Tasman Peninsula & Port Arthur Attractions
The Tasman Peninsula – So much to see and do……..
Follow the Italic links for further information.
Port Arthur Historic Site (1-2 Days)
Australia’s premier convict site. Passes are valid for two days and include admission to the interpretation gallery, a guided walking tour, boat cruise to the Isle of the Dead, museum, access to more than 30 restored buildings, ruins and beautiful gardens. The nightly lantern lit Ghost Tour provides a chilling narrative of life and extraordinary occurrences at the Site dating from convict times.
Coal Mines Historic Site (2-4 hours) – Free entry
Located in the Lime Bay State Reserve at the end of the Saltwater River Road. Coal mining at this site commenced in 1833 and finally ceased in 1848. This settlement was a punishment station where the most hardened convicts from Port Arthur toiled under a regime of cruelty, violence and abuse. Nowadays historic ruins are scattered in a bushland setting overlooking Norfolk Bay. Explore the underground cells and walking tracks leading to the main mine shaft.
Tasman Island Cruise (5 hours)
There are two companies operating cruises to Tasman Island – Tasman Island Cruises and Sealife Experience. The boat trip from Pirates Bay to Tasman Island is a fantastic experience as you cruise past Australia’s highest sea cliffs and fabulous coastal scenery. Invariably you will see seals, dolphins and numerous sea birds such as shearwaters, gannets and albatross. Humpback and southern right whales are also sighted as they migrate through these waters between September to December and again from April to May.
Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park – Taranna (2 hours)
The Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park is open from 9am to 5pm every day and provides an up close and personal Tasmanian devil experience. The devils are fed six times a day and the park also offers a free-flight bird show where you will see the spectacular high speed dive of the falcon. You will also encounter kangaroos, wallabies, quolls and parrots in the park.
Federation Chocolate Factory and Heritage Museum – Taranna (30 min)
Located opposite the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park, the factory specialises in handmade chocolates with a huge range of flavors as well as mouth watering “truffles”. The museum celebrates the Tasman Peninsula’s convict and sawmilling history with numerous artifacts, memorabilia and photographs.
Officers Mess & Dog Line – Eaglehawk Neck (1 hour)
The Officers Mess was the original quarters for guards located on the “neck” to prevent convicts from escaping from the Peninsula. A line of ferocious dogs were located across this narrow neck of land and on pontoons located in Eaglehawk Bay making escape almost impossible.
Doongara Fishing Charters
Doongara Fishing Charters based at Eaglehawk Neck provide world class fishing for Bluefin, Yellowfin and Albacore tuna as well as Mako shark. The coastal scenery is spectacular and all gear is supplied.
Doo-Lishus Food Van – Blowhole carpark Pirates Bay
Arguably the best fish and chips and seafood basket in Australia! The van also serves homemade pies (curried scallop, venison and seafood mornay) crayfish, oysters and smoked seafood. For dessert there is a selection of ice cream and a delicious choice of fresh berries and cream.
Short Walks (up to 2 hours)
- Remarkable Cave (30 min return) – This short walk starts at the end of Safety Cove Road. The lookout provides great views down the coast to Cape Roaul. A track leads down stairs to a view of the cave entrance.
- Tessellated Pavement (30 min return) – A rare geological formation found on ocean shores where the rock has fractured into polygonal blocks.
- Blow Hole, Tasman Arch, Devil’s Kitchen & Patersons Arch coastal walks (1–2 hours return) The Blow Hole is located at the end of the Blow Hole road and the turn off to Tasman Arch is at Doo Town just before the Blow Hole. The Arch ceiling is 52.7 m above sea level. Patersons Arch is an impressive rock feature demonstrating the power of the sea. From Patersons Arch there is a pathway to Waterfall Bay Lookout.
Half Day Walks (2 - 4 hours)
- Garden Point (2-3 hours return) – A lovely family walk that starts at the northerly end of Carnarvon Bay or the Historic Site and follows the coast around Stewarts Bay to Garden Point.
- Canoe & Bivouac Bays (3–4 hours return) - The walk starts at the northerly end of the Fortescue Bay beach and provides wonderful views of The Lanterns and the Candlestick from Dolomieu Point.
- Cape Hauy (4 hours return) - The walk starts at the Fortescue Bay camping ground and the newly constructed track leads to the spectacular Cape Hauy, with views of The Candlestick, The Lanterns and the Hippolyte Rocks out to sea.
Day Walks (4 – 8 hours)
- Cape Raoul and Cape Raoul Lookout (5 hours return) – The walk starts at the end of Stormlea Road, off Nubeena Road. The walk to the lookout is easy and the view from the 400 metre high sea cliffs takes in Bruny Island and the mountains of the South West. The walk continues to the end of Cape Raoul where the sheer 400 metre dolerite cliffs plunge to the ocean and the views are spectacular.
- Shipstern Bluff & Tunnel Bay (5 hours return) – This walk also starts at the end of Stormlea road. Shipstern Bluff is recognised by surfers worldwide for spectacular surfing in mountainous waves.
- Mount Brown & Crescent Bay (5 hours return) – The walk commences at the Remarkable Cave car park. The route is spectacular and takes in the Maigon Blowhole and beautiful rocky shorelines ending at Mount Brown. The track to the magnificent high sand dunes at Crescent Beach commences at the base of Mount Brown.
- Cash’s Lookout (4 hours return) – This walk starts at the Blowhole Road about 500m from the Arthur Highway and leads to the lookout which gives stunning views looking east over Pirates Bay and down the coast. The lookout can also be accessed via Pirates Road.
- Arthur’s Peak (6 hours return) – A medium/hard walk for experienced walkers. The views from the summit are stunning and include Crescent Beach, Mount Brown and further westward to Bruny Island and beyond.
- Cape Pillar (2-3 days return) – This “wilderness” walk starts at Fortescue Bay and is the most spectacular walk on the Tasman Peninsula. The grade is medium/hard and should only be undertaken by experienced hikers. The view from the tallest cliffs in the southern hemisphere looking out to Tasman Island and beyond is breathtaking.
- Tasman Coastal Trail – Waterfall Bay to Fortescue Bay to Cape Pillar (3-4 days one way) – A long walk for experienced hikers – individual track sections above.
The Peninsula is home to a number of lovely beaches for swimming, surfing, picnics and sunbathing.
- Pirates Bay
- Stewarts Bay
- Safety Cove
- White Beach
- Roaring Beach
- Fortescue Bay - Fortescue Bay is in the Tasman National Park and a Parks Permit is required.
- Lime Bay
- Shelly Beach
- Port Arthur
- Sited on the beautiful but remote Tasman Peninsula, historic Port Arthur was one of Australia's most infamous penal settlements from 1830 to 1877.