Sunday, September 16, 2018

Who's Zoo in Tasmania ~ Details of Zoos and Wildlife parks

In this post I take a look at some of Tasmania's Zoos, Wildlife Parks and Rescue operations.

Each displays their website so that you can find out more about their operations, times and costs.

Wings Wildlife Park (and camping)

In the wild, only the fit have a chance to survive… Wing’s Wildlife Park, everyone has a chance.

You should allow approximately 2 hours for your visit to Wings Wildlife Park.
Most of the animals have been permanently injured (excepting fish, reptiles & babies born in captivity) and now reside at Wing’s Wildlife Park where enclosures  can be adapted to suit their needs.

Among the park's residents are:
Bennett's Wallaby
Blotched Blue-Tongue Lizard
  Brushtail Possum
  Eastern Barred Bandicoot
Eastern Quoll
Forester Kangaroo
Koala and
 Long-Nosed Potoroo
As well as Farm Animals,  American Bison,  Black-Tufted Capuchin Monkey, Camel,  Crab-Eating Macaque, Marmoset,  Blotched Blue-Tongue Lizard, birds and Fish.
Camping and Powered Sites

For an experience where family memories are made
Camping on the flats along the banks of the Leven River at Wings Wildlife Park is very popular, with so many things to do in a great location.

There are also powered sites and backpacker units available, so there’s something to suit everyone.

The main camping area is an attractive, large, grassed, riverside area with some shade, suitable for tents and self-sufficient caravans.

Powered sites and a picnic shelter are available near the amenities, and camping is also available here if preferred.

The amenities, including toilets, showers, disabled facilities and laundry block, are situated beyond the reception building.

Swap and go gas bottle exchange is available.

Entry to the Farm Walk is included in all accommodation fees, (This area includes buffalo, bison, camels, alpacas, ponies, ostrich, emus, deer, turkeys and more).

Entry to the main Wildlife Area has an additional charge, but you will only need to pay once during your stay and it will cover you for all the subsequent days you stay at the Park. Just let us know that you’re a camper and we’ll record your name when you pay.

137 Winduss Road, Gunns Plains
Coordinates: -41.264131, 146.045420

Open Daily 10.00am - 4.00pm

Check out the WEBSITE

Tasmania Zoo

 Animal-tastic fun with 900 acres of private native bushland which is home to the largest collection of native and exotic animals in Tasmania.

Tasmania Zoo is a privately owned, local family-run zoo that is committed to caring for injured and orphaned wildlife.

Some of these animals are unable to be returned to the wild, so as you walk around the zoo, you will meet many of them who all have their very own unique stories.

They are dedicated to continuous contribution to wildlife conservation and to the education of the community at large, providing world standard facilities to over 100 rare, exotic and native species.

Tasmania Zoo facilities include:
* BBQ and Picnic Areas
* 'Meerkat Munchies’ Cafe
* A Gift Shop that includes Artwork by the zoo animals
* Disabled Access
* Baby Change Facilities
 The zoo is wheelchair friendly and has an electric mobility aid available at the zoo’s front reception area for hire.
No pets or service animals permitted within Tasmania Zoo.

1166 Ecclestone Road,
Phone: 03 6396 6100
Opening Hours:9:00am - 4:30pm

Check out the Tasmania Zoo Website  for full details

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

Sanctuary map - There's plenty to see at Bonorong  and the path is one big loop, so you won't miss a thing.
Explore a sanctuary just for the wildlife of Tasmania, where kids can have some truly special wildlife encounters.

Whether you’ve come across the world or you’re just down the road you are most welcome at Bonorong,  a Sanctuary for wildlife run by a passionate team of like-minded people.

A visit to Bonorong is a chance to come closer than ever to something wild and fragile.

You’ll come face to face with animals that went extinct long ago in other parts of Australia — the same animals we’re working hard to protect now.

By walking through our old wooden gate you’ll become part of something special – everything they do is done with your help.

593 Briggs Road, Brighton
Coordinates: -42.706658, 147.270361
Open daily from 9am to 5pm - including weekends and public holidays. 
Bookings are not required for general admission, or to join our daily tours which are included in your ticket price.

For full details, check out their WEBSITE

ZooDoo Wildlife Park

safari bus

Zoodoo is well known for it’s hands-on approach that let’s you get closer to more animals than you ever thought possible.

You get close-up and personal with many animals in the walk thru Native Park, Farm Yard, and NEW Walk-thru Bird Aviary.

Included in the entry fee is the unique safari bus tours which take visitors to hand-feed large animals including Ostriches, Camels, Zebras and more.

Is an ideal place for the adults to sit out of the weather with a coffee and catch their breath while the children exhaust themselves further.

This area consists of a merry-go-round, jumping castle and toddlers ball pit and the use of rides in this area is included in the entry fee.

620 Middle Tea Tree Rd, Richmond
Coordinates: -42.710104, 147.373510
Open: 7 days 9am - 5pm
For full details, check out the WEBSITE

 Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary

 Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary is a privately owned wildlife sanctuary, where native Tasmanian fauna and flora thrive and also has a great range of marsupials, birds and reptiles on site.

The primary goal for Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary is wildlife conservation, education and rehabilitation.

The ecological sustainability of the Tasmanian flora and fauna is of valued importance. Trowunna is an integral part of the larger picture of wildlife in Tasmania. Centrally set amongst varying environments, Trowunna provides an haven of 65 acres for our native transient Tasmanian wildlife and migratory wildlife looking to travel through what are, sometimes hostile environments.

Trowunna has daily interactive tours with group and private bookings welcome.

Facilities include the Devil Education and Research Centre, a gift shop, parking, toilets, picnic tables and disabled accessibility.

The Devil Education and Research Centre at Trowunna aims to highlight the unique carnivorous mammals that live in Tasmania.

 1892 Mole Creek Road, Mole Creek
Coordinates: -41.555863, 146.452277
Daily interactive tours: 11am, 1pm & 3pm
Adults $26, Concession $22
Children (3yo-15yo) $16
For more information, check out the WEBSITE
Tasmanian Devil Unzoo
the world’s first Unzoo

  UNZOO – a place where the public learns about wild animals, plants and ecosystems through interaction with and immersion in natural habitats.

Tasmanian Devil Unzoo is a four-in-one wildlife nature experience that combines up-close animal encounters, wildlife adventures, a Tasmanian native garden and original art.

The world has many great zoos and wildlife parks. Tasmanian Devil Unzoo represents a reversal of the concept and ethos of these institutions.

Tasmanian Devil Unzoo is the world’s first intentional Unzoo project, developed from a masterplan created by visionary zoo designer John Coe and Tasmanian Devil Unzoo owner John Hamilton.

In transforming the site, they have embraced natural habitats for the native animals that replicate or restore natural landscapes.

The Unzoo is much more than the appearance of no cages or barriers. The habitats create an environment in which the animals have more independence, behaviour choices and opportunities for natural behaviours.

At the Unzoo, you’ll have face-to-face encounters with animals found nowhere else on earth, discover rare and beautiful Tasmanian plants in the Tasmanian Native Botanic Garden, see Tasmanian artworks in our galleries and have the chance to help save endangered Tasmanian devils on our Devil Tracker Adventure.
 5990 Arthur Highway,Taranna
Phone:   1800 641 641
Coordinates: -43.060806, 147.864530
9am-6pm (summer)
For full details see the WEBSITE
Seahorse World 

The mystical seahorse has always been a source of immense attraction and this Tasmanian-based experience is dedicated to uncovering the secrets and conserving the delicate environmental balance of these fragile yet beautiful marine animals.

A trip to SeaHorse World will lead you on a journey to the unique facility that will provide you with an excellent experience with the aim of balancing both entertainment and education for a great day out.

You'll be given a "behind the scenes" look at the world's first working seahorse farm as well as hands-on opportunities in the touch pool.

Seahorses aren't the only animals on hand at the park - Seahorse World also has many other interesting creatures in their Wonders of the Southern Ocean Aquarium.

The guided tour runs for a duration of 45 minutes from 9:30am until 4:30pm from September to April and every hour from 10am to 3pm between May and August.

Shed 1A Inspection Head Wharf
200 Flinders Street, Beauty Point
Coordinates: -41.152410, 146.822754
The park is open 7 days a week - with the exception of Christmas Day - and offers visitors ample amount of fun.
For more information and BOOKINGS

This post contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase.

All our posts are independent and in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Locating Tasmania's Op-Shops ~ Everthing Old Is New Again

Given that I subtitle my 'Tasmanian Travel Guide' family A Cheapskate's Guide to Exploring Tasmania By Car, it would be remiss of me to not guide you to some of the state's great op-shops, wouldn't it?

One of the things I loved most about the small towns and villages that I have visited in the past, prior to the 'Generic Shopping Experience' that has taken over so much of the country, was the many and varied local, independent shops with their wonderful smells, shop-fittings and service and stock that reflected the life and needs of the town's residents, that took me to another, seemingly more civilised place.

What better places [than Op-Shops] are there when we find the kids have just outgrown all of their clothes, we have broken all of the wine glasses at happy hour or simply find ourselves with an hour or so to fill in during our travels.

Op-Shops can  often offer a most pleasant alternative to some of the more expensive options available and, just maybe, you will stumble across that long lost Rembrandt.

In this post I have added many locations of our regional Op-Shops, simply to give you an idea of what is available and suggest that you BOOKMARK THIS PAGE for easy reference on your journey.

Vinnies Huonville ~   41 Main Road, Huonville
 Mon - Sat 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Huonville Opportunity Shop ~ 35 Main Rd, Huonville 
Mon 10.00pm to 4.00pm, Tue - Thu 10.00am to 4.00pm,  Fri 10.00am to 4.00pm

Juey Bazaar ~ 11 School Road. Geeveston
Mon - Sat 10 - 4 ~ Sun 10 - 4


Oatlands Bargain Centre ~ 68 High Street, Oatlands
Mon - Fri 10 am - 4pm, Sat - Sun 10 am - 4 pm

Vinnies Ellendale ~  690 Ellendale Road, Ellendale
Wed 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM,   Fri 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM, Sat 9:30 AM - 1:00 PM

New Norfolk

Vinnies New Norfolk ~  34b Burnett Street, New Norfolk
Mon - Sat 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM


Vinnies Sorell ~ 12a Gordon Street, Sorell
Mon - Sat 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Sorell Salvos ~  Lott 11 Dubbs&Co Lane, Sorell
Mon - Fri 9.30-5.30,  Sat 9.00-5.00

Saint Marys

St Marys Op Shop ~ 25a Main Street, St Marys TAS 7215
Mon - Fri 9-4 Spring and Summer,  Sat Only Spring and Summer 9.30-12.30

St Helens

St Helens District High School Op Shop ~  1 Circassian Street, St Helens
Mon - Fri 9.30 - 3.30,  Sat 9.30 - 1.30

George Town

Vinnies George Town ~  74 Macquarie Street, George Town
Mon - Fri 10:00 AM - 3:30 PM

Op-Shops - Almost as good as a museum to fill in an hour or so, cheaply


Vinnies Scottsdale ~  1 King Street, Scottsdale
Mon - Fri 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Salvation Army Store Scottsdale ~  49 King Street, Scottsdale Tas, 7260
Mon - Fri 9.30am - 4.30pm
 Beauty Point

 Vinnies Beauty Point ~  177 Charles Street, Beauty Point
Mon - Fri 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM, Sat 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM


The Careing Network ~  2485 West Tamar Highway, Exeter
Mon 10am - 4pm,  Thu - Fri 10am - 4pm
Tresca Op Shop  ~ West Tamar Highway, Exeter
Mon - Fri 11am to 3pm


Legana Salvos ~ 3-4/18 Legana Grove, Legana
Mon - Fri 9.00-5.30,  Sat 9.00-5.00


Deloraine Salvos ~  65 Emu Bay Road, Deloraine
Mon - Fri 9.30-5.30


Vinnies Latrobe ~  96 Gilbert Street, Latrobe
Mon - Fri 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Lifeline Bargain Shops ~ 116 Gilbert Street, Latrobe
Mon - Fri 9.30-3.00,  Sat - Sun 9.30-1.00
Mission Shop ~  49 Don Road, Devonport
Mon - Fri 9.30 - 4.00
Devonport Red Cross ~ 24 Rooke Street, Devonport
Mon - Fri 9:30am - 4:30pm,  Sat 10:00am - 1:00pm
Vinnies Devonport ~  58 Stewart Street, Devonport
Mon - Fri 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Salvo's Thrift Shop ~  171 william st devonport
Mon - Fri 9.30 - 3.00
Lifeline - Devonport ~ 4 Kempling St, Devonport
Vinnies East Devonport ~ 18 Murray Street, East Devonport
Mon - Fri 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM,  Sat 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Lifeline - East Devonport ~ 23 Murray St, East Devonport


Salvo's Thrift Shop ~  19 Main Street, Ulverstone
Mon - Fri 9 - 4

Mission Shop - Ulverstone ~  Fieldings Way, Ulverstone
Ulverstone Red Cross ~  57a Reibey Street, Ulverstone
Mon - Fri 9:30am - 5:00pm, Sat 10:00am - 1:00pm
Adra Op Shop Ulverstone ~  1/25 King Edward Street, Ulverstone
    Mon - Fri 9:30am - 4pm
Vinnies Ulverstone ~  25b King Edward Street, Ulverstone
Mon - Fri 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Lifeline - Ulverstone ~ 3 Reibey St, Ulverstone

Ulverstone Lions Club Community Shop ~  27 Victoria Street Ulverstone
Mon - Fri 10:00am to 4:00pm

Vinnies Penguin ~  1 Arnold Street, Penguin TAS 7316
Mon - Fri 10:00 AM - 3:45PM,  Sun 10:00 AM - 2:00PM
Penguin Lions Op-Shop ~ 1a Arnold Street Penguin
Wed - Fri 10am-3pm,  Sun 10am-3pm

Burnie Wilmot Red Cross ~ 35 Wilmot St, Burnie
Mon - Thu 9:30am - 5:00pm,  Fri 9:30am - 4:30pm, Sat 10:00am - 1:00pm

 Vinnies Burnie ~  51 Mount Street, Burnie TAS 7320
Mon - Fri 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Lifeline - Burnie ~ 19b Ladbrooke Street
Mon - Fri 10.30am to 3.30pm

Somerset mission shop ~  65 wragg st, Somerset
Mon - Fri 9.00-5.00 ~ Sat 9.00-4.00

Vinnies Somerset ~ Lot 10 McKays Road, Somerset
Mon - Fri 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Vinnies Somerset ~ 41-43 Wragg Street, Somerset
Mon - Fri 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM


Vinnies Wynyard ~ 38 Jackson Street, Wynyard
Mon - Fri 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM


Vinnies Smithton ~  132 Nelson Street, Smithton TAS 7330
Mon - Fri 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM


Vinnies Queenstown ~ 11 Cutten Street, Queenstown TAS 7467
Mon - Fri 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

 Street Libraries 
For those looking for swap books on your travels, you can also check out the growing list of street libraries in Tasmania - and across the nation HERE


Sunday, September 9, 2018

Tiger Track Stamps ~ for a kind of 'Low Tech Geocaching' in Tasmania

 Tiger Track Stamps

Tasmanian Artist, Kaye Green, Finds a Quirky, Free/Low-Cost Way For You To Keep Track Of Your Amazing Tasmanian Adventures.

Kaye's idea is based on her experience of living in Japan and the enjoyment of collecting impressions from rubber stamps that were available at most tourist destinations and temples.

 It all began for Tiger Track when Ulverstone native Kaye visited Japan in 1972 as a 17-year-old exchange student.

She found that many tourist destinations and temples offered rubber stamp impressions and special tourist booklets.

Kaye attended a local high school for a year and during her travels she loved collecting the unique stamp impressions.

After completing art degrees in both Tasmania and the United States, she is now bringing her unique Japanese experience to her home state of Tasmania so both locals and visitors can enjoy the fun, free experience of stamp collecting.

Her vision of introducing this exciting concept to her home state, Tasmania, has now been turned into a reality, with many participants actively involved and many more on the way.

Each black and white stamp depicts a specific tourist destination, 
designed by award-winning Tasmanian artist Kaye Green.

 In Search of The Elusive Tasmanian Tiger

Add an extra focus to your Tasmanian adventure as you hunt down dozens of Tiger Track Stamps and with luck - or skill maybe - find the elusive Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine) - the most valuable stamp of all.

Tasmanian Artist, Kaye Green
Recording Your Tasmanian Adventures With Tiger Track Stamps

Stamp Booklet
You can pick up your stamp collecting booklet on the Spirit I and II, Tourist Information Centres and at the participating tourist destinations (with a list of stamp locations), or use your own journal or diary - your choice.

How Can you GET STAMPED?

The unique stamp and an ink pad is conveniently located on a table, stand or desk at each participating location and you are free to stamp your booklet or your own diary or travel journal.



Thursday, September 6, 2018

Camping in Tasmanian National Parks and State Forests

Camping in Tasmanian National Parks

As of 2016, 51% of Tasmania's land area has some form of reservation classification,

The majority of this land is managed by the Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service, with Tasmanian National Parks covering an area of around 1,463,000 ha, a reasonably fair sized play-ground by any measure.

Cradle Mountain over Dove Lake, with old boat shed in foreground.

Camping and Cabin Fee Information

Many of the national parks and reserves offer excellent campsites and a small number of parks also offer cabin-style accommodation.

Please note that camping and accommodation fees are in addition to national park entry fees where applicable.

Fees are used to manage and improve facilities and services and apply only to the campground or accommodation for which they are paid and are not transferable to other campgrounds or accommodation.

Free entry to parks for Seniors Card holders

From 1 July 2018 to the end of June 2019, Seniors Card holders will be able to obtain their free Seniors parks pass by registering online through our Parks Pass Portal or at a national park visitor centre.

These passes must be printed and displayed on the vehicle dashboard when visiting a national park.

It’s designed to allow seniors make the most of their own backyard, and increase physical activity and wellbeing through the removal of financial barriers.

Please note that free entry applies only to entry for national parks and that other fees such as guided cave tours, overnight walk passes and camping fees, still apply.

From 1 July 2019, Seniors Card holders will be eligible to purchase a Seniors park pass, which offers a 50 per cent discount on the concession fee of an All Parks annual or two-year pass.

This offer is open to all Australian residents who are holders of Australian Government-issued Seniors Cards, not including Seniors Business Cards.

Please note:

The Seniors pass holder must be travelling in the vehicle.
The Seniors pass is not transferable.
Additional identification may be requested to confirm identity.


Great Educational Fact Sheets - For kids and their adults

Fact Sheets from
Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service

An outline of the Fact Sheet series is listed below  - They are presented in PDF, which can be easily printed.

Visiting National Parks, provides all you need to know before you go - how to get there, facilities, camping and what you can do when you arrive... -  Visiting Reserves, General information on the wide range of parks, reserves and cultural sites managed by the Parks and Wildlife Service...  -  Marine ReservesHistoric Heritage, Information on some of the historic sites around Tasmania...  -  Great Bushwalks and  Walking NotesPlants - WildlifeThreatened Species and  Geodiversity.


Camping in Tasmanian State Forests
Section of forest
Sustainable Timber Tasmania is a government business enterprise wholly owned by the Government of Tasmania and is responsible for the management of public production forest in Tasmania.

The Permanent Timber Production Zone covers about 800,000 hectares of public land.

Camping Allowed
Camping is generally allowed anywhere on Permanent Timber Production Zone land, except where signed ‘no camping’.

Campfires are okay in most areas at most times, but please take care and abide by fire weather warnings and restrictions that may be in place.

Before you head out to visit Permanent Timber Production Zone land it is recommended that you contact one of Sustainable Timber Tasmania's local Regional Offices.

They can provide advice on what operations are in progress in the areas you wish to visit, the possibility of heavy vehicles sharing those roads, general road conditions and any locked gates.

Check out the Interactive Map Viewer to identify the locations of Sustainable Timber Tasmania's Permanent Timber Production Zones by clicking the graphic, below and set your Map Controls to Permanent Timber Production Zone, as pictured.

Things to remember while visiting working forests

Sustainable Timber Tasmania asks that you follow these ten important rules:
1. Obey laws and regulations for vehicles/recreational vehicles including 4wd, motor bikes/atv's that apply to public lands 
2. Respect cultural, heritage, and environmental values of public/private land 
3. Respect flora and fauna. Stop look, but never disturb or remove 
4. Keep to formed vehicle tracks 
5. Keep the environment clean. Carry your own, and any other rubbish back out 
6. Keep your vehicle mechanically sound and clean to reduce environmental impact 
7. Adopt minimal impact camping and driving practices 
8. Seek permission before driving on private land. Do not disturb livestock or watering points and leave gates as found 
9. Take adequate water, food, fuel, basic spares and first aid kit. In remote areas travel with another vehicle and have radio contact 
10. Plan your trip and lodge trip details with responsible persons. 


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Northern Midlands Council - Free Camping Facts

 The Facts

The information, below, has been gleened from the North Midlands Council website. 

Tree carvings at The Red Bridge, Campbell Town
The Northern Midlands offers a range of Self-Contained Vehicle friendly sites for self contained RVs and caravans at Bishopsbourne, Campbell Town, Cressy, Evandale and Honeysuckle Banks.

Self contained vehicles only
The sites listed below are strictly self-contained which means that:
All shower, washing, toilet, cooking, and sleeping must be contained WITHIN YOUR VEHICLE. 

No grey or black water, or other liquid is to be let out onto the ground, around trees, or into the river.
Camping Permit
These areas all REQUIRE a camping permit, which can be obtained by clicking here or you can call Council on (03) 6397 7303 for further information.
your permit number will be emailed to you immediately and you simply write your permit number on a piece of paper and display it on your dashboard.

The Camps
A 48 hour free area for self - contained caravans and mobile homes is located at the Bishopsbourne Recreation Ground - Bishopsbourne Road, Bishopsbourne.

 Bishopsbourne is a farming community and has a population of only around 78.  It has a church, graveyard and recreation ground.

Nearby towns include Carrick, Bracknell and Longford

The dedicated free area is sign posted.

Coordinates:  -41.616465, 146.994830

A Permit is required 

Bishopsbourne Recreation Ground

Campbell Town
This 48 hour free area for self-contained caravans & mobile homes is located within the Blackburn Park Reserve, which is on the south eastern side of the Red Bridge—adjacent to the Elizabeth River.

Campbell Town is a major rest area on the Midland Highway, with toilets, a park, a large car park and a range of food outlets.

Coordinates:  -41.933104, 147.494384

A Permit is required

Blackburn Park Reserve - Campbell Town
The 48 hour free area for self - contained caravans and mobile homes is located at the Cressy Recreation Ground - 2 Macquarie St, Cressy 

Cressy is known as Tasmania's "Trout capital" for the good fishing in the area (in season).

It is a small town 35 km south-west of Launceston, with a population of around 670.

Coordinates:  -41.681568, 147.084045
The dedicated free area is sign posted.

 A Permit is required

Cressy Recreation Ground
The 48 hour free area for self - contained caravans & mobile homes is located at the Falls Park Reserve, Logan Road (site of the Evandale Market).
The dedicated free area is sign posted and is only available from Monday to Friday.

Coordinates: -41.571268, 147.254035

 A Permit is required

Falls Park Reserve, Logan Road (site of the Evandale Market)

Honeysuckle Banks - Evandale
The 48 hr free area for self - contained caravans & mobile homes is located at the Honeysuckle Banks Reserve, 356 Leighlands Road, Evandale
The dedicated free area is sign posted and is only permitted from NOVEMBER TO APRIL.

Coordinates: -41.572522, 147.237636

 A Permit is required

Honeysuckle Banks Reserve - camping only permitted from NOVEMBER TO APRIL.


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Exploring the Tasman Peninsula

Some Facts About the Tasman Peninsula

There is much more to the Tasman Peninsula than just the Port Arthur Prison, so I headed off to document some of it for you.
Pugsley and Albert join the Eaglehawk Neck Dogline

In further posts I will be looking at some of the weird and wonderful points of interest including: Eaglehawk Neck dog-line, Convict Coal Mine, Australia's First (convict powered) Railway, the Federation Chocolate Factory and Unzoo, along with the towns of Nubeena, the largest town on the Tasman Peninsula; Eaglehawk Neck and Taranna - as well as details of the many available caravan parks, RV and tent campsites, so it would be well worth your time to bookmark this blog for future reference.

Lying to the south and west of Eaglehawk Neck, the Tasman Peninsula has an area of 660 square kilometres and population of around 2,200 permanent residents.

Given that there is an overload of information around on Port Arthur I will concentrate more, in this series of posts, on the rest of this exciting and colourful region.

The Tasman Peninsula
 Original Inhabitants

The aboriginal inhabitants of this area, prior to European arrival, were the Pydairrerme people.

Their territory was what is now known as the Tasman and Forestier peninsulas.

The Pydairrerme people were a part of the larger Paredarerme language group, whose territory covered a large area of the east coast of Tasmania.

 The Reason for European Settlement

The first European settlement of the peninsula was Port Arthur in the early 1830s and was selected as a penal settlement because it was geographically isolated from the rest of the colony, but more easily reachable by sea.

Its inaccessibility was enhanced by having Eaglehawk Neck lined with guards and guard dogs, to prevent the escape of any convicts.

A small number did escape, however, including the bushranger Martin Cash.

It also had excellent supplies of timber for shipbuilding and general construction work, as well as stone, clay, lime and coal and was was close enough to Hobart to allow for a viable settlement and a deep sheltered harbour, where visiting British warships could be repaired.

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and tourism are now the area's major industries and it is a base for the local crayfish, salmon and shellfish industry.

Camp sites around Tasman Peninsula

The Tasman Peninsula region has a broad range of accommodation options that include two tourist parks along with a number of RV and tent only campsites and a list is available in  Tasmanian Freedom Camping Locations Series (in PDF) in Tasmanian Travel Guide's website.

NOTE: Clicking on 'coordinates' will take you to the appropriate Google map.

White Beach Tourist Park
128 White Beach Rd, White Beach
Phone: (03) 6250-2142
Coordinates: -43.111338, 147.736878

I chose the White Beach Tourist Park as my base for this series for its convenient position on the western shore of the peninsula.

Set right on a beautiful beach, with delightful and helpful hosts, White Beach Tourist Park offers quiet camping, free wifi, dump point, BBQs, a camp kitchen/dining area with tv and a book exchange, coin operated laundry, a play area for the kids, easy access for caravans and motor homes and accommodation for families and couples.

White Beach Tourist Park has self-contained cabins, powered caravan/motorhome sites and outstanding grassy campsites.

 NRMA Port Arthur Holiday Park
Garden Point, Port Arthur
Phone: 1800 607 057

Offering a range of modern facilities including amenities, playground, camp kitchen, pump track, kiosk, outdoor pizza oven and fire pits, the accommodation options include waterview cabins, safari tents, ensuite and unpowered sites and bunkhouses.

Lime Bay Campground
181 Coal Mine Rd, Sloping Main
Coordinates: -42.956029, 147.703285

The campsite is suitable for tents and caravans and facilities include toilets, limited picnic tables and fire places. The campsite has a set fee (currently $13 a couple)

Take your own water and firewood and as the area is prone to fire bans at short notice during warmer summer months, a fuel stove is recommended for cooking.

Lime Bay State Reserve is a large and attractive 1300 ha secluded reserve consisting of sheltered beaches and eucalypt plantations at the end of well maintained, gravel Coal Mines Rd., north of the historic Convict Coal Mine complex.

Nubeena Ex- Servicemans club
1577 Main Road Nubeena, Tasmania
03 6250 2135
Coordinates: -43.108146, 147.746876

Suitable for self contained RVs and caravans, this site costs $20/ night with $10 redeemable on bar.

Mill Creek Campground
Tasman National Park
Cape Hauy Track, Fortescue Bay
03 6250 2433
Coordinates: -43.143263, 147.968744

Suitable for RV, caravan and tent; bookings are necessary. Toilets and fireplaces are provided while hot showers and wood are available for a small fee.

A gas barbecue in available in the day use area.

National parks pass required and is available from caretaker, (24 hour park passes available at self-registration box near campground information board)


Port Arthur Historic Site Ghost Tours

Witness the darker side of the Port Arthur Historic Site with this great value, Port Arthur ghost tour. Over the course of the 90 minute tour, join your expert, experienced guide on a journey into the heart of the Port Arthur site while telling you stories of the many historical and legendary occurrences that have taken place during the tumultuous history of the area.


The peninsula forms part of the South-east Tasmania Important Bird Area, identified as such by BirdLife International, because of its importance in the conservation of a range of woodland birds, especially the endangered swift parrot and forty-spotted pardalote.
The swift parrot

The forty-spotted pardalote

Monday, August 27, 2018

Convict Coal Mine historic site - Tasman Peninsula

Convict Coal Mine ruins at  Saltwater River

The main Convict Precinct
Excavated in 1833, the coal mines were used to punish the worst convicts, who worked here in extremely poor conditions.
Developed to limit the colony’s dependence on costly imported coal from New South Wales, as well as serving as a place of punishment for the “worst class” of convicts from Port Arthur, the mine was operational for over 40 years.

The main section of the site with the car-park upper left

 Coal Mine Walks
There are ten walks in the area - each with its own specific interests, including:

1. Convict Precinct - a 30 minute return walk of 800 metres which covers the main buildings and ruins in the convict precinct. 

I was so moved by this section of the site that I attempted to capture its grandeur with a Youtube video that you can enjoy at:

2. Tramway and Beach Walk - a one km, 40 minute walk to inspect the area where the tramway ran down to the beach and where the coal was loaded.
: "Along the shore you can see small lumps of red and black material. The red material is coal slack, burnt by fires that smouldered for many years after the Mines were closed. The black material is coal that fell into the water during loading at the jetties. There were four main jetties. Two were near the Settlement, a third serviced the inclined plane, and the fourth serviced the Commissariat Store."
3. Plunkett Point - a 2 km return walk taking around one hour on a gravel road to Plunkett Point.
The Commissariat Store was built here in 1842. It could contain provisions for 2,000 men.
4. Inclined Plane - a 3 km return walk taking around 105 minutes and reaching the clifftops at Plunkett Point, north of the convict precinct. This took the coal from the shaft to the jetty.
There is a contemporary description of the process: "a windlass arrangement for hoisting the coal, a full box going up and empty one going down. A platform was built to the mouth of the shaft, and the boxes of coal were landed and placed on a tram, which ran out to a screen above the rails of the inclined plane... The [screened coal then] went into wagons underneath, which were run down the hill to the jetty." The system worked in such a way that the heavy coal-laden wagons rolling down the hill helped to pull the empty wagons up the hill. Not surprisingly it required "careful treatment to safely bring the wagon to the jetty. We used to stand on the brake behind, and guide the wagon to keep it on the road. The jetty was built so that [ships] could lie underneath; the wagons above, with flap arrangement below, could then quickly discharge their load into the hold of the boat."
5. Signal Station - a two hour, 3.5 km walk around past the Inclined Plane and the Shaft to the location of the old semaphore signal station.
The signal station was part of a system designed by Captain Booth at Port Arthur which allowed communication to occur between Port Arthur and the outstations in fifteen minutes.
6. Military Precinct & Gardens - a 4 km return lasting 2 hours and 30 minutes to the Military Precinct which lay beyond the convict precinct

7. Military Precinct to Convict Settlement - which is a short 15 minute, 500 metre walk.

8. The Quarry - a 90 minute, 2.5 km return walk.
In a detailed contemporary account of this large shaft which was 92 metres deep. It was constantly flooding and William Thompson, one of the workers in the mine, has left us this description of the working "At the bottom of the shaft there were three roads. One was called the Double Road; it lay right in front of you and ran steeply down for about 40 or 50 yards... at the bottom there was a pump which was continually kept at work pumping the water up to the bottom of the big shaft. At the mouth of the pit was a pump to drain the water that collected at the bottom, and this was continuously operated by about eight men or more.
The coal was extracted by "sending the men down was for one man to sit across the short iron bar, holding onto the chain which was attached to its centre, and another man sat on the opposite side across the first man’s knee. They were then lowered by the windlass to the bottom. One miner got the coal from each face..."
9. A Heathland Wander - a pleasant  3 hour, 4.5 km return through the surrounding heathland from the Main Shaft to the Air Shaft.

10. The Air Shaft - a 5 km return, 3 hour 30 minutes walk through the heathland to the air shaft.

There are signs and displays to guide you around and inform about the history of the Site

A great place to explore on foot, with a number of tracks and paths around the extensive site, the Coal Mines offers visitors the chance to discover, among the ruins and scenic vistas, a different perspective on Tasmania’s convict history.

The site is managed by the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority and is one of the Unesco Australian Convict Sites World Heritage properties.

Getting There

Take the signposted turn-off  at Old Trading Store on Nubeena Road, Premaydena and travel around 13km north-west to Saltwater River Coal Mines Historic Site. Entry is free.

Turn off Nubeena road for the Convict Coal Mine at the Old Trading Store

 Lime Bay Campground

Located at 181 Coal Mine Rd, Sloping Main, this beautiful isolated, National Park, campsite is located right near the water’s edge is suitable for both tents and caravans and  is approximately 7km north of the Convict Coal Mines.

Facilities include toilets, some picnic tables and fire places, but you need to  bring your own water and firewood.

Camping Fees:
$13 per site based on 2 adults – Unpowered Site
Children – 4 and Under Free
5-17 years $2.50
Family Rate – $16 per site
Bookings are not taken.
 National Park entry fees and conditions apply. 

Caravan parks and campsites
The Tasman Peninsula region has a broad range of accommodation options that include two tourist parks along with a number of RV and tent only campsites and a list is available in  Tasmanian Freedom Camping Locations Series (in PDF) in Tasmanian Travel Guide's website.
Cruise the spectacularly rugged coastline of one of Tasmania's most stunning areas with this Tasman Island cruise that's rich in both scenery and wildlife.

 Over the course of three hours, you'll head out from the departure point at Port Arthur aboard a comfortable sightseeing vessel and take in the cavalcade of impressive scenery along the way as we head out to the open ocean. As we head towards Tasman Island itself, you'll get a sample of the abundant sea life that the region is famous for - join the search for dolphins, sharks, albatross, and Southern Right whales during their migratory season.