Eating Out

If you’re choosing not to self-cater, there are numerous options for eating out.  Locally, The Lufra Hotel has a good quality restaurant that serves lunch and dinner as well as a local seafood buffet every Sunday. Within the hotel are several bars and bottleshop facilities. There is also a small general store/takeaway called Havnabite situated only a few minutes away from Eaglehawk Pavilions.  During the summer daylight savings period, some of the best fish and chips anywhere in the country can be found at Doo-lishus which is located in The Blowhole carpark.  Don’t be fooled by the caravan, the fish is incredible!!! (no Eftpos)

Further afield, you may consider the Bangor Oyster Shed, Stewarts Bay Lodge or the Nubeena Tavern and Restaurant for a more casual experience.

Also well worth the visit is the McHenry Gin, Vodka and Whisky Distillery at Port Arthur.

Bushwalks

Walking is an ideal way to experience the stunning natural beauty of the Tasman Peninsula.  These are some recommendations;

Camp Falls/Waterfall Bluff

This walk begins at a point less than 10 minutes drive from Eaglehawk Pavilions.  An easy walk of 2hrs return provides incredible views south along the towering sea cliffs of the Tasman Peninsula.

Cape Hauy

Graded medium, this is a 4hr return walk starting at Fortescue Bay which itself is a beautiful deep bay with a bright white sandy beach.  Cape Hauy is famous among rock climbers for the challenge of scaling The Totem Pole.  Views out to sea and of Hyppolyte Rock will amaze.  Return to Fortescue Bay for a swim in the crystal clear water.

Crescent Bay/Brown Mountain

Starting at Remarkable Cave, allow 4 hours for this walk (inclusive of a stopover in Crescent Bay).  The top of Brown Mountain provides view to Tasman Island and back into Port Arthur.  Crescent Bay has a number of extraordinarily high and clean sand dunes which you’ll simply have to climb.  This is an ideal spot to rest and enjoy the beach.  The walk is graded medium.

Raoul Bay Lookout

An easy walk for which you should allow 1.5hrs return.  Starting at a small carpark on Stormlea Road (not far from Nubeena) the walk starts uphill and forms part of the Cape Raoul track.  At the lookout you will have incredible views to the south and west across Storm Bay and on to Bruny Island.  Below you will be the famous Tasmanian surf break of Shipstern Bluff.

Cape Raoul

This is one of the longer coastal day walks on the Tasman Peninsula.  It is graded medium and you should allow 5hrs return.  Starting at a small carpark on Stormlea Road (near Nubeena), the walk starts uphill through the Raoul Bay Lookout.  From Cape Raoul you will have 360 degree views of Storm Bay, Bruny Island, Mount Wellington, Cape Pillar and Tasman Island.

Multi-Day Walks

There are also several multi-day walks for those who are so inclined including Cape Pillar and the Three Capes Track.  Eaglehawk Pavilions is the ideal location to pamper yourself either before or after one of these walks.

Tasman National Park

Famous for its soaring sea cliffs and monumental rock formations, Tasman National Park is an area of dramatic beauty and natural diversity. The park is situated on the rugged Tasman Peninsula and contains a spectacular coastal environment including soaring 300 metre high dolerite sea cliffs.

The park is home to a wide range of land and marine animals, including the brushtail possum, Australian fur seals, penguins, dolphins and migrating whales. It’s also home to the endangered swift parrot and many forest-dwelling birds. Endangered wedge-tailed eagles and sea eagles can also be seen overhead.

Many striking rock formations along the coastline are easily accessed by car and within 5 minutes drive from Eaglehawk Pavilions.  Tasman Arch, Devils Kitchen, The Blowhole, Waterfall Bay and the Tessellated Pavement are some of Tasmania’s most visited attractions.  Remarkable Cave near Port Arthur is also a must see.

The spectacular dolerite columns and cliffs at the southern end of the park are popular for climbing and abseiling. Sea stacks north of Fortescue Bay, the Candlestick and Totem Pole at Cape Hauy as well as the drops around Mount Brown are used by individual climbers and abseilers as well as tour groups.

There is also a hang gliding launch at Pirates Bay, with landing permitted in a designated area on the beach.

The crystal clear waters of Pirates Bay, Fortescue Bay, Port Arthur and the Tasman Sea are popular boating destinations with ramps, sheltered waters and good fishing.

 

Tasman Peninsula

The Tasman Peninsula will appeal to those who like spectacular coastlines, blowholes and caves, not to mention world heritage listed convict sites.

An easy and very pretty 70 min drive from Hobart, the peninsula is best known for the famous Port Arthur Historic site, one of Tasmania’s five World Heritage listed convict sites. Nearby, though not so well known, is the Coal Mines Historic Site – also world heritage listed – with over 25 substantial buildings and the remains of coal mining activities still evident.

Tasman Island and Cape Pillar in the distance, Tasmania, Australia

Like Port Arthur, the harsh treatment of the convicts at the coal mines stands in bleak contrast with the site’s beautiful bushland setting.

Much of the peninsula is protected as national park, given its beauty and natural diversity, and is home to many animals including the brush tail possum, wallabies, wombats, bandicoots, Australian fur seals, penguins, dolphins and migrating whales as well as the endangered swift parrot and many forest-dwelling birds. You may also see endangered wedge-tailed eagles and sea eagles overhead.

Back on land, good walking can be found across the peninsula with some of Tasmania’s best walks ranging from short and family-friendly to overnight multi-day walks for the more adventurous.

 

Eaglehawk Neck

Eaglehawk Neck is the small town where Eaglehawk Pavilons is situated and forms the natural gateway to the many attractions of the Tasman Peninsula, including the Port Arthur Historic Site.  There is a restaurant and small general store where basic supplies can be obtained.

The thin strip of land known as the Neck connects the Tasman Peninsula to the Forestier Peninsula. It’s about 400 metres long and less than 30 metres wide at one point. This narrow entrance to the Tasman Peninsula was once guarded by the dog line, a line of dogs chained together to prevent convicts from escaping the notorious prison settlement at neraby Port Arthur.  Many tried to escape, some succeeded and there’s now a sculpture to mark this once brutal barricade.

There are shipwreck sites here too, but there’s much more to this place than its dark and dangerous past. The Neck is also a natural geological wonder with striking rock formations like the Tessellated Pavement, and nearby Tasman Arch, Blowhole and Devil’s Kitchen.

Pirates Bay beach is ideal for stroll at any time of the day but is best enjoyed at sunrise when nature often puts on a spectacular show.

Be sure to take note of the names given to all the shacks in Doo Town as you drive to the Blowhole and Tasman Arch.  If you’re here during the summer daylight savings period, don’t miss the fish and chips from Doolishus in the Blowhole carpark.  They have been voted some of the best in the country.

 

Port Arthur and Port Arthur Historic Site

Port Arthur is a small village and is best known for the well-preserved penal colony buildings of the nearby, World Heritage Listed, Port Arthur Historic Site.

The Port Arthur Historic Site was established in 1830 as a timber station and was soon built into a small town to house and punish over a thousand of Tasmania’s most notorious convicts. This dark history contrasts with the beauty of the surrounding area. Full of powerful stories of hardship and loss, it’s one of Tasmania’s most rewarding travel experiences.

At night, ghost tours of the historic site are on offer. Rich storytelling and pathways through darkened ruins and heritage buildings reveal bizarre occurrences during Port Arthur’s history, baffling and alarming convicts, free settlers, soldiers and today’s visitors alike.

Coal Mines Historic Site

You can find more early Australian convict history at the World Heritage-listed Coal Mines Historic Site, 20 km north-west of Port Arthur, where the harsh lives of repeat offender convicts who worked underground extracting coal are revealed.  Entry is free.

Visitors to this site should consider undertaking the 15 minute drive on a good gravel road to Lime Bay where a swim in the sheltered turquoise waters is hard to resist.

Fortescue Bay

Fortescue Bay is famous among Tasmanian locals for it’s large camp ground, great bushwalks and white sandy beach.  It’s a 12km drive along a good gravel road and the turn off is between Taranna and Port Arthur.

This is a great spot for a picnic lunch, a visit to the exposed ship wreck in Canoe Bay or to feel the fine white sand between your toes.

 

Coastal Boat Cruises

For those wanting a close up view of this amazing coastline you can take an eco-cruise to the tip of the peninsula exploring the waterfalls, deep sea caves, towering cliffs and amazing wildlife on the way.

There are several operators to choose from and departures are available from the Pirates Bay Jetty which is less than a five minute drive from Eaglehawk Pavilions.  The winner of multiple national tourism awards, Rob Pennicott’s “Tasman Island Cruises” provides passengers with amazing views of the Tasman Peninsula coastline and close up wildlife encounters. Visit their website at www.tasmancruises.com.au

 

Game Fishing

The waters of the Tasman Peninsula are rich in marine life.  There are many fishing charter operators, all of whom will be able to put you onto Bluefin Tuna, Striped Trumpeter, Blue Eye Trevalla and many other deep sea fish species.

Fishing charter operators to consider include “Stuart Nichols Personalised Sea Charters”, “Pauletta Charters”, “Doongara”, “Force 10 Charters” and “Mr Flathead”.

Surfing

The various surf breaks at Pirates Bay are some of the better known and most consistent anywhere in Tasmania.  There is plenty of space to store your boards at Eaglehawk Pavilions and access to the beach can be gained directly across the road.

Wildlife

For those interested in wildlife, the Tasman Peninsula is the ideal spot to visit.  Boat cruises on the ocean almost guarantee visitors the opportunity to view whales, dolphins and Australian Fur Seals along with many different species of sea birds.  The local national parks also provide opportunity to view Kangaroos, Wallabies, Quolls and Possums.

For those wanting a close up experience, the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo shouldn’t be missed.  This wildlife park at Taranna (10 minutes from Eaglehawk Pavilions) houses a remarkable Tasmanian Devil display and is conducting valuable research into the devil facial tumour disease.

Diving

The waters of the Tasman Peninsula are as scenic below the surface as they are above.  Divers travel from all over the world to experience the crystal clear, deep waters that showcase under-sea caves, kelp forests and remarkable plant and animal diversity.  The local operator, Eaglehawk Dive Centre, is located close to Eaglehawk Pavilions and launches from the Pirates Bay Jetty.  Eaglehawk Pavilions is the ideal location from which to stage your diving adventure.