25 Best Things To Do In St Helens, Tasmania

Surrounded by some of the best beaches in Australia and full of outdoor adventure opportunities, St Helens is a destination that will leave you pleasantly surprised. The charming town offers a myriad of things to do and provides the perfect base while you explore the northeast of Tasmania.

Tucked beneath the Bay of Fires and above Freycinet National Park, St Helens is the largest coastal town on the northeast coast of Tasmania. We’ve called this quaint fishing port home for over two years and have spent many days exploring its depths, finding countless hidden gems along the way.

Whether you’re visiting for the beautiful coastline, the stunning natural landscapes or to indulge in the delicious local seafood, St Helens has a little something for everyone – even the thrill seekers!

In this guide, we’ll be sharing all the best things to do in St Helens and the surrounding area, including some unique adventures only the locals know about. 

Walking down the busy wharf in St Helens Tasmania surrounded by local fishing boats

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The Best Things To Do In St Helens, Tasmania

Quick Tips For Visiting St Helens Tasmania

  • Summer is the best time to visit St Helens to enjoy the long days and warm beach weather
  • St Helens is equipped with all essential needs such as groceries, fuel and medical and mechanical services
  • There are coin operated public showers at the car wash in town as well as an RV dump point on the way to Binalong Bay
  • Fuel prices on the touristy East Coast of Tasmania (especially St Helens) regularly sits 20cents a litre higher than the average service station – try to fill up at the United in Scottsdale or in Scamander
  • Allow at least 2 days to completely experience the magical town of St Helens, Tasmania
  • St Helens provides the perfect day tripping base to explore the northeast coast of Tasmania and you’ll find many quaint accommodation options in town
Telemon Retreat, accommodation in St Helens, Tasmania

Looking For a Cosy Place To Stay In St Helens?

Come and stay at our sun-filled house overlooking St Helens and Georges Bay.

Featuring a sunny deck, an open-plan living with an oversized lounge and our local photography decorating the walls, you’ll instantly fall in love with the quiet oasis we used to call home.

But now, our home is your home 😊

1. Explore The Bay Of Fires

Sunset over Swimcart Beach in The Bay Of Fires Tasmania

The Bay of Fires is a beautiful stretch of coastline that extends from Binalong Bay all the way to Eddystone Point near the northeastern tip of Tasmania. The Bay of Fires is most famously known for its bright orange-hued boulders set against clear turquoise water and white sand.

Located 10 minutes north of St Helens, the Bay of Fires is the perfect spot for a day trip. Within the many bays and open beaches found along the coastline, you can enjoy plenty of activities including swimming, surfing, diving and hiking.

Read our guide on the 10 best things to do in the Bay of Fires for more insider tips!

2. Have Lunch At Meresta

Meresta Restaurant in Binalong Bay near the Bay of Fires and St Helens
Wood Fired Pizza at Meresta in Binalong Bay near the Bay of Fires and St Helens

Our favourite place to take family and friends for lunch when they’re visiting our little pocket of the world is Meresta. Situated directly opposite the stunning Binalong Bay coastline, Meresta offers sensational local seafood and delicious woodfire pizzas that you can enjoy on their deck overlooking the startling white sands of Binalong Bay.

At Meresta, you can experience the best oysters you’ve likely tasted that are farmed not even 10 minutes away at Lease 65. Paired with a glass of local Tasmanian wine, our go-to is always oysters followed by the prawn pizza and salt and pepper squid.

3. Take A Walk Through Humbug Point Nature Recreation Area

Star Trail at Skeleton Point near the Humbug Point Nature Trail

One of our favourite areas in the Bay of Fires to walk is the Humbug Point Nature Recreation Area. This point is the southernmost tip of the Bay of Fires and the closest to St Helens. Walking the various trails around the point allows you to wander through coastal shrubs full of echidnas and explore the stunning orange-hued rocks and secluded sandy coves along the way.

There are several trail options to choose from, which vary in distance and can be found on the Alltrails app. The circuit that we recommend is to start on the Skeleton Bay Track and walk to Grants Lagoon before continuing onto Dora Point and returning via Dora Point Rd. This will take approximately 2 – 3 hours to complete.

4. Ride The Epic St Helens Mountain Bike Trails

Whipping over gap jump on Send Helens in St Helens MTB Trails in North East Tasmania

For the thrill seekers out there, make sure to spare some time to ride the epic mountain bike trails at St Helens’ Mountain Bike Park. The extensive park has a labyrinth of trails weaving through open eucalypt forests that range from beginner to advanced.

The trails that loop from the car park offer something for the whole family while a shuttle to the top of Flagstaff Hill will test the skills of the more advanced as they plummet down the technical downhill runs.

5. Have Brekky At The Lifebuoy Cafe

Breakfast at the Lifebuoy cafe in St Helens Tasmania

Start your morning of adventure with a tasty breakfast at the Lifebuoy Cafe in the centre of town. The quaint cafe is always bustling with life and while I’d wait to have your coffee at Coffee Away, the food is delicious – especially their homemade scones with jam and cream.

And after you’ve finished your breakfast, don’t forget to take a look at the adjoining shop – Sco & Co which is full of beautiful gifts and an array of clothing and accessories.

6. Ride Around Georges Bay

Cycling around Georges Bay in St Helens, Tasmania

St Helens overlooks the beautiful Georges Bay, where you can ride or walk all the way from the port towards the neighbouring town of Steiglitz in the northeast. The path flanks the bay and passes some stunning jetties, a playground and a picnic area, and also allows access to the St Helens Mountain Bike Trails.

The bayside track is approximately 5 km one way with intentions to eventually extend it further towards St Helens Point. 

If you haven’t access to a bike, you can rent one from either Giant or Vertigo in town for the best experience of Georges Bay.

Another popular activity to do in Georges Bay is SUP around the calm and protected bay, or watch the boats come and go from the Marina. You can rent stand up paddle boards from Poppa’s Boat Hire.

Landscape Print of sunrise of the Gordon Wild Rivers National Park from the Summit of Frenchman's Cap in Tasmania

Feeling inspired by the imagery throughout these pages? You haven’t seen anything yet.

Visit our Print Shop to bring these inspiring landscapes to your home.

7. Check Out The Local St Helens Art Scene

Wolfgang Gallery in St Helens Tasmania
Street art at the War Memorial in St Helens

St Helens has quite an artistic vibe spread throughout the local community and a trip down the main street will offer glimpses of some of the many talented artists living within the area. You’ll find a variety of art galleries and gift shops that feature the eclectic work of local artists, which make perfect souvenirs from your time in Tasmania.

8. Grab A Coffee From The Coffee Away

Enjoying coffee at the busy Coffee Away corner cafe in St Helens, Tasmania

Don’t forget your reusable coffee cup when you take a walk through the streets of St Helens as you won’t want to miss out on grabbing a delicious coffee from Coffee Away. The small hole-in-the-wall style coffee shop brews the best coffee in St Helens, as well as loads of tasty treats to munch on as you walk.

9. Explore St Helens Point Conservation Area

St Helens Point Nature Trail along the famous orange boulders

The Bay of Fires isn’t the only place to find stunning beaches, St Helens Point also boasts an alluring coastline that’s backed by distant mountains in the south. With much less popularity brings far fewer crowds, allowing you to enjoy the various beaches on the point in near solitude.

Along with simply soaking up the stunning coastline, St Helens Point has two scenic walks within the conservation area. The Beerbarrell Beach Track begins at Burns Bay Boat Ramp and wraps around the point to Beerbarrell Beach, taking approximately 1 hr to complete the 4 km return walk. 

The Lighthouse walk is a short 600 m return track that starts opposite the Peron’s Dunes lookout and delivers you to a small unused lighthouse. While the lighthouse isn’t much to write home about, the views from the top of the hill are well worth the short walk.

In addition to walking and swimming, St Helens Point is the perfect place for snorkelling, especially at Burns Bay just south of the boat ramp.

Want To Know Hobart’s Best Day Tours? Check out some of our favourite tours below

  • Freycinet And Maria Island Scenic Flight – Experience the incredible scenery of Tasmania’s East Coast from the air before touching down on the famous Maria Island to explore with the local wildlife and indulge in a delicious supplied lunch.
  • Tasman Peninsula Tour & Cruise – This is the Ultimate Tasman Peninsula Day Tour from Hobart! Witness Australia’s largest sea cliffs and spot the many seals on your award-winning cruise, and freshen up on your history with a fully-guided Port Arthur Historic Site Tour.
  • Bruny Island Gourmet Day Tour – Explore Bruny Island’s vast beauty on this incredible day tour from Hobart. Take in the breathtaking landscape as you sample the mouthwatering local produce on this gourmet adventure on Tasmania’s favourite island.

10. Spend The Afternoon Enjoying Tasmanian Craft Beer At The Social

The Social craft beer and bar in St Helens

Tasmania’s craft beer scene has boomed in the last few years and we are certainly not complaining! Hundreds of microbreweries are popping up all over the tiny island state and the best spot in St Helens to sample a range of tasty brews is at The Social

The Social is our local hang-out, where you can grab a new beer each time you visit and sit in a leafy courtyard full of good vibes. And to top off an afternoon sipping beers, their food truck produces delicious street food ranging from Asian-styled cauliflower to a huge bowl of nachos.

11. Go Kayaking In The Rivers And Bays

Grab a rental kayak from Poppa’s Boat Hire – or use your own – and explore the beautiful scenery and calm waters of the Bay of Fires and Scamander River.

The protected coves within the Bay of Fires provide the ultimate location for sea kayaking, where you can explore the multiple rocky points and search for seals and dolphins. 

And for those that enjoy kayaking along the rivers, Scamander River offers a languid paddle among stunning forests. You can flow from the river mouth all the way to the Trout Creek camping area.

12. Go Fishing

Sunrise at Binalong Bay Point in the Bay of Fires

St Helens is quite well-known in the fishing world, where you can spend the day searching for squid or catching eastern Australian salmon and Trevally off the beach. You can grab all the fishing gear you’ll need at Good Sports in town and the Tas Fish app is a great resource to check the season restrictions.

If you’d rather spend the day with a guide, there are two charter options in St Helens that will take you out on the waters and show you the ropes. These two companies are Gone Fishing Charters and Keen Angler Charters.

13. Explore The Local St Helens Markets

St Helens Memorial Park
This is where the markets are usually held

St Helens is full of talented locals that showcase their art and fresh produce at a variety of markets that happen throughout the year. Every Saturday, the St Helens Market can be found on the main street outside the Portland Hall from 8 am to 12 pm, where you can find fresh produce and a range of stalls selling everything from clothing to pre-loved books.

And once a year around October, the Bay of Fires Art Market occurs at the Panorama Hotel. This market is jam-packed with brilliant artists that range from fashion designers to photographers.

14. Join In On A Yoga Class

Sometimes you just need to stretch when you’re on holiday and the easiest way to do that is to join in on a local yoga class with Flow Yoga. The talented Ellie offers beautifully curated yoga classes to suit all levels and styles that you can sign up for through her online booking system.

15. Have Dinner At The Wharf

The Wharf Bar and Kitchen in St Helens

Located right on the Marina, The Wharf Bar and Kitchen is our favourite place to treat ourselves to a night out. With floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the bay, The Wharf provides stunning views as you indulge in a dinner of fresh local seafood.

The Wharf Bar and Kitchen have a freshly prepared seasonal menu that accommodates all and a long list of local wines and sensational cocktails. Our favourite meal on their summer menu is the poke bowl, to which you can add fresh tuna or tofu.

16. Go Surfing In Scamander

Surfing perfect waves at Scamander on the East Coast of Tasmania

When you think of Tasmania for surfing, you’d immediately think of the west coast. But while the east doesn’t often get quite as epic waves, we still have a few breaks worth throwing on that wetsuit for (which is highly recommended in these cold waters).

For the most consistent waves, take a short drive south to Scamander and check out multiple breaks stretching from Beaumaris to Scamander.

17. Take A Scenic Drive

There’s no denying that the weather in Tasmania isn’t always favourable. But with such a rich landscape linked by a network of winding roads, a scenic drive is just the thing to do when you’d rather not be exposed to the elements.

You’re spoilt for choice of which direction to go, with the south offering lush farmlands rolling into stunning beaches, the north providing a trip along the Bay of Fires and the west taking you deep into the moss-covered forests of the Pyengana Valley. 

18. Go Hiking On A Wide Variety Of Trails

Tracks Less Travelled Hiking over fallen Dolerite rock to reach the summit of Mt Victoria Tasmania

The St Helens region is packed full of dense green forests and bouldered peaks that are home to some of the best hikes in northeast Tasmania. Whether you’re looking for a short and easy hike or to challenge yourself on steep dolerite summits, you’ll find a hike to suit your style near St Helens.

Our absolute favourite hikes in the area that we highly recommend adding to your itinerary are Mount Victoria and St Patricks Head.

19. Visit East Coast Nature World And Feed A Tasmanian Devil

Tasmanian Devil sitting in a grass field in the East Coast Nature World

Tasmania has a vast range of wildlife that are endemic to the state and unfortunately, many of them are endangered. At the East Coast Nature World, you’ll have the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the cutest animals while also helping their cause of providing a sanctuary and raising money and awareness for the little creatures.

The East Coast Nature World is most popular for the Tasmanian Devil encounters, where you can watch them feed after dark. In addition to Tassie Devils, you can also visit with Echidna, Quoll, Wallabies and Wombats – plus many more! 

Being located under an hour south of St Helens, Nature World makes for a fun day trip which should also be accompanied by a visit to Bicheno just a few more minutes south.

20. Taste The Local Seafood

Skippers Fish and chip shop in St Helens Tasmania

There’s no doubt that one of the best things about St Helens is the abundance of fresh seafood that’s caught daily. In addition to experiencing the local delicacies at the various restaurants in town, the best way to taste the fresh local seafood is directly from the source.

Lease 65, located just outside St Helens on the way to Binalong Bay, is the best oyster farm in Australia. A bold statement, I know, but once you taste the giant juicy oysters after lining up at the farm sheds, you’ll agree. And if you don’t, please share the secret of where the best oysters are found!

If oysters aren’t your thing, or even if they are, Skippers Fish Shop on the Marina does the best fish and chips in town. Grab some takeaway from their floating pontoon and wander down to the grassy park that overlooks Georges Bay to enjoy your fresh fish and chips.

21. Play A Game Of Golf

Teeing off at St Helens Golf Course

Whether you’re a dedicated golfer or feel like doing something a little different for an afternoon, a game of golf on St Helens’ surprisingly pristine course is a great way to lose a few hours in the outdoors.

At the St Helens Golf Club, you can rent clubs for $15 and play their 9-hole course for $25 each. Or if you’d rather something a little easier and inclusive, check out the chip and putt at Cerise Brook Orchard – where you can also pick fresh berries afterwards!

22. Visit The Many Waterfalls Near St Helens

Standing below the double tiered waterfall know as Halls Falls near St Helens Tasmania
St Columba Falls, one of the best waterfalls near St Helens, flowing on a moody day in Tasmania

Surrounded by rolling hills and deep valleys, you can be sure to find plenty of magical waterfalls littered among the forests near St Helens. Our favourite waterfall at any time of the year is Halls Falls, closely followed by St Columba Falls which happens to be just down the road.

While winter is the best time to visit the waterfalls near St Helens, each runs throughout the year and even if the falls themselves don’t impress you, the dense rainforests surely will.

23. Visit Eddystone Point Lighthouse

Eddystone Point Lighthouse at golden hour

Located at the northern point of the Bay of Fires, Eddystone Point Lighthouse offers a stunning scenic drive and a fun afternoon of exploring the rockpools and walking the lighthouse grounds. 

The lighthouse is still in use so unfortunately, you’re unable to enter the iconic landmark. However, the point is also a popular place for whale watching during the migration season and when the swell is working you can score a decent wave at Red Rocks.

24. Go Diving or Snorkelling Off The Spectacular East Coast

Snorkelling at Sloop Reef in the Bay Of Fires

The Bay of Fires and St Helens Point provide sensational locations for snorkelling and free diving, where you can jump in from the white sand beaches and be immersed in the underwater world in seconds.

The northeast waters are home to a variety of marine life, including giant smooth stingrays, and an abundance of rock structures and kelp forests. For those with scuba diving equipment, a boat trip out to Governers Island in Bicheno offers some incredible deep-water diving in the marine reserve.

25. Sing Your Heart Out At The Kazz Bar

If you truly want to experience the old-school local vibe of a small Tasmanian town, then pop into the Kazz Bar for karaoke on a Wednesday, Friday or Saturday night and sing your heart out alongside the regulars to all the old favourites.

Final Thoughts

Main Street of St Helens, Tasmania

St Helens has stolen our hearts. The beautiful destination is packed full of the beach town charm that can only be found in small places, yet there is so much to do in the area that you’ll find it hard to fit everything in.

Whether you’re searching for stunning beaches, want to get lost in nature, or become immersed in the small-town community, there is something for everyone at St Helens.

Have you visited St Helens before? We’d love to know what your favourite thing is to do and as always, if you have any questions about St Helens please feel free to leave a comment below.

Happy Exploring 🙂