Most travellers to Tasmania are likely to include a visit to the Tasman Peninsula.
It is after all where many of the island’s most notable natural wonders, endemic wildlife, coastal walks, and historic sites come together including the island’s number one attraction, Port Arthur.
With so much to do, it’s far better to base yourself here to discover the region than to take continual day trips driving back and forth from Hobart.
And, set in Tasmania’s Eaglehawk Neck (which also goes by its dual Aboriginal name Teralina), The Wayfarer’s prime position places it right in the middle of all the Tasman Peninsula has to offer.
This is a luxury beach shack overlooking the water of the famous peninsula, allowing you to experience Tassie beach shack culture – an escape to a private cottage, vacationing like the locals do.
Luxury Beach Shack on the Tasman Peninsula: The Wayfarer
A Look at the Tasman Peninsula
You couldn’t ask for a better travel destination given the current crisis affecting the world. The Peninsula has stayed Covid-free throughout the pandemic, with a population that numbers just a couple thousand and plenty of natural beauty to socially distance yourself in.
It’s ironic that “The Neck” that leads to the Tasman Peninsula was once the feature that kept early convicts from escaping the famous Port Arthur penal colony which sits on the peninsula.
Today, The Neck welcomes people from all around the world who are eager to experience the peninsula’s rich history and countless attractions.
One of Australia’s first regions to be permanently settled by the British, the Tasman Peninsula’s Port Arthur would be constructed shortly after Tasmania separated itself from the Colony of New South Wales and became known as Van Diemen’s Land. It would be roughly another 20 years before Van Diemen’s Land would become known as Tasmania.
It may have taken some time, but the Tasman Peninsula has transformed itself from a dreadful prison to a slice of heaven.
While you can still choose to rough it in the rugged Tasmanian wilderness by camping, there’s no need to thanks to cosy and modern accommodation like The Wayfarer.
Humbly calling itself a renovated beach shack, this stunning property scores major points with its exceptional panoramic views over Pirates Bay.
Coastal retreat would be a much more appropriate title given that it’s a quiet, secluded escape where guests can quickly find rest and relaxation.
The Wayfarer can accommodate four travellers quite comfortably thanks to its two bedrooms and large lounge and dining areas. The master bedroom features a queen bed while the second bedroom offers up two singles, making it ideal for small families.
Photos of the Wayfarer
The Wayfarer sits less than an hour from Hobart Airport, just a short distance as you cross over The Neck and pass the famous Dog Line.
The house sits high up on a hill above a quiet road which you won’t be able to notice anyway thanks to the home’s elevated position.
It’s just a short walk down to the exceptionally long Pirates Bay Beach and just a short 5-minute drive to a number of iconic attractions which includes the fascinating Tessellated Pavement and Blowhole.
There are a few shops nearby but your best bet is to collect all you need for meals in the town of Sorell which you’ll pass en route to The Wayfarer. Sorell offers up two major grocery stores along with a variety of shops.
The Wayfarer is the perfect base for exploring the Tasman Peninsula’s many famous hiking trails as well as Port Arthur and the lesser-known but equally impressive Coal Mines Historic Site, both of which can be reached in under a 30-minute drive.
The Wayfarer capitalises on its killer views with giant windows that seem to wrap around the entire home. Despite all the windows, you still get to enjoy ultimate privacy albeit maybe getting a few sneaky peeks from the local birds such as the honeyeaters and fairy wrens.
You definitely get a front row seat to the sunrises over the water each morning, something we made an effort to get up and watch. I must admit, it was the first time I’ve caught a sunrise in many years.
With so much to do in the area, I highly recommend booking an extra night or two simply to enjoy relaxing in and around the home itself. While it may be the perfect base for exploring the peninsula, this coastal retreat is an attraction in and of itself.
What’s Included in Your Stay
While I’ve already gone over The Wayfarer’s bedrooms, I haven’t mentioned the fully-equipped kitchen which provides everything you’d possibly need to self-cater all your daily meals.
You have access to a stove, oven, microwave, full fridge/freezer, dishes, cutlery, kettle, toaster, and anything else you could possibly ask for.
Of course, all linen, towels, beach towels, and showering toiletries are provided. You can also browse the nice collection of new, quality books and board games. Nights can be spent researching local attractions via the free Wi-Fi or settling into a Netflix movie which are also provided.
There’s AC for summer visitors and electric or wood heating for winter visitors. The wrap-around deck meanwhile is inviting year-round thanks to the plentiful sunlight it gets most of the day (when the sun’s out of course!).
Add in beautiful Australian and nautical themed decor along with comfortable furnishings and the combination makes it hard to leave each day to explore the area.
You only need to read The Wayfarer’s recent reviews to realise most guests claim it to be the best accommodation of their entire Tasmania holiday.
Things to Do on the Tasman Peninsula
Trying to cover all the hidden natural gems on the Tasman would be a difficult task, but there are a few standout sites that are worth mentioning including a number of unusual geological formations.
Begin with the Blowhole which is less than a 5-minute drive; originally a sea cave that has since collapsed. You can now witness seawater being forced up through the remaining hole during a high tide with large swells, much like a whale spouting.
If you happen to catch the Blowhole during low tide, you can alternatively rock-hop across to Fossil Island where you can witness ancient fossilised seashells embedded in the rocks and probably catch site of a few passing fur seals. Also check out the Fossil Bay Lookout for stunning views of the dramatic coastline and its towering dolerite cliffs.
Tasman National Park
Also about a 5-minute drive away from The Wayfarer are two more popular natural landmarks within the Tasman National Park.
They include the Tasman Arch which is another once-ancient seaside cave which you can actually walk around, part of the walk taking you over a remaining chunk of land that acts as a natural bridge.
The other notable attraction just a short walk away is the Devil’s Kitchen where you can witness the sheer power of the sea. And just to the north of The Neck is the very unique and aptly named Tessellated Pavement.
This rare geological feature found in only a few places around the world features a large section of flat rock which has been fractured into shapes that make it look as though the seaside shelf has been put together as a mosaic. During low tide, you can easily walk out on the Tessellated Pavement for a close inspection.
Along the southern coastline of the peninsula you’ll find Remarkable Cave where you can descend well over a hundred steps into a cavernous seaside pit surrounded by towering sandstone cliffs.
Be sure to also visit the Port Arthur Lavender farm if visiting from December to February when the flowers are in bloom. The farm sits directly on the route from The Wayfarer to Port Arthur and Remarkable Cave.
Walks & Beaches
Tasmania’s newest popular hiking experience that rivals the famous Overland Track in the state’s northwest is the Three Capes Walk.
The Tasmania Government and Park Service have created a rather expensive option for experiencing the region with a nearly 50-kilometre trail that passes through it. Their 4-day hiking experience which begins with a boat transfer from Port Arthur will set you back around $500 AUD!
Thankfully, you can simply purchase a national park’s pass and split up the multi-day hike into smaller self-guided and less structured hikes to see most of the main drawcards of the trek.
Cape Huay and Cape Raoul can be experienced by day hikes, spending each night in the comfort of The Wayfarer instead of out in the cold, and Cape Pillar would simply require a single overnight campsite stay.
There are also many beautiful natural beaches to check out on the Tasman Peninsula. You have the seemingly endless beach of Pirates Bay just outside The Wayfarer or you can go on a short road trip around the peninsula to check out Roaring Beach, White Beach, and Crescent Bay Beach.
There are a number of historically significant sites on the Tasman Peninsula, most notably the UNESCO-listed Port Arthur Penal Settlement along with the Coal Mines Historic Site.
Both sites can be accessed by a roughly 30-minute drive but in opposite directions, so it’s best to plan visit to each on separate days so as to not rush each of the historic experiences.
Port Arthur Historic Site
Port Arthur is officially Tasmania’s most visited tourist attraction and with good reason since it is regarded as probably the best surviving example of early British penal transportation.
Port Arthur was the end of the line for the so-called ultra-hardened and reoffending criminals. That being said, many had been originally convicted of rather petty crimes such as stealing a sack of potatoes out of sheer hunger.
Port Arthur was chosen because it was geographically isolated from the rest of the early Tasmanian colony yet could easily be reached by sea.
However, the seas that allowed easy passage for ships proved too treacherous for the convicts to escape without a boat and the narrow “Neck” that leads back to mainland Tasmania was heavily guarded by the vicious canines of the infamous Dog Line.
A site that once had convicts praying and scheming for ways to leave now attracts an endless amount of visitors who eagerly come to experience the wide variety of tours on offer.
You can take self-guided tours of the dozens of historic building and ruins, special ghost tours, and the popular Isle of the Dead cemetery tour. There are even harbour cruises and helicopter flights over the site available.
Coal Mines Historic Site
Being Tasmania’s most popular attraction, Port Arthur can be the one spot on the Tasman Peninsula that can get a bit overcrowded at times.
If you wish to escape the crowds, I recommend checking out the nearby Coal Mines Historic Site instead. The Coal Mines site is far less touristy and commercialized but in my opinion just as equally fascinating.
The Coal Mines Historic Sites was in fact a working coal mine where conditions were said to be even harsher than Port Arthur.
While I may have said that Port Arthur was reserved for the worst criminals, the Coal Mines were where the worst convicts of Port Arthur were sent. The site is left more in a “ruined” state, where you can freely roam the grounds and the creepy prison cells at your leisure.
Be sure to pay a visit to the bronze statue of one of the dogs that would have guarded the famous Dog Line at The Neck upon your arrival or departure to the Tasman Peninsula. There is also the Officers Quarters Museum here which was built nearly 200 years ago and is said to be Australia’s oldest military building.
Wildlife of the Tasman Peninsula
It’s safe to say that the wild animal inhabitants far outnumber the human residents on the Tasman.
It’s considered to be an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International, with a large number of endemic Tasmania birds being able to be spotted such as the yellow wattlebird, green rosella, and yellow-throated honeyeater.
The local woodlands are home to possums, bandicoots, and wallabies of which one greeted us as we drove into The Wayfarer. There are even healthy wild Tasmanian devils that live secretively on the peninsula.
While you may be hard-pressed to spot one of these wild iconic nocturnal symbols of Tasmanian, you can be guaranteed an encounter at the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo.
The devils of the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo sleep less than 10 kilometres from where you’ll be sleeping at the Wayfarer. You can observe them at the zoo along with quolls and other native Tasmanian animals or look into the Unzoo’s special Devil Tracker guided four-wheel drive adventures into the native forest to see how wild devils are tracked and monitored.
Meanwhile, out at sea, you always have the chance to spot whales, dolphins, orcas, and fur seals. The best whale watching period is roughly from May to October during their annual migration times to and from sub-Antarctic waters.
There are also a number of full and half-day fishing charters available where you can try to reel in some giant bluefin tuna.
How to Book
Whether you’re seeking out Tasmania’s iconic natural landscapes, its legendary wildlife, or simply want to enjoy a relaxing escape far from the big cities after enduring ongoing lockdowns, The Wayfarer on the Tasman Peninsula offers up a little bit of everything, making for the perfect Tasmanian getaway.
Visit “The Wayfarer – Stunning water views, Pirates Bay” to book on Airbnb, and tell Lainie we sent you!
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