Things To See And Do: Southern
Cape Raoul: a rugged cape offering panoramic views of spectacular
cliffs and the dolerite spires at the end of the cape, views across
Storm Bay to Bruny Island from the Storm Bay Lookout, and a seal colony
on the rocks below. The walking path across the cape begins at the
Nubeena Post Office.
Tunnel Bay on Cape Raoul at the foot of Tasman Peninsula is just one
of the numerous walking destinations on the peninsula. Tunnel Bay
is named because of a natural rock tunnel there that has ben created by
water erosion. Nearby, to the south, is Shipstern Bluff, a rugged
headland jutting out into the sea. Suitable only for the most capable
and experienced extreme surfer.
Below the bluff, heaving swells hit a reef head-on, causing a huge
body of water to arc up seemingly out of nowhere. In recent years, this
churning swell has become a major surfing spot that attracts elite
surfers from around the world, dominating the surf media and setting
the bar for extreme surfing in Australia.
Located off the south eastern tip of the peninsula, Tasman Island
stands defiantly beyond the tip of Cape Pillar. It is a rugged,
desolate and windswept rock that was named after Dutch seaman Abel
Tasman who cautiously skirted its thunderous shores in 1642. Like a
fortress, the island's grey basalt columns rise 240 metres straight out
of the sea. Above is a plateau of only 50 hectares, pock-marked with
sink holes, caves and small clumps of windswept vegetation. Perched
atop the island is Tasman Island Lighthouse, one of Australia's most
inaccessible light stations, being posted there was so unpopular that
it was likened to the infamous American island prison Alcatraz. There
was a sense of isolation which sent numerous lightkeepers mad.
There are few more dramatic, scenic features on the Tasmanian coast
than Cape Pillar. The sheer cliffs rise vertically to a height of 300m
and are fluted like organ pipes - a common characteristic of the
Jurassic dolerite from which they are formed. And if they are not
enough to take one's breathe away, there is also Cathedral Rock, The
Blade, the Chasm and Tasman Island just 500 metres away across a
turbulent strait. A signposted walking track to this rugged corner of
the continent begins off Fortescue Bay Road.
One of the most dramatic, distinctive looking capes on the
Australian coastline, the end of which looks as if it has been sliced
up like a loaf of bread to form the two rounded islands called The
Lanterns. Next to them is The Candlestick and the famous Totem Pole
(see below). The location provides views to Cape Pillar, Cathedral Rock
and Schouten Island off the end of Freycinet Peninsula. A walking track
to the end of the cape begins at the Fortescue Bay boat ramp.
One of the most spectacular pieces of rock on the planet. It is a
free-standing dolerite pillar spearing straight out of the water in a
gloomy chasm infested with sharks and subject to volatile swell
patterns. It is over sixty metres tall, but only about four metres wide
at the base. It sways in the wind and shudders with the crash of every
wave. The prospect this piece of rock presents the climber is
uncompromising and chilling. It demands you take at handful of bravery
pills, as the challenge of the climb is psychological as much as
Remarkable Cave: A truly remarkable work of nature, Remarkable Cave
has been carved out of the rock of Safety Cove. The cave, which is
actually a natural bridge with two entries from the sea, was created
over millions of years by the raging seas which pound this isolated
coastline. A staircase leads from the cliff top down right into the
mouth of the cave. At low tide it is possible to walk through the cave
to the ocean side of the cliffs.