Travel Suggestions for Visiting Tasmania

Some Basic Safety Tips

  • Tell someone where you are going before heading into the bush.
  • Bring a jacket, sensible shoes, and a sunhat!
  • Water and snacks are essential.
  • Don’t delay booking hotels, tours, and vehicles, as they do often sell out in summer.
  • Be careful on the roads at night – watch for wildilfe. There’s a phenomenal amount of roadkill in Tassie, and colliding with even a small animal can be cause a fatal accident for both animal and driver.
  • Any wild snake in Tasmania is poisonous. Don’t disturb them and be careful walking in sunny patches.
  • Avoid all ants, especially the jack-jumpers with brown jaws. They have a poisonous sting that can cause allergic reactions.

Places to eat

 

Places to stay

  • Try the Alabama Hotel – a boutique art hotel in Hobart downtown. It’s cosy and you will always feel welcome in the heart of the city.
  • In Port Huon just near Geeveston, you can check out the beautiful historic Kermandie Waterfront Hotel, one of the most impressive buildings in the Far South.
  • The town of Franklin midway between Geeveston has a lovely caravan campsite on the shore of the Huon River.
  • The campsite at Mount Field National Park is strategically located for several kinds of mountain adventures
  • If you are looking for a nice change of scenery and protection from the weather, have a visit to the old hydro-electrecity town of Strathgordon.

Cultural Awareness

  • There are about half a million people in Tasmania, with half living in Hobart
  • Tasmania is home to several thousand Tasmanian Aboriginals with ancestral ties to the island stretching back at least 40,000 years
  • The majority of Tasmanians have English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry, with recent immigration from around the world proving new cultural perspectives
  • Tasmania takes pride in its distinct identity from the mainland of Australia, and in some ways is more similar to New Zealand.  Many Tasmanians are living on mainland Australians, and many Tasmanians have spent a period of their lives on the “North Island”
  • There are no restrictions for residents or visitors as to religious faith, political expression, or sexual orientation
  • Tasmania is a safe and friendly place. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make friends.

Mountains to climb

Caves to discover

  • Tasmania has a number of excellent show caves. In the heart of the Southern Forests is the massive Hastings Cave, well worth a visit in a very interesting geological region of the island.
  • If you are in the north, you can make your way to the north side of the mountains where the famously decorated Mole Creek Caves National Park lies, or inland from Penguin, to the marvellous Gunns Plains Caves
  • For sandstone caves and shelters that have been utilised for many thousands of years, a good place to explore is Chauncy Vale Wildlife Sanctuary about 40 km north of Hobart.

Beaches to explore

  • Everyone loves a bit of sand and saltwater…
  • For some gentle waters close to Hobart, try the very sheltered Five Mile Beach. You can walk in cool pine plantations and along a beautiful tidal flat at low tide.
  • If you’d like to see some monster waves, the West Coast is smashed by some long-distance ocean waves whipped up by Antarctic winds. Ocean Beach near Strahan is easy to get to, but be warned, this isn’t a swimming beach.
  • On the North Coast, one of the most impressive places in Tasmania for coastal geology is the Rocky Cape National Park, where giant quartzite cliffs swoop down to the bright waters of Bass Strait
  • Of course, Wineglass Bay and the Bay of Fires is lovely, but there’s quite a bit more to the granite coastline. Try exploring out of the lovely town of St. Helens (and make sure to check out Wolfgang Glowacki’s art gallery if you do – excellent macro nature photography!)

Museums to discover

  • If you like museums, you’ll have already heard of MONA. It’s an interesting place…but my heartfelt opinion is that the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart, and the Queen Victoria Museum in Launceston, are much better at representing the island.
  • There is a true secret treasure of archeology hiding in Lenah Valley north of Hobart – the Acanthe Art Gallery; a little Greek temple surrounded by forests.
  • Almost every mid to small town has a Heritage and History room…see if you can track them down!
  • Another true treasure is the Margate History Museum, just south of the town of Margate in the far south. It’s a large museum filled with historical artifacts and collections, well worth the visit.
  • In the farthest south of the state, at Lune River past the Huon Valley, the Lunaris Gemstones shop has some of the best fossils and rocks anywhere in Tasmania. They are also the world experts on fossilised tree ferns….

Islands to visit

  • Getting to islands can be tricky, but the two BIG islands of Tasmania are destinations in their own right: Flinders and King.
  • Bruny Island is lovely, but unfortunately the ferry service and facilities are really struggling with the level of tourist activities. I’d suggest heading to Triabunna and visiting Maria Island on foot or with a bike.
  • The convict heritage of Sarah Island can be visited on a river cruise of the Gordon River in Strahan. You’ll also see the Southern Hemisphere rainforests of the Southwest Rivers.
  • The most epic islands within Tasmania that I know of are the Celery-Top Islands in the farthest Southwest waters of Port Davey. They are covered in thick rainforest and surrounded by soaring mountains. These are exceptionally difficult to reach – the best way to get there is to contact either the Odalisque (charter motor-yacht) or on a kayak expedition with Roaring 40s.
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We acknowledge the long human history of Tasmania and pay our respects to the Tasmanian Aboriginal communities.

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