Tasmania is a beautiful Australian island, filled with exciting wildlife, breathtaking scenery and a somewhat intriguing history. Around 40% of the island is made up of national parks and World Heritage Sites, meaning the opportunities to go exploring are nearly endless! If you’re hoping to visit and explore everything the island has to offer, then these are some of the best things to do in Tasmania that will provide you with an unforgettable experience.
Where is Tasmania?
Known as the Apple Isle, for its bountiful crops as well as its distinctive shape, Tasmania is the most southern Australian state, situated around 240km from the mainland. With under 550,000 permanent residents, Tasmania’s population is the smallest out of all of the states in Australia.
For those looking to visit the island, the most popular ways to travel there are by ferry from Melbourne, or by plane from Melbourne or Sydney. The ferry offers a unique way to travel to Tasmania and takes between nine and 11 hours in total. However, for those wanting to cut down on their travel time, the flight from Melbourne to Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, is just over an hour, or just under two hours from Sydney.
Must-Do Activities in Tasmania
With so many interesting places in Tasmania, it can be difficult to know where to start! However, we’ve got you covered with six must-do activities whilst visiting the island.
1. Explore one of Tasmania’s Best Wineries
Tasmania is home to over 230 vineyards and is renowned for its wine, primarily its Chardonnay, sparkling wines and Pinot Noir. The Tamar Valley produces more wine than any other region on the island and has a long history of winemaking, making it a popular destination for those looking to visit some of the best Tasmanian wineries.
Whether you enjoy a wine tasting session alongside a delicious, local gourmet food platter for lunch, or book onto a Tamar Valley wine tour for the day – you’ll get to experience some of the tastiest wines the island has to offer.
2. What to Eat in Tasmania
When it comes to the food in Tasmania, you will be truly spoilt for choice. The rich soil, clean water and pure air makes it the perfect environment for growing produce, so you can expect to find plenty of delicious, fresh local ingredients on the menu.
However, you cannot leave the island without trying one of its famous Tasmanian scallop pies. This true staple contains fresh scallops cooked in a creamy curry sauce, encased in a flaky, buttery pastry. But if seafood isn’t to your taste, then a Tasmanian National Pie made from Cape Grim beef should be at the top of your list.
Other culinary delights to sample in Tasmania include:
- Tasmanian Atlantic salmon
- Leatherwood honey
- Wild abalone
- Rye whiskey gravlax
- Tasmanian apple cake
- Black truffles
Tasmania also has a number of incredible restaurants to try in Hobart, including:
As one of the most renowned restaurants in Tasmania, it’s essential to book a table if you want to sample the delicious, creative dishes on the menu at Fico. Effortlessly combining fresh, local ingredients with some of the very best culinary skills and originality – Fico’s menu is one everybody should experience.
If you’re looking for innovative dishes made from locally sourced ingredients and cooked by truly talented chefs, then Dier Makr is the restaurant for you. A different tasting menu is available each day, depending on which ingredients are available and you can even opt for the alcoholic or non-alcoholic pairing menus for the full culinary experience.
Templo serves some of the best Italian food Hobart has to offer. The communal seating area is great for solo travellers and the intimate vibe truly lets the food do the talking. If you’re looking for a delicious, gourmet Italian meal made from the best local ingredients, then Templo is the restaurant for you.
3. Take in the Stunning Scenery
It’s no secret that Tasmania is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery Australia has to offer, making it a haven for any nature lover. Some of the best places to experience Tasmania’s natural beauty include:
- Wineglass Bay – considered to be one of the world’s best beaches
- Mount Wellington – for panoramic views of Hobart, South Arm and Bruny Island
- Bay of Fires – the crystal blue waters, white sandy beaches and lichen encrusted orange rocks will leave you in awe
- Russell Falls – one of Tasmania’s prettiest and most serene waterfalls
- Dove Lake – offers the most iconic view of Cradle Mountain
Whether you pay a visit to them all, or simply spend the day at one of these beautiful locations, you’re sure to get some Instagram-worthy pictures and experience sights you’ll never forget.
4. Discover the Iconic Salamanca Market
The Salamanca Market is one of Australia’s most renowned outdoor street markets. Located in Hobart, the bustling market has not only won awards, but it’s also one of the most visited tourist attractions in Tasmania.
Held every Saturday between 8.30am-3pm, the market attracts hundreds of people each week. Featuring over 300 stallholders, you can expect to find local foodie treats, handmade products, jewellery, artwork and clothing. Whether you treat yourself to a tasty lunch from one of the street food vendors, buy a souvenir for a loved one or simply get lost amongst the stalls and vibrant atmosphere, the Salamanca Market is one of the best things to do in Tasmania.
5. Get Friendly with Tasmanian Wildlife
If you consider yourself to be an animal lover, then Tasmania is the place for you. From the iconic Tasmanian devils to hairy-nosed wombats, there are so many unusual species to be found across the island.
Whilst you’re likely to come across some of the island’s wildlife whilst exploring the national parks, if you truly want to experience all of the wild animals Tasmania has to offer, then you’ll want to head to one of Tasmania’s wildlife experiences, such as the popular Tasmanian Devil Unzoo in Taranna, or the Zoodoo Zoo in Richmond, where you can expect to see everything from koalas and kangaroos to camels and zebras.
6. Take a Spooky Ghost Tour at The Port Arthur Historic Site
Immerse yourself in the island’s past at the Port Arthur Historic Site. Between 1833 and 1877, Port Arthur was a large convict settlement which taught inmates important skills they may need once their sentences had been served, such as iron work, ceramics and leather work.
As one of Australia’s best-preserved convict settlements, it’s certainly worth a visit whilst you’re in Tasmania. Although there are a number of different tours of the site, perhaps the most exciting is the Port Arthur Ghost Tour, which takes place after dark. The 90-minute lantern-lit tour will guide you through some of the site’s buildings and ruins, where you’ll hear some ghost stories about former residents that will certainly leave you on edge…
So, whether you’re looking to explore the local wildlife, get lost in the island’s rich history, or experience some of the best culinary delights Tasmania has to offer – you’re sure to have an incredible experience on the island and leave with memories you’ll never forget. For a holiday full of magical adventures across Australia, why not book onto our Grand Australian Tour? Not only will you get to experience some of the best sights Tasmania has to offer, but you’ll also see some of Australia’s most iconic cities over the 31-day trip.
Contact us today to find out more about the trip of a lifetime!