Port Sorell

Port Sorell is a pretty coastal town featuring sheltered beaches, good fishing, orange lichen-covered rocks and foreshore reserves for camping and picnics. Nearby Narawntapu National Park is a place of great serenity and a haven for wildlife, which abounds on its grassy plains and in its marshes and heathlands. Shops and services are located at neighbouring Hawley Beach. Port Sorell borders the Rubicon Estuary, which has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area. Hawley Beach is known for its minute red sand crabs, hooded plovers and reasonable fishing.

The area was named Panatana by local Aborigines. Port Sorell was established in 1822 by Lieutenant-Governor William Sorell and was once the largest town on Tasmania's north coast. The town was originally a fishing and sealing port named Burgess, however the name was officially changed to Port Sorell (after Governor Sorell) in 1822. The port traded in wattle bark, and thrived until it was outgrown by Devonport. The town could have been a lot larger than it is now, had it not been for numerous bushfires. Today Port Sorell is one of many popular holiday spots along the north coast of Tasmania, with a resident population of around 2,000.

Where Is it? Port Sorell is 254 km north of Hobart, 79 km north west of Launceston, 20 km east of Devonport, on the Rubicon River estuary.

Visitor Centre: Club Drive, Shearwater. Ph (03) 6428 7920

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Around Town
Northdown Anglican Church Hall, Main Rd, Port Sorell
Trading: 2nd Saturday of the Month  9:30am  2pm
Type: General. Phone: (03) 6428 7507

Rubicon Estuary

Much of the activities around Port Sorell revolve around water, partularly the Rubicon Estuary. Diving, boating, fishing from the beach or floating pontoon, water skiing and sea kayaking are all popular activities here. The town s boat ramp is the busiest on the north-west coast. The beach, with its orange lichen-covered granite rocks, is both beautiful to look at and ideal for swimming. It is also known for its minute red sand crabs, Hooded Plovers and good fishing. At low tide it is possible to walk to Penguin Island and Rabbit Island the latter a hideout for bushrangers in the mid-1800s.

Rubicon Beach Walk: This walk follows on from the Panatana southern shore walk and ends at Squeaking Point through the Port Sorell Conservation Area, a shoreline Reserve. Return 2 kms.

Estuary Eastern Shoreline Walk: Follow the signs on the Frankford Highway to Narawntapu National Park to access the Franklin River starting point. From 1? kilometres south of The Tongue at the western entrance to south east arm, Franklin River and Sugar Creek to The Tongue and around to Lades Road near The Point there is over four kilometres of shoreline reserve to explore. You will need vehicle access as your starting point is 16-18 kilometres from Port Sorell.

Hawley Beach Coastal Walks

Stroll on the coastal and bush reserve tracks and be inspired by the natural beauty. A brochure detailing these self guided walks is available from the Latrobe and Port Sorell Visitor Information Centre.

Aub luck reserve: Joyce Street, Hawley Beach. Enjoy a gentle stroll through the well maintained Aub Luck Reserve to enjoy the natural bushland amongst the casuarinas and blackwoods, home to various Tasmanian Native Animals: Bennett s Wallabies, Pademelon s, Eastern Barred and Brown Bandicoots, Wombats and a plethora of various birdlife.

Coastal Walk: From the northern end of Hawley Beach near Hawley House to Point Sorell facing into Bass Strait and return (6 kms).

Panatana Rivulet: Access from Rice Street, Port Sorell. Stroll along the Rivulet s northern shore from Port Street past River Road. Return 4 kms. Or stroll along the Rivulet s southern shore (Bird Sanctuary) over the footbridge between Darling and Rice Streets. Return 2 kms.

In The Area
Narawntapu National Park

Narawntapu National Park (formerly known as Asbestos Range National Park) is a place of peace for people and wildlife alike. It stretches from the low coastal ranges to the long Bass Strait beaches, and includes an historic farm, a complex of inlets, small islands, headlands, wetlands, dunes and lagoons, all with an amazing variety of plants and animals. Small quantities of asbestos, among other minerals, were once mined in areas beyond the Asbestos Range, but never actually in the Asbestos Range itself - despite the earlier name of the park. Hence the name change.

Dubbed the "Serengeti of Tasmania", Narawntapu is one of the best places in Tasmania to view wildlife. The park boasts a rich array of easily observed animals that come out in the evening to graze on the grasslands. Some of the animals that you may see include the Forester kangaroo, Bennetts wallaby and common wombat. You may even catch a glimpse of a Tasmanian devil.

Whether you're here for water activities or wildlife; bushwalking or beachcombing; picnicking or camping, you'll find Narawntapu a special place. Open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 1.30-45.30pm. Location: 50 Main St, Ulverstone. Phone (03) 6425 3835

Hollwell Gorge

Holwell Gorge reserve is centred around a narrow gorge and fern glade in the Dazzler Range. It features many beautiful tall trees, ferns and a 45-minute scenic walking track past three waterfalls. Location: 46 km south-east, via Frankford Road to Frankford, then to Hollwell and Hollwell Gorge via Hollwell Road.

Notley Fern Gorge

Notley Fern Gorge is a forest dominated by large, old eucalypts over a understorey of rainforest. Towards the creek, there are a variety of fern species growing in abundance. The gorge is a 3/4 hour walk from the carpark along a well constructed path following a creek, with a 1.5 km return walking track through the forest. A picnic area is at the car park along with clean rest rooms. Location: 56 km south-east, via Frankford Road to Glengarry, then via Loop Road.


An historic farming centre on the Mersey River that was once an inland port serviced by ferries from Devonport. The town is just off the highway on the way to Launceston after leaving Devonport. Bells Parade was the first Port on the North West Coast, at Bells Parade, for shipping produce. Attractions at Letrobe include the Australian Axeman's Hall of Fame and Timberworks; Courthouse Museum; Warrawee Reserve Platypus Tours. Location: 17 km from Port Sorrell via Port Sorrell Road to Wesley Vale, then via Wesley Vale Road to Latrobe.