Tasmania is one of these places in Australia I keep going back to. Since I discovered it on my mini-moon almost ten years ago, I keep adding to my list of places to visit in Tasmania. Eventually, I will see it all!
Tasmania is diverse and seductive, with many points of interest
Whether you take a quick Tasmania getaway or a longer itinerary, you can use this list as a guide to help you make a selection of places to visit.
Places to Visit in Tasmania: Hobart
Hobart is the capital of Tasmania and a likely starting point when travelling around Tasmania. At the foothills of Mount Wellington and on the banks of the Derwent River, Hobart is an interesting mix of heritage buildings and more recent and less-attractive ones…
There is also a decent food scene in Hobart, bars and restaurants to enjoy in Salamanca, and if you are there on a Saturday, a lively market. Enjoy a stroll on historic Battery Point and some seafood on the waterfront! If you can block out the unfortunate 1960s architecture, Hobart has a nice historic feel and is worth a day or two.
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If you are keen to get your bearings around Hobart or to save some time, I recommend taking a city tour, it will take you to all the main places of interest. Check out additional details and get current tour prices.
Places to Visit in Tasmania: MONA
The Museum of Old and New or MONA is probably the most intriguing experience you can have in Hobart and even Tasmania. A contemporary art museum, MONA holds the $110M art collection of David Walsh, a poker multi-millionaire and a proud Tasmanian. The busy exhibition program will keep you busy for an entire day so take your time to absorb the experience. You can access MONA by ferry from Brooke Street in Hobart. It’s a nice way to see the Derwent River and the views over Hobart, and there is very little parking onsite anyway.
The building has no windows, an eerie staircase descends into the ground and you then use a series of tunnels and stairs to view the different exhibits. There is a sense of the outrageous, the art
The MONA complex also has accommodation, a restaurant, bars, the Moorilla winery and the Moo Brewery, so you can get a break from the experience.
You can combine a city tour of Hobart with the ticket to MONA, including the ferry. Check out additional details and get current tour prices.
Places to Visit in Tasmania: Bruny Island
Located at the South East tip of the Apple Isle, on the edge of the Southern Ocean, Bruny Island is one of the best places to visit in Tasmania. It’s a big island, and a lot of people visit for a day trip but to really experience it, I think you need at least four days.
Named after the French explorer Bruni d’Entrecasteaux, Bruny Island is really two islands connected by an isthmus, North Bruny and South Bruny. Bruny is a rich and diverse experience and one of my favourite places to go in Tasmania. I spent four day in Bruny Island and it was one of my best Tasmania highlights!
The North and the South are quite different but the experiences you can enjoy include: take an adventure cruise on the edge of Southern Ocean, visit a lighthouse, discover some pristine beaches, spy on unique and plentiful wildlife, do some bushwalking and enjoy some great local food and seafood…
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Cape Bruny Lighthouse and I recommend you take a tour. Check out additional information and current tour prices.
Places to Visit in Tasmania: Port Arthur
If you are interested in Australia’s convict history, Tasmania has five of the eleven World Heritage Convict Sites. Alongside the Fremantle Prison, Port Arthur is part of this list and a most interesting visit. Only 90 minutes from Hobart, Port Arthur is where the most hardened criminals and repeat offenders were held, at the time when Tasmania was known as Van Diemen’s Land. Port Arthur was a place of brutal punishment, including for boys as young as eight.
Yet, it’s a place where you learn about the past history of Tasmania, as well as extraordinary stories of its residents. Port Arthur is worth at least a day, and I recommend taking the 40-minute introductory tour, in order to get your bearings. You can wander freely about the grounds and even take a 20-minute cruise past the dockyard, Point Puer (the boys’ prison) and the Isle of the Dead.
Check out additional information and current entry prices.
There are some 30 historic buildings to see and you can refresh at the two cafes and bistro. Port Arthur is a fairly sad place, and some of the stories might give you a bit of a shiver but it is one of the most important places of interest in Tasmania. I went to Port Arthur twice and learned more each time!
Places to Visit in Tasmania: Maria Island
Off the East Coast Tasmania, about 2-3 hours drive from Hobart, Maria Island is a beautiful island. A haven of pristine nature and wildlife, it’s perfect for a day trip of exploring. The Encounter Maria Island Ferry leaves from Triabunna and takes 30 minutes to Maria Island. There are no motor vehicles, no shops, so you need to be self-sufficient for the day. Maria Island is again one of the best places of interest in Tasmania.
The Darlington Probation Station is a World Heritage Convict Site and has 14 buildings you can visit.
Bushwalking and cycling are great ways to visit Maria Island. You would need a couple of days to walk from the township of Darlington to the other end of the island at Haunted Bay, and back again. So hiring bicycles is a good idea. Maria Island is also a good place to dive and snorkel.
There is basic accommodation on the island and free campsites if you want to stay overnight. However, I took a day trip there and thought it was enough to see most places.
Another major reason to visit Maria Island is to view the wildlife. Numerous birds, wombats, kangaroos, wallabies, tasmanian devils, possums and echidnas roam the island freely. Curious wombats even hang around the Darlington Probation Station hoping for a handout but it’s best to leave them be…
I also recommend the Painted Cliffs at Hopground Beach.
You can also visit Maria Island as a day trip from Hobart. It’s a long day (9,5 hours) but Maria Island is a unique combination of wilderness, wildlife and convict history so it’s worth considering. Check out additional information and current tour prices.
Places to Visit in Tasmania: Winery Tour
Thanks to its cooler climate, Tasmanian wines are distinctively different than the ones on the main land. Tasmania has some beautiful pinots and sparkling wines, and you should definitely visit a winery or two in your wanderings. The main areas are the Tamar Valley and East Coast Tasmania.
Places to Visit in Tasmania: Wineglass Bay & Freycinet National Park
With its dramatic pink granite peaks, secluded bay and white sandy beaches, Freycinet National Park is definitely one of the best things to do when travelling around Tasmania. The iconic Wineglass Bay, with its perfect sandy
Wineglass Bay Lookout is a bit of a scramble and very busy with tourists, but the views are worth it, especially on a sunny day. Considering the place gets so busy at times, it is well worth trying to get away from the crowds on some of the bush trails.
The jagged granite peaks are called the
Freycinet National Park and Wineglass Bay should be on every Tasmania bucket list. You can take a day trip out of Hobart if you are not motorised. It’s a long day (11 hours) but you won’t regret it. The tour also takes you to a place where you can enjoy incredibly fresh seafood! Check out additional information and current tour prices.
Places to Visit in Tasmania: Bicheno & Denison Beach
A quaint seaside town, Bicheno is very reminiscent of days gone past. It feels a little old-fashioned but the fishing industry is still very active so it’s worth indulging in a seafood lunch. There is a penguin colony however Bicheno’s main attraction is a blowhole… It’s worth a photo or two if the blowhole is performing…
Further to the north of Bicheno lies beautiful Denison Beach: a peaceful and deserted stretch of East Coast Tasmania. Denison Beach is hidden behind the dunes and was completely deserted when I went there.
Places to Visit in Tasmania: St Helens & the Peron Dunes
St Helens is the gateway to the Bay of Fires and Binalong Bay. It’s the last major centre with shops and petrol before heading north to one of the most extraordinary places to visit in Tasmania: the Bay of Fires. But before you head out, take the opportunity to the Peron Dunes. Just off the St Helens Point Conservation Area and close to the beach, Peron Dunes offer a lunar and pristine landscape.
If you have the right vehicle and the right experience, it may possible to visit the dunes and beach by 4WD but I was happy just walking around.
Places to Visit in Tasmania: Binalong Bay
Binalong Bay is at the southern end of the Bay of Fires. Initially a fishing hamlet, with white sands and perfect blue waters, Binalong Bay is a very picturesque and charming little township. It’s a good place to stay if you are visiting the Bay of Fires.
Places to Visit in Tasmania: Bay of Fires
The Bay of Fires stretches 50 kms from Binalong Bay to Eddystone Point and is one of the most extraordinary places to see in Tasmania. Crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches contrast with the orange lichen covering the granite boulders.
The Bay of Fires was named after the fires lit on the coast by local Aboriginal people, and not by the orange on the boulders. Whilst being an extremely popular destination due to the fantastic photo opportunities it presents, the Bay of Fires feels remote and peaceful. Beyond the photos, it is worth wandering around the Gardens and spending some time swimming in those pristine waters.
Places to Visit in Tasmania: Ansons Bay & Eddystone Lighthouse
Most people visiting the Bay of Fires stop at a location called the Gardens and don’t make it any further. That’s what I did on my first visit. However, it is worth driving further up the coast to Eddystone Point. You will need to drive through the forest and pastoral land, and cross to the coast again. Most of the road is unsealed but present no issues for a normal vehicle.
The drive will take you to Eddystone Lighthouse. The coast has some beautiful granite with different colours, including the trademark orange. I also recommend driving to Picnic Rocks on Deep Creek Road. The road is unsealed but again very manageable for a car. The beach is stunning and there are several places where you can stop. After a reasonably long drive, I was surprised to find beach shacks and even a campsite.
Places to Visit in Tasmania: Bridestowe Lavender Estate
The perfectly aligned rows of tiny purple blooms line towards the horizon and the essence floats in a haze in the evening light… If you are looking for romantic photos or just an Instagram snap, Bridestowe is probably on your list of places to visit in Tasmania. For a $10 fee, you may wander in the fields and even take a guided tour. There is a cafe, a lavender ice-cream truck and a very well-well-stocked gift shop, where you can buy lavender based cosmetics and iconic teddy bear.
Lavender flowers are at their best in December-January and Bridestowe is certainly a very pretty location. However, you need to be prepared for the crowds… The shop and the fields get really overrun and it can be a little difficult to get a people-free photo… I enjoyed my visit
Places to Visit in Tasmania: Tamar Valley
Few places embody the “dairy country” label more than the Tamar Valley… The green rolling hills, the farms and paddock… It’s almost as if dairy products come out of the land… Not really, but you get the idea. The Tamar Valley is a great self-drive itinerary between Launceston and the Bay of Fires, for example.
The Tamar Valley is one of many great places in Tasmania and can include a winery tour. Don’t miss Derby, a little township steeped in history, with a funny fish painted on a rock…
Places to Visit in Tasmania: Launceston
Another likely gateway for visitors, Launceston is the second largest city in Tasmania, although it is a regional airport, unlike Hobart. Launceston has a fairly quiet feel, sitting on the Tamar River estuary, and plenty of charming mansions on its hillsides. Don’t miss the Cataract Gorge and its scenic chairlift.
Places to Visit in Tasmania: Sheffield
Sheffield is known as the “City of Murals”. The small, seemingly sleepy town has a lively art and craft community thanks to the murals painted all over town. The initiative was designed by the local community in order to save the town from oblivion and it now attracts some 200,000 tourists every year.
Sheffield is a pleasant little town and the gateway to Mount Roland and Cradle Mountain.
Places to Visit in Tasmania: Cradle Mountain
Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Visiting this pristine nature area is certainly a highlight of travelling around Tasmania. You can experience Cradle Mountain in a day, by taking a 2-hour walk around Dove Lake, however, there are many more options, from climbing all the way to Cradle Mountain, or digging deeper into the old-growth rainforest.
Check out additional information and current rates for the Dove Lake walk.
The Overland Track, a world-famous 6-day trek, also starts at Cradle Mountain. For nature lovers, Cradle Mountain is home to Tasmanian devils, quolls, platypus and echidna as well as countless bird species. In spring and early summer, wildflowers are in bloom:
If you are using Launceston as a starting or finishing point when travelling around Tasmania, you can visit Cradle Mountain as a day trip. You’ll get to see more than Dove Lake with an experienced guide. Check out additional information and current tour prices.
Places to Visit in Tasmania: Tasmania Wilderness
Tasmania has significant parts of its territory listed as wilderness: untouched and protected. Admittedly, going into the wilderness can involve some travel into the depths of Tasmania. However, if you drive from Cradle Mountain to Derwent River, the road crosses through the wilderness and you can experience the stillness of undisturbed nature, the soft flow of the wind across the plain. I highly recommend stopping at the Vale of Belvoir lookout for beautiful views all the way to Mount Roland.
My list of the best places to visit in Tasmania is still in the making… I can’t wait to go back and add some more tips… Do you have any you can share?
How to Combine Tasmania with the rest of Australia?
Travelling to Tasmania is often combined with visiting Victoria, which has some really beautiful scenery. I had a great time at the Great Ocean Road and the Grampians. A less known but equally great trip is goldfields town of Sovereign Hill.
Have you visited any of the spots in my ultimate list of places to visit in Tasmania? Tell me about your experience!