CAPE PILLAR is a majestic rock set amongst the many awesome sights of the cliffs of the Tasman Peninsula. These sights are rated as some of the most impressive in the World. They can be seen from both a walking track and a boat cruise that begins at Eaglehawk Neck. The track requires a moderate degree of fitness, but the boat trip is suitable for most people. This cruise goes as far south as the light house at Tasman Island. There are some facilities and accommodation at Eaglehawk Neck. There are more at Port Arthur. There are no facilities at Cape Pillar.
Cape Pillar is part of the Tasman Peninsula National Park, which is located in south eastern Tasmania. From the start of the Tasman Peninsula National Park at EAGELHAWK NECK you are just 5 minutes from TARANNA and 15 minutes from PORT ARTHUR and CAPE RAOUL. You are 90 minutes from HOBART.
View Region Tasman Peninsula 2 in a larger map
FACILITIES: There are shops and a hotel at Eaglehawk Neck. There is a petrol station, a cafe and a tourist shop at Port Arthur. There is accommodation at EAGLEHAWK NECK and at PORT ARTHUR.
TOURS: For the cruise to Cape Pillar telephone Tasman Island Adventure Cruises on (03) 6250 2299 or (03) 6253 5325 or contact www.tasmaniadventurecruises.com.au
For game fishing and tours from EAGLEHAWK NECK telephone Pauletta Charters on (03) 6248 9432 or 0409 489 432
SIGHTS: The cliffs along the eastern coast of the Tasmania Peninsula are simply awesome. The include the:
These look like something created for a science fiction movie. The cliffs are best viewed from a boat, but the the Cape Pillar Track is very beautiful as well.
ROUTES: You can only enter and exit the Tasman Peninsula on the A9 Arthur Highway.
The boat tours of the cliffs to Cape Pillar leave from Pirates Bay, which is just south of Eaglehawk Neck.
You can pick up the Cape Pillar Track from two points. The first is near EAGLEHAWK NECK. Turn south east onto Blowhole Road and then turn south east onto Waterfall Bay Road, which is a gravel track.
- CAPE PILLAR
1/ Cape Pillar is a rocky point at the base of the Tasman Peninsula in south east Tasmania. The Cape Pillar tour departs from this small jetty at Pirates Bay, which is just south of Eaglehawk Neck.
2/ The Cape Pillar tour begins with a life jacket drill, as the boat is often tossed by violent waves. The passengers are also issued with wet weather over clothes.
3/ The Cape Pillar tour cruises South towards Cape Hauy, which is to the left. The rock on the extreme left is actually two rocks, which are called the "Lanterns". The prominent pillar in the middle is called the "Candle stick".
4/ Sailing south towards Cape Hauy, we passed under the waterfall at Waterfall Bay. This fall was a spectacular 80 metres drop. The flow varies according to the season.
5/ The Candle Stick was one of the most spectacular sights of the cruise to Cape Pillar and Tasman Island.
6/ All along the route to Cape Pillar we saw interesting sights. In this photo the cliffs are about 60 metres high, so the breaking wave shown was about 20 metres high.
7/ The orange cliffs are dolomite. These are very common on the route to Cape Pillar. The white color is bird faeces deposited on this rookery over thousands of years.
8/ The Cape Pillar cruise boat goes close inshore towards a number of rock terraces, where seals and birds nest.
9/ Many seals watched us from their rock terraces on the cruise to Cape Pillar.
10/ We sailed south past a panorama of dolomite cliffs, as we headed towards Cape Pillar.
11/ The dolomite cliffs showed a vast range of interesting sculptured shapes.
12/ The rough sea abruptly became calm, as we sailed into Fortescue Bay. This bay is the second point from where you can join the Cape Pillar Track.
13/ The water rushing between the gap, separating these two sheer cliffs, was a spectacular sight.
14/ The Cape Pillar cruise boat sailed right into this grotto that gave only a few metres clearance. It was an unusual experience to be inside a grotto.
15/ You get an unusual view of the cliffs, when you are inside the grotto looking out and up.
16/ This shows the size of a grotto in relation to the cliffs around it. There are a number of grottoes on the route to Cape Pillar.
17/ This photo shows a small insulberg on the route to Cape Pillar. The white color shows that it is used as a bird rookery.
18/ The Cape Pillar tour boat raced through the small gap between the cliff and this insulberg.
19/ This is the Cape Pillar rock. Beyond on the horizon is Tasman Island.
20/ The channel between Tasman Island and Cape Pillar was quite rough that day.
21/ Tasman Island was surrounded by sheer cliffs. The seas were rough that day, so we did not get to see the light house on the other side. It was a very isolated place.
22/ There was only one point from where boats could unload. People and supplies had to be hoisted onto the island by the crane, as no jetty was possible. Unloading was only possible, when the sea was calm. The white layer underneath the platform was caused by seals.
23/ The Totempole was a spectacular natural pillar that seemed to be permanently surrounded by violent seas.
24/ The sea calmed down as we sailed back to Pirates Bay. We saw these beautiful natural colors, which were quite different from those I saw in the morning.