Best things to do in Tasmania
Tasmania is the state that is often left off a lot of Aussie itineraries. Most Australian's that we know have never even visited. It's hard to imagine why because Tassie has something for everyone and it's very different to the rest of Australia. If you love making the most of the great outdoors, wildlife watching and great food then Tasmania is one state you don't want to miss.
Here are a few of our must do Tasmanian experiences:
Exploring the stunning Cradle Mountain
Cradle Mountain is the big ticket item in Tassie and you'll see why as soon as you arrive. Once you've driven up the meandering road, you notice the temperature dropping and you will soon find yourself up in the clouds.
From here it all feels quite wild; with stunning trails, beautiful lakes and of course the mountains. It can get quite busy, but once you're on the longer trails you can avoid virtually all of the crowds.
You are very likely to bump into some more cute wombats and - if you're lucky - some tasmanian devils. It's home to one of our favourite day walks in Tasmania: Dove Lake, wombat pool and Marion Lookout.
Where to stay in Cradle Mountain
There's no better place than Cradle Mountain Highlanders to stay whilst exploring Cradle Mountain. The rooms are individual cottages, each with their own kitchen and fire place, making them really cosy for the cold nights. The cottages are all spaced apart with beautiful forest views, you will definitely spot some pademelons! We found it to be perfect for resting after a long day hiking, and there's no doubt we'll be back.
The Walls of Jerusalem Hike
One of the most epic walks we’ve ever done was the Walls of Jerusalem in Tasmania. This stunning hike (which should be done over 2 days) takes you to a part of Tasmania that is reserved only for the adventurous hiker.
The Walls are a million miles away from civilisation and have so much to explore that a day doesn’t do this place justice. There’s plenty of camping and you’ll see a part of Australia that feels unlike what you’d usually associate with this amazing country.
If you fancy taking on the challenge, then check out our blog all about the Walls of Jerusalem. Its a hike you won’t forget.
Liffey falls are a spectacular multi-tiered waterfall in central Tasmania. We visited when they weren't very full and they were still extremely beautiful. It's just a 1km pretty track through the forest from the nearest car park.
There are also a number of pretty cascades along the way which make for a peaceful picnic spot.
Top Tip - Make sure you enter Liffey Falls via the Highland Lake Road and not Bogan Road (which google maps guides you down). This way you'll avoid 14km of dirt track and you'll end up at the right place for the hike (the alternative is a 1.5 hour hike up to the falls).
Where to stay for Liffey Falls
The Forest Walks Lodge at Jackey's Marsh for a rural getaway unlike any other in Tasmania. The road here is a long dirt track (but perfectly doable in our little rental car), but it takes you deep into the Tasmanian bush.
Here you'll find a really cosy lodge with terrific panoramic views run by a couple who make the best local food. We had a three-course meal, with lots straight from their own garden, it was some of the best food in the whole of Tasmania!
There are plenty of walks to choose from or you can just do as we did and chill with a book and a glass of wine!
Go searching for Platypus
What few people tell you is that Mole Creek in the Central Plateau is one of the best places to go and see a wild platypus. If you time it right, you’ll be able to see one in the river behind the Mole Creek Guesthouse that’s only the only road in town! It doesn’t get much easier than that to see this highly endangered animal.
Staying at the Old Pumphouse, Lake St Clair
Despite being relatively new, the Pumphouse has become a Tassie icon. The conversion from an old pumphouse to boutique accommodation has been done beautifully and you can't beat the location; on the end of a pier in the middle of Lake St Clair.
There's a pantry in each room filled with fresh Tassie produce, daily sourdough deliveries, an honesty bar and if you can bring yourself to leave the room, the communal dinners are a lot of fun.
Add to this the amazing views and you get a hotel that should be a tourist attraction in it's own right. Oh, and the lake also has a platypus that can be seen from your room.....
The East Coast
This is the iconic beach in Tasmania. Perfect white sand and turquoise water, backed by mountains. We'd seen pictures and were expecting it to be beautiful, the real surprise was the lack of people on the beach!
Anywhere else in the world this would be heaving. If you come early morning it is likely you won't see another soul.
Don't miss the view from the lookout over the bay. It takes around 20 minutes from the car park and it's steep but you definitely won't regret it. Look out for the cute Bennett wallabies along the track, we saw several.
If you're thinking of doing more walks in this area, check out this guide.
Taking in one of the stunning white sand beaches
Yep, you wouldn’t normally associate Tassie with white sand beaches, but the apple isle is blessed with of them. There's quite a few to choose from but for an easy win we love Bicheno. Unlike Wineglass bay you can actually drive right to Bicheno, so if you're feeling lazy this is for you.
With sand so white it squeaks and clear calm water you could relax here for days. If you're an early riser it's also a great sunrise spot.
Camping with a view at the Bay of Fires
Tasmania is blessed with so many beautiful places to camp and unbelievably many of the most stunning are absolutely free!
We couldn't believe it when we stumbled upon Swimcart beach, pictured above. You could pitch up right beside the beach itself and falls asleep to the sound of the ocean.
As soon as you arrive at Maria Island you know it’s a special place. This tiny island off the East Coast of Tasmania only ever had a small penal colony with the rest of the island being left relatively untouched. It’s like taking a trip back in time.
Seeing wombats by the dozen
If you’re looking to see wild wombats, then there’s nowhere better than Maria Island. At points we had to watch that we wouldn’t tread on them as there were so many, especially at sunset.
The wombats in Maria Island have thrived as they haven’t had the influence of people or diseases that the mainland has. This means seeing them will never be too hard!
Getting off the grid at Maria Island
If you are looking to get off the grid for a while, then Maria Island's a good place to start. This island off the East Coast has no electricity, no cars and the only signs of civilisation are the few old convict buildings.
In fact if you don't want to camp, the old penitentiary is the only place you can actually stay on the island. At $46.50 for two people per night, we think it's one of the best value accommodation options in all of Australia!
Within a 10 minute stroll from the ferry you'll see nothing but pristine wilderness, white sand beaches, mountains and wombats.... lots and lots of wombats...
Bishop & Clerk
Hiking up Bishop & Clerk is a pretty exhausting job, but one that will yield incredible views - especially from the summit. This day walk has it all: cliff top ridges, beautiful forests, a monstrous scree slope and a climb at the top. If you fancy taking on one of our favourite walks in Tasmania, check out our blog all about it.
Take in the view from The Neck
There’s nowhere more iconic in Bruny Island that the Neck. This amazing natural wonder looks even better from the lookout and shows both stunning bays from high up.
If you’re lucky you may even see a penguin on the beaches here as well.
Taking in a Tassie sunset
(the ones which happen 20 minutes after the sun has gone down!)
This was Tassie's favourite trick: the sun would go down and all colour would disappear. We'd return inside to see that twenty minutes later the sky lit up with incredible colour! Bruny Island loved to produce these kinds of epic colours just as the sun went down!
So find a great spot and wait it out, because Tassie sunsets' blinding colour only happen a long time after the sun's dropped below the horizon. Even if it's looking like a dud, chances are you'll still get that flash of colour, even if only for a few minutes.
Where to stay in Bruny Island
We stayed at the fabulous Hundred Acre Hideaway. We chose it because of the amazing outdoor bath, which was incredible, and the perfect place to watch sunset from. The cottage itself is nice and cosy with full kitchen facilities. We loved watching the wallabies play in front of the cottage at dawn and dusk.
Getting to Tasmania
The easiest and most convenient way to get to Tasmania is to fly to either Hobart and Launceston. Sydney and Melbourne operate multiple flights per day, but you can also fly from Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.
Alternatively you can get the ferry from Melbourne and take a car from the mainland using the Spirit of Tasmania.
Best time to visit Tasmania
By far the best time to visit Tasmania is during the Australian Summer (November - February). This is when Tassie is at its warmest (which is only the mid twenties celsius) and the long days mean you can get a lot done. The only downside is that everyone wants to go to Tasmania during this time, so prices go up.
The shoulder seasons are a good alternative as prices go down. But during this time you can get snow and cold snaps.
Car rental and campers can be pretty good value in Tassie, but they are in high demand in the summer. We recommend booking one well in advance, so why not get a quote from RentalCars.com below?
If you were thinking of visiting Tasmania, you may be interested in the following blogs:
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This is a round up of a few of our favourite Tasmanian experiences, if you would like any more practical details about any of the places we recommend please get in touch. Have we missed any of your favourite things to do in Tassie? Let us know in the comments.