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Explore Hobart SurroundsThe World Heritage-listed Port Arthur, when you can explore Australia's fascinating convict history, is one of many interesting destinations that are dotted around the countryside surrounding Hobart that are popular day trip destinations. Along the way visit some of Tasmania s finest wineries. At Woodbridge you can discover all the undersea world has to offer at the Marine Discovery Centre, or take a ferry from Kettering to beautiful Bruny Island, with its rainforest and wetland areas, sandy beaches and native wildlife.
Of all the convict related historic sites around Australia, none so graphically tell the story of Australia's convict past that the ruins of the convict settlement at Port Arthur. The place is a window into modern Australia's beginnings, and paints a vivid picture of the lives and times of those poor wretches who were transported from Britain to start a new life on the other side of the world.
The Tasman Peninsula is an area of great beauty and natural diversity, including some of the most stunning coastal scenery anywhere in Australia. Not suprisingly, it offers some of the best coastal walks in the country. Many interesting rock formations can be found along the coastline, while the southern end of the park has some of the highest and most spectacular sea cliffs in Australia. The Port Arthur historic site is locvated on the Tasman Peninsula.
South Arm Peninsula is one of Hobart's forgotten places. Forming the eastern bank of the lower Derwent Estuary, this U-shaped peninsula is the perfect destination for an unhurried day out. The terrain is relatively flat so walking is easy for most most people. The rows of social fishing boats on the shoreline of Opossum Bay are telltale signs that this is also good fishing territory.
Across the D Entrecasteaux Channel a short drive south of Hobart, Bruny Island is effectively two quite different islands connected by a narrow neck of sand. With its wild seascapes and sweeping surf beaches, rich maritime history, abundant birdlife and wildlife, tall forests and historic lighthouse, Bruny is an island paradise in Australia's deep south.
The Huon Valley and the coasts of Port Huon and the D'Entrecasteaux Channel are places of natural beauty, perfect for a relaxing holiday, a short break or even a day trip from Hobart. Rich in maritime and rural heritage and populated friendly creative people, the region is known as much for its gorgeous scenery as it huon pine, apple orchards and boutique wineries and gourmet specialities. By big city standards, the roads are always quiet and there is something different around every corner.
The 85 km Gordon River Road is the major man made intrusion into the area of World Heritage Wilderness area of south west Tasmania, and with the Scott Peak Dam Road is the only road into the region. If you plan on visiting Mt Field National Park, try to fit this drive into your day's itinerary - you won't be disappointed as it is one of Australia's most awesome road trips.
The stretch of Lyell Highway between Bridgewater and New Norfolk, which follows the River Derwent, is particulary pretty, especially in the early morning with the river is calm and the reflection on the water of the hills is mirror-like. New Norfolk, the regional centre, is a picturesque Georgian town (19km south east), centrally located and the perfect base from which to explore the surrounding areas.
Brimming with old world charm, Richmond is one of Tasmania's most loved and visited Georgian era colonial villagers. Rich in history and heritage and contains the oldest bridge and St Johns, the earliest Roman Catholic church in Australia, as well as a perfectly preserved colonial gaol. Established in 1825 to house the gangs of convicts used as labour in the area and prisoners in transit, the Gaol has been restored and is now a major tourist attraction.
Take a day trip with a difference - travel east from Hobart but instead of turning south at Copping towards Tasman Peninsula, head north and follow the Wielangta Forest Drive. Your destination is the coastal town of Orford, where the strong relief of Maria Island across Mercury Passage provides a spectacular backdrop. Return to Hobart from Orford via Tasman Highway.