Arthur Pieman Conservation Area, Tas
ARTHUR RIVER MARKS the start of a great wilderness area where mighty trees have been washed down the Frankland and Arthur rivers and have crashed against the windswept shoreline.
Here the gales of the Roaring Forties meet the rugged west coast of Tasmania at a place so awe-inspiring that early poet Brian Inder (wh has a plaque in his honour at Gardiner’s Point) dubbed it ‘The Edge of the World’.
It’s a great vantage point from which to gaze on the battered coastline. It is obviously dangerous to swim here, due to extremely wild conditions and occasional freak waves – even walking along the beach can be an obstacle course. It is amazing to think that the sea west of Tasmania is the longest uninterrupted expanse of ocean on the globe.
From Argentina, 18,000km away, the currents sweep unimpeded more than halfway around the planet until they hit this point.
Fishing/Diving: Estuary fishing, surf fishing and diving can be undertaken. Normal regulations apply (a licence is not needed when fishing for salmon in the Arthur River west of the bridge). Netting in the Arthur River is prohibited.
Surfing: Board surfing, body surfing and wind surfing can be undertaken. Beware that conditions on this stretch of coast can often be quite dangerous. There are no lifeguards patrolling here and beaches are remote.
Horseriding: Riders are permitted to ride on the designated off-road tracks and beaches within the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area. Contact the ranger for details and advice. Holding yards for horses are available at Marrawah, Arthur River and Rebecca Creek.
Location: Arthur River is 441km north-west of Hobart.
Accommodation: There are three basic campgrounds in Arthur River (camping fees apply).
Food/drink: Basic groceries are available in Arthur River. You need to bring in your own drinking water as there is only bore water at each campground.
Points of interest: Bluff Point Hill Lighthouse, Arthur River Cruise, 4WD-ing.
Maps: Western Explorer map (03 6233 6067) and Parks and Wildlife area map (03 6457 1225).
More info: Arthur River Parks & Wildlife on 03 6457 1225 or www.parks.tas.gov.au