Top 10 Reasons to Visit Tasmania
When people think of Tasmania, they probably think about the “Tasmanian devil”. Of course this is truly something worth to see. However, Tasmania has so much more to offer: Widely known for having the cleanest air in the world, stunning landscapes and nature, warm and relaxing people as well as for delicious food and wine.
Australia’s smallest state is a great travelling destination for both people who like to explore nature through hiking/bush walking/ biking or to visit the small cities and towns on the island.
Here are my top ten reasons to visit Tasmania:
1. Hike Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Claire National Park
Cradle Mountain is located in the Lake St. Claire National Park in the Central Highlands region of the Australian state of Tasmania. It is a well known hiking area with several options for walking and hiking trails. For an easy walk the Dove Lake circuit is a very good idea. It is about 2 hours with incredible Mountain views. The more active ones can climb up to Marion’s Lookout where you can enjoy awesome views down to the Lake and the surrounding mountain area. Some people also take the overland track, which is a multiple day trip in the national park.
2. Bike Ride from Mount Wellington
For mountain bike lovers a bike ride down from Mount Wellington is a fantastic experience. Check out “Hobertmountainbiketours “for a great guided tour up the mountain by bus and downhill by bike. From the top of Mt Wellington it is worth spending some time there and enjoying the stunning views. Downhill you will have a lot of different single trails to choose from. No matter which level you prefer, there’s something for everyone. On the way you will pass the Cascade Brewery, which is Tasmania’s oldest brewery. And on top of all this: after riding there are a lot of options to enjoy a cold beer or a coffee in the town of Hobart.
3. Explore Mount Field National Park
The area of Mount Field offers a lot of different walks and nature experiences, most notably the Russell Fall and Tall Trees. By bus or car it is just 1.5hr drive from Hobart. It can be a good idea to book a guided tour to get to see the most beautiful spots. The Russell Falls are one of the prettiest waterfalls in Tasmania. It is just an easy walk through the beautiful rainforest where you also get to see the Tall Trees. For those people that want more it is possible to drive further up the National Park where there’s a track around Lake Dobson. However, the weather condition can change within seconds. So it is definitely worth it to take a rain coat and enough warm clothes as it can also snow sometimes. Even the wallabies can look like a snowman☺.
4. Visit One of the World’s Strangest Museums - “Mona”
The Museum of Old and New Art or so called Mona is an art museum located in Hobart. It is not just a normal art museum – no - it is definitely one of the most spectacular museums of the world. Even for people that don’t usually go to museums, it is a must see while visiting Tasmania. The special or also strange thing about it is the theme of modern and contemporary art: sex and death. Some people also call it the Disneyland for adults. So it is pretty much an unconventional museum. If you visit Mona you can also take a break in the restaurant there for a drink or snack. There you have a very beautiful view to the sea. From Hobart harbor you can just take a boat to get there.
5. Drop By Salamanca Market – the Most Visited Attraction in Hobart
Every Saturday there is the famous Salamanca market located on Salamanca Square close to the waterfront. It is one of the biggest and most visited markets of Australia. Whatever you are looking for you can find it there: special arts, photographs, jewelry, souvenirs, fresh food or other local products. And if you need a short break as it can get very crowded there, just walk over to the waterfront and enjoy the view or have a nice hot chocolate.
6. Enjoy Beautiful Views at Cataract Gorge in Launceston
Cataract Gorge is located just 20 minutes from the city centre of Launceston which is the second biggest city of Tasmania. It is a beautiful piece of nature, perfect for easy and intermediate hikes along the gorge as well as for a picnic at the swimming pool. There’s also this wonderful suspension bridge where you have stunning views into the gorge. While walking or hiking you have awesome lookouts and gardens with beautiful flowers. Moreover, if you need a break, just have a drink at the kiosk located in the centre of the gorge.
7. See the “Tasmanian Devil”
The Tasmanian Devil got its name from European settlers that one day heard some strange screams in the bush and then saw this animal coming out of the bush. So they associated this scary noise with this animal and called it “the Devil”. It only exists in Tasmania. However, the funny thing about it is that the “Devil” is everything but not dangerous.
When they see people they would rather escape then fight. They even look cute. It is not easy to find them in the wilderness. If you don’t want to miss it while you are in Tasmania then you can also visit the Bonorong Wildlife Park which is close to Hobart. Here you get to see them and also many other animals like different birds, koalas or kangaroos that you can also pet and feed.
8. Enjoy Fresh Food Products and Seafood
Tasmania is famous for fresh seafood from the Atlantic sea, fruits and vegetables that you can buy directly from the farmers or a market in the villages. If you have a car it is worth taking a ride to a farm. They often have a little shop around where they sell local cheese, honey or other products. The good thing about it, you get the chance to taste it before you buy. Especially the local Tasmanian honey is a good souvenir to take to your home country. The flavors are diverse, very tasty AND local.
9. Get Cosy in a Classic Australian Pub
This is probably the best thing you can do after a day out in the wilderness or an adventure: Have a beer in one of the local pubs. The New Sydney Hotel pub in the centre of Hobart is a very good address. It is very cosy and has an open fire where you can warm up when it is cold outside. Sometimes musicians come and play live music, what makes you feel like you are in a living room. If you are travelling alone and want to meet some people this is also a good place. Also to get to talk to some local people that are very open and friendly.
10. Visit the Two Biggest Cities on the Island: Hobart and Launceston
Hobart is the capital of Tasmania and located at the entrance of the Derwent River. This city is very diverse as it offers something for everybody. The beautiful waterfront where you can enjoy nice walks, the mountains and a lot of different restaurants, bars and historic places.
The best thing about Hobart is that it is not a very big city, so if you just have a bit of time you will get to see a lot. A highly recommended place is the Battery Point with its beautiful and historic places. You can easily walk there from the city centre. Of course, as already mentioned above there are a lot of tours you can do around Hobart e.g. Mount Wellington, Mount Field National Park, Mona, Port Arthur etc.
Launceston is the second biggest and one of the oldest cities of Tasmania. It is also famous for nature, culture and art galleries. When you are there you can follow the Tamar River where you will find Tasmania’s premium wine growing area. If you want to enjoy nature you walk over to Cataract Gorge or take a bike and enjoy beautiful trails around Launceston.
Tips for Organizing a Short Trip to Tasmania
Sometimes we just have a bit of time for travelling or we want to spend just a few days in one place. But what can you do if there’s so much to see and you feel like putting everything in one weekend to get the most out of it. At the end you find yourself running from A to B, taking some pictures without really enjoying what you are doing. No matter if you are in Tasmania or other parts of the world, this can happen to everybody. Here are some tips on how to organize a short trip to get the best out of it.
Have an idea what you want to do and see in the city or place you want to visit
First of all it is important to have a general idea what you want to do on your trip. Do you want to spend time in nature (hiking, biking), do some sightseeing in the city, visit museums, take photos from the most popular spots or even join a guided tour to show you around? Do you want to stay in a hostel or low budget accommodation to get to know some people or in a hotel? Once you have this idea it is much easier to organize your trip, what you have to pack, how much money you need and so on. If you need help you can also talk to the local tourist information centre or email them for some recommendations and advices. They often have special offers for tours or at least know good places to go for all budget levels.
Define the budget you have and keep track of it
Well this is probably key to all trips you are doing. Define your budget and decide how much money you want to spend for what. This of course refers also to the first point as it depends on the things you want to do on your trip. If you want to visit museums and other attractions or join a guided tour you need more money than if you just spend some time in nature and bring your own lunch etc. So make sure you plan a bit ahead and keep track of it.
Check out how you get from A to B
Check out the local transportation system and how you get from A to B. Either you do it on the internet, ask local people or the tourist information. It makes it easier also to plan a bit if you know how you get to the places you want to see.
Leave some time for surprising and unplanned things
It is good to plan and organize things in advance but even better when you leave a few things open. For some people it may sound strange but you will see how many surprising things happen when you don’t plan everything in detail. Life is not like following a strict plan it is more like going with the flow and give life a chance to surprise you as well. It is not a contradiction to the first two points rather than an addition. It can happen that you meet new people, see special places or eat at some great restaurants you would never think of before. At the end these are the things you will always remember the most.
Eat local food and talk to local people and ask for advice
Travelling is an opportunity to get to know other cultures, habits and different dishes. So why not looking for a restaurant or bar where you can eat local food and drinks. If you are not sure what is local you can either google it before or what is even better, talk to local people at the hostel or hotel and ask for advice. Most of them give you addresses from their favorite restaurants and bars and not the typical touristic places. Mostly they are also cheaper.
Some extra tips:
To remember the best things of your trip you can write a short daily report on the things you experienced and liked the most. Even after few years you will always have some notes about special moments that you can read whenever you feel like. You can also buy some postcards or souvenirs and put them on a special place in your apartment, so that you feel like you are still there. If you want more than you can take a lot of photos and create a photo album. A last personal tip is to just enjoy every single moment on your trip and keep it in your heart. No matter what happens nobody can take you these memories.
By Nadja Braun
Have you ever been to Tasmania? Got any recommendations you would like to share? Leave feedback in the comments section below. Or if you would like to travel down under, search amazing tours of Australia today.