Be sure to rest and see the sights on the rugged Tasman Peninsula if you are on your way to Port Arthur. And if it’s still well worth a visit, even if you’re not.
The Tasman Peninsula, not to mention world heritage-listed convict sites, would cater to anyone who like beautiful coastlines, blowholes and caves.
An simple and very pretty 70 min drive from Hobart, the peninsula is best known for the famous Port Arthur Historic site, one of the five convicted sites listed as World Heritage by Tasmania. The Coal Mines Historic Site is nearby, but not so well known, with over 25 significant buildings and the remnants of coal mining operations still visible, also listed as world heritage.
The cruel treatment of the convicts at the coal mines, like Port Arthur, stands in grim contrast with the spectacular bushland environment of the site.
Because of its beauty and natural diversity, much of the peninsula is protected as a national park and is home to many species including the brush tail possum, wallabies, wombats, bandicoots, Australian fur seals, penguins, dolphins and migratory whales as well as the endangered swift parrot and various forest-dwelling bird. You can see endangered wedge-tailed eagles and overhead sea eagles as well.
This stunning coastal setting includes 300 metres of high sea cliffs and a variety of interesting coastal rock formations, all easy to access by car, such as Tessellated Pavement, the Blow Hole, Tasman Arch, Devil’s Kitchen, Remarkable Cave and Waterfall Bay.
You can take an eco-cruise to the tip of the peninsula to discover the waterfalls, deep sea caves, sheer cliffs and spectacular wildlife along the way for a close-up view of this beautiful coastline.
Healthy walking can be found around the peninsula back on property, with some of the best walks in Tasmania ranging from short, family-friendly to overnight multi-day walks for the more adventurous.
The new addition is the breathtaking Three Capes Trail, a multi-day independent walk with incredible cliff top views.
Eaglehawk Neck, a narrow isthmus only 30 metres wide and once guarded by dogs to deter convicts from fleeing, provides entry to the Tasman Peninsula. Any split or slightest noise from the scrub will set the hounds barking and alarm the sentries. (The dogs were also put in the water to detect absconders trying to cross the sea.)
The Officers Quarters (1832), reputed to be Australia’s oldest surviving wooden military house, is the only structure left on the isthmus from the convicted days, and is now a museum interpreting the Eaglehawk Neck tale.
There is accommodation outside the park, from camping grounds and hostels to motels and self-contained accommodation, to accommodate all budgets.
Fortescue Bay is a common campground within the park, with 40 sites and a block of amenities.
(Article by discovertasmania.com.au)
Tours to Tasman Peninsula