Discovering hidden gems: Top 10 things to do in Tasmania
Time to immerse yourself in the wild beauty and rich history of Tasmania. Named as one of the New York Times ‘52 places to go in 2024’ Australia’s island state boasts diverse landscapes, rich history, and unique wildlife. From stunning coastlines to rugged mountains, Tasmania offers a plethora of activities for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and history enthusiasts alike. If you’re planning a trip to this gem of an island, here are the top 10 things to do in Tasmania that will make your visit truly unforgettable.
1. Embrace the wilderness at Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
Unleash your inner adventurer at the remarkable Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Tasmania’s celebrated World Heritage wilderness. Navigate the legendary Overland Track that leads you through enchanting rainforests, alpine meadows and vast plateaus. Or take a leisurely stroll around the mirror-like Dove Lake, reflecting the majestic peaks of Cradle Mountain.
Be on the lookout for the endearing Tasmanian Pademelon, an adorable marsupial found only on this island. This park is an oasis for nature lovers, where the air is fresh, the landscapes are dramatic, and wildlife is abundant. The unspoiled nature of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is not just a sight for sore eyes, it’s a balm for the soul.
2. Wander through the historic Port Arthur
Journey back in time at the compelling site of Port Arthur, a place where history and natural beauty combine. A relic of Australia’s convict history, the remnants of this former penal settlement tell a profound tale. Traverse through the eerily preserved ruins of the penitentiary, hospital, and solitary confinement prison, absorbing the stories of those who once called this place home.
As darkness falls, brace yourself for a spine-tingling ghost tour that brings the settlement’s tragic past to life. Amid the stunning Tasmanian landscape, the historic Port Arthur beckons you to explore the complexities of its past. This location serves as a compelling narrative of the island’s history, making it an essential stop on your Tasmanian itinerary.
3. Visit the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo
Experience the natural world in a whole new light at the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo. This innovative attraction breaks free from conventional zoo designs; here, humans are the ones encased in viewing areas, while animals roam freely in their native environments. Get up close and personal with the notoriously feisty Tasmanian Devil and marvel at the vibrant bird species native to Tasmania. This isn’t your typical zoo trip, it’s a journey into the wild.
By giving animals their space, the Unzoo creates a truly immersive and authentic experience. Its ground-breaking conservation approach provides an engaging and insightful glimpse into the habitats of Tasmania’s wildlife. A visit here is not just about observing animals; it’s about understanding and appreciating their natural lives.
4. Delve into the art scene at MONA
Indulge in the intoxicating artistry that Hobart has to offer at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). The largest privately owned museum and gallery in Australia, MONA is an eccentric marriage of cutting-edge architecture and bold, thought-provoking exhibitions. This is not your run-of-the-mill art museum – expect everything from time-honored artifacts to daring modern multimedia installations. The unique and often controversial art pieces will challenge your perceptions and ignite your curiosity.
And if that’s not enough, MONA also boasts a wine tasting experience at its in-house winery, where you can sip and savor the flavors of Tasmania. As a beacon of creativity and innovation, MONA offers an unforgettable exploration into the depths of human imagination.
5. Explore the wild west coast at Strahan
Unveil Tasmania’s untamed beauty at Strahan, a charming fishing village nestled on the rugged West Coast. This gem is your entryway to an extraordinary world of wild landscapes and thrilling experiences. Embark on a serene cruise along the enchanting Gordon River, flanked by lush greenery and tranquil waters. Pay a visit to the haunting remnants of Sarah Island, an erstwhile penal settlement that narrates tales of Tasmania’s intriguing past.
For a unique dose of adrenaline, hop on the West Coast Wilderness Railway for a mesmerizing journey through the heart of the rainforest. With its raw, untouched beauty and diverse activities, Strahan is a paradise for thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts alike.
6. Breathe in the beauty of Wineglass Bay
Step into a postcard-perfect landscape at Wineglass Bay, a scenic wonder that deserves every bit of its global acclaim. Cradled within the Freycinet National Park, this beach isn’t just beautiful—it’s considered one of the top ten beaches in the world. Its characteristic wineglass shape is a spectacle to behold, with the clear turquoise waters glistening in the sun and powdery white sand stretching across the crescent bay.
The bay offers an array of experiences: trek to the lookout for a panoramic vista that will leave you spellbound, set sail across the serene waters, or simply bask in the serene beauty of the beach. Each moment spent at Wineglass Bay is like a love letter from nature, filled with awe-inspiring views and tranquil vibes.
7. Savor Tasmanian cuisine and wine
Delight your palate with the tantalizing tastes of Tasmania, a culinary hotspot known for its fresh, local produce and superb wines. Relish the rich, creamy texture of locally made cheese, let the fresh-from-the-sea flavor of the catch of the day dance on your tongue, and feel the complex notes of award-winning cool-climate wines unfold in your mouth.
Take a stroll through the bustling farmers’ markets in Hobart, where vibrant fruits, artisanal bread, and crisp veggies tempt you at every turn. Follow the vineyard trails in the picturesque Tamar Valley, where the vine-laden landscapes invite you to sip and savor the region’s wines. Every bite and sip in Tasmania tells a story of the island’s bountiful harvest, from the sea to the fertile lands, offering you an unforgettable gastronomic journey.
8. Step into the past at Richmond Village
Take a nostalgic journey to Richmond Village, a captivating relic of Tasmania’s bygone era nestled in the picturesque Coal River Valley. As you stroll down its charming lanes, you’ll come face-to-face with the allure of Australia’s oldest operational bridge, a remarkable testament to Tasmania’s historical architecture. The quaint colonial buildings, each with its own unique tale, narrate stories of times gone by.
Sample a classic Devonshire tea at one of the cozy local cafes, providing a quaint culinary experience that perfectly complements the historical charm of the village. Richmond Village invites you on a fascinating exploration of Tasmania’s past, allowing you to embrace the island’s rich colonial heritage in an intimately immersive way. Remember, a trip to Tasmania isn’t complete without a detour to Richmond Village.
9. Immerse in the Aboriginal culture at Tiagarra
Embark on a captivating cultural journey at the Tiagarra Aboriginal Culture Centre and Museum. This renowned center provides a platform for exploring the rich history and customs of Tasmania’s indigenous community. Engage your senses as you delve into the fascinating exhibits showcasing traditional practices, beautifully woven stories, and the deep-rooted heritage of the Aboriginal people.
Marvel at the ancient rock carvings, the silent narrators of a culture that predates written history. These intricate works of art reveal the remarkable skills and deep spiritual beliefs of Tasmania’s original inhabitants. Tiagarra provides an extraordinary opportunity to learn, understand, and respect the unique Aboriginal culture, creating a deep connection with Tasmania’s ancient past. This is more than just a visit; it’s an enlightening experience, taking you on a memorable journey through Tasmania’s indigenous heritage.
10. The eye-catching Southern Lights
Discover celestial magic at the Southern Lights, or Aurora Australis. This is no ordinary sightseeing, it’s a mesmerizing experience. Tasmania is one of the few places on Earth where you can witness this enchanting spectacle of nature. On a clear, dark night, find yourself a comfortable spot away from the city lights, look towards the southern horizon and let the kaleidoscope of colors unfold before your eyes. This celestial light show, with its magical swirls of green, purple, blue and red, paints the sky with an ethereal beauty that will leave you spellbound.
Watching the Southern Lights dance across the night sky is not just about witnessing a natural phenomenon, it’s about feeling a sense of connection with the universe. This is not just a must-see; it’s a must-experience. Remember, catching the Aurora is a matter of luck and timing, but the spectacle is worth every effort.
More than an island
Tasmania is more than just an island; it’s a vibrant tapestry of rich history, awe-inspiring nature, thriving arts scene, and tantalizing food and wine. Every visit to a place on this list uncovers a new facet of Tasmania, from the untouched wilderness of Cradle Mountain to the historic remnants of Port Arthur, from the innovative experience of the Unzoo to the creative force of MONA. It’s not just about ticking off sights from a bucket list, but about immersing yourself in the Tasmanian experience.
So, gear up for an adventure that’s as diverse and enchanting as the island itself. Savor each moment, engage with the island’s rich heritage, and lose yourself in the wild beauty of Tasmania. This trip is not just a holiday, but an unforgettable journey to the heart of one of Australia’s most captivating regions.
Are you ready to discover the hidden gems of Tasmania?
Contact a 1000MTG travel agent today!