With soaring sea cliffs and monumental rock formations, Tasman National Park is a coastal wonderland.
Covering much of the rugged coastline of Turrakana / Tasman Peninsula, it features 300m-high cliffs - the highest in Australia - and a curious collection of geological oddities.
The park is the setting for the famed Three Capes Track, as well as a host of other walks that bring walkers to the edge of sheer drops overlooking deep chasms, surging seas, islands, white-sand beaches and a waterfall that tumbles down a sheer cliff face into the sea.
Around Cape Hauy, the dolerite cliffs rear straight out of the ocean, rising to 300m in height, making them Australia’s tallest sea cliffs. The line of the cliffs extends south along the coast to Cape Pillar.
Tessellated Pavement and other rock stars
Feel awed by the geometric precision of nature at the Tessellated Pavement. Stare into the ocean abyss at Devils Kitchen. Peer out to sea through the well-named Remarkable Cave. Feel the power of the sea at Tasmans Arch. These are a few of the park’s geological wonders.
Tucked into the rocky and rugged coast are gorgeous white-sand beaches at Fortescue Bay and Crescent Bay. The former has a popular campground, while the latter has some of Tasmania’s highest sand dunes.
Famed among rock climbers across the world, the 65m-high Totem Pole is a sea stack so slender it seems to defy the force of the ocean around it. It stands beside the equally impressive Candlestick. Peer down onto both from the Cape Hauy lookout.
Follow the coast south from Devils Kitchen and take this clifftop walk (60-90min return, 3.4km) to Waterfall Bay, where an impressive waterfall drops more than 100m into the sea. One of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks.
Turrakana / Tasman Peninsula ends spectacularly at Cape Raoul, stepping down into the Southern Ocean in a skyline of dolerite towers. This walk (5hr return, 14km) heads to the tip, passing a stunning coastal lookout and a detour down to the legendary big-surf site of Shipstern Bluff. One of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks.
On this walk (4-5hr return, 9km) from the Remarkable Cave car park, pass a blowhole and detour to the summit of low Mount Brown before descending to the sands of Crescent Bay, backed by tall dunes and with views across the water to Cape Pillar and Tasman Island.
Three Capes Track
This four-day, 48km track showcases the national park’s most dramatic cliffs. Crossing from the Port Arthur Historic Site by boat, the track rises to the clifftops around Cape Pillar for heady views over the ocean and Tasman Island. Nights are spent in the most comfortable and best equipped public bushwalking huts in Australia. Bookings required.
Tasman Island Cruises
See the cliffs and Tasman Island from water level on a half-day cruise in the company of seals and perhaps even a migrating whale or two.
Southern Sea Ventures
Paddle at the foot of the Tasman’s mighty cliffs on a four-day kayaking trip, exploring caves, sea arches and sea stacks.
Roaring 40s Kayaking
Kayak for a day from Fortescue Bay to the tip of Cape Hauy, viewing the cliffs and the Totem Pole and Candlestick sea stacks from the bottom up.
Need to know
Inside the park, there’s camping at popular, beachside Fortescue Bay. Bookings are recommended in November-April. A parks pass is required, and camping fees apply. The campground office has basic supplies for sale.
Other accommodation is available in nearby Port Arthur, Taranna, Teralina / Eaglehawk Neck and Nubeena.
Pack warm and windproof clothing when hiking, with Southern Ocean winds often blowing strongly across the peninsula.
A parks pass is required for entry to Tasmania’s national parks.
Sprawling Tasman National Park has several access points: Pirates Bay, Fortescue Bay, Safety Cove and Stormlea. It’s about a 1hr drive (75km) from Hobart to Pirates Bay, and a 90min drive (110km) from Hobart to Stormlea.