There’s something magic about Tasmania that us ‘mainlanders’ (that’s ‘Tasmanian’ for peeps from the rest of Australia) just can’t get without visiting. A vast roaring wilderness, the ghosts of a convict past and little fellas we call the Tassie Devil make up a place that is equally enthralling and quirky.
Those old jokes about a state where people are a bit slow are no longer approps here because Tasmania is currently winning at food and wine, luxe accommodation, sheer natural beauty and has a cast of local characters chomping at the bit to show off the four corners of their island.
From Australia’s oldest golf course, to convict buildings-turned-luxury-accommodation, to the freshest oysters you’ll ever taste, we’ve uncovered the best things to do in Tasmania to rival our mainland favourites.
Here are the experiences that should put Tassie firmly at the top of any vacay list.
If you like: The Sydney Fish Market
You’ll love: Bangor Wine & Oyster Shed in Dunalley
The recently opened Bangor Wine & Oyster Shed in seaside Dunalley came into existence when two farming families—one famous for their pristine seafood, the other famous for their grass fed beef—joined together to create a one stop, artisan food shop. We’re talking freshly shucked oysters and Bangor Beef Pies and award winning wine. The Shed, which has been milled from ancient trees found on the property, is only a short 45 minutes drive from hip Hobart.
If you like: Australia Zoo
You’ll love: Pepper Bush Adventures in Scottsdale
While sixth generation bushman and Pepper Bush Adventures tour guide Craig Williams draws comparisons to the late, great Steve Irwin, his tours have a distinctly Tasmanian bent. Known for exceptional knowledge of native animals, the off-the-beaten-track jaunts will take you into the path of huggable wombats, spiky echidnas and quixotic quolls.
If you like: The Giant Pandas in Adelaide Zoo
You’ll love: Devils In The Dark
The little Tasmanian Devil is a creature that really comes into its own at night. But seeing as they have the bite force equivalent to an African Hyena (eek!) it’s best to view them with a certified guide. Luckily, Devils In The Dark guide Simon Plowright has over 30 years experience studying the species and can keep you informed (and safe) while viewing the iconic critters in their natural habitat.
If you like: The Great Ocean Road
You’ll love: Cruising along The Great Eastern Drive
Lovers of a roadtrip need to add the 176km route down Tasmania’s east coast to the GPS, stat. Taking in beautiful scenery from the Bay of Fires, meandering picturesque Freycinet Peninsula and ending up at the untouched sands of Maria Island, The Great Eastern Drive is a once in a lifetime experience.
If you like: Kingston Heath Golf Club
You’ll love: Barnbougle Golf Course
Who could have guessed that one of Australia’s premier golf courses could be found in Van Dieman’s land? Barnbougle’s green is surrounded by both pristine coastline and lush hinterland making it one of the most picturesque places to tee off. And if you want to stay and play there is incredible boutique accommodation onsite, including The Dunes Cottages (a glam take on the iconic Brighton Beach boxes) and Lost Farm Lodge which places you right on-site at the course. Barnbougle also offers a full complement of food and wine experiences and wellness packages at their day spa! #options!
If you like: Kakadu National Park
You’ll love: Cradle Mountain Canyons
If you like your nature with a side of adrenalin, why not join Cradle Mountain Canyons for a jump, abseil and swim through Tasmania’s wilderness? Owners and seasoned adventurers Tim and Anthony have led kayak tours through Tajikistan, Tibet and Nepal and are on hand to help those game enough to navigate the twists of the ancient canyons.
If you like: Canberra’s Cockington Green Gardens
You’ll love: Tasmazia
Ever wondered if your sense of direction is faulty? Well now you can find out because Tasmazia en route to Cradle Mountain has over 8 different mazes to test your navigational prowess. A word of warning though, if you’re bad with directions (or prone to tantrums) this may not be the place for you: it’s a test of your character and not everyone has the patience to make it to the end!
To start planning your Tasmania trip now, head to GoBehindTheScenery.com and check out their handy itineraries!