Top 5 Highlights of Tasmania
Did you know that one of Australia’s six states is actually an island? Tasmania is the country’s smallest state, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in intrigue; being physically separated from Australia for thousands of years has made this a truly fascinating place to visit for both mainland Australians and travellers. Here are a few of the best things to do in Tasmania.
1. Go Hiking
Most travellers who make the trek all the way to Tasmania come here to enjoy the fantastic hiking trails, which are as good as those in neighbouring New Zealand. Being a remote island, a good hike is never far away, but two of the more renowned trails include the Overland Track, a bushwalk that takes you from Lake St Clair to Cradle Mountain, as well as the 6-day long trail called the South Coast Track. Please note that many of these trails run on a reservation system; the Parks & Wildlife Service should be your first stop for any hike planning.
2. Learn about the Unique History
While Tasmania is remote, it has long since been inhabited. One of the best ways to explore the human side of history here is a visit to Port Arthur, the best preserved convict site in the country. While a prison might not be high on your list of holiday activities, remember that the country was founded as a penal colony, and the guided tours at Port Arthur are quite informative. While here, stretch your legs on some of the bushwalks and trails that surround the site.
3. Visit the Wine Trails
Tasmania is actually well suited for winemaking, and the relaxed pace of the wine trails here rivals that of rural France or Tuscany. The main wine destinations are along the Tamar River as well as a charming spot called the Huon Valley. In Hobart, you’ll find most bars and many restaurants will feature a selection of local wines. Pinot noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc are the predominant vines grown here.
4. Get Awestruck at the Bay of Fires
The Australian mainland has many iconic natural sites, but Tasmania holds its own with the wonderful Bay of Fires, named after the fire-orange coloured rocks that are scattered around this pristine bay, with turquoise blue waters and fine white sands. It’s the most popular spot for visitors, so you will not have the place to yourself like elsewhere in Tasmania, but it is worth it for the amazing views. Tip: this is one time to become a morning person, because a sunrise at Bay of Fires will be your most poignant Tasmania memory.
5. Explore the Spectacular National Parks
Last but not least, we’d be remiss without mentioning the many national parks found in Tasmania, yet another opportunity to explore the island’s outdoor scenery. Cradle Mountain is the most well known because of its World Heritage status. It is home to one of the island’s iconic bushwalk tracks, but you can just visit the lakes for a day, such as lovely Dove Lake. If you like waterfalls, check out Nelson Falls over in the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. There is also a wonderful spot at Donaghys Lookout, which perfectly illustrates the depth and diversity of the Tasmanian landscape.