24 Fun Things to Do in Tasmania on Your First Trip

24 Fun Things to Do in Tasmania on Your First Trip

From marvelling at Wineglass Bay from the peak of Mt Amos to delving into history, art and culture, Tasmania has plenty of things for visitors to do!

An isolated island off mainland Australia’s south coast, Tasmania bursts with vast wilderness and heritage every traveller should get a glimpse of. Here’s what you could do on your first trip to this captivating state!

1. Take a picture at Hobart’s waterfront

Image credit: Warrick Wynne

You should probably start your trip right here in Hobart, the capital city of the Tasmanian state. It’s home to captivating histories and heritage, and nestled in the intricacies of the modern lifestyle. First up, a picture at one of Australia’s many picturesque waterfronts is a must!

2. Shop at Salamanca Market

Image credit: eGuide Travel

While exploring Hobart, be sure to spare some time on a Saturday to visit the Salamanca Market which is right next to the Hobart waterfront. Here, you can shop away on locally made goods such as bespoke jewellery, hand-worked glass, handcrafted cheese and even Tasmanian timbers.  

3. Explore MONA

Image credit: Mark Pegrum

Image credit: Sahra

A “subversive adult Disneyland” — aptly described by Australian art collector, David Walsh, who owns and showcases over 400 of his artistic works, along with those of other artists’, at the Museum of Old and New Art, otherwise known a MONA. Indeed, if you already toured the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, then take a ferry down to MONA to experience modern art in the most fascinating way. We’re not kidding — even the architecture in this museum is enthralling!

4. Climb Mt Wellington

Image credit: Adam Selwood

Hobart rests at the foothills of Mt Wellington, whose towering peaks are visible from the city itself. Spend a day for this one by making your way up to the Mt Wellington Park to take in the breathtaking view of the Tasmanian landscape from high up in the sky! You can drive up or set forth on any one of the many walking tracks.

5. Be stunned by the Russell Falls

From about an hour’s drive from Hobart, you can catch one of the many amazing waterfalls in Tasmania. Russell Falls, located in Mt. Field National Park, has been the most photographed and easiest to get to. Accompanied by the Horseshoe Falls and Lady Barron Falls, this sight would be worth the drive.

Image credit: Vipul Hitesh

What is even better, in fact, is the road trip down to the national park. You will drive through the beautiful Derwent Valley as you trail the River Derwent most of the route towards the park. Stop by for some breathtaking pictures!

6. Brave the Tahune Airwalk

Image credit: Jenne

Further out from Hobart, a 90-minute drive, comes the Tahune Forest Adventures which will be perfect especially with kids who love some exciting outdoor activity high up in the forests — if you’re not afraid of heights, that is. Try the Tahune Airwalk, a 50-metre platform above the forest canopy and view the spectacular panorama of the forests, the rivers and the mountains of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

7. Get spooked at Port Arthur

Image credit: Thomas Huxley

From Hobart, you can also drive straight down to Port Arthur. Once a penal settlement, Port Arthur is now an open-air museum and a historic site for those who want to learn more of Australia’s colonial history, listen and read the stories of convicts, and find out how this feared settlement turned into one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

8. Walk on Richmond Bridge

Image credit: Andrea Vail

Across River Derwent from Hobart lies another town called Richmond which will make a great half-day side trip! Here, be sure to walk on the Richmond Bridge that has spanned the Coal River since 1825. This bridge, built by convict labour that serves as an enduring reminder of forced labour, is the country’s oldest large stone arch bridge that is surviving till today.

9. Buy bags of lollies

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And while you’re here, grab some sweet treats, including handmade, sugar-free lollies, from The Richmond Lolly Shop!

10. Consume history at Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery

Image credit: Discover Tasmania

The riverside city of Launceston is often less acclaimed to be a captivating tourist destination but there are some interesting landmarks to discover, such as the Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery. There is also the City Park where you can see some monkeys, and the Saturday Harvest Market to shop at!

11. Admire the Cataract Gorge

Image credit: Luke Webber

After walking about 15 minutes from the city-centre, you can reach the Cataract Gorge, known to the locals as a unique natural phenomenon, very rare to any city in the world. Get your cameras ready for this one, we promise this is going to be worth it!

12. Meet your furry friends at the Tasmania Zoo

Image credit: Mathias Appel

Another reason to make your way down to Launceston is that it is the gateway to a couple of attractions worth visiting. For instance, just a 15-minute drive outside of Launceston would bring you to the Tasmania Zoo!

13. Visit Switzerland at North Tasmania

If you want a whiff of the Swiss here on Tasmania, you can drive down to the Swiss-style village of Grindelwald about 15 minutes north of Launceston. Here, you can choose to stay at the Tamar Valley Resort, shop at the numerous craft and gift shops, and munch away at chocolatiers and bakeries.

14. Be a child at Seahorse World

Image credit: John Delton

A visit to the Seahorse World is a must with your child, or you could just be the child yourself. This landmark is just 45 minutes away from Launceston!

15. Take a day walk at Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park

Image credit: rjcox

Moving on to the west coast of Tasmania is Strahan at the edge of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. It is also the gateway to the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park where you can explore the lush vegetation, learn more about the Aboriginal and convict histories, or simply… have a picnic! You would need to take a boat to reach this beautiful area!

16. Cruise along Gordon River

If you love staring out at the vast waters, the cruise option will be apt for you! There are many slots for cruises down the World Heritage Gordon River where not only can you admire the blue waters, you can also take a 360-degree view of the Tasmanian wilderness!

17. Chill in a steam train chugging into the wild West Coast

Image credit: Andrew Phelps

There is something about classic trains — the sound of metal against metal, the hooting of the train, and the soft whoosh of steam. I’d only wished I travelled in these trains each day to work! That aside, there are three train routes you could sign up for here at Strahan to chug into the wild West Coast of Tasmania. Don’t miss this out, there is history everywhere!

18. Take a short walk to Hogarth Falls

Image credit: BriYYZ

Short walks into nature’s territory are interestingly enjoyable. If you’re still in Strahan, make your way up to People’s Park and walk down to the Hogarth Falls.

19. Snap a picture of the pink granite peaks from Freycinet National Park

things to do in tasmania

Image credit: Rob Taylor

On the other side of the axis lies the small town of Coles Bay along the east coast of Tasmania. It is home to the Freycinet National Park, a 38-kilometre promontory, popular for its wondrous natural assets. For starters, click a picture of the pink granite peaks of the Hazards Range that elegantly loom over the peninsula! You can do this at different locations within the park, such as from the iconic Wineglass Bay.

20. Trek up to Mt Amos to view Wineglass Bay

things to do in tasmania

Image credit: Thomas Jundt

Speaking of Wineglass Bay, if you’d love a spectacular view of this magnificent work of nature, trek up to Mt Amos!

21. Canoe at Honeymoon Bay

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For all water sport enthusiasts, the peninsula is your playground. Try canoeing at Honeymoon Bay, which is also situated within the Freycinet precinct!

22. Take a picture with the Big Penguin

Image credit: Nicholas Cull

At the northwest corner of Tasmania, you can take a picture with the Big Penguin at Penguin town. Yes, it is called Penguin. Located at the edge of the Bass Strait that separates Tasmania from the rest of mainland Australia, the town acquired its name from a nearby penguin breeding ground. If you want to see live penguins, you can head down to Penguin Point where they appear every night.

23. Learn more of the Aborigines at Narawntapu National Park

things to do in tasmania

Image credit: Steven Penton

Image credit: Steven Penton

Being at Penguin allows you to access the towns on the north coast of Tasmania, such as Ulverstone, home to the Narawntapu National Park. Here, you can admire the wildlife, such as the Forester kangaroos, Bennett’s wallabies and wombats, and not forgetting the Tasmanian devils! There is also a rich Aboriginal heritage in the park that will reveal themselves in the artefacts along the walking trails. You can also catch amazing sunsets!

24. Explore Gunns Plains Cave

Image credit: Chris Gray

Thirty kilometres south from Ulverstone lies the Gunn Plains Cave in the Gunns Plains State Reserve. It is one of the earliest cave reserves in Tasmania and it is filled with beautiful limestone formations such as calcite shawls and flowstones. A tour of this magical place will be memorable for sure.

Take this list and begin your explorations of Tasmania! If there’s anything you’d like to add on, post a comment in the section below.

About Author

Parveen Maghera
Parveen Maghera

An avid non-fiction reader, Parveen loves digging deep into stories of unique individuals, be they from Europe or the Middle East. Indeed, if travelling was free, you won't see her again. It is her wish to embark on a world tour some time in her future. You might just see her selfie-ing with the Eiffel Tower, or even consuming the aura of Swat Valley with other native Afghans.

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