Rising early to watch the sky transform from dark to light—hopefully with a colourful show in the middle—is a special way to start the day. If you’d prefer to slumber on until a more respectable hour, catching the sunset might be more your thing. You could even pack a romantic picnic to enjoy with the show.
Early birds and sunset chasers, we’ve put together some tips on where to watch the day start and end in the scenic Southern Trove. We reckon these are the best places to watch the sunrise and sunset south of Hobart. Warning: these places may inspire romantic proposals, life-changing epiphanies, and an unnerving sense of inner peace.
1. The Beach
The relaxing sound of waves crashing on the shore, sea spray in the air, and (if you’re lucky) a whole beach to yourself for a peaceful walk along the sand at sunrise… Pure bliss! The southeast coast is dotted with beautiful beaches and secluded bays, from the Channel right down to Tasmania’s Far South.
- Our tips in the Channel area include Kingston Beach (with dog off-lead area), Boronia Beach, Blackmans Bay Beach, Fossil Cove, Tinderbox Beach, Snug Beach, and Coningham Beach. If you want the water without the sand, the walk at Margate’s Dru Point Reserve is lovely (and great for bird watching), or stroll the wharf at Kettering.
- Beaches are a perk of island life, and Bruny Island is living the dream with lots to choose from. Hardcore sky enthusiasts could even watch a beach sunrise on the east (try Adventure Bay) and later catch a beach sunset on the west (Sunset Bay at Alonnah lives up to its name).
- In the Huon, discover Ninepin Point Beach at Verona Sands, Randalls Bay Beach, Mickeys Beach, and Eggs and Bacon Bay Beach.
- In the Far South, explore the beaches at Dover and Southport.
2. The Neck
The Neck joining the north and south of Bruny Island is particularly captivating at sunrise and sunset, as well as during the soft light of golden hour. Those panoramic views with a colourful sky overhead is magical to behold. Please do be careful climbing up and down the steps to Truganini Lookout in the dim light.
For something extra special, wait quietly on the viewing platforms at dusk and watch little penguins waddle up the beach to their nests in the dunes (their breeding period is from late August through to December). Please stick to the designated pathways and viewing platforms so that us humans don’t disrupt the penguins or damage their nests (learn more and read the penguin watching guidelines here).
3. Cape Bruny Lighthouse
The Cape Bruny Lighthouse is a historic treasure, photographer favourite, and story lover’s dream. The lighthouse was first lit in 1838, guiding ships and souls to safety through dramatic swells and jagged rocks until its retirement in 1996 (don’t worry, it was replaced with a solar powered light nearby). Today, visitors can tour the lighthouse in the South Bruny National Park with Bruny Island Safaris—they even offer a special sunset tour! Learn about keeper life, climb the winding staircase, and take in the stunning views from the balcony.
4. The Huon River
The tranquil Huon River is stunning to look at, walk beside, picnic by, or sail on at any time of day. The river is particularly scenic at sunrise or sunset, especially on a calm day when the water mirrors the sky’s changing colours and cloud patterns. The quaint riverside town of Franklin is one of our favourite places to greet the day or night. The wooden boats docked near the Tasmanian Wooden Boat Centre add extra charm and character.
5. Lune River
Esperance Adventures offer a great range of fun kayaking tours exploring the scenic waterways of the Huon and Far South. If you’re chasing the sunset, choose their Lune River Sunset Tour. The three hour family-friendly paddle down Lune River to Hastings Bay includes a snack stop on the beach. Get some exercise, enjoy being out in nature, breathe that fresh Tassie air, and watch the sunset across the water. Magic!
6. Cockle Creek
If you’re itching for a little getaway, drive south to the very end of the road and set up camp at Cockle Creek. Spend a few rejuvenating days at the bottom of the map and escape the everyday hustle and bustle. Rise early, make yourself a coffee, listen to the birds sing, and watch the sunrise over the crystal clear waters of Recherche Bay.
Essentially Tas have a beautiful range of self-contained accommodation in the Huon and Far South, including Tides Reach, Esperance Landing, Driftwood Cottages, Fair Winds, and The Shackeau. All boast stunning water views—perfect for sunrise/sunset watching! Browse our full range of accommodation listings at Where to Stay.
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Blackmans Bay Beach | @mattdavis_photography/Instagram