For such a small region, there’s a lot of great spots to choose from. From the moment you cross the Dunalley bridge you’ll be entering a region of Tasmania that’s steeped in history, pack full of award-winning hospitality, and endless choices for friends and families to escape.
As you cross the Dunalley Bridge you’ll start to notice a feeling that the world and all its worries are now being left far behind you.
Storm Bay will be on your right is a wonderful spot for spectacular sunsets. To your left you’ll see Fredrick Henry Bay which looks far across to Marion Bay and Maria Island just beyond it. This is the upper Peninsula and is home to award winning wines, outstanding bush adventures, secret coves and the wonderful communities of Murdunna and Sommers Bay.
After exploring the upper Peninsula, you can head south towards Eaglehawk Neck and Pirates Bay where you’ll find the first of the Peninsula's spectacular beaches, historical sites, stunning bush walks, and outstanding places for great food and drink.
The Eaglehawk Neck community wraps around both sides of the beautiful Pirates Bay and is easily discovered by simply turning left onto Pirates Bay Road or Blowhole Road. Here you’ll find the famous Tessellated Pavement, Doo Town, the Waterfall Bay walk, and the Devils Kitchen. If you're the type who enjoys an amazing sunrise, this is the best area see it.
The Eastern Peninsula is a wonderful area to explore. With two local zoo’s (one which will bring you face to face with real Tasmanian Devils), great places to eat and drink, and access to the breathtaking Fortescue Bay and two of the Three Capes award winning hikes, the Eastern Peninsula is a whole world of wonders in one fantastic area.
With spectacular natural beauty, historical sites, ample accommodation and many places to eat, drink and enjoy local art and culture, the Southern Peninsula is seen as the heart of the Peninsula. Here generations of families and friends have grown up, spent their summer holidays and millions of visitors have connected with a community that’s well known for its welcoming spirit and warm hospitality.
The Western Peninsula is an area that is full of beautiful rolling hills, fantastic panoramic views and history. Encompassing Nubeena, Roaring Beach, Koonya, Premaydena, Saltwater River, the Coal Mines, and Slopen Main, not to mention the absolutely stunning Norfolk Bay, this bucolic slice of paradise is packed full of perfect places to retreat, relax and rejuvenate.
Pronounced by locals as Hoo-aye, this absolutely stunning cape takes you to the very edge of some of the southern hemisphere’s highest cliffs. It’s a four-hour return, so do-able in a day but also not for the very young or faint of heart, but it's worth every step and will never disappoint anyone looking for a truly remarkable and award winning natural escape.
Cape Pillar is best achieved as an overnight walk (23 km) camping at the designated camp sites at Wughalee Falls and Bare Knoll (toilets provided; carry own food and water).
The departure point is from the entry road into Fortescue Bay, just before the campground. Half of this journey is along the Old Cape Pillar track which connects with the Three Capes Track.
It’s a special hike because it takes you through so many different, and pristine, ecological habitats and to the very tip of South Eastern Tasmania. It’s also the closest you can get to Tasman Island and its historic lighthouse.
For walkers wanting to incorporate Mount Fortescue, Cape Hauy and the coastline, this section can only be walked in a south to north direction. This walk is a 34km circuit and recommended to walk over 3 days.
Of the three capes, Raoul is often the trail many call their favourite. Easily accessible, this spectacular cape is found at the end of Stormlea Road via the small hamlet of Highcroft. Within the first 45mins of your 3hr return, this well maintained trail takes you to the famous Look Out and a view that is guaranteed to fill you with wonder and amazement. From there you can turn left to explore the cape in all it glory or turn right and discover Shipstern Bluff and Tunnel Bay. No matter which way you go on this wonderful trail, you’re guaranteed to be rewarded with exceptional natural beauty and some of the cleanest air in the world.
Taking the right at the fork in Saltwater River Road, you’ll be on your way to one of the best historical experiences on the Peninsula. The Coal Mines is part of the Port Arthur experience, but instead of buying tickets to well preserved historical sites and manicured English country gardens, you get to experience the Coal Mines in its full raw archaeological glory.
This quirky little hamlet is where all the homes have names that really “do” something. Instigated by a shack owner in the 1930s who named his home ‘Doo I’, all of his neighbours decided to join in coming up with names like Doo Me and Doo Us. Since then, most houses have a ‘Doo’ themed name along with one of the best spots for local fish and chips, the famous Doo-lishus. A few extra ‘must doos’ in the area include the Blowhole, the Waterfall Bay walk and some of the best sport-fishing in Australia.
Dunalley is the gateway to the Peninsula and the midway point between the hustle and bustle of Hobart and the Natural Escape that awaits you. Here you’ll find fuel, food, and a great place to rest and review your plans for getting away from it all.
The historic Eaglehawk Neck is the narrow and beautiful isthmus that joins the Tasman Peninsula to the rest of Tasmania. In the penal days, a line of vicious dogs would keep convicts from escaping. A bronze statue of a rottweiler still stands watch and is just a short walk from the Officer’s Quarters, which is now a museum. Aside from the history, Eaglehawk Neck is home to amazing natural experiences, including the Tessellated Pavement and one of the best beaches for both surfing, long walks and sea-life.
If you love experiencing pristine nature on the water, on the beach or on world famous trails, Fortescue Bay is an absolute must. This heart of the Tasman National Park makes for a great base camp. Explore Cape Hauy, Cape Pillar or the stunning Canoe and Bivouac Bays trails. For anyone looking for a truly far-away feeling, Fortescue Bay is somewhere to spend a day or an entire week.
Nestled at the feet of the beautiful Mount Koonya, this little hamlet was historically part of the Port Arthur colony and today his home to a vibrant community of writers, artists, farmers and retirees. At the heart of Koonya is the Koonya Hall, a historic building that is impeccably preserved and plays host to numerous live music, food and art events. The Koonya Hall is also home to the world famous Koonya Garlic festival, a fantastic event that takes place each year towards the end of February.
Just a little further down the road from the Coal Mines is the wonderful spot called Lime Bay. A perfect place to camp, Lime Bay is a State Reserve and an area that has endless bush walks, wonderful lagoons and wildlife around every corner. If ‘away from it all’ is what you want, Lime Bay also has a beach or two, that looks like they came straight out of a high end magazine called Paradise.
Murdunna and Sommers Bay
Murdunna and its residential community of Sommers Bay is a great first experience of the Peninsula. Here you’ll discover the Murdunna Roadhouse, the taste of some deliciously local honey, and have the opportunity to head off into the bush on an amazing adventure with Back Track Buggys.
Aboriginal for Crayfish, Nubeena is the civic centre for the Peninsula and the best spot to top up on food, drink and local insights. Set above the picturesque Parsons Bay, and with two IGAs, bottle shops, a RSL, a bank, pharmacy, and civic grounds that are used for fantastic food, craft and music festivals, Nubeena is as big a town as it gets down here. But like many rural towns, most shops close around 6pm, so get in early and don’t expect a hopping night life.
The body of water that stretches from Eaglehawk Neck to Doo Town is called Pirates Bay. Here it will feel as if you can finally breathe the freshest air in the world. When the conditions are right, the Tasman sea sends waves that are perfectly formed and will remind you how small you really are and how wild nature can really be.
As one of Australia’s most significant historical sites, Port Arthur, the UNESCO world heritage site, is a must see attraction for anyone visiting the Peninsula. What’s less well known however is the area that surrounds the historical site, including the stunningly tranquil Stewarts Bay and Safety Cove beaches, along with the wonderful Mount Brown hike and Remarkable Cave experience.
As you follow Nubeena Road heading west, you’ll crest Premaydena Hill and one of the best views in all of Tasmania. Looking out across Norfolk Bay, you’ll see all of the beauty and grandeur of the Forster Peninsula and see far beyond it to Dunalley, Marion Bay and even further on to Maria Island in the far distance. At sunrise and sunset, this outlook only becomes more beautiful and dramatic.
Remarkable Cave and Mount Brown
Sharing the same parking area, these two natural experience are truly wonderful. If you’re short on time, Remarkable Cave is the one to pick as its only a 15min walk down into a spot in which the sea and the land crash together to form a truly remarkable experience (that’s best viewed at low tide). If time is on your side, the walk to Mount Brown is amazing and relatively easy for the whole family. Taking you across natural heaths, dramatic shorelines and craggy rocks, Mount Brown comes with the option to walking into the secluded and stunning, Crescent Bay.
A short drive west heading out of Nubeena is the area known as Roaring Beach. Though mostly residential, Roaring Beach Road ends with a car park and access to a stunning conservation area and south west facing beach that is guaranteed to blow you away. After parking, you’ll follow a short trail over sand dunes to what many feel is a place preserved from Jurassic times. Wild and often windy, swimming and surfing here should be done with extreme caution as rips are known to be strong and wild.
A short drive south west of the entrance to Port Arthur is Safety Cove Road. A road that will take you to a few of the most spectacular beaches, trails and natural experiences. Safety Cove is one of the most beautiful beaches you’ll find on the Peninsula and is just beyond Carnarvon Bay. Here you can see far out to the famous Tasman Island and Cape Pillar. Beyond Safety Cove at the end of the road is the entrance to Mount Brown and the amazingly Remarkable Cave.
If soft rolling hills, gently winding roads and spectacular coastlines dotted with secluded bays are what you’re looking for, then put Saltwater River on your itinerary. This area of the Western Peninsula not only makes for a great drive, but is also a wonderful way to take in all the majestic beauty of Norfolk Bay. Even better, at the end of Saltwater River Road, is a fork, one direction takes you to the historic Coal Mines, while the other to slopen Main, and it’s world class beach.
Known by professional surfers around the world as the ‘most dangerous wave in Australia’, Shipstern Bluff is part of Cape Raoul and is often called “Shippies” by those in the know. At low tide and calm conditions this trail takes you all the way down to the rocky coastline and the infamous ‘step’. But if the big wave is what you’re after, the best times to view are often in the fall and over the winter, and when the swell is coming from the south and the wind from the north.
Slopen Main, Slopin Main or Sloping Main?
Regardless of what you want to call it, Slopen Main (or Sloping Main according to Google) is a stunning area of the Peninsula and home to some of the oldest weatherboard structures in Tasmania. A quintessentially far-away place, Slopen Main has one of the most wonderfully long, brilliant white beaches, with calm azure waters, that is simply perfect for anyone looking for a long walk set to a soundtrack of gentle waves crashing on a beach.
Blink and you’d miss it, Stewarts Bay is a local’s favourite. A tranquil, almost tropical, beach, it sits just below the On the Bay restaurant in Port Arthur. Here you’ll find a perfect spot to unwind and wade into the eternally calm and crystal clear waters of Port Arthur. Great for families and romantics, its a great place to pack a picnic and a few chilled drinks and prepare to relax.
In the convict days Taranna was one of the main supply stations for Port Arthur. Today it is a collection of outstanding places to stay, eat and drink, and explore. Along with great hospitality, you’ll also find the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo, a wonderful experience set in a stunning natural location, that will bring you face to face with the best of the local wildlife. Just down the road you’ll also find Rosedale Farm, a great place to eat and drink and encounter some less local, but also wonderfully cute animals. If indulgence is what you’re looking for, drop in to the Tasmanian Chocolate Foundry and bliss out before heading out to Fortescue Bay.
With the highest operating lighthouse in Australia, Tasman Island is an icon of Tasmania and is known as the home stretch for the world famous Sydney to Hobart race. Surrounded by 300m dolerite cliffs, this rugged and seemingly indestructible island is accessible via Tasman Island Cruises on a near daily basis. A breeding sanctuary for fairy prions and safe haven for a seemingly endless number of whales and sea life, Tasman Island is emblematic of the soul and spirit of Tasmania.
For well over 100 years generations of families have flocked to the Peninsula, and White Beach in particular, to spend their summer holidays - and it’s not hard to understand why. This family friendly beach, with picture perfect sand and upmarket shacks that surround it, is almost always calm and only crowded during the peak of the school holidays. With westerly views that sweep across the whole of Storm Bay, one can see all the way to Hobart and Mount Wellington towering above it and some of the most incredible sunsets in Tasmania.
Things To See and Do
Food and Drink
Places to Stay