For those that haven’t visited Australia’s smallest state, Tasmania or “Tassie,” seems shrouded in mystique. Perhaps it’s the state’s far-flung location some 300 kilometers south of the Australian mainland across the stormy Bass Strait. Maybe it’s the vast expanses of windswept wilderness — almost half Tasmania’s landmass lies in national parks and World Heritage Areas, with sparkling alpine lakes, wild rivers, and mist-cloaked peaks. Perhaps it’s the bizarre wildlife — from real-life Tasmanian devils to the extinct thylacine, the thylacine . Or is it the haunting convict history and beautifully preserved heritage towns, which seem frozen in time? Today, this mystique lures more and more tourists who are discovering the island’s many jewels.
Shaped appropriately sort of a heart, Tasmania is additionally a foodie’s delight. Gloriously creamy cheeses, crisp fruits, and succulent seafood are just a few of the mouthwatering local treats on offer, and hanging out at a waterfront cafe or restaurant is one among the highest things to try to to within the port city of Hobart. Explore the state with our list of the highest attractions in Tasmania.
1. Explore Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair park
In the north of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair park is that the jewel within the crown of the state’s many natural wonders. Glacier-carved crags; glittering lakes; beech forests; alpine heathland; and jagged dolerite peaks, including 1,616-meter-high Mount Ossa (the highest point on the island), are a number of its most breathtaking features. Hiking here is known . Favorite day walks include the Lake Dove Walk, with magnificent views of Cradle Mountain (1,545 meters), and therefore the Weindorfer Walk, a six-kilometer circuit through dense forests.
The northern a part of Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair park , is especially beautiful. From the summit of Cradle Mountain, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of the central highlands. The famous 80-kilometer Overland Track runs south from Cradle Valley to stunning Lake St. Clair, the deepest lake in Australia.
If you’re based in Hobart and need to explore this magnificent park , also as a number of the state’s other top natural attractions, the budget-priced five-day better of Tasmania tour from Hobart takes care of all the small print . also as Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair park , you’ll experience the wonders of Wineglass Bay, the Tarkine rain forest, Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, and therefore the Bay of Fires, with optional add-ons, sort of a cruise on the Gordon River.
In a beautiful setting between the ocean and therefore the soaring peak of kunanyi/Mount Wellington, Tasmania’s capital has transformed itself from a sleepy backwater with a turbulent convict history to a hub of cutting-edge culture. Opened in 2011, MONA: Museum of Old and New Art pushes the art world envelope with its provocative and confronting exhibits, while the Tasmanian Museum and gallery takes a more traditional check out the country’s art, also as its explanation . Foodies also will find plenty to smile about. The city’s waterfront precinct buzzes with hip cafes and restaurants, and you’ll eat round the world on the restaurant strip in North Hobart.
For a glimpse at the city’s convict history, visit the Hobart Convict Penitentiary and explore the historic sandstone warehouses at Salamanca Place, now crammed with shops, cafes, and antique dealers. From here, you’ll also follow the Battery Point Sculpture Trail to ascertain elegant convict-built architecture.
Natural attractions also are never distant from the town buzz. Climb kunanyi/Mount Wellington to actually appreciate Hobart’s picturesque setting and gaze out at the planet Heritage wilderness within the distance.
3. Port Arthur Historic Site
The old convict settlement of Port Arthur, about an hour’s drive southeast of Hobart offers a sobering check out Tasmania’s turbulent past. The ruins are a part of the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property. Here, in 1830, Governor Sir George Arthur established a brutal penal settlement where convicts were forced to hew coal within the mines and fell timber.
In spite of a devastating fire in 1897, the remains of the many buildings still stand, including the guard tower, church, model prison, and hospital. you’ll also browse fascinating documents and relics of the penal settlement within the museum, visit the nearby Coal Mines Historic Site, or join a night lantern-lit “ghost tour” of the ruins. After touring Port Arthur, take a drive along the coast to explore the soaring sea cliffs and sheltered coves of the spectacular Tasman peninsula.
4. Freycinet park
World Heritage-listed Freycinet park , on Tasmania’s relatively sunny East Coast , is one among Australia’s oldest nature reserves and one among its most beautiful. The star of this picturesque peninsula is that the perfect curve of powder-white sand and azure sea at Wineglass Bay — one among the highest beaches in Australia. A lookout provides the simplest views. Take the 20-minute walk from the lookout to the southern end of Wineglass Bay to admire beautiful views of the Hazards, three striking pink granite crags rising out of the ocean . The peaks are best photographed at sunrise and sunset when their color deepens within the golden light.
Throughout the park, hiking trails wind through pristine bushland to secluded bays and lookouts, and birding is astounding — black cockatoos, kookaburras, and sea birds are just a few of the resident species. At the doorway to Freycinet park , the small beach resort of Coles Bay may be a good base for walks and climbs within the surrounding hills, and you’ll also explore the whole region on the East Coast Escape scenic drive.
5. See the Views from kunanyi/Mount Wellington
Undulating to the west of Hobart, the comforting presence of 1,270-meter-high kunanyi/Mount Wellington may be a constant reminder of the unspoiled wilderness that lies on the doorstep of this waterfront capital. Follow a winding 21-kilometer mountain road to the top , often sprinkled with snow, for breathtaking views over Hobart, the Derwent Valley, and therefore the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. At the summit, boardwalks cause panoramic viewpoints, and a pavilion displays old photographs of Hobart and Mount Wellington.
The mountain may be a popular spot for biking and hiking through the temperate rain forests, and therefore the distinctive Organ Pipes, a dolerite cliff, is renowned for its excellent hiking . Standing atop the summit and admiring the sweeping views is one among the simplest free things to try to to in Tasmania, but dress warmly because the weather here is notoriously fickle.
6. Tasman park
On the wind-lashed Tasman Peninsula, 56 kilometers east of Hobart, Tasman park protects a number of Australia’s most spectacular coastal scenery. If you check out a map of Tasmania, this park cloaks the far southeast tip of the state, with nothing but ocean between here and Antarctica. It’s an area of beauty . Towering dolerite cliffs plunge 300 meters to the ocean , islands shimmer just offshore, waterfalls tumble to the ocean , and contorted rock formations bear witness to the relentless forces of wind and water.
The Blowhole and Tasman Arch are two of the park’s most famous features. Other top sites include Remarkable Cave, Waterfall Bay, and therefore the Devil’s Kitchen — a collapsed rock arch.
Wildlife also scores ad here. aside from many species of rare birds, the world plays host to Australian fur seals, dolphins, whales, fairy penguins, and possums. a well-liked thanks to explore this stunning park is by hiking the Three Capes Track (see below).
You can also explore a number of the highest attractions by car or hop aboard a ship to glimpse the soaring cliffs from water level , or cast a line — fishing are often excellent here. within the southern end of the park, climbers scale the dolerite cliffs, and Pirate’s Bay is fashionable hang-gliders. Nearby lies the planet Heritage-listed Port Arthur, one among Australia’s most poignant historic sites.
7. Hike the Three Capes Track
Starting and ending in World Heritage-listed Port Arthur, the stunningly scenic Three Capes Track slices through quite 48 kilometers of awe-inspiring wilderness in Tasman park . a ship delivers you to the trailhead from Port Arthur, where you’ll walk along the sting of the continent, with breathtaking views of the Tasman Sea from the cliff-top trail.
Along the way, you’ll rehearse pristine eucalyptus forests and windswept heathland; see spectacular dolerite columns rising from the sea; encounter wildlife like wombats, wallabies, and echidnas; and stay in comfy eco-friendly cabins.
Every hiker receives a guidebook with maps and notes about the journey, also as stories to read as they sit on strategically placed benches along the track. This four-day, three-night hike is suitable for all levels of hikers — even children — and is one among the simplest things to try to to in Tasmania in spring, fall, or summer, although hardy hikers could also tackle it in winter if they dress appropriately.
8. Cataract Gorge, Launceston
A mere 15-minute stroll along the river from Launceston’s city centre , the wild and romantic Cataract Gorge may be a deep chasm carved over many centuries by the South Esk River. Precipitous walking paths, first inbuilt the 1890s, dig the cliff face on each side of the gorge, offering heart-stopping views of the river far below.
The less adventurous can hop aboard the world’s longest single-span chairlift, while the Kings Bridge and Gorge Restaurant also afford fine views. On the side , you’ll relax at a restaurant and paddle within the bush-fringed swimming bath . At Cliff Grounds on the northern side, lies a gorgeous Victorian garden replete with ferns, strutting peacocks, and wallabies. River cruises offer another perspective of this popular attraction.
9. Salamanca Place
Salamanca Place, with its lovingly restored sandstone buildings, maybe a tourist hub within the heart of Hobart’s historic waterfront. Built by convicts between 1835 and 1860, these beautiful Georgian buildings were once warehouses along the commercial center of old Hobart. Today, they house art galleries, cafés, restaurants, and shops.
You can dine alfresco along this cobblestone strip; buy antiques and souvenirs; or visit the galleries, humanistic discipline venues, and ateliers of the Salamanca Arts Centre. Every Saturday, tourists and locals alike flock to the Salamanca Markets, where quite 300 vendors sell everything from handcrafted jewelry and woodwork to fresh produce.
Nearby Constitution Dock may be a favorite spot to shop for fresh seafood, and one among the foremost popular things to try to to in December here is watching the yachts cruise in after the long-lasting Sydney to Hobart sailing-race . From Salamanca Place, you’ll also descend Kelly Steps to Battery Point, a picturesque seaside suburb with heritage houses.
10. Bruny Island
About 55 minutes from Hobart by car and ferry, Bruny Island may be a popular excursion from the town for foodies and nature buffs. The island lies across the D’Entrecasteaux Channel from the seaside town of Kettering. It’s famous for its delectable gastronomic treats, like handmade chocolates, local berries, artisan cheeses, and succulent seafood, which you’ll sample on island tasting tours. South Bruny park , on the island’s southern tip, offers beautiful coastal scenery with soaring green sea cliffs, sheltered beaches, and challenging surf breaks.
You can explore the park on an eco-cruise or hike the various nature trails. Keep an eye fixed out for wildlife. Fur seals and fairy penguins swim offshore, and wombats, wallabies, and echidnas are a number of the more charismatic land animals. Built by convicts between 1836 and 1838, Cape Bruny Lighthouse offers beautiful views of the surging Southern Ocean.
11. Mona Museum and Art Gallery
Cutting edge and controversial, the MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in Hobart has made a splash on the Aussie art scene since it opened in 2011. Its Tasmanian owner, David Walsh, described the thought-provoking collection of art and antiquities as a “subversive adult Disneyland.”
After entering the museum’s foyer at ground level, art lovers descend a spiral staircase to a subterranean gallery, where exhibits range from Sidney Nolan’s Snake to an Egyptian sarcophagus and a machine that turns food into brown sludge. Portable touch screen devices provide commentary on the works.
Also on-site are entertainment venues, a trendy restaurant, library, cinema, and accommodation pavilions. The most popular way to travel to MONA is a 30-minute ferry ride along the Derwent River, which drops you off directly at the museum’s steps.
12. Mount Field National Park
About 80 kilometers from Hobart, Mount Field is one of Australia’s oldest national parks, with magnificent rainforests, tall swamp gums, alpine moorland, and stunning waterfalls. Beautiful walking trails wind throughout the park, which is often dusted with snow in the high moorlands until summer. The short Russell Falls Nature Walk to these triple-tiered cascades is suitable even for wheelchair-users. You can also hike around Lake Dobson, and experienced bushwalkers have a choice of more challenging routes.
One of the popular things to do in winter in Tasmania is cross-country skiing, and this is an ideal place to indulge, only a 90-minute drive from Hobart. In the fall, the spark ignites with yellow, orange, and red-leafed trees. This is also the site where the last Tasmanian tiger was captured in 1930.
13. Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the spectacular Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park has become a symbol of one of Australia’s most famous conservation victories. In the 1970s and 80s, this majestic mountain region of the primeval rainforest, steep gorges, and wild rivers was the subject of bitter controversy over a proposal to dam the Franklin River. The opponents of the scheme, with their battle cry “No dams!” were victorious, and the wild beauty of the Franklin River and its surrounding wilderness remains.
Today, the national park is the nucleus of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, which also includes the rocky 1,443-meter peak of Frenchman’s Cap. Its aboriginal sites are evidence of a rich indigenous heritage stretching back more than 36,000 years. White-water rafting enthusiasts come here to tackle the tumultuous Franklin River, one of the top outdoor adventures in Australia, while hikers enjoy the short walks. A highlight is Donaghys Lookout Walk. You can also explore the park by car on the Lyell Highway. Better still, hop aboard a river cruise from the west coast village of Strahan.
About 25 kilometers northeast of Hobart, Richmond is a kind of living open-air museum. Of all the early settlements in Tasmania, it presents the most complete and homogeneous picture of a Georgian colonial town. It was founded soon after the landing of the first settlers in Risdon Cove in 1803 and soon developed into the commercial center of a very fertile grain-growing district. Richmond was also an important military post, and inmates from the town’s penal colony constructed many of the buildings, as well as the Richmond Bridge, which dates from 1825 and is the oldest bridge in Australia.
Often seen in the background of bridge photos is the timber-topped St. Luke’s Church with beautiful stained-glass windows. It was so well constructed that the convict carpenter responsible was pardoned. A short distance to the north, the neo-Gothic St. John’s Church, dating from 1837-59 is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in Australia.
Other historic highlights include Richmond Gaol and the well-preserved heritage buildings of Bridge Street. A favorite family attraction, the Old Hobart Town model village recreates life in the 1820s. Many day trips to Richmond from Hobart also include a visit to Bonorong Wildlife Park in Brighton, where you can get up close to favorite Aussie animals like kangaroos, koalas, wombats, and Tasmanian devils.
15. Climb The Nut
On Tasmania’s northwest coast, the Nut is a 143-meter-high volcanic plug, which looms over the picturesque heritage town of Stanley. Matthew Flinders, who viewed it in 1798, thought it was reminiscent of a Christmas cake with its steep, rounded sides and flat top. You can climb the steep path to the Pinnacle, which takes about 15 minutes, or hop aboard a chairlift for fantastic photo opportunities. At the top, trails of varying lengths lead visitors through fern-fringed forests and to scenic lookouts with 360-degree views of the curving coastline, the quaint hamlet of Stanley, and surrounding farmland. Look for pademelons and wallabies along the trails, and take a jacket as the top can be quite windy.