Port Arthur and the
Tasman Peninsula

Highlights | Accommodation | Road Trip Essentials

Whether it is a long weekend or a day trip from Hobart, a Tasman Peninsula road trip will bring you face to face with Tasmanian devils, soaring sea cliffs, and the bitter-sweet beauty of Port Arthur. 

See all this and more when you include the Tasman Peninsula in your self-drive Tasmania road trip!

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Whether you are enjoying the full Lap of Tasmania or only have time for a Hobart day trip, a visit to the Tasman Peninsula is a ‘must’ on your Tassie holiday.

It only takes 90 minutes to get there by car from Hobart and it provides a truly unique perspective of Tasmania.

Tasmanian Devils are a huge highlight, and a half-day spent wandering the iconic ruins of Port Arthur Historic Site is essential to fully appreciate Tasmania’s convict past.

But that’s just the start! Keep reading to find out more…

Highlights of Your Tasman Peninsula Road Trip

There’s plenty of things to see and do on your Tasman Peninsula road trip, and these are some of its highlights!

Eaglehawk Neck

Stop at Eaglehawk Neck beach on your Tasman Peninsula road trip
Eaglehawk Neck Beach on your Tasman Peninsula road trip | 📷: Tourism Tasmania & Andrew McIntosh, Ocean Photography

As you emerge from the tall, sun-dappled forests of the Forestier Peninsula and descend to Eaglehawk Neck, you can understand why this skinny piece of land joining the two peninsulas was so important to the prison guards of Port Arthur. It was the only place where convict escapees could ever hope to find their way to freedom by land!

Visit the Officers Quarters to find out more, then follow the coast exploring the nearby natural wonders of the Tessellated Pavement, Tasman Arch and Devils Kitchen.

Read More: 12 Must-Pack Items for Your Tasmania Holiday

Port Arthur Historic Site

Learn about the history of Port Arthur Historic Site on your Lap of Tasmania road trip
Port Arthur Historic Site | 📷: Hype TV

It’s hard to comprehend how a place of such beauty could have been Australia’s harshest and most brutal penal settlement. Only the worst of the worst were sent to Port Arthur, and while the conditions were unthinkable you can’t help but admire the stunning harbour, lush green lawns and intricate Georgian architecture throughout the sprawling grounds.

There’s plenty to see and your ticket provides not one but two days to explore the site [buy your Port Arthur tickets here]. Also included in the ticket price is a 25-minute cruise on the harbour and a 40-minute guided walking tour, making this one of the best-value experiences in Tasmania.

For a very different perspective on Port Arthur, there’s also the spine-chilling Port Arthur Ghost Tour. Not for the faint of heart, this is the ideal way to learn all about Port Arthur’s paranormal sightings while also experiencing this stunning site under the stars of the Milky Way.

Tasman Peninsula Cruise

Have fund on a Tasman Island Cruise on your Lap of Tasmania road trip
Tasman Island Cruise | 📷: Tourism Tasmania & Joe Shemesh

Pennicott Wilderness Journeys have built a name for themselves as providing the best, most eco-friendly tours of Tasmania’s waters. Their 3-hour Tasman Island tour departs morning and afternoon from Port Arthur and is an exciting way of seeing the rugged Tasman Peninsula coastline up close, including the towering cliffs of Cape Hauy, Tasman Island and the surging maelstrom known as the Devil’s Kitchen!

Remarkable Cave

Explore Remarkable Cave on your Lap of Tasmania road trip
Remarkable Cave | 📷: Paul Fleming

Hunting for that perfect Insta-pic? Once your Port Arthur adventures are over, keep driving south past the sweeping sands and blue waters of Safety Cove to Maingon Lookout and Remarkable Cave. When you climb down the 130-odd steps you’ll understand the name – it’s an inland beach connected to the sea through a huge tunnel under the cliffs! When the conditions are right and the tides are out you’ll capture a once-in-a-lifetime photo. 

Please take care and observe the water before walking out, as the tunnel can flood when the tides are high.

if you are keen for a half-day bushwalk then have a look at the Crescent Bay walk that starts from the Remarkable Cave car park. It is one of Tasmania’s best short walks that hardly anyone knows about!

🤔 Did you know…?

The guard dogs at Eaglehawk Neck didn’t just patrol the coastline, they also sat on special floating pontoons to watch for convict escapees trying to swim to freedom! 🌊🐕

Where to Eat and Drink on the Tasman Peninsula

The Tasman Peninsula is famed for its wild, untamed beauty, but in recent times it has seen a vibrant little foodie scene emerge.

If you love your wine and oysters then Bangor Vineyard Shed is a must. It’s the perfect place to watch the sun go down over Blackman Bay with a glass of bubbles in hand.

Bangor Vineyard Shed
Bangor Vineyard Shed

With so many things to do near Eaglehawk Neck there’s no doubt you’ll work up an appetite. Doo-lishus is a quirky food truck located at the Blow Hole car park and their many satisfied customers rave about their scallop, rabbit and venison pies. 

Summer is the best time of year to visit Port Arthur Lavender. With row upon row of vibrant purple flowers you’re guaranteed some amazing photos. I also hear the lavender, fig and marscapone ice cream is delicious.

Got a sweet tooth? Yep, me too! And I couldn’t have been more excited to hear about the Peninsula’s newest foodie option – the Tasmanian Chocolate Foundry in Taranna. They have a delicious range on offer, including some ridiculously moreish chocolate icecream that will have you coming back time and time again for another taste 😋 

See Port Arthur Lavender on your Lap of Tasmania road trip
Port Arthur Lavender Farm | 📷: Supplied Courtesy of Port Arthur Lavender

In search of a coffee fix? Take a drive up to the Pirate’s Bay lookout to Cubed Espresso Bar and soak up the sweeping views from the comfort of your own cushion. They source their delicious beans from local roasters in nearby Taranna and always have a small but absolutely scrumptious range of pastries and cakes on offer.

Would you like to visit Australia’s southern-most whisky distillery? The clean air, pure rains and Tasmanian grains used by McHenry Distillery are the secret to their award-winning whiskies and herbacious gins. Perched atop Mt Arthur, visit their cellar door for a tasting or book a hands-on 2-hour gin crafting workshop!

See Tasmanian devils at Unzoo on your Lap of Tasmania road trip
Tasmanian Devil at Unzoo | 📷: Rob Burnett

🤔 Did you know…?

Tasmanian Devil Unzoo was the first conservation park in the world to give people the chance to meet a Tasmanian Devil 👍

Tasman Peninsula Events

Bream Creek Farmers Market

Bream Creek Farmers Market
Bream Creek Farmers Market

With a focus on seasonal, fresh, locally grown produce, the Bream Creek Farmers Market is overflowing with baked good, fruit and veg, jams, homemade ginger beers and so much more. Come along on the first Sunday of every month and show your support for Tassie’s micro-producers.

  • Where: Bream Creek
  • When: First Sunday of every month
  • Find out more: Bream Creek Farmer’s Market
  • Access: Access to Bream Creek is via an unsealed road. Check your vehicle rental agreement as some companies prohibit you from driving on unsealed roads.

Koonya Garlic Festival

Koonya Garlic Festival
Koonya Garlic Festival

“The little festival with a big heart” – The Koonya Garlic Festival is quirky and quaint with its own unique ambience, attracting throngs of passionate garlic lovers, foodies and gardeners from Tasmania & beyond – celebrating the joy of garlic, the food it flavours, and the music and art that it inspires!

Tasman Regatta and Peninsula Feast

Every January the tiny seaside town of Nubeena holds the Tasman Regatta and Peninsula Feast.

With crab racing, gumboot throwing and even a ‘Kick the footy in the tinny’ competition, this is the best fun you’ll find on either land or sea – and entry is absolutely free!

Tasman Peninsula Accommodation

Whether you’re looking for luxury, great value, or a powered RV site with a view, the Tasman Peninsula has got you covered.

Storm Bay B&B
Storm Bay B&B - White Beach

White Beach

A lot of travellers choose to spend their time right in the middle of Port Arthur, but here’s a hot tip from a local… just 10 minutes away is the absolutely gorgeous coastal town of White beach and one of Tassie’s best places to stay a couple of nights – Storm Bay B&B!

It flies way under the radar, but that just means less crowds and more time to relax 😉

Keen to find out more? Have a look at this review and book your perfect Tasman Peninsula hideaway.

🎁 Special Offer!

Mention the Lap of Tasmania when booking your relaxing escape at Storm Bay B&B on the beautiful Tasman Peninsula and receive:

  • a FREE cooked breakfast 🍳
  • and early check-in from 2pm 🛎️

Valid for direct bookings only.

Enjoy the views of Port Arthur at Stewarts Bay Lodge
Water views at Stewarts Bay Lodge | Port Arthur

Port Arthur

Port Arthur is a popular place to stay for many travellers. With its treetop views, private beach and waterfront restaurant, Stewarts Bay Lodge is undoubtedly one of the region’s best accommodation options – and it’s literally next door to the Port Arthur historic site.

Port Arthur Villas are another excellent option, offering relaxing and comfortable self-catering accommodation amid sprawling lawns and by the water side.

Dunalley

Dunalley is only an hour from Hobart and is a seafood lover’s dream! Flotsam Studio offers two delightful little cabins with terrace views across Sunset Beach.

Camping

If you’re staying in your own campervan or caravan then your best accommodation option on the Tasman Peninsula is NRMA Port Arthur Holiday Park. With an outdoor pizza oven, fire pits, and extensive camp kitchen – not to mention the amazing harbourside views – it’s no wonder they have won multiple gold trophies in the Tasmanian tourism awards!

🤔 Did you know…?

At more than 300m, the sea cliffs of Cape Raoul, Pillar and Hauy are the tallest in the southern hemisphere! 👀

Tasman Peninsula Weather

The Tasman Peninsula enjoys a cool, temperate climate. Summers are cool and mild, while rains are common in winter.

Read More: The Best Time to Visit Tasmania

Summer temperatures range from 13°C at night up to 19°C during the day. In winter you can expect temperatures to range from 8°C up to 12°C.

Tasman Peninsula Road Trip Essentials

Next destination on your Lap of Tasmania?

If you’re travelling clockwise, your next destination is historic Richmond and the gastronomic wonders of the Coal River Valley.

Travelling anti-clockwise, your next destination is the sun-drenched beaches and red-lichen rocks of the East Coast.

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Dog and bear in suitcase - Lap of Tasmania Road trip