Tasmania, the island state off the southern coast of Australia, is a land of pristine wilderness, breathtaking landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. Often referred to as Australia's hidden gem, Tasmania offers a unique blend of natural wonders and vibrant cities that make it a perfect destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. In this blog post, we'll explore some of our favourite things to do in Tasmania.
Our favourite things to see and do in Tasmania
Explore the Wilderness of Cradle Mountain National Park
Cradle Mountain National Park is undoubtedly Tasmania's crown jewel, renowned for its rugged mountains, ancient rainforests, and serene glacial lakes. The park is a haven for hikers and nature lovers, offering a plethora of trails suitable for all skill levels. The most popular hike is the Dove Lake Circuit, which takes you on a 6 km journey around the iconic Dove Lake and provides breathtaking views of Cradle Mountain's jagged peaks.
For the more adventurous, the challenging hike to the summit of Cradle Mountain promises an awe-inspiring panorama of the entire park. The Overland Track is Australia's premier alpine walk. This exhilarating and life-changing journey attracts walkers from across the globe. Beginning at the iconic Cradle Mountain and ending at Australia’s deepest lake – Lake St Clair, this 65-kilometre, six-day trek takes you through the heart of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, part of the magnificent Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
Or launch yourself off waterfalls, abseil down cliffs and shoot through nature's waterslides when you discover Cradle Mountain’s hidden canyons with Cradle Mountain Canyons (pictured).
Embrace History at Port Arthur Historic Site
For history enthusiasts, a visit to the Port Arthur Historic Site is an absolute must. This former convict settlement is a UNESCO World Heritage site and offers a glimpse into Tasmania's colonial past. Explore the well-preserved ruins of the old prison buildings, learn about the harsh conditions endured by the convicts, and take a guided tour to uncover the stories that shaped Tasmania's early days. The site's haunting beauty and tragic history make it a truly captivating experience.
Outside of the Historic Site, Port Arthur is also home to Port Arthur Lavender farm and McHenry Distillery.
Wander Through Hobart's Salamanca Market
Hobart, Tasmania's capital, is a charming city with a vibrant cultural scene. Every Saturday, the famous Salamanca Market comes alive, attracting both locals and tourists alike. Set against the backdrop of historic Georgian sandstone warehouses, the market boasts over 300 stalls offering a diverse range of locally crafted products, fresh produce, arts, and crafts. From handmade jewelry and artworks to delectable gourmet treats, the market is a treasure trove of unique souvenirs and delicious Tasmanian delights.
Marvel at the Remarkable Caves of Bruny Island
A short ferry ride from Hobart lies Bruny Island, a haven for wildlife and natural beauty. One of the island's most remarkable attractions is the Bruny Island Neck, an isthmus connecting the northern and southern parts of the island. Take a stroll up the wooden steps to the viewing platform and witness a panoramic view of the Neck's narrow strip of land bordered by picturesque beaches on either side.
The island is home to abundant sea and coastal wildlife such as seals, dolphins, migrating whales, seabirds and birds of prey. Don't miss the opportunity to explore the spectacular sea caves carved into stunning natural cliff formations that are among the tallest in the southern hemisphere! An otherworldly experience that will leave you in awe of Mother Nature's craftsmanship. Bruny Island Cruises provides a multi-award winning three-hour coastal wilderness cruise, taking you along the unspoilt southern coastline of Bruny Island.
Witness the Southern Lights in Freycinet National Park
While the Northern Lights are more widely known, Tasmania offers the unique chance to witness the mesmerizing Southern Lights, also known as the Aurora Australis. Freycinet National Park, located on the east coast of Tasmania, is an excellent spot for stargazing and catching a glimpse of this breathtaking natural light display. The best time to see the Southern Lights is during the winter months when the nights are the longest and the skies are clearest.
Tasmania is a destination that offers an incredible array of experiences for travellers seeking adventure, natural beauty, and cultural enrichment. From exploring the wilds of Cradle Mountain to immersing oneself in history at Port Arthur, the island provides a diverse range of activities to suit all interests. Whether you're a nature lover, history enthusiast, foodie fan or simply seeking unique experiences, Tasmania promises to be a destination that will capture your heart and leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore Australia's hidden gem!
Hero image credit: Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman