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Bay of Fires Lodge
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All reviewstasmanian walking companyfirst nightcakesbeach campnational parkfrom start to finishbucket listwonderful experienceperfect weatherkayak tripwhite sandy beachestwo nightscomposting toiletslaid backwhole experiencefood and winecoastal scenery
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66 - 71 of 80 reviews
Reviewed 23 January 2013

This is an expensive tour but it is worth every cent. The walk itself is through beautiful scenery along pristine white beaches and crystal clear water. The guides are extremely professional, very caring and great cooks. After having our packs checked at Headquarters and given a thorough drill, we took an 11 km walk on the first day with the reward of comfortable bush tents, cold drinks (beer and wine) with snacks before a very good 3 course meal. The next day was taxing - a long 15.4 kilometre walk predominantly on sand in hot weather with the smoke of bushfires on the horizon, but the comfort of the Lodge at the end of the day was worth every step. Another great dinner and then on the 3rd day we did some kayaking and a short walk back to the Lodge. On the fourth day, its a relaxing morning, leaving the Lodge at noon for an almost 2 hour walk out to a waiting bus, which then took us to a winery before depositing us back in Launceston.
One of our party of 4 has mobility issues and even though the walk was exhausting for him, the kindness of our guides Bella and Dan was very much appreciated by us all.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank MadamJosephine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cradlemountainhuts, Director of Sales at Bay of Fires Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 4 February 2013

Hello MadamJosephine,
Thanks for your feedback - we really appreciate it. It sounds like you had a great walk which is fantastic. Both Bella & Dan are fabulous guides and I am pleased they added to your experience.
It was hot weather when you were down here - I hope you managed to get some swims in!
Again thanks for taking the time to reveiw us on TripAdvisor.
Cheers, Ros

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Reviewed 23 January 2013

An incredible adventure worth going on if you have never hiked before. Food provided was excellent and highly enjoyable. The guides on my trip (Ryan & Di) were very helpful and provided a positive energy to the hike. The walk went through stunning sections of beach, scrub, marsupial lawns and forest. The accommodation was very good and enabled me to have a relaxing and natural nights sleep. The kayaking section had beautiful Lord of the Rings type views and added to the sense of adventure. all in all good value for money. Please note that there is a bit light climbing over rocks so you do need to have a good degree of fitness to get the most out of this walk.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cradlemountainhuts, Director of Sales at Bay of Fires Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 4 February 2013

Hi Michael,
Thanks for taking the time to review your Bay of Fires Lodge Walk. It sounds like you had a great first time hiking experience. We are really lucky to have Ryan and Di working with us as their knowledge and enthusiasm is second to none.
I agree the kayaking is pretty special, the landscape feels very intimate having spent some time on the vast beaches.
We hope to see you back down in Tasmania at some time in the future.
Cheers, Ros

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Reviewed 17 January 2013

The Bay of Fires walk was a family birthday present to me, and none of us was disappointed. I loved the relaxed atmosphere with a group of like-minded people, all enjoying the magnificent scenery, the guides' knowledge, the fabulous food, and the beautiful lodge with its light footprint on the earth. I was so impressed by the maturity of the guides, who had the well-being of nine strangers to consider. After walking with us, they all set to in the kitchen to provide truly delicious, fresh, and well prepared food, and took into account many different dietary requirements with each meal. The logistics behind providing for this experience obviously add to the cost, which we expected. I have only positive and happy memories.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank 19ginger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cradlemountainhuts, Director of Sales at Bay of Fires Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 20 January 2013

Hi 19Ginger,
Thanks for your lovely review - and what a fantastic birthday present. It's always great to hear that people can relax and unwind so quickly out at the Bay of Fires - it is one of the areas special qualitieis! We are really lucky to have our fantastic guides as they are so good at sharing their passion and knowledge of the area (not to mention cooking up a storm at the end of the day).
Again thanks for taking the time to review us on Tripadvisor.
Cheers, Ros

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Reviewed 16 January 2013

I recently returned from the Bay of Fires walk and absolutely loved it. I have honestly never felt so relaxed and rejuvenated in my life! Our guides (Ryan & Di) were absolutely lovely and very knowledgable. They were always willing to answer any of our questions and had such a positive attitude. We loved the 'Camp' on the first night, we had expected to be sleeping in tent so the individual huts were a welcome surprise. They are cleverly hidden from the beach giving them a seclusion that you wouldn't get at any normal campsite! Each hut is also positioned to allow the inhabitants complete privacy from the other huts. The sleeping bags looked brand new and everything was spotlessly clean. The communal composting toilets are a fantastic way to provide eco-friendly amenities and it didn't matter that there wasn't a shower as there's nothing better than a swim in the ocean!!

The food was delicious and there was never a lack of it, particularly at the Lodge where we were greeted with 4 different home bakes cakes to suit our group's various dietary requirements! The Lodge itself is beautiful. The open plan design allows you to take in the stunning view and surrounding bushland from every angle. The rooms are simple and comfortable and I loved waking up with the daylight. Who needs blinds when you can wake up to a view like that.

Overall the walk exceeded expectations and I would definitely do it again.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank crg2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cradlemountainhuts, Director of Sales at Bay of Fires Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 20 January 2013

Hi Crg200

Thanks so much for taking the time review our Bay of Fires Lodge Walk on Tripadvisor. It sounds like you had a great time and enjoyed all the different facets of the walk. We are so lucky to have our fabulous guides and Ryan and Di are no exeption (I will certainly pass along your feedback to them both). I hope you are able to join us for our Cradle Mountain Huts - Overland Track Walk at some stage.
Cheers, Ros

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Reviewed 30 December 2012

My wife and I have recently returned from the three night, four day Bay of Fires walk. We booked this hike about a month prior to our departure on boxing day, purely based on advertising in magazines and rave reviews on tripadvisor. Having reflected on our experience we hope to provide a more balanced overview than the gushing reviews on this website.

The walk itself is stunning with extraordinary vistas across pristine tasmanian coastline. The terrain is flat, as the entire walk runs along the beach. This also means that its impossible to get lost and the need for guidance is minimal - just walk along the beach, keeping the water to your left and you'll get the essence of this walk. You'll see coastal birds, the odd wallaby and lots of washed up kelp and seaweed. Anyone with a car can drive out to Mt William national park, park near the camping grounds and enjoy the majority of this walk for absolutely nothing. Which was fine, because our two guides (one a uni student with absolutely no experience hiking in tassie and the other a 20 something who was more interested in swimming in the ocean than guiding) knew next to nothing about the history, geography, flora or fauna across the walk.

We stayed at the semi-permanent beach camp on the first night, where you sleep in sleeping bags in relatively large tents. There is one communal toilet and a makeshift shower where you carry up warm water up a hill and pour it into a shower bag. Everyone eats the same dinner, which is grilled salmon on a noodle salad followed by chocolate mousse. You get an allowance of 5 bottles per group of 10, of midrange tasmanian red and white wine. Apart from the novelty of staying within the national park, the accommodation is not really a step up from camping out in the open with your own tent (other than the fact that someone else has put it up).

On the second and third nights, we stayed at the much vaunted Bay of Fires lodge. This timber structure has relatively large communal areas with a single communal dining room, a long open kitchen, a small library and two communal bathrooms / toilets. The rooms are very basic with either a double bed with a duvet and pillows or two single beds. There are no chairs or furniture of any type other than the bed in each room. There are no curtains or blinds covering the large windows, which can be a major issue when the sun rises at 5am. There is essentially no noise insulation. There is no way to lock the room when you are out. In order to have a shower, one first hand pumps water from a tank. The showers are limited to 5 minutes. The bathroom sink water runs cold.

Meals are again communal with bean and cheese salad followed by moccoran style chicken breast on a cous cous salad on the first night and quinoa salad followed by beetroot meatballs on the second night. There is no choice, unless you are vegetarian or have some food intolerance

On the third day, the group heads out kayaking down the local river, ending up in Anson's bay (a small township about 5 minutes away). This kayak trip takes about 2 hours and ends up with the group eating a packed lunch in a clearing.

The final day is supposed to be a "free day" which means you have to vacate your room at 930 and loiter around until 1230 when the guides walk you for about an hour through the bush to a minibus. The minibus takes you to a small vineyard where you get a glass of local bubby and a assorted nibbles. You then transfer all your clothes back into your own bags.

The most jarring aspect of this whole experience is that you pay over $500 per person, per day for the privilege. For this outrageous price, I would consider knowledgeable guides, some choice of meal, blinds over the windows, furniture in the rooms and a wider range of activities to be mandatory.

Make no mistake, there are travellers out there who would wax lyrical about the "wonderful indulgence" that the lodge provides or the "well designed program". For some, paying a lot to receive very little is a appealing, self-validating proposition. By calling itself an "ecolodge", the BOF lodge manages to get away with two to three star levels of amenity whilst charging exorbitantly for the privilege.

I have no issue with environmentally conscious accommodation, but being eco-sensitive does not excuse you from having to provide a reasonable level of amenity, especially when you are charging a $1000 per room, per night.

My advice for any travellers looking to do the "chardonnay shuffle" around the bay of fires is to book accommodation outside Mt William National park or Anson's bay and drive out to the BOF for two or three day trips. You'll get the same experience, get far better accommodation, the same or better standard of food and all for a fraction of the price charged.

Best of all, you won't have to lug around a 10kg backpack for three days.

Room Tip: Don't stay at the Bay of Fires Lodge
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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24  Thank smurf08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cradlemountainhuts, General Manager at Bay of Fires Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 1 January 2013

Hello Smurf 08,
Thank you for your review. It’s always great to receive feedback from our guests, no matter what the format. I’ll aim to address some of the points you’ve raised.
Both the Forester Beach Camp and the Bay of Fires Lodge have been custom built as “bushwalking accommodation”. Their design is sustainable and autonomous and we aim to maintain the minimalist look and feel of both. At the camp we are limited by its location within the national park as well as the very nature of a standing camp but the facilities of two toilets, two wash rooms and an outdoors shower, along with the sleeping tents and dining tent prove more than adequate. At the lodge the design encourages people to become more in tune with the natural environment by bringing the “outside” “inside”. This is one of the aspects which most of our walkers really appreciate as it is not something they experience in their everyday life. The lodge has been built for walkers who are joining our experience and while we don’t market it as an ecolodge I am yet to encounter such a building which has such minimal impact on the environment.
We work closely with one of Tasmania’s leading chefs to provide an interesting yet universally acceptable menu. We need to work within our logistical restraints of no road access to either the Beach Camp or Lodge and very limited power supplies.
We assess the price of our walk annually by taking into consideration the costs involved with running the operation using best environmental practices along with a host of other requirements. This includes contributing funds to the Parks and Wildlife Service so they can sustain the Park to its highest standard as well as other significant costs incurred by an operation in such a remote location.
We are currently improving the walking tracks around the lodge to provide an alternative to kayaking on day three or an option for day four for those who don’t feel like heading to the beach for a swim or a spot of fishing or relaxing on the deck with a good book.
Our company is always aiming to improve so your comments are greatly appreciated. It’s a shame that the experience fell short of your expectations but we are pleased that the vast majority of our guests have an amazing experience, evidenced by a massive 97% of our guests giving us a score of 8, 9 or 10 out of 10 for overall satisfaction.
If you would like to discuss further please don’t hesitate to give me a call on 03 6392 2211.

Kind regards,

Heath Garratt
General Manager

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