South Arm

List of beaches


Clarence Map

South Arm is a beach rich peninsula at the southern end of the Derwent River estuary, attached to the rest of Tasmania by an isthmus at the eastern extreme of Ralphs Bay, a 50 sq km embayment with a 2.5 km entrance between Droughty and Gellibrand Points.  Ralphs Bay is shallow and low energy and has several anchorages.

North of South Arm Neck (a second, more southerly isthmus) there are two small communities, South Arm and Opossum Bay and there are two established  coastal walks, Arm End Loop and South Arm Peninsula Walk.  There are also kitchen middens, wildlife and a wide range of native flora.


A brief outline by the Friends of the Arm.


1.  South Arm Peninsula Trail: Information (Greater Hobart Trails – includes map).  Bikes, dogs, prams all ok.

2.  Arm End Loop:  Walk information: (Clarence City Council – includes a map). Dogs ok. If you want to do this walk, do it soon!  A golf course is planned for this area.  According to the plan, it will become a ‘multi-use area’ but there’s valid concern about the impact it will have on natural values and recreation.

Beaches and Landmarks:

I’ve used Andrew Short’s 2006 report, Beaches of the Tasmanian Coast and Islands: a guide to their nature, characteristics, surf and safety (2006) as a guide for numbering the beaches I’m blogging about. The numbering system is also used by Beachsafe who have placed the data from Short’s report online.  The Nomenclature Board is tasked with officially naming beaches and since 2013 has had a policy of duel naming, acknowledging Aboriginal relationships with the land.  But there are many beaches without names in Short’s report.  Perhaps some have names known to locals (please let me know!) but until they are officially named, I’m giving them [purely personal names].

The Gellibrand Point area / Arm End Loop trail includes beaches T422-T427. See 20 July 2015 blog entry.

T 422 Mitchells Beach:   Starts north of Opossum Bay, the first beach encountered on the South Arm Loop Trail.  More info.


White Rock Transmitter station:  landmark.

T423 Mary Ann Bay: The next beach north of Mitchells Beach and 1 km south west of Gellibrand Point. More Info.

. MaryAnnCobbledstrip

T 424 :  No apparent name so until remedied I’m calling this Gellibrand Vault Beach for my own purposes only.   According to Andrew Short’s report, it’s 150 m long, narrow and is west facing. More info.


Gellibrand Point: landmark, northern point of the South Arm Peninsula, southern point of the Ralphs Bay entrance.

Beaches to the east of Gellibrand Point on Ralphs Bay ~

T 425 : No known name.  [I expect locals would call it North Spit Beach]. Further info. No picture as yet.

The Spit: landmark. Protected.  No access. Allow this to belong to the birds.  There’s an anchorage in its lee but beware shallow water and check the chart.


T 426: No known name. [South Spit Beach?].  No picture as yet. More info.

T 427: Shelly Beach. 1.5km south of Gellibrand Point.  A narrow high tide beach with an interesting shell deposit in the small cliff/bank.  Grassy verge. More info.



In Mortimer Bay:

T 433 Gorringes Beach

T 434 No name [Maria Point beach? There’s a shack with a large Keep Out sign behind the beach.  Keep Out Beach?]

T 435 No name [China beach?]. There’s an historic tip behind the beach that spits out (sea) glass and china.

Landmark:  Maria Point.

Huxleys-Richardsons Beaches

T 436 Maria Point (North)

T 437 Huxleys Beach

T 438: Richardsons Beach

Landmark: Haynes Point

Ralphs Bay North

T 438 Richardsons Beach

T 439 Lauderdale (W1)

T 440 Lauderdale (W2)

T 441 Rokeby Beach

3 thoughts on “South Arm

  1. What a resourceful website. Thanks for all you’ve created. My convict GG Granqdparents, John McLeod (died 1833) and his wife Mary, nee Potter (c. 1771-1837) lived at Maria Point on the South Arm of the Derwent River in and around 1825 and brought up 8 children there. John was a limeburner. He also ran a ferry boat from there.


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