Hobart is an ideal home base for a long weekend in Tasmania. If you hire a car, the Hobart to Port Arthur Drive is an easily accessible day trip for exploring things to do on the Tasman Peninsula. How far is it from Hobart to Port Arthur? The Port Arthur to Hobart distance is about 100 km. It takes about 90 minutes to get to Port Arthur from Hobart (not accounting for stops). Leave yourself plenty of time for this Port Arthur day tour from Hobart and make sure you allow yourself enough time for the return journey before the sun sets. As you'll soon see, there are some awe-inspiring natural places to stop on the drive between Hobart and Port Arthur. Read on for eleven of our favorite Tasman Peninsula attractions discovered on our Hobart to Port Arthur self-drive. There are definitely some great places to stop from Hobart to Port Arthur.
1. Wine Tasting on the Tasman Peninsula
We love to taste wine especially in lesser known places. Tasmania features some fine vintages (especially pinot noir and chardonnay). The East Coast wine region is conveniently located on the Hobart to Port Arthur drive along the Tasman Peninsula. Many of the wineries do not have their own cellar doors but rather work with local shops and restaurants instead. We drove past the vineyard at Cape Bernier and discovered that we could taste their wines at Vines and Designs just a few miles away. The proprietor was very friendly and incredibly knowledgeable about the wines.
2. Pirate Bay on the Tasman Peninsula
Continuing our drive from Hobart to Port Arthur, the scenery grew more and more amazing as we approached the Tasman Peninsula. Our first stop was Pirate Bay which features stunning views and bright blue, crystal clear water with a backdrop of steep cliffs.
3. Tasmania's Tesselated Pavement
There are a number of natural attractions along the Tasman Peninsula near Pirate Bay. They were clearly marked on the local map and also reasonably well signposted. We picked a few places to stop as we took the scenic route between Hobart and Port Arthur. When I saw 'Tesselated Pavement' on a road sign, I imagined it was some kind of warning about the quality of the road. It turns out that it is a striking geological feature in the area. A relatively uniform slab of rock lapping into the sea is criss-crossed with cuts. The Tesselated Pavement is a great place to stop and have a wander around on a sunny day.
SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Looking for other stunning drives in Australia? Have you considered a Adelaide to Melbourne road trip along the Great Ocean Road? Visit scenic places like the Twelve Apostles over the course of about 3 days (one way).
4. Tasman Arch
Cross Eaglehawk Neck, the narrow gateway to the Tasman Peninsula and Tasman National Park then continue on to Tasman Arch. The Tasman Arch is another natural Tasman Peninsula attraction that almost seems to defy gravity. It's possible to walk up and over the arch for more stunning views of the sea.
5. Devil's Kitchen on the Tasman Peninsula
We also hiked to nearby Devil's Kitchen on our Hobart to Port Arthur drive. Named for the churning waters below, we were more impressed with the textured rock formations casting shadows from the sun. Backtrack to Arthur Highway and continue your journey toward historic Port Arthur.
6. The Tasman Peninsula's Stunning Lookouts
Everywhere we turned, we spotted stunning lookouts along the Tasman Peninsula. Many were just a few hundred meters from the car park. We love accessible views!
7. Weird Wildlife and Squiggly Writing in Tasmania
We spotted this weird writing as we were hiking near the Tasman Arch. Turns out this is the mark of a scribbly gum moth. How aptly named!
Did you know that the Tasman Peninsula is actually one of the top 10 places to see wildlife in Tasmania according to Travel2Next?
8. The Blowhole
The tide was on the lower side and the seas were fairly calm when we visited The Blowhole on our day trip from Hobart to Port Arthur. Still, we saw some impressive splashing as the waves rushed into the small opening and exploded onto the rocks.
9. Tasmania's Historic Penal Colony at Port Arthur
The Port Arthur historic site lies at the very tip of the Tasman Peninsula and is UNESCO World Heritage listed. This historic penal colony was placed in this idyllic setting with green mountain backdrop because of the harbor (for ease of unloading prisoners transported from England) and because it was situated on a peninsula it was easier to protect. We strolled the grounds and imagined what it must have been like to be a prisoner at the end of the world. We also explored some of the houses and gardens used by the free residents of Port Arthur (the warden, the warders, and their families). I could just imagine two very different experiences for the historic residents.
10. The Tasman Peninsula's Windswept Beaches
On our return drive to Hobart from Port Arthur, we stopped at a couple of windswept beaches to stretch our legs and admire the views once again.
11. Tasmanian Wildlife Crossings
In the US and Ireland, we are used to seeing wildlife crossing signs for deer and the like. In Tasmania, I loved the kangaroo, wombat, and Tasmanian Devil crossings. The speed limit drops to a crawl after dark in Tasmania because that's when all the native nocturnal animals come out. Road kill is a real problem here. Make sure to complete the Hobart to Port Arthur drive before the sun sets!
Given our 'curfew' to protect the local residents, we made sure we were back in Hobart with the car safely parked before the sun finally went down on our amazing day trip to the Tasman Peninsula.
Hobart to Port Arthur Tasman Peninsula Map
For more details about the Hobart to Port Arthur Drive and stops along the way, click on this helpful map to open up an interactive version in Google Maps.
Interested in reading more about things to do in Tasmania? Check out:
- Tasmania's Mount Field National Park and An Encounter with a Wild Platypus on a Day Trip from Hobart