Tasmania, or Tassie, how the locals call it, is a beautiful place. The landscape is very diverse and in a few hours, you can experience completely different environments. In the morning, you can have a stroll along a white sandy beach and go for a swim in the sea (if you do not mind the cool water), for lunch, you stop in the rainforest, and in the afternoon, you can go for a hike and climb one of the peaks in an alpine environment. We have spent six weeks in Tasmania and have seen many beautiful places. In this blog post we share our selection of 10 Things to do in Tasmania.
A walk on the Nut in Stanley
The Nut is a 150 metre high, very distinctive rock formation in Stanley. It is believed that The Nut is an old volcanic plug and it has been discovered by the explorers Bass and Flinders in 1798. The sides of this formation are steep and it has a flat top with a walking track along the edges. We loved the historic buildings in Stanley and the steep walk to the plateau on the Nut. On the Nut, we enjoyed the beautiful views on the walk around the Nut. If you do not like to walk up and down to the plateau, you can have a ride on the chairlift. Stanley is located on the Northwest of Tasmania and is about a 1.5 hours car drive from Devonport. Don’t forget to walk down to the harbour to see the fishing boats and sample some fresh seafood and also a stroll around Stanley’s old buildings is well worth doing.
Fish and Chips on the Beach at Somerset
Tasmania is an island and so it’s no wonder that the Seafood is very fresh and enormously delicious. We have sampled a few fish and chips, calamari and other dishes. Our favourite fish and chips we bought at the Village Milk Bar and Takeaways in Somerset right at the beginning of our trip on the North coast. At the end of our trip we even went back for another portion of the house special. Take the fish and chips down to the beach, have a beer to it and enjoy the sunset.
Walking in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
The Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park was definitely one of the highlights of our trip to Tasmania. We spent four days in the park and did almost all the walks. The most popular walk in the park is the Dove Lake Circuit that leads you around the Dove Lake. If you have enough energy, you can easily extend the walk and climb up to Hansons Peak, Marions Lookout or even do the Cradle Mountain Peak. A strenuous but well worth hike right up to over 1500 meters. The 360 degree vistas are stunning and it’s a great feeling to stand on the peak of this massive mountain. On the way back to Ronny creek you can spend some time looking for Wombats, Echidnas and other animals.
Saturday morning at the Salamanca Market in Hobart
Every Saturday morning the Salamanca Market is held at Salamanca Place in Hobart. It is a major tourist attraction in Tasmania, and it can be very busy between 8.30am and 3.00pm. You can dive into exploring the 300 plus stands that boast a variety of local produce such as food, fresh fruits and vegetables, coffee, art, handicraft and many, many more interesting things. We loved the Cappuccino and the fresh donuts from the stand called Kasperle Haus. You have to be early to find a parking space close by, so the easiest way is to travel by local transport.
The Neck on Bruny Island
The islands are getting smaller. From the mainland Australia to Tasmania and from Tasmania to the small, only 50 kilometres long Bruny Island. In principle, Bruny Island are two islands, connected only by a very narrow band of sand that is called The Neck. There are stairs leading up to an outlook where you can really see, how narrow the neck is. The view from up there is worth the effort to climb the stairs and in the evening you can even see some penguins return to their burrows if you are lucky and have enough patience.
Early morning stroll along the Bay of Fires on the Freycinet Peninsula
The Bay of Fires is a magic place. The beaches are marvellous with white sand and the water is crystal clear. The rocks along the coast are covered with orange lichen and the colours are very intense. We felt a little bit like on the Maldives. Try to get up early for a stroll along the beach and climb over some rocks. The colours in the early morning are just breathtaking. There are many free camp spots along the Bay of Fires, so if you have a camper or a tent, then you should stay for a few days.
Wineglass Bay on the Freycinet Peninsula
The beach in the Wineglass Bay is voted as one of the ten best beaches of the world by several travel authorities. The bay has a perfect rounded shape, the sand on the beach is perfectly white, the water is crystal clear and the hills in the backdrop are covered with lush green vegetations. We did the circuit walk that takes you to the lookout, to the Wineglass Bay and also to the Hazards Beach. It takes about four hours and we can highly recommend doing the whole walk. First the walk takes you up to the lookout where you can see the perfect shape of the Wineglass Bay, than the walk takes you down to the Wineglass Bay Beach and you can walk along the white, sandy beach. If you dare, you can go for a swim in the crystal clear but cold water. After the refreshment, the walk continues through some nice bush along a boardwalk to the Hazards Beach. Along this beach you continue, before the walk takes you again trough some nice bush back to the car park. From Hobart, you can reach the Freycinet National park in a bit more than two hours by car.
Ben Lomond National Park with the winding Jacobs Ladder
Tasmania is well known for the beautiful landscape and the many mountains. But did you know that there is even a skiing area in Tasmania? In the Ben Lomond National park there is a skiing area with 7 lifts. During the summer time, it’s quiet up there. The Kangaroos are grazing around the snow guns, only a few hikers are walking in the area and some come here for the Jacobs Ladder. This road is even for us, coming from Switzerland and being used to mountain passes, remarkable. The Jacobs Ladder winds its way along a steep mountain face from the base it takes you up to over 1500 metres. It’s steep, it’s narrow, it’s a gravel road and it’s really impressive.
The walk to Cape Hauy in the Tasman National Park
From Hobart it’s only a short drive to the Tasman Peninsula. There are two highlights on this peninsula. One is the Tasman National park and the other is Port Arthur with its convict sites. The Tasman National park features the walk to Cape Hauy, which is another great walk we did on Tasmania. The walk leads you through some nice forest and along some really impressive coastline with high cliffs and roaring sea. The path is very well maintained and will take about 4 to 5 hours. Bring a backpack with snacks and a drink and enjoy the breathtaking view at the end of the track over the high cliffs and the sea. On the way back to Hobart don’t forget to stop at the Pirates Bay for the bizarre rock formations called Tasman Arch, Tasman Blowhole and Tessellated Pavement.
A visit to the convict ruins in Port Arthur
While on Tasmania you shouldn’t miss a visit to Port Arthur with its convict sites. Here you can learn more about the dark history of Tasmania and the conditions under which the convicts have lived. The site forms part of the Australian Convict Sites, a World Heritage property consisting of eleven remnant penal sites originally built within the British Empire during the 18th and 19th centuries on Australian coastal strips. It’s a dark history and the visit to the historic sites can be a bit depressing.
The entry to the ruins at Port Arthur is only possible if you pay the entry fee of 35 AUD (Price March 2014) so it’s not cheap. There are other convict ruins to the North where the old coal mine has been located and these are free to visit. There are many more convict sites scattered across Tasmania like the Female Factory in Ross, the Cascade Female Factory, the Highfield estate in Stanley etc.
There is definitely something for everybody in Tasmania. What we loved the most was the stunning nature. For us Tasmania is a hikers paradise.
Have you been to Tasmania? What was your favorite thing to do? Do you have additional items for our list of 10 things to do in Tasmania? Let us know and write a comment.