You might already know Tassie for its famous Salamanca markets, legendary gourmet food and cosy pubs. But what you might not know is that almost half of this glorious state is made up of national parks, reserves and World Heritage Sites. And what does that mean? A plethora of adventures for you to conquer, obviously.
And lucky for you, we’ve done you all a solid and put together a list of the very, very best.
Here are 11 of the best outdoor adventures to have in Tasmania.
Get Up-Close With Tasmanian Devils
Designed around the concept of allowing human visitors to experience personal, memorable encounters with wildlife and nature, Tasmanian Devil Unzoo takes the traditional zoo experience and flips it on its head. Cages are removed or hidden and we humans are encouraged to rethink how we approach our place in nature by stepping into the animals’ habitats. This 'zoo' is a four-in-one experience that combines up-close animal encounters with a Tasmanian native garden, an original art gallery and wildlife adventures including the guided four-wheel-drive Devil Tracker Adventure. Tasmanian Devil Unzoo is the first park of its kind internationally and a lot of the work it does goes towards saving the endangered Tasmanian Devil. For a truly unique experience, book a night’s stay with Wildways Tours in a devil hide where you'll sleep comfortably in the wilderness in a cabin with one-way glass so you can watch the animals visit at night. For more animal action head up to Tasmania Zoo just out of Launceston for your chance to cuddle a Tassie Devil.
Go Aurora Chasing
Switch up your dream of watching the Northern Lights for Australia’s very own night light show, the Aurora Australis—hadn’t heard of this one, had you? Otherwise known as the Southern Lights, this is peak ‘Gramming potential. So where can you watch this elusive dancing rainbow of colour? Let us tell you. You’ll want to head as far south as possible including the South Arm Peninsula, speckled with a heap of bays to guarantee some epic reflections. Head here to check out where else you can spy these dancing lights because #options.
Marvel At The Beauty Of The Bay Of Fires
Stretching 50 kilometres along the north-east coast of Tasmania, the Bay of Fires is regarded as one of the most beautiful places in Australia and we couldn’t agree more. Start your journey at Binalong Bay, located at the southern end of the bay, and then choose your day’s adventure. The Bay of Fires offers everything from hiking to eco-cruises to swimming in the clearest ocean we ever did see. Famed for its white-sand beaches and granite boulders splashed orange by lichen, the Bay of Fires is a non-negotiable must-see on your Tasmanian adventure. Don’t worry, you can thank us later.
Bike Around Maria Island
Take a day trip across to Maria Island National Park and bike around this insanely beautiful stretch of grassy clearings, past sweeping bays, the Painted Cliffs (patterned sandstone rock formations) and beneath mountains that rise straight out of the sea. And the best part? There are no cars and no shops (so pack some snacks) and make the most of the serenity. You can bring a bike over on the ferry or hire two wheels once you land — Tasmanian eBike Adventures runs guided cycling trips to the island’s must-dos. Most importantly, Maria Island is the most reliable place in Australia to find wombats—you will literally see dozens a day—so you'll certainly want to fire up the 'Gram.
Explore Cradle Mountain
Cradle Mountain is iconic for its wild vantage points, alpine ranges and serious beauty. The ultimate route to take is the Dove Lake circuit which will take you on a 6km trail (that’s around two hours of walking featuring a number of Insta stops) boasting absolute natural perfection and it also means you’re in for giant rocks dumped by long-gone glaciers, epic views stretching across the lake to Cradle Mountain, and a damn picturesque boatshed. For the loftier view of Cradle Mountain and beyond, follow the start of the famous Overland Track to Marions Lookout.
Take A Ghost Tour At Port Arthur
The Port Arthur Historic Site, located about 90 minutes drive from Hobart, is the best place in Tasmania to learn about Australia’s origin as merry old England’s prison island. In 1833, Port Arthur became a punishment station for repeat offenders—or basically the worst offenders in the country. Now, you can wander around the lush grounds, have a leisurely look at the British Empire’s first juvenile prison or the horror-inducing silent prison, or take part in a chilling ghost tour as the sun sets from Thursdays to Saturdays. Yup, you could be hunting for things that go bump in the night, by lantern light, in a 188-year-old prison system and asylum. If you need us we’ll be donning our best khaki jumpsuits and ghost-sucking vacuum cleaners and heading to Port Arthur. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.
Take In The Beauty Of Wineglass Bay
One of the most famous landscapes in the world, Wineglass Bay is top of the Tassie bucket list for a reason. Voted one of the top ten beaches in the world, Wineglass Bay boasts water so blue it looks almost fake. Located in the stunning Freycinet National Park—the summer playground of many a Tasmanian local—Wineglass Bay is accessible only by a hike or by boat (with day trips run by Wineglass Bay Cruises), both of which offer views we wouldn’t turn our noses up at. That means that the beach is far less crowded than more popular beaches, despite its world-famous reputation. Insider tip: book into a luxe accommodation option at the seaside village of Coles Bay before tackling the hike to Wineglass Bay. Just trust us on this one.
Check Out Montezuma Falls
Head over to the west coast of Tassie to take in the epic Montezuma Falls, the highest waterfall in the state. The track follows an abandoned tramline all the way to the base of the falls which reach 104 metres with a super narrow suspension bridge to wet your pants over.
In the Huon Valley, at the edge of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, is the Tahune Airwalk. This is the place to rise above the world, on a walkway through the forest canopy to a cantilevered platform that hangs 50 metres above the Huon River—just think of the content.
Frolic In Flower Fields
Look, we’ll take any excuse to frolic in a sea of flowers and here it is in all its beauty and purpleness. Run, walk and get lost in endless curved rows of lavender blooms at Bridestowe Lavender Estate, the world's largest privately owned lavender farm, a 45-minute drive north-east of Launceston. Don’t forget to treat yourself to a jar of their signature lavender honey and some gourmet lavender tea. Searching for more 'Gram-worthy moments? Make tracks to Table Cape Tulip Farm on Table Cape when the fields come alive with vibrant colour in October each year. It's pure bliss.
Hike To The Top Of A Volcano
In the north-west of Tasmania, there’s a little (actually, it’s pretty massive) thing called The Nut, an ancient volcanic plug rising more than 100 metres from sea level. You could totally climb up if you’re into all that ‘I hiked a volcano’ bonanza, but FYI the chairlift gives you super spectacular views across the Bass Strait beaches and over the little seaside town of Stanley. Once you’ve reached the peak, you can check out the plateau and do the circuit around the top (which takes around an hour).
Searching for more things to do in Tassie? Check out this list of adventures here.
Image credit: The Nut by Emilie Ristevski