Port Arthur to Saltwater River
The Loop Road provides the opportunity for visitors to venture further afield via The Convict Trail and explore the less frequented, yet no less stunning, corners of the Tasman Peninsula.
If you are looking to do some inspiring nature walks on your holiday, Stormlea Road (6 km from Port Arthur) provides access to the Cape Raoul track. Those energetic enough to venture forth will be rewarded with beautiful and serene bushland, as well as views of the Raoul Plateau, Shipstern Bluff and the distant 'Fluffies', famous amongst great wave surfers.
Further along the Nubeena Road, a left hand turn leads to White Beach—a wonderful stretch of sparkling sand and crystal waters, with spectacular sunsets across Storm Bay. White Beach is a very popular holiday location for Tasmanians – a local vote for the place to visit.
The pretty fishing village of Nubeena is situated on picturesque Parsons Bay and, as the largest township on the peninsula, is the commercial hub of the local community. Nubeena offers a range of welcoming accommodation places, a friendly bakery and a number of small shops and cosy cafes to enjoy. Nubeena also provides a number of essential services (doctor, chemist and emergency services).
If feeling adventurous, continue to follow The Loop Road (B37) through Nubeena and take the road out to the great sand dunes of Roaring Beach - a spectacular and remote place that whispers of an ancient past – yet another great surfing opportunity.
Visitors can follow the Convict Trail, driving through Nubeena to the remote Coal Mines Historic Site at Saltwater River - Port Arthur being just one of several convict sites that were established around the Tasman Peninsula. Often described as one of Tasmania's best-kept secrets, the Coal Mines Historic Site offers a fascinating contrast with a visit to the better known Port Arthur Historic Site; a self-guided opportunity with excellent interpretation with a sense of serenity, gothic mystery and discovery.
Historic ruins are scattered about a bushland environment rich in birdlife and natural beauty. Walking tracks lead past hidden ruins and buildings, as well as the main mine shaft. Entry is free. A fact sheet is available from the Port Arthur Visitor Centre. The small hamlets of Premaydena and Koonya also offer insights into the convict heritage of the Tasman Peninsula.
Premaydena was established as Impression Bay Probation Station in 1841 and was later a quarantine station. Today headstones on the point and the timbers of a tramway across the bay (revealed at low tide) bear poignant testimony to its convict past. Picturesque Koonya offers an opportunity for horse-riding on bush-land trails, a number of small beaches for day use and further insights into the convict system. A convict probation station was established in Koonya in the 1840s.