The Tasman Peninsula is a land of farms, forests, sheer dolerite cliffs, sweeping views across the Tasman Sea and the place of the world’s southern-most historic prison. It is almost an island apart.
As you travel past Hobart International Airport look out for Barilla Bay, where you can sit in the sun overlooking the oysters beds that produce the succulent oysters they serve up on the half shell.
Turn right at the historic town of Sorell (look out for the signs to the Sorell Fruit Farm) and begin your journey into a land of scenery, wildlife, heritage and adventure.
At Copping you will find small vineyards and cafes selling local specialities – octopus, oysters, quail and venison.
Just near Dunalley is Potters Croft craft shop where you will find the works of some of Tasmania‘s best crafts people. Nearby is the Dunalley Waterfront Cafe and Antiques, and the Dunalley Fish Market.
As you head down the long hill into Eaglehawk Neck, a narrow isthmus, you are entering an area once guarded by a line of half-starved hounds waiting to attack any convict trying to escape.
The area offers you a number of choices: take some short or multi-day walks in the Tasman National Park, with its sweeping beaches and forest walks beside 300 metre sea cliffs, or head to Port Arthur Historic Site.
At Port Arthur Historic Site you step back 150 years as you explore a prison once feared and reviled. Today, that is hard to imagine as you stroll beneath graceful old oak and elm trees, through 19th century-style gardens and cruise the bay to Point Puer, the boys’ prison, and the Isle of the Dead.
The township of Port Arthur overlooks the water and is a good place to stay when exploring the area.
Returning north, turn off to visit the Wielangta Forest, where rare parrots flash through the blue gums. Beyond the trees is the gentle landscape of the east coast.
Port Arthur Australia