Tasmania is bursting with things to do and see – and there’s more to this little paradise than meets the eye. Step off the beaten tourist track and check out some of these unique attractions and untouched natural wonders – some of which will be available to the public for the first time this year.
- Three Capes Track (opens in November)
Accessible for all ages and abilities, the Three Capes Track is a brand spanking new walking track that meanders for 46km along the Tasman peninsula. Go it alone or head out with a tour guide who will point out the beautiful flora and fauna as you take in panoramic views from the highest sea cliffs in Australia.
- Go canyoning at Cradle Mountain
If smelling the wildflowers doesn’t get your blood pumping, take the plunge and try canyoning at Cradle Mountain – a unique experience at a World Heritage listed site. You’ll have access to places that the general tourist population won’t. Keep in mind, this is not for the faint hearted: you’ll have to climb, jump, swim and abseil your way there. Cradle Mountain offers an introduction to canyoning if this is your first time, and the experience is open for kids as young as 8.
- Raft the Franklin River
Slip through tranquil gorges and plunge down rapids rather than taking a photo from the safety of the banks of the beautiful World Heritage listed Franklin River. White water rafting is an exhilarating way to take in the fantastic scenery and combine your love for adventure and the great outdoors. You don’t need a tonne of experience – just a willingness to try something new.
- Go Kayaking in the South West of Tasmania
South-West Tasmania offers remote locations for kayaking that will take your breath away – not just from the physical challenge, but from the amazing scenery. Take a day-trip or stretch your time into a week-long adventure. You’ll get to places that the run-of-the-mill tourist can’t, and you’ll feel better for doing something invigorating.
- Walk the Overland Track
If you’re looking for a physical challenge, get your walking boots on and head for the Overland Track. A 65km bushwalk through the wilderness, the track generally takes hikers about 6 days to complete. People travel from around the world to take on this walk and experience the pristine environment, and abundant flora and fauna. Starting at Cradle Mountain, walkers follow the track south to finish at Australia’s deepest lake, Lake St. Clair. The best time to take on this challenge is October to May.
- Get your winter festival on
Mingle with locals at a festival that brings creative types out to play. The Dark MOFO Winter Festival (MOFO is a clever name combination of Museum of Old and New Art and the Festival of Music and Art – not what you’re thinking!) is new cultural festival that will include night markets, musical acts, dance, theatre, visual art and a large-scale fire and light event that will light up the cold winter nights.
- Go to the top of Mt Wellington
If you love cute and cuddly wildlife, head for Mt Wellington. The walk to the top has options for all abilities ranging from easy tracks to challenging climbs – or you have the option of driving or cycling. Tread softly and you’re bound to see some of the possums, platypus, echidnas, bettongs and bandicoots that call Mt Wellington home. With an elevation of 1,271m the views overlooking Hobart and the Derwent River are spectacular.
- Mountain Bike Riding
There are mountain bike tracks all over Tasmania, but we recommend you head to the North East to take on the best challenges. Hollybank, the Blue Tier and Derby mountain-biking trails are a short drive from Launceston, and will take you through interesting terrain that will get your adrenaline pumping. It doesn’t hurt that the scenery is pretty fantastic too.
- Go wine tasting in the Tamar Valley
Take things down a gear and meander through Tasmania’s Tamar Valley – the country’s oldest wine region. Known for producing award-winning cool climate wines – the Tamar Valley has 30 wineries clustered together among breathtaking scenery. The majority of wineries offer a very personal experience – chat to the vineyard owners and wine makers over a tasting, and don’t forget to sample some of the nibbles – the valley is also famous for its fresh produce.
- Walk to the top of Mt Amos to see the view over Wine Glass Bay
The Freycinet National Park is a three-hour drive from Hobart, but you’ll be glad you made the trip. The park is Home to Mt Amos which offers a physically challenging but unbelievably rewarding climb. Enjoy panoramic views of Wineglass Bay when you reach the top – a stunning combination of sparking turquoise water bordered with white beaches and green mountainous land stretching out beyond. There’s plenty to look at on the way – views over Coles Bay and Honeymoon Bay, as well as fantastic granite rock formations. For a less strenuous experience, follow the track for the Wineglass Bay lookout.
- Explore the rainforest in the Tarkine
Protected by the Government, the Tarkine is a stretch of beautiful rainforest that runs for 70km and is home to a network of river systems that play a huge role in supporting the pristine eco-system. There’s a lot to see, including Waratah – a historic mining village, waterfalls and gorges, lakes and beaches and ancient flora including rare pines that are estimated to be more than 3,000 years old. The Tarkine is also home to an amazing range of wildlife: it provides sanctuary for the very rare Tasmanian Devil, and sadly was one of the last refuges for the now-extinct Tasmanian Tiger.
- Whisky Tasting in the Derwent Valley
Nant Distilling Company has been on the scene since 2008, the year they completed the restoration works at Nant Estate. Built in 1821, the estate was in disrepair when the Batt family purchased it in 2004 . They painstakingly rebuilt the buildings to original standard stone by stone, dredged the millpond and restored the water mill to its former glory . Today, Nant Distilling Company is one of only a handful of distillers in the world to grow, malt and distill it’s own barley to make single malt whisky, and the only distiller in Australia to include a water mill in the process . This is how whisky was originally produced, and Nant plan to continue this tradition. #tasmania #discovertasmania #instatassie #hobart #nant #bothwell #seeaustralia @hobartandbeyond @tasmania @instatassie @australia #whisky #nantdistillery #hobartandbeyond
A photo posted by Jason ? Hobart, Tasmania (@tassiegrammer) on
The Derwent Valley is known for picturesque scenery, but it’s also home to Tasmania’s best whisky producers. Stop in at one (or more!) of the distilleries to learn about the distillation process, sample the fine single malts and meet the makers. The Tasmanian whisky scene has shown promising growth in the last couple of years and is starting to attract a lot of attention, so visit now before the rest of the world finds out.
- Mole Creek Caves
Base yourself at Mole Creek and take some time to experience some of the unique scenery this area offers, both above and below ground. The caves are natural wonders, with stalactites and stalagmites that have developed over the last 100 years or more, sparking crystals and underground rivers. Keep an eye out for the Tasmanian Cave Spider!
- Tahune Forest Airwalk (re-opening September 2015)
Step into the Tahune – 1.6 million hectares of World Heritage listed forest and home to the Huon and Picton Rivers. Now imagine strolling among the treetops, 20-30 metres above ground, and venturing over the pristine rivers on hair-raising swinging bridges. Adventurous, fun and a great way to get a really unique perspective on the beauty of the forest. You’ll have to wait until September 2015 to try out this gem.
- Seahorse World
When you think of Tasmanian wildlife, usually furry, friendly fauna springs to mind. Did you know Tasmania is home to the world’s first breeding facility for endangered seahorses? Approved by the United Nations and the Government, Seahorse World is designed to conserve and protect these little beauties. Take a tour – believe it or not, you’ll have the opportunity to pat a seahorse.
- Lavender Farm at Port Arthur
Port Arthur is a hugely popular tourist attraction, and people flock to see the architecture and learn about the site’s historical importance. When you’re ready for a break, take a side trip to Port Arthur Lavender, where you can stroll through 18 acres of lavender, learn about the distillation process and sip a lavender milkshake. That’s not something you do every day!