TRAVELLING IN TASMANIA
Don't discount Tasmania as the Australian equivalent of the Isle of Wight; Tassie is a world away from retirement with adventures, wilderness and infinite natural beauty around every bend.
Step into the Tasmanian Tardis and you'll discover an island lost in the mists of time with national parks, wilderness zones and rainforest-filled valleys offering everything your heart could ever desire. Looks can be deceiving and although Tassie is just 364km north to south by 306km east to west, this little island packs a punch to floor even the most ardent of travellers seeking natural wonders Down Under.)
Take time out to hike into the heart of Tassie over the Cradle Mountain tracks or go bush in Narawntapu National Park where wombats and wallabies might appear when you least expect it. Tassie is a place to get metaphorically lost, with every day promising jaw-dropping natural highlights as well as freedom, bags and bags of freedom, to explore, to discover, and to think. Aside from life on Tasmania there are over 330 other islands surrounding the mainland with shipwrecks inviting tales of the past where times were a lot more tumultuous but Tasmania remained just about the same.
ACTIVITIES FOR TRAVELLERS IN TASMANIA
Walk your way to freedomFreedom underpins Tasmania to stand in stark contrast to its penal past, and as you walk across the island's track-covered national parks and surrounding islands and you'll undertake your own journey, way beyond average Aussie expectations. Walk a little longer over the Freycinet Peninsula Circuit, Bay of Fires Walk, or the 65km Overland Track in Cradle Mountain Lake within St Clair National Park. Mix things up a little as you swap footprints for paddles as you kayak Ansons River in the Bay of Fires or, after trekking in the Tarkine Rainforest region, paddle down the Pieman River.
If a four-day hike is more your thing, taking in some of Tassie's best beaches, then check out the 46km Three Capes Track that encapsulates the Tasman Peninsula where overnight stopovers in public huts allow the likes of Capes Pillar, Hauy and Raoul to really leave their mark. Alternative accommodation can be found in backwoods cabins and cosy, comfy guesthouses where bed and breakfast is all that's required to keep you up and active as wilderness guides offer insight into a world of wonder.
Find your feralEver since Tasmania cut the cord to mainland Australia, thanks to rising sea levels some 10,000 years ago, its wildlife has fared rather nicely with white wallabies and 12 other marsupials on Bruny Island; Tasmanian devils and flocks of birds on Maria Island; and no end of duck-billed platypus abounding in the Central Highland's lake systems, to ensure wildlife watchers are in their absolute element. Whether it's wombats and wallabies in Narawntapau or dolphins and whales off west and east coasts, wildlife watching holidays in Tasmania let you find your feral just as readily as leafing through the pages of an animal encyclopedia. From fairy penguins on Bonnet Island to forty-spotted pardalotes and orange-bellied parrots, Tassie by day is a rainbow of colours whilst, by night, owls hoot and possums peer in torch light so tread carefully as you take a walk on the wild side.
Australia's cellar doors are always open with nearly 100 boutique wineries on Tasmania from where to sample, socialise and spend some quality time soaking up the surrounding scenes.
Taste the difference on Tasmania
Fresh organic fodder thrives in Tasmania with a bounty of fine fare adorning farm tables and B&B kitchens the length and breadth of the island. From wineries to whisky distilleries, there's a reason why connoisseurs come to Tasmania with cottage industries opening their doors to delight the uninitiated and thrill the experts across the board. Apple orchards, cheese companies (Briny Island especially) and some of the most sublime scallops, oysters and seafood suppers imaginable. What more could foodies wish for? Oh alright then, there's wagyu beef and island reared lamb as well.
Tasmania in itself is stunning but who knew there were hundreds of other idyllic odysseys just offshore? It's like someone split the rock, scattering gems all around.
Get hopping skippy!
Hopping from one island to the next lets you live life in Tasmania with a spring in your step with more than 300 separate shorelines featuring everything from rocky and remote to sun-kissed and sublime sand. No matter whether you're into walking, surfing or wildlife spotting, Tasmania’s islands conjure up all manner of escapist experiences with white wallabies in Bruny, historic heritage on Flinders and Tasmania's one true Aboriginal island, Cape Barren, offering more than enough temptations to get you started.
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Responsible Travel asks the experts
Susie de Carteret from our leading Tasmania holiday supplier, Tasmanian Odyssey, shares her Tasmania travel advice:
“Tasmania is much bigger than most people anticipate and driving distances are deceptive. For itineraries of less than two weeks I suggest flying into Launceston and out of Hobart, or the other way around, to maximise touring opportunities. Do take a scenic flight into the South West National Park with Par Avion from Hobart. It is nothing short of jaw dropping and you can usually see the orange-bellied parrot, which is the rarest bird in Australia – this is the only place it breeds. And do go to Bonorong or Trowunna – two of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Tasmania.”
What to bring & what to buy
“Pack for all seasons; it is quite possible to experience four in one day – layers are essential. Pack good walking boots and take a torch for nocturnal wildlife spotting. No need to take your Sunday Best – the dress code is very casual everywhere. Don’t expect to get good or any mobile phone coverage in many parts of the state. Get a Telstra SIM card for your phone and you will get the best coverage.”
Getting off the beaten track
“If you like an adventure, take the road less travelled – the Western Explorer or ‘Road to Nowhere’ which is an old logging track that runs down the west coast from Smithton to Strahan through ancient forest and across the wilderness via the old mining village of Corinna. The road is entirely unsealed, there is no mobile phone signal and you are unlikely to see more than one car a day so take plenty of food, water and fuel and be prepared for a long wait if you breakdown, but it is absolutely stunning. You cross the Pieman River on the single vehicle ‘Fatman Barge’ after you leave Corinna.”
Making time for dinner
“A lot of B&B owners are brilliant cooks and you can eat there for half the price of eating out, and they all use local produce, and you hang out with other guests and local friends pop in, and they always include wine. So when meals are included take advantage of it! And they cater for any dietary requirements, no matter how bizarre!”
Read more about Tasmania in our Tasmania travel guide
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