Ah, Tasmania. The little island state off the south coast of Australia where the sun sometimes shines and the air is always clean and fresh.
Tasmania is known for is breathtaking wilderness, delicious gourmet food and wine. and a thriving arts scene. Hobart and Launceston are the two biggest cities in the state where most tourists tend to visit, but the state has so much more to offer than just the quaint and picturesque cities.
There are arts and culture festivals, impressive museums and endless farmers and artisan markets to visit on the weekends. Tasmania is best explored by car, so hiring one once you arrive and keeping it for the duration of your trip is the best way to get around.
1. Freycinet National Park
Freycinet National Park and Great Oyster Bay offer visitors truly unimaginable vistas. Located off Tasmania’s east coast, the area has rocky granite peaks, abundant wildlife and the oh-so-beautiful white sand beaches of Wineglass Bay. You can go swimming, snorkelling kayaking and hiking, just over two hours from Hobart.
2. Bay of Fires
Bay of Fires is a photographer’s (or Instagrammer’s!) dream. The rocky landscape is rich with colour and texture, and is located on Tasmania’s north-east coast.
3. Cradle Mountain National Park
Cradle Mountain is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and is one of the most accessible and visited places in Tasmania. Cradle Mountain is surrounded by glacial lakes, ancient rainforest, Aboriginal sites and unusual alpine vegetation. Not only is it one of the best places to go for nature walks, horse riding or serious hikes, but you can spend a night at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge and enjoy a Scandinavian winter experience right here in Australia. Sip from a glass or wine in a hot tub surrounded by snow and alpine beauty.
4. Museum of Old and Modern Art
MONA is the jewel of the Tasmanian an art scene. Owned by eccentric professional gambler David Walsh, it is one of the world’s most controversial private collections of modern art and antiquities, and often has unbelievable exhibitions. If you’re clever, time your visit to Tasmania to coincide with the winter festival hosted by the museum, Dark Mofo, or the summer festival, Mona Foma.
5. Bridestowe Lavender Estate
If you’ve ever liked a photon Instagram of some well-dressed person frolicking through seemingly endless rows of bright purple lavender in the peak of summer, it’s likely that it was taken right here at Bridestowe Lavender Estate. The site is open all year round, but the best time to visit to get that iconic photo is in December through to February when the flowers are in full bloom. There’s also a shop and cafe on site, and is just a 45 minute drive from Launceston.
6. Port Arthur Historic Site
The Port Arthur Historic Site is located on the Tasman Peninsula and has more than 30 buildings, ruins and restored homes dating back to the convict prison’s establishment in 1830. It’s one of the most historically important locations in Tasmania and doing a tour is well worthwhile.
7. West Coast Wilderness Railway
The West Coast Wilderness Railway will show you a side of Tasmania that few people get to experience. Located three and a half hours from Launceston, the railway offers many different tours through the Tasmania wilderness.
8. Mount Wellington/Kunanyi
Mount Wellington is a pleasant 20-minute drive from Hobart and the view from the lookout offers splendid views of the city below. Keep in mind it does snow on this mountain, so dress accordingly when visiting in winter.
9. Tahune Adventures
Walk among the treetops at Tahune Airwalk, which stands 50 metres above the riverbank. Just a 90-minute drive from Launceston, the experience offers a unique view of the forest canopy and the waters of the Huon and Picton rivers. Unfortunately, due to the January bushfires of 2019, the site is currently closed until the end of 2019 when all damage to the site has been repaired and renewed.
10. Bruny Island
A small island accessible by ferry (take your car!) from Kettering, Bruny Island is home to gourmet local food and produce. Feast upon berries, cheese, oysters, whiskey, just to name a few of the spoils on the island. Don’t forget to grab a photo of the iconic Bruny Island ‘Neck’.
10. Salamanca Market
No list of Tasmanian sights is complete without Salamanca Market. Occurring every Saturday from 8:30am to 3pm, the market is home to local artisans, makers, crafters and producers who sell their handmade wares. You’ll find gorgeous Tasmanian timber products, hand-worked glass, jewellery, organic produce, art, leather goods, cheese, bread, wine, and delicious hot food vans!
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