On our most recent trip to the Tamar Valley, we spent a few days based in Low Head soaking up this part of Tasmania. Beforehand, it was a place I had hardly heard of and I was surprised just how much I liked it.
It’s a neat, orderly, well presented town in a great location at the mouth of the Tamar River on Bass Strait. The Pilot Station, Maritime Museum and lighthouse add some great attractions and really add to the beauty of Low Head Tasmania. With only around 500 residents, it’s cute, small and picturesque.
There are some great beaches and the penguins at night are a must see. It’s just to the north of George Town which has more shops and services. I highly recommend some time here!
Below, you will find lots of information about Low Head Tas including a map, the weather, Low Head Tasmania accommodation and the top things to do in Low Head while you are here!
Low Head Tasmania Map
The following map shows where everything is located that is mentioned in this article.
Low Head Weather
The weather Low Head Tasmania is generally cool. It varies from about 2 – 12 degrees Celcius in winter to 12-24 degrees in February.
You can find the forecast for nearby George Town here.
Low Head Accommodation Tasmania
There are a few Low Head accommodation choices including two Low Head caravan park options and the Low head Pilot Station cottages.
Low Head Pilot Station is a landmark in itself. Located within the Low Head Historic Precinct on a picturesque peninsula at the mouth of the Tamar River, you’ll find nine heritage home-away-from-home self-contained cottages that date back to the early 1800’s.
Low Head Pilot Station accommodation mostly offers magnificent views of the Bass Straits, and span from one-bedroom through to gorgeous four-bedroom cottages, some with wrap around verandas, back porches, barbecue facilities, direct steps to Pilot’s Bay beach, and gardens with visits from rabbits and bandicoots!
Bedrooms contain queen-size beds, with some of the larger cottages also featuring single sofa beds. All cottages have private bathrooms with showers, whilst some have baths, an extra bathroom and separate toilet. The kitchen areas are self-contained, plus there’s a living area, air conditioning, heating, and free WIFI. Towels and linens are also provided, whilst self-parking is free.
Splurge on a cottage with a dishwasher, or reserve a cottage with a second living room and washing machine – just ensure to enquire on which cottage best suits your budget and group size at time of booking.
And, for something completely unique, Low Head Lighthouse accommodation, Tasmania, can be found at the top of the Low Head peninsular. A wonderful cottage, sleeping up to nine guests, the Lightkeeper’s Cottage is adjacent to Low Head Lighthouse and features breath-taking views and early evening chorus sounds from the nearby penguin colony!
For dining, there’s the wonderful Coxwain’s Cottage Cafe that overlooks the beach. Open seven days a week, except public holidays, you’ll find a tasty range of home-made food.
There’s no front-desk at the property, with reservations confirmed over email with special check-in instructions.
There’s an adjacent Maritime Museum onsite, dedicated to the Pilot Station (the longest active in Australia), complete with lighthouse and foghorn (one of only two still operating in Australia). There is also golfing nearby, and plenty of walking tours. However, the firm favourite tour is to discover the nearby fairy penguin colony.
Looking for an economical stay at Low Head or in the Tamar Valley region? Then, Low Head Tourist Park is your ideal solution.
Accommodation comes in the form of powered or unpowered sites for campers and caravans, some with sea views and two have private ensuites. And you’ll find budget cabins, targeted at singles/couples for the studio-sized or larger family-sized for up to 5 guests. Fully self-contained with private facilities and dining/lounge areas, cabins are suitable for all seasons with air conditioning and heating.
Low Head Tourist Park’s top-rated accommodation are the water-view cottages, with small balconies, a kitchen, main dining area, lounge, bathroom and bedrooms with queen and bunk beds. Surprisingly spacious, these are a great family choice.
If you’re camping there are basic modern facilities on hand, such as a campers’ kitchen with sink, oven, stove, microwave, fridge and toaster. And all sites come with water and sullage.
You can cook up a mean bbq at the designated area, and wash clothes at either of the two guest laundries for a small charge.
With a fun playground for the youngsters, Low Head Tourist Park Tasmania has all the basics ticked off with perhaps the exception of dining. You’ll need to prepare your own meals or use the camp kitchen. But the Pilot Station Cafe at the Low Head Historic Precinct is nearby, and you’ll find many eating options in George Town only a few kms away.
This beachfront cabin and camping ground is set on 22 acres of absolute beach frontage, with only sand dunes separating the ocean from the park’s facilities. Tranquil and idyllic, East Beach Tourist Park suits those looking to get away from everything, immerse in family time, or discover the local places of interest.
With the beach at the doorstep, visitors enjoy exploring the shoreline, sunset views and dining around campfires under a stunning night’s sky. A pet-friendly park, accommodation comes in various shapes and sizes. Cabins, fully detached with ensuite bathrooms, lounge area, queen and single beds, have a kitchenette with fridge and microwave. There’s also a selection of powered camp sites, all surrounded by natural settings, and there are a mix of drive-through sites for bigger caravans and areas for campervans and tents.
You’ll also find unpowered sites scattered throughout the grounds, where guests have access to facilities such as a camp kitchen, laundry and showers. And for fully-contained RVs, there’s 1 hectare of open space.
Located at a popular snorkel and scuba diving area, and with wide unspoiled beaches, this is some of the most popular accommodation Low Head Tasmania has to offer.
Things To Do In Low Head
You can find the following things to do in Low Head and close by in George Town. Low Head is very accessible to many places in the Tamar Valley and if you’re happy to drive away from the immediate area, you can find more things to do here in a bigger exploration of the Tamar Valley.
Low Head Pilot Station And Maritime Museum
Low Head Pilot Station first came into existence in 1805 when a pilot and signal station was set up. This came after many wrecks occurred at the mouth of the Tamar.
You can learn about this history and much more at the Low Head Pilot Station Museum and surrounds. Located in a pretty spot in Low Head, the Pilot Station is an interesting place to visit and also home to a restaurant and the Pilot Station accommodation Low Head Tasmania described above.
The Pilot Station Low Head’s Maritime Museum is well worth a stop. Here you can learn about the history of the Pilot Station as well as the surrounding area from when it was popular for day trips by boat from Launceston until today.
There is more to this museum than you might expect and it felt like the 13 rooms kept going on and on (in a great way). Everything is well presented and it’s a very attractive museum. Each room has a theme with items and information to help you learn about it.
The best part is that there are interactive elements in some of the rooms which work great if you have kids like us. They loved getting to ring a big bell and sound the fog horn (although can’t say I was a fan of that 🙂 ). They especially loved the telegraph room where they not only learned more about morse code, but they were able to try to tap some words in morse code with the translation coming up on an old fashioned computer monitor so they could see if they got it right!
The lady running the museum seemed extra welcoming of kids and encouraged them to try everything out which helped too.
There are a few things outside to look at as well.
I particularly enjoyed one of the final rooms on Low Head about how travel first started here and the holidays people used to have in the area. It was like a window into the past.
While you are on the site, consider a meal at their cafe. On Sundays, they have a special BBQ which sounds delicious! Check the latest details here.
Address: 399 Low Head Rd, Low Head TAS 7253
Low Head Lighthouse Tasmania
The Low Head Lighthouse is located right at the entry of the Tamar at the end of Low Head Road. You can’t miss it!
Not only is this located on a pretty site at seemingly the edge of Tasmania, this lighthouse is old. It was established in 1833 and is Australia’s third oldest lighthouse.
While you can’t go inside the lighthouse, it is a great spot to explore. There are great views down the Tamar and out to Bass Strait. Actually, there are great views in every direction. We also saw wildlife here including some cute wallabies.
If you go on the penguin tour (coming up!), you get the added benefit of seeing the lighthouse operating at night. At 12pm on Sundays, you can also hear the fog horn if you are in the area.
Address: 496 Low Head Rd, Low Head TAS 7253
Low Head Penguin Tours
My absolute top Low Head attraction that is an absolute must do is the Low Head Penguin tour!
Setting off every evening after sunset, you get to follow a guide around looking for penguins coming up out of the water after their day at sea. They waddle up the beach, over rocks and into burrows and bushes.
It’s an absolutely amazing experience especially because it can be a very small group which gives it a very personal feel. We saw so many penguins and were very close to them. It’s such a great way to learn more and get to know the beautiful fairy penguins that live here.
The tour takes up to an hour and is in the Low Head Coastal Reserve. At these times, no one is allowed in the area unless they are on the guided tour which is easy to find just past the Pilot Station.
The guide shares a lot of information about the penguins and makes sure you are in the best spots and have the best experience. She went through everyone in our group to make sure we were all satisfied that we had seen enough penguins before finishing the tour too.
I highly recommend this tour for anyone who loves nature or penguins. You won’t be disappointed!
Address: 485 Low Head Rd, Low Head TAS 7253
You can read our full review and everything you need to know about Low Head penguin tours here.
Low Head Fishing
George Town and Low Head are well known fishing spots for both estuary and fresh-water fishing.
Along the Tamar River search out Pier Pontoon at York Cove, with many species caught from the pontoon including silver trevally, snotty trevally, mackerel, salmon, cod and even the rare gummy shark.
Another great spot to cast lures is at The Monument at George Town. Here, hope for Australian salmon, pike and even kingfish. But perhaps the No 1 Low Heads salmon spot is off Ainslie House, at the inner channel.
If you fancy a trip offshore, Two Mile Reef is a great spot during spring and early summer. Only ten minutes east of the Low Head Lighthouse, this spot is top for squid.
East Beach Low Head
East Beach is a lovely looking beach on the Bass Strait side of Low Head. It is the best looking beach we saw in the area although there are many pebbles as pictured above. There is a nice boardwalk entry to the beach and it does have a beautiful feel. You can see up to the lighthouse from here.
Lagoon Bay Beach Low Head
Lagoon Beach is another nice beach in the centre of Low Head by the Tamar. It also had quite a few rocks and seaweed but there are nice grassy areas surrounding it including where I am taking this photo from where there is a big park area, playground and toilets.
Driving back through here at night, we saw wallabies hopping around as well.
Kanamaluka Walking And Cycling Trail
The Kanamaluka trail is a new addition to most “Aussie Bucketlists”, as it brings visitors along some of Tasmania’s most beautiful and interesting sights of the Tamar Valley, including Lagoon Beach, Windmill Point and York Cove.
Running 6 kms from George Town to Low Head, there are museums, historic buildings, nature reserves and a shopping precinct to discover. Enjoyed by foot or bicycle, and a great place for recreational exercise, the trail is wonderful for scenic picnics at the designated areas, and there are ample parking spaces and toilets along the route.
Named from the aboriginal palawa kani name for the Tamar, The Kanamaluka Trail’s main attractions include the Low Head Lighthouse and Fog Horn, Low Head Pilot Station Museum and Cafe, Bass and Flinders Centre, Old Watch House and the Little Penguin Colony.
Contact the local Visitor Information Centre if you wish to hire a bike and enjoy the ride from George Town’s York Cove to Low Head’s Lighthouse.
Address: George Town TAS 7253
George Town Watch House
One for the historians, as The Watch House at George Town was once the old goal site. Originally built in 1843, the building was reopened in 2004 as part of George Town’s Bicentenary of European settlement.
Visitors are presented with a wonderful miniature model village, highlighting what early nineteenth century life was like in George Town. There’s also a highly acclaimed “Departures and Arrivals” display, describing the Female Factories and their links to the convicts. And, perhaps the most atmospheric part, a primitive cell has been mocked up for visitors to enter, showcasing just how tough life was for prisoners awaiting trial.
End your visit at The Community History Room which contains a wealth of regional information and is especially useful for anyone attempting to trace back their ancestry.
Before you leave, check out the Tasmanian art and craft displays that are regularly updated, keep things fresh and current.
Admission is minimal at $3 adult, $1 child when we last visited.
Address: 84-86 Macquarie St, George Town TAS 7253
Bass & Flinders Centre
In 1798, the explorers Bass and Flinders were sent to “Van Diemen’s Land” to discover once and for all if Tasmania was an island or not! A crew of eight sailed in Her Majesty’s Colonial Sloop Norfolk into the Tamar River and anchored off what is now George Town.
The Bass & Flinders Centre is the proud home of a full size replica of the sloop “Norfolk”. Other historic boats are also on display including, amongst many, the Tom Thumb and the whale boat, Elizabeth.
Visitors can actually board the Norfolk, heading below to explore the Captain’s cabin, cargo hold and the galley. Fully rigged with sails, the Norfolk is a great representation of the original boat, down to Trim the Cat sleeping quietly on the hatch of the Captain’s cabin. The hull is Huon Pine, mast and deck Celery Top Pine, and neither a nail or screw was used to hold the vessel together!
Explore the wharf to learn interesting stories of the displays and head to the theatre (Captains Cabin) under the wharf to view both the story of Flinders and the construction of the replica Norfolk.
Address: 8 Elizabeth St, George Town TAS 7253
Mt George Scenic Look Out And Historic Semaphore
Upon reaching George Town we recommend making a trip up to Mt George Lookout one of your first activities. It’s a great way to get a feel for the area, as you can see all the way up to the mouth of the river and Bass Strait beyond.
There’s plenty of parking and a safe viewing platform, alongside picnic facilities if you want to extend over a snack or lunch.
Slightly behind George Town, south of town on the A8 Highway, you’ll easily find Mount George Road. Drive up the mountain for only a few minutes to find the well signposted lookout. Once in the car park there’s a short section of steep steps leading to the lookout. Try to spot Bell Bay, the Tamar Valley towards Launceston filled with vineyards, orchids and lavender farms, and, of course, Bass Strait. Without doubt, the best photo opportunities of the valley are here!
Alongside Mt George Lookout is the Historic Semaphore, once used for transmitting shipping and other messages between George Town and Launceston. In 1835 the Port Office at George Town would display the message to be transmitted in code flags, this was then seen by Mt George Station who relayed by semaphore to Mt Direction… and from there on to Windmill Hill in Launceston! Operating for almost 20 years, and in good weather transmitting messages in only a matter of minutes, the semaphore holds an important place in the region’s history.
Today, visitors find ruins of dwellings believed to have been occupied by the signalmen and their families during the 1800s and a replica of the Semaphore.
Address: Mt George Rd, George Town, TAS 7253
We hope you make it to Low Head and have a fabulous time like we did! You can read more about travelling around the Tamar Valley and things to do in the region here.
Sharon grew up in Tasmania, moved away and then came back with her family twenty years later. She loves re-discovering her home state and sharing it with you here.