When people think of Australia, Tasmania isn’t usually the first place that comes to mind. However, Tasmania is made up of 334 islands that make it an adventure-laden paradise with breathtaking scenery and rich history. It’s the perfect destination for everyone who considers themselves a traveler – rather than a tourist.
In fact, Tasmania is home to one of the world’s largest temperate rainforests with 800+ plant species, along with endemic animals and plants such as the Tasmanian devil and black-headed honeyeater. Its environment is thought similar to that once found on Gondwana, the southern supercontinent it was part of some 550 million years ago!
For starters, here are some of the most amazing places you should definitely put on your list when you visit Australia’s smallest state, Tasmania.
Just a short ferry ride from the mainland, Bruny Island will give you unforgettable memories if you’re a lover of flora and fauna. It’s also a birdwatcher’s delight with 12 species endemic to Tasmania. Stay until dusk and you may catch a glimpse of cute migrating fairy penguins!
For history buffs, the oldest surviving lighthouse of Tasmania, Cape Bruny Lighthouse, provides an interesting stop. You can learn about it in its little museum. And, if you decide to take a tour of the lighthouse, you’ll get a breathtaking view of the Hartz Mountain Range.
If you want to spruce up your Tasmania tour with some authentic, local premium wine, consider visiting Tamar Valley. With over 30 wineries in the region, you can explore a wide variety of beautiful settings taking a road trip on the so-called Wine Road.
Along the way, things to see and do are endless. Beside award-winning wineries, you can go for anything from walking tours in the Tamar Island Wetlands to visiting local pubs to fishing on the Tamar River.
Three Capes WalkThree Capes Track is one of Australia’s most important historical sites. The start of this hike begins on water at Port Arthur and leads on for 29 miles. With the limitation of visitors to 48 people per day and a fair price to get in, this road has a great adventure coming up for you.
You get started with a one-hour speedboat trip around the ocean. Even though the road may sound challenging, it’s perfectly safe and doable for everyone, from children to the elderly. The path is mostly made of dirt and wooden boardwalks with benches to take some rests and enjoy the breathtaking view. There are also wooden cabins for accommodation, with free yoga mats and chairs available for usage.
Wildlife on Three Capes Track is very diverse, so don’t be surprised if you see eagles and seals, bump into an occasional dolphin or whale, or even a snake. Beware that these are deadly snakes, but yet no one has ever died from their bite.
If you are merely into hiking and beautiful sites and enjoy the wildlife of Tasmania, 3 Capes Walk is something you should check out for sure.
Bay of Fires
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the scenic views of this shore that will leave you stunned. Named by a British captain who spotted Aboriginal campfires, Bay of Fires is famous for its orange-colored granite stones that adorn its beach. Indeed, it’s often regarded as one of the most beautiful places in Tasmania.
Bay of Fires also offers numerous activity opportunities such as bird watching and hiking. You can even take a four-day guided walking tour if you’re the adventurous type and spot whales and dolphins along the way!
Gothic Ruins of Port Arthur
Port Arthur is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Australian Convict Sites. An almost paradoxical combination of a serene, idyllic location and a disturbing history behind it, this open air museum will surely spark your imagination once you learn about its secrets.
The eerie Gothic ruins of Port Arthur tell the stories of the most dangerous repeat offenders transported here from other Australian prisons. You can take an historic tour to explore the violent past of this site from up-close, which is shocking enough in itself, but if you’re feeling extra brave, you can even take a ghost tour at night to learn about the scary, unexplained events that have been haunting the premises since the 1870s. You might even end up believing in the paranormal!
Hobart — Capital of Australia
Hobart is one of Australia’s oldest cities and a must-visit place when you’re in Tasmania. Take a day to explore the Salamanca Place, where you can see preserved 19th-century buildings, such as old warehouses turned into restaurants and cafes. And for a foodie adventure, try local street food at the famous Salamanca market held every Saturday. If it is, on the other hand, beer that you are interested in, visit Australia’s oldest brewery, the lovely Cascade Brewery, where you can get a taste while also enjoying a tour that takes you into the details of this craft – just don’t forget to book in advance.
There are also interesting cultural spots to stop by, such as MONA (the Museum of Old and New Art) that boast an interesting building, the Cascades Female Factory Historic Site that tells the story of female convicts and so on.
Freycinet National Park
Freycinet National Park is home to some breathtaking natural wonders that are absolutely worth taking a 2.5-hour drive from Hobart.
It boasts what is often regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Wineglass Bay, which is surrounded by the pink granite of Hazards Range. The park provides an amazing spot for hiking through the undisturbed nature and enjoying the view of this stretch of blue. You can also visit the peaceful Hazards Beach and take a dip without being disturbed by anyone other than the local wildlife, or you can go for a sea kayak tour in Coles Bay, which doesn’t require any prior experience. The choice is yours.
Tasmania is truly a hidden gem of Australia with too many destinations to list all of them here. No matter whether you’re a nature, animal, history or adventure lover, Tasmania has got it all. And wherever you go to this magical place, the changing scenery is always guaranteed to take your breath away!
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About the Photo
The photo in the header is of one of Tasmania’s around 250 magnificent waterfalls. It’s a stock photo image from Deposit Photos.
About the Author
This post was written by Nina Simons, an Australian based blogger, yoga aficionado and a travel enthusiast with a distinctive taste for home decor. She’s passionate about learning new things and sharing meaningful ideas. To see what she’s up to, find her at twitter on the Web.