Unmissable Hikes in the Tasman Peninsula

Let’s start this post with a tip… DON’T TRY AND SQUEEZE THE TASMAN PENINSULA INTO TWO DAYS! Who knew having 5 weeks to explore Tasmania would still see us struggling to fit everything in!? Maybe it’s our nosy nature, needing to see what’s down every single dirt road, and believe us there is a lot of them… But we will go with the fact that there is just way too much to do in this little gem of an island.

Driving along the skinny isthmus connecting the Tasman Peninsula to the rest of Tasmania, you’re met with monstrous sea cliffs that tower over what seems to be a sparkling calm ocean from this point. Quaint beach shacks hide among the humungous gum trees lining the coast and directions to wild rock formations are everywhere. Being a short hour and a half drive from Hobart, there really isn’t any reason we can find for you not to venture here.

So how should you spend a good couple of days in the Tasman Peninsula? Read on for all the information you need to enjoy this wonder completely.

looking at the dolerite stacks and the ocean on the Cape Raoul hike in the Tasman Peninsula


Your first stop in the Tasman Peninsula is the little town of Eaglehawk Neck – naturally as this is the only way in or out. The ‘Neck’ is 400m long and in some parts, less than 30m wide. For this reason, back in the 1800’s it was used as a natural containment line for the dangerous prisoners at Port Arthur. The isthmus was lined with viscous dogs to dissuade any plans of escape.

Now the stunning coastline is occupied by vacationers and surfers looking for that perfect wave at Pirate Bay. But what really makes Eaglehawk Neck stand out from the rest, is the fascinating rock formations scattered around the coast.


The first is the Tessellated Pavement. A rare worldwide wonder formed by natural erosion, resulting in the flat rock bed taking on the resemblance of mosaic tiles. A short 10-minute walk will take you down to the beach where you can wander around this phenomenon, searching for marine life in the shallow rock pools.

walking on the tessellated pavement in Eaglehawk Neck in Tasman Peninsula


The Tasman Arch was once a cave, caused by the untamed sea smashing into the cliff walls. After thousands of years, the cave crumbled, forming what is now known as the Tasman Arch. Unable to make justice of this formation through photos, it is absolutely one of those ‘need to see to believe’ sorts of things. And luckily, this one is right in front of the car park. No walking is required. Win.

looking out at the Tasman Arch near Eaglehawk Neck in the Tasman Peninsula


Sorry but a little walking is involved for this one. The best way to see this beauty is to walk the short 10-minute loop up and over the bridge created by the Tasman Arch, following the colossal cliff edge until you arrive at the Devils Kitchen. If the Tasman Arch was hard to capture, this one is impossible. Too bad our drone was out of action! Again, this formation is due to ferocious waves and wind eroding the rock. However this time it has formed a few different caves and mini blowholes. The waves crashing in and around the rock slabs is something that needs to be experienced for yourself in order to understand the harsh nature of the Tasman Sea.

Looking over the awesome rock crevace know as the Devils Kitchen at the Tasman Peninsular


We don’t know about you, but when we think of a blowhole we think of whitewash forcing its way under a rock shelf and blowing up into the stratosphere through a small opening, mimicking a whale. Well, we don’t see how this one could do such a thing as its large rock shelf is far too open and the waves were merely lapping the surface. Not so impressed by the Tasman Blowhole but on the plus side, it is right next to the beach car park where a DELICIOUS Fish and Chip Van named Doo-Lishus is found. And of course, the view surrounding the beach was spectacular as usual, albeit extremely windy!

looking at the Tasman Blowhole near Eaglehawk Neck in the Tasman Peninsula

Venturing further into the Tasman Peninsula, you come to the realisation that Eaglehawk may have been the biggest town of them all. Keeping up with the most used phrase from our trip around Tasmania… “I thought there would be more here!” We were surprised by the lack of development. Don’t take this the wrong way, we are stoked to find such impressive and wonderful places far from the reaches of the economical boom known to most of the Australian coast.

What you will find, however, is extreme sea cliffs rising to 300 metres above sea level, making them the highest in the Southern Hemisphere.

Beautiful cliff edges of the Tasman Peninsula, reaching as far as 300 metres tall


Among those sea cliffs are hands down the most remarkable rock formation of them all… The Remarkable Cave! Get it!? All jokes aside, this beauty is another example of countless years of erosion. What was once a cave has now become a tunnel after the collapse of the sandstone cliff. The short 5 minutes of stair work leads you down into the remnants of the cave where you can wander along the massive boulders left behind.

Dylan became one with his inner child – yet again – and spent a good half an hour being chased by the waves. Some kids will never grow up.

Inside the Remarkable Cave in the Tasman Peninsula


Still not a blowhole by the proper term in our eyes, but much more impressive. From the Remarkable Cave car park, there is an hour return walk which takes you along the adjacent cliff. Allowing you to soak up the views of the Remarkable Cave and Cape Raoul in the distance, it’s a worthy walk for just that reason.

Sunset over the remarkable cave and cape raoul from the Mount Brown hike in the Tasman Peninsula

After half an hour of trekking along the bitumen path, a small bridge appears looming above a massive crevice in the rocks. This is the almighty Maingon Blowhole! Our attempts to find out its depth came up short – get it!?! Ok, we promise we’ll stop – but Dylan’s guess is 10m. Candace’s is 100m but she’s got no idea so we will go with the happy medium of 15m. You’ll have to see for yourself to decide. No matter how deep it is, the sound of the aggressive ocean pouring into this slender opening is truly amazing. Just another way Mother Nature shows her raw power.

Bridge looking over the Maingon Blowhole on the Mount Brown hike in the Tasman Peninsula


It’s storytime again. The more you read our posts, the more you’ll realise we don’t like planning but we do love to set ourselves ridiculous goals and tasks. This time, we decided it would be easy to fit two major hikes in one day. What could go wrong?

The first was Cape Raoul, a 15km loop and the second was Cape Hauy, a measly 10km return. What we didn’t consider was the elevation we would gain – 1560m to be exact – and the extra walking tracks that we obviously couldn’t leave untravelled! Once on the Cape Raoul track, we realised you could take a detour to Shipsterns Bluff and Tunnel Bay. We didn’t know what Tunnel Bay was about but we did know that Shipsterns Bluff was a famous surf break that only the extremely mental would dare surf. Who could walk past that and not be intrigued to find out whether it was pumping?!

Looking out at shipsterns bluff and tunnel bay from the lookout on the Cape Raoul hike in the Tasman Peninsula

These two detours turned the first stage of our already stupid 25km day from 15km to 28km. After returning to the car at 3 pm, most sane people would call it quits wouldn’t they? Not us. We don’t always make the best decisions, so onward and upward to the Cape Hauy car park. The clock struck 5 pm before we trotted off to find the Totem Pole. Ridiculous right? That’s us down to a tee. Perhaps the silliest part of this story and reiterating our ability to make poor decisions is the 3.5-hour drive we embarked upon after completing the Cape Hauy Track at 7:30 pm. The reason for the drive was to accomplish another 16km hike the very next morning, taking us to the southernmost point of Australia.

Let’s break it down for you. This added up to a whopping 38km walking, 1560 vertical metres climbed (532 flights of stairs) and 255km driving… 218km of which were done after 7:30 pm. We definitely aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed. ALL IN ONE DAY!

With that small tale out of the way, we’ll get back to the facts…


Driving to the end of Stormlea Road – a relatively nice dirt road – you’ll be met with a car park and toilet facilities. Starting the walk, immediately you’re thrown into beautiful dense forestry with a slight incline. Before long the descent starts and doesn’t stop for a good while. Switchbacks wind down the face of the mountain, with little pockets of the cliffside view throughout to keep your excitement levels high.

hiding behind a tree while hiking the steep Cape Raoul Track making way to the south of the Tasman Peninsula
Hiking the easy Cape Raul trail on our way to the souther lookouts of the Tasman Peninsula

Once you pop out of the trees, you’ll realise why this hike is high at the top of our list. The dolerite cliffs stand tall, and the huge mountain that has just been scaled paints the perfect backdrop.

Standing on the dolerite columns on the Cape Raoul hike in the Tasman peninsula

The remainder of the hike snakes along the monstrous pillared cliff edge until meeting a fork that offers two different lookouts. Turning left is Seal Lookout. Rightly named as looking closely at the rocks far out on the tip of the cape – just in front of the white poop-stained rocks, thanks birds – you’ll see black lumps flopping all over the top of each other, and that is the clumsy seal colony. Easily mistaken as more rocks. TIP: get yourself a pair of binoculars!

looking at the seal colony from seal lookout on the Cape Raoul hike in the Tasman Peninsula

Trekking back to the fork, the right path leads over to that insane dolerite stack you were staring at just a few minutes ago. From here – if you’re daredevil enough – you can make your way out onto the rock pillars for a better view and a real sense of how tiny and insignificant you really are in the eyes of nature!

Standing on the dolerite pillars on the Cape Raoul hike in the Tasman Peninsula

Taking the return track back to your car will have the day ending at 15km and roughly 4 hours of walking. HOWEVER about a kilometre before the carpark, you’ll be met with a sign directing you to Shipsterns Bluff and Tunnel Bay. Our personalities don’t allow us to miss out on things and neither should yours so tighten those shoelaces and get ready for another 10km.

The hike to the two above mentioned consists of an extremely steep set of switchbacks with a couple of stairs thrown in the mix. All descent to start with, dropping almost down to sea level before you’re met with yet another choice. Left for Shipsterns Bluff or right for Tunnel Bay.

Starting with Shipsterns Bluff, this 10-minute one-way track winds down to the beach, ending in another lot of steep man-made stairs. Stepping out onto the beach, you get the first real experience of the intense reef break. The swell folds and forms a wall right in front of your eyes before smashing into the rocks, spraying a cool burst of salty water into the air and onto you. Unfortunately, the tide was too full and close to shore for the surf break to be at its optimum, so we didn’t get to see any crazy surfers attempting this world-class wave.

watching the waves crash at shipsterns bluff on the Cape Raoul hike in the Tasman Peninsula

Tunnel Bay to your right is another 10-minute one-way descent to a beach. Yet this one is quite protected, making it much easier to enjoy a wander along the pebble shoreline. As you may have expected from the name, there is another beautiful tunnel formed due to many years of erosion. Quite the contrary with most of the Tasman Peninsula’s coastline, the calm nature of the ocean in this bay leads us to believe that on low tide you could explore this one easily.

Looking into the cave at Tunnel Bay on the Cape Raoul hike in the Tasman Peninsula

After dragging yourself back up the hundreds of stairs and switchbacks, feeling extremely accomplished – or just downright finished – the sight of the carpark will be a welcomed relief. The Garmin results are in and the total for this hike is 28km and 5.5 hours. This time includes a lot of stops for photos.


On the eastern side of the Tasman Peninsula – at Fortescue Bay – is the trailhead for the Cape Hauy hike. Consisting of over 2500 stairs, expect to gain some altitude quick smart. After the first climb through Eucalyptus Forests, the track opens up and provides stellar views of the monstrous cliffs ahead. The yellow-stoned dirt track winding its way up through the lush greenery is the cherry on top of a perfect photo.

looking out at the cliffs and hiking track of the Cape Huay hike in the Tasman Peninsula
Looking back at the walking track and the cliffs of Cape Huay hike in the Tasman Peninsula

The last half of the walk follows the cliff edge up purpose-built stone steps until you discover the Totem Pole. If you’re a rock climber or have climbing friends, you’ll have heard of the world-famous rock climbing site best known as the Totem Pole. The pillar stands alone in between two major rock stacks and is an amazing natural wonder. It is downright baffling that the Totem Pole can even stand amongst the rough swells and forever-changing weather. Making matters more daunting, the only way to start the climb is by belaying you and your gear – zip lining – across on a connecting rope. Classed as a difficulty of 25-27 – which is insane in rock climbing terms – we felt extremely lucky to see someone accomplishing this.

View of the climbing site the Totem Pole on the Cape Huay hike in the Tasman Peninsula
Watching a rock climber zip line the Totem Pole on the Cape Huay hike in the Tasman Peninsula

The Cape Hauy return hike is 10km and took us 2.5 hours to complete, including watching the rock climbers for a good while.

Perhaps the best thing about this particular Tasman Peninsula hike is it ends at the beautiful beach of Fortescue Bay, perfect for a dip to cool off.


Unfortunately, on this little Peninsula, there are no options for free camping. This came as a bit of a surprise to us seeing as the East Coast in its entirety has been extremely accomodating for us poor travellers! However, luckily there are a couple of campsites available for just a small fee.


On the west side of the Tasman Peninsula, near the town of White Beach, there is an Ex-Serviceman’s Club that offers overnight stays for $20 a person – although you get a $10 voucher to use at their bar so technically just $10 per person? If you’re up for a couple of local brews this may be a good idea.


For just $13 per vehicle, you can grab yourself an unpowered site at Fortescue Bay Campsite with beachfront views. There are new toilet facilities here that include shower blocks, costing $2 for 4 minutes. For this, you need a token from the Rangers who leave the site at 4 pm. There are two separate campsites, one for camper-vans and the other for tents. We do recommend booking as this is a well sought after campsite. You can do this on the Parks website.

Mills Creek Campground and boat ramp at Fortescue Bay in the Tasman Peninsula

If you have any questions, stories to share or would just like a chat… comment below! Until next time folks…