The Tasmania Bucket List

You haven’t truly “done” Tassie unless you’ve done these 100 experiences.

#30 - History at Battery Point

Where is it? Hobart, TAS


Tasmania in general has a charming, old-world feel to most of the state outside of the more urban parts of Hobart and other larger cities, and this is exemplified in full by Hobart’s suburb of Battery Point. Located to the South-East of the city towards the waterfront, visiting Battery Point is akin to stepping back in time – it’s a truly historic area with many buildings which remain intact since their founding back in 1830. Dotted throughout with colonial-style and stone buildings and various charming little coffee shops and restaurants, it’s easy to immerse yourself in yesteryear and is best explored simply by taking a stroll through its streets.

Fine examples of period-specific architecture abound here – possessing a strong hint of obvious 1800s British influences – and walking guides are available from the local Post Office which highlight points of interest that are worth taking in for first-timers. And highlights there are aplenty – those with a passion for architecture will be in their element here, as examples of most kinds of building from the era can be seen remarkably intact. Key spots include St. George’s Anglican Church with its iconic stone facade, Arthur Circus and its array of quaint cottages (many of which once served as homes for army officers upon Hobart’s initial settlement), and various other high-end houses and hotels that are still in use today – and fetch a jaw-dropping price on the market due to the prestige residency in the suburb carries. Image credit: Tanya Chalice Photography

#29 - Cruise to Tasman Island

Where is it? South-east coast, TAS


Looking like something that was taken out of the middle of an American desert and plonked into the waters off the south-east coast of Tasmania, Tasman Island is a distinctive sight given its flat, plateau-like shape that resembles a "fortress of the sea". Pock-marked with sea caves and perpetually battered by waves of this blustery part of the waters of the Tasman Peninsula, the island boasts a remarkably flat surface that is home to Australia's most isolated lighthouse which was constructed back in 1906. The lighthouse sits on a cliff face around 280 metres above sea level, and due to its once-manned nature the island was largely cleared of forestry and replaced with grassland for farm animals. Tasman Island is a haven for wildlife, especially seabirds, while a mix of Australian and New Zealand Fur Seals also ply their trade nearby.

Accessing Tasman Island's surface itself is impossible for the travelling sightseer; in less technological times, staff and crew visiting the island had to be winched up from the often-rough seas below - a precarious prospect. Nowadays, air traffic is limited to a single heli-pad situated near the island's lighthouse and a special permit from government authorities is required in order to land, which is largely restricted to the staff who oversee the island's wellbeing. Those wanting to see the island from the water, however, can book a trip with Tasman Island Cruises who take guests aboard a purpose-built and stable boat to gape and gawk up at the impressive cliffs from sea level. Image credit: Sean Scott

#28 - Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery

Where is it? Launceston, TAS

One of Tasmania's best overall attractions for families - both those visiting Tasmania on a budget, and locals looking for something wholesome to enjoy - the Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery ranks as the largest museum in Australia not located in a capital city and is full of enough educational-slash-entertaining displays to provide hours of entertainment for all ages. A combined attraction spread out over two separate locations in Launceston, there's a significant amount of both human and natural history encompassed here, covering everything from railways to dinosaurs. A combination of colonial art, Tasmanian state history, and an extensive documentation of the natural sciences (with an emphasis on zoology) are augmented by interesting visual footage outlining significant moments in Tasmanian history, ensuring that every aspect of "All Things Tasmania" are covered in detail.

The museum's building served as a former railway station and sits located amongst Launceston's old rail yards; the ability to wander through and step back into the world of historic is highly enjoyable, and reflective of the interactivity of the attraction as a whole. Going hands-on is emphasised wherever possible, with a number of exhibits interactive which particularly helps to keep the kids engaged while still learning. Add in an array of significant taxidermic exhibits allowing children to get up close to wildlife including native birds and other animals, along with the displays changing regularly to keep things fresh, and you've got a truly excellent cultural attraction at which general admission is free - although donations are highly appreciated. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

#27 - Visit Tasmanian Devil Unzoo

Where is it? Taranna, TAS

What's an "Un-Zoo"? Formerly known as the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park, this organic, natural and altogether restful attraction on the Tasman Peninsula is a valiant attempt to make the typical close-up animal encounter experience as unintrusive as possible as opposed to the more sterile, enclosure-oriented zoo environment. Situated on former farmland that has been gradually regenerated into native bush, the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo puts the emphasis on the animals themselves, with visitors simply guests in their world, instead of the other way around. It's an attraction that allows travellers to discover the diverse native animals of Tasmania within a large botanic garden setting, with a number of walking trails extended throughout that wind their way through dense, pretty indigenous foliage and periodically incorporating a number of award-winning artworks to boot.

A number of different species all shine in their own way here; guest can hand-feed a large number of kangaroos, witness the only bird show of its kind in the state of Tasmania, and take part in a number of informative tours and feedings for some additional entertainment and insight. It's the Tassie Devils themselves that are the undisputed stars of the show here, however, and a concerted effort has been made to help preserve their numbers; you'll likely see more in concentrated numbers here than anywhere else in Tasmania. Seeing these cute little creatures being fed is quite a sight - they pack a solid bite, and are quite ravenous when it comes to meal time. While its conversion is still a work in progress, the Tasmanian Devil UnZoo continues to advance admirably and is well worth a visit for those wanting to see animals in as natural a habitat as possible. Image credit: Tasmanian Devil Unzoo

#26 - Escape to Strahan

Where is it? Strahan, TAS


There are few places in Tasmania that straddle the line between "quaint" and "stunning" quite like Strahan on the West Coast. Blending together old-world charm and architecture intermingled with both coastal and forested natural beauty, Strahan is relatively isolated from most other civilisation and this is a large reason a trip here boasts so much appeal; there are only a handful of such spots in Tassie that offer the benefits of modern convenience while still feeling a world away like Strahan does. Its status as a peaceful fishing village alongside the glassy waters of Macquarie Harbour belies just how much there is to do in the region, as Strahan serves as the launching point for a wide variety of experiences available near what is basically a small town courtesy of its location on the edge of a UNESCO World Heritage area.

Strahan offers the chance to explore this wilderness thick with native Huon Pines in a number of ways. The Gordon River is ripe for cruising and provides an aquatic thoroughfare that winds its way through abundant, beautiful greenery, while lovely local waterfalls are accessible via easy hikes and a unique and wonderful train ride - mentioned elsewhere on this list - offers one of Tasmania's most memorable journeys. Stay around town, meanwhile, and there's no lack of options for either relaxation or entertainment; families can view The Ship That Never Was live theatre performance that ranks amongst the more surprising and entertaining of such regional productions in Australia, gain a dose of history at the convict settlement of Sarah Island, or simply enjoy the beautiful waterfront views while enjoying the local bounties of the sea that are regional specialties: some of Tassie's freshest abalone, crayfish and salmon. Image credit: Paul Fleming

#25 - Ride the West Coast Wilderness Railway

Where is it? Queenstown, TAS

A remarkable feat of engineering that was originally constructed during the late 1800's to aid in that era's mining boom, the West Coast Wilderness Railway is one of Australia's great train rides that makes its way deep into the mountains of the Tasmanian West Coast. The train provides passengers with a journey that makes its way through this pristine wilderness area and offerings some tremendous views along the way, crossing over 40 bridges and a number of wild rivers throughout its trip between the towns of Queenstown and Strahan. Riders can relax inside the train's refurbished carriages and absorb not only the scenery, but also the entertaining and informative commentary given throughout, which details both the region and the railway's history.

The West Coast Wilderness Railway is crewed and ran by wonderful staff that go a long way to making the experience a warm one, while those on the train platforms are equally pleasant, there you're stopping at one of the three stops along the way to enjoy a warm-up of tea or coffee, or opt to try your hand at panning for gold. Both full and half day itineraries are available for those with a more limited amount of time, with both options providing a dose of wonderful, cool rainforest environment at which to gawk. The railway stands as a true tribute to the hard work and perseverance if both those who helped resurrect it as a tourist attraction in recent years, as well as the miners and other workers who constructed such a line through what is dense forestry and quite perilous terrain. A must do in the region that's well worth the monetary investment. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

#24 - Visit Maria Island National Park

Where is it? Maria Island, TAS


The diverse and picturesque Maria Island lies just 15km off the east coast of mainland Tasmania and combines a number of elements that help make it unique. Blanketed entirely by national park, its natural features are obvious in terms of both physical beauty and wildlife, however it's the island's remarkably intact collection of convict buildings that add an extra layer of intrigue to Maria Island's offerings. Formerly used as a probation centre for convicts, a number of these architectural remnants can still be explored in the present day, with guests to the island even able to stay overnight within the old former penitentiary to spread out exploration over an extended two days. That extra day comes in handy, as there's plenty of wonderful sights to take in on Maria Island.

The island offers plenty of potential for walking and hiking, ranging from short strolls to longer, multi-hour treks, during which the likes of wombats and kangaroos can be frequently seen in the wild - along with the occasional glimpse of a Tassie Devil - while its environment is teeming with bird life as well. Along the way, you'll also encounter a number of beautiful and unpopulated beaches, with quality snorkelling available within the island's marine reserve. Add in cavernous sea caves and the largest seal colony on this side of the state, and Maria Island makes getting back to nature a marvellous proposition. Fit adventurers can hike atop its Mt. Bishop & Clerk mountain range for incredible views of cliffs, seascapes, and other specks of coastal majesty. Accessible only by ferry, operator East Coast Cruises can take aspiring travellers to embark on a Maria Island adventure. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania and Rob Burnett

#23 - Eat a Curried Scallop Pie

Where is it? Various locations, TAS

The humble meat pie is one of the most iconic staples of Aussie cookery that's enjoyed everywhere from with the family to at your local footy match. Compact, filling and easy to hold without requiring cutlery, it's been a mainstay easy go-to food in Australia for eons. Tasmania, in typical Tassie fashion, puts its own spin on this standard formula however by taking advantage of its rich surrounding waters to add a wonderful ingredient to its pie offerings: the scallop. Served encased in pastry and spiced up with a dash of curry, it's a tastier variation on the typical meat variety, and something can me sampled in numerous places all over the island state. Sea scallops from the waters of the Tasman Sea are famously juicy, fleshy and fresh, and add a wonderful sense of both flavour and texture to what is usually a fairly mundane food.

Scallop pies can be purchased at numerous locations throughout Tasmania ranging from your modest local bakery to more specialised and specific scallop pie-based vendors. If you're after one of the finest examples of this delicacy in the state, try heading to Smith's Family Kitchen in Cambridge or the aptly-named Tasmanian Scallop Pie Company based in the historic township of Ross in the midlands of Tasmania. With a visit to each of these, you'll soon see that it doesn't require a 5 star, hatted rating in order to enjoy a hearty and distinctly Tasmanian meal.

#22 - Do the Tamar Valley Wine Route

Where is it? Tamar Valley, TAS


Those who are fans of the bounty of the grape will enjoy their time travelling throughout Tasmania, however there are few better concentrations of attractions for such culinary aficionados as the Tamar Valley Wine Route. Situated over a 170km-some expanse within the heart of northern Tasmania, this award-winning route provides access to over 30 wineries specialising in a range of key cool climate wines - predominantly Chardonnay, Riesling, Sav Blanc and Pinot Noir - at which to stop and savour. The region offers the aspiring traveller the choice of several different sub-routes to follow, each encompassing individual regions of the Tamar that focus on their own key wine varieties; this flexibility allows visitors to pick a course to suit their specific tastes and enjoy accordingly.

A number of renowned brands such as Josef Chromy, Bay of Fires Wines, Holm Oak and a range of other standouts all call the Tamar Valley Wine Route home, and many also offer plenty of premium local produce to sample as well; taste delights available range from light cheese platters to full-blown degustation meals. There's also some lovely and characteristically lush Tasmanian scenery to soak in along the way, with the region owing its robust greenery to being fuelled by its lifeblood of the Tamar River. Those looking to indulge without worrying about the consequences of a self-drive can join the likes of Cradle Coast Tours, who offer guided trips around the Tamar including stops at several excellent cellar doors. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania and Rob Burnett

#21 - Explore Walls of Jerusalem National Park

Where is it? Central Highlands, TAS

This wonderful national park within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area offers the best of both worlds in terms of a ratio between difficulty versus beautiful scenery. The Walls of Jerusalem National Park makes for quite a beginner-friendly bushwalk with only an initially challenging section to overcome, after which you'll be able to take in its gorgeous spectacle of alpine wilderness, dolerite peaks, beautiful pine forests and tumbling waterfalls. Deriving its name from its resemblance to the literal walls of Jerusalem in the Middle-East, many of the park's most distinctive features are labeled in accordance with Biblical Lore, perhaps the most prominent of which is King David's Peak, which forms a majestic and looming backdrop to the bushwalks to be undertaken within.

There are a number of excellent walks to be undertaken within the national park, with inspiring views from atop Quamby Bluff in particular offering perhaps the best panorama of its scenery as a whole. The park's remoteness and lack of accessibility work both for and against its favour; on one hand, it's a key reason why the park remains so pristine, but on the other there's absolutely no roads here - you'll have to enter on foot. Guided tours of the national park are available with Tasmanian Expeditions, who take travellers on a multi-day journey from Launceston to see its best highlights. This is particularly valuable in a location with such unpredictable weather, with guides adept at dealing with inclement conditions. Image credit: O&M St John Photography

Tasmania MapTasmania is a state that’s quite separate from the Aussie mainland – both literally and figuratively. Not only is it Australia’s only island state, but the majority of its environment and landscape convey the sense of being in another country altogether; one that blends together the best of both Europe and the United Kingdom into a single, pristine and largely untouched whole.

Tassie is the state of choice for those looking for an escape from the crowds without skimping on the sightseeing prospects – this is far from a land of overcommercialised theme parks and bustling harbours and is instead a destination where escapism and “stopping to smell the roses” is the name of the game.

Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that Tasmania is home to some of the most stunning natural landscapes in all of Australia; with a topography that often brings to mind the likes of Switzerland albeit with several dashes of characteristic Aussie beach beauty thrown in, your camera will get more than a mild workout when travelling around the Island State.

Much of the natural wonder on offer in Tasmania is summed up by its many National Parks, which rank amongst some of the most gorgeous in the country, and each of which has its own individual character and cavalcade of highlights. From the coastal beach beauty of Freycinet to the pristine water-and-mountain duo of Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair, and the inland watery majesty of Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers to the accessible forest-and-waterfall panorama on offer within Mt. Field, the parks of Tasmania are reason enough alone to make the trek down south for several weeks.

It’s also a state that’s rich in history, having been one of the focal points of early European colonisation of Australia and home to many architectural remnants of that period that still remain in remarkably good condition to this day. From prisons to administrative buildings to everyday residences, Tasmania offers the traveller plenty of opportunities to step back in time for a day.

Add in the charming aspects of many of its regional towns and cities, as well as the vibrant seaside-and-mountain character of capital Hobart and its many intriguing attractions, its numerous epic walking tracks, and slices of coast on both sides that offer some ruggedly beautiful magic, and it’s clear that while Tasmania may be relatively small on size, it’s far from lacking in majesty.

In our Ultimate Tasmania Bucket List, we highlight 100 of the most essential experiences that we feel best sums up the diverse and incredible highlights of our Island State. While much of it will be known to locals, we hope to both inspire travellers from afar to visit wonderful Tassie while also hopefully encouraging residents to get out and explore the best of their own, lovely, backyard.

The Tasmania Bucket List Map

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