Eaglehawk Neck from Martin Cash's lookout.
|Location||Forestier Peninsula and Tasman Peninsula in south-eastern Tasmania, Australia|
|Length||400 metres (1,300 ft)|
|Width||30 metres (98 ft)|
The Eaglehawk Neck is a narrow isthmus that connects the Tasman Peninsula with the Forestier Peninsula, and hence to mainland Tasmania, Australia. A township settlement in the same region is also called Eaglehawk Neck.
Location and features
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Locally known as the Neck, the isthmus itself is around 400 metres (1,300 ft) long and under 30 metres (98 ft) wide at its narrowest point. The area features 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. A short walk further via Lufra Cove take you to Clyde Island accessible for crossings at low tide, sits at the northern entry to Pirates Bay. The island hosts two grave sites, a rumbling blow hole cleaves the island.
Eaglehawk Neck offers accommodation at Lufra Hotel and Apartments, near the Tessellated Pavement, and at various b&b's. 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.
It forms a natural gateway between the peninsulas that was used 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 Port Arthur prison. The area was heavily patrolled by soldiers, and the guards' quarters still remains as a museum. Many attempts were made by convicts to escape via Eaglehawk Neck, including those of Martin Cash. The isthmus now provides road access via the Arthur Highway to Port Arthur, part of the Australian Convict Sites, a World Heritage Site that comprises eleven remnant penal sites originally built within the British Empire during the 18th and 19th centuries on fertile Australian coastal strips. Collectively, these sites, including Port Arthur, now represent, "...the best surviving examples of large-scale penal transportation and the colonial expansion of European powers through the presence and labour of convicts."
The first Eagle Hawk Neck post office was open from 1875 until 1877. It reopened on 11 January 1895 and closed in 1974.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Eaglehawk Neck (SSC) (State Suburbs)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
- Robson, L. L.; Ward, Russel (1966). "Cash, Martin (1808–1877)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Vol. 1. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
- "Australian Convict Sites". World Heritage List. UNESCO. 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
- "Post Office List". Premier Postal History. Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
- Storey, Shirley; Storey, Peter (1990). Tasman tracks: 25 walks on the Tasman and Forestier Peninsulas. Koonya Press. ISBN 0-6460-1870-1.