Tasmania is my gorgeous island home and I am so sad to be missing a summer in the Apple Isle. From the rapidly changing capital city of Hobart, to the crystal clear waters of the East Coast, all the way to the peaks of the many National Parks. With a population of only 500,000 and 20% of the land being World Heritage wilderness area, it really feels like you have Tasmania to yourself.
I cannot express how much I love the 26th largest island in the world, and here is what I would be doing if I was spending Summer in Tasmania.
1. Hike to Wineglass Bay
Hike up the Hazards and see the pristine waters of Wineglass Bay in Freycinet for yourself! The walk is only around 30 minutes to the lookout or you can go all the way down to the beach itself and take a dip in the refreshing (read: cold) waters. (Photo: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL via Wikimedia Commons)
2. Go to the Taste of Tasmania
Over the New Year period the Taste of Tasmania sets up on the Hobart waterfront. With many stalls featuring Tasmanian food and beverages, this is a great place to sample some local produce! The cruisy summer atmosphere is also an experience in itself.
3. Hike Cape Queen Elizabeth
Cape Queen Elizabeth is a 12km walk on Bruny Island, Tasmania. This walk has some beaches where you will feel completely alone, as well as great views of the Bruny Island landscape. You will also get to see this brilliant rock arch formation.
4. Gawk at the Museum of Old and New Art
The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is a must-visit for anybody coming to Tasmania (or Tasmanians themselves because it is free entry for you). There are some incredible artworks in this museum and there is plenty that will make you gawk! Featuring a lot of art focusing on sex and death, there are certainly some interesting pieces here. (Photo: Rob Taylor via Flickr)
5. Patiently seek the Southern Lights
The Aurora Australis (or “Southern Lights”) rival their famous Northern counterpart. Although it can be difficult to capture it, when you do – it looks pretty epic! You can check out the forecast here. (Photo: by Ben via Flickr)
6. Get historical at Port Arthur
Tasmania has a rich convict history and there is no better place to experience this than at Port Arthur Historic Site. Port Arthur has loads of beautiful buildings to explore, Ghost Tours and informative guides, and it is all set in the beautiful landscape of the Tasman Peninsula. If you are keen for some history, definitely head here! (Photo: Martin Pot CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
7. Enjoy brunch at the Machine Laundry Café
The Machine Laundry Café is located in the bustling Salamanca Square and it is my favourite place to have brunch in the area. This popular eatery is a great place to experience when visiting Hobart. You can sip your coffee and delicious food as you watch people go by in the square.
8. Roadtrip to Queenstown
The windy road to the mining town of Queenstown is a fantastic experience if you are taking a road trip around Tasmania. The views are often outer-worldly and starkly contrast the beautiful Tasmanian forests nearby.
9. Stroll around Salamanca Markets
Every Saturday, Salamanca is transformed as the outdoor market takes place. Featuring over 300 stalls with lots of local Tasmanian food, crafts and more, this is a market not to miss! The atmosphere here is really lovely and always bustling (no matter what the crazy weather). (Photo: Jes via Flickr)
10. Hike around Cape Raoul
The Cape Raoul walk is about 5 hours long but definitely worth the hike. Boasting epic coastal views and plenty of those famous Tasmanian sea cliffs, this is a breath taking walk. Pack some fresh local food and enjoy a picnic along the way. (Photo:JJ Harrison (firstname.lastname@example.org) CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
11. Take the short walk to Russell Falls
In Mount Field National Park lie the breathtaking Russell Falls. Only about a 25min return walk from the Visitors Centre means that these falls are easily accessible. They are serene to see and the walk to reach them meanders through ferns and beautiful Tasmanian wilderness.
12. Have a swim at the Bay of Fires
The lichen on the rocks gives the Bay of Fires its name and creates a beautiful orange colour which contrasts with the light blue sea. Bay of Fires is a stunning, non-crowded place to enjoy a swim or a walk and one of my favourite locations on the East Coast. (Photo: Diego Delso CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
13. Explore the cute towns of Richmond and Ross
Richmond is about a 20 minute drive from Hobart and is a beautiful colonial township. With lots of bakeries, confectionary and other shops to browse, you will get to sample some local food. Alongside this, there are stunning buildings and bridges to look at. Having a picnic down by the Richmond Bridge is a lovely experience. You can also feed the ducks! (Photo: Amitch at en.wikipedia CC BY-SA 2.5 from Wikimedia Commons).
Ross is further up the Midlands Highway but also worth a stop! With beautiful old buildings and tree-lined streets, it is a blast from the past. Ross also boasts some incredible bakeries so it is the perfect pit stop during a road trip.
14. Hike Cradle Mountain
Cradle Mountain National Park is one of the jewels in Tasmania’s crown. There are so many stunning walks to take here and there are hikes to suit any level of experience. Hiking to Cradle Mountain summit is definitely a challenge, but getting up to Crater Lake to experience views like this is not too difficult! The popular walk is the Dove Lake Circuit which is about 1.5hours and has some incredible views of Cradle Mountain.
15. Take in the view up Mount Wellington
The summit of Mount Wellington/kunanyi is only 20 minutes from the Hobart CBD but will give you incredible vistas over the city! Not only is the summit of Mount Wellington epic but the dozens of walks and scenic areas around the mountain are also fun to explore. Check out the Organ Pipes and Pipeline track, and if the conditions are right (rarely but worth a shot) try and catch a glimpse of the Disappearing Tarn.
16. Head to Bruny Island
Catch the ferry from mainland Tasmania and head towards Bruny Island. Here there are loads of things to do and it feels like you are taking a holiday from your holiday. Awesome views such as the Neck seen in the photo above, are in abundance. (Photo: Adam Selwood via Flickr)
17. And while you’re there, sample cheese from the Bruny Island Cheese and Beer Co.
While you’re on the island you should try some cheese, sip a beer or grab a coffee from the Bruny Island Cheese and Beer Co. The cheese is incredible
18. Fish and chips at the wharf
Heading down to Hobart’s wharf area is a must when visiting the capital city. After wandering through the boats it is great to grab some fish and chips at Mures or at one of the fish punts nearby. It is also a great spot to watch the sunset! (Photo by W L Cutler via Flickr)
19. Hike to Cape Hauy
Cape Huay is about a 2 hour drive from Hobart and then is about a 2.5 hour return walk from the carpark. It is one of my favourite walks in Tasmania and summer is a good time to explore it. There are epic coastal views for the majority of the walk and a special spot for lunch over the sea cliffs at the end. The walk is not too difficult to complete but do wear good shoes.
20. Boat around Franklin-Gordon
The Franklin-Gordon Rivers National Park is in Tasmania’s west and is pure, untouched nature at its best. The name of the park is derived from the two rivers that run within it: the Franklin and Gordon. Within the park there are amazing walks and wilderness to experience. On the rivers there is the opportunity to go boating or if you prefer a bird’s eye view then scenic flights are available. (Photo by Robyn Jay via Flickr)
21. Barely leave Hobart and see Secret Falls
Secret Falls lie at the foothills of Mount Wellington and are accessible from Old Farm Road. On the way up to the falls you will also pass the iconic Cascade Brewery. This cute waterfall is worth a visit from Hobart and then you can have a coffee on Cascade Road afterwards.
22. See Tasman Island
Tasman Island is so epic and if you get the chance to see it, you should seize it! Tasman Island is visible from the Cape Pillar walk which is a two day walk on the Tasman Peninsula. This hike will give you the best view of the island from mainland Tasmania. If hiking isn’t your thing, you can jump on a boat to see Tasman Island from the sea. (Photo: Damien Naidoo CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
23. See the Nut at Stanley (or climb it!)
Stanley is a cute town in the north-west of Tasmania and The Nut is the imposing piece of land that sticks out of the Earth at the end of the beach. It’s a cool place to visit and you can even climb The Nut! There is a trail that meanders up the side of The Nut so that you can reach the top and enjoy the beautiful views of the North West Coast. (Photo: Gary Houston CC0 via Wikimedia Commons)
24. Take a Pennicott Tour of Bruny or Tasman Island
I mentioned before that you can see Tasman Island from the sea, and there is no better way to do this than with a Pennicott Wilderness Tour. You can also take a Pennicott Tour around Bruny Island as well. The Pennicott Tours are iconically Tasmanian and will show you the beautiful Tassie landscape from the sea. I love these journeys because you really feel connected with what you are seeing, plus if you’re lucky you can spot dolphins, seals and sea birds.
25. Check out the wildlife at Bonorong
Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary is not too far out of Hobart and is the perfect place to get up close and personal with some Tasmanian wildlife. You can see animals that are uniquely Tasmanian: Eastern quolls and Tasmanian devils. There are also loads of other cute animals to keep you fascinated. I really like Bonorong because they are focused on being a sanctuary rather than a zoo and working towards preventing the extinction of our precious Tasmanian wildlife. (Photo: JJ Harrison (email@example.com) CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
26. Take in the wilderness at Tahune Airwalk
The Tahune Airwalk is not too far from Hobart and is a fantastic experience. It really feels like you are walking on air as you tower above the beautiful Tasmanian forest. (Photo: By Bezza84 CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
27. Grab a cocktail at the Glass House
The Glass House is a new addition to Hobart and is a great place for a drink. Nobody can say no to a cocktail in a floating bar, right? Well, I definitely can’t. With a splendid cocktail menu and views to die for, I would strongly recommend the Glass House. If it isn’t your style there are plenty of bars and eateries around the nearby Salamanca area.
28. Taste a coffee from Australia’s Best Barista
Coffee is one of my weaknesses and fortunately Tasmania has Australia’s Best Barista. Head to Pilgrim Coffee to sample it for yourself!
29. Explore the Cataract Gorge
If you find yourself in Launceston, head to the Cataract Gorge for a range of activities. There is plenty to do here, including: rock jumping, swimming, strolls, playing with peacocks or even taking a chairlift. (Photo by Luke Webber via Flickr)
30. Take a road trip up the East Coast
The East Coast of Tasmania is jaw-droppingly beautiful and a road trip up the Great Eastern Drive is something you will never regret. With beautiful rugged beaches and cute seaside towns, the East Coast is quintessential Tasmania. (Photo by Ralph Bestic via Flickr)
31. Go to the Falls Music and Arts Festival
Over the New Year period you will find thousands of Tasmanian locals flocking to Marion Bay for the Falls Music and Arts Festival. Falls is an incredible festival because it is beautiful and relaxed but can also transform into a serious party. Set on a stunning beach with amazing acts, there is no better way to bring in the New Year than at Falls! (Photo: Aron Mayo via Flickr)
32. Explore the tarns at Mount Field
Mount Field National Park is Tasmania’s first national park and it is a testament to Tasmania’s beauty. There are loads of great walks to do here that traverse different kinds of landscape. If you’ve already seen Russell Falls and want another gentle stroll then I would recommend visiting Pandani Grove (full of Tasmania’s unique Pandani plant which is thought to have existed pre-Gondwana). For a longer walk, head up to the tarn shelf. By JJ Harrison (firstname.lastname@example.org) (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
33. Sample some Apple Cider in the Huon Valley
The Huon Valley seduces any visitor with its beautiful rolling green hills and acres of orchards. The number one thing to do here is to sample some of the cider from one of the different apple sheds along the route. Tasting palates are available so you can try different cider flavours. Tasmania is famous for its apples and the Huon Valley is where you’ll learn why. (Photo: Apple and Pear Australia Ltd via Flickr)
34. See the windmill at Oatlands
Oatlands is a lovely historical town along the Midlands Highway and if you’re looking for a stopover, I would definitely recommend it. There are pretty buildings, a nice bakery and there is also the Callington Mill. The Callington Mill is a Georgian windmill which fell into disrepair but was restored in 2010; there is something awe-inspiring about watching the sails of this mill back in action. (Photo: DANIEL JULIE CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
35. Visit the Tessellated Pavements
Here’s another thing to add to your list if you head down the Tasman Peninsula! This interesting appearance of the rock looks man-made but it is actually the result of geological events creating pan and loaf formations. The Tessellated pavements are great to visit at any time of the day but I would recommend them at sunset/sunrise where nice colours are reflected in the pools. (Photo: JJ Harrison CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
36. Follow the whisky, beer or cider trail
There are so many food and beverage ‘trails’ popping up all over Tasmania that it is sometimes hard to keep track. The most famous ones are the whisky, beer and cider trails. All three sound appealing to me – so take your pick!
37. Watch the yachts in the Sydney to Hobart
Every year the Sydney to Hobart yacht race sets off from Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day. A couple of days later the majestic boats make their way up the Derwent River in Hobart. It truly is a remarkable thing to witness! Don’t worry if you miss the boats coming up the river because they are all on display at the wharf after the race so you can stickybeak. (Photo: JJ Harrison CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
Every year MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) puts on a music and arts festival titled ‘MOFO’ which runs at the end of January. There are tonnes of acts and events to explore around Hobart during the festival, and most are at affordable prices. MOFO, like MONA, is a creative wonder every year and really gets you thinking.
39. Visit the Southern-most point of Australia
When you’re in Tasmania you may as well visit the southern-most point of Australia (South East Cape) – why not? It’s pretty cool to be able to stand at the end of a state, country and continent all at once. This does involve a hike but it is pretty surreal to look out across the Southern Ocean and realise that the closest land mass is Antarctica!
40. Kayak on the Pieman River
The Pieman River is up on Tasmania’s west coast and is absolutely spectacular. Kayaking or boating along here will leave you feeling at one with nature. I will never forget how peaceful and serene the Pieman River is; the pure stillness often creates perfect reflections of the nature surrounding it. (Photo: Helenpearly CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
Been to Tassie or think I’ve missed something? Comment below!
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