Once Australia’s best kept secret, Tasmania is currently the hottest destination for visitors from all over the world. The apple isle’s popularity is soaring, and for good reason. Tassie has it all: World Heritage wilderness, incredible arts and culture and unforgettable gastronomical delights. Plus, it experiences four distinct seasons – unlike the rest of Australia! Although Tasmania is Australia’s smallest state, it offers endless activities and places to explore. That’s why we’ve curated our top nine places to visit in Tassie, perfect for your next holiday.
Unless you’re sailing on the Spirit of Tasmania, you’ll probably fly into Hobart to kick off your adventure. Tasmania’s capital city is nestled among the foothills of Mt Wellington. It’s a small city, home to around 200,000 residents. Hobart is absolutely gorgeous, so we recommend spending at least a few days here.
Hobart is Australia’s second-oldest capital city (after Sydney) and it shows. There’s no need to bother building a time machine – just wander through Battery Point. This historic suburb is full of quirky boutiques and homes built in the early 19th century.
The famous Salamanca markets are another must-visit during your stay in Hobart. Every Saturday, local merchants gather along the waterfront to sell tasty local produce and gorgeous handcrafted goods. If you’re looking for a unique Tasmanian gift to take home to a loved one, you’ll probably find something perfect at Salamanca.
Finally, we can’t move on from Hobart without mentioning the Museum of Old and New Art (more commonly known as Mona). Mona isn’t your average art gallery; it’s a quirky and often bizarre collection of constantly changing, carefully curated art. Mona can be a sensory overload, so after you’ve had your fill, unwind at the chic Void bar for a few bevvies.
(Image by @tscharke – shared with permission.)
2. Coles Bay and Wineglass Bay
Coles Bay is a stunning seaside village, located along the east coast of Tasmania. Situated beneath sheer pink granite mountains overlooking the famous Oyster Bay, it’s renowned for its natural beauty. The crystal clear water and uncrowded beaches make it the ideal spot to go boating, fishing, swimming and kayaking. It’s also a great base to explore Freycinet National Park, with spectacular coastal scenery, unique wildlife and hiking tracks for all ages. You’ll also have views of the world famous Wineglass Bay; crowned one of the top ten beaches in the world!
(Image by @benjamin.saillour.photography – shared with permission.)
3. Dove Lake Circuit
Tasmania’s Dove Lake Circuit, located at the base of Cradle Mountain, is one of Australia’s best-loved walking tracks. Suitable for all ages and abilities, this short and relatively easy track is often populated with adventure-loving families. Most of the trail is a flat boardwalk, with one moderate hill. Following the lake’s border, the track takes you around and beneath Cradle Mountain. Along the way you’ll pass several hidden treasures including Glacier Rock, Ballroom Forest and the Boatshed – don’t forget your camera! Explore the area at your own leisurely pace or embark on a guided tour.
(Image by @_danieltran_ – shared with permission.)
Recommended Holiday Parks in and around Cradle Mountain
4. Bay of Fires
Tasmania’s Bay of Fires is a beautiful stretch of white sand and crystal clear water. Covering the coastline from Binalong Bay to Eddystone Point, there are plenty of swimming spots, inlets to explore and rocks to climb. Binnalong Bay is the area’s main beach, popular for surfing, swimming and snorkelling. You can also take part in self-guided and guided walks where you’ll discover the abundant local wildlife. The area is also renowned for game fishing, with various boat ramps available if you’d like to cast a line.
(Image by @enfant_terrible86 – shared with permission.)
5. Bruny Island
Bruny Island is home to some of Australia’s most pristine flora and fauna. You can access the island via a 20 minute ferry from Kettering, seven days a week. Throughout your visit, you’ll discover unique wildlife, native plants and stunning clifftop views of the sandy coastline. The forested area offers a variety of walking tracks suited for all fitness levels. Alternatively, you can take part in a half-day boat cruise around the island – this will give you a whole new perspective!
6. Port Arthur
Port Arthur is best known for its well-preserved penal colony buildings and historic sites dating back to the 1830s. It’s a hub for history lovers! The towering cliffs and dramatic coastal rock formations are definitely worth a visit, especially on a clear day – don’t forget the camera. Guided tours are available throughout the week including a harbour cruise, electric vehicle tour and ghost tour running in the evening.
(Image by @fourwhoexplore – shared with permission.)
The picture-perfect town of Richmond is located in the heart of the Coral River Valley region; the perfect place to learn about Tasmania’s history. The area is home to over 50 Georgian buildings, some of which have been restored and turned into cafes, restaurants and galleries. Built by convicts in the 1820’s, Richmond Bridge is the town’s most photographed landmark. It’s the oldest bridge in Australia and an awesome place for a picnic. We also strongly recommend visiting the Richmond Gaol. Here you can stand inside the cells to gain an eerie insight into the brutality and hardships of convict life.
( Image by @patricktangyephotography – shared with permission.)
The harbour-side village of Strahan is found nestled on the shores of Macquarie Harbour and set on the edge of Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. For an unforgettable experience, explore the temperate rainforests of the Gordon River via a scenic boat cruise. Alternatively, you can visit Sarah Island, once a notorious convict prison and now a tourist hotspot. Strahan is home to sand dunes, wild ocean beaches and forests; perfect for hiking. We suggest spending at least two days here if you want to see everything.
( Image by @toddchonody – shared with permission.)
9. Mount Wellington
While Mount Wellington is technically in the Hobart region, it definitely deserves a separate mention. The impressive Mount Wellington Park is full of awesome wilderness. The area can be explored via foot, bike, car or even horseback! Multiple hiking tracks can be found throughout the forest, along the cascades and weaving between waterways. If you decide to climb the summit, you’ll be rewarded with an amazing sub-alpine view at the top! Along the way, there are several picnic spots and rest areas. We recommend wearing comfy shoes and appropriate clothes because the weather conditions can change quite quickly.
(Image by @tscharke – shared with permission)
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