Do you like beaches and the surf, but without the tourist crowds and tourist resorts? Take a look at Marrawah, Tasmania’s raw and beautiful, north-western secret.
Marrawah is the furthest western settlement in Tasmania. It is a surfing community famed for its spectacular large wave surf, which has created waves as high as 19 metres in extreme weather. Walks along the shore, notable Aboriginal carvings at Mt Cameron West and Sundown Point, and cruises along the Arthur River’s magnificent stretches are all popular activities in the area.
Key Visitor Information for Marrawah
These temperatures might not sound too much different from other parts of south-east Australia like Melbourne. But don’t be fooled, the weather at Marrawah and many other coastal regions of Tasmania can really surprise people, particularly the “mainlanders”. It’s the wind that makes the difference. The wind chill has a way of going right through your clothes, so dress warmer than you normally would for these temperatures.
The average temperature in summer is 20 degrees celsius
The average temperature in autumn is 17 degrees celsius
The average temperature in winter is 12 degrees celsius
The average temperature in spring is 15 degrees celsius
Directions to Marrawah
As Marrawah is in north-west Tasmania, visitors often arrive here from destinations such as Devonport on the northern coast or drive up from the west coast, after visiting places like Arthur River, the Tarkine and Trowutta.
Devonport to Woolnorth is a 2.25 hour, 179km drive. It’s an easy drive, you can take the Bass Highway all the way along the north coast, where it eventually heads inland at Smithton and finishes at Marrawah. At the T junction, take a right to go to the small village, local shop and Green Point Beach, take a left to go to Lighthouse Beach.
Best Known for
One of Australia’s best surf beaches, amazing protected Aboriginal history..
History of Marrawah
Members of the Peerapper Aboriginal language group inhabited the coastal region around Marrawah prior to European colonisation. The land in and surrounding Marrawah was extensively timbered at the time, unlike it is now. The clearing of the forests took place over a long period of time. By the 1880s, much of the land had been destroyed, forcing the few remaining Aboriginal people in the area to leave their homes. Cobb & Co. used the Marrawah Hotel as a resting station and as a terminus for services to the north-west.
Things to do in Marrawah
Preminghana/Mount Cameron West Indigenous Protected Area
Preminghama/Mount Cameron West is one of Tasmania’s most significant Aboriginal art sites. In 1999, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Land and Sea Council designated a 524-hectare Indigenous Protected Area, which is presently managed by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Land and Sea Council. Mt Cameron West, a basalt plug that rises 168 metres above the coastal plain and borders the Indian Ocean, is its most noticeable feature. Manuka thicket, tea-tree swamps, eucalyptus woodlands, poa and sedges with coast wattle and honeysuckle make up the landscape. Preminghana’s engravings are regarded as the finest example of Tasmanian Aboriginal art and one of the finest exhibits of hunter/gatherer art in the world, having been discovered in 1933. The slabs of granite in the area have been completely covered with designs and appear to be sculptured rock. They are located at the northern end of a beach about 3 kilometres from Mt Cameron West.
Green Point Beach
This isn’t any ordinary beach, Green Point Beach at Marrawah has been voted as one of the three best surfing beaches in Australia. If you like surfing, it’s an amazing destination. There is a surfing competition each year in March that shouldn’t be missed.
If you don’t surf, there’s a staggering amount of natural beauty to make it worth visiting. The isolation and lack of crowds, tourist resorts and the like makes Green Point Beach feel more special and enjoyable. There is also a small campsite here (more details in accommodation section below).
Although summer is usually flat, Lighthouse Beach at Marrawah has an exposed beach break with fairly steady surf. The best breeze comes from the east, and there is considerable protection against south-west winds here. Groundswells are more common than windswells, and swells from the south-west are the best. The majority of the waves at the beach are lefts. At all times of the tide, it is possible to surf. It’s uncommon that this place is crowded. Rips, rocks, and kelp are all potential hazards.
Bluff Hill Point
At Bluff Hill Point lies a small, unmanned lighthouse. Being built in 1982 it’s not quiet as quaint and cute as the older style lighthouses but the main reason to visit Bluff Hill Point is for the great views of the Marrawah coastal region. It’s a great place perched up on the hill with unspoilt views of waves crashing in, variations in coastline and big rocks. If you have a four wheel drive, take the rough track further down to the water and keep exploring.
Things to do near Marrawah
Woolnorth Tours offers the most complete way to see and learn about the Woolnorth and Cape Grim area. See wind farm operations, the science behind the boast of the Cleanest Air in the World, agriculture, aboriginal history, colonial history, native fauna, and Woolnorth Tours is the only method to stand on the clifftop at Cape Grim are among the topics covered throughout the tour.
Arthur River is a wonderful base for exploring the Tarkine wilderness, Tasmania’s biggest tract of temperate rainforest. The location is popular with bushwalkers, anglers, and four-wheel drives since it allows them to get off the beaten path and into the wild.
Camping at Green Point Beach
This is great for surfers or those who want to get close to one of the best beaches in north-west Tasmania. You’ll need to bring in your own food, freshwater and firewood. There are a mix of spaces, some suited for campervans and caravans, others suitable for tents. While most of the year it’s quiet here, during the Christmas and Easter holidays it does become busy.
Marrawah Beach House
Marrawah Beach House offers a basic but charming cottage situated right in front of the southern end of Green Point Beach. Online reviews show that it’s highly rated, the views, front row location and hospitality from the hosts make this ideal for most guests. It’s cosy if you just want to stay inside and admire the views, and if you want to get out and explore, you’re situated right in the middle of it all.