If you are looking for a holiday destination where you can combine incredible natural beauty, fascinating historic sites and welcoming, cosmopolitan cities, Tasmania is the perfect place to take your next trip.
Australia’s southernmost state is a unique island of contrasts and you’ll find plenty of places to explore during your break here. Best of all, you can be sure you’ll be met with a characteristically warm Tasmanian welcome … it’s a good feeling to know that you are amongst friends.
Explore Tasmania’s incredible wilderness
Approximately 30 per cent of Tasmania – roughly 1.38 million hectares of land – has been designated as UNESCO World Heritage area.
Whether you want to explore the Central Plateau conservation area, the Southwest National Park, Hartz Mountain National Park, the Walls of Jerusalem National Park, Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, Cradle Mountain – Lake Sinclair National Park or Mole Creek Karst National Park, you’ll be spoiled for choice .
The beautiful eastern end of Macquarie Harbour, the historic Sarah Island guarding at the entrance to the harbour and Maria Island – a popular holiday and excursion spot – are also protected. And of course the largest ‘other’ island, Bruny Island … the size of Singapore, yet inhabited by less than 2000 people.
There are several ways you can enjoy Tasmania’s wide open spaces. Why not lace up your hiking boots or put on a bicycle helmet and get a close-up look at our island’s natural beauty? Or if you are an adrenaline junkie, you might want to test your skills at hang gliding, white water rafting, abseiling, rock climbing, jet boating, diving or surfing!
Experience Tasmania’s cosmopolitan cities
The beautiful city of Hobart is packed with cosmopolitan surprises – whether you are a foodie, a culture vulture or a shopaholic, you will find plenty of places to explore.
A popular place to start your Hobart adventure is Salamanca Place in Sullivan’s Cove. Often affectionately referred to as the city’s favourite hangout, Salamanca Place is the heart of Hobart’s vibrant art scene.
Whether you choose to spend a lazy Saturday exploring the eclectic Salamanca Market, enjoy an afternoon at the Salamanca Arts Centre or take in a Friday evening of live music performed by Rektango in the courtyard, you are sure to have a brilliant time.
The city is one of Australia’s most distinctive capitals and you’ll see evidence of its rich European heritage everywhere, including beautifully-restored buildings that have been converted into artists’ studios, restaurants and dockside cafes. It is also compact – a true ten-minute city where a short walk or cab ride will transport you from history to the most modern gallery or homely watering hole. Best of all, slow down … that is what a holiday is for.
Launceston is Tasmania’s second-largest city and is also well worth exploring. Home to some of Australia’s most picturesque Victorian buildings, a collection of fine regional museums and galleries and a beautiful river waterfront, Launceston is full of hidden gems.
The city is the gateway to the Tamar Valley – where many of Tasmania’s cool-climate wineries are located – and it also boasts some of the island’s most memorable and picturesque scenery. Launceston’s Cataract Gorge offers spectacular panoramic views from its chairlift reputedly the longest single span seated chairlift in the world.
Learn more about Tasmania’s rich history
Five of the eleven Australian convict sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List are located in Tasmania and you can make them the basis on which you construct your itinerary. Some of the world’s best-kept records of convict history can be found here and are especially popular among visitors from all over the world who are tracing their ancestry to Australian convict colonies.
Port Arthur, Richmond, Maria Island, the Cascade Female Factory in south Hobart, Sarah Island, Brickendon and Woolmers Estates are all protected by UNESCO and offer a fascinating look at Tasmania’s rich and colourful past.
But the settlement of Tasmania was not just one of convict heritage. There were brave and hardy folk who conquered the bush and pushed into interiors where they farmed. There were even hardier men who explored for minerals and the wealth of Tasmania’s forests. At a time when all ships were made from wood, the Huon pine became the fine finishes and decking of untold vessels. Forestry and agriculture forms the basis of another volume of our history visible today.