Located 176 kilometres south east of Launceston and 182 kilometres north east of Hobart (via the Tasman Highway), Bicheno is a charming seaside resort town noted for its good motels, its excellent fishing facilities, its safe and attractive beaches and its interesting coastal walks which include some superb rocky outcrops and spectacular blowholes.
Bicheno was established as a whaling centre as early as 1803. The sealers and whalers actually predated the first official settlement of Van Diemen's Land. They lived a primitive and dangerous life and were known to be particularly cruel to the local Aborigines who they enslaved and prostituted.
The town was named after James Ebenezer Bicheno, the British Colonial Secretary for Van Diemen's Land from 1843-1851. Bicheno died in Hobart in 1851 and bequeathed his substantial library to Tasmania. It was incorporated into the first Tasmanian Library.
Dating from around this period is the Old Court House/Gaol House, now a National Trust building, in James Street. It is one of the few historic buildings left standing in Bicheno. Built in 1845 it is a simple stone building with unusual twelve pane windows.