Things To Do Around Sommers Bay
Close to Port Arthur, Tasman's Arch and our incredibly beautiful beaches (Sommers Bay beach is a beautiful child safe beach), Sommers Bay Beach House is central to several of Tasmania's major tourist attractions including... • The historic ruins of Port Arthur's penal colony, only a 35 minute drive; • Tasman Arch, Devil's Kitchen, Tessalated pavement and Pirates Bay are even closer at only 15 minutes drive away; • Fortescue Bay Beach rivals the world famous Wine Glass Bay as one of the world's most beautiful beaches, and you can drive right to the waters edge; • South of Port Arthur visit Australia's highest sea cliffs (over 1000 feet) and Tasman Island (the turning point of the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race).
A fisherman's paradise! Eaglehawk Neck (15 min drive away) is famous for its game fishing, tuna and marlin. Why not charter a game boat and try your luck. In fact right in front of Sommers Bay Beach House the fishing is so good that a huge fishing competition is held every February! Why not help yourself to the mussels and oysters on the rocks near the Sommers Bay jetty, literally only a stones throw from your beach house. At night you could try your luck with a flounder light and catch some tasty flounder for supper, and afterwards fall asleep to the sound of lapping waves.
Other places of interest in the local area include:
DIP FALLS & THE BIG TREE
Located half an hour from Stanley (on the C225), Dip Falls feature unique column-like rock formations and are particularly impressive after periods of rain. BBQs, toilets and a car park are on site. A short walk down some steps takes you to the base of the falls and across the bridge there is a platform that looks out over them.
A five minute drive from there you’ll find the Big Tree, a five hundred year old Eucalyptus Obliquis with a 16 metre girth at its base.
BLUE HILLS HONEY
1853-1858 Mawbanna Road, Mawbanna, Ph 6458 8142
Stop in to sample and purchase some of the best honey in the world direct from the source. Produced by the Charles family since 1955, the award winning range of honeys (some certified organic) caters to all tastes. A favourite is the uniquely Tasmanian Leatherwood or you could indulge in their dark-chocolate-coated prickly box honey.
ROCKY CAPE NATIONAL PARK (TANGDIMMAA)
From Stanley looking east you’ll see Rocky Cape jutting out into Bass Straight. Less than half an hour drive from Stanley, the national park is a great place for bush walking with tracks from 10 minutes to 8 hours duration. The coast is suited to swimming, snorkelling and boating or exploring on foot. You can learn about the Rar.rer.loi.he.ner people who once lived here and enjoy the flora, fauna and geology of the area. There are toilets, BBQ and picnic facilities and a boat ramp, but no camping.
ALLENDALE GARDENS & RAINFOREST WALK
Allendale Lane, off the B22 road, near Edith Creek, Ph 6456 4216
Open Tuesday - Saturday from October to April, these beautiful landscaped gardens were created with every season in mind. Keep an eye out for the unusual wildlife as you take a gentle stroll around the gardens or through the adjacent rainforest. Finish with a Devonshire tea in the cafe.
TARKINE FOREST ADVENTURES AT DISMAL SWAMP
26059 Bass Highway, Togari, Ph 6456 7138
Dismal Swamp is an ancient sinkhole in which blackwood trees thrive. View this unique geological feature from above or take the exhilarating 110m slide down into the heart of the forest. Explore the sculpture “garden” as you stroll around the forest floor. Up top you’ll find an award winning visitors centre and a licensed café. A new feature is the 13km of mountain bike tracks winding through the forest. They have been designed to suit all levels of ability, from the novice to the hard core, and bikes can be hired on site. Dismal Swamp is open 9am - 5pm daily from 1st September - 30th April (weather dependant).
Ph 6452 1493
Part of the original 350,000 acres granted to the Van Diemen’s Land Company in 1825, the now 55,000 acre Woolnorth Property on Tasmania’s far North West tip, continues farming today. Woolnorth is now also home to Australia’s newest and largest wind farm. Half or full day tours of the property give you access to spectacular coastline, up-close views of the wind turbines, a glimpse of modern agriculture and a dining experience in a unique historic setting. Bookings are essential.
SOUTH ARTHUR FOREST DRIVE
The South Arthur Forest in the upper end of the Tarkine has many surprises in store. Take a short walk through magnificent myrtle forest to the beautiful Lake Chisholm where you may even spot a platypus. Stop to admire the views at the Sumac Lookout and enjoy a picnic by the river at Kanunnah Bridge. There is also the Balfour Track, the Celery Top Pine Forest Walk and other short forest walks at the Julius River and Milkshake Hills Reserves. Incorporate the South Arthur Forest Drive en route to or from Arthur River and Marrawah.
Marrawah is Tassie’s northern-most west coast town and is renowned for its excellent surfing and windsurfing. The unique windswept farmland and rugged coast line are an attraction in themselves. At Green Point you’ll find a sheltered BBQ and picnic area, toilets and playground as well as a beautiful 7 km sandy beach. To the North lies Mount Cameron West, an Aboriginal sacred site. You can drive to the mountain and access the beaches either side, but are requested not to climb on the mountain itself. There is a tavern and a shop and if you’re heading south from there, Marrawah is your last opportunity to get fuel.
ARTHUR RIVER/EDGE OF THE WORLD
This small village nestles around the mouth of its namesake, braving the elements that have shaped the rugged coast line on which it lies. Stand on “the Edge of the World” at Gardiner Point, walk the driftwood-lined river banks or beaches, hire a kayak or canoe to explore the river or take the more relaxed option of a cruise (see below). Arthur River is a great fishing destination for salmon and trout when in season. There are two small shops but no fuel.
ARTHUR RIVER CRUISES
1414 Arthur River Road, Arthur River, Ph 0427 885 792
Departing daily at 10am, the M.V. George Robinson takes you on a 14 km, 5 hour river cruise through magnificent scenery into the heart of temperate rainforest. Sea eagles are fed from the bow of the boat and on landing you can choose to sit and sip wine by the rivers edge or take an easy, guided walk through the forest. This is followed by a BBQ luncheon before the return journey. Price includes morning tea and lunch. Bookings are recommended. Arthur River Cruises are closed during winter.
ARTHUR RIVER REFLECTIONS RIVER CRUISES
4 Gardiner Street, Arthur River, Ph 6457 1288
Take a six hour eco-cruise into the heart of the Tarkine. See majestic sea eagles, the brilliantly coloured kingfisher and maybe a platypus as you sail through pristine forest on the “M.V. Reflections”. Enjoy a gourmet lunch of Tasmanian produce, wine, tea and coffee. Be guided on a stroll through the forest to see giant man ferns and a waterfall and then return to Arthur River by 4:15pm. The cruise departs daily at 10:15am, but they are closed during winter.
CIRCULAR HEAD HERITAGE CENTRE
8 King Street, Smithton, Ph 64523296
Close to the centre of Smithton this local history museum with a range of memorabilia, maps and photographs also has a family history research centre. Open limited hours or by appointment.
TARKINE WILDERNESS TOURS
Tall Timbers, Smithton, Ph 1800 628 476
The mystery and beauty of the legendary Tarkine will be unlocked as you travel deep into the forest by four-wheel drive - all the way to the Great Southern Ocean. You will literally be taken to the edge of the world and back, with a choice of premium or low cost full day options.
TARKINE SELF-GUIDED TOUR
Discover Tasmania's forests for yourself, with a self-guided drive. The Tarkine contains one of the world’s great temperate rainforests and Australia’s largest wilderness rainforest. It is a vast area located between the Arthur and Pieman rivers. Collect a map at reception to begin your adventure!