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St Helens  Tasmania

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St Helens is a fishing town in north-east Tasmania, sheltered by the shores of Georges Bay (Kunnara Kunna). It is Tasmania's largest fishing port, and is popular for its wonderful scenery, with large sand dunes and glorious beaches, and its great fishing, particularly crayfish, oysters and scale fish. The bay is formed by a long headland, St Helens Point, much of which is reserved for recreation. The area around St Helens is green and fertile farmland with vegetables, berries and fruit farms.

The site was settled in the late 1800s and the discovery of valuable metals in the surrounding areas, caused a rapid increase in population. When the tin finally ran out in the 1890s, many miners moved back into the township, taking up fishing, sawmilling or opening small businesses. The town has continued to thrive on these industries.

St Helens' most famous daughter is Merle Oberon, the Hollywood film star. She claimed to have been born here as Estelle Merle O’Brien Thompson, the daughter of the then owner of the St Helens Hotel, although there seems to be some evidence that this in fact was not the case and that she may have been born in India. She later changed her name for the stage and screen.

You can discover more about the interesting characters and history of the town at the St Helens History Room in Cecilia Street.

St Helens can reached in about 2.5 hours from Hobart along the A3 highway via Bicheno.

Festivals: Tasmanian Game-Fishing Classic (March), Suncoast Jazz Festival (June)

Things to do:

  • Swimming - at the coastal beaches
  • Fishing - hire a dinghy or charter a boat for bay or deep-sea marlin and tuna fishing or catch bream and trout in the Scamander River
  • Lookout - along Skyline Road
  • Walks - St Helens Point State Reserve and Bay of Fires Coastal Reserve
  • St Helens History Room - for photographs, documents and books about St Helens, next to the town library

    In the area:

  • Binnalong Bay - 11 km north-east has surfing and rock fishing
  • Pyengana - 28 km west for St Columba Falls, Healey's Cheese Factory,
  • Bushwalks - south-east Ben Lomond National Park
  • Mount William National Park - north, to see a Forester Kangaroo


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