Best Area to Stay in Tasmania (Guide for First Timers)

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It’s almost unfair how much beauty there is in one place.

Tasmania has graced discovery magazines and travel guides for decades, and still, much of it is left untouched.

Best yet, visitors will discover more than just nature’s wonders – they’ll learn of fascinating history, sample mouthwatering food, and bask in the simplicity of the Tasmanian wilderness.

Whether you want to experience an untouched landscape, enjoy a relaxed pace of life, or immerse yourself in the culture and history of Tasmania, there’s a place for you.

Unique accommodations with spectacular views are scattered all over Tasmania.

From downtown resorts to unique penitentiary stays and seaside villas, the variety is limitless!

Or perhaps you’d like to be cradled by nature while living in luxury?

Create unforgettable memories during your holiday; here are the best areas to stay in Tasmania.

Where to Stay in Tasmania

Our Top Pick

First-time visitors will find Hobart the best place to stay for several reasons.

Equipped with everything you may need – an airport, currency exchange centers, car rentals and budget-friendly hotels – it’s the perfect base to set out from. 

Hobart also straddles the line between nature and manmade attractions; this developed city provides easy access to neighboring towns and National Parks. 

And that’s before you factor in its rich history and cultural goodies!

tip

Hobart

As the capital of Tasmania, Hobart is the most developed and populated city in-state.

Seize attractions by the handful – Mount Wellington looms over colonial-era Battery Point, Salamanca Place, sandstone warehouses turned galleries and hip cafés.

Port Arthur and Bruny Island are a short drive away while island-crossing expressways feed back into the city.

Expect accommodation of all prices and sizes, including B&Bs by the waterfront.

Launceston

On the other side of Tasmania lies Launceston, its colonial-outpost roots fashioning it into a charming historic town.

Sumptuous eats and Cataract Gorge are huge draws to this location, as well as Queen Victoria Museum.

While Brisbane Street features a high concentration of motels, plenty of other hotels, self-catering stays and backpacker guest houses are peppered around the city.

Compared to Hobart, Launceston offers better value but fewer attractions.

East Coast

East Coast is a paradise away from crowds – it’s simply lush beaches and laidback vibes all year round.

Best suited for active people, this area offers kayaking, scuba diving and everything else to do with the sea.

Interesting accommodations are spread out along the coast, whether it is luxurious rentals or beachside villas.

You’ll find the finest choices in the historic town of Swansea, although they’re certainly not cheap.

Northwest Coast

Rainforests and heathlands crowd the northwest coast, housing both the untamed ‘Edge of the World’ and the mysterious Tarkine Forest.

Here, visitors can live as one with nature and camp outdoors or park themselves at Marrawah for access to colossal waves.

However, it’s not all sand and stone; Devonport and Sheffield are city options with their fair share of accommodations.

Wild West

Edging the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, Strahan is a Wild West village that witnessed much of Tasmania’s history.

Neighboring Queenstown shares its small-town-meets-wilderness vibe; once a rich mining town, the landscape has transformed into a rocky and surreal painting.

If you’re planning on being outdoors all day, every day, the West Coast is perfect.

Wineglass bay tasmania 1
Wineglass bay, tasmania

Best Time to Visit Tasmania

There isn’t a clear-cut ‘best time to visit’ because Tasmania’s weather varies from region to region.

Depending on your theme of the day, maritime or mountain, you can experience a vastly different climate.

Generally, peak season is between December and February – the Australian summer.

The average temperature is 21⁰C, relatively mild compared to other areas.

Some prefer March to May as the leaves transition in color; you get warm days and cool nights with a brilliant scope of landscapes.

Hiking, biking and cross-country are (perhaps surprisingly) best enjoyed during winter months, as you can enjoy brisk walks in 12⁰C weather and then cuddle up in front of log fires.

One thing is true – wait out the weather for 5 minutes in any part of Tasmania, and it might just change.

Instead of planning around the microclimates within this state, whittle down your list of must-do activities and isolate the most fitting season.

How to Get There

Forgo the road trip to Tasmania because it’s Australia’s sole island state.

You can, however, ship yourself and your car over by taking the Spirit of Tasmania ferry from Port Melbourne.

This 10-hour journey will bring you to Devonport with wide, panning camera shots in your pocket.

Alternatively, fly in directly from Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane.

Depending on your port of departure, you may land at Hobart, Launceston, Wynyard, Devonport, or King and Flinders Island.

Hobart International Airport is the largest airport, followed by Launceston Airport.

Bay of Fires Tasmania Australia sp
bay of fires, tasmania

Getting Around Tasmania

Flat and vigorous terrains allow various kinds of travel.

While you have to rely on motors to get from one end to another, consider on foot exploration within natural reserves or along the coast.

On Foot

It might be impossible to round the entire island on foot, but 1,740 miles of managed trails make it a walker’s paradise.

From bush and lakes to alpine challenges, Tasmania’s national parks and reserves are home to hundreds of treks.

Given time, why not try the 29.8-mile Three Capes Lodge Walk that rounds the Tasman Peninsula?

By Car

Car is by far the most efficient and private way of traveling Tasmania.

Looping highways take you across the island in the span of several days; the Great Eastern Drive strings together Mari Island and Wineglass Bay.

The Western Wilds include Derwent Valley, Gordon River and Queenstown.

Best yet, you can take your own car up from Melbourne – or rent one upon arrival.

Do fuel up before traveling off the main routes or risk getting stranded.

Most roads are well-maintained, but there may be extra rental fees if you’re driving through unsealed roads.

By Bus/Coach

nstead of railway, visitors can take the bus. There are intercity routes between Hobart, Launceston and larger towns, as well as in-city services.

Make sure to check the timetable when finalizing plans as they change to fit the season.

Tassie Link – for state travels (mostly from Hobart)
Metro Services – for travel within Hobart and Launceston
O’Driscoll Coaches – for Hobart, Derwent Valley and New Norfolk
Mersey Link Bus Service – for North-western journeys

Travelers who require comfort can sign up for coach touring; those come with budget, deluxe and luxury options.

By Bicycle

Ride swift like the wind! With roads more empty than not, Tasmania is made for biking.

If you’re not ambitious enough for a three-week biking journey, dedicate at least an hour cycling the coastline.

By Motorhome/Caravan

It’s a two-in-one experience – motorhomes and caravans are one the most popular ways to explore Tasmania.

The upside?

You get to bring your base with you, saving time, money and fuel on the commute.

Free and paid campsites are scattered throughout the island; just remember to book ahead

World heritage Cradle Mountain boatshed at Dove Lake tasmania sp
famous boatshed at Dove Lake

Top Things to Do in Tasmania

Tasmania is a one-of-a-kind destination for those seeking adventure, relaxation, and beautiful scenery.

The island offers visitors a plethora of natural wonders to explore, from mountains to rainforests and beaches.

There are also plenty of opportunities for culture seekers, with museums and galleries dotting the coast.

Here are some of the top things to do in Tasmania:

Visit Cradle Mountain: Nestled in the Tasmanian wilderness, Cradle Mountain is a serene place for your next outdoor adventure.

With limestone peaks, rushing waterfalls, lush rainforests, and thick mossy ground cover, you’ll have natural beauty at every turn.

Visit Port Arthur: One of the best ways to explore Tasmanian history is by walking among the ruins of Port Arthur.

The site was once a notorious convict settlement but now serves as a historical site and museum.

See the Penguins: A visit to King Island is a must for any Tasmanian traveler.

The Little Penguins who live there have made it one of the best year-round locations for wildlife tours in Tasmania.

You can also try your hand at fishing or just enjoy the spectacular scenery of the area.

Go Skydiving: If you’re looking for more of an adrenaline rush, why not take to the skies with some skydiving?

It’s the closest you’ll get to feeling like Superman without putting on a cape!

No matter what tickles your fancy, a taste of Tasmania will definitely leave you itching for more.

Where to Eat in Tasmania

Delicious fuel is a must and there are endless options in Tasmania.

Whether you’re salivating for fresh seafood or dreaming of tender grilled mains, it’s all ready to serve with local produce:

Charlie’s Dessert House – 24/7 unlimited access to desserts and only desserts.
Landscape – great if you like heavier mains like wagyu, lamb and grilled seafood.
Hursey Seafoods – for those who love seafood, specializes in Southern Rock Lobster.
Urban Greek – Top-notch Greek food with a side of cool mythology-inspired art.
Dier Makr – for those who can’t decide what to eat.
Tarkine Fresh Oysters – award-winning oysters available for café dining and takeaway.
Fico – local ingredients turn into caper-served mutton, creamy cauliflower and honey gelato.
Ginger Brown – to satisfy your brekkie cravings (croissants and crumpets on-the-go).
Kosaten Hobart – if you’re craving sushi served via bullet trains.
Templo – for western fare with flair.
Billy’s Burgers – for the best burgers in town, pair with fries and sundae.

Travel Tips to Tasmania

Tasmania is just like any Australian city, but let’s clarify any concerns you may have with these handy things to know!

  • Tasmania uses the same currency as every Australian state: the Australian dollar (AUD). You can exchange money at any bank or airport.
  • There are 170 free Wi-Fi spots around Tasmania but getting a phone/data card is best to stay connected. Purchase a prepaid data card at the airport or one of the major cities; make sure coverage extends to wherever you’re going.
  • Travelers now require a visa to enter Australia, but don’t worry – it’s extremely easy to get. Simply apply for the Electronic Travel Authority (electronic and label-free) on the official immigration site.
  • Tap water is treated and safe to drink in Tassie! In fact, people have voted Tassie water as best-tasting throughout Australia.
  • People drive on the left. It’s easy to be confused especially when you’re the only car in sight for miles on end.
  • Be careful of wildlife when driving – they can jump out of nowhere.
    Some attractions are seasonal so plan your itinerary smartly. Always check to see if it’s available.
  • Pack layers because Tasmania can take you through all four seasons in one day.
  • If you’re traveling far out, fuel up where you can. Petrol stations are far apart once you’re out of town.
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