Most people who visit the Port Arthur Historic Site simply head back the way they came when they leave, not realising that there is plenty more to see in and around the peninsula beyond Port Arthur. Turning left upon leaving Port Arthur onto Safety Cove Road, rather than right, leads you to some quite different coastal scenery to that found around Eaglehawk Neck and Pirates Bay. These include some quite unique and amazing rock formations, the most remarkable of them all being the appropriately named Remarkable Cave. It is remarkable not only for its unique form, but also because its opening, when viewed from the observation platform, is the shape of Tasmania.
The cave is today a deep rock bridge carved out of the sandstone cliff face, but it was once a deep cave. The viewing platform at the bottom of steep stairs is where the back of the cave collapsed. The debris has long since been washed out to sea except for the large sea-smoothed boulders that remain in the hollow. Unlike most sea caves, Remarkable Cave has two entrances on the ocean-side, which were created by erosion along fractures created by ancient earthquakes.
Though there are fences up to stop people entering the cave, because of the dangerous swell and surging currents when the tide is high, at low tide, after the water has receeded, it is quite safe to walk through the cave and out to the other side.
From here you can walk to Crescent Bay, a secluded curve of striking beauty backed by huge sand dunes. For a different view, dive amongst rich marine life in waters that offer some of the best temperate diving in Australia and explore the local shipwreck sites.
Not far from Remarkable Cave is a track leading to the Maingon Bay Lookout. On a clear day, gazing out from the lookout you can see the towering dolerite columns of Cape Raoul in the distance. Beneath the lookout, green hills tumble down to meet the clean blue waters of the bay and small waves splash gently onto rock ledges.
On your way to Remarkable Cave, you will pass Safety Cove. Whilst it is possible to get some excellent photos by poking your camera out of the car window and clicking away as you drive past, the views up the coast to Cape Hauy and Tasman Island from this little corner of paradise are so good, they warrant stopping the car and taking a walk along the beach. If this makes you want to stay for a while and soak it all up, there is bed and breakfast accommodation available prtactically on the beach. The four-star accommodation opens onto a verandah, the table and chairs provide a lovely place for you to relax, have a quiet drink and take in the magnificent views of Tasman Island and the Tasman National Park.
Just south of Port Arthur off the Remarkable Cave Road a dirt road leads to the top of a hill and a lookout over the Port Arthur historic site, the port itself and the Isle of the Dead. There are binoculars there for close up views and a picnic shelter.