Tasmania:- Port Arthur and the East Coast

(22/2/2018 –  1/3/2018)

We left Hobart and travelled along the Tasman Highway and we arrived at the NRMA Port Arthur Holiday Park on Thursday afternoon.  What a great park set in bushland with large sites and camp fire pits, kids playground, bike/scooter pump track, camp kitchen and pizza oven along with the usual park facilities.   It was a short walk through the bush to a small beach/bay area and it was about a 5 – 10 minute drive to the Port Arthur Historic Site.

As we were meeting up with the family that we travelled to Cape York with last year, I managed to get 2 sites together.    All the kids were most excited to see each other.    It was great to catch up with Daniel and Stacey and travel with them again!!  We hadn’t seen them since September!!

After we set up we had a walk around the park and then headed to the beach where Daniel and Andrew had a fish (no luck in catching anything – always trying though!!).   It was great to have a camp fire that night and have lots of drinks and chat about our travels from the past few months!!!


Bike/Scooter Pump Track
Bike/Scooter Pump Track
Stewarts Bay
Stewarts Bay
Stewarts Bay
Stewarts Bay

The next day we visited the Port Arthur Historic Site.   The site entry ticket gave us two consecutive days to explore Port Arthur Historic’s many sites, tours and activities including access to more than 30 historic buildings, ruins, restored houses, heritage gardens and walking trails; a 40 minute guided Introductory Walking Tour; 25 minute Harbour Cruise and entry to the Port Arthur Gallery which included interactive exhibits and displays that tell the story of the Port Arthur Historic Site and its people.

This site is the best-preserved convict settlement in Australia and among the most significant convict era sites in the world.  The Site combines rich history and scenic beauty to tell the stories of the harsh discipline and determined industry of the settlement.   What a fascinating, interesting and rather haunting look at what life was like back then.   Port Arthur is now a World Heritage Listed site.

Penitentiary Building


Andrew feeling what it was like to walk in chain
Andrew feeling what it was like to walk in chains

We took a cruise around the harbour where we went past Point Puer Boys’ Prison and the Isle of the Dead.

Between 1834 and 1849, three thousand boys were sentenced to the Point Puer Boys’ Prison.   Point Puer was the British Empire’s first separate prison for boys, which over its 15-year history, held more than 3000 prisoners, some as young as nine. Not far from Point Puer was the tiny Isle of the Dead which was the final resting place for over 1000 of Port Arthur’s people, from convicts to officers, women and children.

port arthur

A Memorial Garden has also been built as a place of remembrance and reflection of those people that died at the hands of Martin Bryant on 28 April 1996.  The cafe is no longer operational, just the shell of it stands.

Remains of the Broad Arrow Cafe
Remains of the Broad Arrow Cafe

That night we decided to check out the pizza oven at the park’s camp kitchen!!

After dinner, Andrew and Daniel went down to the local boat ramp for a fish and they managed to catch some squid!!!!

The following day it poured down with rain so we didn’t get to go back to Port Arthur,  we packed up and headed up the east coast.   We stopped at the Federation Artisan  Chocolate factory for some free chocolate sampling and coffee.   And yet again, we bought some more chocolate!!!!!

From there we continued up the coast stopping at the Remarkable Cave, Devils Kitchen, and the Tasman Arch near Eaglehawk Neck on the Tasman Peninsula.

The Remarkable Cave has been carved out of the sandstone cliff face by the sea, forming a rock bridge. Near the viewing platform are huge boulders remaining from a collapse of the cave wall.  The viewing platform at the bottom of 100 steep stairs is where the back of the cave collapsed.   The debris has long since been washed out to sea except for the large sea-smoothed boulders that remain in the hollow.   Since it was low tide Andrew and Mitchell jumped down from the viewing platform and walked in and I took their photo.


Tasman Arch

From here we then drove up to Mayfield Beach Conservation Area Campground (another free campspot!!!) and stayed overnight opposite the beach.  And again, Andrew and Daniel tried their luck at fishing on the beach – nothing!!!


We packed up in the morning and continued up the coast.     We stopped at Devil’s Corner Wine Cellar for a quick look around (no wine tasting this time though!!).


We arrived at Triabunna where we stopped for the night.  All the free camping spots were full so we had to book into a caravan park.   That night Daniel cooked the squid up which was delicious.   The next day we packed up again and continued up the east coast.  We drove up to Bicheno and spent two nights here in Bicheno Caravan Park.  Bicheno was a beautiful seaside holiday town and is located north of the Freycinet Peninsula.  It is primarily a fishing port and it had lovely beaches.    There is a glass bottomed boat tour you can do but unfortunately for the time we were there it was not operating because it was too windy so we missed out on that.

There is also the fairy penguins tours but since we had already seen them (at no cost), we didn’t bother paying for a tour!!!     We took a walk around the town and then walked up to Whalers Lookout where there were beautiful views of the town and the coast.  We also did another walk to the Bicheno Blowhole.



The next day we took a drive to Coles Bay which was about half an hour south from Bicheno.    From Coles Bay we then did a 2.5 km return hike through the Freycinet National Park to the Wineglass Bay Lookout.

Wow!!!  Wow!!   Such spectacular views from the Lookout!!    After spending some time here we then walked back down.   It took us about 2 hours in all which was pretty good with 3 kids!!!   We took a drive around the Coles Bay area and then headed back to Bicheno.





When we got back to Bicheno we packed up and said our goodbyes to Daniel and Stacey and their kids.  We only had a few days to go until we left Tassie so we had to keep moving on.   We had a wonderful week with them and who knows we may be able to catch up with them again on our travels back on the mainland!!

We continued driving up the east coast.  We wanted to stop at Swimcart Beach but it was completely full, very popular and busy spot.   But we managed to find another free camp at Cosy Corner (South) Campground further up which was also situated on another beautiful beach – a picturesque location at the Bay of Fires.    It was a lovely afternoon for a walk on the beach.   Mitchell went for a swim, Andrew put his feet in but it was too cold for me to do either LOL LOL. Yes, even though the sun was shining and the weather was warm, water still cold!!

Cosy Corner Beach
Cosy Corner Beach

Cosy Corner Beach

We would have liked to have more time here but we only had a few days left and there were still tours we wanted to do before we left Tasmania.

(22/2/2018 – 1/3/2018)













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