There's whitewater in their rivers, kelp forests in their oceans, and freedom in the challenge.
Tasmania's place at the edge of the world and the unique geology of the compact island has given a wonderful place in which to be adventurous. But it is also the ingenuity of the island people who have gone out and created great adventures for you to try. So why not do something you've always wanted to? Kayak with dolphins, cycle down a mountain, dive with a sea dragon, float down a river, climb a rock face - and then at the end of the day - have a massage and a great meal.
Australia's most mountainous state has some of the world's most challenging abseiling or rappelling opportunities. Whether you are just learning the ropes or looking for your next adrenaline rush you can head out on your own or with a guide.
Popular locations include Mount Wellington's Organ Pipes, which tower over Hobart, White Water Wall and the Hazards at Freycinet, and Cataract Gorge in Launceston.
Experienced and skilled commercial guides offer a range of climbing and abseiling adventures in spectacular locations.
There are excellent indoor climbing gyms in Hobart and Launceston - they're good spots to make contact with Tasmanian climbers and maybe link up with a partner for a day on the local crags.
Caves and Caving
Tasmania has some of the best caving experiences in Australia - some are developed but many are wild and unexplored. The developed caves offer regular guided tours on prepared underground pathways that are accessible to just about everyone.
In the north-west at Mole Creek Karst National Park and Gunns Plains you can explore hundreds of limestone caves. Marakoopa Cave has the largest glow-worm display in Australia.
In the south, Hastings Cave, the largest developed cave in the country, is formed in dolomite - extremely rare in Australia.
Bicycle Touring in Tasmania
Tasmania offers a variety of cycle tours from exhilarating mountain descents to relaxing wine, food and heritage experiences where all you need to do is roll up to the gate. Find out about cycle touring in Tasmania including popular routes, trip elevations, suggested detours and trip planning advice.
Many country roads in Tasmania have a low volume of traffic, and are ideal for cycling adventure. Take a coastal route and cycle past some of the island’s most popular beaches, and be sure to keep an eye out for the unique wildlife.
You can hire a bike, helmet and other equipment from a number of operators in Tasmania’s major towns as well as book cycling tours.
The spectacular coastline and clear, cool-temperate waters are superb for diving in Tasmania. The visibility ranges from 12 meters (13 yards) in the summer to 40 meters (43.5 yards) or more in the winter.
You can scuba dive in the clear waters of Tasmania's Bay of Fires, weave your way through an impressive kelp forest on the Tasman Peninsula or explore a shipwreck off Flinders Island. Tasmania is well known for its many shipwreck sites, which provide fascinating insight into Australia's maritime history. Search out handfish and rare species such as the weedy sea dragon.
If you’re not a diver already, Tasmania is a great place to take the plunge and learn. Diving courses are available as well as guided charters, gear hire and diving packages.
With kilometers of unspoiled coastlines and waterways, Tasmania presents a kayakers playground with natural ease. You can take advantage of professional kayak guides based in Hobart, Kettering, Port Arthur, Coles Bay, Launceston and Strahan. Feel safe and enlightened about your surrounds as guides impart their local knowledge.
The beauty of Tasmania is its’ compact nature. Save travel time and maximize your kayaking experience with close proximity to white water kayaking, flat water kayaking and ocean kayaking. You can nose around Hobart’s waterways on your own, or try a multi-day kayak expedition to Bathurst Harbour in the remote Southwest National Park.
Kayak travel in Tasmania offers exhilaration and relaxation as you experience the freedom, inspiration of nature and beautiful surroundings of Tasmania. If it’s not the majestic mountain peaks captivating your gaze, catching a glimpse of sea life below will leave you with lasting memories. The Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service provides excellent background notes on water activities around Tasmania.
When you explore Australia’s most mountainous state it’s easy to find a peak to challenge you.
When you walk the Overland Track, you can climb Mount Ossa, the highest peak (1,617 meters/5,300 feet), or the famous jagged profile of Cradle Mountain, and then head south to scale Frenchmans Cap (1,446 meters/4,700 feet) in Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park.
Or you may want the extreme challenge of two dolerite stacks, called the Totem Pole and the Candlestick, rising up to 60 meters (almost 200 feet) above the Southern Ocean, part of the Tasman National Park.
Remember, too, that the weather is unpredictable so follow the safety regulations and check with the local ranger.
One of the best things about surfing in Tasmania is that, as long as you’re willing to travel, you will always find a great ride.
Close to Hobart, Park and Clifton Beaches are the favorite spots. Eaglehawk Neck on the Tasman Peninsula usually has a wave, and all up the east coast from Orford to Bicheno there’ll be somewhere breaking.
Further south, Bruny Island’s Cloudy Bay faces the Southern Ocean - it gets really big breaks. So does South Cape Bay (accessible from Cockle Creek). Surfers carry their boards on a seven-kilometer (4.5-mile) bushwalk through the World Heritage Area to reach this south coast beach.
Along the north coast, Bass Strait generates waves at a string of good beaches - try Tam O’Shanter north-east of Launceston or the gnarly Mersey Mouth at Devonport. In the west, Marrawah’s big Southern Ocean groundswells challenge the best.
Bring your wetsuit - like anywhere else in southern Australia, you’ll need it.
Tasmania has one of the world’s most celebrated wild rivers, the Franklin. Rafting the Franklin is an outdoor experience to challenge even the most experienced adventurer.
The river roils and gouges its way through some of the Island’s most pristine and wild landscapes, in the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. Yet amongst this tumult are moments of unsurpassed tranquility.
Not far from Hobart, you can bounce gently down the lower Picton into the Huon River, passing Huon pines overhanging the river and enjoying the fun of negotiating easy rapids.
Tasmania is still one of the easiest and most unspoiled places to camp in Australia. About 40 per cent of the Island is protected as national parks and reserves.
You can choose from formal or informal camp sites. Formal camp sites are those within national parks and in forest reserves managed by Forestry Tasmania or Hydro Tasmania.
Informal camp sites are marked as such and you need to check on usage requirements at each site.
Dogs are not permitted in national parks; nor is the lighting of open fires. However, on land managed by Forestry Tasmania and Hydro Tasmania dogs are permitted, and you should check at the site for local fire lighting conditions. Sometimes a total fire ban may be in force so check with the local rangers.
If the thought of sight fishing for wild brown trout in a glacial highland lake sounds appealing, Tasmania is an angler’s heaven. Don a pair of waders and find yourself standing thigh-deep in some of the best trout fishing waters in the world.
No matter what your level of experience, Tasmania offers a fishing experience for you. Cast from the shores of an east coast estuary or let a knowledgeable guide take you out to fish over a sandy bottom where delicious flathead can be found.
There is a reason that Tasmanians own more boats per head of population than any other Australian state, the fishing is top class! So why not bring your own boat or hire one when you get there.
On an un-crowded island with a temperate climate, rolling valleys and sweeping empty beaches, you will find emerald fairways and velvet greens of championship 18-hole courses. Not to mention spectacular cliff-top holes with wide ocean views.
It started with Ratho at Bothwell, Australia's oldest golf course, created by homesick Scots in the 1830s, and kept growing. Today you can step back in time and for just $15, you can play 9 or 18 holes at Ratho. Between the Australasian Golf Museum, Nant Whiskey Distillery and highland trout fishing nearby, be sure to allow more time than your golfing round requires!
Today, Tasmania has more than 80 courses. In the north-east, Barnbougle Dunes is rated Australia’s best public course and has been created in pure Scottish style with undulating links overlooking Bass Strait. This unspoilt, wild coastline is ideal for a links course and the inviting clubhouse and modern accommodation may just lure you in for an entire weekend.
In Tasmania’s south, the amazing par 3 eighth hole at the Tasman Club near Port Arthur offers pure spectacle. Here, your tee shot has to reach a pocket-handkerchief green on the far side of a deep chasm, where vertical sea cliffs plummet to surging ocean swells and tossing bull kelp, far below.
Tasmania has a sprinkling of public courses, but most are run by clubs. Wherever you play, you’ll find a warm Tasmanian welcome for members of interstate golf clubs at the club courses in cities, towns and country areas.
Sailing and Yachting
The capital city, Hobart, sits on the banks of the broad, deep Derwent River. Your berth at central docks will be two minutes’ walk from Customs and Immigration and only a short stroll from pubs, restaurants, nightspots, Internet cafes and providores.
The usual route between Tasmania and mainland Australia is along the east coast, where you will find protected anchorages in small coastal villages.
From Hobart, you sail first past the 300-metre (1,000-foot) cliff that are part of the Tasman Peninsula. The alternative route around the west coast is rugged and heavily dependent on westerlies. High winds and seas often make for ‘adventurous’ conditions. Port Davey in the south-west is wild, remote and beautiful. It’s your opportunity to explore an untouched Gondwanan landscape.
Bass Strait is recognized by sailors worldwide as one of the toughest stretches of water on the planet, because of shallow depths and strong westerly winds causing high, confused, steep seas. Marine and Safety Tasmania has up-to-date notices for sailors.
Walking and Trekking
Tasmania offers walking experiences for all levels of fitness and challenge. There are more than 60 short walks that take you into rainforests, along ancient sea cliffs, beside turquoise seas and over jagged mountain peaks. You can walk the coastal beaches of the Bay of Fires or head deep into the southwest wilderness and feel like the only soul on earth.
Walks of Tasmania' are seven of Tasmania's iconic multi-day guided walks and include The Maria Island Walk, Bay of Fires Walk, The Freycinet Experience Walk, The South Coast Track, The Tarkine Rainforest Track, Walls of Jerusalem Experience and Cradle Mountain Huts.
These rival famous walks elsewhere in the world; in fact for many enthusiasts they are a natural 'add-to-the-list' following NZ, Europe, Asia and the Americas ... best yet, they are appreciated by that worldwide audience for their proximity, their diversity within that relative closeness, and the fact that they are not overrun with walkers.
Tasmania has spectacular scenery for walking enthusiasts, moderated by a temperate maritime climate. The island’s most famous walk, The Overland Track, takes you on a six day scenic adventure from Cradle Mountain to Australia’s deepest lake, Lake St Clair.
There are other multi-day walks for the independent walker who loves to set out self-reliant with everything on their backs, or those who want to challenge themselves but prefer the comfort of a warm cabin, a shower and prepared meals at the end of each day. Tasmania has well-maintained tracks, knowledgeable park rangers, top quality guides and, most importantly, no crowds.
Tasmania is an island of inspiration for local artisans and there is a thriving and vibrant art and culture scene with galleries, markets and Australia’s largest private museum of art and antiquities at MONA Museum of Old and New Art which opened in January 2011.
From King Island and Stanley to Bruny Island people have found Tasmania the perfect place to practice their skills and talents, whether it be crafting a handmade cheese, harvesting the plumpest oysters, writing a best-selling novel or designing an award-winning coastal getaway that treads lightly on the landscape.
MONA Museum of Old and New Art
MONA Museum of Old and New Art opened in January 2011 on the River Derwent just north of Hobart. It houses a diverse collection that ranges from ancient Egyptian mummies to some of the world’s most infamous and thought-provoking contemporary art.
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) collects, preserves, researches, interprets, displays and safeguards the natural and cultural heritage of Tasmania. The Museum is one of the few in the world to combine a history and science museum, art gallery and herbarium and provide free entry to more than 350,000 people a year.
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery
The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) in Launceston is Australia’s largest regional gallery. The QVMAG enjoys a national profile for its collections of Australian colonial art, decorative arts and design, Tasmanian history, and natural sciences. It is located on two sites - Royal Park and Inveresk. The Royal Park site was purpose-built in 1891 and is one of Australia’s oldest museum buildings.
Tasmania has a variety and quality of indigenous timbers unequalled in Australia and the world. Huon pine, King Billy pine, celery top pine, sassafras and myrtle are just a few of the iconic timber special species native to the island and unavailable elsewhere. As a consequence, Tasmania has become a magnet for designers interested in working with wood. The concentration of craft and design practitioners (as opposed to artists practicing in other media) is higher in Tasmania than elsewhere in Australia. The Design Centre in Launceston is a not-for-profit organization aiming to support local artists and showcase Tasmania’s specialty species timbers to the world. It features installations, one off pieces and commissions, all of which are for sale.
Saffire – Freycinet
Saffire-Freycinet, a US$30 million resort near Coles Bay on the Freycinet Peninsula, opened in June 2010 and has a distinct design. Designed by award-winning Tasmanian architects Morris Nunn and Associates, the buildings are conceptually organic, reflecting the surrounding environment.
The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1948, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO) is Tasmania’s flagship performing arts organization. A leader in music of the Classical and early Romantic periods, the TSO enjoys a high profile nationally and internationally through its world-wide broadcasts and award-winning recordings.
The Launceston-based ensemble presents its work to audiences throughout Tasmania, in regional centers and capital cities interstate and, more recently, at international festivals. Tasdance has commissioned work from many distinguished Australian choreographers including Nanette Hassall, Leigh Warren, Natalie Weir, Sue Healey and Paul Mercurio and has nurtured the development of choreographers such as Neil Adams, Sandra Parker and Anna Smith. Each year, Tasdance creates a major theatre season that includes the work of various Australian choreographers.
Tasmanian Classical Ballet Company
The Tasmanian Ballet Company provides an official state-wide performing classical ballet company showcasing all major ballet productions (for example, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker) as well as local choreography. The Company has a focus of classicism, and as such appeals to a wide audience. The Company is committed to making high quality classical ballet accessible to all Tasmanians, especially those living in regional areas of the state.
Theatre Royal, Hobart
Hobart’s Theatre Royal is Australia’s oldest working theatre. Today, the Theatre Royal is a living center for the performing arts, presenting an annual program of live theatre, contemporary music, dance and entertainment.
Theatre North, Launceston
Based in Launceston, Theatre North brings quality performing arts and entertainment to the northern Tasmanian community. Theatre North presents an annual season of productions from around Australia and supports the development of locally-produced theatre and dance.
IHOS Music Theatre and Opera
IHOS (Greek for “sound”) is a performing arts company with an international reputation for original music-theatre and opera. Works are multicultural and multilingual, blending voice, dance and sound with installation art and digital technology.
Burnie Makers Workshop
A place that honors Burnie’s history, makers, innovators and artists. Part contemporary museum, part arts center and visitor information center, you can shop for interesting locally made gifts or check out the latest Tasmanian exhibition in the gallery. You can try your hand at making paper and depending on the day, there may be one or several makers working on site for you to chat to.
The Wilderness Gallery
The Wilderness Gallery, a unique purpose-built showcase for environmental photography, is located at Cradle Mountain, adjacent to Pure Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain Chateau. Beautiful and dramatic images from photographers based in Australia and around the world will excite your imagination, lift your spirits and expand your horizons.
Deloraine is a delightful rural town set in the foothills of the Great Western Tiers mountain range in Tasmania’s north. The Tasmanian Craft Fair, Australia’s biggest working craft fair, is held there during early November. Here you can try your hand at candle wicking, watch as kites and kaleidoscopes are crafted before your eyes and talk to the creators of fine silkscreen paintings, woodcarvings, lead lights, and hand-blown glassware. However, at any time of the year you’ll find a wide selection of fine arts and crafts at the many local galleries.
You’ll get the most out of Richmond by wandering its streets. Artists and craftspeople have been drawn to the town for generations, and you’ll find examples of their work in galleries and cafes. Browse the many delightful craft shops, galleries, elegant design shops, food and wine stores.
Tasmanian stories live and breathe in the historic sites, arts and culture.
The people and events that left their mark on the Island are very much with it today. You can see their imprint wherever you travel.
Tasmania has a strong and lively arts and culture scene. After four years of planning and building and an investment of some $175million the Museum of Old and New Art, MONA opened in Hobart in January 2011. Australia’s largest private museum had over 350,000 visitors in its first year of operation and continues to attract visitors from around the world.
MONA is the only Australian travel experience that offers visitors a vineyard, on-site accommodation, fine dining, a wine bar, cellar door tastings, a micro-brewery with tours, heated pool, sauna and gymnasium, and an internationally significant museum. Part of Moorilla and just 20 minutes from downtown Hobart by car, MONA can also be reached by a cruise up the River Derwent.
Tasmania's more relaxed pace of life, lack of pretension, and energetic and connected art scene has attracted writers, artists and performers. While they may have less than three per cent of Australia's population, they are home to nine per cent of its artists.
Explore the menu items to the left, or design your arts journey across the creative island and perhaps customize a wish list of Tasmanian art destinations through the comprehensive and innovative smART Map.
Founded in 1948, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra is a leader in music of the Classical and early Romantic periods and enjoys a high profile nationally and internationally through its world-wide broadcasts and award-winning recordings. The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra will perform some 40 concerts in 2011. Concert seasons are presented in Hobart and Launceston, and regular tours are made of Tasmanian regional centers.
Their culture is enriched by their Aboriginal heritage and European, Asian and African immigrants. These layers of influence are a satisfying journey of exploration on their own ... be it in galleries, boutiques, studios, playhouses (yes, the oldest theatre in Australia is in Tasmania) or museums. The crafts people are blessed with unique and world class materials.
As you explore you will see their inspiration.
Tasmania is a gourmet paradise, where people live close to the land and sea and there is an natural flow from paddock to plate. Four distinct seasons make it perfect for producing prime cheeses, mouth-watering berries, wide-ranging vegetables, stone fruits, herbs, premium beef, specialty honey, mushrooms, cool-climate wines and some of Australia's leading boutique and production beers.
Enjoy regional fare, friendly encounters with growers, makers and chefs, and celebrate the delights that come with the changing of seasons.
On Saturdays, visit Salamanca Market in Hobart, and you'll find a range of local produce. You can sample special herb vinegars, mustards, bush honeys, organic goods and meet the producers. Or visit one of the specialist delicatessens across Tasmania to taste locally produced condiments, smoked and fresh produce and luscious cheeses.
Cheeses are consistent award winners; made by international and boutique producers, they include specialties like wasabi, sheep's milk pecorino and goat's milk varieties. Names such as Ashgrove, Grandvewe and Bruny Island Cheeses are the ones to look out for; in fact Nick Haddow is amongst the first in Australia to be able to produce unpasteurized cheeses.
Seafood and fish is highly sought after interstate and overseas - the Atlantic salmon, ocean trout, blacklip and greenlip abalone, scallops, pickled octopus, rock lobster (crayfish) and Pacific oysters from carefully managed marine area are served in the best eateries around Australia and the world.
In Tasmania, locals can still dive along coastal reefs for abalone, harvest oysters from rocks, or catch a wild trout in a highland stream. And visitors quickly learn that the man in the vineyard with his sleeves rolled up is just as likely to be the property owner.
Organic farming is increasing following TV Shows such as 'Gourmet Farmer' and from lifestyle choices made by locals and new Tasmanians alike. Growing of vegetables, herbs, milk, cheese, yoghurt and honey has resulted in widespread availability of certified eco and organic foodstuffs. Specialty mushroom varieties such as Tasmanian white, honey brown, shitake and oyster mushrooms are plentiful. Other quality produce includes wasabi, gourmet sauces, the velvety smoothness of handmade chocolates and fudge, and ice cream featuring organic berries.
Tasmania has more than 200 vineyards producing superb sparkling wines that attract national and international attention, as well as delicately flavored pinot noirs, sauvignon blancs, chardonnays, Rieslings and prizewinning dessert wines.
The island also grows top quality hops in the Derwent Valley for its own beer producers and those interstate. Its two major beer producers, J Boag & Sons and Cascade Brewery make two of the best-selling premium beers in Australia with Boag's Premium one of Australia's most awarded beers. Meanwhile, the Lark Distillery in Hobart and Hellyers Road Distillery in Burnie produce whiskies and a range of liqueurs. Whisky production in Tasmania is gaining such momentum that a visit to the Tasmanian Whisky Appreciation Society's site is more than a good starting point.
On this island with so much bounty, food and wine is good cause for celebration. Leading the food and wine festivals is the waterfront favorite, the Taste Festival, in Hobart (late December-early January), where the buzz of the finish of the ocean racing classic, the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, sets the pace.
Tasmania has a number of fine small museums that tell the story of the Island and its people.
Once a far-flung colonial outpost, Tasmania is rich in history and cultural diversity. In fact, the Royal Society of Tasmania was the first Royal Society set up outside the United Kingdom. It was established in 1844 and is still active today.
You can sense it in the 10,000 year old stone carvings at Tiagarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre; view it on the outdoor walls of Sheffield's murals; touch it in the pock-marked sandstone walls of convict-built buildings of Port Arthur Historic Site; and experience aspects of their culture and heritage in the fine exhibitions at Launceston's Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery or the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart.
Admission to most public galleries and museums is free.
Go behind the scenes at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG).
Stand in the footsteps of celebrated colonial artist John Glover.
Learn about Tasmania's Chinese mining past through artifacts unearthed in the State's north-east.
MONA Museum of Old and New Art
MONA Museum of Old and New Art opened in January 2011 on the River Derwent just north of Hobart. It houses a diverse collection that ranges from ancient Egyptian mummies to some of the world’s most infamous and thought-provoking contemporary art. At a cost of $US72 million, its location on the River Derwent just north of Hobart, the building’s subterranean design and the owner’s unconventional and challenging curatorial approach make it a must-see for any visitor to Australia. The collection is currently valued at $US96 million.
The MONA Museum of Old and New Art has three levels cut into the triassic sandstone of the river bank and includes 5,700 square metres (61,354 square feet) of gallery space, of which 1300 square metres (14,000 square feet) are touring galleries built to international museum standards.
MONA is the only Australian experience that offers visitors a vineyard setting within a 15-minute drive of an Australian capital city, on-site accommodation, world-class fine dining, cellar door tastings, micro-brewery tours, heated pool, sauna and gymnasium, an allyear events program and an internationally significant museum with a café and museum shop. It also offers travellers a new reason to visit Tasmania.
In addition, MONA has eight pavilions featuring ancient and contemporary art (and bits in between), all furnished by leading local and international designers. Each pavilion has its own distinct character and is named after an artist or architect that had an impact on its design.
Entry to the MONA Museum of Old and New Art is free. Itinerary options include a MONA fast catamaran service from the Hobart waterfront or MONA-ROMA mini-bus transport with lunch and curator-led tours; overnight packages with indulgence, wine and food experiences and tailored museum and architectural tours.
From Cradle to Rocky Cape, from Freycinet to the Gordon, you're never far from a park or reserve.
Forty per cent of Tasmania is protected in national parks and reserves. This includes the Southwest, Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers, Walls of Jerusalem, Mole Creek Karst and Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair national parks, which together make up the world’s last temperate wilderness, the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
As well as managing Tasmania’s national parks and World Heritage Areas, the State’s Parks and Wildlife Service is responsible for many reserves. Many other areas of great natural appeal are managed by Forestry Tasmania as forestry reserves, where you can ride a bike, bushwalk, camp, or even walk the dog.
They also have marine reserves, where Tasmania’s delicate and beautiful underwater environment is preserved for the future.
Tasmania has more than 2,000 kilometers of world-class walking tracks, thousands of highland lakes and tarns, hundreds of clean ocean beaches, extensive underground caverns, more than 300 large and small islands both remote and accessible, and enough peaks and crags to keep the keenest walkers and climbers busy for a lifetime.
You will be astounded at the beauty and diversity of the landscapes and habitats Tasmania’s national parks protect. There are 19 national parks, 17 of which are accessible.
Parks Passes are required to visit Tasmania's national parks, with the money raised contributing directly to the protection and management of the parks themselves.
Many parks have contemporary visitor centers where you can find out more about each park's wildlife, history and geology, buy Parks Passes, books, maps and refreshments, and pick up details of activities for adults and children.
Ben Lomond National Park - north-east
Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park - north-west
Douglas Apsley National Park - east coast
Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park - west coast
Freycinet National Park - east coast
Hartz Mountains National Park - south-east
Maria Island National Park - east coast
Mole Creek Karst National Park - north-west
Mount Field National Park - south-west
Mount William National Park - north-east
Narawntapu National Park - north coast
Rocky Cape National Park - north-west
South Bruny National Park - south
Bruny Island Southwest National Park - south-west
Strzelecki National Park - Flinders Island
Tasman National Park - south-east
Walls of Jerusalem National Park - north-west
Tasmania’s Park Reserves
As well as the 19 national parks (Deal Island, in Bass Strait, and Savage River National Park are inaccessible), Parks and Wildlife manages more than 420 other reserves. Each offers a different experience and many are there to protect rare or endangered species of plants and animals.
You do not have to pay National Park Fees to visit a reserve. Dogs and other pets are not allowed in most reserves.
It is not unusual for a Parks and Wildlife reserve to be approached on roads that pass through Forestry Tasmania reserves or working forests. However, the conservation values of the reserves themselves are strictly enforced within their boundaries, in accordance with the level of protection conferred by their specific classification.
Select Southern Tasmanian Reserves
Bruny Island Neck Game Reserve
Recherche Bay State Reserve
Select North West Tasmanian Reserves
Central Plateau Conservation Area
Select Northern Tasmanian Reserves
Liffey Falls State Reserve
Tamar River Conservation Area
Mount Barrow State Reserve
Notley Gorge State Reserve
Select North East Tasmanian Reserves
Bay of Fires Conservation Area
St Columba Falls State Reserve
Humbug Point State Reserve
St Helens Point State Reserve
Hobart and Surrounds
Cruise or kayak the Derwent River, sip coffee under the sun umbrellas of Salamanca Square or soak up the seafaring vibe of Hobart’s first suburb, Battery Point. Just 20 minutes from Hobart’s 19th century sandstone warehouses lays windswept Mount Wellington. A little further to the south-east, wind past the Coal Valley’s cool-climate wineries to the historic towns of Huonville and Richmond. In the coastal hamlet of Kettering, you can take a car ferry to Bruny Island or a wildlife cruise past crags, caves and sea cliffs. From crescent-shaped Cockle Creek, you can sense the World Heritage-listed wilderness of Southwest National Park even if you never step beyond the beach. Learn about life as a mid-19th century prisoner at the Port Arthur Historic Site on the Tasman Peninsula. Then stay in Woodbridge, walk the sweeping beaches of Tasman National Park and dine in luxury at Peppermint Bay. See 200-year-old oaks and sandstone cottages in Oatlands or follow the path of pioneers on the Heritage Highway from Launceston to Hobart. Visit the antique-loving town of New Norfolk and pretty Hamilton on the Clyde River. For a taste of high country and malt whiskey, visit Bothwell at the southern edge of the Central Plateau.
From Triabunna, you can take a ferry to history-rich and car-free Maria Island, also a bushwalking and sea kayaking paradise. Stay in the holiday haven of Coles Bay overlooking crystal-clear Oyster Bay at the entrance to Freycinet National Park. Walk to breathtaking Wineglass Bay, then swim, boat, fish, snorkel and scuba dive from the dreamy white beach. In nearby Mount William National Park, you can follow the Bay of Fires walk past forester kangaroos, Aboriginal middens, woodlands and white beaches. Go game fishing or diving from the picturesque port of St Helens, on the shores of Georges Bay. Taste farm cheese at nearby Pyengana or visit vineyards and berry farms around the seaside towns of Bicheno and Swansea. Then head to Douglas-Apsley National Park, where you can walk and camp amongst quiet rivers, waterfalls, rainforest and tall eucalypts and pines. At the northern end of the coast you’ll find Flinders Island, the place to dive shipwrecks, climb to the top of the pink and grey cliffs of Mount Strzelecki and fossick for diamonds at Killiecrankie.
Launceston, Tamar and the North
In Launceston, you’ll discover elegant Edwardian buildings and the magical wilderness of Cataract Gorge. Stroll through the ferny glade or abseil, rock climb or hang glide on and around the gorge’s dramatic walls. You can also take the chairlift to cross the gorge. Nearby, see birds in their own habitat in the Tamar Island wetlands or meet kangaroos, wallabies and wombats in Narawntapu National Park. To the north east you’ll find the neat croplands and Forest EcoCentre of Scottsdale. Next door in Bridport, you can fish, play golf overlooking Bass Strait at Barnbougle Dunes and wander through the tidy lavender fields of Nabowla. See little penguins at Low Head and take a boat trip to the fur seal colony of Tenth Island. Then ski, walk or rock climb the rugged summits of Ben Lomond National Park. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, eat and drink your way through the Tamar Valley’s cool-climate wineries, such as Ninth Island, Pipers Brook and Jansz, on the Tamar Valley Touring Route. You can stop at the gold mining museum of Beaconsfield and pan for sapphires near the tin mining town of Derby on the way. South of Launceston, soak up the ambience of a 19th century village in Longford and see Australia’s biggest working craft fair in the charming riverside village of Deloraine. Browse antique galleries, craft shops and markets in the Georgian village of Evandale and cross the Ross River on a cobblestone bridge in Ross.
North West Coast
Arrive in Devonport on one of the Spirit of Tasmania ships that have become landmarks in this pretty port. From there you can walk or cycle along Devonport's coastline, see murals in Sheffield and enjoy antique shops in LaTrobe. Go water-skiing, sea-kayaking or fish from a floating pontoon in Port Sorrel. Stroll the vibrant markets and scenic beach of Penguin. Explore the limestone caves of Mole Creek Karst National Park, which sit beneath the Great Western Tiers, known to the Aboriginal people as Kooparoona Niara. Stay in the busy port of Burnie or in the historic town of Stanley, where you can look out over the steep volcanic plug known as ‘The Nut’. See carpets of colorful spring tulips in Table Cape and walk along the sea cliffs of Rocky Cape. In the far north-west, stay on the historic 22,000 hectare property of Woolnorth on Cape Grim. Cruise down the Arthur River past sea eagles to the temperate rainforest, sand dunes and Aboriginal sites of the Tarkine wilderness. Even more remote is King Island, where you can go game fishing, taste cheese from the famous King Island Dairies and dive more than 70 shipwreck sites.
Cruise down the majestic Gordon River from the west coast fishing village of Strahan. Watch it meet the wild Franklin River and tumble through forested valleys as one in the World Heritage-listed Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. Back in Strahan, you can kayak on Macquarie Harbour, walk Ocean Beach and explore pine and myrtle forests by four wheel drive. Search for thousand-year-old Huon Pine from the window of a sea plane or relax and indulge in great food and wine. Take a scenic rack-and-pinion railway from there to the historic town of Queenstown, once the world's richest gold and copper mine, or enter it on a road that spirals for more than 90 bends. Explore the rollicking mining past of Zeehan, once a wealthy silver town. Then jump on a barge to Corinna and stay in a restored miner’s cottage on the banks of the majestic Pieman River. From the peaceful town of Rosebery, you can do a tour of Pasminco Mine or walk to Montezuma Falls, Tasmania’s tallest waterfall. Then explore the rugged peaks and mirrored lakes of World Heritage listed Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Do all or some of the famous 65-kilometre Overland Track and see Mount Ossa, Tasmania’s highest mountain.
A food lover's guide to Tasmania - restaurants throughout the Island.
Tasmania’s reputation in food lovers' circles continues to grow as their restaurants discover new (and old) ways of making the most of the State's high-quality, fresh produce.
Inspiring Fine Dining
Regional wineries offer inspiring fine dining. Combine food and wine with serenity, modern architecture and vineyard or water views. Savor the freshest local seafood, local game and cheeses alongside a glass of Tasmanian pinot noir, Riesling or pinot gris.
Add evenings of great wine, food and conversation to your holiday memories by dining at their best restaurants in Launceston, Hobart and across the Island. Many restaurants focus on local produce to provide you with a truly authentic dining experience.
Dozens of Tasmania's restaurants and bistros are included in the Tassie Dining Card which offers attractive discounts - the card can also be used at a selection of cafes, coffee shops, bakeries, vineyards and gourmet outlets. A truly useful addition to your holiday planning.
Tasmania has hundreds of pubs for you to visit no matter where you travel. Tasmania’s history revolves around the sea and in those rough and ready early days of tough whalers and bold sailors, there was a pub on every corner of Tasmania’s many seaports.
Today, you can still find them - some are gentrified, others less so - and they are a great place to go to meet up with the locals, to hear good bands, or just sit quietly over an ale or wine and a pub meal.
Take a guided pub tour of Hobart’s historic waterfront pubs – or you can just follow your instincts. Within 20 years of settlement Hobart boasted of 50 pubs for its 10,000 inhabitants.
In Launceston you can head off and walk from pub to pub on a self-guided tour.
The fine wood crafts, wilderness photography and wool products make wonderful Island mementos.
Most shops in main centers are open from 9am or 10am to 5pm, seven days a week, while supermarkets and convenience stores are open longer hours. ATMs and EFTPOS facilities are widely available. Most banks are open 9.30am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday.
What to Buy
Artists living in Tasmania will tell you it is the landscape that has inspired their work, and you can find examples of quality furniture, painting, photography, clothing, jewelry and artifacts in private galleries, arts and craft shops and markets.
Tasmanian wool is rated as the finest in the world and you can buy natural spun wool or hand and machine knitted and woven fine garments.
The harvests of the land and sea, and cool climate wines, are nourished by clean waters and rich soils. So look out for full-flavored cheeses direct from the makers, plump delicious oysters, scallops, abalone, crayfish and fin fish, fresh from the Southern Ocean. The berries, apples and stone fruits are juicy and still full of flavor; and the chocolates and beers world-winners. Tasmania's leatherwood honey is unique, bold, 'medicinal' and aroma filled.