Tasmania tips


18 Jan

I put this together for people coming to visit Tasmania. Hope it helps you plan your trip!

David Attenborough did a documentary on Tasmania last year which is nice to watch before you go. https://iview.abc.net.au/show/david-attenborough-s-tasmania 

Hobart – the capital city. 

Flying into the airport is about 30 min drive into the city. Best to hire a car from the airport otherwise there are taxis and shuttle buses running. 

Hobart accom: You want to stay around Battery Point, Salamanca, the Harbour, or in the city. Then you can just walk everywhere, Hobart is a small city and best seen by foot. Definitely worth hiring a car to drive up Mount Wellington and to check out Cascade Brewery. Though local buses can get you there is you want. 

Hotels: I have never stayed at hotels in Hobart but places like: 

All are pretty standard good hotels in good locations. Anywhere around the harbour is the best place to be.

If you want somewhere special book the Henry Jones Art hotel (https://thehenryjones.com/), it is expensive though has been voted/rated one of the top boutique hotels in the world for a long time. It is nice to wonder over and look into the Hotel if you get a chance regardless as its art collection is really nice. 

AirBnb: If you are a looking to rent a house/Airbnb I wouldn’t go further out than Battery Point/Lower Sandy Bay as Hobart is nice to be able to walk around so you don’t want to be driving in to the city all the time. 

Hobart – few things to do/check out: Saturday morning: Salamanca markets are really nice and a great way to spend a Saturday morning checking out fresh produce, arts/crafts, etc. Nice to go have breakfast or coffee down there trying lots of different foods from the different stalls. 

Museum of Modern Art (Mona): A MUST! Catch the ferry from the harbour out to the museum. Pre-book your ferry tickets and museum tickets online to skip the lines. Spend 2-3 hours in the museum and it is a nice place to have lunch or relax on the grass with a bottle of wine and cheese plate. You can also do some wine tasting out there which is nice as well up in the wine bar, $10 for 5-6 tastings which was really nice. If you are going to stay for lunch or a meal, then stay longer than 3 hours as you need to book your return ferry at the same time of purchase. 

Mt Wellington: Mt Wellington is the mountain in the backdrop of Hobart. Drive up and wonder around, the roads can be quite narrow on the drive up with lots of cyclists/runners so just be careful. Mt Wellington is 10 degrees cooler at the top so take a jumper or something warm unless a warm day. Offers beautiful 360 views of Hobart and surrounding areas which is nice. 

Cascade brewery: Built into the side of Mount Wellington it is a nice experience to just have a bite to eat or beer there if you don’t want to do the tour. Cascade brewery is the oldest continually operated brewery in Australia. Cascade has some great beers and ciders that are not sold on the mainland so is a nice experience. https://www.cascadebreweryco.com.au/

Salamanca/harbour area: Great spot for food and drinks while you are there. This is pretty much the main area in Hobart that everyone goes to socialise. Any of the bars along Salamanca from Jack Green to the Den are nice. 

Going out: Tassie is known for its seafood and wines (pinots and whites being a cooler climate). 

  • Hampden road in Battery Point is a nice place for brunch. Battery Point is one of the oldest suburbs in Hobart so some nice old houses and beautiful streets there.
  • Ball n Chain: is a famous steak house. http://ballandchain.com.au/
  • Maldini: is a famous Italian restaurant, one of the premier restaurants in Hobart. You’ll need to book in advance. http://maldinirestaurant.com.au/
  • Grape/Cargo/Jack Green/Barcelona: are nice modern bars with good food and great places to go for a drink later in the night
  • The Den: Is a new modern bar with nice food and drinks. http://theden.com.au/
  • Glass house: is great for brunch and dinner, bit more expensive but great venue and good food. https://www.theglass.house/
  • Frank: nice modern restaurant, lil more expensive but really nice. http://frankrestaurant.com.au/
  • T42: is a nice modern restaurant with a good mix on their menu. https://www.tav42.com.au/
  • Fish Frenzy: is a Hobart institution for seafood. Fish burger is delish along with all other seafood there. https://www.fishfrenzy.com.au/
  • Mures: good seafood and the upper deck is more a sit down restaurant. Great ice-creams on the lower deck area. https://www.mures.com.au/
  • Fish n Chip punts around Mures: Good fish n chips if you want cheap and cheerful and to take away.
  • Lark distillery: if you like your whiskey! Tassie has become a lil whiskey hot spot the last few years as Tassie has the freshest air and water in the world so the whiskeys have done really well. Sullivan’s Cove won global whiskey of the year in 2014 or 2015 I think. https://larkdistillery.com/
  • Drunken admiral: great seafood!! http://drunkenadmiral.com.au/
  • The lounge bar by frogmore creek / Old wharf/the story bar: are all new restaurants and great views over the harbor. Bit more expensive restaurants.
  • Shipwrights Arms Hotel: Good pub feed.

 North Hobart (Elizabeth street): has a more alternative/hipster feel so there are some different style restaurants around there. Some nice cafes for brunch.  

Tassie national parks: You will need a national park permit when you drive up through the various national parks around Tasmania so make sure you ask for one when you hire your car.

Day trips (hire a car) from Hobart:  Wineries:  

 All these are really nice wineries to check out. You can stop in at Richmond which is a nice old village with Australia’s oldest bridge. Plenty of wineries in that area around Richmond which is about an hour drive outside of Hobart.  

Wine Glass Bay: Great day trip, about 3 hours’ drive each way, so you need to leave early. I would recommend the longer hike up the mountain for a better view and more challenging hike, it is called the Mount Amos hike, it can be a difficult hike up the rocks to make sure you have shoes with good grip!

Then you want to walk down to the beach as well. Swansea is a nice town to stop in for a drink or bite to eat on the way. When you go through Orford there is a café right on the corner at the round about as you turn left to go over the bridge (on your way to Wine Glass Bay) it has great sporting memorabilia and a nice place for a coffee. Orford is a nice lil beach town where the wealthy have their beach shacks.  

Mt Field: Nice walks/hikes around the mountain and some nice waterfalls. But if only there for 3 days Wine Glass is a better day trip.  

Port Arthur: Is the where the first Australian penal colony was built. Also where 35 people were gunned down in 1996 (many more injured) which resulted in guns being banned in Australia. Nice to wonder around and learn about the history. I have heard the boat cruise around the penal colony is really nice, but I have not done it before. There is also a Tasmanian devil sanctuary on the way down there which is nice to check out.

You may not have time to get here with the hiking you want to see/do in the north west which is on opposite side of Tasmanian. I think the hikes are better than Port Arthur. 

Tassie Devil sanctuary: As above there is a Tasmanian Devil sanctuary on the way down to Port Arthur that is nice to experience/check out. https://tasmaniandevilunzoo.com.au/ 

There is also a Tassie devil sanctuary up near Cradle Mountain to. 

Bruny Island / Maria Island: Nice islands to wonder around. Lots of local honey/chocolate/fruit makers etc though more places to spend a night or two rather than a day trip. 

East and west coast: The east and west coast of Tassie are very different. The west coast is really rough/rugged terrain with dense rain forest. The majority of the rain hits the west coast and then the east coast is in the rain shadow, so the east coast is much drier, flatter and more grasslands than forest. All the hydro dams are out on the west coast of Tasmania. So you will get two very different experiences on both coast lines. 

East coast: Bicheno and St Helen’s are the main two towns on the east coast. They are old fishing ports so have great little seafood restaurants. Wine Glass Bay / Freycinet National Park, Bay of Fires (Lonely Planet guide top 10 region) are all on the east coast. It is a beautiful drive up the coast and great top stop in for a hike / wonder around on the coast.

Launceston called Launie: Launie is just another town, I wouldn’t spend much time if any here. There is the Launceston gorge which is nice to explore and hike around other than that I wouldn’t spend much time here. 

North West: The main cities are Devonport and Burnie though again just another town and not much to see. Once you get to the north west you want to be in the forest or on the coast not in towns. Great hiking in the Tarkine region and the Trowutta Arch rainforest walk is meant to be amazing. I haven’t done it yet but heard good things. 

North East: The Tamar Valley is full of amazing wineries. I have only been to a couple though very worth while visiting and having a few days of tasting!

Golfers: Barnbougle and Lost Farm golf courses are a must! (https://barnbougle.com.au/) A perfect two day trip to play these two amazing golf courses. Both lynx courses so can be very windy and difficult to play however just the beauty of them is worth it regardless of the wind.

Cradle Mountain Amazing part of Tasmania to explore and plenty of great hikes through the national park. There is a Tassie Devil sanctuary up here to that you can check out https://devilsatcradle.com/

West coast: The west coast of Tassie is pretty rugged and rough terrain with only a few towns. The main town is Strahan (pronounced Strawn). It is an old mining and logging town. It is nice to check out and lots of great hikes along the coast and into the forest. Tassie has some of the oldest and tallest trees in the world around this area. 

Hikes: 

Check out this site for a list of great hikes in Tassie: https://www.we12travel.com/best-hikes-tasmania/

The Cape Hauy Track is amazing it is right on the south east coast so just depends on your timing. 

Cape Queen Elizabeth hike on Bruny Island is nice https://tastrails.com/cape-queen-elizabeth/Dove Lake Circuit is a nice 6km track and known as a top walk/hike in Tasmania. https://www.parks.tas.gov.au/?base=1318

Hazards Circuit is a nice walk around Wine Glass bay if you have time. 

Bay of Fires Lodge Walk is a nice walk along the Bay of Fires 

Trowutta Arch rainforest walk in the Tarkine: I haven’t done it before however just looks amazing! https://www.stanleyandtarkine.com.au/activities/trowutta-arch/ There are some great multiple day hikes like (not sure you’ll have time to do any of these but just in case you just want to do the hikes) 

Overland Track – will be very busy in January and can take up to 5 days https://www.parks.tas.gov.au/?base=7771

Three Capes Trackhttps://www.discovertasmania.com.au/attraction/threecapestrack

Walls of Jerusalem experience - Tasmanian highlands: You’ll backpacks and camping equipment. Tarkine trails – Tarkine: Into the depth of the rain forest, lots of great hikes around here. https://www.tarkinetrails.com.au/

South coast track: This is an 80km track into the wilderness. https://www.tasmanianexpeditions.com.au/Hobart-South/Guided/South-Coast-Track

For you trip I would: Distances may not look far though due to the rugged terrain and winding roads it can take longer to drive than you expect when driving. This will be a rushed trip and lots of driving though you will see lots of Tassie. Otherwise maybe get out to Wine Glass back then straight across to Cradle Mountain to dive you more time there for hiking if you want more time. 

DayActivity
Day 1Fly into Hobart. Depending on when you fly in. If early, I would get out to Mona and up Mt Wellington (if the weather is nice) then out in Salamanca for dinner/drinks. If you get in late then spend another day in Hobart doing Mona, Mt Wellington, Cascade Brewery, and Salamanca.
Day 2Get up early and drive out to Wine Glass Bay. Do the Mt Amos hike then wonder down to the beach. Keep driving up the east coast to St Helen’s stopping along the way. Wonder around the bay of fires in the evening/sunset. Stay in St Helen’s for a night or around there.
Day 3Drive west to Launceston and check out the Gorge and have lunch at a small town around that area. Then drive out towards Cradle Mountain.
Day 4Base yourself in Cradle Mountain for a few days. Hiking around Cradle Mountain and Tassie Devil sanctuary.
Day 5Maybe dove lake circuit (but you may have been able to cover it when you do the Cradle Mt hikes) then head to Trowutta Arch rainforest walk.
Day 6Start heading back to Hobart either via the Great Lakes in central Tasmania or via Strahn for a night.
Day 7Drive down to Hobart may be able to stop in Mount Field to do a walk around there – pretty easy and nice to see some waterfalls. Finish with a nice meal in Hobart and good bottle of Tassie wine.
Day 8Any final things to see in Hobart before you fly out.
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