Hobart to Port Arthur Self Drive Tour
Self Drive Tour Itinerary from Hobart to Port Arthur Tasmania
The Self Drive Touring itineraries in this section of Tasmania.com are designed to give you assistance in planning a great holiday in Tasmania. Finishing several hours travel away from the starting point, they are meant to move you from overnight stay to overnight stay as you explore Tassie.
The drives have been written by a local who has covered all the roads, enjoyed the sights and wants to show you the easy way to get around. It is about time and distance. It is about enjoying yourself.
Things To See on the Self Drive Tour from Hobart to Port Arthur
Historic Richmond, Sorell Township, Dodges Ferry, Park Beach, Carlton Beach, Carlton River, Dunalley, Eaglehawk Neck, The Blowhole, Tasman Arch, the Devil's Kitchen, Port Arthur Historic Site, Isle of the Dead, Point Puer, Remarkable Cave.
Hobart to Port Arthur Self Drive Tour Directions
This Self Drive Tour Day will follow the old road to Port Arthur and the Tasman Peninsula. Though not far from Hobart in a straight line (about 40 Kms), the driving distance to Port Arthur is over 100 Kms by the time you follow this drive tour.
Leave Hobart by crossing the Tasman Bridge and drive towards Sorell and the Airport on the A3 Tasman Highway. As you climb over the hill leaving the suburbs, watch for the turn off to the left to the B31 Road to Cambridge and Richmond. Take the B31 Cambridge Road then turn and follow it as it heads north up the Coal River Valley as B51 Richmond Road. Watch for the Meadowbank Winery building on the right. The white Radio Telescope off to your right is part of the University of Tasmania's Astronomy Department.>
This was the old route followed by convicts and their guards to Port Arthur. The Richmond Gaol, in fact, pre-dates Port Arthur as a correctional facility.
After looking around Richmond, leave the Township by crossing the Richmond Bridge and climbing the hills lining the Coal River Valley on the C351 Brinktop Road. Over the ridgeline there are expansive views out over Pittwater and Midway Point. The causeways that now carry the Main Road were not built until 1872, shortening the land trip somewhat and cutting Richmond out of the journey. When Brinktop road joins the A3 Tasman Highway, turn right and follow it to Sorell.
If you require supplies of any kind, Sorell is the last point before Port Arthur where you will find a full Supermarket. At the T junction in Sorell, go straight ahead as the A3 becomes the A9 Arthur Highway. Watch for the turnoff to the Sorell Fruit Farm on the left as you leave Sorell and visit if interested.
Rather than follow the A9, you can turn off and follow some interesting backroads. After the road dips down and crosses the River, climbs the hill, and then runs onto the flat land, watch for the turnoff to the right (towards the water) onto the Old Forcett Road to Dodges Ferry and Carlton Beach. The road will become Lewisham Road and curve past the Pub to Dodges Ferry. Stay straight ahead to Dodges Ferry as the road becomes Carlton Beach Road. Take a sharp right then left at the Post Office and General Store, before following the road as it winds to Park Beach. Stop for a walk on Park Beach (turn off to the right) or just follow the road as it climbs the hill, then runs behind the sand dunes before curving uphill to become Moomere Street. Moomere Street joins Carlton Road. Turn right onto Carlton Road and follow it along the Carlton River. It will look a bit rural, with some sharp turns, but stay with it.
Carlton Road will dead end into Sugarloaf Road. Turn right and follow the road dwonhill and across the bridge on the upper reaches of the Carlton River.The road becomes Fulham Road and runs through Connellys Marsh and along the foreshore to join the main A9 Arthur Highway at Dunalley. The views are spectacular, the road winding and fun, the drive is worth it for the more adventurous.
Cross the Dunalley Canal Bridge and follow the road towards Eaglehawk Neck and Port Arthur. Watch for the turnoff to the left to Pirates Bay Lookout. It is well worth stopping for the views. Rather than going back to the A9, stay on Pirates Drive as it winds downhill to Eaglehawk Neck. Lufra Hotel on your right at the bottom of the hill, is worth stopping for lunch, or to visit the Tesselated Pavement Geological Feature. This is the old road, and sometimes these are more fun than the modern bypass roads that replace them.
It was here that the Infamous Dog Chain was established in the 1830's. Fierce, half-starved dogs were kenneled in a line across the narrow neck to prevent escapees from Port Arthur getting off the Tasman Peninsula. The equally fierce waters of Pirates Bay on one side, and the rumour that sharks infested Norfolk Bay on the inland side, made swimming to freedom a less than desirable option.
Turn left onto the C338 Blowhole Road and follow the signs to the amazing coastal formations at the Blowhole, Tasman's Arch, the Devil's Kitchen and Waterfall Bay. You can spend several hours on walking the area enjoying what are some of the most scenic coastline vistas in all of Australia.
Return to the A9 Arthur Highway, turn left and continue on towards Port Arthur. The road will follow the shores of Norfolk Bay (the inland stretch of water separating Port Arthur from the rest of Tasmania) and the vistas are excellent. It is possible to see Mt Wellington on the horizon - you can appreciate the proximity of Hobart, even though the road distance is quite long. Drive through Taranna (yes, the Tasmanian Devil Park on the right is worth stopping at) and then on to Port Arthur.
Just past the entrance to the Port Arthur Historic Site, the road becomes the B37 Nubeena Road and loops around the western part of the peninsula, returning to the A9 Arthur Highway at Taranna near the Tasmanian Devil Park.
Remarkable Cave. This sea cave is just to the south of Port Arthur, and is worth a visit. Stay on the A9 Arthur Highway past the Port Arthur Historic Site turnoff. Just after the turnoff to the Port Arthur Historic Site, watch for the turn to the left onto the C347 Safety Cove Road. Follow the C347 Safety Cove Road as it swings through Port Arthur township before dead ending into the Remarkable Cave parking area.
If you have the time, you can spend several nights in the Port Arthur area, but it is always wise to book your accommodation to be sure you get what you want. Check out the Tasmania.com - Hotels in Port Arthur. Also find out more information here on deals for Hotels in Port Arthur.
Self Drive Tours of Tasmania: