Tasman Peninsula

March, 2012

Click on any image for a bigger view
Contact me (garya at this domain) if you want the really good image

We had wanted to go over to the Tasman Peninsula ever since arriving in Tasmania, but there are so many places to see we hadn't gotten to it. Unfortunately, we only had one day left, which really wasn't enough time. We went anyway. We got away in good time, but discovered an hour later that I had left the camera back in Hobart. Grrr... So we lost two hours fixing that blunder.

In some ways the Tasman Peninsula on the day we visited reminded me of Montana on a nice day in spring or fall. Cloudless blue skies, gorgeous scenery, everything looks fresh and clean, and you think you should move there -- or at least take a sabbatical for a few years and do some serious investigations there. I suspect that before doing that one would be wise, as in Montana, to spend all four seasons there, especially a nasty winter. In any case, we had the perfect day for it.

Tasman Peninsula
Tasman Peninsula

The first stop we made was at Eaglehawk Neck, to see the Tessellated Rocks. The rock formation along the shore here is something difficult to describe without a picture. There are two forms, both obvious when you see the photos -- "loaf" and "pan". Loaf looks like a whole bunch of rectangular loaves of bread stacked side by side; pan looks like a grid of rectangular pancake griddles arranged side by side. Both are really cool.

We walked out to some rocks where the ocean was surging through some small underwater slot canyons, looking for whatever cool stuff we could find. We didn't find much, although if one went snorkeling or diving I expect you would be amazed by a lot of things.

Tessellated Rocks Tessellated Rocks
Pan Tessellation Loaf Tessellation
Tessellated Rocks
Pan with Loaf behind it
and some cool algae in a pan in front
Slot in Tessellated Rocks Coats Cliffs Tessellated Rocks
Slot in Tessellated Rocks Coast Cliffs Tessellated Rocks Shoreline

From Eaglehawk Neck we headed further south to check out a blowhole and a big arch, both structures formed as the sea eats away at the cliffs on shore. The tide was out and the water level too low to be doing much at the blowhole, but it was pretty easy to imagine what a powerful thing it would be when the ocean comes really surging in. The arch was pretty impressive as well.

Blowhole Blowhole Tasman Arch
Blowhole Tasman Arch

There is a hiking trail that follows the coast, and if we had a few days it would be a great thing to do. Grrr... Instead, we could just look at the start of it.

Tasman Peninsula Coast

We drove out to Waterfall Bay, and wished we had more time so we could camp there. Deirdre told us later they used to go out there many years ago and do field experiments. That was back when no one much went out there.

Waterfall Bay
Waterfall Bay

At the very south end of the Peninsula is the former penal colony of Port Arthur. We drove down but it seemed more like a tourist trap so we didn't spend any time there. I would have rather seen some of the outrageous surfing and body-boarding that goes on down there at a place called Shipstern's Bluff:

Surfing at Shipstern's Bluff

Body-boarding at Shipstern's Bluff

The Tasman Peninsula was our last big day of sightseeing in Tasmania. We spent the next day packing and mailing stuff; trying to find a way to thank our wonderful hosts, the Frappells; and walking another of Tasmania's empty beaches. Then we flew to Hawaii, via a stopover in Sydney during which we took a quick stroll to the Opera House and through the Botanical Garden there.