Tasmania is an island that will take your breath away. Hobart especially is a wonderful base to experience some of the incredible wanders of this state. Within a couple of hours, you can be strolling through a stunning national park, exploring an early Australian colonial village or having lunch on a island full of cheese. So if you're in a need of some excursion inspiration, here are five incredible day trips out of Hobart.
Just a short 20-minute ferry ride from Hobart, Bruny Island is packed with Tasmania’s finest gourmet produce making it the #1 destination for a travelling foodie. Essential pit stops include the Bruny Island Smoke House to sample smoked pastes, pate and chutneys and the Bruny Island Berry Farm for the tastiest treats like cheesecake with berry coulis, berry tarts, berry muffins and champagne jellies.
Tip: As there is no public transport on Bruny Island, we suggest taking your car on the ferry, which costs just $33 or $38 during peak season.
The Hastings Cave Reserve
Located 90 minutes southeast of Hobart you’ll find the amazing Hastings Caves and thermal hot springs. Join a guided tour to learn about the largest dolomite tourist cave in Australia before heading to the springs for a splash in its balmy 28 degree water. A walk along the hot springs track will take you to the convergence of two water streams. If you put your hand in the water here, you'll be able to feel the warm current from one stream meeting the cold current from the other.
Tip: There’s a decent cafe (mains $10 to $20) at the visitor centre, which also sells BBQ packs and picnic hampers.
Port Arthur and Tassie Devils
Head 90 minutes east to Tasmania's Port Arthur historic site and stroll the landscaped Victorian gardens, and you'll find it hard to imagine this was once a reviled prison that held 1,100 convicts at its peak. And what trip to Tasmania is complete without catching a glimpse of the adorable and endangered devils? Head another 20 minutes north to the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park and witness the snarling, fighting and bone crushing in a spectacle of devilish behaviour during feeding time.
Mount Field National Park and Russell Falls
Located 60 minutes from Hobart, Mount Field National Park is Tasmania's oldest and most beloved national park. It’s home to tall gum forests, massive fern trees, cool temperate rainforests, alpine vegetation and pine forests around the lakes. A wide variety of native wildlife can also be found including wombats, platypuses, bandicoots, echidnas and the even the Tasmanian devil. The star attraction is Russell Falls, one of Tasmania’s best known and most photographed waterfalls. It was even featured on a set of 1899 postage stamps to promote tourism in the region.
Tip: Water generally flows over Russell Falls all year round, particularly after a heavy rainfall, but it's best during winter as the snow on the local mountains melt.
Just 25 minutes outside of Hobart, Richmond is the perfect place to learn about Tasmania's past. Richmond is best known for its historic jail the Richmond Gaol, one of the oldest and best preserved convict structures still existing in Tasmania. It was built in 1825 and is open for self-guided tours daily from 9am-5pm. As you wander through the cold, cramped cells, you can read the stories of the various inmates.
Richmond is also at the centre of one of Australia's fastest-growing wine regions, the Coal River Valley. A visit to the Puddleduck Vineyard is a must. Here you can enjoy a tasting of their current releases paired with a local cheese platter.