Often forgotten by the rest of the world, Tasmania is the small island state which sits at the bottom of Australia. Far richer than any of the other Australian States in terms of natural beauty, Tasmania offers travellers and tourists that crazy thing called “fresh air”, and you notice it as soon as you step off the ferry (from Melbourne) or plane.
With many national parks, forests, lakes, waterfalls, and beaches, Tasmania attracts hikers and bush-walkers from all around the world who are drawn to locations such as Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, Wineglass Bay, and Maria Island. However Tasmania also offers an insight into its sandstone heritage – five World Heritage Convict Sites such as Port Arthur, The Isle of the dead, and Sarah Island are only a short trip from the historic capital of Hobart.
With so much to do and see it’s a crime to not spend at least a week in Tasmania, however if you only have two days, here are my recommendations; best experienced over a weekend.
Wake up early and take in Salamanca Market. Open between 8.30am and 3pm on Saturdays, Salamanca Place is one of Tasmania’s best known landmarks and a visit should be a priority!
Part of the Historic docks area of Hobart, Salamanca Place is lined with a long row of simple Georgian sandstone warehouses which were built in the 1830’s for the purpose of storing fruit, grain, wool, whale oil, and imported goods from around the world. Now these warehouses house dozens of restaurants and shops, pubs, artists, galleries, and craft shops to suit every budget.
Connected to Salamanca by Kelly’s Steps, continue your day at Battery Point. The oldest and most historic area of Hobart, Battery Point is a mecca for history buffs and is the most authentic way to step back in time! Historic houses and architecture remain unchanged since the early 1800’s.
Only a short drive from Hobart City is Mt Wellington and Wellington Park. Wellington Park offers nature lovers a range of opportunity for mountain biking, four wheel driving, horse riding, rock climbing, and (depending on the weather) snow play!
For those less adventurous and with less time, a drive to the summit should not be missed. An enclosed lookout near the summit provides absolutely spectacular views of the city below.
For a must-do Hobart experience, head to Cascade Brewery in the afternoon. As Australia’s oldest brewery it produces the country’s finest beer! All tours involve tastings and a tour which matches beer with gourmet food. They even supply you with your own photo personalized beer label!
Should the Brewery not sound appealing, a short trip to Richmond is an amazing way to spend an afternoon. A 25 minute drive from Hobart, the historic town of Richmond includes a fascinating gaol, famous bridge, and lovely country side. Famous for its tea rooms and two huge timber mazes, Richmond is not to be missed!
Spend the evening walking through Franklin Wharf and enjoying the nightlife in and around Old Hobart Town. Stay the night at Wrest Point Casino – Australia’s first legal Casino in an amazing waterfront location on the River Derwent.
Take a day trip into the Huon Valley and Tahune Airwalk. The Huon Valley is a stunning location in Southern Tasmania which is noted for an exceptional natural beauty and diversity of landscapes. Pristine rivers meander through valleys bordered by World Heritage list National Parks. Dolomite caves and thermal springs, wild coastlines, quiet farmlands, craft shops, and galleries, spectacular countryside, and boutique vineyards all make up the Huon Valley.
One of the Huon Valley’s main attractions, Tahune Airwalk offers visitors the opportunity to take a stroll through the canopy of a tall eucalyptus forest. But walking among the tree tops of some of the tallest trees in the world is just the beginning. Tahune Airwalk is a mecca for outdoor adventure and includes “spine tingling swinging bridges” across the Huon and Picton Rivers as well as opportunities for hang gliding, mountain biking, and Segway tours.
While there is no right or wrong way to tour the Huon Valley, the numerous waterways provide a great setting for kayaking, sailing or cruising, or white water rafting and jet boat rides for those feeling more adventurous.
But you’ve only just begun to explore Tasmania. Miss your flight on Monday so you can take in the rest of this amazing Australian state!