PURE. SERENE. MEMORABLE.
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.
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.
Poon Wai Nang.
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
Tourism Tasmania and Rob Burnett
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.
Supplied Courtesy of RACT Destinations
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
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
Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Courtesy of Wineglass Bay Cruises
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
Flow Mountain Bike
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.
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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