A bit farther along, we rolled into Tasman National Park, where we stopped for a bit of a hike along the rugged coast. As with the Tessellated Pavement, rocks are a big part of what makes this area interesting.
In fact, much of the geology of this region reveals that Tasmania was once connected to Antarctica. While the sandstone and granite found here are common in the rest of Australia, the dolerite that makes up much of this coast is not found on the Australian mainland, but is abundant in Antarctica. There are also species of plants, such as the Antarctic beech, that appear only in Tasmania—and as frozen fossils in Antarctica.
However, as we were hiking along the coast, it was the beauty of the rocks, rather than their association with Antarctica, that was delighting us. Here, the nearly 1,000-foot cliffs are a veritable gallery of formations, with sea caves, arches, and stacks fringing the formidable shore.
Below, on the left, is the Tasman arch, one of the sea-carved features of the park, and on the right is a sideways glance along the coast of the Tasman Peninsula.