Tasmania, Australia’s unique heart-shaped island state offers up a plethora of adventures, gastronomic delights and memorable experiences. We handpicked five experiences to try the next time we head Down Under.
1| Great walks with picturesque views
No two scenic views in the world are exactly alike, and especially not in Tasmania. Outdoor walking trails found in areas like Cradle Mountain and Freycinet Peninsula promises to blow you away with spectacular views of nature. In the fall season, native fagus trees give visitors a dramatic color show with their leaves turning red, yellow and gold across the landscape. During the winter, be spellbound by ice-carved peaks and snow-capped alpine lakes in national parks such as Ben Lomond and Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair.
Try: The Freycinet Experience Walk is perfect for visitors staying longer than a week and are looking for something really immersive. The four-day guided walk covers the entire length of the Freycinet Peninsula on Tasmania’s east coast, including the pink granite Hazard Mountain, rich coastal Australian wildlife and the iconic Wineglass Bay.
2| Nuzzling up close with local wildlife
There’s hardly a better place to see Australia’s wildlife up close in wildlife sanctuaries or in their natural habitat. With approximately 40 species of whales and dolphins inhabiting the water around Tasmania, the island state is a prime spot to catch a glimpse of the cetaceans during their annual migration in May and July.
Try: The Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary is social enterprise wildlife sanctuary for some of Australia’s most exotic animals — tawny frogmouths, Tasmanian devils, platypus and echidnas, along with kangaroos, koalas, wallabies and wombats. The sanctuary’s entry fees are channeled towards programs that address environmental issues and threats to endangered species.
3| Feasting on authentic Tasmanian produce
Tasmania’s many bistros, cafes and restaurants showcase the best of Australian produce, using artisan cheeses, baked goods, black truffles and fresh catch to present a diverse range of gastronomic delights. Be sure to plan your visits to coincide with one or two of the many festivals that occur in the fall and winter, where Tasmanian cellars merrily celebrate their best offerings, be it whiskey, cider, beer or other libations.
Try: During Tasmanian Whisky Week, visitors get to enjoy a memorable behind-the-scenes look into distilleries around the island, as well as special events held at bars, barns, stables, restaurants and hotels. Sample unreleased whiskies, while discovering the history and secrets behind every distillery’s successes.
4| Immersing in local arts and culture
Supported by a collective of artists, designers and performers, annual Tasmanian winter arts festivals include: Festival of Voices, Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest, Bay of Fires Winter Arts Festival and Dark Mofo.
Try: Hosted by the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona), Dark Mofo is an evening winter festival with public art, literature and film, music as well as light and sound happening in June. A notable highlight is the Nude Solstice Swim, where those with a penchant for swimming in icy waters take a dip in the River Derwent to celebrate the end of the solstice.
5| Staying in top-notch accommodation
There are many hotels to discover in Tasmania, with choices in and around Hobart ranging from boutique hotels, bed and breakfast cottages, luxury spa lodges and camping hamlets.
Try: A Thousand Lakes Lodge was once an Australian Antarctic training camp and is now rated as one of the best new places for travellers to stay in 2018 by Lonely Planet. Described as “remote, barren…almost otherworldly”, its close proximity to the Walls of Jerusalem National Park will appeal to nature enthusiasts seeking adventure in the Tasmanian wilderness.