Last updated on August 5th, 2023 at 05:30 pm
From cities to exquisite National Parks with stunning mountain vistas, a stunning east coast, plus plenty of local produce, Tasmania has it all. If you are planning to do a loop of Tasmania, ensure you include all the best things to see and do in Tasmania on your visit. Here are a dozen best places to visit in Tasmania on your next trip or first trip to this wild state of Australia.
Table of Contents
Best Places to Visit in Tasmania at a Glance
Best Things to See and Do in Tasmania
Recommended by Ben @ The Sabbatical Guide
Hobart old town
Founded in 1804 as a penal colony, Hobart is the third oldest city in Australia and one of the best places to visit on Tasmania.
You’ll need at least three days in Hobart to make the most of it. With lots to do in the city and tours to take out to neighbouring towns and attractions.
The most famous place to visit is the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). It was voted by Lonely Planet writers in the top 20 places to visit on earth. It’s the creation of David Walsh, his personal collection of art, curios and weird exhibits alongside restaurants and even a winery.
You’ve also got Australia’s oldest brewery (Cascade). It is at the bottom of Mount Wellington, from which you can get incredible views of the city. In the Old Town is the historic centre of Salamanca, that has a market every Saturday morning. You can also visit the beautiful Botanic Gardens, and see the site of the old zoo, where the last Tasmanian Tiger lived.
Around Hobart you have the beautiful old town of Richmond with its historic bridge, miniature Hobart and Pooseum (yes, it really is what you think!). Plus the fantastic Bonorong Wildlife Reserve. If you want to travel a bit further, the Tassie icons of Port Arthur and Wineglass Bay are both accessible on day trips.
Recommended by Ann @ The Road is Life
Be treated to fabulous views at Sumac Lookout
Located in Tasmania’s north west, the Tarkine Drive is a scenic loop that winds through ancient rainforests and features dramatic landscapes and diverse wildlife.
This self-guided driving route begins and ends in the town of Smithton and covers around 130 km. The drive can be completed in a single day however it’s best to spread out over several days and camp along the way.
One of the top highlights is taking a short walk through the rainforest to see the Trowutta Arch. It is a striking natural rock arch. Another must-see is the Sumac Lookout which boasts a spectacular view over the Arthur River and surrounding wilderness.
Throughout the drive you’ll also pass by waterfalls, beaches and lakes. The Tarkine region is full of wildlife unique to Tasmania, so keep your eyes peeled for wombats, possums and Tasmanian Devils! The Tarkine Drive is a stunning and memorable drive that showcases the wild and rugged beauty of Tasmania’s north west. If you’re planning a road trip in Tasmania, be sure to include this drive on your itinerary.
Bridgestowe Lavender Estate
Recommended by Raksha @ Solo Passport
Lavender as far as you can see
Located around 50 kilometres from Launceston city is the lavender farm called the Bridestowe Lavender Estate. The estate was opened in 2007 by Robert Ravens and is now home to many lavender flowers and fields. With lavender seeds picked up from France, the fields have 14 varieties of lavenders grown on the estate. It is also famous for the purple bear called Bobbie which is an iconic symbol in Tasmania.
The estate can be visited throughout the year. The best time though to see the lavender flowers in full bloom is during the summer season between December and January. Note that it is also the peak season as these purple fields are great places to take pictures and have photoshoots.
There is an entrance fee of $20 per adult which you can purchase at the entrance of the estate. You need a couple of hours on the estate to see the fields and take pictures. For beautiful pictures, ensure to visit during the sunset. The estate also has a café onsite where you can get purple ice cream.
Recommended by Sharee @ Inspire Family Travel
Cataract Gorge is 15 minutes drive from Launceston
Being Tasmania’s second largest city, there is no shortage of things to do in Launceston.
Located in Northern Tasmania, the charming city is close to the picturesque Tamar Valley wine region. Tasmania’s oldest wine-growing area is known for world-class cool-climate wines and beautiful countryside.
On your way to visit the cellar doors stop in at Tamar Island Wetlands Centre. In only 10 minutes you will be exploring a unique ecosystem teeming with plant and animal life. Learn about the area at the interpretation centre before strolling along the boardwalk.
Cataract Gorge is a short 15-minute drive from the city and with free entry one of the most popular places in Launceston to visit. Discover the striking scenery up close on the walking trails and for a bird’s eye view ride the Cataract Gorge chairlift. The world’s longest single-span chairlift.
In the heart of Launceston is the leafy green oasis called City Park. Wander the pathways, throw down a picnic rug or visit the Japanese Macaque (snow monkey) enclosure that is found in the park.
Three days would allow you to cover a lot of what Launceston offers. However, add more time if you are going to make Launceston your hub for exploring further afield.
Recommended by Jeanine from Lets go a Wandering
Take a walk along the Tall Tree Track
Driving approximately 1.5 hours west of Hobart, you will discover Mt Field National Park, which is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area within Derwent Valley. This is one of the great day trips from Hobart, where you will step into a wonderfully lush environment. Take the three falls circuit walk, within the park that includes one of the most stunning falls in Tasmania.
The complete circuit can take 3+ hours to complete. The lush vegetation offers shade for walking in summer. Check weather forecasts and NPWS in winter, to ensure no snow has fallen, making access limited or the park is closed. The visitors centre offers parking and has a café for refreshments and meals before or after your visit to the park.
Russell falls is the first of the three falls. Its three tiers of cascading water is most impressive, with wheelchair access to the viewing platform. Following the cascades upwards and continuing along the circuit Horse Falls is the second fall you will encounter. To obtain access to the final fall of the circuit, Lady Barron Falls, you travel along the Tall Trees walk. This 1 km walk is spectacular. This is where you will encounter trees towering over you, some well over 100m tall.
You will require a National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) Parks Pass to enter this park and all National Parks within Tasmania. Holiday Passes (up to 2 months including Cradle Mountain) can be obtained also.
Recommended by Holly @ Four Around the World
Old Buildings at Port Arthur
Tasmania is rich with history and one of the best places to experience some of that history is at the Port Arthur Historic Site.
Located on the Tasman Peninsula it is around a 90-minute drive from the capital of Hobart. It is the site that once was a notorious convict settlement from 1830 to 1877. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed site is now home to beautiful ruins and attractions that tell the stories of many who were housed here.
You can visit Port Arthur on a day pass and wander around at your own pace through the various ruins and museum buildings. Site entry includes a self-guided audio experience and site talks. There is also a 20-minute Harbour Cruise, which gives a lovely perspective from the water.
Alternatively, if you want a spookier experience, take a Port Arthur Ghost Tour by night. This after-dark experience is one you will not quickly forget. You might want to book accommodation closer to Port Arthur if doing this night tour as the drive back is very windy and there can be a lot of wildlife on the road after dark.
You can see most of the site and join a guided talk during a half-day visit. However, you may need longer if you are joining one of the paid tours.
Recommended by Danni @ The Solo Plan
A unique must-visit location of your Tasmania adventure is the magnificent Gordon Dam. Situated amidst breathtaking landscapes, Gordon Dam is a true marvel of engineering and a beautiful place to visit.
The concrete arch dam is 140 meters in height and is one of those places that you need to visit to truly appreciate the scale. The walkway on top of the dam is open to the public. It is a great way to enjoy the views of the stunning Lake Gordon and surrounding mountains. For the thrill-seekers, it is possible to take a leap of faith and abseil down the face of Gordon Dam.
The dam itself is located at the end of the long and winding Gordon River Road. Whilst you might think it’s surely not worth this long drive, the drive is part of the experience as you meander through the stunning Tasmanian landscape. There are plenty of places to stop along the way to enjoy a picnic and take photos. On arrival, prepare to be blown away by the sheer beauty and engineering feat that is Gordon Dam.
Recommended by Haley @ Haley Blackall Travel
Bruny Island off the Coast of Tassie
Bruny Island is the food mecca of Tasmania, and one of the top places to visit on your adventure down south. Located a 30 minute scenic coastal drive and 10 minute ferry from Hobart, Bruny Island has so much to offer.
Best explored by rental car or by an organized Bruny Island day tour. The highlights of the island include the iconic Neck Lookout and historic Cape Bruny lighthouse. Both landmarks providing spectacular views of the island and its rugged coastline.
The majority of visitors will experience Bruny Island during the day, making their way back to Hobart in the evening. If you happen to be staying overnight, The Neck Game Lookout is where you will be able to witness the small Fairy Penguins come ashore at night – an awe-inspiring event.
Bruny Island is well-known for its culinary offerings. Providing some of Tasmania’s most cherished products, you can experience the freshest Bruny Island oysters at Get Shucked. Or the mouthwatering cheese from the Bruny Island Cheese Company. Of course, the honey, the beer, and the chocolate are also worth the visit on their own.
Recommended by Natalie and Steve @ Curious Campers
Mersey Bluff Lighthouse
Whether you dock here on the Spirit of Tasmania or come through doing a lap, allow 2 or 3 days to see why Devonport is one of the best places to visit in Tasmania.
Explore the historical and cultural connections Devonport has with the sea at the Bass Strait Maritime Centre. You can also check out the Mersey Bluff Lighthouse, the Spirit of the Sea Sculpture and take in views of Bass Strait from lookouts along the foreshore.
A must do in Devonport is a visit to the Tasmanian Arboretum. Not only are the gardens a beautiful place for a walk, but the lake here is one of the best places in Tasmania to spot a platypus. You can see them any time of day.
Other popular attractions in Devonport are Spreyton Cider where you can spend a lazy afternoon sampling the local product. Train enthusiasts will enjoy a ride on the historic Don River Railway and sweet tooths will love House of Anvers Chocolates.
Devonport is also a great base to explore nearby Ulverstone, Penguin and Sheffield all less than 30 minutes away. For some amazing accommodation, try The Cove Tasmania, their private penguin viewing area is incredible.
Recommended by Lanie, Make More Adventures
Cradle Mountain Board Walk
For those looking for beautiful hikes and lots of Australian wildlife, Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain is worth a visit. Less than 2 hours west of Launceston, Cradle Mountain seems remote, but there is plenty to see and do no matter the season.
It is only possible to enter the National Park on a shuttle bus, which is included in the cost of a National Park pass.
While it is best to see Cradle Mountain over the course of a long weekend, if you don’t have enough time to enter the National Park, it is still possible to hike from Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge and see animals including wombats, kangaroos, and echidnas. Serious hikers will want to spend even more time at Cradle Mountain. There is a 6-day overland trek that begins at Cradle Mountains and continues for 65 kilometers to Lake St. Clair.
For non-serious hikers, Enchanted Walk is next to the lodge and there are short hikes to waterfalls across the street. The visitor’s center is located nearby and that is where you can catch the shuttle to the national park. Visitors can also mountain bike, canoe, go fly-fishing, or relax at the spa. Cradle Mountain is a must-see worth stopping at on your loop of Tasmania.
Narawntapu National Park
Recommended by Holly @ Globe Blogging
Tasmanian Pademelon photographed in Narawntapu National Park
Located on the North Coast of Tasmania, Narawntapu National Park is approximately a 1 hour drive from the city of Launceston, or a short drive from Devonport. The park offers the best of all worlds, where a river runs through national park which meets the sea.
This diversity of environments make Narawntapu a renowned destination for wildlife watching in Tasmania. As visitors arrive they may be greeted by the sight of a large mob of Kangaroos grazing on the open field. Eagle-eyed watchers may spot the Tasmanian Pademelon, a small species of Macropod only found in Tasmania, scurrying away. The bush will offer up a variety of land birds, and photographers can head to the riverside bird hide for their opportunity to get close with the waterland birds. Continuing through to the coast will bring you to a long stretch of beach perfect for a swim, or to follow the coastline on the hiking trails.
There are a number of campgrounds in the park. Horse riding permits can be booked in advance for visitors bringing their horses along.
As with all National Parks in Tasmania, a parks pass is required which can be purchased from the visitors centre during opening hours, or online. This can be purchased as a single visit pass, however if the intention is to visit three or more parks it is cheaper to buy the annual pass.
Recommended by Kate @ Kate’s Wanderlust
Step into the enchanting realm of Freycinet National Park, a gem nestled on Tasmania’s magnificent eastern coastline. An emblem of natural splendour and varied coastal allure, Freycinet promises an unforgettable retreat for nature lovers and thrill-seekers.
Discover Tasmania’s most cherished vistas renowned for its pristine waters and sweeping white sands, Wineglass Bay. A brisk hike up to the Wineglass Bay Lookout rewards you with a jaw-dropping panorama. You can also witness the splendour of the bay on a Wineglass Bay Cruise.
Another must-see in Freycinet is The Hazards. These formidable granite giants paint a stunning backdrop to the turquoise bays. For adrenaline seekers, climbing up Mount Amos promises both a test of endurance and unforgettable panoramic views. You can also do the 3-day circuit walk of Freycinet Peninsula.
If you want a peaceful beach stroll, visit Sleepy Bay. It is a picturesque rocky bay adorned with turquoise waters and rocks covered in enchanting orange lichen. You can also meander along Cape Tourville’s boardwalk, revel in coastal grandeur and spot marine creatures, including migrating whales if you’re lucky.
For an immersive Freycinet experience, I recommend spending 2-3 days here exploring major attractions and engaging in activities. Freycinet National Park is a realm of remarkable beauty and diverse experiences, leaving a lasting imprint on all who venture here. Embrace the opportunity to discover the splendour and charm of this extraordinary destination, where every turn unfolds a new adventure.
FAQs about Tasmania
Where is Tasmania
Tasmania is a small island located some 240 kilometres (150 miles) to the south mainland Australia. The closest Australian state is Victoria. As the smallest Australian state the population is around 570,000 people.
What is the Tasmania’s Capital City?
The capital city of Tasmania is Hobart. The city is located in Tasmania’s south-east on the estuary of the Derwent River.
How Do You Get to Tasmania?
As Tasmania is an island, there are two ways to get to it. By the Spirit of Tasmania a ferry that sails between Melbourne and Devonport. It is a large ferry that you can take your car on. And the other option is to fly from one of Australia’s major cities to one of Tasmania’s airports. It has three, Hobart Airport, Launceston Airport and Devonport Airport. Check out airfares here.
How Many Days to Experience Tasmania?
You could have a city break in Tasmania of a couple of days. If your intention is to see as much of Tasmania as you can, a week, preferably two or more is a good amount of time to discover Tasmania.
What is the Best Month to Visit Tasmania?
The best time to visit Tasmania is between December and February during Australia’s summer. Even though crowds are abundant and room rates at their highest, these months offer the most comfortable temperatures for enjoying the island’s abundant outdoor activities. The temperatures in Tasmania are often the lowest as they are closest to the Antarctic. The winter months of June, July and August can be very cold with plenty of snow on the mountains.
TIP: If planning on visiting Tasmania’s many national parks, pick up a parks pass allowing you to park at all of Tasmania’s National Parks. Holiday passes cost $80 AUD per vehicle, whereas 24-hour passes cost $24 AUD per vehicle. Therefore so long as you spend at least 3 days in Tasmania’s National Parks the pass will have paid for itself.
Perfect 3 Week Tasmania Road Trip Itinerary
Here is my suggested 3 week Tasmania road trip. It follows a loop around Tasmania.
1 – Boat from Melbourne to Devonport or fly into Tasmania
2 – Discover Devonport
3-4 – travel to Narantapu NP
5 – travel to Lavender Estate then onto Launceston
6 – Launceston
7 – travel to Freycinet NP
8 – Freycinet NP
9 – travel to Hobart
10-11 – Hobart
12 – day trip to Port Arthur
13 – day trip to Bruny Island
14-16 – into the Derwent Valley and visit Gordon Dam
17-19 – drive to West Coast to Cradle Mountain
20 – drive Tarkine Drive
21 – drive to Devonport to depart by Spirit of Tasmania
Accommodation in Tasmania
Accommodation in Tasmania is diverse. Ranging from your own accommodation in a van brought with you, to hostels, hotels, plus everything else in between. Check out Booking.com for options.
Are You Ready to Discover Tasmania?