CONVICT TRAIL - ITINERARY
From historic Richmond to the Tasman National Park, Eaglehawk Neck and Port Arthur Historic Site, this fascinating trail is rich in convict history and natural beauty. The Tasman Peninsula is a place of breathtaking seascapes, some of the tallest sea cliffs in the world and wild ocean views.
HOBART - RICHMOND 25 MIN (27 KM)
- Drive to the village of Richmond with its colonial past, antique shops, art and craft galleries, restaurants and tea rooms.
- On the way you'll pass through the Coal River Valley wine region with more than 16 vineyards dotted throughout the valley surrounding Richmond.
- In Richmond, learn about Tasmania's rich colonial heritage and take in Australia's oldest bridge, oldest still-standing Catholic Church and oldest gaol.
- Visit Old Hobart Town, a carefully constructed outdoor model of Hobart as it was in 1820.
- Stop at Sweets and Treats for a large selection of traditional sweets, or indulge in award-winning ice cream from the Coal River Creamery.
- Close by is the artist co-op Peppercorn Gallery, which represents over 50 local artists and artisans and boasts a variety of pieces in a wide range of mediums.
- Take a walk along the riverside and have a picnic by the bridge.
- Overnight Richmond.
RICHMOND - PORT ARTHUR - 1 HR 11 MIN (83 KM)
- From Richmond or Hobart head towards the Tasman Peninsula and Port Arthur.
- Enjoy lunch in Dunalley, a quaint fishing village built around the man-made Denison Canal, with a swing bridge for road traffic. Sample local produce, including fresh seafood from the Dunalley Fish Market or Bangor Vineyard Shed.
- Continue to Eaglehawk Neck and the many attractions of the Tasman Peninsula including the Port Arthur Historic Site.
- Stop at the lookout over Pirates Bay - a magnificent beach bounded by dramatic coastline. Pick up coffee from Cubed Espresso and then follow the road down to the water's edge.
- Visit the Tessellated Pavement, an expanse of rock 'tiles' that look as though they've been neatly installed rather than naturally formed.
- Once down at Eaglehawk Neck itself, walk the 'dog line' near the Officers' Quarters, now restored as a museum interpreting the history and life of the region. Built in 1832, it's reputed to be the oldest wooden military building remaining in Australia.
- A short drive south are the impressive coastal rock formations of the Devil's Kitchen, Tasman Arch, the Blowhole and Remarkable Cave.
- From here, take the walk to Crescent Bay, a secluded curve of striking beauty backed by huge sand dunes.
- Overnight Port Arthur and surrounds.
PORT ARTHUR - HOBART - 1 HR 27 MIN (100KM)
- Allow a day to explore the UNESCO World Heritage listed Port Arthur Historic Site with more than 30 buildings, ruins and restored period homes, dating from the prison's establishment in 1830 until its closure in 1877. During this time about 12,500 convicts served sentences.
- Afterwards, if there's time, drive to the convict ruins at the Probation Station and the World Heritage listed Coal Mines Historic Site, where only the worst convicts were sent to work.
- In the evening, take a ghost tour and experience Port Arthur Historic Site by night; it will seem a very different place after sunset.
- Overnight Port Arthur and surrounds.
- Before leaving the Tasman Peninsula, take an unforgettable sea journey with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys. Keep a look out for dolphins, seals and migrating sea birds as you pass the dramatic coastal cliffs and rock formations of the open eastern side of the peninsula.
- There are walks of varying lengths and difficulty, including Waterfall Bay (60-90 minutes) and Bivouac Bay (3 hours). And for those with more time, the correct equipment and bushwalking experience, there are the three capes - Cape Hauy, Cape Raoul and Cape Pillar - which pass through heaths and coastal woodlands to dramatic sea cliffs.
- On your return to Hobart, stop off at the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo for a closeup encounter with a Tasmanian Devil.