OPossum Bay – What a Strange Name!
OPossum Bay is a river/seaside town resting at the very tip of the South Arm Peninsula. For boat owners it is a short joy-ride away from the state’s capital of Hobart. But it is one true gem that could easily be missed, as we discovered before our permanent sea-change…
Why not OPossum Bay?
Originally in Tasmania for a house sitting assignment, we didn’t hear mention of the beautiful beach at Opossum Bay, so close to the capital city. Yet surely it’s a name you would remember? We almost made it once, driving east from Hobart to the small township of Lauderdale. But from there the winding road seems to be heading into scrubby territory with no obvious merit.
There’s no dramatic coastline enroute (by Tasmanian standards), however this peninsula is home to Clifton Beach, popular with the surfing set. And Pipe Clay Lagoon near Cremorne produces some of Tasmania’s supply of fine oysters. There was no-one about on our drive by Cremorne, but we were taken by the display of rubber gloves, waving unaccompanied in the breeze – as if on welcoming duty!
Swimming and Fishing at OPossum Bay
South Tasmania is home to some of the coldest remote waters on the whole tour of Tasmania. The maps don’t identify sections where children can swim without getting hypothermia, but OPossum Bay would register if they did. The waters are shallow and hence marginally warmer, therefore making the calm beach ideal for young swimmers.
The shoreline in OPossum Bay is scattered with social fishing boats, their “crews” eager to catch a supply of Flathead in the river or out into Storm Bay. Others dangle lines from the jetty hoping to land a feed of squid.
Where to Eat in OPossum Bay?
There are convenient places to buy fish and chips for the empty handed though. We’ve tried the South Arm General Store (purely in the name of research!) and they supplied us with a very tasty lunch. While recommending food, we can also personally vouch for the South Arm RSL establishment. The venue doubles as the clubhouse for the golf course and provides family friendly, good quality meals at very reasonable prices.
The Jetty, Beach Houses and Rock Hopping
Between the jetty and the rocks at the northern end of the town beach, there is an eclectic mix of houses. Some were clearly still the original weekender shacks, others were mansions several stories high. There was one themed as a lighthouse and another with a cottage garden, complete with umbrella and seating, all with absolute front row views of the gleaming water, where cruise ships would glide past on their way into Hobart.
We managed to scramble along the rocks to continue exploring, and then down onto the longer stretch of beach the other side. Elevated on the edge of this solitary section was a house straight out of an American movie: think secluded, romantic, windswept setting, with the heroine alone in the attic writing a memoir. Divine!
The rock pools filled with little fish and crustaceans, provided a bit more interest for the boys, and there were shells to inspect and smooth skimming rocks to fling. Surprisingly we came across a lifeless penguin – not certain if he was a wayward once-off, or whether there was a colony somewhere nearby.
All in all, a pleasant day trip from Hobart. Nice weather permitting: a dip, a picnic lunch and a spot of exploring. If that’s what you’re after, mark OPossum Bay on your own map!
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