Dunalley is a small fishing village south-east of Hobart en route to Port Arthur. It is located on a narrow isthmus that joins the Tasman Peninsula to the rest of Tasmania. You cross the Denison Canal, hand dug in 1905, which joins Frederick Henry Bay and Blackman Bay.
The town is 57 kilometres (about 60 minutes’ drive or 35 miles) from Hobart on the A9 Highway. The Denison canal, with a swing bridge for road traffic, allows boats easy access between the two bays. Local legend has it that the “toll” to the gatekeeper is a bottle of beer.
The area is known for its open countryside and stunning waterways.
On November 29, 1642 Abel Janszoon Tasman landed at Blackman Bay near present day Dunalley. It is believed they the Dutch were the first Europeans to set foot on Tasmanian soil. Although they saw smoke and heard noises they did not see any Aboriginal people. Notches cut at considerable distances on nearby tree trunks led them to believe that the people must be very tall. Later, the British satirist, Jonathan Swift, had Gulliver sail to the country of Houyhnhnms, west of Tasmania.
The weather on the Tasman Peninsula is affected by the winds coming off Frederick Henry Bay, so remember, no matter what time of year you visit; bring a warm jacket and all weather gear