Boobyalla Beach is one of the few ocean beaches in Australia with a triple bar system. The northwest-facing beach extends for 9.4 km from the sandy mouth of the Boobyalla River to the southern rocks of Petal Point and forms the eastern shore of the large Ringarooma Bay. The only vehicle access to the beach is in the north via a 4WD track off the Cape Portland Road.
Where Is it?: 17 km north west of Gladstone on Bass Strait.
Mining played a big part in opening up Tasmania's North-East. In 1869 a shephered named Lewey Richardson discovered gold at Lyndhurst. Tasmania's first Governor and Commander-in-Chief, Du Cane, arrived the same year and as Tomahawk town was established in 1869 it was named DuCane. However, it was renamed Tomahawk officially in 1963, as the river and island bad always been known by that name.
George Renison Bell discovered tin in the Boobyalla River in 1874. This was the first tin discovered in Tasmania, and incidentally Bell later discovered the famous Renison Bell tin mine on the West Coast. When tin mining developed during the 1870s and 1880s, the port of Boobyalla on the north east coast became very important. Webb's Track, now the road in to Boobyalla Beach, was built in 1869 from Lyndhurst to Tomahawk wharf, also constructed the same year. The heavy crushing plant and other machinery for the mine at Lyndhurst were unloaded at the deep port of Tomahawk.
Being at the mouth of the Ringarooma and Boobyalla rivers, Boobyalla became the focal point for the influx of miners and the stores they required, and for the export of tin. For many years there was a regular shipping service, including small steamships and sailing vessels. But, like Bridport, Boobyalla declined as a port after the north east railway was built. Little remains of Boobyalla, now a ghost town, as buildings such as the old hotel and houses were either burned down by bushfires or dismantled. Remnants of the old wharf are still visible at the edge of the silted-up Boobyalla River. A single property now owns the whole site with the main house located at the end of former Hurst Street.
The Boobyalla River, on which the port used to sit, is now a possible habitat for the rare fish species dwarf galaxid and Australian grayling, as well as the Green and Gold Frog Litoria raniformis.
Tomahawk is a small seaside town overlooking Bass Strait in the heart of a coastal region characterised by superb beaches, dramatic sand dunes and attractive, isolated countryside. It is an ideal destination for people wishing to escape from the hurly burly and have a peaceful holiday walking on the beach, swimming or fishing.
Tomahawk Beach fronts the small settlement of Tomahawk, with the Tomahawk River Public Reserve between the beach and houses. The Tomahawk Road follows the rear of the reserve with a caravan park located behind the eastern end of the beach and the beach used to launch small boats at high tide. Around the river mouth conditions there is at times a low sand spit and elongated lagoon which forms along the length of the beach.
Little Waterhouse Lake
The Waterhouse Conservation Area in Tasmania's north-east contains many wetland communities, including three major permanent deep-water lagoons - Blackmans Lagoon and Big Waterhouse and Little Waterhouse lakes. Little Waterhouse Lake is listed under the Ramsar Convention as an internationally significant wetland. Waterhouse is popular place for camping, with several sites available. Other popular uses of the reserve include hunting, wildlife viewing, fishing, and recreational vehicle use. On the northern shore of Big Waterhouse Lake is a small camping area used mainly by duck shooters, but also sometimes by fishermen. No facilities are provided.
Cape Portland is the north eastern tip of Tasmania. Pointing west across Ringarooma Bay, it was named after the Duke of Portland by Matthew Flinders during his 1798 circumnavigation of the island in the sloop Norfolk with George Bass. It is an important bird breeding area for Cape Barren Goose, Chestnut Teal and the threatened Hooded Plover. There is a small fishing community at Cape Portland.
The clean, white sands of Musselroe Bay on the east side of Cape Portland, is popular spot for beach fishing and swimming. Situated within Mount William National Park, it is also known as a place to experience close encounters with Forester kangaroos and other Tasmanian wildlife in their natural environment.
If you think Cape Portland is remote, Swan Island is even more so. Off Cape Portland opposite Musselroe Ray, the island is a nature reserve with deserted pristine beaches and clear blue waters. If you like to swim, snorkel, fish, walk, watch seabirds and visit penguin and shearwater rookeries away from the rest of the world, this is the place to do it. Limited accommodation is available at the lighthouse keeper's cottage.