Between Beaconsfield and York Town on the western bank of the Tamar River, about 45 km northwest of Launceston, lies a little town with a very apt name. Beauty Point is, as its name suggests, a beautiful little port town along the A7, also known as the West Tamar Highway.
Cows, sheep and vineyards are important sources of income for the surrounding area so it’s not really surprising that the town was named in honour of a cow that drowned in the Tamar River. However, Beauty Point’s original purpose is still very much its reason for being.
In the late 19th century, nearby Beaconsfield became Tasmania’s most productive gold-mining town. To transport the gold, a deep-water port was needed on the Tamar River and Beauty Point was established. While gold mining in Beaconsfield has stopped, the port at Beauty Point is still bustling with activity and fishing is a major industry here. The Australian Maritime College also has a campus and training vessels in town, on the site of the original wharf.
Beauty Point is the perfect destination if you want to get acquainted with unusual creatures. Since the late 1990s, the town has become known for Seahorse World, a family-owned aquarium and seahorse breeding project. Here you can see how potbellied seahorses are bred, and have the opportunity to find out more about these cute critters of the deep. You can also admire other species related to seahorses, including seadragons and pipefish. The aquarium is home to a variety of marine animals, from cuttlefish to sharks.
Seahorse World offers guided tours of the facility. If you have children though, the best learning experience you can give them is to take them to the Touch Pool, where they can have close encounters with starfish, shells and crabs, among other species of sea life. Seahorse World is open from 9:00 every day except Christmas Day and there are regular tours throughout the day. To avoid disappointment, it’s best to book your tour ahead of time.
While seahorses are unusual because the males give birth, Beauty Point also has animals that are strange because they’re mammals that lay eggs. At Platypus House, the stars of the show are platypuses and echidnas. Here you can see these wonderful creatures in a comfortable indoor setting and watch them feed and play. There are guided tours throughout the day and Platypus House is open from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm in summer and from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm in winter. The attraction is closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Good Friday.
A good way to visit Beauty Point’s two most popular attractions is with the Tamar Triple Pass, which also includes admission to the Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Museum. There are several accommodation options in Beauty Point. Around town you’ll also find plenty of opportunities for hiking and fishing.