As Australia’s sole remote island-state, Tasmania is the perfect place to get away from it all. Whether you want to take in the modern art galleries in Tasmania’s capital city of Hobart, sunbathe on white sand beaches, sample fresh fruits and vegetables at a bustling market, or enjoy wildlife parks across the state, Tasmania is packed with wonders both natural and man-made. Our guide will help you make the most of your trip to this stunning island wonderland!
Wondering how to get to Tasmania? You can arrive at your Tasmanian adventure by sea or air.
Tasmania’s two major cities are its capital, Hobart, and Launceston, further north. Direct flights from Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne will take you to the heart of the island, as well as to the smaller Tasmanian cities of Devonport, Flinders Island, Wynyard, and King Island.
If you’d prefer a more whimsical adventure by boat, the Spirit of Tasmania car ferry regularly arrives to Devonport packed with visitors from Melbourne and you can easily pick up a hire car at the ferry terminal in Devonport.
Best times to visit
If you’re thinking about the best time to visit Tasmania, we recommend taking your trip during the peak season: December through February. During these three months, Tasmania’s characteristically unpredictable weather is a little calmer, with plenty of dry, warm days.
Prefer the off-season? While being much quieter than at peak times (the sprawling natural preserves and only 500,000 inhabitants make sure of that), Tasmania’s weather also tends to be somewhat favourable during March and April, making these good months to visit the island-state – they’re often cheaper as well.
Things to see and do
If you’re wondering what to see in Tasmania, you won’t have to look far. Due to its many wildlife parks, mountains, and rivers, as well as its quirky history and artistic soul, Tasmania is quickly becoming a favourite tourist destination for visitors around the world. Here are just a few of the highlights we recommend:
Cradle Mountain: Cradle Mountain is one of Tasmania’s best spots for hiking and outdoor lovers, and is also one of the best places in Tasmania to see wildlife. Nestled in a national park, this mountain valley, located in the island-state’s northwestern corner, is jam-packed with waterfalls, mountain peaks, and thick forests.
See if you can spot possums, wombats, wallabies, platypuses, many different kinds of birds, and maybe even a real-life Tasmanian devil from the several hikes and viewpoints in the area. If you’re feeling brave and up to a challenge, take the notorious six-day hike to Lake St. Clair for stunning lake and mountain views. Or, during the summer, lay back and enjoy the unforgettable Southern Lights streak across the sky against the backdrop of Tasmania’s most famous mountain valley.
Freycinet: Camping, hiking, and even diving and snorkelling to see colourful marine life are all favourites at the pristine Freycinet National Park. Home to one of Tasmania’s most famous sights – the elegantly curved Wineglass Bay – this area is also packed with smaller beaches, lagoons, and bays to explore. Hike the Freycinet Peninsula for a bigger challenge, and make sure to be on the lookout for black swans and many other forms of wildlife. Oh, and don’t miss the golden sunrises and sunsets over the pink granite-topped Hazards Range!
Port Arthur: If you’re a history lover (and especially if you like a little controversy with your history), you absolutely have to stop by the Port Arthur Historic Site. The site, a World Heritage property and the most carefully preserved of all of Australia’s historic convict settlements, was built in 1830 by the British Empire for thousands of prisoners. Learn about Australia’s penal history in a 40-minute guided tour, or take a ghost tour across the site’s many acres if you want to get a little spooked. The area itself, nestled near the scenic Carnarvon Bay and the small town of Port Arthur, is also worth a look.
Hobart & Salamanca Markets: The bustling markets at Hobart and Salamanca are some of Tasmania’s most popular tourist destinations, and for good reason! At these enormous weekly open-air markets, you can hobnob with thousands of other visitors and buy fresh produce and specialty foods. There are also many traditional Tasmanian goods on offer, like timbers, leather goods, and handmade crafts, as well as stylish jewellery and clothing.
Bruny Island: Bruny Island offers both natural beauty and wine-soaked fun for tourists. Bruny Island’s multiple bushwalks take you along untouched sands and picturesque coastlines, while an island cruise will have you peering from your perch hoping to see a fairy penguin or fur seal. For the foodies and wine lovers, the island is also home to Australia’s southernmost vineyard and many high-quality seafood restaurants, famous for their fresh oysters.
Gordon River Cruise: See Tasmania’s west coast in style on a cruise of the Gordon River. Departing regularly from Strahan’s main wharf, Gordon River Cruises are the perfect place to sample local Tasmanian wines and learn about the island’s natural and political history. The Gordon River is most famous for its glassy, mirror-like surface, which provides perfect photo ops when they reflect the mountains and sky above.
Mona Gallery: On the site of the Moorilla winery in Hobart sits one of Australia’s best-funded, most controversial art museums – the Museum of New and Old Art, or MONA. If you’re a fan of all things quirky, strange, and innovative, this is the perfect art museum for you. Rather than trudging along dutifully reading museum labels, you’ll wander through large installations and public art performances with a tracking device of sorts that will give you information about the pieces nearby via headphones. Beware: MONA’s art pieces are creative and exciting, but they’re not all for the faint of heart!
As an isolated oasis, nestled away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of Australia, Tasmania is a perfect place to explore the natural world. Hiking, wildlife sightings, and enjoying the outdoors are just some of the treasures that Tasmania offers. We hope you book your flight soon to start enjoying all the natural beauty Tasmania has to offer!