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.
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.
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Stumpys Bay Day Use Area is located in the north of Mount William National Park. Picnic tables and pit toilets are provided at each campground The campsite here is smaller than that at Musselroe Bay, but it is the best site for tents and it has safer swimming. Access is off Forester Kangaroo Drive. Tent sites are scattered among trees in an open forest and there is plenty of shade to relax in after a day s beachcombing. This camping area is gas/fuel stove-only as fires are prohibited.
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.
Tucked away in the remote north-east corner of the state, Mount William National Park is fringed with gorgeous bays stretching from Ansons River to Musselroe Bay. Mt. William National Park was established in the 1970s, in part to provide a refuge for the Forester kangaroo, a Tasmanian subspecies of eastern grey kangaroo which was in grave danger of extinction at the time. Like so much of Tasmania s east coast, the geology of Mt. William is dominated by granite. Due to its high quartz content, granite breaks down into a very pure sand which has formed beautiful white beaches that are one of the features of the park.
There is a large population of marsupials - wombats, Forester kangaroos, Tasmanian pademelons and wallabies, particularly along Forester Drive. With a rich diversity of coastal vegetation boasting spring flowering, the park is an important area for the conservation of Tasmania s coastal heathlands and dry sclerophyll communities or plants. Heath is found on poorer soils, such as those here, which result from weathered granite and wind blown sand.
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.
Called Larapuna in the local Aboriginal language, Eddystone is part of the traditional territory of Tasmanian Aborigines. Aborigines 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 individual middens - nearly sixty artefact sites and some burial sites in Mt. William National Park, which surrounds the point. All are unmarked to protect them from being vandalised.
The striking pink granite tower of the Eddystone Point lighthouse was built on the point which 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).