Tasmania is an island covered in mountainous terrain, lush rainforests, and a web of lakes and rivers, and is a unique, tranquil and beautiful paradise. Tasmania is known as the "Apple Isle" and known for the Tasmanian Devil, the Derwent River, one of the deepest rivers in the world, Port Arthur, Cradle Mountain and Freycinet. From the well-known cities of Hobart, Launceston and Strahan to the untouched world heritage areas, islands and beach reserves and small remote towns, Tasmania has so much to offer.
Hobart & Surrounds
Hobart is a coastal city at the foothills of Mt Wellington and is the capital of Tasmania. It is a mix between a sleepy village and a bustling centre, with a fascinating history, stunning waterways, rugged mountains and one of Australia’s best dining experiences, particularly for the seafood lover. Mt Wellington is great for bushwalking and mountain biking, while Salamanca Place is known for its great eating, galleries, theatres and craft shops. Take a walk along the waterside or visit Battery Point with its colourful houses and local produce.
Just outside Hobart, you will step back in time into the convict-era. The town of Richmond is where you will discover the history of Tasmania in the early settlement and penal colony days and if you travel a little further up the Heritage Highway, you will come to Oatlands, home to the old mill and the largest collection of sandstone dwellings in Australia. Nearby Bothwell is where you will find Australia’s oldest golf course and the town of Ross is famous for its convict-built bridge.
Port Arthur is easily one of Australia’s most eerie places to visit. The World Heritage-listed Port Arthur Historic Site is located on the Tasman Peninsula and is a convict site that has more than 30 buildings, ruins and homes set across 40 hectares. To experience Port Arthur at its finest, you can take a guided walking tour, harbour cruise, visit the museum and convict study centre, see the site of the dockyard, and take a cruise to the Isle of the Dead, the island cemetery or Point Puer Boys Prison which was built for juvenile male convicts. And a ghost tour is a must.
Maria Island is a lesser known travel destination and can be accessed by a ferry from Triabunna to Darlington. You can take a tour around the island itself, with guided walking tours taking you to the island’s spectacular beaches and cliffs and providing you a close encounter with wildlife. On Maria Island, you can also climb the island’s 2 mountains and visit the Darlington Probation Station, part of the World Heritage listing of convict era.
Bruny Island has around 300 kilometres of untouched wilderness coastline and magnificent beaches. The Bruny Island National Park allows visitors to explore the wilderness as you take a bushwalk through the region – keeping an eye out for the local white wallaby or birdwatching. You can also take a cruise along the coastline to view the fur seals and fairy penguins that call the area home.
EagleHawk Neck connects the Tasman Peninsula to mainland Tasmania and is a natural gateway to many of Tasmania’s most popular tourist spots. You will find 30 kilometres of kelp forests, shipwrecks and reefs if you are a keen diver and want to explore. Fishing is popular with estuaries, bays and beaches holding an abundance of bream, flathead, whiting and Australian salmon; or you can take a cruise along the coastline.
Nearby, at Devils Kitchen you can watch as waves roar onto the rocks hundreds of feet below and visit the seven metre high Blowhole. Tasman Arch is great for photographers while the Tessellated Pavement is a fantastic natural geological formation of rocks fractured by earth movements as the pavement was forming, presenting a tiled appearance.
Freycinet National Park
Freycinet National Park showcases pink granite mountains, pure white beaches, coastal dunes and dry eucalypt forests. Located on the Freycinet Peninsula, it includes the secluded Wineglass Bay, which can be seen from the top of the walking trail. There are plenty of walking opportunities and the Hazard Range, a rugged mountain chain within the National Park, has climbing, abseiling and mountain walking and there are plenty of opportunities to get up close with the local wildlife, including white bellied sea eagle, yellow tailed black cockatoo or crescent honeyeaters; Brushtail Possum, Ringtail Possum, Sugar Glider, Eastern Pygmy Possum, Little Pygmy Possum, Tasmanian Bettong and the Long-nosed Potoroo.
Launceston is a riverside city that has a rich cultural heritage, fantastic food and wine and stunning architecture in the Georgian streetscapes. It is a hub for food and wine, culture and nature and is one of Australia’s oldest cities. Take a walk through town and admire the Colonial and Victorian architecture as well as the city’s century-old parks. Visit some of the city’s art galleries, museums and local designer stores, and enjoy a cruise through the beautiful Cataract Gorge, just outside the city centre.
Burnie is a port-side town located on the North Coast of Tasmania and is a homely town that provides a great base if you wish to explore the north west. Burnie was founded in 1827 and it is nestled around Emu Bay on Bass Strait with a population of around 20,000 people. At Burnie, you can get in touch with nature with a stroll through the Emu Valley Rhododendron Gardens which come alive in springtime with thousands of peaking blooms. Burnie is also home to Australia’s largest eucalypt farm and you will find a vibrant shopping district, inviting beach, great restaurants and dynamic cultural life.
Located in the north west of Tasmania, Devonport is the gateway between mainland Australia and Tasmania with the ferry transporting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. It sits on the banks of the Mersey River, right in the centre of Tasmania’s Mersey/Forth valley and it is often called "Australia’s market garden" due to the amount of local produce in the area. Devonport itself is a vibrant, modern city and is great for shopping with its unique boutiques and specialty stores, as well as its popular restaurants, river front and parklands.
Cradle Mountain is nestled in the peaceful wilderness of Tasmania, south of Burnie and it is the perfect base for bushwalking and an ideal setting for a romantic isolated retreat. Cradle Mountain is perhaps the most famous of all natural tourist destinations in Tasmania and the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, with a number of walking trails which will take you to areas such as Barn Bluff in the northern end, Mount Pelion East and West Mount Oakleigh and Mount Ossa in the middle and Lake St Clair in the southern end of the park. While visiting Cradle Mountain, keep watch for Tasmanian Devils, pademelons, Bennett's wallabies, quolls, echidnas and wombats.
Narawntapu National Park
Narawntapu National Park is often described as “The Serengeti of Tasmania” and it is full of exciting wildlife that can be easily observed as you walk through the park. From common wombats and pademelons to Forester kangaroos and Bennetts wallabies, and if you visit at dusk, you might even have the chance to spot aTasmanian Devil.
King Island is just a short flight from Devonport or Wynyard. Isolated in the ocean between Victoria and Tasmania, King Island is a peaceful paradise that keeps satisfied tourists coming back year after year. The high quality of produce created in the area is a reason to make this island a must-visit destination for anyone. The local islanders are friendly and King Island is renowned for its extensive history of shipwreck catastrophes. The King Island Maritime Trail is an informative tour that will guide you through the history of the most famous shipwreck tales and Australia’s migration history.
Ulverstone is a town on the north-west coast of Tasmania on the mouth of the Leven River, on Bass Strait. Around Ulverstone, Leven Canyon allows visitors the chance to walk up to the easily accessible Cruickshanks Lookout for a spectacular panoramic view of the Leven River below; while Gunns Plains Caves are an enchanting maze of caves, sinkholes and underground streams. The striking underworld formation covers 10 hectares of land and was proclaimed a State Reserve back in 1918. The cave formed from erosion of the underground river, this fresh water still flows through caves and is home to a variety of crayfish, eel and even native Platypus’ rest on the banks.
The Tarkine inhabits the largest rainforest in Australia and was recently established on Australia’s National Heritage List due to its high concentration of Aboriginal sites, believed to be the greatest concentration in the whole of Australia. It acquired its name from the native Tarkiner Aborigines who formerly inhabited the region and is bordered by the Arthur River to the North and the Pieman River to the South.
Queenstown was originally developed to service the booming copper fields of Mt Lyell and is the largest town on Tasmania’s west coast. It is home to the Mt Lyell Mining & Railway Company and the West Coast Wilderness Railway, along with a number of wilderness walks and fantastic trout fishing in the nearby lakes. The town covers most of the Queen River Valley and has a population of around 2500 people.
Strahan is a quaint harbour-side village that is well worth the visit. It has an interesting convict past and, nestled on the shores of the Macquarie Harbour, it is the gateway to the World Heritage listed Franklin–Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. Take a boat cruise along the beautiful Gordon River, feast on fresh local seafood, visit nearby Sarah Island, once a convict prison, and enjoy some specialised shopping for local made products and produce.