the Tasman Peninsula
Explore the Tasman Peninsula
The Three Capes & Tasman Lodge is perfectly located in the heart of the Tasman Peninsula, close to all of the sights and the Three Capes and Tasman Peninsula walking trails. The peninsula offers a range of experiences for visitors, from spectacular day walks and sightseeing to multi-day hikes and world-class surfing and rock climbing. There are so many things to do on the Tasman Peninsula that you can be as active as you like – or simply relax and take in the stunning views.
Short walks and sightseeing
The range of short walks on the Tasman Peninsula take in spectacular coastal scenery and rock formations. Just before you cross Eaglehawk Neck onto the Tasman Peninsula, you’ll find the Tessellated Pavement, a remarkable series of coastal rock platforms that it’s worth exploring on foot.
Just after you cross Eaglehawk Neck onto the Tasman Peninsula, turn left towards the Devils Kitchen – this area is not to be missed. Here you’ll find the spectacular cliff and rock formations of the Devils Kitchen, the Blowhole, Tasman Arch and the Fossil Bay Lookout. There are easy walking trails around these areas. You can also walk from the Devils Kitchen car park to Waterfall Bay – a 1.5 hour easy coastal walk with stunning views. You can also drive to the Waterfall Bay Lookout if you don’t wish to walk the coastal trail.
South of the Port Arthur historic site, drive to the end of Safety Cove Road to access Remarkable Cave. From the viewing platform you can watch the waves crashing through this long sea tunnel. From the car park you can also take the walking trail to the narrow gulch of Maingon Blowhole (one hour return).
Tasman Peninsula day walks
If you’re keen on longer day walks, the Tasman Peninsula has plenty to offer. From the Fortescue Bay picnic area you can access a couple of the best walks in the region. The walk to Cape Huay (8km/5 hours return) has a well-constructed path and stunning cliff top views. Along the way you’ll see the spectacular rock columns of the Totem Pole and the Candlestick. It’s also worth taking a side detour to Monument Lookout.
In the opposite direction, the walk to Bivouac Bay (10km/4 hours return) is a beautiful trail that hugs the coastline and visits three bays. There is great snorkelling and diving opportunities along the way including around a small ship wreck at Canoe Bay.
For those after a bigger challenge, you can walk part of the Tasman Coastal Trail from Fortescue Bay to Waterfall Bay (17km/8 hours one way). Follow the above trail from Fortescue Bay to Bivouac Bay, then continue along picturesque coast to Waterfall Bay. This trail can be walked in either direction.
With expansive views, the walk to Cape Raoul (14km/5 hours return) is another one of the peninsula’s best walks. The trails starts at the end of Stormlea Road and heads out towards the cape taking in grand views of coastal cliffs, Shipstern Bluff, Bruny Island and Cape Pillar. If you’re lucky you might spot the seal colony the makes its home at the base of Cape Raoul.
Starting along the same trail as the above walk to Cape Raoul, you can take the turn off to walk to Shipstern Bluff (8km/4 hours return). This trail takes you to a lookout and down onto the shore of this dramatic bluff with views across to Cape Raoul.
From the Remarkable Cave carpark you can walk to Mt Brown and Crescent Bay (9km/4 hours return). This trail take you past the Maingon Blowhole to the summit of Mt Brown and then down to explore the dunes and clear waters of beautiful Crescent Bay Beach.
To access the circuit walk to Clarks Cliffs, drive from the Three Capes & Tasman Lodge towards Nubeena and turn left down Fire Tower Road. It’s a bush trail to Mt Clark and Clarks Cliffs (8km/4 hours circuit) with some coastal views of Norfolk Bay.
The Three Capes walking trail
The Three Capes is a walking trail that runs for 48 kilometres along the coast of the Tasman Peninsula. It traverses the spectacular coastline and cliffs of Cape Pillar and Cape Huay. Parts of the trail can be experienced as guided day walks or it can be done as a pre-booked multi-day hike.
You can join the Three Capes and Tasman four-day walking tour operated by Park Trek to experience this glorious coastal trail each day and relax in comfort at our Lodge each night. The walk is fully guided and you’ll walk each day carrying only your daypack.
Parks Tasmania run a multi-day walk called the Three Capes Track. You carry your own pack and supplies and sleep in eco-cabins along the trail each night. The Three Capes & Tasman Lodge is in a perfect location for stays before and after undertaking this four-day walk.
Historic convict sites
The penal settlement of Port Arthur is one of Australia’s most important historic sites. The remains of the settlement include the landmark buildings of a penitentiary, prison and church and it is worth spending a couple of hours exploring the site on foot. From Port Arthur you can also take a tour to the Isle of the Dead Cemetery where over 1000 convicts, officers and residents are buried.
The Coal Mines Historic Site once housed 600 convicts mined for coal in the area. The ruins here include the former penitentiary, mining tunnels, housing, cells, a chapel and store. There is an interesting interpretive walk through the site which will take one to two hours.
At the Eaglehawk Neck Historic Site, the former guard house has been turned into a small interpretative museum.
The Tasman Peninsula is home to an isolated population of Tasmanian Devils that have not been affected by the contagious Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) – the disease that has decimated Tasmania’s devil population. There is a devil-proof fence isolating the peninsula at Dunalley to help the resident devils stay cancer free.
The Tasmanian Devil Unzoo works with the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Project to maintain the fence, track the local devil population and support devils in their native habitat. A visit to the Unzoo supports this important conservation work – and it’s a great experience. The Unzoo features Tasmanian flora and fauna, including the ‘Devil Den’ where you can see devils up close. They also offer a ‘Devil Tracker Tour’ so you can see how devil tracking is done first hand.
On a visit to Federation Chocolate you can see artisan chocolate, fudge and nougat being made by hand and taste their delicious products.
For hand-made single malt whiskey, head to William McHenry & Sons Distillery. It’s a family run distillery set on the side of Mt Arthur specialising in high-quality spirits – you can visit the cellar door or take a whiskey tour.
Near Dunalley, you’ll find the Bangor Vineyard Shed which is a lovely place to stop for a local wine tasting or a casual lunch on the way to or from the Three Capes & Tasman Lodge.
Other local producers include South Roast (small-batch-roasted coffee), Tongola Cheese (handmade farmhouse goat cheese) and Gillespie’s ginger beer. While you can’t visit these producers, it’s worth keeping your eyes open in the local cafes for their produce.
The Fox and Hounds Inn is located just near the Port Arthur historic site and its restaurant offers hearty meals and fresh seafood and plenty of local beers.
At the Port Arthur Lavender Farm you can learn about lavender and have a meal in their cafe with lovely views across the water. Try a lavender infused milkshake or tea.
Gabriel’s on the Bay at Stewarts Bay Lodge near Port Arthur offers a pretty waterfront setting and a menu featuring local seafood and local wines.
There’s a range of other eateries on the Peninsula too. Cubed Espresso Bar is a solar-powered van at Pirates Bay Lookout at Eaglehawk Neck. Great locally-roasted coffee, a sustainable ethos and amazing views. Nearby, at the Blowhole carpark near Eaglehawk Neck you’ll find Doo-lishus, a food van selling fresh local seafood, fish and chips and ice-cream. At the Pear Shed Cafe in Nubeena you can have a coffee and light brunch sitting amongst the trees in the pear orchard.
World-class surfing and rock climbing
For serious surfers, the world-famous breaks at Shipstern Bluff or ‘Shippies’ roll in only occasionally – but with waves reaching up to six metres they are not for the fainthearted. There’s plenty of good (regular sized) surf to be found on the peninsula – try Eaglehawk Neck, Roaring Beach or Remarkable Caves.
One of Australia’s most photographed climbing sites is found on the Tasman Peninsula – the Totem Pole is a dramatic dolerite pinnacle rising 65 metres out of the water near Cape Huay. Along with the nearby feature of the Candlestick, it’s a classic adventure climbing destination. There are also plenty of classic routes on offer at Fortescue Bay, Mount Brown and Cape Raoul.
Other tours and activities
There are a range of other outdoor activities and things to do on the Tasman Peninsula – here are just a few:
Pennicott Wilderness Journeys offer an award-winning three-hour cruise between Port Arthur and Eaglehawk Neck exploring stunning rocky coastal features and viewing the abundant coastal wildlife.
You can learn to dive or take an escorted diving tours with by Eaglehawk Dive Centre or take to the seas with Doongara Fishing Charters – they offer half-day and full-day fishing trips. For paddlers, there is an all-day kayaking tour to Cape Huay with Roaring 40s Kayaking.
Osborne Heli Tours offer sightseeing tours above the peninsula, viewing the stunning coast and the Port Arthur historic site. There is also a hang gliding launch at Pirates Bay if you wish to take to the skies.