Locally known as the Neck, the isthmus itself is around 400 metres long and under 30 metres wide at its narrowest point. It forms a natural gateway to the peninsula that was utilised by the British in 1830s, when a line of dogs was chained to posts across the neck to warn of any convicts attempting to escape the prison at Port Arthur. The area was heavily patrolled by soldiers, and the guards' quarters still remains as a museum. Many attempts were made by prisoners to escape via the neck, including those of Martin Cash.
The area has a beautiful and rugged terrain and several unusual geological formations. These include the Tessellated Pavement, an area of flat rock that looks to be manmade but is in fact formed by erosion. Also nearby are Tasman's Arch, the Blowhole and the Devil's Kitchen, all striking natural formations.
Eaglehawk Neck offers accommodation in the Lufra Hotel, near the Tessellated Pavement, and the Backpackers on Jetty Road.
A nearby footpath leads to Martin Cash's lookout near the top of the hill at the southern end.
Eaglehawk Neck is a well-known local holiday destination. On the eastern side, a beach that stretches around Pirates' Bay is a popular surfing area. In summer the population rises as people return to their holiday homes.
The first Eagle Hawk Neck Post Office was open from 1875 until 1877. It reopened on 11 January 1895 and closed in 1974.
Notes and references
- Storey, Shirley and Peter.(1990) Tasman tracks - 25 walks on the Tasman and Forestier Peninsulas Koonya Press.ISBN 0646018701
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