Tasmania is guaranteed to take your breath away. Within the stretch of a few hours on this island and you can be strolling through a pristine national park, exploring convict ruins, tasting whisky with the maker, or sitting down to a paddock-to-plate lunch.
Photo above taken by Wai Nang Poon.
The jagged contours of Cradle Mountain epitomise the feel of a wild landscape, safeguarding ancient rainforest, alpine heathlands, stands of deciduous beech, and many a waddling wombat. (Photo credit: Tourism Tasmania and Jason Charles Hill)
Flanked by mountains and the River Derwent, Hobart is filled with contrasts. Risk-taking artists, mind-bending museums, inventive eateries, and soulful heritage bring light and shade to Australia's second oldest city. (Photo credit: Stu Gibson)
Freycinet National Park
The main attraction of the Freycinet National Park lies in its isolation. You can explore by kayak, scenic flight, or simply climb over its mountains, descend through the bush and follow the curve of Wineglass Bay to complete solitude. (Photo credit: Daniel Tran)
A local haunt for foodies and lovers of rugged coastlines and fluffy wildlife, Bruny Island is jam-packed with some of the most sought after produce, from traditional cheeses to oysters. It even hides Australia's most southernmost vineyard amongst its rolling hills. (Photo credit: Julia Smith)
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Mona, Museum of Old and New Art - The Museum of Old and New Art houses an extraordinary collection of art and antiquities. Built into a sandstone cliff face, with three levels of subterranean art space, make sure you allow plenty of time to explore.
Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake - Embark on the Dove Lake Circuit track that hugs the lake shoreline for a pleasant, relatively flat six-kilometre walk beneath the towering spires of Cradle Mountain. There are plenty of other walks in the area along with canyon tours, a devil sanctuary, scenic flights and an alpine spa.
Gordon River - Wild doesn’t have to mean crazy, wind-in-your-hair madness. A cruise down the Gordon River often rewards with mirror-calm reflections of World Heritage Area rainforest. You’ll journey across Macquarie Harbour (six times the size of Sydney Harbour) through Hells Gates, aptly named by convicts on their way to Sarah Island.
Salamanca Market - Salamanca Place is lined with a long row of 1830s Georgian sandstone warehouses that once stored whale oil, wool, grain, apples and imported goods from around the world. Salamanca Market is a collaboration of artisans, musicians and producers held every Saturday, something can be found in Salamanca’s alleyways every day of the week.
Port Arthur Historic Site - Step into the past at the World Heritage listed Port Arthur Historic Site. Take a guided tour to discover Australia’s intriguing convict history and learn of Port Arthur’s story and the hardships faced at the inescapable prison at the ‘end of the earth’. Come nightfall, grab a lantern and walk the grounds – this time in the dark.
Bay of Fires - This wandering ribbon of coastline dazzles visitors with its blindingly white sands. Amble beaches scattered with orange-lichen boulders or take the guided four-day Bay of Fires Walk if you’re keen to see the sunset with your toes in a foot spa.
Bruny Island - This island dishes up gourmet produce, white sandy beaches, wildlife and frequent foodie stops to taste cheese, oysters, whisky and wine. Even a short visit offers plenty to see and do – scenic drives, walks, historic sites, lighthouses, and a thrilling eco-cruise.
Pennicott Wilderness Journeys - Rug up for a three-hour wilderness cruise along the rugged south east coast of the Tasman Peninsula. Cruise inside sea caves and under some of the highest sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere to see barking seals, dolphins that leap at the bow, and migrating whales.
Tamar Tripping - Over 170 kilometres of winding roads make up the Tamar Valley Wine Route. But it’s not just enviable cool-climate wine territory and cellar doors that you’ll come across. You’ll find hazelnuts, lush orchards, pastures and world-class sparkling.
Family Friendly Activities
Family Friendly Activities
- QVMAG – Inveresk - The kids will love the 1870s railway workshops at Inveresk. The Inveresk site reveals Launceston’s railway heritage and social history and natural science collections, along with an interactive science centre and planetarium where you can lay back and watch the universe.
- Tasmazia - In the foothills of Mount Roland, at a place called Promised Land, you’ll happen upon the tiny Village of Lower Crackpot – a miniature township hidden deep inside the hedges of Tasmazia. Lose yourself in eight mazes, explore the small-scale Village of Lower Crackpot, indulge in the Pancake Parlour, visit the lavender farm in full flower in January, and browse the Gift Shop for locally made crafts, quirky games and puzzles, many exclusive to Tasmazia.
- Don River Railway - Be pulled from Don Village Station to Coles Beach on a full-size steam locomotive. The route winds its way along the eastern banks of the picturesque Don River, passing Restoration Siding where old vehicles are awaiting their turn for restoration at the hands of the craftsmen. A steam locomotive pulls the train most of the year, for the remainder trains are run with a vintage rail car.
- Seahorse World - Come and see a working seahorse farm with truly unique access to magical creatures. Take an educational tour through ‘The Cave of the Seahorse’ and the ‘Wonders of the Southern Ocean Aquarium’ - ending with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hold a seahorse or hermit crab in the palm of your hand.
- Platypus House - See the world’s only two monotremes – the platypus and the echidna, at play in the wharf shed at Beauty Point. Here you can clearly see these egg-laying mammals through glass-sided tanks and transparent burrows. Discover how the platypus finds food by using electrical receptors and stores it in its cheek pouches, before grinding it down between plates in its bill. You’ll hear plenty more about these curious creatures before being led by your guide inside the echidna garden. Here you’re invited you to kneel before waddling echidnas on their way to trays of mush, which they lick up with their long, earthworm-like tongues.
- East Coast Cruises - Cruise to Maria Island and the Ile Des Phoques (French for Island of Seals). See Maria’s mountain ranges, granite cliffs, mountain fed waterfalls, secluded bays, sea caves, and beaches of pure white sand. Explore the Ile Des Phoques’ hidden granite sea caves and sit, swim or snorkel with seals.
- Kunanyi / Mount Wellington - Mount Wellington’s summit is just a short drive from Hobart. There are lots of lookouts & walks along the winding roads to the top. Once you reach the Pinnacle, you will have landed yourself at 1,270m with a spectacular view that overlooks the city of Hobart and the River Derwent.
- Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary - At Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, kanagaroos wander free range and Tasmanian devils are active during the day so you can view them at any time. Bonorong offers hands-on experience rare in other zoos and wildlife parks across the world, allowing you to share special moments with Australia’s unique wildlife. Your entry helps continue the conservation efforts and rehabilitation of Tasmania’s threatened wildlife.
- Mt Field National Park - At Mount Field National Park you’ll find the spectacular Russell Falls, one of the most photographed waterfalls in Tasmania. Its three elegant tiers, framed by lush vegetation, have attracted visitors for more than a hundred years. Put on your walking shoes and explore one of its easy walking tracks only a fifteen minute stroll from the car park.
- Hollybank Treetops Adventure - Fly through the treetops and experience nature up close on a tour that combines the thrills of a high wire canopy ride with a calming forest experience. You can also take an easy glide through the forest on a Segway tour.
- Cataract Gorge - You’ll find peacocks and a swimming pool at this popular urban playground. Follow a pathway along the cliff face looking down onto the South Esk River. Wander across the footbridge and take a chairlift ride across the river. Kids will love it when the wallabies start appearing at dusk.
- Bicheno Penguin Tours - Kneel down and watch little penguins emerge from the ocean as they head for their homes in a natural rookery on an after-dark tour. Established by locals to protect the penguin population, the tour lets you get close to the penguins without disturbing their nightly journey. You can expect to get very close to a penguin on this tour.
- Freycinet Adventures Kayaking - Take a sea kayak tour into the heart of Freycinet National Park. The contrasts are stunning. Pink granite mountains, pristine sandy beaches and blue waters so clear you feel you can touch the marine life below, a true sea kayaking paradise. Don’t worry if you haven’t kayaked before, our team will show you how to use all the gear provided and make sure you are comfortable out on the water.
- West Coast Wilderness Railway - The world's steepest steam-operated railway with original steam locomotives and a rare rack-and-pinion rail system used to climb hills and gorges. Today, passengers travel from Queenstown on the same locomotives that started the trip back in 1896, on a 16 kilometre run through the wilderness, uphill and down, to a place called Dubbill Barrill, with stops for a little gold panning and sightseeing.
- Richmond Village - Walk across Australia’s oldest bridge, built by convict labour between 1823 and 1825. Stand in the cell of the Richmond Gaol (1825), Australia’s oldest goal, for an eerie insight into the hardships of early Van Diemen's Land convict life. Or wander in the cemetery of Australia's oldest remaining Catholic Church, St Johns, built in 1836. Relax on the banks of the Coal River with a picnic, try locally made ice cream, feed the local ducks, drop into the lolly shop, or test your sense of direction in the Richmond mazes.
- Launceston Aquatic and Leisure Centre - Let children play free as you let your own inner child free! This Centre offers eight state of the art aquatic facilities, including indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and a children's play area.
Key Festivals and Events
Key Festivals and Events
- Cygnet Folk Festival (January)
- Mona Foma Museum of Old and New Art:Festival Of Music and Art (January)
- 10 Days on the Island (March)
- Taste of the Huon (March)
- Targa Tasmania (April-May)
- Agfest (May)
- Dark Mofo (June)
- Festival of Voices (June-July)
- Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival (July)
- Devonport Jazz Festival (July)
- Tasmanian Whisky Week (August)
- Junction Arts Festival (September)
- The Unconformity (October)
- Royal Hobart Show (October)
- Taste of Tasmania (Christmas/NY)
- Sydney to Hobart (starts Boxing Day)
- Falls Music Festival Festival (December - January)
- Australian Wooden Boat Festival (February 2019)
Off the Tourist Trail
Off the Tourist Trail
- Corinna (off the coast of the Tarkine)
- Mt Field National Park (plant diversity, beautiful waterfalls, great hikes, and a some of Australia’s wildlife)