Tasmania’s Unmissable Touring Hotspots
From pristine beaches, luscious rainforest, incredible fresh produce and cute wildlife, Tassie has it all (and in bucketloads). Thankfully, we have some touring experts from The Blonde Nomads to give us the scoop on the best places to visit in Tasmania.
Let’s start with the beaches because there are some beauties -
Bay of fires
Located on the East Coast of Tasmania, the Bay of Fires is well known for its white sandy beaches, blue water and orange granite boulders. This place is a photographer’s delight with picture-perfect vistas in every direction.
There are plenty of free camps along this coastline and you can even have campfires. There are some great fishing opportunities here or if you are a little ‘cray cray’ like Rob, you can brave the chilly waters and catch a feed of crayfish and abalone.
Wineglass Bay is arguably Tassie’s most recognisable beach, but you’ll have to climb a mountain to get a view of it. Don’t let that put you off though, it’s well worth the thigh burn when you are rewarded with its stunning view. Another option, and no doubt more luxurious way to view this famous beach, is to jump on a boat tour.
Located in Freycinet National Park, a few hours’ drive from both Hobart and Launceston, it features a handful of accessible beaches which are great for a picnic or a swim. Our favourite was Honeymoon Bay (not too far from the Wineglass Bay carpark). We highly recommend doing the short walk around Cape Tourville Lighthouse - the views are awesome, and during our visit we were lucky enough to spot an orca cruising past in the waters below.
This sleepy town is found in the North-East part of Tassie and is the perfect place to pull up and enjoy for a few days. With vibrant turquoise water, there are some great waterfront campsites in the caravan park and of course, fishing opportunities. For something a little different, you can grab an oyster knife and enjoy a feed of huge oysters shucked fresh off the rocks.
If you are keen on golf, Bridport is a great spot to base yourself to visit The Lost Farm (#2 Golf Course in Australia), or for something a bit faster paced, head out to Derby for their famous mountain bike trails. An easy 25-minute drive from Bridport will also have you breathing in the luscious smells of Lavender at Bridestow Lavender Farm.
Famous for its amazing fresh produce, wine, chocolate and albino wallabies, this place is one to pop on your list. Bruny is approximately 50km long and has loads to see and do. You will have to take your own car (and caravan/camper/tent) over to this island as there is no public transport or car hire. When exploring the island, make sure you take the time to indulge in all the amazing food, some of our fav’s were Bruny Hotel, Get Shucked Oysters and Bruny Island Chocolate Company.
Ask a local for the best place to spot a rare Albino Wallaby - even though they are bright white, they can be tricky to find.
This one’s a goodie. South Point/Cockle Creek is where you can walk to the southernmost point in Australia. It’s an amazing spot to camp for a few days with a beachside free camp and the freshest air you can breathe! When standing at the whale sculpture here, you are closer to Antarctica than you are to Cairns in Queensland. It sure felt like it too with the chill in the wind, so pack your jackets peeps!
Cockle Creek is a 2-hour drive south of Hobart via Geeveston.
Mountains, Bush and Rainforest
Tasmania’s beaches are sublime, but you won’t be disappointed when you head away from the coast:
The majesty of this iconic mountain has to be seen to be believed, and by far the best place to experience it is standing on the edge of Dove Lake. There are over 20 self-guided walking tracks around Cradle Mountain, ranging from 20 minutes to 9 hours. If you have little ones, the Enchanted Walk features cute little tunnels of pictures and information for the kiddies, but our favourite walk here was the short trail to Knyviet Falls - pop that one on the list and thank us later.
Keep your eye out for wombats and echidnas on your adventures too - they are kinda hard to miss.
Arthur River and The Tarkine
One area often overlooked by tourists is Arthur River and the Tarkine Wilderness situated in Tasmania's North West. For our visit we chose to ditch our van and pack the good old trusty tent. This allowed us to explore more freely, head off-road and find some super remote locations.
Peppermint Campground is a great base to camp and explore the nearby ‘Edge of the world’. Famous for its windswept beaches and huge surf, it’s aptly named as there's no land between the Tasmanian coast and Argentina! This makes it the longest uninterrupted expanse of ocean on Earth (insert loooong whistle noise here).
The Tarkine Wilderness area was one of our favourite parts of Tasmania! Although not designated as a national park, the area contains a wildly diverse landscape - including Australia’s largest patch of temperate rainforest.
Some great places to visit along Tarkine Drive include Sumac Lookout and Lake Chisholm. Our fave and must-see recommendation is the walk to Trowutta Arch. There is some special magic here guys… it’s like you have stepped into a movie set of Lord of the Rings mixed with Fern Gully and Frodo or a fairy is going to jump out in front of you any minute. It’s a goodie.
Mt Field National Park
Just over an hour’s drive from Hobart you’ll find Mt Field NP, home of the picturesque Russell Falls. This is a great short walk (pram friendly for the first part) featuring stunning rainforest on the way to the falls themselves. We also recommend walking all the way up the stairs to the top to view the falls above as they are just as good.
This is an easy day trip from Hobart city, but if you have more time, check out a quirky caravan park called ‘Left of Field’ which is located close by. This is a bit of fun with loads of wacky things and a great spot to stay for a few days, allowing you to take a day trip to see Gordon Dam.
This harbour-side village has a dark and fascinating convict past and is also the gateway to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. While in town, we treated ourselves to an amazing boat trip on ‘The Red Boat’. This took us out of Macquarie Heads into the ‘roaring forties’ which lucky for us were not so ‘roaring’ on the day. We also cruised past the salmon and trout farms and visited Sarah Island to see and learn about some of Australia’s oldest convict ruins.
This tour also took us up the Gordon River to view some huon pine trees growing in the wild. These bad boys grow nowhere else on Earth and are now fully protected. The oldest trees are said to be over 2000 years old!
Offering a contrasting blend of heritage, scenery and culture, Hobart is a great place to start or finish your Tassie adventures. While here, try and time your visit with a Saturday so you can experience the famous Salamanca Markets.
Other must-dos include a visit to The Natural History Museum (which has free entry). Our favourite display here was on the Thylacine/Tasmanian Tiger, which is sadly extinct. The view from the top of Mt Wellington is also amazing; a quick drive up this steep mountain will have you taking in sweeping views… just watch out for that crazy fog. Like all mountains, Mt Wellington has a weather system of its own: one minute it’s clear and sunny, the next, it’s completely fogged out or, even better, snowing!
Another interesting place in Hobart is MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) and is a quick 25-minute ferry trip or drive by car. Most famous for its wild and wacky art, this museum features things like a ‘wall of vaginas’ and a machine called the ‘Cloaca’ which is a machine that consumes a meal (at one end), then passes through a series of tubes like a digestive tract that results in it doing a poo at the other end! Yep, you read right my friends…
It’s safe to say a visit ‘across the ditch’ over to Tassie has endless possibilities of places to visit and explore. This list is just the tip of the iceberg, so for our full 8-week itinerary of our time in Tassie click here.
If you haven’t already, check out our handy tips to help you plan your Tassie trip here.