A Place by the Sea: Low Head

Low Head Lighthouse
Low Head Lighthouse

Samuel Johnson once famously said ‘A man tired of London is a man tired of life.’ (Words to that effect) An adaption of that quote might be ‘A man uninspired by Low Head is a man uninspired by life!’ 

Low Head on a fine day is a place to behold. Situated at the top of the Tamar, it is a place of seemingly perpetual beauty. It could be Rural France, North Yorkshire, or a Coastal Scandinavia but it’s a treasure that is uniquely Tasmanian. 

There is a fascinating contrast as you continue to drive just 5km North from the industrial port town of George Town. The greenery becomes more vivid, as the remarkable architecture of the houses and buildings lends itself to something from a bygone era. 

Low Head Peninsular begins ‘north of North Road’ explains Sarah Hickling from Low Head Tourist Park. Sarah and husband Paul moved their young family to the area from leafy Northeast Melbourne in June 2014. They purchased the business in August that year and have not looked back since, adding to their family, and proudly declaring Low Head their adopted home.  

Sarah reported a bumper season in 2019 with record numbers of visitors, before the storms of the COVID pandemic hit. With border closures, a ban on non-essential travel and 2 months of no customers Low Head Tourist Park experienced great challenges, but thankfully rode the storms to bounce back even stronger.  

‘After 2 long solitary months we were allowed to reopen and since then we have been gradually building our business back to pre-COVID occupancy levels thanks to the opening of the new Mountain Bike Trails, new and existing industries in and around Bell Bay and the construction boom that is occurring around Low Head and George Town, plus an Australia wide boom in caravan and RV sales which has resulted in us working to expand our park to allow for the additional demand. We have called Low Head home now for the past eight years and this summer will be our ninth season as managers.’ Said Sarah. 

As you continue your journey north past the Middle Channel lighthouse, you will reach Lagoon Point which can be accessed from the south via Old Coast Road or just a little further on at Lagoon Beach Road. It is a beautiful beach with a very nice picnic area and good amenities.  

Just minutes away is the majestic East Beach with raging tides and spectacular views. Again, there are good amenities provided including an excellent new barbeque area. In other parts of the world a beach of this beauty would likely be packed with tourists and locals alike, remarkably, on a winter’s day especially, chances are you will have it to yourself. 

The main business up this way is East Beach Tourist Park on Gunn Parade, set on picturesque beachfront over 22 acres which offers spacious cabins, powered sites and fully self-contained sites. The site offers an ideal place for camping with private access to the beach.  

Allan and Stacey purchased the business in August 2019 and soon after COVID hit, which obviously presented many challenges. However, the business proved very robust, and survived thanks to an increase in State-wide tourists and finding a niche in the market providing longer term accommodation to travellers (Grey nomads!) who, without some kind of a fixed address, may otherwise have found themselves getting kicked out of the State! Chaotic times indeed, but Stacey was happy to announce that the East Beach tourist park has now bounced back stronger than ever and is in great shape, taking to social media just before Christmas to report that the park was fully booked out and no longer able to accept any more visitors! 

Low Head features Australia’s oldest Pilot Station, which was built in 1806. This whole area is a fantastic place to visit and surely one of the best maritime attractions in the whole of Australia.     Set amid pristine, well-kept parklands and delightful cottages, the station features a superb museum, an excellent café and plenty of interesting artefacts and sculptures.  

There is the most beautiful old White Church across the road which is now a private residence. Services were held there for well over a century. There is a delightful photograph in the museum of happy congregants spilling out onto the street after a service, an iconic and heart-warming image. 

There are penguin tours each night at sunset and plenty of places to just slow down, take a photograph or two and enjoy the incredible views! 

The pinnacle of Low Head though, as you make your way to the very tip of the peninsular, is the outstanding Low Head Lighthouse. Set in well-kept grounds, it boasts wonderful views of the Bass Straight. The third oldest lighthouse in Tasmania, it was established in 1833 and has a fascinating history which is freely presented on the well-maintained signs. The views across the Bass Straight are truly spectacular and the lighthouse is brilliantly preserved amid quaint surroundings and serene landscape. 

Low Head is a place of phenomenal history and views, really worth a visit! 

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