Here you'll find Russell Falls, one of the most photographed waterfalls in Tasmania. Its three elegant tiers, framed by lush vegetation, have attracted visitors for more than a hundred years. Put on your walking shoes and explore one of its easy walking tracks only a fifteen minute stroll from the car park.
Richmond is a picture-perfect village of cobbled streets, hand-made brick and mellow stone on the banks of the Coal River and it’s just 20 minutes out of Hobart. Walk across Australia’s oldest bridge, built by convict labour between 1823 and 1825. Stand in the cell of the Richmond Gaol (1825), Australia’s oldest goal, for an eerie insight into the hardships of early Van Diemen's Land convict life.
Explore the natural wonders the Tasman Peninsula. A place of breathtaking seascapes, some of the tallest sea cliffs in the world and wild ocean views. From Eaglehawk Neck to Port Arthur Historic Site, this fascinating journey is rich in convict history and natural beauty – but also thrilling adventure experiences that will take your breath away, encounters with sea and coastal wildlife that you will never forget and quality food and wine to savour and enjoy.
A cruise down the Gordon River rewards with mirror-calm reflections of World Heritage Area rainforest. Gordon River Cruises and World Heritage Cruises can take you down this ancient waterway stopping off at Sarah Island where you'll get a history lesson as you walk among the ruins of this once notorious convict settlement.
Riders worldwide are making tracks to Tasmania. Blue Derby is a network of trails that surround the town of Derby. Once the centre of a tin mining boom, these days it’s the mountain bikers carving up the dirt. Cruise to the top of the hill. Tear downhill as fast as you can. Repeat.
Take a two-and-a-half-hour city paddle with fish and chips, a day tour around Hobart exploring cliffs, caves and beaches, a multi-day expedition into the Tasmanian wilderness, or try an expedition amongst stunning landscapes as you glide far from the beaten paths of modern life.
It doesn’t get much more Tasmanian than Cradle Mountain and Tassie devils. Keep an eye on the clock because the [email protected] feeding tour happens at 5.30pm sharp – or the devils get mad. This is a rare chance to observe these unique animals in the company of some fellow carnivorous marsupials – the eastern and spotted-tail quoll.
Renowned for its flights into the Southwest National Park, a vast and special place of extraordinary natural values that forms part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, there’s often more to a scenic flight with Par Avion. Fancy whisking that special someone away to devour oysters and wine on a picnic by the sea?
See wild little penguins emerge from the ocean and head for their homes in a natural rookery on an after-dark tour. Established by locals to protect the penguin population, the tour lets you get close to the penguins without disturbing their nightly journey. These are wild birds, so penguin numbers and arrival times vary with the life-cycle activity and weather, with larger numbers of 100 -125 birds from September to January. You can expect to get very close to a penguin on this tour.
Barnbougle Dunes, a golfing destination on the coast of Bridport that’s been rated Australia’s number one public course more than once. Tee off to the sound of crashing waves on a links course where sweeping beaches, farmland and manicured greens mix effortlessly. Challenge yourself to 18 holes followed by a Tasmanian whisky in the clubhouse.
Bonorong offers a very hands-on experience rare in other zoos and wildlife parks, allowing you to share special moments with Australia’s wildlife. Tasmanian devils are active during the day, so you can view them any time. The park also looks after wombats, koalas, echidnas, birds and many more Tasmanian natives.
With four big rubber tyres beneath, accelerate up the sandy path on your way to the southern end of sweeping Friendly Beaches. As you wind through Eucalypt covered hills you might decide this is a terribly fun way to reach isolated nooks of the Freycinet Peninsula. Navigate boulder-filled valleys and drop into an abandoned mining cottage before reaching the coast. In true east coast style, your afternoon tea stop is a cracker with rolling turquoise waves and orange lichen laid out like a picnic rug across granite boulders. A thrilling quad bike adventure for those who seek a unique view of the Freycinet National Park.
Be swept away on the King River Rafting adventure on Tasmania’s west coast. Your journey begins aboard the 118-year-old West Coast Wilderness Railway, Australia’s only steam train of its kind. With rafts atop and rafters aboard, the train will travel through remote rainforests and incredible landscapes to Dubbil Barril where your journey takes a rapid turn. Here you’ll swap comfort for courage as you plunge into the rapids of the mighty King River, which flows as fast as the adrenaline. Along the way, when the waters are calm, your guide will share stories of the region’s fascinating history.
It is an engineering marvel, the world's steepest steam-operated railway. This is Tasmania's West Coast Wilderness Railway, and it is 28 tonnes of special. Today, passengers are moved by the same locomotives that began the run from Queenstown back in 1896. They take a comfortable 16-kilometre run through the wildlands, uphill through spectacular landscapes and down to a place called Dubbill Barrill, with stops for a little gold panning and sightseeing. These locos were originally built to move copper ore for the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company, delivering the mine's deep riches out of a massive, landlocked deposit at Queenstown to the port of Strahan, and from there, to the world. And every passenger is greeted by one of the line's original workhorses, a 28 tonne steam locomotive that's ready to roll – and guaranteed to raise a smile.
The Bonnet Island Experience departing from Strahan visits a tiny island at Macquarie Harbour on Tasmania's west coast. Cruise in comfort arriving on Bonnet Island just before dusk. Hear stories of shipwrecks, rescues, storms and survival. Visit a historic lighthouse, to learn how the keepers lived and worked, guiding ships into the harbour. The island is also home to a thriving colony of little penguins and short-tailed shearwaters. These amazing birds spend their days fishing at sea in all conditions, returning each evening at dusk, to their burrows on the island. Observing this phenomenon from close quarters is at the heart of The Bonnet Island Experience - a memorable and intimate encounter.
Mona is a three level subterranean art space dug into a sandstone cliff face underneath an ambient vineyard – its lawns dotted with pink bean bags. Australia's largest private museum its unconventional and challenging curatorial approach makes Mona a must-see for any visitor to Australia.
The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery is the second oldest museum in Australia. Today, the gallery's collections sit in a stunning contemporary design, sensitively integrated with the museum's heritage buildings. Known as TMAG to locals, the museum's art collection includes works from Tasmania's colonial period through to contemporary Australian and international artists.
Laze away the day at Cataract Gorge Reserve only a few minutes from the centre of Launceston. There are peacocks and wallabies, rock climbing and a swimming pool at this popular urban playground. Follow a pathway along the cliff face looking down onto the South Esk River. On the shady northern side, known as the Cliff Grounds, is a Victorian garden with ferns and exotic plants. Wander across the footbridge and take a chairlift ride across the river.
Evandale is a Georgian village south of Launceston, best known for its 19th century buildings and relatively untouched streetscape. The town also has plenty of antique galleries, craft shops and even a stained-glass workshop to visit. Evandale is also home to the National Penny Farthing Championships - contested around a triangular circuit in the middle of the village during February. Enthusiasts come from around the world to contest the championship with market stalls, street performers and entertainment providing a country fair feel.
Cradle Mountain, at the northern end of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, safeguards part of the Tasmanian World Heritage Wilderness Area. The surrounding landscape is diverse and includes grassland, rainforest and ancient plants. The park also provides a rich habitat for wildlife including Tasmanian devils, quolls, platypus, echidna and several bird species. Embark on the Dove Lake Circuit track that hugs the lake shoreline for a pleasant, relatively flat six-kilometre walk beneath the towering spires of Cradle Mountain.
Strahan is a charming harbour-side village set on the edge of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Nestled on the shores of massive Macquarie Harbour, Strahan is the gateway to the World Heritage listed Franklin–Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. Boat cruises provide an unforgettable journey into the pristine temperate rainforests.
King Island lies off the North West Coast of Tasmania, surrounded by rugged coastline and full of fresh seafood, famously good produce and some of the cleanest air in the world. This is a destination for foodies who want to get close to the source and travel far from the rest of the world.
The Tarkine Drive in Tasmania's North West is easily accessible for anyone wanting to get back in touch with nature and experience the wilderness. The loop takes travellers through natural and dramatic landscapes surrounded by rainforest and tall eucalypts with impressive widespread views over rivers and beyond. Completing the loop is the Trowutta Arch Rain Forest Walk - a stunning and natural geological structure.
Queenstown is the gateway to the West Coast with a rich and rugged mining history. It's also close to the edge of Tasmania's World Heritage Wilderness Area and surrounded by great fishing lakes. The town was once the world's richest mining town. The copper mining and mass logging in the early 1900s created a surreal and rocky 'moonscape' of bare coloured conglomerate. Although Mother Nature is slowly creeping back into the landscape, the scenic drive into Queenstown down a spiralling road with over 90 bends is still nothing short of spectacular.
The Bay of Fires is a Tassie favourite. Here a ribbon of coves, rocky outcrops and empty beaches flow under azure skies. The Bay of Fires Conservation Area has clean white beaches, blue water and granite boulders splashed with bright orange lichen. Beach activities and bird-watching are popular and you may see a pod of dolphins cruise parallel to the beach. The area is known for its snorkelling and diving, with scenic reefs, corals, underwater caves and abundant sea life.
Heard of this one? It’s graced the cover of many a glossy brochure for good reason – it’s simply spectacular. Think sapphire sea lapping a curve of perfect white sand; the type of beach normally reserved for romantic movie scenes. But at our Wineglass Bay, anyone can wander this picture-perfect setting. Feeling energetic? Climb The Hazards to look out over Wineglass Bay, or paddle under the pink mountains in a kayak. If this all sounds too exhausting, blame the laid back coastal lifestyle and hop on a scenic flight – by far the best way to see Wineglass Bay’s faultless half-moon curve. You can also book a four-day Wineglass Bay Sail Walk journey and you can drop anchor in the bay and call it your own for the evening.
The Great Eastern Drive - it’s a place of stomach filling soul food and jaw-dropping vistas. Pristine water, rich soil and a mild climate make for a killer oyster and wine road trip. Add ocean-going adventures and friendly locals and you have all the ingredients for the perfect coastal break. Between Orford and the Bay of Fires – you’ll find picture blinding white beaches, azure water and bright orange boulders. See Tassie’s East Coast with your own eyes and it will stay with you forever. Lace up and walk off plump oysters along sandy stretches of shell-strewn beaches. Stop, take your time - the Great Eastern Drive promises a winding coastal sojourn along a blindingly beautiful coastline and ridiculous beaches, topped off with a gentle coastal breeze.
When you first set eyes on Great Oyster Bay set against the backdrop of Freycinet National Park and the three pink-granite peaks of the Hazards mountain range – you know you're somewhere different (and special). Located on Tasmania's beautiful East Coast, the Freycinet National Park occupies most of the Freycinet Peninsula. The 10,000 ha park is loaded with natural assets, including the granite peaks of the Hazards that dominate the Peninsula and the iconic and much-photographed Wineglass Bay. It is also a wildlife haven to Tasmanian pademelons, white-breasted sea eagles, and red-necked wallabies. There are long and short walks across the park to secluded bays, clean beaches and bird-filled lagoons.
Maria Island is a natural wildlife sanctuary and off-shore retreat with historic ruins, sweeping bays, dramatic cliffs and plenty of stories to tell. Located off Tasmania's East Coast and accessible only by ferry, Maria Island contains the most intact example of a convict probation station in Australia. Here visitors can piece together Tasmania’s intriguing convict history, encounter very cute wildlife and explore Maria Island’s pristine beaches and ancient forests. The island offers excellent walking and cycling journeys and a limestone quarry at the Fossil Cliffs provides a fascinating close-up look at the many ancient creatures immortalised as fossils in the rocks. The Painted Cliffs at Hopground Beach are beautifully patterned sandstone shaped by the mineral-rich water and wind.
St Helens is the largest town on Tasmania's North-East Coast and just a few kilometres away from Binalong Bay and the southern end of the beautiful beaches of the Bay of Fires. Overlooking Georges Bay, chartered fishing boats cruise offshore for marlin and divers cruise beneath the surface to explore impressive kelp forests, underwater caves and colourful sea life. St Helens offers all the services of a busy town with a positively laid back vibe, and that's just the way the locals and visitors like it. There's no shortage of eateries and shops to hang out in and people watching is a favourite local pastime.
New restaurants and watering holes are popping up all over the city. Aloft and The Glass House bring a new sophistication to the waterfront. Then there’s Frank, Etties, Landscapes, Templo, Franklin, the list goes on. Plus there’s whisky bars, gourmet tours and cooking schools to tempt your taste buds.
Eat your way through Launceston and experience perfect examples of paddock-to-plate dining. Geronimo Apertivo Bar and Restaurant is a moody den bursting with regional seasonal produce, most of which is sourced from owner-manager Jeremy Kode’s farm. Dine in an old timber flour mill with extraordinary views of the serene Tamar River at Stillwater. Mud Bar and Restaurant focuses on Asian flavours. Hallams dishes up sustainable line caught fresh seafood. Try the upmarket steakhouse, Black Cow Bistro, with a menu showcasing Tasmanian steak.
In Swansea at Kate’s Berry Farm, crispy hot waffles and a compote of poached berries go nicely with views across Great Oyster Bay. Acclaimed for her truly outstanding cool climate berries, Kate offers a unique range of mouth watering quality produce and products that highlight what Tasmania does so well.
Join Gourmania Food Tours to taste fresh seafood, nibble cheeses and sip wine. With a local at your side, weave your way through Hobart’s streets and laneways and learn the city’s history and fine food secrets – straight from the edgy foodies shaping the Tasmanian food experience.
The Red Feather Cooking School provides a wealth of culinary knowledge. Learn the culinary tricks of the trade with like-minded foodies using locally sourced ingredients and you’ll soon be as passionate about Tasmanian produce as they are. Together with the Red Feather Inn luxury accommodation, this cooking school is an experience to savour.
Every day, at any time, you can step behind the scenes to become part of a working cheesery. At Grandvewe, the affinage experience will have you turning, rubbing down, hooping and salting cheese by hand with the head cheesemaker. After honing your newly developed cheese-crafting skills, sit back with the cheese master once more, this time over a tasting. Post tasting, build a cheese platter and take your seat on the balcony overlooking the paddock, the D'Entrecasteaux Channel and bleating sheep – oblivious to the gastronomic delights they have delivered before you. Wash it down with local ginger beer or smooth vodka with little heat but loads of character. The onsite Hartshorn Distillery, produces small-batch ‘sheep’s whey’ vodka. Each bottle hand-sprayed black, hand-written and signed by Ryan Hartshorn himself.
In one of the few places in the world where whisky is still made the old-fashioned way, it’s the people that make Tasmanian whisky special. Pure water running off mountains is ideal for producing fine whisky. Just like in the 1830s, Tasmanian whisky is handcrafted slowly in copper stills, matured in small barrels and hand bottled by whisky lovers, for whisky lovers, worldwide.
Makers' Workshop celebrates Burnie's makers, innovators and artists. Well known for supporting local artisans, studios are provided for a variety of local craftspeople and artists who demonstrate their skills and techniques on-site. The story of Burnie's deep connection with paper is told here with Creative Paper, where visitors are invited to see paper being made by hand, then try it for themselves. The Cheese Shop offers exquisite cheeses for tastings. A fascinating range of exhibitions can also be viewed in the contemporary gallery space. Significant objects from the Burnie Regional Museum are on display throughout the building as visual 'icons' telling stories of Burnie.
Few places on Earth remain that feel so remote, so raw, so removed from the ordinary. This cliff top walk atop Australia's highest sea cliffs in the Tasman National Park on the Three Capes Track will refresh your senses. Three Capes is a self-guided walk with three cabin sites providing maximum comfort with minimal impact on the environment. Pellet heaters also keep walkers comfortable year-round.
Enter the Tarkine, the largest tract of temperate rainforest in the Southern Hemisphere. Explore with little more than a day pack as you discover the wilderness and dine on fresh produce. Freshen up in a Japanese-style washroom, dine among the ferns and settle next to a fire.
The Bay of Fires Walk covers a coastline where there are more extraordinary white sandy beaches than houses. Immerse yourself in the pristine coastal environment teeming with wildlife. Accommodation is uncomplicated and luxurious of either the beach camp or exclusive Bay of Fires Lodge, an airy seaside cliff top lodge overlooking the azure ocean and blazing orange boulders. Walk through the bush to the spa, beginning your spa experience with a soothing soak in the outdoor bathing pavilion.
The Cradle Mountain Huts guided walk is a great opportunity to discover the dramatic landscapes and extraordinary diversity of the Cradle Mountain & Lake St. Clair National Park within Tasmania's World Heritage Area. Following the iconic Overland Track, the walk extends from Cradle Valley to Lake St Clair through a variety of spectacular landscapes. In the evening, relax in the comfort of private huts, enjoy hot showers and three-course meals.
Leave everyday life behind for the Freycinet National Park. Each day a new adventure unfolds as you access the most isolated corners of the park. Snorkel clear waters, walk to magnificent views and walk the powder white sand of Wineglass Bay under the Hazards mountain range. At night enjoy hot showers, deep baths and wine by the log fire. Peruse the lodge’s library, watch wildlife and enjoy indulgent meals prepared by your hosts.
Explore the breathtaking beauty of Maria Island National Park. If you think the walk will be all about nature because you're in a national park, think again – the convict station at Darlington pre-dated Port Arthur. Enjoy candlelit gourmet meals, prepared by guides, wines from local vineyards, and beers from Tassie breweries.
Tasmania is home to some of Australia's most iconic walks – the Bay of Fires, Maria Island and of course the Overland Track, to name a few. But one doesn't have to embark on a multi-day trek to experience the best of Tassie on foot. Work your way down the list of Tasmania's 60 Great Short Walks. They give just about anybody the chance to explore some of Tassie's most scenic and iconic regions, in walks ranging from about 20 minutes to a couple of hours.
From December to February summer is the season of festivals and coastal escapes. The days are long and the weather is warm. There’s super yachts coming in, polo, long table feasting, foraging, mountain biking and more. This summer is shaping up to be a cracker here in Tasmania.
From March to May, autumn is time for touring, walking, autumn colours and waking early for farmers markets to pick out local, seasonal produce. For the perfect mix this season, throw together some sword swallowers, winemakers, sheep dogs and supercars. Welcome to autumn in Tasmania!
From June to August our winter days are bright, clear and crisp. It’s the season for alpine walks, hot tubs and evenings spent by a log fire with a glass of pinot. From the dark arts and ravenous feasts to wild music festivals and exhibitions inspired by uncharted lands. Prepare to have your imagination pushed to its limit and bring a healthy appetite… for everything.
There are more direct flights departing major cities today than ever before. Regular flights depart from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and fly direct to Hobart and Launceston. Direct flights are also available from Melbourne to Wynyard (Burnie), Devonport, King and Flinders Island. Shuttle buses operate out of all Tasmanian airports.
With good roads, few freeways or motorways and scenic views wherever you go, getting around Tasmania is part of the fun. Although Tasmania is a small state by Australian standards, it's actually the same size as Ireland, so don't underestimate the time it takes to get around. There are no train services in Tasmania so travellers rely on bus and coach and of course car-hire to get to and from our cities and regional centres. Coach tours offer a relaxing way of seeing the state. Specialised small escorted group touring is also available to cater for particular interests and the youth touring market.
Crossing Bass Strait to Tasmania is easy. Wind back to island time early, travelling by sea on the passenger ship, Spirit of Tasmania. Departing from Melbourne and arriving in Devonport, this has the added benefit of letting you bring your own car and make the most of Tasmania's touring potential. Load your car up with luggage, golf clubs, fishing rods, camping equipment, and bikes – your epic island road trip begins as soon as you drive off the ship. Phone: +61 3 6419 9320 (International) More info: www.spiritoftasmania.com.au
Tasmania has four distinct seasons with the warmest months being December to March. Regardless of where you travel in Tasmania you should be prepared for sudden, temporary deterioration in the weather, especially if bushwalking. Always carry additional warm clothing, including a waterproof outer layer.
Tasmania has some of the world's most stringent quarantine regulations. Please help us retain Tasmania's disease-free status by ensuring that when you visit you are not carrying or importing any restricted items. The introduction of a pest or disease into Tasmania could have a significant negative impact on our natural environment. A pest or disease finding its way into our world-renowned primary production areas could result in the need to implement expensive control measures, together with a significant loss of markets, and potential cost to primary industries and our community.