On the west coast of Tasmania, about 250 kilometers or a year driving through the winding roads from Launceston is Trial Harbour. This small settlement is perfect for remote or solo surfing, hiking and camping with only a few permanent residents with the entire town choosing to live off-grid.
This settlement was originally formed to be able to provide access for people and supplies to the mining town of Zeehan, which about 30 minutes to the east. Once the mine shut down Zeehan collapsed from a thriving small city and Trial Harbour no longer had a purpose.
After many years of being abandon, a few people starting coming here to go camping and really, just to find an escape from civilation and people..
Due to the roaring 40’s bringing in severe weather from the west, the coastline is rough and rugged, but stunning! This place is ideal if you’re looking to find a stunning beach to explore by foot or 4WD with no-one insight.
Although there are close to 50 shacks/small houses for accommodation, the entire place only has a few full-time residents. They did have an offer to have electricity connected, but the locals refused the offer and choose to live isolated and keep the themselves.
Camping at Trial Harbour
Camping at Trial Harbour is free. There’s a grass campsites open up to who ever gets there first.
There are super clean toilets here, but I didn’t notice a shower.
If you’re looking for something a bit more comfortable, there are about 20 small houses here for rent, all close to each other. The road into Trial Harbour isn’t suitable for caravans, unless you’ve gone a little off-road before, then you’ll be right, although there quite possibly won’t be anywhere for you to park for the night!
On the other hand, if you happen plan on camping at Trial Harbour Campsite and there’s no places available, there are some free campsites just behind the beach, but you’ll need to walk for several hundred metres to the west and over some rocks while the tide is out on Ocean Beach.
Surfing at Trial Harbour
With huge barreling waves consistently rolling into the by, right by the side of the town, Trial Harbour is spot on for surfing if you’ve got balls and a thick wet suit.
The waves roll in with a huge face and don’t seem to dump, but it’ll be a good idea to first talk with a local (if you can find one) as there are plenty of powerful rips and rocks, so you’ll need to know where (..where not to) paddle and importantly, where to jump off your board if you do catch a wave.