East Coast of Tasmania

map of east coast

Tasmania’s scenic east coast, known for its mild climate, is home to long sandy beaches, good fishing and a tranquil beachside lifestyle. It has much to offer for a sea change.

The east coast of Tasmania is divided into two municipal areas – Break O’Day to the north, and Glamorgan-Spring Bay to the south.


Population: 6,190

Apart from the many coastal villages within the Break O’Day municipal area, this east coast region of Tasmania includes the stunning Bay of Fires Conservation Area, the Mount William National Park and Tasmania’s game fishing capital, St Helens.

With an area of 3,809 square kilometres, Break O’Day is one of the largest local government areas in Tasmania. Tourism more than doubles the population during the summer holiday season. Other industries on the east coast of Tasmania are mining, forestry, agriculture, fishing and aquaculture.

Break O’Day is one of the most diverse areas in Tasmania. It has natural wilderness, first class fishing with 120 kilometres of pristine Tasman Sea coastline, a relaxed lifestyle, clean air, friendly people and a mild climate. Served by the break o’day council, this east coast area hosts a growing population of retirees.

St Helens

St Helens
The bay at St Helens. Game fishing capital of Tasmania.

The largest town on the east coast of Tasmania, St Helens (population 1,800) is the administrative centre of the district. Located in the shelter of St George’s Bay, it is Tasmania’s largest fishing port with a reputation for superb oysters and crayfish. St Helens is the game fishing capital of Tasmania.

There are good facilities in the town and the tidy, tree-lined streets and well cared for properties make it an attractive place for a sea change. The town is bordered by grazing lands and eucalypt-covered hills.

(See distances by road chart.)

Other towns:

Inland, St Marys and Fingal service the forest and agricultural industries and the Cornwall Coal Company’s mine at Fingal. They have a combined population of less than 1,000.

Other population centres on the east coast of Tasmania include the coastal villages of Scamander and Beaumaris to the south of St Helens, with a combined population of about 1,000. To the north, Binalong Bay (population less than 500) has appealing beachside living and is within easy reach of the facilities at St Helens. Binalong Bay is a gateway to the Bay of Fires with its white sand beaches, turquoise waters and rocky inlets.


Mt Amos - Wineglass Bay
Wineglass Bay on Freycinet Peninsula – one of the ten best beaches in the world according to Outside Magazine.
© Tourism Tasmania and Chris McLennan

Population: 4,300

The glamorgan spring bay council serves the mid-east coast of Tasmania. The Glamorgan-Spring Bay municipality encompasses the iconic Freycinet National Park, The Hazards and Maria Island National Park.


Located 158 kilometres south-east of Launceston and 177 kilometres north-east of Hobart, Bicheno (population 700) is a seaside resort town noted for its fishing facilities, safe beaches and interesting coastal walks. There is a nine-hole golf course and easy access to the Douglas Apsley National Park. At the northern end of Redbill beach is a fairy penguin rookery. The local fishing catch includes abalone, crayfish, scallops and trevally.

Bicheno is the northern gateway to Freycinet National Park.

(See distances by road chart.)


Swansea’s population of 550 swells greatly during the summer tourist season due to its position on Great Oyster Bay. Swansea has views to the mountains of the Freycinet Peninsula, historic cottages and access to safe swimming beaches. Swansea is the southern gateway to the Freycinet National Park and is surrounded by orchards, vineyards and sheep-grazing properties.

In May 2007 Swansea beat more than 1,000 other towns around the nation and won the prestigious title of Australia’s Tidiest Town for 2007. Swansea won three categories in the Keep Australia Beautiful Tidy Town awards. Apart from Tidiest Town, Swansea also took out the Community Action Award and the Heritage and Culture Award.

(See distances by road chart.)

Coles Bay

The village of Coles Bay (population 120) is near the entrance to Freycinet National Park. About 45 minutes drive from Swansea and 30 minutes from Bicheno, the Coles Bay area is one of Tasmania’s most popular holiday spots. It overlooks Oyster Bay – ideal for swimming, snorkelling, kayaking, boating and fishing.

Coles Bay was the first town in the world to ban the use of plastic bags.


Triabunna (population 930) is a working port that started life as a garrison town for the penal colony on Maria Island. Today Triabunna is supported largely by the woodchip mill at Point Home, the local fishing industry and sheep farms. Triabunna is the departure point for the Maria Island ferry. The crossing takes approximately 30 minutes and there are several departures a day during the tourist season.


Orford (population 500) was once an important sea port which served whalers and the local Maria Island garrison. The area has excellent fishing, diving and swimming.

Orford is the first seaside town on the east coast for travellers from Hobart and is popular for weekenders.

On Louisville Point, between Orford and Triabunna, an 18-hole Greg Norman-designed golf course and residential estate is under construction.

map of tasmania showing east coast
Break O'Day brochure cover

The break o’day brochure (pdf 956kb) is produced for those considering business opportunities in this area of the east coast of Tasmania. It also contains general information about the area.

east coast wine region of tasmania

The east coast of Tasmania and the Freycinet area is home to a number of small vineyards which produce high quality wines.

» more ...