Tasmania may be Australia’s smallest state, but there is no shortage of things to do. Tassie lays claim to a lot of impressive attractions; including both the country’s oldest brewery to its only floating sauna. For those that love to explore and aren’t afraid of a slower pace, Tasmania is perfect.
Here’s how you can enjoy Tasmania’s best historical sites, rugged nature and unique producers.
The Nut was a volcano about 25-70 million years ago; now, it’s a tourist destination. Climbing The Nut takes twenty minutes as you ascend 152 metres to the summit.
Alternatively, you can buy a ticket to the chairlift and relax as you float to the top.
MONA, where do we start? Maybe Tasmania’s most prolific attraction. David Walsh, a multi-millionaire gambler, created the Museum of Old and New Art to (in his words) ‘bang above [his] weight’. MONA showcases Walsh’s $100 million private art collection and hosts some quirky events.
The building design is incredible; it is etched into the side of a cliff on the River Derwent.
MONA has several restaurants, a bar and a hotel. It is a wacky experience. Entry is free to Tasmanian residents, and there is a small cost for inter-staters/foreigners.
Our Tip: Catch the twenty-five-minute ferry from Hobart’s Brooke Street Pier. The ferry will take you straight to MONA; there will be ninety-nine steps to climb on arrival.
In the early 1990s, the Bicheno penguin colony Bicheno Penguin Tours was created as a ‘business to protect nature and since then has helped restore the little penguin population from a low of 40 to 600. They converted a paddock into a penguin habitat where they monitor the penguins.
On this guided tour, you’ll take a short bus ride to their own private penguin rookery.
This tiled rock formation is a peculiar natural phenomenon. On the journey to Port Arthur, the Tessellated Pavement is a flat bed of stone engraved with straight intersecting lines. It has formed organically over time through a process called ‘jointing.’
The Gordon River Cruise departs from Strahan and takes you to Hell’s Gates – the narrow entrance into the Southern Ocean – and Sarah Island – a nineteenth-century penal colony.
You’ll learn the area’s history while enjoying drinks and food from the bar. It’s a six-hour cruise and one of the most popular ways to take in the west coast’s raw beauty.
Port Arthur is a town and former convict settlement on the Tasman Peninsula. The settlement began in 1830 and was the destination for convicts deemed the most hardened of British criminals. The remnants of the prison are a popular tourist attraction.
An entry ticket includes a guided tour as well as a harbour cruise. Additional tours include a lantern-lit ghost tour and the Isle of the Dead Cemetery Tour, showcasing the final resting place for over 1000 convicts.
Flower patches have become incredibly popular due to their photogenic nature. Bridestowe Lavender Estate is a working farm that produces lavender throughout the year.
They are open to the public to wander through the fields, take photos, and even enjoy a picnic. There is also a cafe on-site that serves signature lavender-infused ice cream.
Our tip: Visit during December and January to see the farm in bloom. While you can visit the lavender farm during the off-season, the plants will be dull.
Mount Wellington looms 1,271 metres (4169 feet) above Hobart. The mountain provides a jaw-dropping lookout accessible by car and several bushwalks, including The Organ Pipes.
Mount Wellington is only a half-hour drive from Hobart, and you can often see the snow-capped peaks from within the city. You can also check the snow-cam for a better idea of the conditions.
Pinnacle Road will take you to the peak; it is a windy road but overall safe, and it’s accessible by caravans and motorhomes.
There is no need for a Parks Pass, and entry is always free.
Cascade is the oldest operating brewery in Australia and produces Tasmania’s most popular beer, Cascade Draught. Just a ten-minute drive out of Hobart, Cascade Brewery offers several experiences for beer lovers.
Take a guided tour, learn about their brewing process, visit previously unseen areas, and then finish with a beer paddle. You can also stroll the lush gardens and settle in at Cascade Brewery Bar.
Cascade is easily accessible by bus from the city centre. Take the 446 from near the waterfront, and there’s a stop at the brewery.
Fun Fact: Cascade limits the production of its beer and sells it mainly in Tasmania. They use excess production to brew for other brands.
Cradle Mountain is Tasmania’s most famous peak. It is the fifth highest in the state and stands above the tranquil Dove Lake. You can tackle a visit to Cradle Mountain in a day or stretch it out over a week.
Arrive at the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre, and book the shuttle bus; cars aren’t allowed into the grounds.
Dove Lake is the most accessible walk; this 6km trek around the lake will take 2-3 hours to complete.
Cradle Mountain is also a great place to enjoy the snow. There is a substantial amount of snowfall during Winter, and with the great selection of walks, it’s accessible to most.