The Hobart

Bicheno Bolthole

by Stephanie Williams
Bicheno Bolthole

With Bicheno local Shane Gould recently taking out the title of Australian Survivor, the coastal hamlet has been enjoying some time in the national spotlight.

Having not been to Bicheno for years, I decided it was time to take another look. Heading there via the Great Eastern Drive, the trip from Hobart takes about two and a half hours with no stops. But with wineries, historic sites and lots of delicious food along the way, going direct could be perceived as mad.

With my husband and son in the car, our first stop along the way is the fishing town of Triabunna, home to the lauded Fish Van. Last time I was here, it was a humble van serving up some of the best fish and chips going around, but they’ve had an upgrade now with sheltered seating, as well as the old seats among the seagulls. The fish and chips were delicious – crunchy batter with good chips, served in a nifty paper cone.

Back on the road for only a little while, we pull in to Devil’s Corner winery to see the view from the epic lookout over The Hazards, designed by Cumulus Studio. We stay to play some cricket and soccer on the lawn before getting on our way again.

We’ve booked Cod Rock Point, a comfortable holiday house right on the water between Waubs Bay and Red Bill Beach with full kitchen, two king bedrooms and a view to die for. While we’ve booked the house, there’s also The Lookout and The Nook on the property for couples. Eager to find our bearings we drop our bags and take a beautiful walk along the distinctive orange-tinged rocks and discover rock pools teeming with life and a stunning view of the ocean and bay area. We’re immediately relaxed and enjoy restful night in the house.

It’s time to get ready for what has been billed as the ‘main event’ for our four year old – a night time tour with Bicheno Penguin Tours. Starting at 8pm, our small group is bussed to a private property where we end up seeing about 30 cute Little Penguins head up the beach and into their nearby nests for the night. But the real show is when we get home and discover Cod Rock Point is also home to penguins and drift off to the sound of them nesting nearby.

In the morning, we pull up a seat at the Blue Edge Bakery for a simple cafe breakfast then enjoy a beautiful morning walk along Red Bill Beach (unfortunately we miss the tide so can’t walk out to Diamond Island, but recommend you try!). Still wanting more walking, we hit up nearby Douglas-Apsley National Park to take the short walk to the Waterhole, a blue-green oasis in a dry forest.

Last stop before we leave town is The Gulch. Sometimes referred to as the best fish and chips in Tasmania, it had to be explored. As a port area and taking into account the ridiculously sunny day, The Gulch reminds me of a mediterranean fishing port – sparkling blue ocean and the rocky outcrop creating the channel. But we’re here for more fish and chips and it doesn’t disappoint. I go for local whiting and it’s incredible – super light batter and the chips are perfection, crunchy but not overdone. I think we may have a winner!

With full tummies and a temporarily satiated sense of wanderlust, we head back to Hobart feeling rested and ready to take on the week.

For more information about Cod Rock Point visit www.codrockpoint.com.au

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August 2022

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