I am beyond lucky to have been able to travel to Tasmania, ‘The Natural State’ of Australia this past weekend. I was completely blown away by the natural beauty of the island and was amazed by the capital city of Hobart in which I stayed during my visit. Tasmania, also known as Tassie by the locals, is home to about 500,000 Australians and about 50% of the island is preserved as national parks and World Heritage Sites. Tasmania is the most mountainous state in Australia and I was lucky enough to experience that first hand visiting Mt. Wellington and Mt. Field. I visited a few national parks, the Tasman Peninsula, the historic site Port Arthur, a wildlife sanctuary, local farms and shops, and enjoyed the view of the Derwent River Harbor from the wharf docks.
Even though it seems as though I’ve seen so much in Tasmania (which I have), I only travelled within a 3 hour radius of the city of Hobart. If I had more time to venture out further and travel to the west and north regions of the island, I know I would have seen even more of the beauty Tasmania holds. I honestly didn’t expect for Tassie to be as beautiful as it was and I hope that sometime later in my life I will be able to see much more of what it has to offer.
PSA: Here I go listing off everything I was able to see and do while in Tassie with my friend Alex alongside a million pictures so…grab some popcorn, sit back and enjoy!
We stayed in an Airbnb in Glebe, a northern suburb of Hobart, and our host Greg and his puppy Remy were such great hosts. His house was built in 1904 and held so much character and beauty. As for sightseeing, Alex and I planned our weekend down to the minute with tours booked each day to make sure we could see as much as possible. Each tour left at 7am each day and returned to Hobart around 7:30pm each night making our days long and exhausting, but I must say there wouldn’t have been a better way to see everything.
Friday: Mt. Field, Wildlife Sanctuary, and Mt. Wellington
Waking up early was difficult, but I was so excited and anxious to begin sightseeing Tasmania. We began our day with our tour guide Nick and our small group visiting Mt. Field National Park. We spent about 3.5 hours there seeing Russell Falls, Tasmania’s most recognisable waterfall with its 3 tiered drop as well as Horseshoe Falls. We also made our way along the Tall Trees Track where high above us stood the giant Swamp Gum trees at 80 metres tall. Further up into the National Park we walked the Pandani Grove Trail which took us around the alpine Lake Dobson. We were able to soak up the wilderness and surrounding mountain air in this secluded area which was a great place for a picnic lunch.
We also visited Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary which is home to many rescued wildlife including Tasmanian devils, wallabies, kangaroos, wombats, and a variety of regional birds. I was able to get up-close and personal with the animals and even feed some of them!
To top off this very Tasmanian day, we then headed to the summit of Mt. Wellington (4170 ft), Hobart’s iconic backdrop. The view from the top was breathtaking. I was so high up that I could’ve been in an airplane. This experience will definitely be one hard to top (no pun intended).
Saturday: Wineglass Bay and Freycinet National Park
We departed Hobart following the coastline north with amazing views of Maria Island and the coastal scenery along the way. Our first stop for the day was Freycinet National Park which included so many natural beauties. Alex and I hiked about 45 minutes uphill to the world famous Wineglass Bay Lookout. During the hike we were able to see Mt. Amos, Coles Bay, and of course…Wineglass Bay. The only thing that would’ve made this view better, would have been a glass of wine and a few hours to soak it all in.
Once we hiked back down beside Mt. Amos, we enjoyed a picnic lunch in Honeymoon Bay. This natural landmark was breathtaking. With hard granite rock beneath me and the beautiful blue sky above me, the glow of the midday sun reflected off the water in such a picturesque way. The mountains behind me and the crystal clear water in front of me left me speechless. This little spot was so beautiful I couldn’t even believe it was real.
When I thought it couldn’t get any better, we then made our way up to the Cape Tourville Lighthouse which was a 20 minute circuit walk with panoramic views of Freycinet National Park. The Tasman Sea stretching further than my eye could see was so mind-blowing. In this moment, I realized there is so much beauty around the world I have yet to see and this is just the beginning of my life full of adventures.
On our way back to Hobart we stopped at Kate’s Berry Farm and Spiky Beach. At the berry farm I tried some raspberry ice cream which was delicious and a great treat after some hiking. Alex bought some strawberries, much healthier than my choice, but I’m a sucker for ice cream. Spiky Beach has beautiful sand and dark dolerite rock outcrops. A descend of sea-worn rocks on the beach creates little nooks and ponds. The water is clear and blue and the whole effect is like a storybook beach. The orange tinted rocks were an added beauty.
Sunday: Port Arthur and the Tasman Peninsula
Today was action packed and fast paced. We made our way to the stunning Tasman Peninsula, home to Australia’s highest sea cliffs. We passed through Eaglehawk Neck and ‘The Dogline’ and heard all the great stories of the area from our tour guide. Then we began one of Tasmania’s Great Short Walks. This was a short but spectacular track along the Waterfall Bay Clifftop. After every turn there was another breathtaking view. The walk concluded with the remarkable rock formations; the Tasman Arch and Devil’s Kitchen.
Alex and I opted-in to stop at Port Arthur Lavender Farm next. I really enjoyed this cute farm and lunch stop. The lavender farms were vibrant and the aroma was sweet. We ordered lunch and of course some lavender ice cream as a midday treat.
We then made our way to the Port Arthur Historic Site originally built within the British Empire. We took a harbor cruise around the Isle of the Dead and discovered the violent history of the early Australian Penal system. The site ruins include a huge penitentiary and the remaining shell of the Convict Church, which was built by inmates. This was definitely a unique site to see and gave me a cultural background of Tasmania.
Our next stops were at Federation Chocolate Factory and Richmond Village. The chocolate factory was a small family run boutique chocolate stop, with a variety of chocolate flavours to sample. My favorite was dark chocolate sea salt and Alex liked it so much she bought a few flavors. We then wandered the streets in Richmond Village visiting the Sweets and Treats shop and saw Australia’s oldest bridge (built in 1823) still in use – a convict built sand-stone bridge.
Our last stop was a lookout over the city of Hobart which was the perfect way to end our adventures in Tasmania.
Food and Free Time
After each day of tours, Alex and I made our way to the Derwent River Harbor for dinner. We found this restaurant called Mures that we really enjoyed. We ate seafood and drank wine here with beautiful views of the harbor. Alex was brave enough to try Tasmanian oysters, but I can’t say she enjoyed them. We also tried this cute (but expensive) breakfast cafe on the harbor Monday morning called Brooke Street Larder. After our breakfast and coffee, we walked through the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. The current exhibit was called ‘The Remarkable Tasmanian Devil’ and it was terrifying. We also stopped by a wine tasting shop because Tasmania has a national and international reputation as a leading producer of some of Australia’s premium wines. We didn’t try any though because we had to get to the airport for our flight back to the Gold Coast.
Overall, Hobart was a beautiful city with even more beautiful surroundings. I loved my time in Tasmania and wish I could’ve had more. Alex was the best travel buddy and I’m so excited for our next trips together to Fiji and New Zealand!!!
This upcoming weekend I will be adventuring around Sydney and I could not be more excited! Expect another blog post within the next week! Missing everyone at home a little extra right now 😦