Once you have had a good look around Eaglehawk Neck the road toward Port Arthur glides along next to the usually quiet, narrow and very scenic waterway of Eaglehawk Bay and then veers south to follow the edge of beautiful Norfolk Bay until you enter the quaint, elongated seaside village of Taranna.
This hamlet came to be during the Port Arthur’s heyday, when Commandant O’Hara Booth decided to build a convict powered tramway to transport goods offloaded from ships in Norfolk Bay to Long Bay, near Port Arthur; thus eliminating the need to sail around the hazardous southern coast of the Tasman peninsula to reach the penal settlement.
Goods were then ferried across Long Bay to Port Arthur. Although long gone, this railway is recognized as Australia’s first. The original convict station, near the modern town jetty is now a comfortable, heritage B & B.
An excellent boat launching ramp and finger jetty is available at the northern end of the village, accessible in most weather conditions.
A signal tower was located on Woody Island, now Dart Island, some distance offshore in Norfolk Bay. It was one of a chain of semaphore stations that could, on a clear day, send messages to Hobart Town, some fifty miles (80 kilometres).
Taranna once boasted a prize-winning bakery, several restaurants, a general store, petrol station and a wide range of accommodation. It’s now down to just a couple of nice restaurants; however the village still offers a host of fine B & Bs and self contained holiday cottages – some right on the water’s edge.
If you would like to stay here longer then please check out the following accommodation in Taranna: