Attractions in Tasmania: 14 Best Places to Experience the Outdoors

Tasmania’s Wilderness & Wildlife: 14 Places in Australia’s Southernmost State to Experience the Outdoors

Breathe fresh air, appreciate the geographical isolation, and trek through national parks.

With 40% of its land either UNESCO-protected or home to 19 national parks and reserves, Tasmania is, unsurprisingly, known for having some of the purest air in the world. In fact, the geographical isolation of the island state is actually what makes Tasmania unique — and its biggest selling point. Start with these attractions in Tasmania, which combine wilderness and wildlife experiences for the ultimate respite.

Travel to Tasmania

Wilderness attractions in Tasmania

1. Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park

Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park

Image credit: Laura Smetsers

Savour exceptional beauty at Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, a dramatic landscape of protected rainforests, gorges, lakes, and hiking trails. A paradise for all seasons, this Tasmanian attraction features snow-covered peaks in winter, a bevy of yellows, oranges, and reds sweeping across rainforests during autumn, springtime wildlife, and summertime wildflowers with the weather just right (22℃, in fact) for rafting and kayaking. 

tasmania national park

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A shuttle bus running frequently will bring you to key points around the national park — including the trails and attractions near Cradle Mountain

If you’re ready for a challenge, hike up Cradle Summit, or try Marion’s Lookout and Hansons Peak. Though challenging, trekking up these vantage points will reward you with magnificent vistas of Cradle Mountain and the many lakes surrounding the area. 

A more beginner-friendly trail is the Dove Lake Circuit, a two-three-hour walk with towering views and a path that’ll bring you straight to the national park’s most IG-worthy spot: the Dove Lake Boatshed.

2. Cataract Gorge

Cataract Gorge

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Among all the attractions in Tasmania, none are quite as convenient to get to as Cataract Gorge. Just a 15-minute walk from Launceston city centre, this 65-million-year-old gorge is surrounded by a five-kilometre-long forested reserve. 

There are many ways to discover this scenic wilderness spot. A two-hour walk exploring the reserve’s trails and lookout points, boarding the 308 metre-long Gorge Scenic Chairlift overlooking the preserved area, or even hopping on a boat cruise down the South Esk River. But of course, the most relaxing way is to wade in the free-to-use Gorge Swimming Pool.

Cataract Gorge

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Regardless of how you’re exploring the reserve, you’ll always end up at the main attraction: the Alexandra Suspension Bridge. Stand here to revel in a panorama of the entire gorge.

Visit impressive attractions

3. Mount Wellington

Mount Wellington

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Another entry to the list of convenient nature attractions in Tasmania is Mount Wellington. A 30-minute drive from Hobart, the summit is located within the Wellington Park reserve. With The Springs (an area of the park located at the base) already at a mid-altitude elevation, it will take just under two hours to climb to the peak. 

Driving straight to the peak is also an option, with a massive car park and plenty of boardwalk and lookout platforms offering a remarkable vista of Hobart (and the greater southern Tasmania area).

Southern Lights tasmania

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Barring weather conditions, Mount Wellington has even been known as a place to capture the spellbinding Southern Lights in winter. 

Considering the glow of Hobart’s lights, being able to observe the Southern Lights here will be even more rewarding given its rarity. But of course, the winter spells colder weather; especially considering the time of day and higher altitude, be sure to dress warmly enough for the occasion. 

Also read: 10 Best Places to See the Southern Lights — Tasmania, New Zealand & More!

4. Tasman National Park

Tasman National Park

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90 minutes away from Hobart by car, Australia’s tallest sea cliffs soar 300 metres above the ocean to protect the coastal wonderland of Tasman National Park. Be astounded by dramatic coastlines, caves, and rock formations down walking trails, board an island cruise to meet seals and migrating whales, and discover Tasmania’s clean waters by kayaking or snorkelling here. 

Continue your outdoor adventure the next day by staying at the campgrounds available from November through April. 

5. Rocky Cape National Park

Learn about Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage when you uncover the rock shelters and caves of Rocky Cape National Park. While it’s important not to enter the caves (as a sign of respect to the Aboriginal people), you can still discover the park’s rugged coastline of hills, bays, headlands, and beaches. 

Perfect for exploring on foot, this park can easily be explored within a day. Choose from a short 10–20-minute walk or a longer 3.5–4-hour trek, and familiarise yourself with the beauty of Tasmania’s far north-west. 

6. Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park

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If natural photogenic features are your thing, head to Freycinet National Park, one of two oldest national parks in Tasmania. This national park is home to the unique white curve beach of Wineglass Bay; walk along the Wineglass Bay Lookout, a 60–90 minute walk overlooking the bay. 

You’ll also find a more challenging track, Mount Amos, which features a steep incline of 3.6 kilometres. This track stretches across the bay, The Hazards (an area of granite peaks), and much of the Freycinet Peninsula. 

Plus, you won’t have to choose between tranquil beaches or natural bushlands when you’re here: Freycinet National Park is also home to the long beach coastline of the Friendly Beaches suburb. 

7. Mount Field National Park

Mount Field National Park

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Along with Freycinet, Mount Field National Park was founded in 1916. In fact, Russell Falls — the main attraction of the national park — was declared the state’s first nature reserve in 1885. 

There are also a number of historical sites within the park, like the Lake Fenton, Twilight Tarn, and Government Huts, a guesthouse at the entrance, caves, and even rock engravings! 

Aside from the Three Falls Circuit to the three-tiered Russell Falls and the Tall Trees walk amidst towering trees, don’t forget to check out the Tarn Shelf Circuit

This trail is particularly breathtaking in autumn when the orange and red vegetation of Mount Field’s slopes reflects against glacial lakes. The 12-kilometre loop walk will take between five and seven hours — plenty of time to soak in the astonishing beauty. 

Explore Tassie’s oldest national parks

8. Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park

Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park

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Majestically dominating Mount Field (right next to it) is the 4,473 square-kilometre Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. This park is named after the two rivers — Franklin and Gordon Rivers — that course through. The rivers flow down mountain peaks and waterfalls, cascade into creeks and rocks, and provide a scenic stream down which you can cruise, kayak, or raft. 

attractions in tasmania

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Lyell Highway is the only road cutting through the park, leaving you and your two feet to discover the rest of the park. Naturally, the park’s walking trails let you savour the rivers (and more), from a quick 20-minute stroll to a four- to five-day adventure of one of Tasmania’s most challenging hikes: up to the Frenchmans Cap mountain peak. 

Islands in Tasmania to spot wilderness & wildlife

Best of all, wilderness and wildlife attractions in Tasmania are not restricted to the main island; situated 20 to 30 minutes away by ferry ride are a number of islands thriving with even more natural beauty.

9. Bruny Island

Bruny Island

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Off the southeastern coast of the main island, Bruny Island astounds with its sea cliffs, caves, beaches, and most picturesque of all: Cape Bruny Lighthouse. Drive across North and South Bruny, visit the island’s parks and reserves, and spend a night at a campground or cabin. 

Fresh produce is a highlight of Bruny Island, with local farms and delis specialising in oysters, cheese, honey, and whiskey. 

attractions in tasmania

Image credit: Trevor McKinnon

In the right season, some have even been able to spot the Southern Lights from Bruny Island. For the best views, head to the lighthouse and see if you can capture a shot of the landmark against the borealis

Savour picturesque islands

10. Maria Island National Park

Maria Island National Park

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An island that is in itself a national park, Maria Island National Park combines stunning nature, teeming wildlife, and fascinating history into one. 

On your ferry ride to the island, you’ll spot the “painted” swirling sandstone cliffs formed from wind and waves. 

attractions in tasmania

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Your first stop on the island will be Darlington Probation Station, a World Heritage Australian Convict Site of convict buildings dating back to 1824.

Then, explore the car-free wildlife reserve on foot or on two wheels, and spot the wombats, kangaroos, wallabies, and geese that wander in the unspoiled grasslands.

Finally, experience what it’s like to stay on an island with an overnight rest at Darlington campground or Encampment Cove

11. Tasman Island

attractions in tasmania

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Encounter marine wildlife and seabirds when you hop on a wilderness cruise around Tasman Island

While the island itself is inaccessible, visitors here explore the surrounding waters and geographical features instead; as waterfalls, caves, rock formations, and archways tower above you, playful dolphins and fur seals can be spotted at eye level. Whales swim in the distance (when in season), and seabirds (including eagles) soar above cliffs. 

Discover Tassie’s islands

Wildlife attractions in Tasmania

12. Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

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What is a holiday Down Under without meeting the furry symbol of Australia, the kangaroo? 

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary is a home for native wildlife, from Tassie devils and wombats to echidnas and forester kangaroos. Daily guided educational tours, animal encounters, and feeding sessions are available for you to get up close and personal.

attractions in tasmania

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​​Best of all, the rescue centre is all about protecting endangered wildlife and preserving the grounds; named after an Aboriginal word meaning ‘native companion,’ the sanctuary sits on land originally owned by the Mumirimina people.

Meet adorable wildlife

13. Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary

If you’d like to meet the native animal of Tasmania — the Tasmanian Devil — head to Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary. This conservation centre conducts daily interactive guided tours: the perfect length of time for you to meet the Devils, as well as other wildlife like kangaroos, wombats, quolls, and more. 

You’ll feel an intimate atmosphere here with animals freely roaming — which you can even hand feed and get personal photo ops with! Friendly guides are available to answer any questions you may have. Safe to say, this sanctuary will be entertaining for the whole family. 

14. Platypus House

Finally, meet the playful native platypuses (and echidnas!) at Platypus House. One of the Tasmania attractions in the north, this centre is nestled off Flinders Street on River Tamar

The fun and educational tour will offer interactive opportunities at the platypus ponds and echidna garden. Ready your cameras as the creatures actively feed and play — while some echidnas might even walk close to you! 

Plus, if you time your visit here just right, you might be able to visit another wildlife facility, Seahorse World, located right next door. 

Travel to Tasmania

The next time you’re thinking of an Aussie destination to travel to, pick Tasmania for its abundant wilderness and wildlife attractions. Trust us — located far away from the hustle and bustle of busier cities like Sydney and Melbourne, it’ll be just the reprieve you need from the rush of city life back home. 

Brought to you by Tourism Tasmania and EU Holidays.

About Author

Cassandra Nerva
Cassandra Nerva

Cassandra seeks comfort in warm blankets, period dramas, and all things hazelnut. If she's not getting carried away with a wartime novel or decorating her house with plants & fairy lights, she's uncovering hidden gems around her as she continues to embrace her keen sense of adventure.