Tasman Ecovillage came into existence when the Community Development Scheme was registered in 2013. Pioneers purchased some of the motel apartments to live in and to invest in. The motel and café continue to operate providing short term accommodation for visitors to the Ecovillage and the surrounding area. The second wave of settlers purchased residential home sites in the "Pod A" housing cluster and built homes and many of these are now occupied.
With strata title ownership, Tasman Ecovillage offers private space for your own home together with an abundance of shared spaces that encourage interaction with the community. Common property includes the community kitchen and dining area, barbecues, common rooms, laundry, sauna, tennis courts and 19 acres (7.8ha) of common ground including the dams and the creek. There are also some established gardens.
As at January 2018, there are approximately 30 full time residents. The ages of the children vary from Otis who is only a few months old to Hannah who is 17. We are a diverse group of people with some born in Tasmania and others born elsewhere in Australia and some born overseas. There are a range of ages from young families to retirees.
In addition to the residents, there are often other national and international visitors (especially in the warmer months) who stay to learn and help.
Decision-making and other group processes have been established to help resolve differences and promote harmony.
Apart from the motel and café, other businesses In Tasman Ecovillage include Fat Beets Food Hub who supply freshly grown vegies (mostly grown on site) and bulk store items and home based businesses such as web development and accounting services and short term accommodation (e.g. via Airbnb).
The development is proceeding gradually and infrastructure is installed as home site sales permit. Most of the "Pod A" housing cluster is already sold and with the remaining services currently being installed, the residential home sites in Pods B, C and D are now all available for sale. Pod E is reserved for low income housing such as a Community Land Trust or similar so no home sites in Pod E are available yet.
Tasman Ecovillage is located within Nubeena, a regional seaside village in the south east of Tasmania approximately one and a half hours drive from Hobart.
Nubeena has a population of approximately 500 and is the administrative centre for the 2,500 or so residents on the Tasman Peninsula.
All the key local amenities such as the supermarket, bank, district school, medical centre, aged care home, pharmacy, tavern, pharmacy, post office, library, community centre, child care centre, the Tasman Council, skate park and swimming pool are within a few minutes walk.
Nubeena is a friendly community with its own Neighbourhood House and various community and volunteer groups such as the Country Women's Association, Lions Club, Rotary Club, Ex-Service Mens and Womens Club, Volunteer Fire Brigade, local radio station, landcare group, op-shop, market, art group, singing group, historical society, various sporting clubs (cricket, tennis, aquatic, soccer, netball) and an Annual Arts & Crafts Exhibition, Tasman Regatta and the Peninsula Feast.
It is a testament to the strength of the local community that approximately 275 local shareholders raised over $700,000 to establish a local Bendigo Bank franchise in 2014 despite many being affected by the 2013 Tasmanian bush fires a little north of the local area.
The Tasman Peninsula
The Tasman Peninsula is a popular tourist destination with pristine beaches, national parks, stunning coastal scenery, abundant wildlife and historic sites. As a favoured holiday destination, the population of the Tasman Peninsula doubles during peak times in the summer. Some of the best known local attractions include the Port Arthur Historic site, the Three Capes Track, Tasmanian Devil Unzoo, Port Arthur Lavender, Federation Chocolate, Tessellated Pavement, Tasman Arch and Devils Kitchen, Tasman Peninsula Blowhole, Remarkable Cave, White Beach, the Convict Trail and boat cruises to see the local wildlife and the highest sea cliffs in the southern hemisphere. Other activities include bush walking, fishing, scuba diving and surfing.
Port Arthur and Nubeena are the largest villages on the Peninsula but there are also smaller settlements such as Highcroft, Stormlea, White Beach, Koonya, Premaydena, Saltwater River, Taranna and EagleHawk Neck.
Traditional industries on the Tasman Peninsula included forestry, fishing and fruit growing but the main industry today is tourism which provides jobs in accommodation, catering, transport, sightseeing and various other areas. The main employers in the local area are the Port Arthur Historic Site, Tassal who are a Tasmanian salmon farming company and the Tasman District School.
Attractions and Activities
See the following websites for more information about attractions and activities in the local and surrounding areas: