9 Great reasons to visit Tasmania

9 Great Reasons to Visit Tasmania

Often overshadowed by mainland Australia, Tasmania is a great domestic holiday destination. With spectacular scenery, phenomenal food and home to the world’s cleanest air, here’s nine reasons why a visit to Tasmania should be on your bucketlist.

1. Amazing Food

Known as the “Apple Isle”, as one of the world’s major apple growers and exporters, today Tasmania is highly regarded for its diverse food and acclaimed dining scene. Experience the award-winning cheddar-style cheeses at Ashgrove Cheeses, sample the crisp Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Gris white wines during a visit to the Tamar Valley and explore the famous Salamanca Markets. Held every Saturday in Hobart, meander along the tree-lined historic Salamanca Place, housing more than 300 stalls featuring fresh and gourmet produce, alongside arts and handicrafts. Here you can find everything from homemade cheeses, freshly baked breads, and shucked oysters. Beer lovers should head to Launceston to enjoy a premium beer at James Boag’s Brewery, dating back to 1881.
Sample Tasmania's local fresh produce

2. Rewarding Hikes

Tasmania is as much a walker’s paradise as it is a food haven, with more than 2,800km of managed walking tracks. Explore the picturesque landscape as you walk along one of the many hiking trails scattered throughout the island. Popular short walks include Cape Tourville in Freycinet National Park, with commanding views across the east coast of Freycinet as you pass by the Cape Tourville Lighthouse. Alternatively, be rewarded with mesmerising views over the famous Wineglass Bay as you take on the 3km Wineglass Bay Lookout Walk. The Cradle Mountain-lake St. Clair National Park, just north of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, is home to glacier-carved crags, shimmering lakes, and alpine heathland. Walk through the lush rainforest on the Dove Lake Circuit, or enjoy a visit to Pencil Pine Falls along the easy 1.5km Cradle Valley Waterfall Walk. However, for experienced hikers, why not attempt the challenging 80km Overland Track, Tasmania’s most famous walk starting at Cradle Mountain and finishing at Lake St Clair.
Hike through Cradle Mountain, Tasmania

3. Picturesque Scenery

Tasmania is renowned for its picture perfect scenery and with a diverse landscape it will be difficult to choose your favourite. Admire the towering pink granite peaks of the Hazards Ranges at Freycinet National Park, and gaze across the secluded, azure bays and white, soft, sandy beaches, with Wineglass Bay the most iconic. The coastal scenery continues at Tasman National Park, with jagged dolerite cliffs, plummeting 300 metres down to the crashing sea. Look for the Blowhole, Tasman Arch and Devils Kitchen, just three of the more unusual geological formations. The Cataract Gorge Reserve, just two minutes from Launceston CBD is a magnificent natural phenomenon with a deep chasm carved by the South Esk River. Follow the walking track besides the spectacular gorge or explore by boat. Enjoy views from the world’s longest single-span chairlift and relax in the Cliff grounds – a Victorian garden home to ferns, exotic plants and sweeping lawns. If you’re lucky, you might even spot peacocks or wallabies at dusk.
Soak up the views of Wineglass Bay at Freycinet National Park, Tasmania

4. Wildlife

Whilst in Tasmania, keep an eye out for the local wildlife, including Tasmanian Devils, the largest living carnivorous marsupial, only found in this small island state. You might also be lucky to spot the shy Platypus, easily identified by its webbed feet and flat bill, particularly around rivers, lakes and dams. If travelling along the east coast during May to November, watch for the splash and spray of migrating Humpback and Southern Right whales, whilst Little Penguins (Fairy) can also be spotted at Bicheno, Bonnet Island and The Neck on Bruny Island. However, for closer wildlife encounters, head to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary where you can meet Tasmanian Devils, koalas, kangaroos, blue-tongued lizards, wombats and Randall the echidna.
Look out for the Tasmanian Devil - only found in Tasmania

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5. Home of Sailing

Tasmania is a sailing paradise, with a rich maritime history. In fact, there are more boats per person here than any other state in Australia. Time your visit to Tasmania at the end of December to witness the completion of the famous Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Cheer on your favourite team as yachts of all sizes from all over the world make the daring voyage across the Bass Strait, one of the toughest stretches of water. Alternatively, enjoy a roundtrip cruise through the River Derwent with Peppermint Bay Cruises whilst in Hobart, and stroll along the iconic waterfront to watch the harbour life whilst sampling the fish and chips.
Explore Hobart's waterfront, Tasmania

6. Convict History

Tasmania was first named Van Diemen’s Land by Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1642 after Antonio van Diemen, the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies at the time. The island was seen as the end of the world, and the perfect place to set up penal colonies where more than 70,000 men, women and children were sent in the early 1800s. One of Australia’s best preserved convict sites is the UNESCO World Heritage listed Port Arthur. Once a penal settlement and timber station in 1830, the focus here was ship building. The Point Puer Boys’ Prison was also set up and housed approximately 3,000 prisoners as young as nine years old over its 15 years of operation. Today, you can tour through 30 historic buildings and ruins, hear the stories of the tough living conditions and enjoy a harbour cruise to see the Isle of the Dead, the final resting place of more than 1,000 convicts. 
Explore Port Arthur's convict history, Tasmania


Walsh’s private collection of art and antiquities, it is Australia’s largest private museum and a must see attraction. Explore the outdoor art exhibitions and enjoy a glass of wine at the Moorilla Winery. Easily accessible, the best way to reach MONA is by a picturesque 25 minute ferry ride.
Art lovers head to MONA, Hobart's Museum of Old and New Art

8. Cruise the Gordon River

Part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park is home to rugged mountain peaks, deep, chiselled gorges and wild rushing rivers. One of the best and most relaxing ways to experience this UNESCO World Heritage site is on a cruise. Starting in Strahan, cruise the breathtaking Macquarie Harbour to Hells Gate, where the harbour meets the ocean and watch for wildlife including the White-bellied Sea Eagle and Wedge-tailed Eagles. During the cruise, stop at Heritage Landing and enjoy a guided walk through the cool and temperate rainforest and admire the 3,000 year old Huon Pines, some of the oldest trees in the world.
Cruise along the Gordon River, Tasmania

9. Breathe in the "world's cleanest air"

Take a big breath and fill your lungs at the northwestern tip of Tasmania on Cape Grim Peninsula, regarded as having the cleanest air in the world. Home to the Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station since 1976, the station measures the air’s quality. In fact, the air is so clean, the region bottles and sells its air and water. 
Breathe in the world's cleanest air

Top Tasmania Tours