Must read guide on seeing bioluminescence in Tasmania

We’re giving you the low-down on this mesmerising natural phenomenon

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We bet you’ve seen those pictures of water that’s glowing iridescent blue (if not, we’ve saved you the trouble of googling and have snapped a few pics below). Pretty trippy right?  This incredible natural phenomenon, known as bioluminescence or sea sparkle, occurs when tiny plankton light up and cause the sea to literally glow in the dark. Now we’ve got the low-down on how you can see bioluminescent water in Tasmania for yourself! Keep reading to find out what it is and how you can catch a glimpse. 

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What is bioluminescence?

Bioluminescence is the production of light by heaps of microscopic algae or plant plankton. They get their glow on when they get disturbed by a wave or a predator.

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Where can you see bioluminescence in Tasmania?

Not only does Tassie have some of the world’s most stunning beaches, but it’s also home to this stunning natural phenomenon after dark too! There are a few places where you might be able to see bioluminescence in Tasmania. If you’re Hobart head down to the jetty behind Montegu Bay Primary School, visit the boat ramp near Howden or traipse along the shores of Lindisfarne. Other great places to see bioluminescence are along the eastern shores of Tasmania, including Coles Bay and Honeymoon Bay in Freycinet National Park. Click on the links if you’re keen to do a bioluminescence road trip and are looking for places to stay! 

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When’s the best time to see the sea sparkle in Tasmania?

Luckily you have a chance of seeing the sea sparkle year round! The glowing plankton is most common in warmer months, but can still be seen throughout the year. Your best bet is on a warm, cloudless day, straight after some heavy rain. Obviously it needs to be dark to see the sea glow, but here’s a crazy fact – most bioluminescent organisms can tell if it’s day of night, so won’t glow during the day even if they’re collected and out in a dark room. Crazy, right?! During the day the plankton give off a pink colour, so if you spot this make sure you head back out at night time to see if they glow. 

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Can you swim in bioluminescent water?

Sea sparkle contains a lot of ammonium which is known to cause skin rashes and breathing problems. Swimming in bioluminescent water also mucks up the effect by disturbing the algae. So play it safe and marvel at the iridescent sea from the safety of the shoreline. 

Want to stay near bioluminescence in Tasmania?

If you’re travelling around Tasmania in search of bioluminescence, then you’ll need to book a few places to stay. We mentioned above that the best places to spot bioluminescence are along Tassie’s East Coast, which means you’ll want to find accomodation in Hobart, Coles Bay and Honeymoon Bay in Freycinet National Park. If you want to keep travelling around, then click here to view the full list of hotels available in Tasmania.

So next time you’re out at night, be sure to keep an eye out for nature’s glow in the dark show!