Cape Portland

Pointing west across Ringarooma Bay, Cape Portland is the north eastern tip of Tasmania. 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 the Cape Barren Goose, Chestnut Teal and the threatened Hooded Plover. There is a small fishing community at Cape Portland.

Where Is it?: Cape Portland is 25 km north of Gladstone, 315 km north of Hobart; 130 km east of Launceston

Musselroe Bay

Musselroe Bay
The clean, white sand of Musselroe Bay on the east side of Cape Portland, is a popular spot for camping, 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. Musselroe Bay Conservation Area stretches from Little Musselroe Bay south-east along Great Musselroe Bay to Poole at the northern edge of Mt William National Park. This long, incredibly scenic coastline of deserted white-sand beaches punctuated by windswept headlands, sheltered lagoons and estuaries is a haven for anglers and birdwatchers.

Stumpys Bay
The campsite here is smaller than that at Musselroe Bay, but it is the best site for tents and it has safer swimming. This camping area is gas/fuel stove-only as fires are prohibited. A day-shelter with gas barbecues is found here. Picnic tables, fire and pit toilets are provided near most of the other campgrounds. There are no garbage bins in the park, so please take all rubbish out with you.

Swan Island
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.

Mount William National Park
Mount William National Park is an isolated wilderness area fringed with gorgeous bays stretching from Ansons River to Musselroe Bay. The landscape is one of rolling hills, rugged headlands and pristine white-sand beaches, some strewn with pink-granite boulders, while in the north a string of marshy lagoons sits behind windswept coastal dunes.

From its long, lonely beaches to its teeming wildlife; from its unique history to its abundant plant life, Mt William National Park is a place of constant fascination. Nestled in the far north-east corner of the State, the park is an important area for the conservation of Tasmania's coastal heathlands and dry sclerophyll plants. Whether you fish or swim; watch birds or wander by the sea, there's always something more to see in this beautiful national park.

Mt. William National Park has an amazing diversity of animals. It is an important sanctuary for the Forester (or eastern grey) kangaroo (now restricted to several properties in the Midlands and north-east of the State), wombats, Bennetts wallabies and Tasmanian pademelons are also common. They are usually best seen in the early morning or around sunset. Another common animal is the echidna. It can often be found during the day, particularly in the summer months, foraging for ants. Brush-tailed possums and Tasmanian devils are common in the Park, but being nocturnal are not readily seen during the day.
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  • Eddystone Point
    Called Larapuna in the local Aboriginal language, Eddystone is part of the traditional territory of Tasmanian Aborigines. They have re-occupied Eddystone Point since 1999 when the Tasmanian Government agreed in principle to the return of Eddystone Point and Mt. William National Park. The point is essentially one huge midden  and there are over ninety middens,  nearly sixty artefact sites and some burial in Mt. William National Park, which surrounds the point.

    The striking pink granite tower of the Eddystone Point lighthouse was built on a point that juts out into the sea in 1889 in response to many north bound ships being wrecked by coming in too close to the northeast coast of Tasmania. The light was serviced by sea and over the years the landing areas took a battering with jetties having to be rebuilt several times. The lighthouse is in the Mount William National Park. It can be reached by unsealed roads of a fair condition from St Helens or Gladstone (32 km).

    Bay of Fires
    A beautiful piece of wilderness coastline on the far north of Tasmania's east coast, the Bay of Fires stretches from Eddystone Point in the north to Binalong Bay in the south. Characterised by stunning blue water, fishing lagoons, spotless white sandy beaches and orange lichen covered granite boulders, the area is often mentioned internationally in lists of the world s top beaches. A place of tranquil beauty and one of Tasmania s most popular tourist destinations, this 29-kilometre ribbon of sea, surf and sand is renowned for its island beach culture, cosy cottages and nature walks, not to mention its natural beauty.
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    • Boobyalla
      Being at the mouth of the Ringarooma and Boobyalla rivers, in the 19th century 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.
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      • Tomahawk
        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.