Binalong Bay & St Helens

We only spent one night on Cape Barren Island – the wind was due to change and we wanted to get over to Binalong Bay. Just before we got there I realised (via google) that there were five moorings there – huzzah! The only other boat in residence was a trimaran that had arrived the day before after fanging all the way from Newcastle…

The swell was so extreme that we couldn’t go to shore on the day we arrived – there was no way we could get the dinghy to anywhere calm enough to disembark. We all literally spent the day just watching shows, perusing the internet – because we had a really fast connection to TelstraAir! It was quite a welcome respite!

The following day, we DID make it ashore – our first time back on the Tasmanian mainland. It did not disappoint. We met and chatted to three different people in three different places – the EcoTours building, the playground and the beach. 

  1. The first guy knew a mutual friend of ours who we had come to know whilst anchored on the Huon River.
  2. The second person offered to drive us into St Helens to go shopping and told us about her life in Thailand.
  3. The third person asked us back to her house for a cup of tea and to show the Smalls how to use chalk pastel…. THEN – the following day – she met us on the beach having baked us a seriously amazing gluten free ginger and blueberry cake. Holy crap!! Small DB and I bought it back on the paddleboard all the way through the swell without harming a hair on its head – BEST CAKE EVER!!! Thank you Helen Munro xxx
Helen’s Famous Blueberry & Ginger Cake
Binalong Bay. Smalls doing sand sculpture.
Smalls. Sand sculptures. Binalong Bay.

After two night sloshing about on the mooring we decided to take off to St Helens – the very place where we bade goodbye to Tasmania on my birthday in 2017. It was such a different journey over the bar and in. On this occasion the sky was blue, the water flat and we knew exactly what we were doing. Last time, it was the first bar we had ever encountered, it was near dusk on a grey old day and we were feeling quite trepidatious.

St Helens!! We love you!!! It was such a joy to arrive and recall everything – we found our way back to the laundry, and reacquainted ourselves with the fantastic Lifebuoy Cafe, where we got to have a chat with the owner, Jane, who I’ve followed on instagram since we were here last time

The Smalls. Hanging out at the awesome Lifebuoy Cafe in St Helens, Tasmania.
Working on their black dogs.

The Smalls drew pictures of dogs for her  impending book of dog-illustrations-by-kids. We learnt about her husband’s amazing knife-making skills and her whittling prowess. Down at the library we breathed a HUGE sigh of relief to be back in the Tasmanian library system, where you can borrow books from any library and take them back to any other library in the state – IN YOUR FACE MAINLAND LIBRARIES. 

I was thrilled to learn that my illicit Tasmanian ‘residential address’ still continued to be accepted in relation to my library card, and the librarian raised her eyebrows quizzically, but renewed it anyway (she remembered us from two years ago).

The Smalls were in heaven – as was I, because I found a crochet book by Erika Knight that I’ve been wanting to look at for years. We found some happy ham in the fancy food shop, wallaby salami – and bought our first leatherwood honey that we’ve had since we were here last time. 

Last but not least; we topped up our batteries, filled all fuel and water tanks – and I got a Gill sailing jacket at the op-shop for two dollars. Yes!

Bella Luna. St Helens Pier. Tasmania.
Bella Luna. Looking like a legitimate ocean-going machine. Messy.
Sunburst. St Helens. Tasmania
Early morning, St Helens.

The above photo was taken as I walked back from picking up the five gluten free loaves of bread the local GF bakery had made for us yesterday afternoon. We are about to live in a WORLD OF SANDWICH!! Huzzah!


  1. Amanda Cronin

    I love Binalong Bay – I used to work in St Helens many years ago and my job came with a free house in Binalong Bay. Back then ( 2001) you could buy s waterfront shack for $80 000.
    I was sad to see many of the shacks near the jetty have been pulled down since then.
    I work in Vincentia now in NSW where it seems you were not that long ago!

  2. Post

    A free house in Binalong Bay!!? What THE?! How amazing… I have frustrating memories of staying in a house in Sandy Bay in about 1998 and it being a similar price… That’s so funny that you are now in Vincentia – I really wanted to come and wander about there for a day or two, but the wind wasn’t cooperating, so in the end M just had to do the dash for fuel/groceries in the dingy 🙁

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