I’ve just returned from camping at Bay of Fires on Tasmania’s East Coast.
The camp is one of the annual, end-of-year activities for Year 9 students. The last Year 9 camp I attended was Maria Island where the teenagers were nearly as feral as the island’s Tassie Devils.
This camp was different.
The students were less feral but relationship dramas unfolded and friendships deteriorated as the week progressed.
There was also the intrusive presence of mobile phones and constant updates to Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
Still, in between the gossip and endless selfies, the teens appreciated the wonderful scenic environment.
Orange rocks frame the white sandy beaches and beautiful blue water. Lagoons scattered around the area are perfect for kayaking and fishing and there are many bush tracks for the keen walker.
Yet this idyllic paradise is practically deserted.
The Bay of Fires is a National Park and conservation area. The facilities are basic with drop toilets being the only sign of civisilation.
There are no shops so all food and water must be brought into the area. There is also no electricity.
Everybody is expected to leave the area untouched and because of this it remains pristine.
No doubt as the summer progresses more people will arrive, but camping spots are limited.
However, there is other accommodation nearby including Binalong Bay and the town of St Helens.
Bring a wetsuit, a tent, camp stove, a good book and relax.
And if you time your visit right, you’ll observe a group of mammals outside their natural environment: the teenage Homo Sapien.