Perhaps the best reasons to visit St Helens are the sugary white beaches which arc before an aquamarine sea in the Bay of Fires Coastal Reserve. Explorer Tobias Furneaux coined the name in 1773 when he passed a coastline illuminated by the cooking fires of Aboriginal tribes. The reserve stretches north up the coast for over 30km, all the way to Eddystone Point, but most people are content to dawdle on those that scallop the coast north of Binalong Bay, 17km east of St Helens and still a sleepy village despite its magic setting. Beyond the beach at the village, beaches are accessed off the road to The Gardens, each with a basic bushcamp behind. The Gardens itself, 13km north, is gentrifying fast with holiday shacks being replaced by glass-walled holiday houses. Note that there’s no transport to Binalong Bay but it’s an easy cycle ride from St Helens.

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