Tasmania is known for its natural beauty and wildlife, and now you can get a good taste of both on a new eco-tour just minutes from Hobart.
Tasman Island Cruises operates a range of day tour adventures. They take in the southern hemisphere's highest sea cliffs at Cape Pillar, thousands of birds, dolerite spires and sea stacks, deep sea caves and tumbling waterfalls. The power and beauty of the Southern Ocean is overwhelming.
The Getaway crew joined Tasman Island Cruises' three-hour eco-cruise. It goes along the coastline of the Tasman National Park between Port Arthur and Eaglehawk Neck. There are hundreds of caves scattered along the coastline and you just go in and explore them.
Tasman Island is a spectacular landmark of the Southern Ocean. The Continental Shelf is close to the island and its white lighthouse protects seafarers entering Storm Bay.
As if the scenery isn't magnificent enough, nature also provides an enormous array of wildlife, on land, in the sea and in the air. The ocean provides a wonderful variety of food to satisfy everything from plankton to great white sharks.
You are guaranteed to spot seals at Tasman Island and Cathedral Rock, and between September and December and again in April and May, there is every chance of seeing migrating Humpback or Southern Right whales.
In late summer, tens of thousands of shearwaters appear, and year-round there are diving gannets, albatrosses and sea eagles. Peregrine falcons nest on the cliffs and dolphins surf in the wake of the boat.
Tasman Island Cruises can tailor trips to suit weather conditions. They decide each day which direction to take but generally start at Port Arthur and finish in a sheltered corner of Pirates Bay at Eaglehawk Neck. From there it is a 20-minute coach trip back to Port Arthur, past the location of the infamous Dog Line across the narrow isthmus. (The Dog Line was formed by a detachment of guards and ferocious dogs to prevent convict escapes from Port Arthur).
Tasman Island three hour Environmental Cruises leave Port Arthur every day at 10am and 2pm. They cost $100 for adults and $55 for children between 3-16 years. They run year round.
Prices correct at February 7, 2008
For more information
Tasman Island Cruises
6961 Arthur Highway
Port Arthur 7182
Ph: (03) 6250 2200 or Fax: (03) 6250 2209
Bligh Museum of Pacific Exploration
876 Main Road
Adventure Bay 7150
Ph: (03) 6293 1117
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