Things to do in Tasmania
by Seek To Travel editor, March 2, 2019
This article is about Things to do in Tasmania. Just before we start, let’s talk about Tasmania and what you should expect in Tasmania.
Tasmania is an island state of Australia located 240 km south of the mainland of Australia. Tasmania is the 26th largest island in the world and has a population of 527,000. The island was initially part of the colony of New South Wales but was separated in 1825 and became its own colony.
The capital of Tasmania is Hobart. A charming small city located on the Derwent River and is the second oldest city after Sydney.
Tasmania’s climate is cool throughout the year compared to rest of Australia however Tasmania has four distinct seasons. The best time to visit is during summer from December to February with temperatures of 17-23 degrees Celsius. The summer months are dry and is the peak season making it the most popular time to visit.
Autumn months are from March to May bringing a spectacular sight of vibrant colours of the trees transforming from gold to red. Winter is from June to August, expect the temperature to be much cooler and the air crisp.
You can expect to see snowfall in some areas especially in the mountain region of Tasmania. Spring starts from September through to November with a slight change in weather pattern with warm temperatures and cool breezes from the coast.
Tasmania is a place you can visit any time of the year with stunning picturesque scenery at every angle of natural landscapes. So get your hiking boots on and be prepared to go on this amazing adventure.
Best Things to do in Tasmania
1) Bushwalking in Mount Wellington Park
Mount Wellington Park is 20-30 minutes drive from Hobart city and is 1271 meters above sea level, the highest point to view Hobart city and its surroundings.
The views from the top are different either side of the mountain with Hobart city on one side and the rocky mountains on the other side. Both views are just as spectacular. An attraction not to be missed during your visit to Tasmania.
There are many walking trails you can choose from and most of the trails will take 30-45 minutes to Mount Wellington. If you don’t feel like a hike, you can drive up to the mountain via Pinnacle Road.
This is the only road access otherwise you can either hike or pedal. Be very cautious and take care while driving as the road is very winding. For more of an adventure the rocky mountain is best for abseiling and rock climbing.
There are rest points and picnic spots available along the trails. To soak in panoramic views of Hobart city and its surroundings head to the Pinnacle Observation shelter and enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere with uninterrupted views.
Mount Wellington is a place you can visit any time of the day but to really experience its beauty the best time to visit is either at sunrise at sunset. For those who are an early-riser, the view is absolutely stunning with many opportunities for pictures from the highest point. The view during sunset is just as stunning, watch the city transform and light up in darkness.
Be prepared for the cold winds as the temperature drops at the top of the mountain. Take plenty of warm clothes and try to stay warm.
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2) Jet boat on Huon Valley
The Huon Valley is located 30 minutes south of Hobart and offers a variety of things to do. The valley is famous for its apples and ciders, fine food and fresh produce all set in the beautiful landscapes of Huon Valley.
If you are looking for an adventurous activity then consider taking on board the speedy Jetboat ride. A 35 minute ride that takes you along the Huon River, experiencing the thrill of spinning 360-degree with fast turns while soaking in the gorgeous views of the valley.
Your guide will take you along the river passing by the riverside forest and explain the history of the valley. Tours are available throughout the day and leaves from Huon visitor centre at Huonville. It can get quite cold so bring warm clothes and a waterproof jacket. Enjoy the thrill ride and make sure to have your camera ready.
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3) AirWalk in Tahune
Tahune Airwalk is located in the Tahune forest a 2 hour drive from Hobart. It is one of the most popular attractions in Tasmania. You will walk on an elevated walkway 50 metres above the river surrounded by forests overlooking the Huon river. It takes 50 minutes to an hour to complete the walk and is suitable for the entire family.
4) Visit MONA – The Museum of Old and New Art
Monanism now called MONA is located in Hobart. MONA Tasmania is the biggest privately funded museum in Australia. There is an entry fee for adults. The Museum is opened every day however from February the museum closes on Tuesdays up until the end of the year.
MONA showcases David Walsh’s 1900 collections featuring Old and New art worth around $110 million of art and antiquities.
To get to MONA you can either catch the ferry from Sullivan’s Cove or catch the MONA ROMA shuttle bus from the city. An easier option is to drive to the museum. It is a short drive from Hobart city.
During the summer months, Saturday markets are opened at MONA featuring Tasmanian designers work and products. During your visit, stop at one of many cafes, bars, restaurants, winery and brewery and try the fresh produce available all operating inside the museum.
Give yourself at least an hour or 2 to walk around the museum. The best advice is to take your time and walk around at your own pace so that you don’t miss anything while taking a break at the cafes and bars.
At the start of your tour, you will be given headphones and an iphone to listen to the description, story, interviews of the artwork. This is a great way of understanding each of the artwork which can be saved onto your iphone and can access the content from home.
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5) Visit the Hasting Caves and Thermal Springs
Hasting Caves and Thermal Springs is around 1 and half hour drive from Hobart. There are walking trails that take you through the forest leading you to the thermal springs for a much needed relaxing break.
Take a dip in the warm water and soak in the amazing view of the forest. Thermal pools are opened from 10am to 4pm. Picnic spots, barbecue, food and refreshments are available inside the reserve.
Explore the Newdegate Cave on a guided tour which runs approximately for 45 minutes. The tours will give an insight into the features of the cave, the history and the surrounding flora and fauna. This cave is the largest cave in Australia and is one of the oldest, formed millions of years ago.
Guided tours are available throughout the day but do look at session times when planning your visit. Tickets are to be purchased at the ticket office and it is advised to reach 30 minutes before the tour starts.
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6) Scenic Flights above the Wineglass bay
Wineglass bay located in Freycinet National Park on the east coast of Tasmania is around 2 hours drive north of Hobart. Wineglass bay is considered one of the best beaches in the world. This place attracts many visitors every year mostly for its beauty, walking trails and water activities.
There is no road access to Wineglass Bay and the walk takes around 2 to 3 hours (one way) through the steep tracks leading to a secluded area. This walk is not for everyone.
Overall it is tough but at the same time very rewarding once you reach there and take in the stunning views of the beach and the pristine clear blue waters. Water activities such as kayaking and snorkelling or rock climbing and mountain biking are available for those seeking a bit of an adventure.
To capture a full aerial birds eye view of the bay, you can either take the seaplane or a helicopter ride around the bay and take in the magical views. So don’t forget to take your camera and go on this amazing experience of a lifetime.
7) Trek the Cradle Mountain National Park
Cradle Mountain National Park is about 2 and a half hours north west of Hobart. This is perhaps the most popular national park in Australia for its hiking tracks. The National Park offers the iconic Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake. The area offers the most spectacular view of rainforest, grassland, plants and animals.
The Overland Track is perhaps the most famous hiking track in the National Park. The track runs 65 kilometres from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair. The trek goes through mountains and rainforest along with rivers that run along the mountains. There are several tracks available and different trails can be chosen when returning back.
Dove Lake is a lake close to Cradle Mountain in the central highland region of Tasmania. The lake is one of the most visited and popular attractions of Tasmania. There are many walking trails available that leads to Cradle Mountain.
If you just wanted to walk around the lake then you can do the Dove Lake circuit which will take you 2 hours one way. It is one of the best walks in Tasmania with beautiful scenes along the way.
8) Hollybank Treetop Adventure
Hollybank Treetop Adventure is the perfect attraction for those seeking an adventure. It is a thrilling 3 hour zipline adventure through the forest. If heights are not for you then take the 2 hour to segway tour along bush trails through the forests.
9) Battery Point Hobart
Battery Point established its name after the battery of guns that were used as a defence on the coastline of Hobart. It is one of the oldest historic suburbs in Hobart city located about 15 minutes walk from Hobart city. The streets of Battery Point is filled with sandstone buildings with charming cottage style cafes, bakery and pubs.
10) Visit the waterfall in Mount Field National Park
Mount Field National Park is the first national park in Tasmania and is an hour and a half drive from Hobart. The park is 163 square kilometers with the main attraction featuring Russell Falls.
The path to Russell Falls takes 20 minutes and it is easily accessible. Explore the park through walking trails leading through the luscious green forest with a vast variety of native plants along the way.
Picnic spots are available in the national park or food and drinks can be purchased at the cafe located inside the visitor centre. Entrance fee does apply and most visitors travel by car to reach the park.
There is no public transport available. You can either plan a trip on your own or with tour companies. When you are in Tasmania, a place definitely worth visiting.
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11) Explore Salamanca Saturday Market
Salamanca Market is the most popular market in Tasmania and is the most visited attraction of Tasmania. It is open every Saturday from 8:30am to 3:00pm offering over 300 stalls of art, crafts, clothing, jewellery, food and more. The market is located along the waterfront close to Salamanca Place.
The market hosts to many of Tasmania’s local farmers and has a large selection of organic fresh produce all harvested in Tasmania. Most stalls have locally made food products with a diverse selection to choose from. So enjoy exploring the market and be prepared to go on this food adventure trying some of Tasmania’s amazing fresh produce.
12) Prince’s square, Launceston
Prince’s square is the main landmark of Launceston along with St John’s Anglican Church. Take a stroll around the park and pack a picnic lunch resting under the old oak trees.
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13) Tamar Island Wetlands
If you are a nature lover then take a 10 minute drive to Tamar Island Wetlands from Launceston. Keep your eye out for the many different bird species you will find.
14) The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery
Launceston is known for its Victorian and Colonial architecture and offers much heritage walks for exploring the heritage sites of the city.
However, you should spend a day at The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery for various artworks from Australia and international artists. You will be impressed with the Museum’s collection which many people do not know about.
15) Hang out at Hobart’s waterfront
Hobart’s glorious waterfront is in the heart of Hobart city on the Derwent River. It is a stunning spot to soak in the spectacular views with Mount Wellington in the background. There is a great selection of restaurants, cafes, hotels and art galleries all lined along the water.
This place is also famous for the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race held annually which finishes around Constitution Dock at New Year.
For a more unique experience, why not take a kayak across the water to one of many floating fish punts and enjoy munching on the ever popular fish and chips while soaking in the atmosphere and watching the boats pass by.
Another place to visit on the waterfront of Hobart is the Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum. This museum gives an insight to visitors about the life and the conditions of the people on the expedition of how they lived during the expedition to the Antarctic led by Douglas Mawson in 1911-14. The huts you see are a replica.
16) Bruny Island
Bruny Island is an island located off the southeastern coast of Tasmania and it is only accessible by a 20 minutes Bruny Island ferry ride from the main island. This island is separated from the mainland of Tasmania and is divided into two areas known as North Bruny and South Bruny which is connected by an isthmus.
The island consists of forests and national parks and stunning cliffs. Do take the time exploring the island and stop to try some of the islands fresh produce famous for its chocolate, cheese and oysters at the famous Get Shucked for some of the best oysters you will find.
If you have some time then take a drive up to Cape Bruny Lighthouse, the most iconic landmark located at the southern point of Bruny Island.
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17) Port Arthur
Port Arthur is a historic place located in southern Tasmania about 90 minutes from Hobart. It was first established in 1830 as a timber station and once a settlement used to exile prisoners. Prisoners were brought to Port Arthur and were known to be a prison you could not escape with brutal punishments.
Many convicts were brought here from England as well as from all over Australia and were completely isolated. Thousands of tourists visit the site and learn about its history as well as visit the graves of those who died at Port Arthur.
For those seeking a more brave experience, guided haunted tours are available at night. This will definitely leave you on a chilling scary experience and is not recommended for the faint hearted.
18) The Cataract Gorge
The Cataract Gorge is the most well known attraction in Launceston located a short drive from city centre. There is a walking trail from the city which will take you along the Tamar river leading into the gorge. The walk is 15 minutes from the city.
You can also take the chairlift ride across the river for spectacular panoramic views surrounded by luscious bushland.
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19) Southern Aurora Australis
It is a spectacular light show which occurs when the particles from the sun create a solar wind. The colours determine which gas collides with the earth’s atmosphere resulting in a wave reaction of colours in the sky. It is rare for the naked eye to see colours therefore an SLR camera can capture and take in more colours.
The Southern Lights can be seen from Tasmania. The best places to see the lights are at the southernmost locations with clear open skies. You can spot the Southern Lights near Hobart at Mt Wellington and South Arm Peninsula. Although the lights can be seen all year round, the best time to spot the lights are during the winter months from June through to August.
20) Freycinet National Park Tasmania
Freycinet National Park is located on the east coast of Tasmania, about 2 and half hours drive from Hobart. The national park is known for its white sandy beaches and walking trails. It is home to the most iconic attraction of the park, Wineglass Bay.
Take a dive in the pristine water for snorkelling or paddle your way on the water taking in the spectacular view by kayak. The park is surrounded by pink granite mountains known as the Hazard Mountains.
Take a 45 minute trek to Wineglass Bay lookout or for more of an adventure take the trail leading to the Wineglass Bay and Hazard Beach circuit that will take you through the national park to secluded beaches. See if you can spot any wildlife along the way.
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Hobart is a great place to base yourself during your Tasmania trip whether it’s exploring Hobart city and its surroundings or going on long drives to stunning landmarks.
Launceston, the second most popular in Tasmania offers a variety of food and wine, stunning views and spectacular landscapes.
Tasmania a popular destination for travellers. A place you can visit any time of the year and experience the beauty whether for its culinary delights, hiking at varying landscapes or exploring the historic harbourside.
Tasmania will leave you with truly an incredible and unforgettable adventure, a destination which needs to be put on everyone’s bucket list. A trip you will remember for a lifetime.
We hope this article has helped you plan your trip to Tasmania. Have you visited Tasmania? Please leave a comment and share your thoughts and experiences of Tasmania.