Things to do in Tasmania

Things to do in  Tasmania

Quiet wilderness off the mainland

Adrift from mainland Australia, Tasmania is a quiet island mainly covered by forests, mountains, and farmland. This makes it an inviting playground for travelers fond of hiking, spotting wildlife, and chasing waterfalls. But the best things to do in Tasmania also appeal to those looking for stunning—and empty—beaches, quaint colonial towns serving up local produce, and somber ruins from its past as a convict settlement. The island state even has a handful of smaller and more peculiar islands, such as Bruny Island and Flinders Island.

Top 15 attractions in Tasmania

Bruny Island

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Less than an hour from the Tasmanian capital and yet a world away from the busy streets of Hobart, Bruny Island draws a steady stream of weekenders from the mainland. North and South Bruny, joined by a long narrow isthmus, are a wildlife haven of jagged cliffs and golden beaches swirling with seabirds. Both are dotted with sleepy villages and tranquil guesthouses, and offer activities including hiking, fishing, and slurping fresh-from-the-ocean oysters.More

Port Arthur

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A moving reminder of Australia’s harrowing history, the former convict settlement of Port Arthur was a key part of often brutal convict discipline within the colonial system. Today, the Port Arthur historic site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Tasmania’s most visited tourist attraction, with museums and memorials devoted to telling the area’s history.More

Mt. Wellington (Kunanyi)

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Standing sentinel over Hobart, Mt. Wellington is also known as Kunanyi or simply “the Mountain.” The 4,170-foot (1,271-meter) peak offers unbeatable views over the Tasmanian capital, and the surrounding parklands serve as a popular recreational ground for city dwellers.More

Freycinet National Park

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Backed by the pink-tinged granite outcrops known as the Hazards, Freycinet National Park protects pristine white-sand beaches, sheer sea cliffs, azure bays, abundant birdlife, and a lighthouse with stellar views over the ocean. Take in one of Australia’s most photographed views from the lookout over Wineglass Bay.More

Tamar Valley

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The Tamar Valley, situated on Launceston’s doorstep, stretches north to the sea at George Town. This lush, fertile area of emerald hills, orchards, and, perhaps most importantly, vineyards, serves as Tasmania’s prime wine-producing region, known for its pinot noir, riesling, and chardonnay. Spectacular views abound.More

Cradle Mountain

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With its jagged dolerite peaks standing watch over a trio of glacial lakes, Cradle Mountain is the grand centerpiece of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park. Part of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Tasmania Wilderness, the natural landmark also marks the north end of the famous Overland Track.More

Richmond Village

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Less than 30 minutes from Hobart, amid the lush vineyards of the Coal River Valley, historic Richmond village is among the most picturesque in Tasmania. Lined with elegant Georgian buildings and presided over by the much-photographed Richmond Bridge, it’s also an important piece of Tasmania’s colonial heritage.More

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

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Some of Australia’s most beloved animals—including kangaroos, koalas, and Tasmanian devils—call the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary home. As one of Tasmania’s most important sanctuaries, Bonorong’s aim is to rescue, rehabilitate, and preserve some of the island’s rarest and most endangered creatures.More

Cataract Gorge Reserve

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The magnificent Cataract Gorge, a river gorge on the South Esk River right at the edge of Launceston, offers a wealth of outdoor recreation that feels a world away from the city. The reserve is home to the First Basin outdoor swimming pool, the world’s longest single-span chairlift, and a Victorian-era landscaped garden.More

Russell Falls

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Russell Falls is among the most popular waterfalls in Tasmania, if not the whole of Australia. Located in the Mt. Field National Park, in south-central Tasmania, the three-tiered falls are easily accessible from Hobart. They’re reached after a pleasant short walk on wheelchair-accessible paths through a mossy, fern-filled forest.More

Cape Bruny Lighthouse

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Cape Bruny Lighthouse towers over the dolerite cliffs of Cape Bruny, Tasmania. First lit in 1838, it’s the second-oldest lighthouse in the state. Its lights have been dimmed for more than 25 years, but visitors can now enter the lighthouse on a guided tour, which offers panoramic views of the rugged South Bruny coastline.More

Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens

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Amid the hilly suburbs of Queens Domain, the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens offer an idyllic stretch of greenery, dotted with tree-lined walkways, lily ponds, and flower-filled conservatories. Dating back to 1818 and stretching over 35 acres (14 hectares; it’s one of Australia’s oldest botanical gardens.More

Hobart Salamanca Market

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What was once a rundown warehouse and storage unit on the waterfront of Hobart has since become one of the most-visited destinations in the city. More than 600,000 people visit Salamanca Market for its fresh fruit, organic produce, and handmade craft stalls each year. Its trendy bars, quiet cafes and inventive restaurants attract food-lovers from around the area, making it a uniquely Tanzania experience. Salamanca’s popularity has caused it to grow rapidly from 12 vendors in 1972 to more than 300 in 2010. As a result, there’s something for everyone at this once-a-week market that brings the best of Hobart together.More

Sarah Island

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Established in 1821 during Australia’s period of colonization, Sarah Island was used as a penal settlement where convicts were sent and forced to do the harsh labor of felling Huon pine used for shipbuilding. Surrounded by the Southern Ocean, the island is Australia’s oldest penal colony and the most isolated.More

Devils at Cradle Wildlife Park

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Devils @ Cradle is a wildlife sanctuary dedicated to the preservation of Tasmanian devils (though they also have a large number of quolls and other local creatures). See Tasmanian devils up close and personal, and learn about these mysterious marsupials and the current threats to their survival with ranger-led talks and tours.More

Top activities in Tasmania

Hobart Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

Hobart Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

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$26.65
The Freycinet Paddle
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The Freycinet Paddle

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$89.94
Shore Excursion: Hobart Highlights Day Tour
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Tasmanian Seafood Gourmet Full-Day Cruise Including Lunch
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All about Tasmania

When to visit

Unlike a lot of Australia, Tasmania is one of the few places where you can experience a proper winter—with snow common in the highlands and on top of Mt. Wellington (Kunanyi). To combat the season’s gloomy cold conditions, the raucous Dark Mofo festival is held in Hobart each June to lighten the mood. Summer (December–February) is when most travelers come to the state, taking advantage of the milder temperatures and the island’s many empty beaches.

Getting around

Having your own vehicle or transportation is a necessity when traveling in Tasmania. The state is larger than it looks and is mostly rural communities and wilderness. A limited bus network connecting the largest cities and towns is the only public transport available in Tasmania, and even some of the island’s most popular attractions are found down rural, unpaved roads. Regular ferries provide access to areas like Bruny Island, Maria Island, and across the River Derwent.

Traveler tips

Tasmania’s diverse wildlife and abundant natural spaces are a special treat for visitors, but problems with roadkill mean you need to drive with some caution on the state’s roads. Some roads are posted with lower speed limits between dusk and dawn, and it’s generally best to slow down when driving at night. As for special wildlife encounters, head to Bruny Island to try to spot albino wallabies and Maria Island for wild wombats.

Local Currency
Australian Dollar (A$)
Time Zone
AEDT (UTC +11)
Country Code
+61
Language(s)
English
Attractions
83
Tours
238
Reviews
19,702
EN
1800adbf-d039-42aa-85d7-d5b0ea56274a
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People Also Ask

What is Tasmania known for?

The island of Tasmania is known for its early and troubling convict history. It’s also famous for its rich natural heritage of ancient rainforests, highland mountains, and empty beaches—plus its abundant wildlife including Tasmanian devils, wombats, and pademelons.

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What is the number one tourist attraction in Tasmania?

MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art, in Hobart is likely the most visited tourist attraction in Tasmania with 1.35 million visitors recorded in 2019. Salamanca Market is another top destination.

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What is the prettiest place in Tasmania?

While it’s tempting to say that the whole island is the prettiest place in Tasmania, attractions such as the Bridestowe Lavender Estate, Bay of Fires, Dove Lake, and Russell Falls are definitely front-runners for that illustrious title.

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How many days do you need to see Tasmania?

You need at least five days in Tasmania to get a real sense of the state and see more than one destination like Hobart or Cradle Mountain. Longer visits are worthwhile, as more time will allow you to see the island’s different sides.

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What is the best time of year to visit Tasmania?

The best time of year to visit Tasmania is on either side of summer—October, November, March, and April. These months offer ideal weather for outdoor activities, and they allow you to avoid the heat and crowds of summer—and avoid winter’s chilly temperatures and restricted highland access.

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How long would it take to drive around Tasmania?

It takes at least one week to drive around Tasmania in a loop, although many travelers choose to take longer—often a month or more—to explore the island state in more depth.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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