Whether you’re after a slow, healing holiday or exhilarating adrenaline experiences — or perhaps a mixture of the two — Tasmania has you covered. With nearly half of its landmass protected as national park and World Heritage wilderness, this easily accessible Australian island state offers a rare balance of heart-thumping adventure and heartwarming relaxation.
Here are five reasons to put Tasmania on your post-pandemic travel list, pronto.
Foot To Pedal
There’s nothing like propelling yourself down a narrow mountain bike trail dodging trees and jumping over boulders to feel alive and exhilarated. And, as Australia’s mountain bike capital boasting a slew of world-class tracks across the island, Tasmania will deliver just that. Better yet, you don’t have to be a professional to tackle this mountain biking wonderland as there’s mild to wild offerings for every ability.
The tiny town of Derby in north-eastern Tasmania is a rider's dream with a network of 125km of purpose-built tracks, called Blue Derby, winding through cool temperate rainforests and rugged bushland. The thriving town itself provides the perfect base with great coffee, pubs, pizza and comfy stays tailored to riders who come from all over the world to disconnect from technology and reconnect with their inner adrenaline junkie.
An hour’s drive from Derby on the east coast is the St Helens Mountain Bike Trails, which stars the epic 42km Bay of Fires Trail — all the way from the mountains to a white-sand beach.
Suspension Bridge, Blue Derby mountain bike trails
Relax In A Floating Sauna
Sweat out the stresses of 2020 at Australia’s only floating wood-fired sauna. Undeniably the hottest health trend of the moment, a sweat session in a sauna is said to have an abundance of health benefits, and Floating Sauna Lake Derby really elevates the sauna experience to new heights.
Alternate between the little timber sauna cabin, behind a lakefront glass wall, and cold plunges in freshwater Lake Derby for the most exhilarating wellness experience of your life.
Mind The Wombats On Maria Island
Australia is home to some weird and wonderful native wildlife but in our humble opinion, the common wombat is the real show-stopper.
Spot a bunch of these four-legged adorable marsupials waddling around in the wild on Maria Island, a car-free island national park accessible only by a daily ferry service from Triabunna, off the east coast.
Keep your eyes out for Cape Barren geese, wallabies and Tasmanian devils which also roam freely on the island.
You can hire a bike to explore the island solo or take a private and customised day tour using pedal-assisted electric mountain bikes with Tasmanian eBike Adventures.
A wombat on Maria Island
If falling asleep on the deepest lake in the southern hemisphere surrounded by Tasmanian wilderness doesn’t sound like an idyllic way to end the day, we don’t know what does.
Located 250m out on Lake St Clair in Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Pumphouse Point is a former hydro-electric station transformed as a unique wilderness retreat. Spend the night suspended over water, or settle into The Retreat, where you'll fall asleep at the edge of the lake and forest.
A wifi-free night at Corinna Wilderness Retreat in north-west Tasmania, set in the pristine takayna/Tarkine wilderness, or glamping close to Binalong Bay at the Bay of Fires Bush Retreat on the east coast are also inspiring ways to rest and recover after a day of immersing yourself in nature.
Soak In It
We do love a little alfresco bathing whilst on holidays and Tasmania certainly has you covered when it comes ‘Grammable outdoor baths.
Choose deep immersion with coastal views at Thalia Haven, Freycinet Lodge's Bay View Coastal Pavilions or King Island's dune-top Porky Beach Retreat, or gaze onto the mountains and wilderness from tubs at King Billy Suite at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge or Eagles Nest Retreat. Pure bliss.
A small but bountiful Australian isle, Tasmania delivers the perfect balance of exhilarating adventures and rejuvenating experiences. Where you can pedal down mountain peaks before soaking in a tub with a wine in hand — there's truly no place quite like it.
Image credit: Ben Hansen (hero image of Thalia Haven), Stu Gibson (suspension bridge, Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails), Stu Gibson (wombat, Maria Island National Park)
Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by Tasmania — Come Down For Air and proudly endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.