Australia

St Helens Tasmania, a Fishermen Paradise

St Helens aerial

You can be forgiven if you have never heard of St. Helens, Tasmania. Even though it is the largest town on the northeast coast of Tasmania, St Helens boasts a population of just 2000. Established in 1830, when it was discovered in the nearby Blue Tier Mountains, the town quickly became a fishing port, thanks to its sheltered location on Georges Bay and its abundance of fish. Today, the town continues to lure fishermen from all over Australia and, increasingly, the world, but that is just one of the reasons why it is so easy to find a St Helens accommodation in this stunningly picturesque town.

While its unspoiled natural beauty and mild climate attract visitors all year round, St Helens really comes to life in March each year, when the St. Helens Gaming Fishing Classic is held. As the records tumble and fishermen from all over the world learn about the St Helens Fishing boasts an abundance of game fish in the waters off north-eastern Tasmania, the Fishing Classic is increasingly achieving world renowned status. Over 20 Australian records have been broken here over the years and a further half dozen world records for southern bluefish tuna.

Aside from the fact that 120kg (nearly 265lbs) blue fin tuna are regularly caught off the shores of St. Helens and that marlin fishermen have caught as many as 200 of these elusive trophies in a single season, another remarkable fact about fishing in St Helens is that you needn’t look very hard to find them. You can be doing serious deep water fishing within half an hour of leaving the boat ramp on one of the many chartered fishing vessels that are available in the area.

As the largest town in north-eastern Tasmania, St Helens also serves as the place where northern Tasmanians go for entertainment. The biggest event of the year is the annual Suncoast Jazz Festival, held here each year in June. The biggest names in Australian jazz turn up each year, both to entertain the crowds and to play with each other. One of the highlights of the festival is the “mix and match” registration system, which teams individual musicians with each other for 30 minute sessions. For 16 hours a day in late June, music fills the air in St. Helens. Close your eyes and you could be in New Orleans! The grand finale of the Suncoast Jazz Festival is a huge public concert and street parade.

Needless to say, you can enjoy some of the finest seafood in the world in St. Helens. Aside from seafood, though, St. Helens offers an abundance of other culinary delights. Apples, blueberries and raspberries are free for the picking in surrounding areas and many of the vegetable dishes on offer are locally grown in the rich soil of the surrounding region. Wine lovers will not be disappointed, either, since many award winning cool climate wines are produced in the region.

As the largest town in north-eastern Tasmania, St Helens also serves as the place where northern Tasmanians go for entertainment. The biggest event of the year is the annual Suncoast Jazz Festival, held here each year in June. The biggest names in Australian jazz turn up each year, both to entertain the crowds and to play with each other. One of the highlights of the festival is the “mix and match” registration system, which teams individual musicians with each other for 30 minute sessions. For 16 hours a day in late June, music fills the air in St. Helens. Close your eyes and you could be in New Orleans! The grand finale of the Suncoast Jazz Festival is a huge public concert and street parade.

St. Helens, Tasmania may have a small population, but it is large in attractions in the Freycinet area. While the fisherman in the family is out breaking world records, everyone else can enjoy the magnificent scenery while bushwalking and feasting on wild blueberries. Back in town, you can spend hours browsing in the quaint shops, enjoying fresh and delicious food (St Helens is famous for its “Elephant Pancakes” – both sweet and savoury) or just relaxing in this wonderful and unspoiled corner of the world.

Translate »