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“Impressive aboriginal heritage and coastal reserve”

Ranked #621 of 682 things to do in Tasmania
Attraction details
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Impressive aboriginal heritage and coastal reserve”
Reviewed April 23, 2014 via mobile

We visited the rocky cape national park via the western entrance, close to Hellyer. It was only a short drive in alongside towering and impressive button grass and dolomite outcrops, which we saw hand gliders making use of and harnessing the moderate coastal breeze. We only had an outdated travel guidebook with us to show he way to the aboriginal artefacts, and the road in was signposted poorly in directing us to these, and we accidentally drove through a small beach shack residential area which was completely the wrong turnoff from the fork in the road.
Once we found the right place to park our car, there was only a short walk to the ancient aboriginal middens - 10 mins at the most
From the car park. Spectacular views across the national park on the short walk to the artefacts, notably the stunning red lichen on the rocks that dotted the coastline. Once at the caves with the artefacts there were some great signage explaining the area and the history. Lots of bird life around the area, an interesting stop off if you are driving along the coast road to Stanley, as long as you already have a parks pass as we couldn't see a visitors centre there.

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1 Thank Sarah11eleven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
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English first
Pacific Coast Australia, Australia
Level Contributor
144 reviews
76 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 213 helpful votes
“Colourful nature”
Reviewed March 29, 2012

Rocky Cape National Park, situated between Stanley and Wynyard, is full of surprises. You may only want to make a quick visit to the Rocky Cape lighthouse with its sweeping views, but there is much more to see if you take the time.
I walked to the top of a pointed hill beside the bay to get most of the shots you see here but could easily have spent more time here.
Before you know it you're finding out there's more to this park than you initially imagine. Aboriginal heritage, ship wrecks, rock formations turned sideways, beautiful hills running down to the sea and an incredible variety of flowering plants. It makes the many corners of this small park worth closer inspection.
One outstanding plant community is the stand of saw banksia in the hills overlooking Sisters Beach. This giant of the banksia family, easily recognized by its serrated leaves, is restricted to this small part of Tasmania, though it is common in mainland Australia. They require fire to open their seed pods before regenerating. A lack of seedlings may indicate a lack of recent fire.
The plant disease Phytophthora is killing plants in this park. The fungal disease rots the roots of certain native plants, eventually killing them. You may see examples of collapsed grass trees (Xanthorrhoea) and dead banksias in a number of locations here. Because Phytophthora root rot can be carried in soil and water, one way to prevent its wider spread is to clean soil from your boots before visiting any other areas. (Even plants in your home garden can be affected by Phytophthora. Wash mud into drains or away from native plants).
The rocks around Rocky Cape had joins which eroded more rapidly than the surrounding rock and created caves that you can see today. When sea levels dropped to where they are today, the caves were left above the shoreline, making them ideal for coastal rock shelters. North Cave is the most easily-accessible example. It is about 20 m above sea level. Try to imagine what it was like when the sea rushed into the cave. Amazingly, caves similar to these are also found underneath the sea, created by wave action when sea levels were lower.
At Anniversary Bay there are outcrops of siltstone. They are of similar age to the more common quartzite, originally laid down as fine-grained silts (rather than the coarser sands that formed the quartzite.) The siltstones are so deformed and tilted that they make walking along the coastline quite difficult.
It's definitely worth a look if you like nature but there's no facilities here.
Within the park there is a picnic area with tables and a gas barbecue at Mary Ann Cove. Toilet facilities are available at Burgess Cove and Mary Ann Cove in Rocky Cape National Park. Drinking water is not available in the park. The Sisters Beach holiday area has electric barbecues, toilets and drinking water provided by the local council.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
7 Thank iandsmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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