Location: Bicheno, East Coast
Distance from: Hobart - 177 km, Launceston - 159 km, Devonport - 240 km
Bicheno is a wonderful little fishing and holiday village on the east coast of Tasmania near the Bay of Fires, Freycinet National Park and the Douglas-Apsley National Park. It's known for its laid-back lifestyle, fresh seafood, incredible diving, friendly butcher and baker. And no visit to this seaside town is complete without a stop at the blowhole.
Tasmania is made mostly of dolerite, a rock only found in Australia, but the blowhole is made of granite. For thousands of years, the ocean has battered the granite to carve out a sea cave underneath the coast. The water, battering the inside of the cave with increasing force, found a weak spot in the ceiling to blow a hole through the granite. Now water rushes into the cave, hits the walls, swells with increasing pressure and it all erupts out of the hole in the ceiling. This creates a geyser effect for those standing on top of the sea cave.
The geyser erupts with varying force and the water makes different shapes with every surge of the ocean. It can also blow with great force even when the ocean is relatively calm so never turn your back on the blowhole. But the most magnificent and dangerous eruptions take place when the ocean is angry. No matter when you visit, take a picnic and spend some time near this curious and playful geological formation before heading to one of Bicheno's picturesque white sandy beaches.
You'll find the blowhole at the southern end of the town's coastal Esplanade. Launceston is the closest big city to Bicheno and the blowhole. It sits 159 kilometres to the west and the drive should take you about two hours. Hobart is a bit further at 177 kilometres which makes the drive roughly two and a half hours. Devonport is a three-hour drive sitting 240 kilometres away.
The blowhole is carved into a granite shelf right on the ocean. Never turn your back to the ocean or the geyser especially when the surf is high.
Expect to get wet. Bring raingear if you're looking to avoid being drenched. Bring a bathing suit if you're looking to cool off. There is a diamond-shaped rock near the blowhole that you can hide behind to get less of the frothy spray.