There is no hiding it: Tasmania is Australia’s favourite place to explore at the moment. With stunning scenery, the cleanest air, and a well-established food scene, there are a plethora of reasons to put Tasmania on your itinerary. My previous Tassie post was an Ultimate 10 Day Tasmania Itinerary packed with recommendations, and it has been the most popular post on Travel Textbook. You guys are loving all things Tasmania!
With the popularity of my beautiful home state, there have been a lot of questions about Tasmania things to do. What are the highlights? What are the bucket list Tassie items? Where should we really go? So I have decided to compile a list of recommendations: the places, experiences and activities that I would put on my Tasmania bucket list.
And, in no particular order, here are the 60 Epic Tasmania Things To Do!
Cradle Mountain is an iconic part of Tasmania’s landscape and a National Park you have to enjoy when visiting the island state. The beauty of Cradle Mountain is that it is not difficult to soak up the views. Many of Tasmania’s beautiful mountains are tricky to reach, but Cradle is an accessible destination.
The Dove Lake Circuit is a well-maintained and flat loop track which circumnavigates a lake at the base of Cradle Mountain. This means the views are uninterrupted Cradle Mountain (i.e. they are perfection).
Location: Cradle Mountain National Park | Track Length: 5.7kms | Difficulty: Easy | Time: 1 – 2 hours
CLIMB CRADLE MOUNTAIN SUMMIT (WHILE YOU'RE AT IT)
If just sticking to the base of Cradle Mountain isn’t enough for you, there is always the option to summit it. The track has stellar views over Cradle Mountain but also the surrounding lakes. The track is trickier than Dove Lake Circuit and involves a steep climb and some rock scrambles, but the vistas reward you for your efforts. So, if you have the energy and don’t mind a bit of a climb, I would 100% recommend giving this track a go!
Location: Cradle Mountain National Park | Track Length: 12kms | Difficulty: Mod/Hard | Time: 6 – 8 hours
EXPLORE FREYCINET NATIONAL PARK
It would almost be criminal to go to Tasmania and not experience the turquoise waters and the pink-tinged Devonian granite mountains of Freycinet National Park. Only a few hours from Hobart, this National Park is home to Wineglass Bay and other well-known spots of natural beauty. This National Park is a playground for photographers, hikers, and lovers of wilderness, with a vast array of walks on offer. Whether you are wanting a quick viewpoint or an extended trawl through the bush, there is something for you at Freycinet National Park. Going to the Wineglass Bay lookout is a quick return walk, but going down to the beach itself is rewarding with pure white sands and the chance to experience Tassie’s not-so-warm waters. For a higher viewpoint over the landscape, try the hike up to Mount Amos.
The nearest town to Freycinet is Coles Bay where there are supplies and accommodation. However, I would recommend camping within the National Park itself but don’t forget to get a permit and book your site! Our favourite campsite is at Honeymoon Bay within the Park.
GO UNDERGROUND AT HASTINGS CAVES
Going to Hastings Caves is a childhood memory of mine that seems to have stuck around. There is plenty to do in the Reserve, whether you want to take a dip in the thermal pools, walk through some of the surrounding lush forest, or enter the cave itself. The Newdegate Cave is made from dolomite, so it’s something you might not see in other parts of Australia. You can read more about booking tickets to visit Hastings Caves here.
CAMP UNDER THE STARS ON THE EAST COAST
Tasmania is a star lover’s dream: clear skies and minimal light pollution combine to give stellar starry nights. As long as you’re outside of the big cities, you are sure to be able to spot the milky way and a myriad of constellations. My favourite way to enjoy stargazing is with a tent pitched up on Tasmania’s East Coast. There are plenty of campsites available and the low population density means that the stars are bright as bright can be.
P.S. Please excuse my astrophotography attempt — it was the first time and I was excited! If you’re interested, it was taken up at Freycinet National Park in the winter time.
BAY OF FIRES AND BINALONG BAY
If you want something to ignite your love for Tassie landscapes: Bay of Fires is the place. The Bay of Fires extends for 50kms along Tasmania’s dramatic East Coast from Eddystone Point to Binalong Bay, and it is beautiful for every metre. The orange hued stones contrast dramatically with the bright blue waters, and the soft sand is the perfect place for a stroll.
STROLL THROUGH SALAMANCA MARKET
There isn’t much which captures the heart and soul of Hobart quite like Salamanca Markets on a Saturday morning. Every week, rain or shine (or sleet or hail), the market stallholders set up their wares for the day. There are treasures to be found at every stall of Salamanca Market, which has tried hard to ensure that all products at the market are locally made. There is a healthy mix of stalls balanced between food, drinks, hand made crafts, plants and flowers, groceries, woodwork, and more. If you have a Saturday morning in Hobart, this is the place to be.
SIP A COCKTAIL AT THE GLASS HOUSE
Enjoying a good cocktail is a great way to relax in a new destination. Now, imagine you’re doing that, but on a floating pier in Tasmania’s stunning capital city of Hobart. Doesn’t get much better than that! You can check out the range of food and beverage options from the Glass House here.
VISIT ETHEREAL RUSSELL FALLS
Set close to the entrance to Mount Field National Park, there is no excuse to miss the cascading Russell Falls. These multi-tiered waterfalls are only a 5-10 minute walk along an easy track from the Visitor Centre. Having these wide falls travel down several levels gives the falls a surreal appearance amongst the greenery.
TRAVERSE THE TARN SHELF
Whilst you are at Mount Field National Park you should not miss the opportunity to do the Tarn Shelf hike. The day walk will take you along the plateaus of the National Park and give stunning views over various lakes and tarns. You can either do the full circuit (which I highly recommend), or you can walk to the start of the tarns and turn around if you are looking for a shorter day. The panoramic views over the tarns and Lake Seal is one of my favourite spots in Tassie!
We visited in the winter time and were greeted with snow! This made the track difficult to follow but the scenery looked out-of-this-world.
Location: Mount Field National Park | Track Length: 14kms | Difficulty: Mod | Time: 6 hours
EAT BRUNCH AT THE MACHINE
One does not simply visit Salamanca and not eat brunch at the Machine Laundry Café. The Machine, as the locals call it, does hearty meals with fresh ingredients with options to suit any taste. The best way to enjoy a meal at the Machine is sitting at their outdoor tables on a nice sunny day after strolling through the Saturday markets.
Location: Salamanca Square | Opening Hours: 7:30 – 17:00
WALK OUT TO CAPE HAUY
Now a part of the Three Capes Track, Cape Hauy is a breathtaking experience in itself. Down on the remote Tasman Peninsula, the walk out to Cape Hauy is only around two and a half hours long, and a beautiful journey from start to finish. The Cape’s unique shape is picturesque and the sheer cliffs dropping into the swirling ocean is utterly dramatic. If you’re lucky you might see somebody attempting to climb the “Totem Pole” or “Candlestick”!
Location: Tasman National Park | Track Length: 8kms | Difficulty: Mod | Time: 2.5 hours
OR GO FURTHER TO CAPE PILLAR
Also in Tasman National Park is Cape Pillar, the jewel in the crown of the Three Capes. With 300m-high cliffs rising sharply from the ocean below, this two-day overnight hike will take your breath away. Due to where the campsites are located, the walking on the two days is split into 22km one day and 8km the next.
Location: Tasman National Park | Track Length: 30kms | Difficulty: Mod | Time: Overnight
SUNDAY FARMER'S MARKET
If you’re not completely marketed-out from Salamanca, then head to the Sunday Farm Gate Market in Hobart. This market runs on Sunday mornings on a closed-down street in the centre of town. The focus of the Farmer’s Market is good quality Tasmanian produce. You can stock up on all of Tasmania’s best cheese, veggies, bread, and more.
Location: 104 Bathurst St, Hobart | Hours: 8:30 – 13:00 (Sunday)
SEE THE GORGE IN LAUNCESTON
Launceston is Tasmania’s second largest city and sits in the North of the island. Officially called The Cataract Gorge, but known to locals simply as “The Gorge”, this rocky formation is at the lower end of the South Esk. Only a 2 minute drive from the centre of town, the Gorge has several basins, extensive lawns, and even a pool. Often enjoyed with a spot of cliff diving, you can also pass time at the Gorge looking for peacocks or catching the chair lift.
Location: 74 – 90 Basin Road | Hours: open 24 hours | Cost: Free
DANCE THROUGH LAVENDER FIELDS
There are dozens of lavender farms throughout Tasmania and with tourist demand increasing, more are sprouting up. Bridestowe Lavender Estate is one of Tasmania’s most recognisable and photogenic locations and the most famous of the lavender estates. With rows of exquisite lavender, the estate is beautiful and provides a different landscape to elsewhere in Tasmania. The best time for lavender blooms is December and January.
Location: 296 Gillespies Road | Cost: Free | Opening Hours: 9:00 – 17:00 every day
TRY TO ACT BRAVE AT A PORT ARTHUR GHOST TOUR
Port Arthur on the Tasman Peninsula turns into a whole different world after dark. Taking a Port Arthur Ghost Tour is a rite of passage and the 90-minute lantern-lit tour will test your nerve whilst simultaneously learning about Tasmania’s convict history. These tours will give you a new understanding of Port Arthur and a chance to see the former prison, where over 1000 people died, from a hair-raising perspective.
Location: Port Arthur Historic Site, Arthur Highway, Port Arthur | Cost: $27 (adult) | Opening Hours: Nightly after dark
GO BACK IN TIME IN RICHMOND
Richmond, only a half hour drive from Hobart, is a historic township and home to a former convict gaol – the oldest in Australia. Teeming with gorgeous Georgian buildings, a stunning river, and a picture-perfect sandstone bridge, it feels like you have stepped back in time. With a famous lolly shop and bakery, as well as boutique cafés and shops, you will have a joyous day out in Richmond. In the surrounding areas there are some of Tasmania’s most famous wineries and fromageries so you can make a day of it!
WITNESS THE OCEAN'S POWER ON THE WILD WEST COAST
Tassie’s wild west is not as frequently visited as the East Coast. The atmosphere and offerings of the West is entirely different to the rest of the state and should be explored to get a well-rounded Tasmanian experience. From ancient forests to windswept coastlines, the West Coast is a poster child of nature’s power and rugged beauty.
SAMPLE THE (BEST) CHEESE AT COAL RIVER FARM
I’m not sure if there is an official title for the best cheese in Tasmania, but I would happily place a bet that it’s the triple cream brie from Coal River Farm. With a fantastic selection of cheeses made on site, a visit to the Coal River Farm is a must-do. You can wander through the farm, watch the artisanal cheeses and chocolate being made, and even feed the goats. There is a fantastic restaurant as well for a spot of lunch.
Address: 634 Richmond Rd, Cambridge | Opening Hours: | Cost: Free
CATCH THE FERRY TO BRUNY ISLAND
Bruny Island in Tasmania’s South is one of the most beautiful parts of the state, and the only way to reach it is by shuttle ferry. The ferry port is only a 40 minute drive from Hobart and the short boat trip is an iconic part of the Bruny experience. There is no bridge between Bruny and Kettering, and this helps to maintain the natural environment and restrict the number of visitors to the island.
Location: Ferry Rd, Kettering | Cost: Pedestrians free, car $38.00 | Hours: every half hour from 6:30 – 19:00 from Kettering | Ferry information: https://brunyisland.com.au/ferry
AND MARVEL AT THE NECK
The most famous view point on Bruny Island is the beloved “Neck”. Although it’s now a tourist hot spot and not as unspoilt as it was a few years ago, the view is unique and a breath-taking display of Bruny’s natural beauty.
Location: The Neck, North Bruny | Cost: free | Opening Hours: always open
PEER DOWN OVER GORDON DAM
The Gordon River Dam in Southwest Tasmania is a mind-bogglingly steep curved dam. The double arched dam intersects the River Gordon forming Lake Gordon. You are able to look out over the dam from a viewpoint or you can walk down the staircase and walk along the walls themselves. From the top of the dam runs the largest commercial abseil, so if you’re an adrenaline junkie, you can test your ability here. Located close to the township of Strathgordon in the spectacular South West National Park, reaching the region takes only a few short hours’ drive from Hobart.
Location: Gordon River Rd, Strathgordon | Cost: free with a Tasmania Parks Pass | Opening Hours: always open
SPEND A NIGHT AT PUMPHOUSE POINT
Pumphouse Point is the spectacular boutique hotel which occupies an aesthetically pleasing former hydroelectric pump station perched at the end of a pier. The still and remote Lake St. Clair is one of the most stunning places in the state and a true escape. Providing an ideal backdrop for reflection, stillness, and re-engaging with nature, if you have the opportunity, you should try and stay here or at least visit the Lake St Clair region.
Location: 1 Lake St Clair Rd, Lake St Clair | Website: https://pumphousepoint.com.au/
ADMIRE THE SERENITY OF LAKE PEDDER
Lake Pedder in the Southwest National Park is a man-made body of water where a glacial outwash lake once sat. There is a huge push to restore the Lake to its former self and drain the dams which were built in the 1970s despite significant protests. Although the natural beauty of the former Lake Pedder cannot be rivalled, there is still a peace in the area and the serenity surrounding Pedder feels like a world away from bustling cities. It is easy to disconnect in the Southwest National Park, admire the stillness of the waters and the drama of the surrounding mountain ranges, and refamiliarise yourself with the natural world.
Location: Lake Pedder, South West Tasmania | Cost: free with Tasmanian Parks Pass
AND CATCH A SUNSET ON TOP OF KUNANYI/MT WELLINGTON
Kunanyi / Mt Wellington is pretty hard to miss. The towering mountain dominates the Hobart skyline and is omnipresent in the minds of locals, often gauging the day’s weather by looking out the window at the mountain. Usually covered in a dusting of snow throughout the winter, the kunanyi / Mt Wellington experience depends on the time of year you visit. Teeming with stunning hikes, dramatic landscapes, and waterfalls, it is hard to be short of things to do on the mountain which is only 20 minutes from the CBD.
Catching a sunrise or sunset from the pinnacle provides a panoramic view over Hobart and surrounds, looking over the city and River Derwent from the front and over the mountain ranges of Wellington Park and Tasmania’s south west from the rear. Tasmanian sunrises and sunsets are pretty phenomenal, with unbelievably crisp, clear air and the full range of cotton candy tones.
Make sure to pack for any weather! The mountain’s weather can change at any moment, we’ve had rain, hail, sleet, snow, and even been caught in a dry lightning storm!
Address: Mount Wellington, Wellington Park | Cost: free
EMBRACE YOUR WEIRD SIDE AT MONA
A visit to Tasmania would not be complete without a journey to MONA. David Walsh’s wacky Museum of Old and New Art has been pin-pointed as the tipping point for Tasmania’s tourism industry taking off. Located in the outskirts of Hobart, the museum has been nicknamed the “museum of sex and death” for its interesting displays of the human condition. The museum can be reached by road or on the MONA ferry from Salamanca.
Location: 655 Main Rd, Berriedale | Cost: free for Tasmanians or anyone under 18, $30 for everyone else | Opening Hours: 10:00 – 17:00 Mon-Sun, closed Tuesdays
SUMMIT HARTZ PEAK AND ENJOY THE VISTA
If you want to breathe the freshest air in the world, it’s apparently here at Hartz Peak! Plan your trip to the Hartz Mountains National Park on a clear day (if Tassie weather cooperates) and you’ll be able to enjoy incredible views over the south west including Federation Peak and Mount Anne. The walk is mostly flat and meanders past pristine lakes and through beautiful Tasmanian greenery, before a quick 400m ascent up to the peak.
Location: Hartz Mountains National Park | Difficulty: Easy – Moderate | Track length: 8km
CLIMB "THE NUT" IN STANLEY
The Nut is one of Tasmania’s most prominent geological formations and something you won’t see every day! You can’t visit historic Stanley without ascending the Nut and looking out over the vastness of the Bass Strait. Whether you decide to walk up or take the chairlift, getting these amazing views is within reach.
Location: The Nut, Stanley | Difficulty: Easy | Track length: 4.6km | Time: 1 hour
REFRESH IN THE WATERHOLES OF DOUGLAS APSLEY
When I first wrote this list out a few months ago, Douglas Apsley was one of the top activities I could recommend. It seems like the secret about the Douglas Apsley watering hole secret is well and truly out now… the secluded, vibrant and refreshing watering hole of my childhood memories is now pretty packed with people. It is still phenomenally beautiful though and well worth a visit. Only a short walk from the car park and you will reach the peaceful, naturally formed watering hole. Make sure you take a dip and get a sense of the chilly — but undoubtedly rejuvenating — Tasmanian waters.
Location: Douglas Apsley National Park, 4km from Bicheno | Opening Hours: always open | Cost: free with National Parks Pass
TRY TO FIND SOME HIDDEN WATERFALLS THERE, TOO
Douglas Apsley National Park is not limited to the waterhole and gorge, there are dozens of waterfalls, forests, and walking tracks. My favourite thing to do is to find hidden waterfalls further up from the water hole. I have some fond memories of camping out by the waterfalls and spending days swimming in private waterholes.
ADMIRE THE NATURAL ARCH AT CAPE QUEEN ELIZABETH
When you visit Bruny Island you should make sure that you don’t miss out on the Cape Queen Elizabeth walk. This four hour walk shows you the true beauty of the island as you pass lagoons, walk along a beautiful beach and then make your way out to the Cape. One of the highlights is the natural curved stone arch on the beach which is pretty impressive!
Location: 2201 Bruny Island Main Road, Bruny Island | Time: 3-4 hours return | Distance: 12km | Difficulty: Moderate
KAYAK ALONG THE PIEMAN
The Pieman River in western Tasmania is peaceful, still, and devastatingly beautiful. On a windless day, the reflections on the river are glassy and picture-perfect. You can explore the Pieman River in the Tarkine Forest by boat cruise, or you can pick up some kayaks and get to know it more closely. The most amazing part of exploring the Pieman and Corinna is how few visitors there are, making you feel connected with nature and truly free to explore.
SEE THE MINING LANDSCAPES OF QUEENSTOWN
Queenstown’s rugged mining history has left a landscape behind that looks closer to the moon than Tasmania. The winding road that snakes its way through the coloured conglomerate will eventually lead to you Queenstown which has museums and mining tours to explore.
SEE THE GORDON RIVER FROM A NEW PERSPECTIVE
The mighty Gordon River is something to marvel at. It so happens that this river is jaw-dropping from any angle. Whether you look from the river edge, catch a cruise or see it from above by sea plane, you will be amazed. The dark winding waterway gracefully meanders through endless landscapes of flourishing greenery and it’s truly something to behold.
HAVE A DRINK AT THE DEN
Enter the warm and wood-clad haven of the Den which is the perfect place for a top-notch cocktail in Salamanca. The cozy embrace of the Den is perfect particularly on a cold, wintery Tasmanian evening. Sit back, sample some of the state’s best tipples, and enjoy the atmosphere.
Address: 63 Salamanca Pl, Hobart | Opening Hours: 12:00 – 2:00
GO SOUTH AT COCKLE CREEK
Come and visit the southernmost point on the southernmost road in all of Australia! Cockle Creek is a small township located at Recherche Bay and is the starting point of many of the great walks in Tasmania’s Southwest. The peace and serenity here is unparalleled, and you will feel refreshed after a walk along the pristine beach.
OBSERVE THE POWER OF NATURE AT MONTEZUMA FALLS
Tassie’s west is something special and one of the coolest places to visit is Montezuma Falls. With a photo-worthy rope bridge and impossibly tall cascading falls, it’s a walk that will leave you feeling satisfied.
AND SEE NEW PATTERNS AT THE TESSELLATED PAVEMENT
My photo from the Tessellated Pavement does not do it justice… the real thing is an expansive display of naturally formed geometric patterns which look particularly epic when they are lightly covered with water. Located on the Tasman Peninsula, it’s easy to tie in a visit to the Tessellated Pavement with a visit to Cape Hauy, Cape Pillar or Port Arthur.
Location: 380 Pirates Bay Dr, Eaglehawk Neck | Opening Hours: all day
EXPLORE THE PAINTED CLIFFS OF MARIA ISLAND
Maria Island is another place of my childhood memories which has recently seen a huge spike in popularity. Sitting only a short boat ride off the East Coast, the crisp white sands and turquoise waters will blow you away. The Painted Cliffs walk takes about two hours and you’ll reach gorgeous patterned sandstone cliffs, it’s one of the best walks on the Island (although there are dozens to choose from!).
SOAK UP OLDE WORLDE ARCHITECTURE IN ROSS
En route to Launceston from Hobart you should do yourself a favour and stop off at the quaint town of Ross. With a beautiful main street, the third-oldest bridge in Australia, and award winning vanilla slice, there is plenty to rave about in Ross.
SAMPLE CIDER AT WILLIE SMITH'S APPLE SHED
In the Huon Valley, apples are king. Teeming with orchards, rich apple-farming history and quaint heritage townships, the Huon Valley is a must-do day trip from Hobart. Although apples themselves are great, they’re even better as delicious cider, and there is no better place to sample it than Willie Smith’s. Pull into the Apple Shed and grab yourself a tasting paddle to sample all the different varieties.
Location: Willie Smith’s Apple Shed, 2064 Huon Hwy, Grove | Opening Hours: open every day from 10:00am
TRY YOUR LUCK AT SPOTTING THE AURORA AUSTRALIS
You will have heard of the Northern Lights, but did you know the state of Tasmania showcases the Southern version? When conditions are ripe, the Aurora Australis is visible from many parts of Tasmania. Stay tuned to aurora spotting Facebook groups and websites to see if one aligns with your visit.
GET CLOSE WITH TASSIE FAUNA AT BONORONG
Only a short drive from Hobart, if you are a fan of wildlife then you can’t go past Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. Full of a variety of rescued native animals, Bonorong is a great place to see wallabies, quolls, native birds, and even Tasmanian devils. The Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary is open every day of the week and guided tours leave at select times during the day. Night time experiences are also available at Bonorong!
Location: 593 Briggs Rd, Brighton | Cost: $31 for adults | Opening Hours: 9:00 – 16:00 every day
SEE LIGHTS AND COLOURS AT TABLE CAPE
The volcanic plug of Table Cape on the island’s North West is geologically stunning but it’s the colourful tulip farms which make it truly spectacular. The bright colours and panoramic views make a trip to Table Cape a must-do if you’re in the area.
HAVE A SURF IN ONE OF TASMANIA'S WESTERNMOST COMMUNITIES
Marrawah is a small town on the West Coast with pretty impressive swell. If surfing isn’t your scene, there are plenty of walks around where you can admire the power of the ocean from afar.