Swansea

A town with spectacular beaches and gorgeous views that you don’t have to share.

WHAT SPARKS YOUR INTEREST?

Swansea township
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne

Kate's Berry Farm
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania and Andrew Wilson

Kate's Berry Farm on the East Coast of Tasmania.
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Kathryn Leahy

Spiky Bridge
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

East Coast Heritage Museum

Yoga on Kelvedon Beach
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Andrei Jewell

Kate's Berry Farm - Even the locals enjoy freshly picked berries straight from the bush. Delicious homemade jams and jellies from freshly picked berries, marmalades, chocolates and farm fresh creamy ice cream.

Swansea

Region/Location

Swansea is located along the Great Eastern Drive which takes in Tasmania’s spectacular east coast. It is an idyllic town overlooking Great Oyster Bay in the east of the island. Typical of the east coast region, Swansea has the dazzling clear blue waters and white sand, combined with breathtaking views across the bay to the Hazards Mountains of Freycinet National Park.

On the Nine Mile Beach near Swansea with the Freycinet National Park in the distance - Tasmania, AustraliaSwansea is in an ideal central location on the east Coast, approximately 90 minutes from the capital city Hobart.  It is also 90 minutes from Launceston in the north. From Devonport and the Spirit of Tasmania dock you’ll be sitting waterside in a little over 2.5 hours.

Swansea is a great town to base yourself in to explore the east Coast of Tasmania. There is fantastic history within the town given that it was the first municipality in Australia to be established after Hobart and Sydney.

In a sheltered position towards the north of expansive Great Oyster Bay, Swansea has amazing beaches, so many points or boaters to access the bay for recreational activities, and is on the doorstep of the Freycinet National Park. Seeing the amazing Hazards Mountains across the bay is really spectacular.

The beauty of the Swansea area is truly a highlight. The crystal-clear waters and views across the bay are stunning so it is easy to understand why this area was one of the first settled in Australia.  Staying in this town will give you access to a relaxed lifestyle, great food, fantastic wineries in the surrounding area and some really interesting history.

Yoga on Kelvedon Beach, Tasmania, AustraliaA family favorite, Swansea has everything for most travel groups. If you’re a fan of spending as much time at the beach as possible, then Swansea is definitely the place for you. There are a number of beaches to choose from – Kelvedon, Nine Mile, Jubilee or Waterloo- and if you’re towing the boat there are lots of boat ramps where you can head out into the bay. Tasmanians have a love of ‘shacks’ and you’ll be jealous of some properties that have been passed down through the generations in this area.

Wineries on the east Coast are seriously good and you’ll find so many tasting options around Swansea. Combined with good Tasmanian produce you will be set up for a relaxing time enjoying your surroundings. Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Andrei Jewell (Yoga – Kelvedon Beach)

Getting There

Swansea is along the Great Eastern Drive and it is common for most visitors to self-drive this region. There is a bus link available through TassieLink and during the warmer months you may come across cyclists who are braving the long distances and countryside.

Accommodation Offerings

You are truly spoilt for choice in Swansea when looking for accommodation. There are amazing luxury properties including self-contained options and these range from the modern and architecturally designed, to heritage cottage style options. There are a number of great guesthouses in the area, motel, hotel and cabin park options as well as campgrounds. There is accommodation for every budget and taste.  However, as with all popular Tasmanian destinations, it is advisable to book early for peak seasons and holidays to ensure you don’t miss out.

Activities and Things to Do and See

If you’re travelling to Swansea from the south you’ll come across Spiky Bridge, which was constructed by convicts in 1843. This interesting landmark was built by laying fieldstones without any mortar, the top layer of stones are vertically placed creating a ‘spiky’ effect, hence the name.

Spiky Bridge in Tasmania

There are multiple theories as to why spiky bridge was constructed in such a manner, with theories ranging from a deterrent for cows to fall off the bridge, to convicts seeking revenge on their supervisors by refusing to do their job correctly!

Waterloo Point gives you a great option to stretch your legs in the town and see the site where the town was first settled. The Loontitetermairrelehoiner track hugs the coast and provides amazing views across the bay. In breeding season (September to March) you’ll likely see many shearwaters nesting around the area following their migration from the Northern Hemisphere.

Swansea Bark Mill was originally built in 1885 to mill the bark from Black Wattle trees. The bark was then used to produce tannic acid for tanning leather. The exhibition here shows the former process and has a pioneer display.

East Coast Heritage Museum , Tasmania, AustraliaThe East Coast Heritage Museum shows the extensive history of the area including Aboriginal history and European history. The building housing the museum dates back to 1860.

When exploring Swansea it is impossible to pass by Morris’ General Store. An intriguing building that still supplies the town with general store items, it draws most visitors in for a look and has a historic display room.

The town has many beautiful buildings which were built in the 1800’s and have had varied pasts. These include Meredith House and Schouten House which have been converted into modern day accommodation, and the Municipal Office and Court House building, known as the Council Chambers.

What to Eat

Kate's Berry Farm, Tasmania, AustraliaSwansea has many culinary options.  You may like to try a wood fired pizza with your local wine, feast on seafood at a local restaurant, or stop by for a quick bakery treat at one of the cafes during the day.

Tasmania has a fantastic climate for growing berries so you’ll want to stop in to the berry farm located on the south side of the town to sample some ice cream, berries and homemade chocolate. While you’re in the sampling mood, stop into some of the boutique wineries in the surrounding area to grab a bottle that can be enjoyed while surveying the view from your accommodation. Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania and Andrew Wilson (Bakery Sweet)

History

The Swansea area had a long indigenous history prior to the arrival of European explorers and settlers. The area was inhabited by the Paredarerme Aboriginal language group and the East Coast Heritage Museum has information on the local people.

It is documented that in 1789 the first explorers entered and named it Oyster Bay, however it wasn’t until 1821 that the area was first settled by three Welsh Families. Lieutenant George Meredith brought two tenant farmers from Glamorgan in Wales and they named the area Glamorgan Municipality when it was established as the first rural municipality in Australia in 1860.

Environment

The environment around Swansea features coastal grass lands, rocky bushland and wetlands to the north. The views from the town and surrounding areas over the bay are stunning. Most accommodation focuses on giving visitors to this region the best view of the spectacular environment.

What's Nearby

Swansea is just across the bay from Freycinet National Park and is the ideal base for further adventures along the East Coast.

What to do

Swansea

Freycinet National Park Pioneer - Full Day

Freycinet National Park

We’ll collect you from your accommodation and start the tour in the coastal town of Bicheno and begin our venture into the unspoiled Freycinet National Park for a stroll along Friendly Beaches North.

Next up, we return to the paved road and enter the diverted tracks lining 63km² of lagoon and marsh lands known as Moulting Lagoon. Continue our quest off the beaten track towards Friendly Beaches south.

After cranking up the 4 wheel drive to journey through the native Eucalyptus forests, we arrive at the wondrous Whitewater Wall and Bluestone Bay where we’ll break for lunch. After that, resume our march towards the famous Cape Tourville.

We will embark on a short one-hour return walk through the saddle of Mount Amos and Mount Mayson before arriving at Wineglass Bay lookout. Then meander our way through Freycinet National Park and pay a visit to the iconic Honeymoon Bay before we start our journey home.

Book Freycinet National Park Pioneer - Full Day
AU$250

Full Day Tour

AU$250

Full Day Tour

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Freycinet National Park Navigator - Half Day

Freycinet National Park

Looking to explore Freycinet and the surrounding areas, but don’t have a whole day spare? This tour promises a thorough introduction to the region as your local guide takes you to white sandy beaches & breathtaking Scenery.

AU$160

Half Day Tour

AU$160

Half Day Tour

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It only takes 2 minutes

Wineglass Bay Day Tour

Hop aboard the famous Wineglass Bay Day Tour; Tasmania's most entertaining and informative tour from Hobart to Wineglass Bay in the Freycinet National Park, on Tasmania's East Coast.

AU$105

AU$105

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Wineglass Bay and Three Capes Tour

Hobart - Wineglass Bay

Experience the spectacular scenery of the East Coast of Tasmania from the air, ground and sea, on this full day tour including landing at a boat cruise to Wineglass Bay

AU$495

1 Day Tour

AU$495

1 Day Tour

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It only takes 2 minutes

Where to Stay

Swansea

Piermont Retreat

Swansea - East Coast

Situated in Swansea, this beach hotel is within 5 km of Kates Berry Farm, Spiky Bridge, and East Coast Heritage Museum. Glamorgan War Memorial and Heritage Centre are also within 5 km.
A restaurant, a bar/lounge, and a seasonal outdoor pool are available at this smoke-free hotel. Free WiFi in public areas and free self parking are also provided. Additionally, tour/ticket assistance, a garden, and barbecue grills are onsite.
All 21 rooms offer free WiFi, iPod docks, and plasma TVs with digital channels. DVD players, coffee makers, and showers are among the other amenities available to guests.

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Swansea Beach Chalets

Swansea - East Coast

Nestled on the beach, this Swansea apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Bark Mill Museum, East Coast Heritage Museum, and Glamorgan War Memorial. Waterloo Point and Heritage Centre are also within 3 km.

Star rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Freycinet Waters

Swansea - East Coast

Situated by the sea, this bed & breakfast is steps from Heritage Centre, Glamorgan War Memorial, and East Coast Heritage Museum.

Star rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Belmont Homestead

Swansea - East Coast

Situated in Swansea, this guesthouse is in the same area as Spring Vale Wines, Milton Vineyard, and Bark Mill Museum.

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    Swansea Cottages & Motel Suites

    Swansea - East Coast

    Offering direct access to the beach, this Swansea cottage is in the historical district and within a 10-minute walk of Bark Mill Museum and Glamorgan War Memorial. Kates Berry Farm is 3.8 km away.

    Star rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Wagners Cottages

    Swansea - East Coast

    Situated by the sea, this cottage is within 2 km of Kates Berry Farm, East Coast Heritage Museum, and Heritage Centre. Glamorgan War Memorial and Waterloo Point are also within 3 km.

    Star rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Swansea Waterloo Inn

    Swansea - East Coast

    Situated on the beach, this motel is within a 5-minute walk of Glamorgan War Memorial, Heritage Centre, and East Coast Heritage Museum. Bark Mill Museum and Waterloo Point are also within 15 minutes.

    Star rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Swansea Backpackers

    Swansea - East Coast

    Situated in Swansea, this hostel is within a 10-minute walk of Bark Mill Museum, East Coast Heritage Museum, and Glamorgan War Memorial.

    Star rating: 2 out of 5 stars
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