Whether Hobart’s your home, or you and your wheels have wound their way there from Devonport after a breezy trip across the Bass Strait on the “Spirit”, you really don’t need any excuse to join me from Hobart to Port Arthur for an awesome Apple Isle summer’s weekend drive!
At under 100km (roughly an hour and a half) from Hobart’s centre (via the Arthur Highway/A9) – it’s the perfect distance to give your tyres a much-needed run — with heaps of magnificent Tassie sites and scenery all part of this amazing ride!
Where to stop along the way… As with all drives throughout this beautiful part of the country, pit stops are some of the best part of the experience. Make your first one the little fishing villageof Dunalley – about an hour in. Take a walk along the jetty, enjoy some local fresh fish n’ chips or visit the Bangor Vineyard Shed cellar door and restaurant for a glass of wine along with an exceptional view!
Further along (77km from Hobart) Eaglehawk Neck is also a destination in itself, renowned for its geological natural wonders. One of the most famous of these is the Tessellated Pavement – time and wave-weathered rocks in a magnificent, naturally occurring pavement formation. Along with its impressive good looks, the pavement also creates rockpools to explore and is a photographer’s delight! While you’re there, other geological landmarks in the area that are well worth a look include Tasman’s Arch, Devil’s Kitchen and the Fossil Bay Lookout and Blowhole.
What to do in Port Arthur… With convict history central to its intrigue, it goes without saying the Port Arthur Historic Site and UNESCO World-Heritage Listed Coal Mines Historic Site are landmarks of the town, while this is also a truly awesome place to plan an unforgettable meal or take a weekend break. Set in some of Tassie’s most picture-perfect countryside – Port Arthur is also a great base to get those Maxxis tyres busy exploring the surrounding Tasman Peninsula. Here are a few other tips to get your itinerary sorted…
Book in for a tour or a harbour cruise…There are many great tours on offer, with knowledgeable guides sharing information about the town’s buildings and a multitude of captivating facts about the convicts and their lives. Or, take a cruise of the harbour and just soak up the views!
Port Arthur Lavender Farm… Set on seven hectares just outside Port Arthur, in flowering season this lush Lavender farm is a sea of purple as far as the eye can see! With a café on site (including lavender inspired food), sensational water views over Long Bay and a little shop to purchase “all things lavender”.
Tasmanian Devil Unzoo…Get up close and personal with native Australian animals, including endangered Tassie devils in their native habitat, at the one-of-a-kind Unzoo “zoo of the future” wildlife sanctuary.
Rosedale Homestead…Learn more about the history and stories of the local indigenous people and settlers of the Tasman Peninsula at the Homestead’s museum, with displays and relics of old. This rustic homestead also features an animal sanctuary and a popular restaurant (serving breakfast, lunch and dinner featuring local produce) – and if you’d like to stay longer, there are some cosy self-contained cottages and camping spots available on site.
Remarkable Cave… Descend a flight of steps to the viewing platform and take in the stunning “Remarkable” cave which truly lives up to its name! Filling with water when the tide is in, the cave offers awesome views (through what is sometimes described as a “Tassie shaped” gap) to the ocean and coastline beyond.
Where to stay… Port Arthur has accommodation for all types of experience and budget – complete with hotels, villas and secluded lodges. Set on 40 beautiful acres, the NRMA Holiday Park is a favourite with families (and other travellers alike) – offering camping, glamping and cabins. It’s close to town and the Historic site – plus it has magnificent bay views.
Best tyres for the best ride …Maxxis tyres all the way! Whether your vehicle’s small and compact, has an open top to let the sunshine in or it’s a family-sized wagon, SUV or 4×4 that’s equipped for all the clan – Maxxis has a wide range of quality tyres to suit just about any set of wheels. To find out more (or to get some advice on the ones that are right for you) – you can locate your nearest friendly Maxxis dealer here.
Before you go… Check those air pressures (you’ll find this information on the tyre placard on the inside of your vehicle driver’s door) and get your playlist all-ready to go. If you’re planning on doing a tour, eating in a restaurant or need a place to stay, it’s advisable to book ahead – and also remember to check the latest government regulations regarding masks and other current CovidSafe requirements .
Then, buckle up, turn up the music and enjoy your ride!