Feb
05
2014

What you’ll find at Rocky Cape National Park

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Another one of Tasmania's lesser-known wilderness areas, Rocky Cape National Park, is a fantastic, untouched paradise to explore.

Found in the north west of the island, the relatively small park offers up more than its fair share of natural beauty.

Here are some of the reasons why this park is such a special place.

Awe-inspiring views

The views you get from Rocky Cape National Park are phenomenal. You can see across the turbulent waters of the Bass Strait, out to plains covered in wildflowers and craggy coastal areas.

The park itself is between Wynyard and Stanley, so certain parts of the area provide great views of these towns, too.

Quite spectacular here is the landscape's sheer range of geological features, such as sea caves, rock pools and pebbled shores, not to mention a whole number of fascinating stone formations that have to be seen to be believed.

The variety of flora and fauna the park is home to is also impressive. Because the area receives plenty of salt spray from the sea, the plants are strong and robust. The spring and summer in particular are beautiful times to visit if you love plant life, because this is when some of the bright flowers of the region are in bloom. Be sure to look out for the Xanthorrhoea plant too, which has a tall spike that makes it very distinctive. 

Aboriginal history and heritage

Traces of human civilisation date back thousands of years throughout the park, which is also known as Tang Dim Mer to the Aboriginal people.

Remnants of the original inhabitants of the land include cave middens, rock shelters and various other artefacts such as tools, which are up to 10,000 years old. 

From these ruins, it's clear that the Aboriginal people relied on seals, scale fish and shellfish for sustenance, and when it comes to embracing the taste of seafood, not much has changed in Tasmania!

These days, the Aboriginal community is still present in the Rocky Cape area, and is an active part of its management. It's still frequented for cultural, spiritual and recreational reasons.

What you can do

One of the best ways to explore this stunning region is by foot. There are a number of short walks that can introduce you to the park's highlights, while there are also full-day treks to enjoy.

Sights you'll come across include fascinating sea caves, pristine and hidden beaches and gorgeous rock pools full of colourful seaweed and starfish.

If you have access to a boat, this is another great way to travel along the shores of park. Whether you'd like to take a leisurely cruise around the waters and perhaps moor at a serene bay or two, or you'd like to try your hand at fishing, Rocky Cape National Park is a perfect place to relax or cast your rod.

For those who are brave enough to take the plunge, some of the beaches and shorelines are great places to swim, with water clear enough to see into the depths. There is certainly great snorkeling.
All swimming is best done in company however for safety in numbers.

There's so much to see that you could spend multiple days in the area, but be aware that you can't camp in the park itself. Instead, you can camp at the nearby Rocky Cape township, or at Crayfish Creek or the Peggs Beach Conservation Area.

Head to Rocky Cape National Park and see what you can find for yourself. With its array of stunning natural features and historical significance, it's a truly fascinating place to spend some time.

Walking trails in the Rocky Cape National Park - image credit: eaglesrisetasmania-dot-com-dot-au

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