As an Aussie who travels regularly to SE Asia, I am always shocked by just how expensive it is to travel in my home country. Freycinet Tasmania has long been on my bucket list, but the cost has always held me back. I just couldn’t justify dropping $2k on a bed for the night, no matter how fabulous that bed was. I knew there had to be a way to see this magnificent part of the world without selling my first born and I was determined to find it. Bicheno Tasmania is a real gem. It’s about 18klms from the world famous Freycinet National Park and just as spectacular, but the prices are a world away. Read on for all the details …
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The Freycinet Dream
For as long as I can remember I have fantasised about staying in Saffire Freycinet. The only problem is that it starts at $2,100 a night. With a two night minimum. And it’s NEVER on sale. Given my entire budget our 6 day Tasmanian road trip was $1000 we had a problem. If I did splurge on Saffire, we would have to forgo our upcoming trips to Bali in March and Vietnam in May, both of which had an allocated budget of $2k each. Once of the best ways to keeps the cost of travelling down is to book a bargain airfare. We paid just $55 each for our return Jetstar flights using all my tips on securing a cheap flight. It was a no-brainer in the end and Saffire was scratched.
Bicheno Tasmania: The More Affordable Freycinet
While there is a budget option in Coles Bay (the YHA Backackers), I no longer have a desire to bunk with randoms so I turned my mind to the nearby towns of Swansea and Bicheno in the hopes of securing a comfy bed for around a tenth of the cost of Saffire. The Best Western Beachfront At Bicheno ticked most of the boxes. We booked through Hotels.com and at $170 it was a lot friendlier on the hip pocket. We checked out of the Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart where we spent the previous two nights and drove our bargain hire car from Airport Rentals the 2½ hours to Bicheno. The room was basic but functional and provided everything that we needed for our overnight stay. The Hubs even found time for a quick dip before we headed out but it was waaaaaaay to cold for my liking 🙂
Bicheno Tasmania is a quaint little town with not a lot happening but it is spectacularly beautiful. If you’re a beach lover, be sure you take a stroll along the pristine white sand. Time it right and you may catch a glimpse of a spectacular sunset.
Beachfront At Bicheno
According to TripAdvisor there are only 11 restaurants in Bicheno Tasmania. We chose the onsite restaurant Beachfront At Bicheno which is rated number 4. I had a quick squiz at the menu shortly after check in when I popped into the bar to order a glass of wine to take away with a promise to bring the glass back when we returned for dinner. What can I say, road tripping is thirsty work and the bottles I had in the car were too warm to consume on arrival. I guess I’m just fussy like that! The casual restaurant is light, bright and airy and we were glad we booked a table as it was near capacity. We chose to eat inside, but the deck has magnificent views over Waub’s Bay and would have been perfect for a lazy lunch. We ordered a simple (but delicious) cob loaf while we checked out the rest of the menu.
I’m a sucker for a snitz and ordered my go-to meal while The Hubs had the Waub’s Bay Chicken. The Beachfront At Bicheno prides itself on using fresh Tasmanian produce and the meals were very reasonably pried. As we always do, we shared a bite or two from each others plate and I had serious envy after the very first forkful of The Hubs’ chicken. It was sensational. The chicken breast was perfectly cooked, the creamy sauce was divine and the crispy prosciutto added the perfect crunch. I would order again in a heart beat but sadly it looks to have been removed from the menu.
The Freycinet Peninsula attracts approx. 280,000 visitors per year who are all here to experience the unique pristine environment. The jewel in the Freycinet crown is Wineglass Bay, a slither of perfect pure white sand that regularly features in the ‘world’s best beach’ lists. There is no better way to see this natural wonder than with Wineglass Bay cruises. Take it to the next level and book the sky lounge like we did. The area also features a number of wineries and we made pit stops at both Devil’s Corner and Freycinet Vineyard. Of course I picked up a bottle or two while I was there. While you are in the area why not check out Bicheno Penguin Tours and see these little cuties up close and personal.
So what do you think of Bicheno Tasmania? Would you blow a bomb or opt for budget friendly like I did? I would love to hear you thoughts in the comments below.
Until Next Time …
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. We paid for our stay at Best Western Beachfront At Bicheno in full and as always, all opinions are my own. This post contains some affiliate links which will earn me a few cents to contribute to the running of this blog if you make a qualifying purchase at no extra cost to you.
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