We came to Hobart in Tasmania after a week in Melbourne. We were told Melbourne would be the best place in all of Australia – but we didn’t enjoy our stay there very much. So we were looking forward to heading to the wild and green island of Tasmania. Hobart is the capital and we had booked a whole month there.
After a huge build-up, the city was a bit of a let-down. It is a sleepy town, calling it city is a bit much. The surrounding island is amazing though and we would definitely recommend you to come to Tasmania. Here are our top picks on things not to miss out in Tasmania:
1. Bruny Island With Pennicotts Wilderness Cruise
Bruny Island is a beautiful peninsula of Tasmania. The nature is incredible but we went there for the sea life. Pennicotts Wilderness Tours offer a breathtaking cruise along the coastline, with a lot of interesting backstories. The cruise is rough and you will be dressed from head to toe in waterproof suits. It is absolutely worth it though for the chance to see some sea lions, dolphins and maybe even whales.
2. A Weekend In Cradle Mountain
To get to the Cradle mountain area from Hobart it’s best you rent a car. The drive is a couple of hours so you should probably make a whole weekend out of it. Tasmania is filled with rich green forests and incredible wildlife. The Tasmanian devil is actually the least interesting one 😀 In the area you can find some cute villages like Deloraine and Elisabeth, the big attraction is, however, the Cradle mountain national park. You will have to buy a day pass for 10 Dollars but you will have transfer into and out of the park included. Along the main road, you can get off the bus at several stops and explore the awesome hiking trails. They range from super easy to a bit more full-on but they are all within pretty much everybody’s abilities. We enjoyed most the Dove Lake circuit and Lukas went for a run along the ridge.
3. (We did not go to) Walls of Jerusalem National Park
Full disclaimer: we didn’t actually go to the Walls of Jerusalem National Park. But we really really wanted to. We only stayed in the area for a weekend so after exploring the Cradle Mountain Park, Walls of Jerusalem seemed to be too much for just one day. Next time we go to Tasmania we will try and go for a multi-day hike in the area. We just wanted to list it here since it looks amazing and you might have more time than us.
4. Must Do In Tasmania: Port Arthur Ghost Tour
If you want to get into the history of Tasmania, which is really the history of Australia you should head to Port Arthur. The first settlers arrived at Port Arthur and the remains of the prison and first settlement are super fascinating. The entrance to the historic area was a bit pricey for us (39 Dollars per person) so we opted to do the cheaper Ghost Tour instead. We entered the historic ground during twilight and were stunned by how beautiful it looked. The sun was just setting and it gave the whole place a magical feel to it. Ghost tours are our thing, we really like the more creepy side of history. But the ghost tour in the Port Arthur ground was intense. At times I was really scared and didn’t want to walk at the end of the group. That being said we absolutely recommend it. It was very entertaining and interesting. And you can save some money on the entrance and still see the amazing historic buildings.
5. Hiking in Fortescue Bay/Tasman National Park
Wallabies everywhere! Seriously, if you want to come to Tasmania to see some wildlife, the Tasman National Park is the place to be. I went hiking to the Canoe Bay to check out the shipwreck while Lukas did a four hour run up the Cape Pillar Circuit. Even though it was raining the national park was amazing, full of life and amazing flowers. Depending on how much time you bring with you-you can either camp in the national park and do some multi-day hikes or just come for a day. We started our activities from Fortescue Bay which is very close to Port Arthur.
6. Free Wine Tasting Tour
In Europe, it is normal to pay for a wine tasting. So when I told our friend Jono that I never did one of those but would really like to one day do a cool wine tasting he looked at me like I was stupid. He told us that in all of Tasmania you can do wine tastings for free. The concept that you would have to pay to try the wines was absolutely weird for him 😀 So when we drove back from Freycinet National Park we stopped at every winery we could find and tried their wines. Some of the wineries were already worth visiting for the view, the building or the ambiance. The wine was mostly average but I only tried the red ones. If you are into Chardonnay you will probably be in heaven while staying in Tasmania: Free wine everywhere.
Hobart and Surrounding
Even though I bashed Hobart a bit in the introduction, it also has its nice places. Lukas is going to write up a piece about the highlights of Hobart for next week, stay tuned.
Also published on Medium.