Gordon River Cruises

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.

Table of Contents: Best Things
Stanley

Free

Highly recommended

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.

655 Main Rd, Berriedale

Highly recommended

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.

70 Burgess St, Bicheno

In the early 1990s, the Bicheno penguin colony suffered repetitive dog attacks. 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.

Related:

Watch the little penguins make their way to shore.
380 Pirates Bay Dr, Eaglehawk Neck

Free

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.’

24 Esplanade, Strahan

Highly recommended

Likely to sell out

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.

Related:

Majestic mountains, scenic cruises and Australia’s only floating sauna.
Historic Site, Port Arthur

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.

296 Gillespies Rd, Nabowla

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.

Wellington Park, Hobart

Free

Highly recommended

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.

These column-shaped cliffs were formed in the Jurassic period when Tasmania was separating from Antarctica. Mount Wellington is also one of the best (and easiest) places to enjoy the snow.

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.

Our Tip: Sometimes after heavy snowfall there can be road closures. Check the status of Pinnacle Road here.

140 Cascade Rd, South Hobart

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.

Related:

Tasmania’s crisp water makes for great beer.
Lake St Clair National Park

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.

Our Tip: You will need a Park Pass to visit. We recommend purchasing your park pass ahead of time. You can buy one at The Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre, but there can be a wait.

Taylor B
Author

Taylor B

Taylor was born and raised in Tasmania. He moved to Melbourne to study Film & television, and went on to start a marketing agency for hospitality. Whilst in Melbourne he also founded a walking tour company. He has a love for rock 'n' roll bars & New York-style pizza. In 2020 he was amongst the top 1% of Frank Sinatra listeners on Spotify.