Tasman National Park
Tasman National Park protects diverse forest and spectacular coastline from Cape Surville to Waterfall Bay and Fortescue Bay; and from Cape Hauy to Cape Pillar and Cape Raoul. The park incorporates several off-shore islands, including Fossil Island, Hippolyte Rocks and Tasman Island.
It is an area of great beauty and natural diversity, including some of the most stunning coastal scenery anywhere in Australia. Not suprisingly, the park offers some of the best coastal walks in the country. Many interesting rock formations can be found along the coastline, while the southern end of the park has some of the highest and most spectacular sea cliffs in Australia. The park is also home to a wide range of land and marine animals, and several species of rare plant.
The Tasman National Park was proclaimed under the Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) in April 1999. The RFA identified the area for reservation for a number of reasons, including its high conservation and scenic values.
The Tasman National Park is located on the Tasman and Forestier Peninsulas in south-eastern Tasmania. From Hobart, take the A3 to Sorell and then the Arthur Highway (A9) to Port Arthur. The park has several main access roads.
The northern end of the park can can accessed via the Blowhole Road (C338) turnoff just after Eaglehawk Neck. This will will take you to Tasman Arch and Devils Kitchen. Along the C338, a sign-posted gravel road to the right leads to Waterfall Bay. The Waterfall Bay Rd provides access to the Tasman Track southwards or up to the Tasman Arch north.
To reach the southern area of the park, continue along the A9 towards Port Arthur. Access to Fortescue Bay and walking tracks to Cape Hauy, Cape Pillar and Waterfall Bay can be reached along the Fortescue Rd, a 12km gravel road.
Access to the south-western part of the park is also via the Arthur Highway (A9), and onto the Safety Cove Rd at Port Arthur township to access Remarkable Cave, Maignon Blowhole and walking tracks to Mount Brown and Crescent Bay. Further west, the access to the walking tracks to Cape Raoul, Shipstern Bluff and Tunnel Bay leave the Arthur Highway at Stormlea Road.
When driving at night please be aware that you are sharing the road with wildlife.
There is no built overnight accommodation available within the Tasman National Park, however the Tasman Peninsula has several types of accommodation ranging from caravan parks and cabins to luxury motels.
Fortescue Bay Camp Ground
Fortescue Bay has a campground which can be accessed by car. Over 40 sites are available. Caravans can also be used. A shower block, toilets and barbeques are available. There is also a boat launching ramp. Fireplaces are provided and wood is available for sale. There is a rubbish collection at Fortescue Bay. Please ensure that rubbish is placed in the rubbish facility in the day use area.
The Remarkable Cave Site provides visitors with short walking opportunities to Remarkable Cave and Maignon Lookout and is the main access to Mount Brown and Crescent Bay. Rock climbers also access the cliffs around West Head and Dauntless Point from this site.
If you like camping, bushwalking, picnicking, sightseeing, swimming or fishing, you can enjoy them all in the Tasman National Park.
Day visitors will find plenty to keep them occupied. Vehicles are able to access the Tasman Arch, Blowhole, Waterfall Bay and Remarkable Cave areas, where visitors need only walk a short distance to gain views of these features.
Camping is well-catered for at the Fortescue Bay Campground. Before you occupy a campsite, please check in and pay at the resident Manager's Office. Up-to-date information may also be posted at the Park Fee self-registration bay near the office.
Bushwalking tracks are found throughout the park. Walks vary from pleasant strolls along the beach and rocks to longer and more energetic walks. Many walks provide spectacular views of the rugged coastal formations. Walking opportunities range from short strolls and half day walks to 2-3 day overnight walks.
Please note that Tasman National Park is a Fuel Stove Only Area. Camp fires are not permitted outside the designated areas at Fortescue Bay.
The waters off Pirates Bay, Fortescue Bay, Port Arthur and the Tasman Sea are popular boating destinations because of the beauty of the area, the sheltered waters and good fishing. Visitors with boats can use the boat ramps at the Blowhole in Pirates Bay State Reserve, Fortescue Bay within the park and Stewarts Bay State Reserve. Vehicle access on beaches to launch and retrieve boats is not permitted within the park. Anchorages are available in Fortescue Bay and Port Arthur when the conditions are favourable.
Sea kayaking and canoeing around the rugged cliffs of Tasman National Park is increasing in popularity. However, would-be canoeists should be well-equipped and aware that sea conditions can change rapidly. There are very few areas where canoeists can reach safety should conditions deteriorate.
Abseiling and Rockclimbing
The spectacular dolerite columns and cliffs along the coastline of the Tasman National Park are popular areas for climbing and abseiling. Sea stacks north of Fortescue Bay, the "Candlestick" and "Totem pole" at Cape Hauy and more recently the clifflines around Mount Brown are used by climbers, abseilers and commercial operators. Please note that no bolting is permitted.
All of the cliffs climbed are National Estate listed for their geoheritage values and are accessed off the existing walking track network. Please use only existing tracks and do not add to track proliferation by creating new pads.
Within the park there is a recently redeveloped hang gliding launch site overlooking Pirates Bay which is used periodically by hang gliding clubs, and enthusiasts when conditions are suitable. Landing is only permitted in a designated area on Pirates Bay Beach in Pirates Bay State Reserve
Canoe Bay (about 2 hours return)
A short walk along the Tasman Trail from the beach at Fortescue Bay, suitable for families, leads to Canoe Bay. Canoe Bay contains an old steel boat wreck and was, until the early 1970's, the site of a fish processing works.
Cape Hauy Track (4-5 hours return)
The Cape Hauy Track leads from Fortescue Bay, just near the boat ramp. The walk passes through a variety of heath and woodland to the magnificent views of steep cliffs and spectacular rock formations.
Mt Fortescue Track (6-7 hours return)
This track takes walkers to the 490 metre Mt Fortescue and provides excellent views of the rugged coastline. The track commences at Fortescue Bay. Follow the Cape Hauy Track (see above) for about one hour to a low spur where a sign marks the Mt Fortescue Track, which leads off to the right.
Tasman Trail (about 6 - 8 hours one way)
The Tasman Trail (not to be confused with the Tasmanian Trail) follows along the clifflines from the north of Fortescue Bay to Waterfall Bay. This walk will require a car shuffle. Walkers will need to be prepared by taking water, food and wet weather gear.
Cape Raoul (about 5 hours return)
The Cape Raoul Track begins from Stormlea Road, off Highcroft Road. The initial section of the track crosses private land before entering the park. Excellent views are obtained along the track.
Spectacular Coastal Scenery
The dramatic sea cliffs along the Tasman Peninsula are among the highest and most spectacular in Australia. These columnar dolerite cliffs are outstanding examples of a rock type which is very rare on mainland Australia. The Cape Pillar walk provides an opportunity to gain a superb view of these cliffs.
Various interesting rock formations can also be discovered in the park. The Blowhole, Devils Kitchen and Tasman's Arch are easily accessible by car at the northern end of the park. Waterfall Bay, also accessible by car, offers a spectacular view across the cliff-lined bay to a waterfall which, after rain, plummets straight into the sea.
Seals, penguins, dolphins and whales are all seen at various times, with Australian fur seals using the rugged coastline for breeding and resting, and fairy penguins nesting along the foreshore.
The waters just off the bay contain vast forests of Macrocystis kelp, which is one of the fastest growing organisms on Earth. These spectacular underwater forests are among the most beautiful in the world, and are highly-valued by divers.
Sea birds including gannets and terns frequent the coastline, while the forest harbours smaller birds such as fairy-wrens, scarlet robins, honeyeaters and pardalotes. Tasman National Park also contains a number of nesting raptors including the endangered wedge-tailed eagle and the sea eagle. The area around Mt Spaulding is also is a recognised habitat of the endangered swift parrot.
Most mammals are only seen at night, or around dawn or dusk. Campers often become aware of this through the nocturnal raids of brush-tail possums!
The park also contains a number of plant species found nowhere else in the world, including some beautiful and rare euphrasias. Three rare species of euphrasia, shown below, are found only in coastal heath communities in Tasman National Park. The park also marks the southern most extension of a number of east coast plants including the oyster bay pine, Richea dracophylla and Eucalyptus johnstonii.
via Seven Mile Beach Office
293 Surf Road
Seven Mile Beach TAS 7170
Phone:03 6214 8100
Information for this National Park has been supplied courtesy of Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania