For lovers of both sub-alpine and coastal bushwalking, amazing local food and wines, secluded beaches, and charming cities, Tassie really does have it all. This little island state may not garner anywhere near the international renown of Sydney or the Great Barrier Reef as far as tourists are concerned, but it is undoubtedly one of the most incredible places I’ve ever explored in Australia, and this country is certainly not lacking for natural beauty. From the Salamanca Markets and Mt Wellington to the Overland Track and the Bay of Fires, read on to discover 30 of the absolute best things to do in wild & wonderful Tasmania.

1 | Wander through The Gardens in the Bay of Fires

The Gardens, a protected pocket of stunning coastal wilderness in Tasmania’s northeast, is one of the best places to enjoy the vibrant orange lichen and crystal-clear water that have made the Bay of Fires so famous. This conservation area is located about 25min from St Helens, and even though you could practically occupy an entire day stopping at every amazing view in the Bay of Fires, the lookout located all the way at the end of Gardens Road is a real stunner.

Read more: TOP 5 MOST BEAUTIFUL SPOTS TO EXPLORE IN TASMANIA’S BAY OF FIRES

Beautiful Bay of Fires

2 | Summit Mt Wellington for amazing city views

When in the capital, don’t miss the chance to enjoy aerial views over Hobart and Tasmania’s southern coast from atop Mt Wellington. There are several dozen trails winding up, around, and across the mountain, but it’s also possible to drive to the summit in just 30min from the centre of the city.

Read more: post coming soon!

On the summit of Mt Wellington

3 | Climb up Mt Amos for insane views of Wineglass Bay

Mt Amos, rising above the scalloped coastline of Freycinet National Park, offers unbeatable views of the brilliant aquamarine bay framed by powder-fine white sand that has made Tasmania’s east coast an international tourist destination. This hike is a bit of a challenge, but once at the top, it’s impossible not to gasp at the view over Wineglass Bay.

Read more: SUMMITING MT AMOS FOR THE ABSOLUTE BEST VIEW OF WINEGLASS BAY

Wineglass Bay

4 | Shop for local cheese, wine & crafts at the Salamanca Market

Every Saturday, Hobart’s Salamanca Place is totally transformed by hundreds of vendors selling everything from small-batch gin to handcrafted leather bags. For afternoon nibbles, all of your souvenir shopping, and some awesome live music, head to the bustling Salamanca Market and spend the next several hours wandering up and down the stalls.

Read more: post coming soon!

Busy Saturday at the Salamanca Markets

5 | Meet endangered Tasmanian Devils

Within walking distance of the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre, visit a wonderful sanctuary, Devils @ Cradle, that is working tirelessly to protect the highly endangered Tassie Devil. With a number of tour options available, including an afternoon joey encounters tour and a nighttime feeding tour, you’ll have the opportunity to learn all about the conservation work and see adorable Devils up close.

Read more: post coming soon!

Tasmanian Devil joey

6 | Spend 6 days hiking the Overland Track

Meandering nearly 70km from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair along well-maintained natural trails and stretches of elevated boardwalk, Australia’s most iconic long-distance hike is nothing short of breathtaking. Spend a week exploring lush forests, summiting jagged alpine peaks, watching the sunset over mountain tarns, and admiring the vast expanse of Tasmanian wilderness from rocky outcrops.

Read more: THE OVERLAND TRACK: A COMPREHENSIVE DIY GUIDE TO TASMANIA’S MOST ICONIC MULTI-DAY HIKE

Marions Lookout

7 | Stroll through a sea of lavender

About 45min north of Launceston, lose yourself in a sea of fragrant purple flowers at the Bridestowe Lavender Estate. The fields are in full bloom towards the end of summer, but it’s possible to pop in and enjoy specialty treats like lavender ice cream and lavender biscuits year-round.

Lavender fields [stock photo courtesy of Pexels]

8 | Enjoy delicious seafood at the Hobart Waterfront

Not only is Hobart’s historic waterfront completely charming to walk around and explore, but it also boasts some of the state’s best seafood. For both traditional and rather inventive seafood options (Moroccan-inspired salmon tajine, anyone?), check out the Drunken Admiral.

Read more: post coming soon!

Hobart waterfront [photo courtesy of Creative Commons- click for original]

9 | Summit iconic Cradle Mountain

It may not be the Tasmania’s highest mountain (that honour goes to Mt Ossa, which you can summit as a side trip on the Overland Track), but Cradle Mountain is far and away the most iconic, its instantly recognisable swathe of jagged peaks gracing the cover of thousands of books, brochures, and blogs about Tasmania. Summit the mountain on an 8hrs return walk from Dove Lake or as another worthwhile side trip on the Overland Track.

Read more: 8 BEST DAY HIKES AND MULTI-DAY TRACKS IN TASMANIA

On top of the world (Cradle Mountain)

10 | Lounge around fiery Binalong Bay

A small township full of charming cafes, boutique B&Bs, and even plenty of scenic campsites, Binalong Bay is probably the best-known spot in the entire Bay of Fires. And with its incredible white-sand beaches flanked by golden lichen-covered boulders and water so blue that it almost seems to glow, it’s no surprise why travellers consider this to be one of the most photogenic places in all of Australia.

Read more: TOP 5 MOST BEAUTIFUL SPOTS TO EXPLORE IN TASMANIA’S BAY OF FIRES

Skeleton Bay Reserve, Bay of Fires

11 | Learn about Tasmania’s convict history at Port Arthur Historic Site

Spend a day or two learning about Tasmania’s rich and storied convict history at this World Heritage-listed penal colony on the Tasman Peninsula. As part of your ticket, wander through many of the beautifully-preserved structures, such as the Penitentiary or the Silent Prison, or join a 45min introductory tour to get a good overview of convict life here in Port Arthur.

Read more: post coming soon!

Penitentiary at Port Arthur

12 | Walk along the fascinating Tessellated Pavement

Easily accessible from Hobart or Port Arthur, explore Eaglehawk Neck and the intriguing Tessellated Pavement, criss-crossed with striking geometric patterns that have been slowly eroded into the rock over the last 160 million years. The result of both chemical and physical erosion, the formation of this unique landscape is just about as interesting as the scenery itself.

Read more: PIRATES BAY & EAGLEHAWK NECK: DRIVING THE TASMAN PENINSULA

Dad inspecting the geology of the Tessellated Pavement

13 | Discover weird and wonderful MONA

Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art has totally redefined what it means to be an art museum, bringing wild and often puzzling works to its waterfront gallery and hosting pumping festivals like Dark Mofo. Take one of the specialised ferries from the city over to the museum and discover all the quirkiness that has made MONA an instant Tasmanian icon.

Read more: post coming soon!

MONA [photo courtesy of Creative Commons- click for original]

14 | Swim at the beautiful Wineglass Beach

Thousands of visitors make the short walk up to Wineglass Bay Lookout to see Tasmania’s most beautiful beach from above, but surprisingly few continue onwards to actually set foot on its perfectly white sand or swim in the crystal-clear water. The ascent to Wineglass Bay Lookout can be a little steep, but the incline is short-lived and the reward of swimming in sheltered Wineglass Bay afterwards is enough to encourage even the most reluctant of hikers to push through.

Read more: WINEGLASS BAY: HIKING THE HAZARDS CIRCUIT IN FREYCINET NATIONAL PARK

Wineglass Beach

15 | Admire Cradle Mountain from scenic Dove Lake

For easily accessible views of Cradle Mountain and some of the best scenery you’ll find outside of the 6-day Overland Track, head to Dove Lake at the north end of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. A number of easy trails wind around the lake’s shore and up to various lookouts, including Glacier Rock.

Read more: 8 BEST DAY HIKES AND MULTI-DAY TRACKS IN TASMANIA

The view from Glacier Rock at Dove Lake

16 | Enjoy fresh oysters at Stewarts Bay

On your way down the Tasman Peninsula to explore either the Three Capes or Port Arthur Historic Site, stop in at idyllic Gabriels on the Bay for lunch with a view. The burgers and salads are delicious, but be sure to sample Kilpatrick Oysters, deliciously fresh (and, thankfully, cooked).

Stewarts Bay

17 | Marvel at the Aurora Australis

Tasmania’s southern location and famously clean air means that it’s actually possible to catch a glimpse of the swirling Aurora Australia without travelling all the way to the Arctic Circle. Winter is the best time to spot these otherworldly lights, so head as far away from civilisation as possible and cross your fingers for a clear night.

Aurora Australis [stock photo courtesy of Pexels]

18 | Hike out to the Bruny Island Arch

A short and undemanding walk from the Main Road of Bruny Island out to a sprawling (but surprisingly secluded) golden beach, the Cape Queen Elizabeth walk brings you the island’s most stunning geological feature, the Bruny Island Arch, in under an hour. This is truly one of the most unique spots in all of Tasmania, so it is absolutely not to be missed.

Read more: CAPE QUEEN ELIZABETH: DISCOVERING THE INCREDIBLE BRUNY ISLAND ARCH

The Bruny Island Arch

19 | Get spooked on a Port Arthur ghost tour

For a completely different perspective on Port Arthur’s infamous penal colony, explore the penitentiary, chapel, cellar, and other allegedly haunted structures on this nighttime ghost tour. Led through the site by flickering lantern light, hear stories of daring escapes with unfortunate endings, horrific torture and experimentation, and untimely deaths.

Read more: post coming soon!

Sunset at Port Arthur

20 | Hike through the Walls of Jerusalem National Park

Escape the well-trodden trails of the Overland Track and Three Capes Track on a 3-day hike through the rugged and remote Walls of Jerusalem National Park, overnighting at Wild Dog Creek. Located 2.5hrs from Launceston on the eastern border of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, many Tasmanians consider this to be the place to get outdoors during hiking season.

Solomon’s Throne [photo courtesy of Creative Commons- click for original]

21 | Experience wilderness luxury on the Bay of Fires Lodge Walk

Discover the characteristic white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and vivid orange lichen of Tasmania’s Bay of Fires in unparalleled luxury on a guided, all-inclusive trek with the Tasmanian Walking Company. This is a hike for people who want to experience all the beauty and seclusion of the Australian bush without all the dirt or a heavy pack.

Read more: 8 BEST DAY HIKES AND MULTI-DAY TRACKS IN TASMANIA

Enjoying the view at the Bay of Fires Lodge

22 | Go wine tasting in the Tamar Valley

For an afternoon of wine tastings and cheese boards, head to the Tamar Valley, a compact wine region located only a short drive outside of Launceston. The popular Josef Chromy cellar door has an extensive wine list and great lunch options, all with a beautiful view of the vineyard and sprawling estate.

Josef Chromy cellar door

23 | Take a scenic cruise around the peninsula

For a closer look at the unique and dramatic beauty of the Tasman Peninsula, hop on a 3hr scenic cruise with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys. The boat departs from Port Arthur and makes a stunning and wildlife-filled lap around the capes, bringing you right up to Tasman Island and some of the area’s most beautiful spots.

Read more: THREE CAPES TRACK (DAY 1): DENMANS COVE TO SURVEYORS

Exploring the Tasman Peninsula from the sea

24 | Go canyoning through Dove Canyon

Get your adrenaline pumping with Cradle Mountain Canyons and their full-day adventure tour of Dove Canyon. After journeying into Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, challenge yourself by flipping off rocks, abseiling down cliffs, and sliding down natural waterslides.

Read more: CRADLE MOUNTAIN CANYONING: JUMPING, SLIDING, & ABSEILING THROUGH DOVE CANYON

Rappelling into Dove Canyon

25 | Go cheese tasting at Bruny Island Cheese & Beer Co.

Bruny Island Cheese & Beer Co. is an out-of-this-world local cheese shop, cafe, bakery, and brewery serving up cheese tasting boards, beer paddles (tastings of 4 different beers), fresh sourdough, local wine, and some pretty spectacular cheese-based lunch items such as woodfire pizza and croque monsieur. They have a beautiful outdoor garden with heaps of seating, so take the opportunity to relax over a cheesy lunch and a cheeky afternoon beverage.

Read more: WHAT TO DO ON BRUNY ISLAND: THE PERFECT DAY-TRIP ITINERARY

Cheese tasting

26 | Look through Remarkable Cave

A few minutes beyond Port Arthur, visit the stunning lookout over Maingon Bay before walking down a series of steps to reach Remarkable Cave. Its geometric dolerite columns contrast beautifully with the layered sandstone and a little window out onto the ocean forms an uncanny resemblance to the state of Tasmania.

Read more: PIRATES BAY & EAGLEHAWK NECK: DRIVING THE TASMAN PENINSULA

Remarkable Cave

27 | Hike the incredible Three Capes Track

Recently opened and immediately lauded as one of the best bushwalks in the entire country, experience otherworldly dolerite pillars and rugged coastal scenery that are entirely unique to the Capes on this 48km hut-to-hut journey. Forgot about Point A to Point B— the Three Capes Track is all about the experience, so slow down and look at your surroundings, connect with the rich culture and history of the area, and be present in nature from start to finish.

Read more: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO HIKING TASMANIA’S THREE CAPES TRACK

Looking out over Tasman Island

28 | Explore scenic Launceston

Depending on your Tasmania itinerary, you may find yourself passing through Launceston at some point or even arriving into its tiny airport, but don’t rush to the next destination too quickly. Spend a few hours wandering through this compact city and enjoying its Victorian vibes.

Sunset over Launceston

29 | Climb to the top of The Neck

The Neck, an impossibly narrow strip of sand connecting the north and south islands, is Bruny Island’s most instantly recognisable view. The walk to the top of Truganini Lookout takes less than 5min, and offers sweeping views of the beaches on either side of The Neck.

Read more: WHAT TO DO ON BRUNY ISLAND: THE PERFECT DAY-TRIP ITINERARY

The Neck on Bruny Island

30 | Spend two days along the scenic Hazards Beach walk

This is one of the best overnight walks in Freycinet National Park, and one that features plenty of flat beach walking and scenic ocean views. Hike up, over, and down to iconic Wineglass Beach, where it’s possible to make camp at the far end of the sand or continue onwards to equally beautiful (if less well-known) Hazards Beach.

Read more: WINEGLASS BAY: HIKING THE HAZARDS CIRCUIT IN FREYCINET NATIONAL PARK

Hazards Beach

Tasmania travel tips

When to visit Tasmania

  • Summer in Tassie (Dec-Mar) brings the warmest temps (still only around 20-25C) and lowest rainfall, making it the best season for hiking and for visiting the state’s many beautiful beaches
  • Winter in Tassie sits around 5-10C, which may put many people off outdoor exploration, but there’s still plenty to keep you entertained in the cities, particularly lively Hobart
  • With adequate preparation, it’s totally possible to walk the entire Overland Track in winter or visit the Bay of Fires in the off season
  • Don’t expect to find crowds (or even more than a few dozen people) on any of the beaches, trails, or other attractions, even in the summer

Getting to Tasmania

  • For a quick weekend trip, fly from Brisbane, Sydney, or Melbourne into Hobart or Launceston
  • It’s also possible to fly from Melbourne into Devonport, but there aren’t as many flight options
  • If you check out flight specials on Jetstar, you’ll usually be able to find return fares from Melbourne to either Hobart or Launceston for around $100
  • The best way to get to Tasmania for a longer trip is to take the Spirit of Tasmania vehicle ferry from Port Melbourne to Devonport
  • Night sailings depart Melbourne around 9pm and arrive in Tassie early the next morning
  • Including your vehicle, return fares aboard the Spirit of Tasmania range from about $150-300 depending on accommodation choices
  • Check out this post for heaps of useful information about the ferry

Getting around Tasmania

  • For a quick weekend visit to Hobart, it’s possible to get around without a car and just explore the city
  • For 1-3 weeks in Tasmania, you’ll definitely want to hire a car (or drive your car across on the Spirit of Tasmania)
  • Car hire is available at Hobart, Launceston, and Devonport airports
  • For a weekend, expect to pay around $100-150 for car hire

Enjoy your time in beautiful Tassie!