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The Tasman Peninsula is often visited by tourists in Tasmania, primarily for the Port Arthur Historic Site. This site is a definite must see for people in Tasmania, but there are some other sites that are also worth checking out while you are in the area. This is our list of the top 8 things to do on the Tasman Peninsula…
Below is what to do in Port Arthur as well as things to do near Port Arthur…
The biggest Tasman Peninsula attraction is Port Arthur Historic Site. Port Arthur is the site of one of Australia’s most infamous penal settlements. The worst convicts in Australia were sent here from 1833. Today, the Port Arthur Historic Site is well presented and informative with over 30 buildings, ruins and gardens to explore. The basic entry ticket also includes walking and boat tours and there are many other places to explore too. It would be easy to spend a day or two here exploring the site and displays. Read more about it in exploring Australia’s convict past at Port Arthur Historic Site.
No trip to the Tasman Peninsula is complete without checking out the quirky house names in Doo Town. Here, most of the houses have a name with the word “doo” contained in the title. From “Love Me Doo” to “Digeri-doo” to “Doo-me”, there is something for everything. It is an amusing stop which doesn’t take long and is worth the effort, if nothing else but to see what people have come up with. Check out more houses in Doo Town.
These neighbouring sites are found just outside of Doo Town. They are two of the sites on the rugged Tasman Peninsula coastline. The Tasman Arch, pictured above, is very high, much bigger than it looks in the photo. The Devil’s Kitchen is another unusual rock formation formed by the sea. The Arch is visible from the car park. Devils Kitchen is a couple of minutes easy walk.
This was a bit underwhelming when we visited, but I do remember it being slightly more impressive in the past. This site is also very accessible and there is some lovely scenery nearby – it’s where I took the photo at the top.
The Tessellated Pavement is a flat rock surface consisting of a system of rectangle shaped rocks which look more like mosaic floor than a rocky beach in Eaglehawk Neck. It is easily accessible and the best time to visit is when tide is out (unlike when we went).
Part of what made Port Arthur such a great site for a penal settlement is that it was very hard to escape from. The Tasman peninsula begins at Eaglehawk Neck and here there used to be a line of guards and ferocious dogs across the tiny bit of land that separated the Tasman Peninsula from the rest of Tasmania. Today there is a cutting through the sand dunes and a statue of a dog where the old dog line used to be.
The Officers Quarters was built in 1832 to help house the up to 25 soldiers who were stationed here. Today, it is a museum.
The Tasmanian Devil Unzoo is a wildlife park where you can visit many Australian animals including the infamous tasmanian devil (nothing at all like Taz in Looney Tunes!). There are regular informative sessions and feeding times for the tasmanian devil as well as kangaroo and quoll feeding and bird shows. It is on the main highway on the way to Port Arthur
This beautiful beach is home to a campground and many hiking and outdoor opportunities. There is a boat ramp and some great spots to climb or abseil. There are many walks from a short stroll to several days. I did the Cape Huay track when I was a university student. I still remember it clearly as the scenery was beautiful. It was well worth the effort.
We had a fabulous time staying in Eaglehawk Neck at the Lufra Hotel and Apartments. We stayed in one of the new two bedroom spa units and it was just stunning. It was fully self contained and perfect for families or two couples staying together. They also have studio apartments and hotel rooms. The best part was the awesome view over Eaglehawk Neck.
There is also a restaurant, cafe and bottle shop, as well as wifi.
The best part of the Tasman Peninsula when travelling with kids is that the majority of sites are outdoors. The kids enjoyed running around and exploring everything.
The Tasman Peninsula is an excellent place to visit on a Tasmanian trip. The majority of these sites could be visited in a very fast day trip, but to do the area justice, I would spend at least two days and stay at the awesome Lufra Hotel and Apartments.
Need more inspiration? Check out my guide to the top 25 things to see in Tasmania – the ultimate bucket list! Many of the attractions in this article made it to the list!
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