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Exploring the Tasman Peninsula in a Van

Updated: Jan 28

Are you an adventurous traveler seeking the thrill of the open road, breathtaking landscapes, and the freedom to explore at your own pace? Look no further than Tasmania's stunning Tasman Peninsula. This picturesque region is a road trip paradise, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and outdoor activities that will leave you awestruck. We'll guide you through the ultimate road trip adventure around the Tasman Peninsula, perfect for those traveling in vans. Get ready to embark on a journey you'll never forget!

Before you start your Tasman Peninsula adventure, you'll need to get there. If you're flying into Tasmania, the Hobart International Airport (HBA) is the most convenient starting point. From Hobart, it's an easy drive to the Tasman Peninsula, and you can rent a campervan in the city if you don't have your own.

The Unmissable Stops

Now, let's dive into the must-visit spots on your Tasman Peninsula road trip:

Port Arthur Historic Site

Port Arthur Historical site
Credit: Supplied Courtesy of Port Arthur Historic Site

As you embark on your road trip adventure through Tasmania's Tasman Peninsula, don't miss the opportunity to explore the historic gem of Port Arthur. This captivating site, founded in 1830 as a harsh penal colony, now stands as a testament to Australia's colonial history. Wander through well-preserved convict buildings, including the haunting Penitentiary, and gain insights into the lives of those who endured its hardships.

Port Arthur Historical Site
Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Kathryn Leahy

Port Arthur's remarkable landscapes, from serene lawns to breathtaking waterfront views, offer the perfect backdrop for a deep dive into history. Plan to spend at least half a day exploring the site, indulging in interpretive tours, and taking in the sights of this iconic convict heritage site.

Remarkable Cave

Nestled amidst the coastal beauty of the Tasman Peninsula, Remarkable Cave offers you the chance to witness the powerful forces of nature at work. The sea cave's unusual formation creates a truly unique experience, where you can gaze in wonder at the ocean through its massive, naturally-carved entrance. It's a perfect spot for capturing breathtaking photographs and immersing yourself in the raw beauty of the Tasmanian coastline. A visit to Remarkable Cave is a quick yet memorable stop on your van road trip, providing you with a lasting impression of Mother Nature's artistry. So, ensure it's on your itinerary and get ready to be amazed by this natural wonder that the Tasman Peninsula has to offer.

Tasman Arch and Devil's Kitchen

As you set out on your thrilling van road trip adventure across Tasmania's stunning Tasman Peninsula, don't miss the chance to explore the captivating Tasman Arch and Devil's Kitchen. These natural wonders are testaments to the extraordinary forces of nature and offer travelers a front-row seat to some of the most breathtaking geological formations in the region.

walk devil's kitchen and tasman arch in tasmania
take the easy 1h30 return walk

Tasman Arch, the first stop on this natural wonder tour, showcases the immense power of the sea. As waves and tides have relentlessly carved through the sandstone cliffs over centuries, they've created a remarkable natural bridge. Visitors can stand in awe, gazing through the archway at the turbulent waters below. The views are not only mesmerizing but also perfect for capturing stunning photographs of the Tasman Peninsula's rugged coastline.

Just a short distance away, Devil's Kitchen awaits your exploration. This intriguing geological formation is named after its churning waters, which are often compared to the roaring of a devil. The deep chasms and crevices in the rocks give you an up-close look at the erosive forces that have shaped this coastline. It's a fantastic spot for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike, offering dramatic vistas that change with the tides and weather.

Both Tasman Arch and Devil's Kitchen are easily accessible, making them ideal stops on your van road trip adventure. So, include these marvels of nature in your Tasman Peninsula itinerary and prepare to be spellbound by the awe-inspiring beauty of these coastal formations that nature has sculpted over countless millennia.

Cape Raoul

Cape Raoul view from the ocean level
Credit: Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service

Cape Raoul is renowned for its breathtaking coastal vistas and iconic sea cliffs that plummet into the Southern Ocean. The Cape Raoul Track offers a challenging yet rewarding hike, winding its way through lush forests and along the clifftops. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for native wildlife, including kangaroos and diverse bird species.

The climax of your journey is the Cape Raoul lookout, where you'll be greeted with panoramic views that stretch as far as the eye can see. The towering sea stacks rising from the tumultuous waters below create a dramatic and photogenic landscape that will leave you in awe. It's a fantastic spot to capture the rugged beauty of Tasmania's coastline and savor the feeling of being on the edge of the world.

Fortescue Bay

fortescue bay tasmania view from a drone above the national park
Credit: Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service

Nestled along the eastern coast of Tasmania's Tasman Peninsula, Fortescue Bay is an idyllic coastal haven that beckons travelers seeking a tranquil escape and outdoor adventure. This hidden gem boasts pristine beaches, clear waters, and lush coastal landscapes perfect for relaxation or exploring on foot. For the adventurous souls, the area offers access to remarkable bushwalks and hiking trails, including the famous Cape Hauy Track. Camping by the bay's shores under the starry night sky is a dream for van travelers, with well-equipped facilities available. Encounter wildlife, from wallabies to diverse bird species, and immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of this coastal paradise. Fortescue Bay is a must-visit destination for those craving a serene retreat amid nature's splendor on their Tasman Peninsula road trip.

Van-Friendly Camping

Tasmania offers several van-friendly campsites with amenities such as showers, toilets, and picnic areas. Here are a few recommended options:

Fortescue Bay Campground

Fortescue Bay Campground on Tasmania's Tasman Peninsula is a dream-come-true for van travelers, offering powered van sites with easy access, modern amenities like hot showers and clean facilities, and the unparalleled advantage of being right by the beach. The campground's picturesque setting allows you to wake up to the soothing sounds of waves, and it even permits campfires in designated areas, ideal for sharing stories under the starry night sky. With proximity to hiking trails, stunning coastal views, wildlife encounters, and ample space for van maneuvering, Fortescue Bay Campground is the ultimate coastal haven, seamlessly blending convenience and natural beauty to enhance your van adventure.

Tasman Peninsula Holiday Park

Tasman Peninsula National Park is another van traveler's paradise, offering a range of van-friendly facilities and an unparalleled natural setting. With easily accessible parking areas and campgrounds that cater to van travelers, you can comfortably explore this stunning wilderness. The park provides powered van sites, clean amenities, and access to pristine beaches and hiking trails, making it a fantastic base for your Tasman Peninsula adventure. Waking up to the sights and sounds of nature while being within arm's reach of breathtaking coastal vistas is a van traveler's dream come true. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, a hiker, or simply seeking tranquility by the sea, the Tasman Peninsula National Park offers an ideal blend of convenience and natural beauty for an unforgettable van adventure.

White Beach Tourist Park

This well-appointed park offers van-friendly facilities and spacious sites with easy access, making it a practical choice for van enthusiasts. With modern amenities, including clean restrooms, hot showers, and laundry facilities, you'll have all the comforts you need during your road trip. The park's proximity to the stunning White Beach, known for its pristine sands and crystal-clear waters, means you can wake up and step straight onto the beach from your van. It's the perfect place for swimming, beachcombing, and capturing picturesque coastal views right outside your door. White Beach Tourist Park combines convenience, natural beauty, and modern comforts, making it an excellent choice for van travelers seeking a memorable Tasman Peninsula adventure.

Lime Bay Campground

Pirate Bay Beach on a sunny winter afternoon with surfing condition waves
Stop on your way at Pirate Bay Beach

Nestled in the scenic Tasman Peninsula, offers a more remote camping experience, and while it provides a beautiful natural setting, it does not have on-site options for food and supplies. Travelers planning to stay at Lime Bay Campground should come well-prepared with all necessary groceries, water, and camping provisions, as the campground is relatively isolated and doesn't feature convenience stores or dining facilities. To ensure you have everything you need during your stay at Lime Bay, it's advisable to stock up on supplies in larger towns like Nubeena or Hobart before heading to this picturesque camping destination.

Food and Supplies

Stock up on supplies in Hobart before hitting the road, as there are limited options for groceries on the Tasman Peninsula. You can also enjoy delicious seafood at local restaurants and food stalls along the way. We however spotted a few little gems along the way

delicious and good looking vegetarian food at Bangor Vineyard Shed
Veggie Plate at Bangor Vineyard Shed
  • Bangor Vineyard Shed

A lovely spot to enjoy some food. We tried their wine too and sadly will call it a pass. This said the view is fantastic and a welcome break on your in or out to the peninsula.

  • Cubed espresso bar

A fantastic little cup of joy with a hell of a view, a must do when travelling nearby. The guys there are really friendly too so don't be shy to ask your way around.

  • 1830 Restaurant and Bar, Port Arthur

Now if you want to treat yourself or mark a special occassion, this is the place to go and nowehere else. Abosultely fantastic and creative food options, that you better book ahead.

Choosing the Right Van

Selecting the perfect van for your road trip is crucial. Opt for a comfortable and well-equipped campervan that suits your needs and budget. Ensure it's equipped with a bed, kitchen facilities, and enough storage space for your adventure gear.

van on the road heading to the Tasman Peninsula
kunanyi on its way to the Tasman Peninsula
"Our favorite van to travel around the Tasman Peninsula is kunanyi"

There are a couple of spots that will require you to have spare battery and water to stay overnight such as Fortescue and Lime Bay Campgrounds which have nothing nearby. Having a little kitchen will also allow you to save on money as there is little dining options and the area is quite isolated making them a little more expesnive than elsewhere.

Winters can get particularly cold in this area so a good insulation and warm blankets are also a serious plus to look after if travelling there during the colder months.

Embarking on a road trip adventure around the Tasman Peninsula in a van is an unforgettable experience. From historic sites to natural wonders, this region offers a diverse range of attractions for every traveler. So, pack your bags, rent a van, and get ready for a journey filled with stunning landscapes and thrilling adventures. Tasmania's Tasman Peninsula is waiting to be explored by road-tripping enthusiasts like you!

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