We’ve already visited New South Wales and Victoria, so let us now take a look at things to see and do in Tasmania, Australia’s only island state.
Tasmania is often skipped by visitors to Australia – most of them tend to focus on Sydney and the east coast, which is understandable. People who are looking for a more off-the-beaten track holiday experience, however, should definitely focus on Tasmania. The island of Tasmania had had an incredibly violent past, shown in a few excellent museums, but is now a peaceful, yet rugged place. The state is made up of wild mountain ranges, fast-flowing rivers, fabulous coastal scenery and beaches, and some of the last true wilderness areas on earth. This is a place to take part in outdoor activities, such as hiking, canoeing, white-water rafting, cycling, boating and fishing in summer, and skiing and snowboarding in winter. There are no less than 19 national parks!
The following list of top 10 attractions in Tasmania has been compiled by myself, drawing from my own fantastic experiences on the island.
Top 10 Attractions in Tasmania
Cradle Mountain is arguably Tasmania’s most well-known natural landmark. Easily accessible (there’s a parking lot right in front of the mountain), Cradle Mountain is also one of the most-visited attractions in Tasmania. The area is great for hiking, from easy strolls on boardwalks to the epic six-day Overland Track to Lake St Clair.
Lake St Clair
Lake St Clair is the other part of Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park. It’s a truly beautiful mountain lake, surrounded by wilderness that is inhabited by all kinds of native Australian animals and is crisscrossed by various hiking trails.
Tasmania’s capital city, Hobart is a city with a pretty waterfront, many historic neighborhoods, a few excellent museums and a bustling open-air market.
A short drive from Hobart, Port Arthur was the first penal settlement on the island. Set at the end of a peninsula and surrounded by shark-inhabited waters, this was where the worst criminals were held. Now, it’s a fascinating museum, consisting of ruined and restored buildings and great informative displays.
Mount Field National Park
A lesser known national park, Mount Field National Park is located in the south central area of the island and is home to some of the world’s tallest trees, the so-called swamp gums. They are, in fact, the tallest flowering plants in the world. As everywhere in Tasmania, the national park is great for hiking.
Located on the west coast of the island, Ocean Beach is a wide sandy beach with world-class surf. It’s west-facing location makes it a fabulous place to catch a sunset.
The Tasmanian northwest coast has some attractions as well, the most notable of which are Fossil Bluff, Table Cape and The Nut, all geological phenomena.
Cataract Gorge lays a ten-minute walk to the west of the city center of Launceston. It’s a gorgeous gorge, lined with tall cliffs, bushlands and walking tracks. The gorge is crossed by a bridge; the First Basin area has a swimming pool and the world’s longest single-span chairlift.
Bay of Fires
The stunning Bay of Fires is found on the island’s northeast coast. It features marvelous coastal scenery, white sandy beaches and blue waters, and offers great fishing, boating and diving.
Freycinet National Park
Last but definitely not least, Freycinet National Park is without question my favorite area in Tasmania. This magnificent coastal national park is made up of peninsulas, wide beaches, mountain ranges and calm bays. Its main attraction is Wineglass Bay, which has to be one of the most stunning beaches on the planet. Again, there are fantastic hiking trails.
I visited the island and all the above-mentioned top 10 attractions in Tasmania on a two-week road trip. Two weeks was a perfect timeframe to take in and explore these attractions.