There are an unbelievabe amount of things to do in Tasmania. Being compact in size and filled to the brim with places to explore, it’s the perfect island for a road trip.
You are certain to come face-to-face with the most spectacular wildlife and scenery, and because of that, one of my favourite things to do in Tasmania was hike. But it doesn’t just cater to outdoorsy folk. Tasmania is also great for vineyard hopping, there are tonnes of postcard-perfect beaches, fine dining experiences and chic city vibes.
I spent five weeks road-tripping the island and although I ticked a great deal off my bucket list, I could have easily spent longer there. Nevertheless, here are 30 incredible things to do in Tasmania:
Go chasing waterfalls
Tasmania is home to a number of magnificent waterfalls. Some are easily accessible and only involve a short walk, whilst others require a touch more effort to get to. You can read in detail about the waterfalls I visited in my blog post, Walks in Tasmania – Tried and Tested.
Hike the Three Capes Track
Hiking the Three Capes Track takes you on a truly wild adventure across some of Tasmania’s most stunning wilderness. The route opened to the public in December 2015, stretches over 46km and is split across 4 days. You can read about my unforgettable experience here: Hiking the Three Capes Track.
Visit Freycinet National Park
Freycinet is home to the Hazards mountain range, which dominates the landscape in the national park. As well as having luxury hotels, abundant restaurants, beautiful sandy beaches and sparkling bays; there are also numerous hikes in the area. You can read about Wineglass Bay, Mt. Amos and the Hazards Beach Circuit in my blog post, Walks in Tasmania – Tried and Tested.
Experience the Tahune Airwalk
The Tahune Airwalk stretches 620 metres in length and takes you 20 metres above the forest floor on a large metal walkway. For more details, check out my blog post, Walks in Tasmania – Tried and Tested.
Go on a road trip
There are so many incredible things to do in Tasmania, making it one of the best destinations in the world for an epic road trip. It’s easy to navigate and its relatively compact size means that you can experience a lot within a short space of time. Everything mentioned in this post is road-trip worthy, however, here are a few places that I’m especially glad I accidentally stumbled across:
Donaghys Hill Lookout
Donaghys Hill is a short hike to a breathtaking lookout. It’s found along the Lyell Highway, between Queenstown and Derwent Bridge. You can read more information here: Walks in Tasmania – Tried and Tested.
The Wall in the Wilderness
I went in with low expectations, I came out feeling humbled and inspired. The wall is a work in progress and depicts some of Tasmania’s most important history. It is carved entirely by hand by artist Greg Duncan, who uses mostly Huon Pine. Read the raving reviews folks, this is an experience not to pass up on.
Grab lunch in Sheffield
Sheffield is known as the ‘Town of Murals’. It’s a quirky little spot decorated with some beautiful pieces of street art and has a number of good places to grab a bite.
Marvel at the mountains
The drive to Lake Pedder was one of the most visually stunning drives I experienced in Tasmania. Being late autumn, the trees made the landscape pop with colour, whilst the craggy mountains looked as though they had been painted into the backdrop.
Walk along the Gordon Dam
Gordon Dam is an enormous, curved concrete structure. Standing at a dizzying 140 metres high, it’s Tasmania’s tallest dam, and the most impressive by a long shot.
Hop on a ferry to Bruny Island
Situated off the coast of Tasmania, Bruny Island is a little island with a lot to offer. To get there, you have to travel via the ferry from Kettering.
Lookout over Bruny Island Neck
To get from North to South Bruny, you have to cross the isthmus of land known as Bruny Island Neck. Atop of the creaky, timber stairs, the 360 degree view is simply beautiful. Even on a grey day you can see for miles in every direction. If you visit at dusk or dawn, you may even get a glimpse of the resident penguins.
Walk the Fluted Cape Circuit
The Fluted Cape Circuit is roughly a 3.5 hour, 5.4km circuit. The walk encompasses some of the most dramatic coastline and cliffs on the island. You can read about this walk in detail here: Walks in Tasmania – Tried and Tested.
Enjoy Mt. Wellington
You can’t really miss Mt. Wellington. It’s an enormous hunk of rock looming over the capital, Hobart and certainly not to be missed during your time in the city.
Catch the sunrise from the summit
Absolutely worth the early start and bone-chilling wind. Just be wary of animals on the roads between dusk and dawn, even in the city they are a hazard.
Hike around the mountain
There are heaps of tracks to explore, all offering beautiful views of Hobart and beyond. I hiked the Organ Pipes trail, which you can read about here: Walks in Tasmania – Tried and Tested.
Have a history lesson
Although in the grand scheme of things Tasmania’s history is fairly recent, there is still plenty to discover around the Island. From ruins and old abandoned mines, to beautifully constructed bridges. Here are a few of my favourite discoveries:
Port Arthur Historic Site
Port Arthur Historic Site can be a very moving and emotional place to visit. The history is brutal, the old buildings are fascinating and the gardens are kept beautifully.
Built in 1843 by convicts, the angle of the stones is what gives the bridge its name.
Richmond Bridge was built in the 1820’s as a means of improving the transportation of convicts and early settlers in the area. It’s celebrated as Australia’s oldest bridge and is said to be haunted by the ghost of George Grover.
Discover the natural wonders
The Tasman Peninsula in particular, is home to some of the most fascinating rock formations, rugged clifftops and dramatic coastline. Here are some of my favourites:
It’s hard not to appreciate the uniqueness of the Tessellated Pavement, where ‘ancient cracks create a modern phenomenon’.
Eaglehawk Neck Lookout
Eaglehawk Neck is the thin strip of land connecting the Tasman Peninsula to mainland Tasmania. In the old days, they chained dogs along the neck to deter convicts from escaping Port Arthur.
The Remarkable Cave
You can watch the ocean gush through the Remarkable Cave at high tide and walk through at low tide, when safe to do so.
Tasman Arch and Devils Kitchen
Tasman Arch is a natural bridge, whilst Devils Kitchen is a deep trench. Both have been shaped over time by the Tasman Sea.
Drop by a vineyard
There are tonnes of vineyards to chose from along the East Coast. Some are large and commercial, whilst others have a boutique feel. Milton Vineyard is in a particularly gorgeous setting.
Find the Bay of Fires
I will never forget the colours I encountered at the Bay of Fires. The sky was draped with moody grey and white clouds; the soft, powdery sand was pure white and the sea was a brilliant turquoise. Then there were the rocks, which looked otherworldly with their blankets of bright orange lichen.
Spend some time in Stanley
Nestled in the shadow of a volcanic plug known as ‘The Nut’, is Stanley. The town is wonderfully quaint and I adore the pretty old shop fronts, cute cafes and gift shops, as well as the beautifully green, surrounding farmland and lovely sandy beaches, which are perfect for aimlessly strolling along.
Climb The Nut
If you don’t fancy hiking, you can catch the chair lift if you prefer. Either way, the views over Stanley and surrounds are simply amazing. For more details, check out my blog post Walks in Tasmania – Tried and Tested.
Take a scenic drive
You can drive along the coast from Stanley and up into the rolling hills for a different perspective of the Nut. The unsealed road takes you through pastures dotted with cows, to some historic ruins and eventually ends at a beach.
Spot penguins at dusk
Head to the cemetery in Stanley at dusk, if you dare! It’s here and along the shore that you’ll find the little penguins as they come up to nest in the scrub overnight.
Stay in Cradle Mountain National Park
Cradle Mountain National Park is one of my favourite places in Tasmania. The scenery is spectacular and it was here that I saw my first wild platypus. I recommend allotting yourself plenty of time in the area. The weather is incredibly changeable all year round and there is simply so much to see and do!
Get your hiking boots on
There are heaps of tracks all around Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Clair National Park. They vary in difficulty and length, ensuring that there is something for everyone. Read about my favourite hikes here: 5 Unmissable Walks Around Cradle Mountain.
Meet a Tasmanian Devil
Despite their cute appearance, Tasmanian Devils let out the most blood-curdling of cries! This was especially true when it came to feeding time, on the After Dark Feeding Tour at Devils@Cradle.
Hop on a Gordon River Cruise
Jump aboard for a fascinating cruise down the waterway wilderness that is the Gordon River. You’ll glide across Macquarie Harbour, experience the power of the Southern Ocean at Hells Gates, travel up the Gordon River itself witnessing some of Tasmania’s finest untouched temperate rainforest and get a history lesson on Sarah Island.
See the sights from horseback
I can’t think of a better place to explore on horseback than Tasmania. Companies usually cater to all levels of experience and will take you on an adventure you’ll never forget!
Saddle up with Cradle Country Adventures
Cradle Country Adventures offer a range of horse riding experiences, from day trips to multi-day adventures across some of Tasmania’s beautiful countryside.
Horse ride the Huon Valley
I tried my hand at some natural horsemanship at Horsehaven Farmstay, which is located just 40 minutes from Hobart.
So there you have it, I hope this list of things to do in Tasmania is useful! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below!