Convict Trail

15. White Beach turn-off

White Beach is a popular holiday destination and was named for the gleaming arc of white sand at the eastern side of Wedge Bay.

Today White Beach is a popular residential area approximately 6 kilometres from Nubeena.  However, in the late 1940s only 4 families lived at White Beach – the Prices and Wades at the southern side of the beach (lower right in the aerial photo). Herb Martin and later the Whiting family lived between the cemetery and Cripps Creek.
Mr Whiting was the local electrician. Thomas “Flick” Spaulding lived on Apex Point Road.

White Beach from the Air @1998
Pic: White Beach in the 1990s

 

Apex Point and White Beach from the Air
Pic: Apex Point (lower left), Brother and Sister Island with Parsons Bay and Nubeena in the background.

 The point, now the site of the boat ramp at the northern side of the beach made an ideal camp and fishing spot.

Camp at Apex Point, c.1949
Pic: Camp at Apex Point, c.1949
Wesley Nielsen and Robert Burden @1949
Pic: Wesley Nielsen and Robert Burden catching flathead c.1949

 

Early shack at White Beach c.1951
Pic: The Burdens and Nielsens built one of the first shacks at White Beach c. 1951

There were several orchards in the vicinity of White Beach in the 1950s and 1960s when orcharding on the Tasman Peninsula was in its heyday. Kingsley Clark’s ten acre orchard was established on White Beach Road at the back of the cemetery on the land below the Storm Bay B&B. The packing shed located across the road was pulled down some time ago. George Spaulding had a small orchard on a flat piece of land on the hill behind Cripps Creek.  Mick Noye lived in one of the original houses along the waterfront at Skeggs sub-division and had an orchard in the current shack area near the roundabout.
The TOP packing shed was located on the site of the Seabreeze Supermarket on the Port Arthur Road and the former apple case-making shed is on the rise to the left of the supermarket.

Pear trees 2021
Pic: Pear Trees in Fruit, 2021

Oscar Hansen planted an orchard along Parson’s Bay Road opposite Nubeena township in 1942. The pear orchard is still in production today and stands on the former site of the Wedge Bay Invalid Station that opened in 1842 and operated for 4 years after which the convict invalids were transferred to Impression Bay.

George Bridge had barracouta smokehouses on Bridge’s Jetty, now the site of a slip yard along Parson’s Bay Road. The jetty was built by ‘young’ Jabe Batchelor.

The White Beach Cemetery is the final resting place for many early settlers on the Tasman Peninsula.  The headstones bear family names such as Burden, Greatbatch, Dodge, Batchelor and Thornton whose descendants still live and work in the Tasman community.

Article by Denise Jeffrey,
Photos from B & M Morris collection.