The Tessellated Pavement is a state reserve at Eaglehawk Neck on the Tasman Peninsula in Tasmania. It is about 25 minutes from this historic Port Arthur and about 90 minutes from Hobart.
It is located on a narrow isthmus connecting mainland Tasmania to the Tasman Peninsula. Apart from Port Arthur, the Tasman Peninsula is home to stunning natural formations such as the Devil’s Kitchen, Tasman Arch and the Tasman Blow Hole.
We stayed at Eaglehawk Neck overnight which allowed us to take the short drive to Port Arthur to be there when it opened. It also allowed us to see this amazing formation both at dusk and early the following morning.
The car park for the Tessellated Pavement State Reserve car park was across the road from our hotel (this is the photo from our hotel room). It takes a couple of minutes to walk along a bush track and down a few flights of stairs to this amazing rock formation. Along the walk you will find beautiful native Australian gum trees. Take the time to admire the patterns in the tree bark.
The formation began around 60 million to 160 million years ago when pressure caused cracks in the rock. The cracks can be seen going in three different directions: north-northeast, east-northeast and north-northwest.
Over time the ocean and sand has eroded the areas between the cracks giving the tiled appearance we see today.
There are two types of rock formations.
The pan formations are concave depressions. You will find these further away from the shoreline which means that it dries during low tide. This reduces the salt crystals developing and the pans erode more quickly than the joint leaving the concave depressions.
Loaf formations are found closer to the ocean and are under the water for longer so do not dry out as much. This reduces the amount of salt crystals and the joints are therefore eroded faster than the rest of the pavement.
If you are in Tasmania, the Tasman Peninsula, including the Tessellated Pavement, is a must see. But a tip, it can get slippery on these rocks, so be careful when walking on the rocks.