Whether it’s a secluded beach or picturesque coastal hamlet, a stunning hiking trail or forest walk, there’s something about Tasmania that brings out the explorer in all of us.
An island roughly the size of Ireland, Tasmania’s beauty is exceeded only by the friendliness of its people. Foodies too can attest to the quality of the Apple Isle’s wine, cheese and fresh produce.
Combine these magnificent qualities and what you have is an ideal destination to discover by road.
A great place to start any Tassie sojourn is naturally its capital, Hobart. Settled in 1803, it has the distinction of being the second-oldest capital city in Australia.
With its location at the mouth of the Derwent River, Hobart quickly became an important seaport bringing trade and a continuous influx of settlers throughout the 19th century.
And while the port may no longer be as vital as it once was to international transport and trade, the historic area has maintained its relevance, having been transformed into the arts, dining and entertainment district featured by Salamanca Place.
Handsome stone warehouses dating back to the 1830s grace Salamanca Place in a lovely continuous row. Once used by merchants for the storage of everything from whale oil to apples, grain and wool, the attractive Georgian structures now contain popular restaurants and cafes, swanky art galleries and inviting shops.
On Saturdays, the Salamanca Markets bring a festive air to this trendy hotspot. At Australia’s most popular outdoor market, visitors will find fresh Tasmanian produce and baked goods, handmade jewellery and clothing, and plants, flowers and wood sculptures.
MORE STORIES YOU’LL LOVE…
Historic Port Arthur
About 1hr 30min drive from Hobart, history and nature come together at Port Arthur.
Tasmania’s most popular tourist attraction, the World Heritage Site at Port Arthur features the historic remnants of one of Australia’s oldest penal settlements.
Its picturesque bayside setting provides a stunning backdrop to the imposing stone legacy of its ‘colourful’ past.
Freycinet National Park
Leaving Port Arthur and continuing north along the Great Eastern Drive, visitors come to one of the island’s most stunning natural settings, Freycinet National Park. Known for its Tasman Sea views, majestic granite peaks, secluded beaches and long nature walks, Freycinet is a must for any outdoor enthusiast.
The park’s top attraction is Wineglass Bay Lookout. While the 30 to 45-minute walk (each way) is rocky and uneven in some spots, the views of the aqua blue waters and white sand beaches below are stunning, making the medium-challenge walk well worth the effort.
From the east coast to the west coast, visitors will find an extensive range of wineries in which to sample some of Australia’s finest wines.
The cool climate is particularly suited to the production of Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, to name just a few.
Swansea, near Freycinet, is a popular vineyard region as is nearby Pipers River.
The rolling hills continue all the way north past Launceston to the Tamar Valley. Each wine region offers a collection of celebrated cellar doors, complete with beautiful views.
Don’t forget to try local cheeses with your Tassie wine – the two are a match made in heaven.
Quick facts about Tasmania
- Size – Tasmania is roughly the same size as Ireland and Switzerland.
- Population – Tasmania’s population of 515,000 contrasts significantly with Switzerland’s 8 million people.
- Claim to fame: Hobart’s Salamanca Place; the lavender fields at Bridestowe Estate; Cradle Mountain and the Overland Track; Lake St. Clair – Australia’s deepest lake.
Car Ferry: Why rent a car in Tasmania when you can take your own? The Spirit of Tasmania offers affordable car transport across Bass Strait between Melbourne and Devonport. For total comfort, reserve a Deluxe cabin with queen size bed for the 9 to 11-hour journey. Two bed and four twin bed cabins are also available.
Fly Away: Virgin Australia, Qantas, Tigerair and Jetstar fly to Hobart from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
Tastes of Tassie
Don’t miss out on these Tasmanian food favourites during your visit. Sample, purchase and enjoy some of the freshest flavours and produce on offer.
- Tassie fresh seafood – especially oysters plucked from the sea
- Fresh produce markets – found literally everywhere!
- King Island cheese – simply delicious but you will need to fly either locally from (Burnie – Wynyard or Launceston) or Melbourne.
- Tasmanian Cuvee – from Clover Hill winery in Freycinet.