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15 essential Tasmanian experiences.

Supplied Courtesy of RACT Destinations

Time moves slowly in Tasmania, which is just as well given how much there is to pack into a road trip around the island.

Bridestowe Lavender

a woman standing on a lavender field in Bridestowe, TasmaniaLuke Tscharke

An intoxicating walk through fields of fresh lavender at Bridestowe Lavender Estate

Wandering the fields at Bridestowe Lavender Estate is as unforgettable as tasting its lavender ice cream. Arrive when fields are blanketed in purple blooms from December to January. The five-week harvest begins in early January, after which you can see the oil being distilled. To get there drive 45 minutes north-east of Launceston to Nabowla.

Salamanca Market

People shopping in Australia’s largest open-air market located in TasmaniaPoon Wai Nang.

Visit Salamanca Market, one of Australia’s largest open-air markets, to pick up a Tasmanian souvenir

Saturday morning is the time to plunge into the bustle of Salamanca Market by the Hobart waterfront. Pick up a beautifully crafted piece from a local maker, and sample some of the produce on offer – jams, vodka and truffles are all sure to tempt.

larapuna / Bay of Fires

empty white sandy beach in Tasmania Tourism Tasmania and Rob Burnett

Walk the Bay of Fires coastline, where there are more extraordinary white sandy beaches than houses

This secluded spot on the east coast is just 30 minutes’ drive from the fishing village of St Helens. Explore the 50 kilometres of jaw-droppingly beautiful coastline that runs from Binalong Bay in the south to Eddystone Point in the north by boat with Bay of Fires Eco Tours. Or walk the length of larapuna / Bay of Fires on foot to find hidden coves and inlets. Treat yourself to a luxury eco-lodge experience, or choose your own camping spot and drift off to sleep to the soothing sound of the ocean.

Gordon River

a cruise going through the Gordon River, in Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage AreaSupplied Courtesy of RACT Destinations

See the rainforest reflections as you cruise the Gordon River, in Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area

The remote fishing village of Strahan on Tasmania’s west coast is a quiet place to get away from it all and unwind for a few nights. Take a harbour and river cruise from the main wharf to explore Macquarie Harbour, visit Sarah Island penal colony, and drift silently down the Gordon River.

kunanyi / Mount Wellington

a group of people at the look out of a panoramic view of Hobart, at Mount Wellington, Tasmania.Luke Tscharke

Only 20 minutes from the CBD, kunanyi / Mount Wellington offers beautiful day walks and panoramic views

In some cities you take the elevator to the top of the tallest building to be awed by extraordinary city views. Hobart doesn’t have skyscrapers - instead it has kunanyi / Mount Wellington, or ‘the mountain’ as the locals call it, which stands at an impressive 1270 metres. That’s 441 metres higher than the tallest building in the world.

West Coast Wilderness Railway

A moving train in the West Coast of TasmaniaTourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne

Traverse the west coast’s gorges and cool temperate rainforest on a historical steam train

Queenstown is a heritage mining town in western Tasmania, home to the West Coast Wilderness Railway, which offers full and half-day steam train journeys. Discover the area’s fascinating history, try your hand at panning for gold, and travel deep into the spectacular west coast wilderness.

The Nut, Stanley

an aerial view over Bass Strait from the top of The Nut in TasmaniaPaul Hoelen

Enjoy sweeping views over Bass Strait from the top of The Nut

From the relaxing fishing village of Stanley on the north-west coast, you can fly over The Nut on an Osborne Heli Tours scenic flight that heads out to Woolnorth Wind Farm and Cape Grim. Climb The Nut, the remains of an ancient volcanic plug, or ride the chairlift. Once you reach the top, take a deep breath and fill your lungs with some of the world’s cleanest air.

King Island

a surfer riding a wave in the surfing mecca of Martha Lavinia beach on King Island, TasmaniaStuart Gibson

Martha Lavinia beach on King Island is a surfing mecca

There are regular flights from Burnie-Wynyard airport to King Island, where you’ll find two of Australia’s top golf courses, Cape Wickham and Ocean Dunes, surf beaches to suit experts and beginners alike, and an abundance of culinary delights - don’t miss King Island Dairy and Wild Harvest.

Mona, Museum of Old and New Art

a couple on board of the Mona Roma on their way to Mona Museum in Hobart, TasmaniaAdam Gibson

See Hobart from a different perspective on the ferry to Mona

Head to the Hobart waterfront and step aboard a Mona Roma ferry. A 25-minute ride upriver will deliver you at the steps of Mona, where you can easily spend a full day exploring Australia's largest privately owned museum. Nothing can prepare you for what is about to unfold across three levels of art meant to challenge and entertain.

Cradle Mountain

The view of Cradle Mountain on Dove Lake in Tasmania Rob Burnett

The reflections of Cradle Mountain on Dove Lake attract photographers from around the world

Take advantage of the network of tracks and trails among the old-growth rainforests and alpine landscapes of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Stunning displays of wildflowers and a rich diversity of wildlife make this an exceptionally beautiful place to explore on foot.

Flinders Island

Trousers Point Beach, Flinders IslandJarrad Seng

With untouched beaches, fresh seafood and mountains to climb, Flinders Island is a feast for the senses

Just a short flight from Launceston, this is the largest island in the Furneaux Group and is famous for its fresh, seasonal food, including abalone, crayfish, wallaby, honey and boutique wines. Keen walkers can explore the rugged mountains of Strzelecki National Park, while birdwatchers should keep on eye out for sea eagles, wandering albatrosses, and forty-spotted pardalotes.

Port Arthur

A view of Port Arthur historic sites in TasmaniaAlastair Bett

Visit Port Arthur, the historic prison at the ‘end of the earth’, for an insight into the hardships faced by convicts

Venture 90 minutes east of Hobart to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Port Arthur Historic Site for a glimpse of Tasmania’s convict past. Stand as convicts did in the darkness of solitary cells and imagine their suffering. Come nightfall, join a lantern-lit ghost tour to hear chilling stories of apparitions and strange occurrences in the prison.

Freycinet Peninsula

an aerial view of the iconic Wineglass Bay in TasmaniaCourtesy of Wineglass Bay Cruises

Cruise into the iconic Wineglass Bay to experience its magnificence

The Freycinet Peninsula, near Coles Bay on Tasmania’s east coast, is a haven where you can seek out secluded sandy beaches and see the striking formations of the Hazards mountain range. Within Freycinet National Park, Wineglass Bay can be reached by foot, air or sea. A Wineglass Bay Cruise offers unparalleled views of the dramatic cliffs and azure waters, while Freycinet Adventures offers full and half-day kayak tours departing from Coles Bay.

Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails

Mountain bike rider at Blue Derby, TasmaniaFlow Mountain Bike

Shred a trail or two at Blue Derby

For more action, head to the unassuming riverside village of Derby, 25 minutes from Scottsdale in the north-east. Here you’ll find the Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails and 125 kilometres of world-class, purpose-built tracks.

Maria Island

a couple walking in an empty beach of Maria Island in Tasmania Tourism Australia

Maria Island is a perfect escape: fresh air, beautiful scenery, no cars and plenty of wildlife

A national park in its entirety, Maria Island is a wildlife sanctuary with no roads and plenty of remarkable scenery and wildlife. Here you’ll find the most intact example of a convict probation station in Australia. Encounter Tasmanian devils and wander deserted beaches and old-growth forests. Just off Triabunna on the east coast, the island is accessible by ferry and offers excellent walking and cycling.

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