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Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area

Activities

The coastline of the Arthur-Pieman CA Photograph by Steve Johnson

The Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area provides a range of opportunities for recreation, from surfing and diving to recreational driving and fishing.

Recreational Vehicle Driving

All vehicles must be registered and drivers must have a current driver's licence. In addition to drivers/riders being licensed and vehicles being registered, all drivers/riders are required to obtain a Recreational Driver Pass (purchase from the online Parks Shop, in-person from a Service Tasmania outlet, or visit the Parks office at Arthur River). Pass purchasers also receive a complimentary copy of the Recreational Driving Guide. Before you depart, we also recommend you contact staff at Arthur River for advice on track conditions (03 6457 1225).

Preparing to visit

  • Obtain your Arthur-Pieman Recreational Driver Pass if you intend to drive on designated recreational vehicle tracks.
  • Obtain a copy of the new (2nd edition) Arthur-Pieman Recreational Driving Guide (issued complimentary with purchase of your driver pass). The guide contains detailed maps of the vehicle tracks and routes, and also includes important information on preparing for your visit, safe driving tips, facilities within the Arthur-Pieman, and the natural and cultural heritage of the reserve. The guide is complimentary with purchase of a pass.
  • Watch the Recreational Driving Video before you go. It provides you with all the information needed to safely visit this area, which has some of the most technical four-wheel driving in Tasmania.
  • Ensure your vehicle is registered and all drivers have a current drivers licence.
  • Obtain a camping permit through the Parks office at Arthur River on (03) 6457 1225 if you intend to camp.
  • Carry adequate supplies of fuel, food and water in case you get stranded.
  • Ensure your vehicle is in good mechanical condition and that you are carrying appropriate spare parts.
  • Tell someone your intended route and dates. Let them know when you return.
  • Normal mobile phones do not work in most of the Arthur-Pieman. We recommend you carry a satellite phone, EPIRB and/or PLB and UHF radio.
  • Check for any Track Closures, or contact a ranger at Arthur River.
  • Check tide times. Note:  Driving on beaches at low tide does not guarantee safe passage. Strong sea surges occur at anytime.

Note:  The Arthur-Pieman is a Conservation Area, not a national park. Therefore, you do not need a Parks Pass. 

Do you know what to do if you get bogged? How to safely use recovery gear? If you are planning your first 4WD trip, consider taking a 4WD course in your own vehicle before setting out.

For your safety, and for the preservation of our natural landscapes and cultural heritage, some previously used tracks have been closed for rehabilitation. Some roads may also be closed seasonally. For recent information regarding road closures and conditions contact the Parks office at Arthur River on (03) 6457 1225 or track condition notifications

Driving in the Arthur-Pieman

  • West Coast beaches have been known to swallows vehicles whole!
  • Many of the tracks are very rough - allow plenty of travel time.
  • Only drive on tracks signed on ground and shown on the permit as open for permit holders.
  • Observe the track condition and track closure signs.
  • Stay off tracks that appear too wet.
  • Avoid wheel spin and churning up the track surface.
  • Remove fallen trees or limbs from the road, or notify Parks. Don't create new tracks by driving around them.
  • If your driver is taking stupid risks, say something - it could save your life.
  • Please do not drive on the dunes as these are important breeding areas for endangered shorebirds.

 

The best way to enjoy the Arthur-Pieman is go with a guide and/or join a 4WD club. Contact Four Wheel Drive Tasmania for information, or visit www.4wdtasmania.org

It's more than just country - it's people as well.
"We regularly head down the coast or inland to Balfour. Always go in convoy though ... there's plenty of ways you can get yourself into trouble. We watch out for the middens and shorebirds - and we give the place a miss when it's too wet. It's spectacular country. We help look after it ... fix roads, build bridges, rehabilitate old tracks, and put up fences to protect Aboriginal sites. We're looking after it for our kids." (Braddon 4-wheel Drive Club)

 

Campgrounds and other Accommodation

Fees apply to camping anywhere within the Arthur - Pieman Conservation Area, not just the campgrounds. See Camping and Cabin Fees for costs and further details.

The registration envelope should be used for camping permits. Fill in the details on the envelope and remove the tear-off stub, as this is proof that you have a permit. Please display it in a prominent place. All information provided on the registration envelope is entered into a computer database as back up proof of permits and fees paid.

Arthur River
At Arthur River there are three campgrounds with water and toilet facilities. Campfires are permitted, however only collect wood from beaches or bring your own. Do not collect vegetation found around campsites.

There are no powered sites available within the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area, although there is a caravan park, Arthur River Cabin Park, with tent sites, powered caravan sites and cabins located 2km north of Arthur River. Facilities for guests include toilets and hot showers.

Unserviced Camping
There are several informal places to camp along the coast, near reliable freshwater. These sites have no facilities. Use an established site rather than create a new site. Follow the 'Leave No Trace' principles.

Please leave camping areas as you would want to find them. You can help do this by:

  • camping at established sites rather than creating new sites.
  • washing at least 50m away from water sources, especially when using soaps or detergents.
  • using toilets where provided. (Otherwise go to the toilet at least 100m from campsites and watercourses. The waste should be buried in a hole at least 15cm deep.)
  • respecting the rights of others.
  • taking your rubbish out with you.
  • fires may only be lit in the fireplaces provided throughout the APCA No fires are to be lit on the ground under any circumstances. Wood may only be collected from the beaches (please note that is against the law to be in possession of a chainsaw in a Conservation Area). Fallen wood should not be taken.

 

There are several accommodation options available at Arthur River. Contact the Stanley Visitor Centre (which services the area) on 1300 138 229

There are two small stores at Arthur River. They supply basic grocery lines, ice, some hot food, fishing gear and baits. No fuel is available at Arthur River. Redpa General store or Marrawah General Store are the nearest fuel outlets.

Scenic Drives

Regular vehicles can drive on any of the main arterial roads marked on the map, without a permit. Drive to The Edge of the World at Arthur River. Visit the shack communities at Nelson Bay, Temma and Couta Rocks. See the ancient Aboriginal rock engravings at Sundown Point/laraturunawn and drovers hut and cattleyards at Rebecca Creek.

 

Walking

Give your vehicle a rest and get intimate with the landscape. Enjoy a walk along a windswept beach, or wander along one of the walking tracks marked on the map. Breathe in the fresh West Coast air, explore the sea's debris and marvel at the ancient landscape. Check the weather before setting out as conditions can change rapidly

Fishing

Estuary fishing, surf fishing and diving for abalone and cray are all possible, however any fishing along the coast is dangerous. Freak waves and drownings have occurred.

Arthur River fishing:  A licence is not required when salmon fishing in the Arthur River west of the bridge. Netting in the Arthur River is prohibited.

Recreational Fishing bag and size limits apply throughout the Arthur-Pieman (see Recreational Sea Fishing Guide).

Boating

Arthur-Pieman's coastal waters are wild and unpredictable. Boat access to the ocean is via the beaches by 4WD vehicles only, with a long trailer pole. (There are no sealed ramps.) Ensure you are equipped with the appropriate safety equipment for 'Open Waters'. There is a boat ramp at Arthur River for access to the river. (Note:  It is impossible to bring a boat in over the shallow sandbar at the mouth of the Arthur River. Pieman Heads is equally dangerous.) 

 

Arthur-Pieman coastPhotograph by Joe Shemesh

 

Surfing and Swimming

This region is renowned for its huge surf breaks, with the most well known at Lighthouse Beach and Marrawah. Beware: Conditions on this stretch of coast are often extremely dangerous. The beaches are remote. You're likely to have the waves to yourself.

Kayaking/Canoeing

A wonderful, peaceful way to enjoy the Arthur and Pieman rivers. Kayak/canoe hire is available at Arthur River.

Horseriding

This is a great, gentle way to enjoy the wide vistas. Riders are permitted to ride on the designated tracks and beaches within the Arthur-Pieman. Contact the Ranger at Arthur River for details and advice. Holding yards for horses are available at Arthur River and Rebecca Creek.

River Cruises

For a pleasant morning or afternoon paddle or boat cruise on the Arthur or Pieman Rivers, contact the Stanley Visitor Centre (1300 138 229)