3 - 4 hours
Up to 7 days
From the Port Arthur Visitor Centre, it is only a short drive to Maingon Point, where you can walk up and down the 200 plus steps to see the natural wonders of the Remarkable Cave, especially at high tide, and view its layers of dolerite and sandstone, which form most of Tasmania’s geology. Information on plaques at the viewing platform explains the cave’s formation. There is no disabled access to the cave, and those who have trouble negotiating steps may find this too difficult. A small path (ramp, suitable for those with disabilities) provides additional views, as well as information on local birds and plants.
Continue along the circular route toward Saltwater River and visit the ruins of the oldest coal mine in Tasmania. You could spend hours walking among the ruins of this very interesting historic site. The Coal Mines Historic Site was the site of Tasmania’s first operational mine, established as a much-needed local source of coal, but also as a place of punishment for the ‘worst class’ of convicts.
Along with the Port Arthur Historic Site, the Coal Mines Historic Site is included in the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage property. A visit to the Coal Mines is a fascinating and rewarding adjunct to any visit to the Port Arthur Historic Site.
From here, the excursion takes the route through Doo Town, with its quaint and humorous house names, where you can view the Tasman Blowhole, the Devil’s Kitchen, and the Tasman Arch. Doo Town is a quaint seaside village famous for its quirky house names.
Overlooking the southern end of Pirates Bay on the Tasman Peninsula, Doo Town emerged in the 1930s as a small village of holiday cottages or ‘shacks’. In 1935, Hobart architect Eric Round started a tradition when he named his shack ‘Doo I’. The idea soon caught on with Doo-Me and Doo-Us and today most of the town’s shacks have ‘Doo’ names. The picture-perfect location and the funny shack-naming tradition provides a good laugh and plenty of photo opportunities. Nearby are the incredible natural rock formations of the Tasman Peninsula, including the Devils Kitchen, Tasman Arch and the Blowhole.
On the return to Port Arthur, a stop can be made (time dependent) at the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo (at own expense), to view these animals in a natural habitat. If you are lucky, you could be there at feeding time.
A short stop at the Port Arthur Lavender Farm would round off your excursion, before returning you to to your ship at Port Arthur Historic Site.