Tasmania is like nowhere else on the planet. Compact in size the island presents constant contrasts. World heritage sites meet soaring sea cliffs. Wild and beautiful landscapes lead to cellar doors and paddock to plate goodness.
Australia’s island state of Tasmania is best known for its native wildlife, intriguing history and natural beauty, but the incredible local produce is another highlight. From wine to strawberries, cheese and seafood, you’ll find artisan producers around every corner and farmers’ markets in many towns.
Tasmania is easily accessible. Airports at Hobart and Launceston connect to the mainland, or you can take the overnight Spirit of Tasmania passenger and car ferry from Melbourne to Devonport.
At about half the size of the North Island of New Zealand, Tasmania is an ideal selfdrive destination. We recommend you allow at least one week to take in all those towering forests, deserted beaches, historic sites, beautiful mountains and meet the Tasmanian wildlife – perhaps even the iconic Tasmanian devil.
Kayaking, white water rafting and hiking are all popular ways to get out and experience the landscape up close, plus the cities are small enough that you can easily explore them on foot, and historic sites like Port Arthur are made for walking tours. There are plenty of other options for the less energetic too: take a ride on a scenic railway through a spectacular rainforest gorge, join a cruise on a mirror-calm river, soar over mountains and beaches in a helicopter or go off-road on a guided 4WD tour.
Tasmania has also made it onto the international art scene with the addition of Mona, the world-class art museum in Hobart which is a must-see.
OUR FAVOURITE PLACES TO EXPLORE IN TASMANIA
Hobart is flanked by wild mountains and expansive rivers with a historic waterfront and exceptional eateries tucked amongst its thoroughfares. Hobart is also a region where some well-known food brands emerged. There’s Cadbury, operating in Hobart since 1922, Moorilla, one of Tasmania’s pioneering wineries, and Lark Distillery which makes the most of Tasmania’s barley, rich peat and pure water to make fine, award-winning, single malt whisky.
Launceston is Tasmania’s second major city and a vibrant hub for food and wine with an emerging culture of designers and artists. Head to the Tamar Valley for excellent food and wine or hit the mountain bike trails around Derby and find out why Tasmania is the world’s latest mountain biking mecca. Take a cruise along the Tamar River or drive north towards Beauty Point and visit Seahorse World, Platypus House and the Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre.
The Great Eastern Drive will take you to cellar doors and oyster farms and the Freycinet National Park, where Wineglass Bay offers an enticing reason to stretch your legs, with world renowned views at the end of your climb. Further along the coast, The Bay of Fires welcomes you with a ribbon of white sandy beaches, secluded coves, and rocky outcrops. Join a cruise of the bay or a Penguin Tour at nearby Bicheno.
In the west is Strahan, a historic fishing village nestled on the shores of Macquarie Harbour. It’s also the gateway to Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area. Journey down the Gordon River through pristine temperate rainforests deep into the Tasmanian wilderness. Take a cruise onboard a luxury catamaran which will take you into the Gordon River World Heritage area.