We found Opossum Bay to be a pleasant river/seaside town resting at the very tip of the South Arm Peninsula. For boat owners it would be a short joy-ride from the state’s capital of Hobart. But we thought it was one true gem that could easily be missed.
Why Not Opossum Bay?
When we were 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’d remember? We almost made it there once, driving east from Hobart to the small township of Lauderdale. But from there, the winding road seemed to be heading into scrubby territory with no obvious merit.
There wasn’t any dramatic coastline enroute (by Tasmanian standards). But the peninsula was said to be home of Clifton Beach, popular with the surfing set. And Pipe Clay Lagoon near Cremorne boasted the production of some of Tasmania’s supply of fine oysters. So we persevered another time.
Swimming and Fishing: Opossum Bay
Southern Tasmania boasts 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 we thought Opossum Bay might register. The waters were shallow and hence marginally warmer, therefore making the calm beach ideal for young swimmers.
The shoreline at Opossum Bay was scattered with social fishing boats, their crews keen to catch a supply of Flathead in the river or Storm Bay. Others dangled lines from the jetty hoping to land a feed of squid.
Where to Eat in Opossum Bay
There were convenient places to buy fish and chips for the empty handed though. We tried the South Arm General Store and they provided a very tasty lunch. While recommending food, we can also personally vouch for the South Arm RSL establishment. The venue doubled as the clubhouse for the golf course and provided us with a family friendly, good quality meal at a very reasonable price.
Jetty, Beach Houses and Rock Hopping
Between the jetty and the rocks (north of the town’s beach) there was 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 had 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 to the longer stretch of beach opposite. 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 and provided a bit more interest for the kids. There were shells to inspect and smooth skimming rocks to fling. Surprisingly, we came across a lifeless penguin. I’m not certain if he was a wayward once-off, or whether there was a colony somewhere nearby. Some (very brief) research of the area uncovered details about seals, sharks and dolphins but there wasn’t any mention of Little Penguins at Opossum Bay. Maybe someone could enlighten us?
All in all though, 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 and enjoy.