat Harbour Beach Free Camp
Free camping is available alongside Boat Harbour Beach. The main area is on Port Rd as the road veers around to the left just before the car park entrance. There is also a second area further along Port Rd however it does not have the same water views. Both sites are suitable for all size rigs and tents.
This is a very popular location for both locals and travellers especially in January and into February. Camping spots are marked out in order to get as many people in as is comfortably possible.
For those with dogs this site is dog friendly. However dogs are not allowed on Boat Harbour Beach between 10 am – 6 pm, be aware as there is no sign (there wasn’t when we were there) but we were informed by a local ranger.
Public facilities are located near the camp area and available to campers and day trippers. The facilities are:
Playground: The play equipment appears to be in good condition and was regularly used during our stay by children.
Tables and BBQ: Next to the playground on the grass area are picnic tables and BBQs for public use.
Basketball Hoop: Situated next to the playground and picnic area is a basketball hoop. It has a tarred area but is not a marked court.
Exercise Equipment: The equipment is located next to the café and along side the beach.
Toilets: Toilets are open approx. sunrise to sunset.
Cold Shower: Cold shower are beachside. There is also a tap however the water is not suitable for drinking.
Telstra Air 30 mins: This is available for those on the Telstra mobile network. We didn’t use it so unable to say how strong or reliable to connection is.
Rubbish Bins: Bins are available and are placed in various locations. Disappointingly there are no recycling bins and when we asked local council workers why not we were informed that it is due to the bins being used incorrectly ie landfill waste was placed in them so council had them removed.
The SLSC patrols the beach 12pm – 5pm each day over the summer months.
The café is very popular with full meals and takeaway items. It is open from breakfast to the afternoon. The café sits next to the beach with unobstructed views of the water.
Things to Do at Boat Harbour Beach
Boat Harbour Beach: Marvel at its beauty, swim, laze on the sand or walk along the beach.
Water Sports: Variety of water sports are enjoyed depending on sea conditions and the weather. It is important to be respectful of other users and be aware of children who in calm conditions are likely to be swimming and playing in the shallows.
- Kayaking: We kayaked on the water at Boat Harbour Beach borrowing another couple’s kayak and it was sensational, so much so we now have our own kayak.
- Paddle Boarding
- Surfing when conditions are right
- Jet skis
Explore the Rock Pools: Rock pools can be found at the east end of Boat Harbour Beach or at low tide in front of the first campsite area.
Point walk: To the left of the main beach area, behind the toilets is a brief walk out onto the point. The point is also popular with people rock fishing.
Coastal Walk to Sisters Beach: This walk is through Rocky Cape National Park and leads to Sisters Beach. The track is subject to tidal conditions with sections of the walk being impassable during high tide.
Places To See and Things To Do Nearby
Table Cape: Table Cape is approximately 15 minute drive from Boat Harbour. Table Cape is famous for its fields of tulips (not in flower when we were there) and the Table Cape Lighthouse. We did the walk from the Lighthouse to the lookout which took about 40 min return; the cliff views were impressive. There are tours of the Lighthouse available for those that are interested.
Wynyard: Wynyard is approximately 20 minute drive from Boat Harbour. It is the major town in the area with shops, service stations, cafes and restaurants as well as beach areas, parks and so forth. It is worth a visit and is the place to stock up on supplies. There is also a veteran car collection and hand sewn quilts on display at The Wonders of Wynyard, Wynyard Information Centre.
Rocky Cape National Park: Rocky Cape National Park is approximately 20 minute drive from Boat Harbour and is located on the coast providing some stunning coastal walks and environments to explore.
We highly recommend that you put Boat Harbour high on your itinerary if you are lucky enough to get the opportunity to travel to Tasmania.