The Tasman Peninsula is home to some of the most dramatic scenery in the country (a pterodactyl wouldn’t look out of place circling above the Three Capes). The region’s epic sea cliffs, deep-sea caves, and breathtaking natural geological formations are awe-inspiring. Much of the region is national park, with lush bushland and secluded beaches of white sand and clear water.
One of the best ways to take in the spectacular scenery is from the water (in the company of sea birds, seals, dolphins, and other curious sea life). Here are six ways to experience the Tasman Region from the water.
1. Navigators Port Arthur Convict Connection Cruise
A day delving into the dark and fascinating history of Port Arthur’s convicts makes for a fascinating time. Take the scenic route across the water, with a Navigators Port Arthur Convict Connection Cruise from Hobart. You’ll spend an enthralling 2.5 hours aboard a luxury catamaran, cruising past wild and rugged coastline, towering sea cliffs, and the awe-inspiring Cape Raoul. Enjoy morning tea on board, then step ashore at Port Arthur Historic Site to explore the ruins. Return to Hobart by coach.
2. Tasman Island Cruises
For something a bit wilder, jump aboard one of Pennicott’s iconic yellow boats. The three hour Tasman Island Cruise zips along the coastline between Port Arthur and Eaglehawk Neck, exploring waterfalls, amazing rock formations, archways and deep-sea caves. Gaze in awe up at Cape Pillar, and feel teeny tiny next to the highest vertical sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere.
You’ll likely spot some wonderful wildlife, including noisy seals, playful dolphins, and migrating whales (in season). Sea birds you might encounter include diving gannets, albatross, sea eagles, cliff nesting cormorants, and peregrine falcons.
3. Roaring 40s Kayaking
Roaring 40s Kayaking offer an adventures day sea kayaking tour along the spectacular coast of the Tasman National Park, towards Cape Hauy. Gaze up in awe at the 200 metre high fluted rock formations, peer into natural sea caves, spot the towering Candlestick, and search for daredevil rock climbers on the Totem Pole. Get within hollering distance of the resident Australian fur seals, and keep an eye out for sea eagles, diving gannets, cliff-nesting cormorants, peregrine falcons, and perhaps a pod of dolphins or migrating whale (in season). You’ll also enjoy a gourmet Tasmanian lunch at a deserted cove, paddle over a submerged shipwreck, and marvel at the abundant marine life.
Image: Toby Story, @roaring40skayaking/Instagram
4. Eaglehawk Dive Centre
Scuba divers, wetsuit up and explore the Forestier and Tasman Peninsulas underwater. Those giant cliff walls continue under the sea, and combined with the rich invertebrate and marine plant life, make for spectacular diving. The Eaglehawk Dive Centre offers dives to suit all levels of experience. The area is home to diverse world-class scuba diving sites, including the famous Cathedral Cave, the historic wreck SS Nord, and the magical sponge garden at Sisters Rocks. Dive with playful fur seals or become acquainted with the fascinating weedy seadragon.
5. Swim, surf and paddle at the beach
What’s more classic Australian summer than splashing around at the beach? The Tasman Region boasts some of the best spots to dip your toes in, with something for everyone, from families to thrill-seeking surfers. Pack the towels, snacks and kids and enjoy a day of sheltered swimming at Slopen Main, Lime Bay or Stewarts Bay. For something epic, bush walk (or boat) into Crescent Bay and admire the giant dunes. Surfers, you’ll like Roaring Beach at Nubeena. Enjoy the views (and perhaps even have the beach to yourself) at Safety Cove. For the ultimate refreshing dip, jump into the sparkling waters of Fortescue Bay after conquering the Three Capes Track. There are also lots of jetties around the place to (carefully) jump off! The beaches are so beautiful, it’s definitely worth getting sand in weird places.
6. Hobart Yachts
How would you like to watch the yachts in the iconic Sydney to Hobart race from aboard a yacht of your own? With Hobart Yachts, you can watch the competitors race around the corner on their final leg. They are currently taking bookings for a three-day trip to the Tasman Peninsula, leaving on the 28th and returning on the 30th of December. You will sail aboard Helsal IV (a yacht that has herself competed in the Sydney to Hobart three times), past Cape Pillar, Cape Raoul and Shipstern Bluff. To finish the trip, you’ll sail the race route home across Storm Bay and up the Derwent River to the finish line. It’s sure to be an exciting and memorable experience! Hobart Yachts also offer private charters, so contact them for more info.
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Cape Hauy, @danielles_instaworld/Instagram