Looking to add a little adventure to your trip to Tasmania? Then put the Tasman Island Cruise on your list. This was one of our favorite experiences in Tasmania and we highly recommend it.
What is the Tasman Island Cruise?
The Tasman Island Cruise is a scenic speedboat tour along the stunning coastline of the Tasman Peninsula. On this 3 hour cruise, you have a chance to see whales, albatross, seals, and penguins. Depending on weather conditions, it can be a wild ride, which made it so much fun, especially for Tyler and Kara.
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The Tasman Island Cruise
We were in Tasmania in May. In the days leading up to our cruise, Tasmania received huge amounts of rain, wind, and even snow at higher elevations, and some of this nasty weather was still lingering around. In Hobart the skies were sunny, but just one hour east, the Tasman Peninsula was still covered with clouds and drizzly weather. This would make for a very interesting trip.
Checking in with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys
Even with the less than ideal weather conditions, many people had reserved tickets, and our cruise was almost sold out. Along with approximately thirty other people, we all donned oversized red waterproof jumpsuits and then boarded our boat at the Eaglehawk Neck harbor. Our family was wearing four layers, gloves, and our woolies (hats) since temperatures were only going to be in the low 40’s once we really got moving.
Tyler and Kara were not too happy about wearing these jumpsuits!
Once on board, the staff made sure that we were all wearing our seat belts, and fastened tightly, as we would be rocking and rolling over the sea. The recent stormy weather had left behind three to six meter swells in the ocean. We were repeatedly warned that we would be in for a wild ride. Another indicator of the fun to come was the staff handing out seasickness medication to all those on board who wanted it.
As stated by our very wise captain, “This is adventure tourism people…you all signed up to be cold, wet, and sick…let’s go have some fun!”
Here We Go!
As we pulled out of the shelter of the bay and began speeding down along the coastline, the fun began. It was drizzling, so rain sprayed our faces, the wind was very cold, and traveling over the large swells was like being on a roller coaster. Tyler and Kara, who were determined not to have fun on this cruise, especially since they were forced to wear these goofy red jumpsuits, were smiling and even laughing. We hit a couple of swells just right, leaving our stomachs up in the air, people on board the boat hooting with delight, us included.
The scenery was amazing, with tall cliffs, huge waves splashing up against the coastline, and albatrosses flying overhead. We never did see a whale (a little too early) or penguins (they just went out to sea for the wintertime) but we did see lots of fur seals. They are extremely awkward moving about on land, their fat bodies waddling out to the water, but once in the sea, are incredibly fast and agile.
While we watched, a seal caught a fish, then proceeded to thrash it about on the surface of the water, their way of killing it. The downside to this method of preparing their lunch is that it attracts all of the birds in the area. These birds were hovering around the seal, determined to steal its meal, and one lucky albatross did. Here’s the thief making a getaway with his loot, barely able to get off of the water with it.
For brief periods of time we got to see the sun. As we approached Cape Pillar, the southernmost point of the Tasman Peninsula, the swells got larger.
An Unfortunate Detour
We entered the South Sea, our captain informing us that this is the most tumultuous sea on Earth. With today’s conditions it was really roiling. Our small boat was rocking up and down in the water, drifting over some swells that reminded Tim and I of “The Perfect Storm.” OK, they weren’t that big, but the sea was definitely churning here. Tyler and Kara loved it!
Our captain said it was getting a little too dangerous, so we had to turn around a bit early, heading back north into calmer seas. So much for adventure!
Kidding aside, the cruise was awesome. The tumultuous seas created a roller coaster-like ride that we all loved. And seasickness? No problems for us this time!
About the Tasman Island Cruise
Location: Tasman Peninsula, Tasmania
Tour Operator: The Tasman Island Cruise is operated by Pennicott Wilderness Journeys. They offer the three hour tour plus options to extend your day, including transportation from Hobart if you need it. Cruises are offered all year. Visit their website here.
More Information about Australia
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: One of the best things to do in South Australia is to visit the wine regions near Adelaide. Plan your visit with our Guide to McLaren Vale, our Guide to Barossa Valley, and our Guide to Clare Valley.
THINGS TO DO IN AUSTRALIA: Visit the cities of Melbourne and Sydney, hike Kings Canyon, visit Tasmania, go on a road trip on the Great Ocean Road, explore the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale wine regions, and visiting the Great Barrier Reef.
ULURU: In our Guide to Uluru and Kata-Tjuta, learn how to get here, what to do, and how to plan your time. We also have information on a great hike in Kings Canyon and a recap of our experience in the Red Centre of Australia.
DESTINATIONS AROUND THE WORLD: For more places to visit around the world, check out our Destinations page.
Planning a trip to Australia? Read all of our articles in our Australia Travel Guide.
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