The Hobart to Port Arthur Drive: What to Do on the Tasman Peninsula

Coastal views on the Tasman Peninsula in Tasmania
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. Read on for eleven of our favorite Tasman Peninsula attractions discovered on our Hobart to Port Arthur self-drive.

1. Wine Tasting on the Tasman Peninsula

Wine Tasting on the Tasman Peninsula in Tasmania
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

Pirate Bay - Day Trip from Hobart, Tasmania to the Tasman Peninsula and Port Arthur

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

Tesselated Pavement on the Hobart to Port Arthur Drive in Tasmania

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.

4. Tasman Arch

The Tasman Arch on the Hobart to Port Arthur Drive in Tasmania
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

The Devil's Kitchen on the Hobart to Port Arthur Drive in Tasmania

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.

6. The Tasman Peninsula's Stunning Lookouts

Scenic lookouts on the Hobart to Port Arthur Drive in Tasmania

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

Scribby Gum Moth Writing on the Hobart to Port Arthur Drive 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

What to do on the Tasman Peninsula: check out 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

What to do on the Tasman Peninsula: explore historic Port Arthur penal colony

Port Arthur lies at the very tip of the Tasman Peninsula. 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

What to do on the Tasman Peninsula: check out 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

A word of caution for the Hobart to Port Arthur Drive: wildlife crossing street signs
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, check out this helpful map.


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Day Trip from Hobart, Tasmania to the Tasman Peninsula and Port Arthur

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Sidewalk Safari: The Hobart to Port Arthur Drive: What to Do on the Tasman Peninsula
The Hobart to Port Arthur Drive: What to Do on the Tasman Peninsula
Learn about the Hobart to Port Arthur drive in Tasmania. Find out what to do on the Tasman Peninsula on a day trip.
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