Lime Bay State Reserve
The Lime Bay Nature Reserve is seldom visited, but contains a surprisingly large network of trails linking together some beautiful beaches and lagoons with some great convict history thrown in. The reserve is a popular spot for camping, boating and walking. Facilities include toilets, picnic tables and fire places. It is advisable to bring your own water and firewood.
Where Is it?: 54 km by road from Dunalley, on the Tasman Peninsula. To get there, take the C341 from Premaydena, through Saltwater River. The reserve is at the end of Coal Mines Road, on the north-west tip of the Tasman Peninsula.
Lime Bay State Reserve is a beautiful 1300 ha secluded reserve of sheltered beaches and pretty eucalypt woodlands. There are two tranquil beaches: Lime Bay is next to the camping area, while the picturesque Lagoon Beach lies in the lee of Sloping Island, an easy 40 min walk. The southern boundary of the 1.6 km long Lagoon Beach is the densely vegetated headland, Lobster Point. Lagoon Beach receives waves averaging about 0.5 m, which pick up a little towards the northern end. A small lagoon backs the northern end of the beach and a vehicle track accesses the southern and central section between the lagoons.
Nearby are remnants of the 1833 Saltwater River coal mines, where Port Arthur s most hardened convicts were sent for punishment. Underground cells and mine entrances are still visible. A picturesque, grassed camping area is 4 km beyond the historic mining site and is the starting point for an easy, scenic walk to Greens Point Cliffs and Lagoon Beach. Gas/fuel stoves are recommended, and you need to bring firewood and drinking water.
Lime Bay itself is a north-facing 1 km wide bay located at the northern end of the Tasman Peninsula to the west of Whitehouse Point. Only low wind waves usually enter the bay. A gravel road reaches the centre of the beaches, with an extensive camping area under the trees behind the western end of beach. Small boats can be launched across the beach.
Green Head is at the tip of the peninsula. Its 20 metre high bluffs restrict land access to two small protected beaches on the headland. Both beaches open onto the sand seafloor, which surrounds the tip of the headland. They are only accessible by boat. Lagoon Beach is a similar 100 m long strip of high tide sand, fronted by continuous 50 m wide intertidal rock flats, with only a small sandy opening at the southern end. There is no formal access through the dense vegetation.
This island, in Frederick Henry Bay on the western side of the Lime Bay State Reserve headland, was established in 1841 as a Probation Station to house convicts arriving in Van Diemens Land. The convicts were involved in timber getting and land clearing. The station was forced to close only three years later, due to the lack of availability of fresh water. The convicts were assigned to Port Arthur. In 1824 the first whaling station in the water approaches to Hobart were established at Slopen Island by Walter Angus Bethune and John Grant.