Best things to do in Tasmania and sightseeing in Tasmania
Hobart - Tasmania
The capital of the island state of Tasmania, Hobart's beauty, in several ways, lies in its simplicity and its sheer humility. With a towering Mount Wellington, a vibrant waterfront, historic architecture, fresh (Tassie) produce and constantly flowing beer, it could easily be Australia's answer to Europe and is therefore a great place to wine, dine and relax.
Hobart would be your next stop, home of the Cascade Brewery and David Walsh’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). The first and last on that list are absolute must-do’s. Any nightlife or shopping will take place on the waterfront by Salamanca Place. Make sure you stop by the Cargo Bar Pizza Lounge for drinks and gourmet pizzas you’ve never heard of. Though on the pricey side, you’ll love every bite.
As we drove into the city, I noticed there was not much open. This looks like a sleepy little city. Our room is extravagantly large with a sizable bathroom. We went downstairs to question the bar staff about restaurants and other than suggesting their own, told us to the left and right on the street out the door there are plenty of choices. We are directly across the street from the harbor and across the street in the other direction is a lovely Parliament park. We walked in one direction and found nothing open, turned around and went the other way. A few blocks away is the Salamanca Square, where there are a number of restaurants and pubs. Checking out menus, we found that prices here are even higher than Sydney.
Port Arthur - Tasmania
From Hobart, head to Port Arthur. It’s a bit out of the way but if you’re interested in the history of convicts in Australia, this is where you’ll want to go. Spend a day walking the grounds of the ancient penal colony and take a boat ride to some of the haunted islands just off the coast. A lot of Port Arthur has fallen apart at this point, and much of it is undergoing renovations, but that shouldn’t stop you. I’m not a big history buff but Port Arthur definitely got my wheels spinning. Talk to any of the locals around town and, if you want to save $30, they’ll give you the low-down on how to sneak in through the side. It’s easier than you’d think.
Customs House Hotel - Tasmania
The best bet was the shuttle at $25.00 per person with a return. It was sitting outside the door, there were only 8 others and Hobart is supposed to be small, so did not take too long for us to be dropped off at Customs House Hotel. Coincidentally, it is also a pub hotel, which we did not have a clue about. We had to check in at the pub, reception was closed by our arrival at 7:30 pm. The bar staff was pleasant and quickly got us settled.
Wineglass Bay - Tasmania
Just under 200 miles south of the Australian mainland, the country’s only island state - nicknamed “Tassie” - has a unique and compelling history. My visit to the island of Tasmania included Freycinet National Park, a hike up to the Wineglass Bay overlook and two nights in the charming town of Hobart. For a one-day trip, I really had two options: the Port Arthur Historic site where I could delve into Tassie’s troubled history or Freycinet National Park, one of the island’s most spectacular natural wonders. Deciding I wanted my brief visit to focus on the natural scenic beauty of Tasmania more than its history, I opted for the park. The peninsula is home to abundant wildlife including road-crossing marsupials and a large variety of birds. In addition to numerous camp sites, there are dozens of hikes available ranging from short 10-minute walks to a lookout point to full day or overnight hikes with camping. One of the most popular hikes is up to the lookout point for the perfect arc of white sand known as Wineglass Bay. I thoroughly enjoyed my 24 hours in Tasmania and I can definitely see why it’s been referred to as “Dazzlin’ Tassie.” There’s plenty to do here to fill an entire week and I’d love to return someday and see more of the eastern coastline and especially to explore the convict trail and Port Arthur. So much history amongst all that natural beauty.
Coles Bay - Tasmania
We visited Tasmania's east coast village- Coles Bay, during the same trip to Australia. While we visited the world famous Winegalss Bay, the most beautiful and probably one of the most unheard of places was "The Hazards" and the Freycinet Park. What we saw here was one of the most interesting experience into wilderness, for we saw red granite cliffs tumbling their ways into the cold ocean, surrounded by the park and its most unusual animals, ranging from the white-breasted sea eagles and red-neck wallabies to the Tasmanian pademelons. What's more is the abseiling, boating and fishing, snorkeling, coastal wine tasting and scenic flights that were just the perfect ways to experience the essence of Coles Bay. The entire experience truly makes up for the most marvellous coastline I have ever travelled! HOW TO GET THERE: Coles Bay is about 45 minutes' drive from Swansea and around 30 minutes' drive from Bicheno, both on the east coast of Tasmania.
Freycinet National Park - Tasmania
Places have a way of changing history. 200 years ago, the chalice-shaped inlet of Wineglass Bay oozed with the blood of butchered whales, turning the peaceful waters into a glass of Merlot and invoking its descriptive name. But today, as tourism draws ever-increasing numbers to Tasmania’s Freycinet National Park, this gruesome truth has been swapped with a more romantic story. Modern visitors are awed by the view from Wineglass Lookout, and assured that the pristine stretch of shoreline is merely titled after its elegant, natural shape. But today, as tourism draws ever-increasing numbers to Tasmania’s Freycinet National Park, this gruesome truth has been swapped with a more romantic story. Modern visitors are awed by the view from Wineglass Lookout, and assured that the pristine stretch of shoreline is merely titled after its elegant, natural shape. Declared a national park in 1916, Freycinet is one of the first federally-protected wildlife regions in Tasmania. Australia’s endemic creatures haunt its underbrush: wallabies, striped skinks and venomous tiger snakes, rosellas and oystercatchers and kookaburras. Dolphins and tentative Humpbacks ride the waves. Perhaps they remember Wineglass’ past better than we do?
Bicheno - Tasmania
“Penguin!” Hadyn shouted at every black and white bird on the horizon. Knowingly, he mistakes large gulls for the little local inhabitants that nest along Bicheno’s rocky shoreline. Someone has unscientifically (and rather boringly) named them Little Penguins; they are the tourist attraction for this, also little, East Coast town. Fuzzy black wings wave at you from souvenir magnets, or drive old Volkswagen vans on cartoon postcards. In the midst of the region’s ‘Busy Season,’ we saw more of these battered, vintage vehicles – and the typecast wild-haired, wild-pant-ed people who drove them – than we do penguins. But with two main streets, one post office and one general store, it only takes two VWs to make the place feel crowded.
Cradle Mountain - Tasmania
From there, head towards Cradle Mountain. There are a few different hikes you can take, depending on your level of fitness and the amount of time you’re able to commit. If you’ve got a full day, hike to the summit. You’d better be pretty limber and prepared to climb vertical rock walls. If it’s cloudy at the beginning of the hike, no worries. Expect the clouds to hover at eye-level and lift by the time you reach the summit.
Launceston CBD - Tasmania
The final stop before heading back to Devonport is Launceston. If you can return your car on Tassie and fly back from Launceston (or even Hobart) instead, I’d recommend it. As fun as it is, you won’t want to take that ferry more than once. The James Boags brewery is located here, along with the Tasmania Zoo. If you’re into wildlife (especially birds) you’ll want to make a pit stop. It’s a bit run-down but they do have Tasmanian Devil feeding sessions. And if there’s one thing you can’t leave Tassie without seeing, it’s The Devil!
Bay Of Fires - Tasmania
Binalong Bay and the Bay of Fires lie just north of here. Here, I found my heavenly kingdom. I drove, sat, explored, swam and navigated the northeastern bit of Tasmania with nothing but a smile on my face. Even as a kid I never played on a jungle gym quite like this. And neither will you. If there’s one place to see in Tasmania–this is it. Give yourself at least half a day to get lost and hang out in the sun, water and on the sand.
Hellyers Road Distillery - Tasmania
Make sure you detour to the Hellyers Road Distillery for some whisky tasting. They’ll show you around the whole place, teach you about their history, explain the brewing process and let you taste lots and lots of delicious whiskys. They also make some very interesting flavored vodkas.
Burnie - Tasmania
Stanley - Tasmania
A bit farther along the coast you’ll find Stanley, home of The Nut, an old volcanic formation. There’s a gondola you can ride to the top for $10 if you’d prefer to save 30 minutes of energy for…the car ride. Take in the view and then get going. You won’t need to spend more than a couple hours here as there’s not much more to see.