Unlike upmarket Swansea and Coles Bay, Bicheno (bish-uh-no) is still a functioning fishing port. With brilliant ocean views and lovely beaches, it's also madly popular with holidaymakers, but the town has never sold its soul to the Tourism Devil and remains rough-edged and unwashed. A busy fishing fleet still comes home to harbour in the Gulch with pots of lobsters and scaly loot. Food and accommodation prices here will seem realistic if you're heading north from Freycinet.
European settlement began here when whalers and sealers came to the Gulch in 1803. The town became known as Waubs Bay Harbour, to honour an Aboriginal woman, Waubedebar, rescued two drowning men when their boat was wrecked offshore. After her death in 1832, the settlement bore her name until the 1840s when it was renamed after James Ebenezer Bicheno, once colonial secretary of Van Diemen’s Land.