10 Best Things to Do in Tasmania for First-Timers

You’ll arrive in Tasmania, wide-eyed at its rich biodiversity, and leave with ‘Tassie’ falling fondly from your lips.

While this island state is the littlest one in Australia, its natural riches are vast and largely untouched.

Locals have learned to harness its potential – they cultivated scenic treks, farms, wine valleys and coastal drives.

This nifty guide to the top things to do in Tasmania will help you navigate the wilderness and memorialize natural wonders.

1. Adventure Through National Parks

Every travel guide to Tasmania points to its National Parks.

From rainforests and bushlands to alpine mountains and glacier lakes, Tasmania’s diversity has long won the spotlight in nature magazines.

Likewise, your camera rolls will be filled with a variety of sights – all to be found in its multi-terrain National Parks:

table cape tulip farm tasmania
photo by table cape tulip farm

2. Stop & Smell the Flowers

Nature doesn’t always have to be grand and overwhelming; sometimes you’re looking for something comforting.

A stunning sprawl of violet, indigo and soft purples can be found at Bridestowe Estate, home to Tasmania’s fragrant lavender fields.

Flowering season is typically between December and February, so time your trip carefully!

Pick up some lavender-infused tea or spa products; maybe even try a lavender scone.

Table Cape’s Tulip Farm is just as awe-inspiring during September and October.

The rainbow blooms blankets the horizon like a patterned quilt.

3. Explore Natural Attractions Galore

Not all nature goodies are found in National Parks and reserves, so make sure to pin these to your map:

  • Bay of Fires – rusty-red rocks stand out against strikingly white beaches.
  • Tasman Arch – another Tassie original; a hole in the cliffs.
  • Mole Creek Caves – go underground for some thrilling adventure.
  • Cataract Gorge – loop around the gorge or take the scenic chairlift.
  • Montezuma Falls – cross the rickety bridge to this magnificent falls.
  • The Aurora Australis – look up around Dodges Ferry, South Arm Peninsula or Cockle Creek for a glimpse of this rare phenomenon.
Bay of Fires tasmania
Bay of Fires tasmania

4. Invest in Some Cultural Digs

Need we say more? Tassie isn’t just about nature; it’s about culture too!

  • Museum of Old & New Art (MONA) – for interactive, wacky and controversial art.
  • Port Arthur Historic Site – discover Australia’s ‘prison island’ origin and hunt down some ghosts.
  • Richmond Bridge – visit Australia’s oldest bridge.
  • Salamanca Market – 300 stalls of Australia’s best artisanal ware, from woodwork to glassware to cheese and sourdough eats.
  • Bathurst Harbour – Kayak serene waters for a watery touch!

5. Ferry to the Islands

Naturally, Tasmania comes with its own share of islands.

Apart from secretive Satellite Island, which you can reserve a stay on, there’s also famous Maria Island.

It sends love calls to photographers to seek out its painted cliffs!

Bruny Island is another stunning destination.

Hike up The Neck for a splendid aerial shot or duck under the natural rock arch of Cape Elizabeth walk.

6. Sniff Out the Food & Wine

Tasmania is famous for its produce and wine, thanks to a combination of climate and the innovative community.

If you’re about the finer things in life, why not base your travels around wining and dining?

From pinot noirs to quality cheese, you’ll find:

  • Hartshorn Distillery – where sheep’s whey is used to produce vodka.
  • Hellyers Road Distillery – Australia’s largest single malt whisky distiller.
  • Cradle Coast Olives – pick up some olive oil along the way.
    Truffles of Tasmania – for your black truffle addiction.
  • Blue Hills Honey – award-winning honey and mead to be found here.
  • Infuse Coffee Roasters – for those who inject coffee into their veins.
  • Ashgrove Cheese – for premium dairy everything.

Tasmania Wine Tour & Lunch

Join a small-group Wine Tour in Tamar Valley to sample some of Tasmania's finest wines from four different wineries in the region.

A lip-smacking gourmet lunch paired with an idyllic countryside backdrop, who can say no?

tip

7. West Coast Wilderness Railway

Forget Hogwarts – this steam puffer takes you through the deep rainforest for 35 kilometers of lush forest and raging gorges.

You’ll hear about the historic engine and its role in the development of the West Coast.

You’ll traverse the distance between Cradle Mountain and Queenstown.

You’ll disembark in awe.

8. Conquer Some of Australia’s Best Hikes

Push aside bramble and let the sea breeze whip through your hair; Tasmania appeals to every outdoor spirit.

With thousands of miles of walkable land, it’s an open invitation for hikers of all skillset.

Reconnect with nature via:

  • Three Capes Lodge Walk – running from Cape Pillar along the Tasman Peninsula, this coastal walk stretches for 29.8 miles.
  • Tahune Forest Airwalk – walk among the treetops for some Tassie wilderness from a different perspective.
  • Western Arthur Range – walk up to overlook Lake Oberon and feel the burn in your legs.
  • Cradle Mountain Huts – a challenging trail that covets bush, alpine, lakes and waterfall territory.
  • Freycinet Experience – for those who desire white-sand beaches, calm terrain and pink granite landscapes.

9. Rappel Down Gordon Dam

Try something different by rappelling down Gordon Dam!

The placid reservoir leads to a dramatic wall drop – one that every adrenaline junkie would be thrilled to tackle.

If you’re not a fan of bottomless jumps, consider a walk along the rim anyway.

Old stone bridge in Richmond Tasmania
Old stone bridge in Richmond, Tasmania

10. Take a Road Trip

Stick your head out of the window if you’d like – Tasmania’s crowd-free roads let you decide the pace.

Don’t miss out on any of its attractions, natural or cultural, by road tripping its perimeter!

The eastern coast is like a pearl necklace; the Great Eastern Drive sketches out 109 miles of berry farms, island spotting, historical bridges and the curve of Wineglass Bay.

Hit up the north for fiery rocks on white sand and maybe watch penguins wash ashore.

In the West, you’ll find the largely untouched Derwent Valley and famous Montezuma Falls, as well as glacier lakes and World Heritage-listed areas.

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