21 Best Things To Do In Bicheno, Tasmania

Best known for its resident penguins and breathtaking beaches, Bicheno is a must-visit destination for your east coast Tasmania road trip. Surrounded by stunning forests flowing into a coastline teeming with marine life, you certainly won’t run out of things to do in Bicheno.

We call the east coast of Tasmania home and continuously find ourselves returning to the cute coastal town of Bicheno. You could easily spend a few days exploring the many beaches and walking trails, staying fueled by the delicious food, coffee and wine available in town.

But as with many of the smaller towns in Tasmania, it can be challenging to discover the hidden gems within Bicheno. That’s where we come in, we’ve compiled a list of the best things to do in Bicheno from a local’s perspective. In this post, you’ll find a range of activities to suit all travellers, plus answers to the popular questions about visiting this laid-back beach town.

Rice Pebble Beach, a beautiful secluded spot in Bicheno

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21 Of The Best Things To Do In Bicheno From A Local’s Perspective

1. Surf At Redbill Beach

Turquoise waters in Bicheno at Redbill Beach, one of the best beaches on the East Coast of Tasmania

Redbill Beach is the main surf beach in Bicheno, providing a great mellow wave for everyone and is considered one of the best beaches on the east coast of Tasmania. The glassy blue water peeling off the point will have you spending hours in the waves without even realising it.

When the conditions are really pumping, you can also find a larger wave north of the Diamond Island spit. But if you happen to visit at a time when the ocean is more like a lake, Red Bill beach is also perfect for paddle boarding or swimming.

2. Grab Coffee At Governörs Bicheno

The Governors patio, the best place for coffee in Bicheno

If there is something Bicheno doesn’t lack, it’s good coffee. You have multiple choices for your morning addiction but our go-to is Governörs, a small cafe close to the IGA where you can sit and enjoy the brew in the sun while watching the happenings of Bicheno.

Another plus for Governörs is the fact they open before 8 am! Their doors open at a respectable 7 am – but they do close at 11:30 am so you need to be quick! If you’re looking for a midday coffee, our second recommendation is Little Bay Patisserie.

3. Taste The Best French Pastries At Little Bay Patisserie

Little Bay Patisserie, the best place for french pastries in Bicheno

Who would have thought that a tiny little coastal town in Tasmania would produce french pastries even a Frenchman would drool over!? But they did it, Little Bay Patisserie makes the most sensational pastries we’ve tasted on the east coast and a morning spent in Bicheno without one is almost sacrilegious.

The only downside to the Little Bay Patisserie is the fact they always sell out of their pastries and they don’t open their doors until 8:30 am – which could be a little late for some travellers.

Blue Edge Bakery, the best place for a traditional breakfast in Bicheno

If you’re not the biggest fan of french pastries and would rather have a more traditional bakery experience, the Bicheno Bakery has you sorted. With delicious coffee, tasty pies, big breakfasts and a wide selection of fresh bread, the Blue Edge Bakery in Bicheno has a little something for everyone.

4. Go Diving In The Governor Island Marine Reserve

Governors Island, the best place to dive in Bicheno

The Governor Island Marine Reserve is known to be one of the best places in Tasmania for diving. The reserve is filled with underwater granite boulders, plunging cliffs and pinnacles where an abundance of temperate sea life thrives.

Unfortunately, I’m not confident that there are any reliable guided tours for diving in Bicheno, with the only place listed being Bicheno Dive Centre. However, the dive centre seems to only cater to club dives now and no guided tours.

But if you have the gear and the knowledge, this is a sensational place to experience one of the best temperate diving locations in Australia.

5. Snorkel Around Waubs Bay

Waubs Bay, the best snorkelling spot in Bicheno

A much easier activity compared to diving, snorkelling is one of the best things to do in Bicheno. There are multiple spots to choose from and scores of marine life to observe, but the best place to snorkel is Waubs Bay. Here, you’re often gifted with calm waters, good visibility and the chance to see sting rays and seahorses among many other ocean wildlife.

Another spot to choose if Waubs Bay is overrun with crowds is Rice Pebble Beach, which is found around the corner from the Bicheno Blowhole. It’s a little trickier to get to this beach, which adds to its charm, but the best way is to either walk around the point south of Bicheno Blowhole or park at the end of Sunrise Drive.

6. Experience The Bicheno Glass Bottom Boat Tour

Bicheno Glass Bottom Boat, one of the best things to do in Bicheno

If you’d rather stay above the water, jump onto the Bicheno Glass Bottom Boat tour that explores Governor Island Marine Reserve from The Gulch. The Bicheno Glass Bottom Boat tour is an ecotourism experience where you can view and learn about the abundance of marine life living within the reserve – all without getting wet.

The Bicheno Glass Bottom Boat tour is proud to be the only one in Tasmania and is actually quite affordable at $35 per adult for 40 minutes. They operate daily (when the weather permits) at 10 am, 12 pm and 2 pm.

7. Have Lunch At Bicheno’s Lobster Shack

The Balcony at the Lobster Shack in Bicheno Tasmania
TheLobster Burger at the Lobster Shack in Bicheno Tasmania

You can’t call yourself a coastal town without having a tasty fish and chip shop and luckily, Bicheno does not disappoint. In fact, Bicheno’s Lobster Shack offers some of the best fish and lobster that we’ve tasted in Tasmania – brought in right outside the shack from the harbour below.

Bicheno’s Lobster Shack prides itself on their mouth-watering lobster rolls and freshly caught fish and squid. It’s the perfect place for lunch, where you can sit outside and watch the bustle of the harbour. And if you’re not completely full after your seafood, try the heavenly Van Diemen’s Land ice cream – the best ice cream in Tasmania!

8. Explore The Orange Rocks Lining Bicheno’s Beaches

Red rocks lighting up at sunset in Bicheno along the point at Redbill Beach

While the Bay of Fires is the most famous destination to view the orange lichen rocks lining the beautiful coastline, it’s not the only place that supports these brightly coloured boulders. In fact, the rocks around the Bicheno Blowhole could even be a brighter orange…

For the best experience of the orange lichen rocks, take a walk around Peggy’s Point from Waubs Bay to the Bicheno Blowhole along the rocks at low tide. Don’t forget to allow time to inspect the rock pool in search of sea life and look out to the ocean for a chance of spotting the Orcas that occasionally pass by Bicheno.

9. Spot Whales From Whalers Lookout

Searching for whales at whalers lookout in Bicheno

The east coast of Tasmania is a part of the great yearly migration of the Southern Right Whales and Humpback Whales, who travel up the east coast of Australia from Antarctica to breed in the warmer waters around the Great Barrier Reef. It’s the longest mammal migration in the world – where they travel 5,000 km over a 3-month period.

You can begin to see their migration north from June to August and watch them return south from September to November. The best place to spot these magnificent mammals is from the top of Whalers Lookout.

Whalers Lookout sits above The Gulch overlooking the Governor Island Marine Reserve. The walk follows a groomed path and takes no more than 10 – 20 minutes to complete, offering beautiful views of the coast and the town from the top.

10. Watch The Sunset From Bicheno’s Lookout Rock

The view from Lookout Rock, the best place for watching sunset in Bicheno

For a walk that offers a touch more excitement, wander up to Lookout Rock to the west of Bicheno’s town centre. Once you reach the peak of the hill, you can explore the giant boulders and attempt to find a way to the top of the tallest one.

This is the best place to watch the sunset over the ocean and the town below. The walk to the top takes less than 10 minutes and provides almost 360-degree views of the coastline. It would also be a beautiful spot for sunrise or any time of day to simply to watch the happenings of Bicheno’s streets below.

11. Enjoy Dinner With A View At The Bicheno Sealife Restaurant

Spoil yourself with a sumptuous dinner of fresh seafood while enjoying the best view in town. The Bicheno Sealife Restaurant is situated at the water’s edge, with giant floor-to-ceiling windows allowing you to watch the sunset over Bicheno’s beautiful coastline as you dine.

Open from Thursday to Monday, you can also experience the Bicheno Sealife Restaurant for breakfast and lunch. 

12. Walk From Redbill Beach To The Bicheno Blowhole

Walking from Redbill Beach to Bicheno Blowhole via the red rocks in Bicheno

To fully experience the beautiful Bicheno coastline, take a walk from Redbill Beach to the Bicheno Blowhole via the Bicheno Foreshore Track. This 3.5 km track (one-way) is a mix of boulder hopping and walking along a groomed path and allows you to wander past each of the stunning beaches found around the coast.

If you’re not up for a 7 km walk, you can also do parts of the track and return the way you came, or get a friend to pick you up at the other end. But in any case, if you choose to walk around Peggy’s Point, make sure to keep an eye out for the elusive Orca that sometimes roam the coast.

13. Try Not To Get Soaked From The Bicheno Blowhole

Bicheno Blowhole erupting on a stormy day

Hidden beneath the granite rocks lining the coast, there is an underwater cave where the swell surges into. This creates a massive amount of pressure that erupts out of a small hole in the cave’s roof, shooting out into the sky like a whale’s blowhole.

A visit to the Bicheno blowhole is a must and generally provides the best show on a big easterly swell, but even on calm days it’s been known to send seawater soaring. There is a lot of fun to be had for all as you attempt to get as close as possible without getting soaked!

You can access the Bicheno blowhole from a car park located at the end of Waubs Esplanade, or you can walk there from The Gulch approximately 1 km away.

14. Get Up Close To Tasmanian Devils At East Coast Natureworld

A young Tasmanian Devil, one of the many native species you can visit at the East Coast Natureworld near Bicheno

Often listed as the best place to see Tasmanian Devils in Tasmania, East Coast Natureworld is a fantastic way to learn more about native Australian animals while having the opportunity to get close and personal with them!

The best thing about East Coast Natureworld, aside from the large range of encounters and tours they offer, is the fact that much of their time and resources go to conservation efforts for our endangered animals.

When you visit East Coast Natureworld, you’ll have the opportunity to see Tassie devils, quolls, echidnas, wombats and so much more. You can either join a tour, book an experience or simply purchase an entry ticket and wander about yourself.

15. Cross The Spit To Diamond Island

The spit and Diamond Island, a beautiful walk in Bicheno

Marking the northern point of Redbill Beach, Diamond Island Nature Reserve is a tiny island off the coast connected by a sandspit and can be accessed when the tide is low. The granite island is filled with fiery lichen-covered rocks and an abundance of rock pools to explore.

It’s a fun little adventure to walk across the sandbar to reach Diamond Island and look back on Bicheno from a new perspective. However, ensure you check the tides and are confident you won’t get stuck out on the island – the sea can get quite rough with multiple rips surrounding the island so swimming back is not recommended.

Note: Google Maps has Diamond Island listed as Cod Rock, just to add a little confusion! But if you’re standing at Redbill Beach and can see an island to the north connected by a sandspit, you’re looking at Diamond Island.

16. Spot Bicheno’s Penguin Colony

Penguins walking up the Orange stained rocks at Bicheno Boat Ramp

Bicheno is arguably most famously known for its large colony of little penguins, aka fairy penguins, that call the coastline home. These cute little birds live a busy life between their rookeries and the sea and can easily be spotted through the breeding season which runs from September to January.

The best way to see the little penguins in Bicheno is by joining a Bicheno Penguin Tour. These run year-round and provide a great deal of insight into the penguins while showing you through a private rookery that’s been created to protect them. 

However, if you’d rather spot the penguins without a tour, there are plenty of spots where you’re almost guaranteed to see the funny little guys waddling from the ocean to their homes. The best place to see them in action is from The Gulch after dusk.

If you choose to go in search of the fairy penguins alone, please be respectful and ensure you do not interfere. Keep a good distance away, don’t shine any torches near them (the red light of a torch is ok) and make sure you don’t obstruct their usual path as any of these distractions can cause them to stay in the water and leave their chicks to starve.

17. Experience The Bicheno Beams

Experiencing the Bicheno Beams is hands down the best thing to do in Bicheno in winter. For the whole month of July, Bicheno comes alive with a light show every night at the Lions Park from 5:30 pm – for FREE!

It’s a magical experience similar to a silent disco but with a laser show included. Grab a set of headphones, warm clothes, a thermos of hot chocolate and loads of blankets and stream the music live from your phone while sitting in the park watching the lights.

18. Bicheno Food and Wine Festival

If you happen to be visiting Bicheno in November, you’ll be delighted to join the Bicheno Food and Wine Festival if you’re into food, wine or live music. The festival happens each year, last year was on the 19th of November, and has a strong focus on local food and wine, surfing culture and good music.

For more information, including prices and what to expect for this year’s festival, visit the Bicheno Food and Wine festival’s website or Facebook page.  

19. Hike Through Douglas Apsley National Park

Bordering Bicheno in the west, Douglas Apsley National Park offers a myriad of exploration opportunities within its contrasting forests. Apsley Waterhole is the perfect place to cool down on a hot summer’s day (yes, we do get one or two of those) and is located just 1 km past the car park beside a walk-in only campsite.

For a longer walk, you can continue past the waterhole to the beautiful Apsley Gorge and either return the way you came or complete a circuit by rock hopping through the gorge. This walk is 6 – 8 km long depending on which way you choose to return and generally takes 2 – 4 hours.

And for the serious adventurers, take on the challenge of the 2 – 3 day Leeaberra Trail. While only 28 km one-way, this track tends to be overgrown and difficult to follow. It’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, with a majority of the hike walking through thick eucalypt forests. But there’s no denying the gorges and waterfalls are beautiful.

20. Indulge In The Best Whiskey And Gin At The Farm Shed

The Farm Shed in Bicheno, the best spot for an afternoon drink

Once you’ve finished with a full day of activities in Bicheno, sit back and relax at The Farm Shed with a local whiskey, gin or wine tasting. We couldn’t think of a better way to end the day, especially if you enjoy browsing the shelves for tasty local produce and artsy gifts.

The Farm Shed prides itself on stocking only the best whiskey and gin and their wine selection consists of over 25 local vineyards. The only problem you’ll have is stopping at one tasting!

21. Take A Day Trip To Freycinet National Park

Standing on the Summit of Mt Amos, one of the best things to do near Bicheno

Arguably the most popular national park after Cradle Mountain, Freycinet National Park is located a short 30 minutes south of Bicheno and will take your breath away. The long peninsula is dominated by pink granite peaks and world-class beaches, with an array of incredible hikes ranging in length and difficulty.

A day trip to the Freycinet National Park can include a challenging hike to the top of Mt Amos or a languid day spent bathing in the countless secluded coves. You can also indulge in a cruise around the peninsula – or better yet, an adults-only cruise that includes alcohol and oysters!

But don’t forget to stop at The Devils Corner winery on your way back for delicious pizza and wine tasting while overlooking the stunning Freycinet Peninsula from afar.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bicheno, Tasmania

Is Bicheno Worth Visiting?

With its breathtaking beaches flanked by eucalypt-rich hinterlands and an abundance of activities, Bicheno is definitely a destination worth visiting. The beaches offer some of the best surfing and snorkelling along the east coast plus plenty of fishing and coastal walks. There is something for everyone in the seaside town, including a wide range of wildlife experiences and chances to dine on delicious local produce. Whether you’re searching for adventure or relaxation, Bicheno will not disappoint.

Where can I see penguins in Bicheno for free?

Bicheno has a thriving penguin colony that can be spotted waddling up from the water’s edge at dusk to feed their chicks. The best places to see the penguins for free are Redbill Beach, The Gulch and Waubs Bay.

Note: If you choose to spot the little penguins without a tour, ensure you stay a good distance away, don’t shine your torch at them and keep out of their usual path – any of these distractions with cause the penguins to stay in the water and leave their chicks to starve.

What is Bicheno known for?

Bicheno is a picturesque seaside town that draws all kinds of travellers to visit. The coastline of Bicheno is lined with orange-lichen rocks contrasting perfectly against the azure-blue ocean, which offers sensational snorkelling and surfing. But the most popular thing about Bicheno is the large penguin colony that lives on the shores beside the town. 

Is it better to stay at Coles Bay or Bicheno?

Located just 30 minutes north of Coles Bay, Bicheno provides a great base while you explore Freycinet National Park. You’ll find a wider range of accommodation options in Bicheno, plus more restaurants, cafes and shops. However, if you’d rather be closer to the action, then Coles Bay is the best place to stay for visiting Freycinet National Park.

How many days do you need in Bicheno?

There are plenty of things to do in Bicheno that will keep you occupied for a few days. We recommend a minimum of two days to best experience all that Bicheno has to offer, but you could easily spend 2 -3 nights in this beautiful coastal town.

How do you pronounce Bicheno in Tasmania?

Tasmania has many places that are either interestingly spelt or weirdly pronounced and Bicheno is certainly one of them. To correctly pronounce Bicheno, say it like Bish-en-o.

How long is the drive from Freycinet to Bicheno?

Bicheno is located a short 30-minute drive north of Freycinet Peninsula and provides a great base to stay at while exploring the great east coast region.

Can you swim at Bicheno?

Bicheno is blessed with numerous beaches and even a shaded swimming hole in the Apsley Gorge National Park. You can most certainly swim at any of the beaches and at the swimming hole, but remember to pack your wetsuit if you choose to surf at Bicheno as the water is quite cold year-round.

Final Thoughts

Redbill Beach at sunrise, one of the best places to visit in Bicheno

Bicheno is a destination we would recommend for all travellers, no matter if you have a day or 4 to spend exploring the beautiful coastal town. You’ll hardly run out of things to do in Bicheno, especially due to its close proximity to Freycinet National Park, St Helens and a number of other coastal towns worth a visit.

What is your favourite thing to do in Bicheno? We’d love to hear your thoughts below and as always, please feel free to drop any questions you may have in the comments section.

Happy Exploring 🙂