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 - when you turn right at the historic town of Sorell (look out for the signs to the Fruit Farm), you’re heading south for scenery, wildlife, heritage and adventure.
As you travel south 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. Further south, look out for small local vineyards at Copping and Bream Creek 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, the Dunalley Waterfront Café and Antiques and the Dunalley Fish Market.
As you head down the long hill into Eaglehawk Neck a narrow isthmus, imagine that before you is a line of half-starved hounds waiting to attack any convict trying to escape.
You have the choice of exploring short or multi-day walks in the Tasman National Park, sweeping beaches, forest walks beside some of Australia’s tallest sea cliffs, carved into weird natural sculptures over millions of years by crashing waves and endless winds, or heading straight to Port Arthur Historic Site.
Here, you’ll step back 150 years - exploring a prison that was once feared and reviled. That’s hard to conceive as you stroll beneath graceful old English trees, through 19th century-style gardens and cruise the bay to Point Puer 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 northwards turn off through the magnificent Wielangta Forest Drive, where rare parrots flash through the blue gums. Beyond the trees are the gentle landscapes of the east coast.
To find out more about the Port Arthur region’s many attractions, visit Totally South.