Eaglehawk Neck

Eaglehawk Neck, Melissa Krafchek

Population 338

Present-day Eaglehawk Neck is a pleasant fishing destination with small holiday retreats and striking scenery. Situated on the narrow isthmus between the Forestier and Tasman peninsulas, Eaglehawk Neck was the perfect natural prison gate for the convict settlement at Port Arthur. Few prisoners escaped by sea, so Eaglehawk Neck was essentially the only viable way out. The isthmus was guarded by soldiers and a line of ferocious, tethered dogs. Most convicts knew not to bother, but William Hunt, convict and former strolling actor, tackled the isthmus in a kangaroo skin. As two guards took aim with their muskets, their efforts were cut short by a plaintive shout coming from the kangaroo, 'Don't shoot! It's only me – Billy Hunt!'

Visitor Information

Port Arthur Historic Site, Arthur Hwy, Port Arthur; (03) 6251 2310 or 1800 659 101.

Nearby national parks

  • Tasman National Park

    Comprising a narrow coastal strip along the east and south of Forestier and Tasman peninsulas and several offshore islands, Tasman National...more

  • Maria Island National Park

    With a west coast characterised by gentle sloping hills and an east coast of towering cliffs dropping dramatically to the sea, Maria Island...more

  • South Bruny National Park

    Created in 1997, this beautiful national park takes in the massive dolerite sea cliffs around Bruny’s southern capes, with the highest...more

Nearby towns

  • Port Arthur

    This historic settlement on the scenic Tasman Peninsula was one of Australia's most infamous penal settlements from the 1830s to the 1870s....more

  • Dunalley

    A quaint fishing village, Dunalley is on the isthmus separating the Forestier and Tasman peninsulas from the mainland. Nearby is the Denison...more

  • Sorell

    The south-eastern town of Sorell was founded in 1821, and was important in early colonial times for providing most of the state's grain. It...more

In Town

Bronze dog sculpture: marks the infamous dogline; access by short walking track off Arthur Hwy.

Scuba diving: the area has a huge diversity of dive sites including the spectacular formations of Sisters Rocks, the 25 m high giant kelp forests, the seal colony at Hippolyte Rock, the SS Nord wreck and amazing sea-cave systems; Eaglehawk Dive Centre; bookings on (03) 6250 3566.

Surfing: good surf beaches at Eaglehawk Neck and Pirates Bay.


Tasman National Park The major part of Tasman National Park is located on the Tasman Peninsula and has some of the most striking scenery in the state. Tasman Blowhole, Tasmans Arch and Devils Kitchen are the key attractions, occurring in rocks that are Permian in age (about 250 million years old). There are numerous walks throughout the park, the full track reaching from Eaglehawk Neck to Fortescue Bay, and there are fantastic shorter walks to Tasmans Arch, Waterfall Bay and Patersons Arch. Check with visitor centre for details or contact Parks & Wildlife on 1300 135 513. Read more.

Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park This animal-rescue centre features Tasmanian devils. Read More

Tessellated Pavement: these rocks appear to have been neatly tiled, but their formation is entirely natural – earth movements have fractured the pavement over the years. 1 km N.

Pirates Bay Lookout: views across the bay, past the eastern side of Eaglehawk Neck to the massive coastal cliffs of the Tasman Peninsula; 1.5 km N.

Doo Town: holiday town in which most of the houses bear names with variations of 'doo'; 3 km S. 

Federation Chocolate: chocolate factory with free tastings and historical museum; South St, Taranna; 10 km SW.

Fishing spots near town

Twin Lakes 37 km

I always thought the title of John Gierach’s entertaining book Where the Trout are all as Long as your Leg was a little farfetched, until I realised it related to a time when he was five years old. I am a little... Find out more

The Springs 50 km

Visitors to Hobart who are short on time can get a trout fix less than 20 mins’ drive from the CBD at an exclusive fishery called The Springs. It is a year-round fishery and is restricted to a maximum of two... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Diving in Fortescue Bay 14 km

One of the most coveted Tasmanian diving experiences is through the towering kelp forests found along areas of the east coast. These plants can grow as much as a metre a day, reaching heights of nearly 50 metres in some... Find out more

Salamanca Market 50 km

With so much excellent fresh produce in Tasmania, you should consider picking up some local organic fruits and vegetables and cooking up your own feast. Try the famous Salamanca Market (Saturday 8.30am–3pm) or City... Find out more

Island Cycle Tours 51 km

This innovative company offers guided and self-guided cycling tours, ranging from three-hour jaunts in and around Hobart, to three-week expeditions on the west coast. There are trips to combine cycling and hiking, and... Find out more

Mount Wellington Walks 58 km

You can quite easily pick up a map and explore Hobart’s wilderness playground on your own but, for initiates, the maze of tracks may be best travelled with a guide who will show you bushfoods and wildlife, teach... Find out more

Golf courses around town

Royal Hobart Golf Club 39 km

Royal Hobart Golf Club has come a long way from humble beginnings. It started out at Sandy Bay, not far from where Wrest Point Casino stands today, in 1896. Known as the Newlands course, it was an incredible par- 89:... Find out more

Tasmania Golf Club 41 km

The challenge a golf course presents can often be measured by the quality of player it produces. At Tasmania Golf Club, the name Goggin crops up regularly on the honour boards. Lindy Goggin, a three-time Australian... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

The Lufra Hotel

The vast proportions of this Art Deco hotel’s dining room hark back to the days of grand balls and dinner dances. The panoramic ocean view remains spectacular but the crowds are gone and the atmosphere of the hotel... Find out more

Nearby breweries

Cascade Brewery 53 km

It’s impossible not to wax lyrical about the Cascade Brewery. It is the oldest working brewery in the country, one of the quaintest-looking industrial buildings and it’s located in the most picturesque of... Find out more

Moo Brew 59 km

With its striking, glass and steel brewhouse perched high above the Derwent River, Moo Brew is probably the best-appointed microbrewery in the land. It’s also part of Moorilla Estate, situated on the outskirts of... Find out more

Campsites around town

Bivouac Bay camping area (walk-in camping) 12 km

This beautiful bay is a 2 hr hike north from Fortescue Bay on the Tasman Coastal Trail, following the coastline along beaches and over steep-sided headlands. The views are worth the effort and the campsite is in a very... Find out more

Port Arthur Holiday Park 14 km

Although this park is big, each spacious campsite is screened with shrubs, so it feels sheltered and private. Visit Port Arthur Historic Site (1 km along the road, or take the walking track along Stewarts Beach), then... Find out more

Fortescue Bay Campground 14 km

A few steps from the sun, sand and surf of lovely Fortescue Bay, this camping area is a popular summer destination and bookings are necessary for peak times. Camping sites are grouped into 2 areas – Mills Creek for... Find out more

White Beach Tourist Park 18 km

If you are travelling with the family and a boat, this park is ideal. It is on a safe swimming beach and has every amenity you will need, from a laundry and kiosk to a playground and rec room. They will even refill your... Find out more

Lime Bay camping area 19 km

This picturesque, grassed camping area is 4 km beyond the historic mining site and is the starting point for an easy, scenic walk to Greens Point cliffs and Lagoon Beach. Gas/fuel stoves are recommended, and you need to... Find out more

Encampment Cove camping area (walk-in camping) 41 km

This very remote campsite overlooking Chinamans Bay and McRaes Isthmus is a 13 km, 4 hr hike south of Darlington, and is about 2 km from Frenchs Farm. Although there is no jetty access, it is often used by boating... Find out more

Frenchs Farm camping area (walk-in camping) 42 km

Camping areas here are in cleared paddocks around an old farmhouse at the northern end of remote Chinamans Bay, 11 km south of Darlington, but there is a 3 hr hike to reach it. The track is rocky or sandy in parts and... Find out more

Darlington Campground (walk-in camping) 50 km

Although it might be peaceful during the day, this large, grassy campground between Darlington Penitentiary and Bernacchi Creek comes alive at night, when it is a top spot for wildlife-watching. The campground is a 500 m... Find out more

Neck Reserve camping area 57 km

The Neck is a narrow, sandy isthmus joining north and south Bruny. Halfway along it is a must-see lookout with 360-degree views, and at night the sand dunes below come alive with penguins. The camping area is sheltered... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Port Arthur Holiday Park 14 km

This is a high-quality park with good facilities, close to the beach. The area is popular for surfing, fishing and bushwalking and is a good base for exploring the Tasman Peninsula. Bookings are required in peak periods... Find out more

White Beach Tourist Park 18 km

This popular, quality park is only 10 minutes from historic Port Arthur. The park has good facilities and large shady trees. It is very busy during holiday periods and bookings are required at these times.... Find out more

Barilla Holiday Park 44 km

This is a quality park on the outskirts of greater Hobart. It has most facilities for the discerning traveller including an eatery, and a ‘putt-putt’ golf course that is worth seeing. We like this park.... Find out more

Snug Beach Cabin and Caravan Park 54 km

A quality seaside park south of Hobart, this place is tourist oriented and has good facilities at a good price. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Treasure Island Caravan Park 59 km

Located about 9 km north-west of the city, this is a quiet, off-highway park on the banks of the Derwent River. It is close to the Cadbury Factory, a popular tourist attraction, and close to shops. This is an older park... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Eaglehawk Cafe & Guesthouse

Facing the sheltered bay on the inside of ‘the neck’, the two-storey 1929 Shipwrights House is in the centre of the Tasman Peninsula’s scenic action. Travel east to vertigo-inducing cliff-top lookouts,... Find out more

Lufra Hotel

This iconic 1948 Art Deco hotel in one of Tasmania’s most popular holiday destinations has been a favourite for generations, and with wild ocean coastlines, tall forests and Tasmania’s fascinating history all... Find out more

Four Seasons Holiday Cottages

This group of modern A-frame cabins is in a lovely spot looking out over Norfolk Bay, with views of an island where semaphore messages used to be bounced between Hobart and Port Arthur in convict times. Each cabin has... Find out more

Norfolk Bay Convict Station

Before this waterfront homestead became the first inn in the district it was the loading station for Port Arthur’s convict-powered railway supply line, which used to run goods and people over five hilly miles to... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Peppermint Ridge Retreat, Woodbridge 61 km

Even without the stunning views over the D’Entrecasteaux Channel from 6-metre-high windows, the pademelons that hop around, or the free-range eggs and organic vegetable garden that guests are allowed to raid in... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Murdunna park area 9 km

At Murdunna

Adjacent to the highway. In the middle of town.

Fortescue Bay camping area 14 km

T/O 15km S of Eaglehawk Neck (L) or 4km N of Port Arthur (R)

Near the foreshore 12km east of the highway in a natural bush setting in Tasman National Park.

Dunalley park area 17 km

At Dunalley

Adjacent to the highway. On the south side of town.

Raspins Beach park area 52 km

1km N of Orford (R) or 7km S of Triabunna (L)

Adjacent to the highway overlooking the foreshore. Toilets located 200m south.

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