The Tasmania Bucket List

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

#50 - Stay at Pumphouse Point

Where is it? Lake St. Clair, TAS

Why would a simple piece of accommodation make a bucket list? Because Lake St. Clair's Pumphouse Point is anything but simple. For one, in terms of location, it's hard to beat; the former hyrdo station sits in utter seclusion on the waters of Lake St. Clair itself amongst the wilderness of the gorgeous Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, and offers a blend of immersion amongst nature combined with a dose of luxury that's hard to match. There are two buildings that fall under the "Pumphouse Point" nomer - the Shorehouse located on the lake's edge, and the Pumphouse itself out on the water - however it's the Pumphouse that steals the show.

Gazing out the expansive windows and watching the changing of the weather reflected on the glassy waters of the lake is an experience in and of itself, and the access to a number of wonderfully peaceful wilderness walks nearby fills in the more active portions of a stay here. Of course, the main joy to be had is simply grabbing a bottle of top Tasmanian wine from the "honesty bar", accompanying it with fresh cheese, and absorbing the surroundings from within the luxurious and contemporarily-themed rooms. It's a shining example of both creative vision and architectural design without disturbing the natural surrounds that can all be experienced for a non-exorbitant price.

#49 - Cruise the Gordon River

Where is it? Departs from Strahan, TAS


This narrow estuary within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area on the country's west coast serves as the avenue for one of the state's most picturesque boat rides, winding its way through abundant greenery in what is a truly lush part of Tasmania. The reflections of the surrounding rainforest on the surface of the river is a perennial highlight that becomes truly magical during days when the weather is calm, with their vivid greens contrasting wonderfully with the characteristically deep blue waters of the Gordon. It's a stable, calm-water journey done at a leisurely pace with a focus on providing insight into both the natural and human history of the west coast as a whole.

Cruises of the Gordon River depart from the town of Strahan's Macquarie Harbour and pass through the "Hell's Gates" gorge formation at its mouth, before heading into the Gordon proper. A pair of operators - Gordon River Cruises and World Heritage Cruises - offer quality voyages on the waters of the Gordon River, while also including a stop at the historic Sarah Island for some detailed insight into the island's convict heritage. The former penal colony was infamous for its unsavoury reputation and harsh conditions, and is brought to life as part of the Gordon River cruising experience. Gorgeous nature, pleasant relaxation and interesting history combine here for an overall enjoyable dose of west coast Tassie goodness. Image credit: Paul Fleming

#48 - Enjoy St. Helen's Natural Beauty

Where is it? North-east coast, TAS

The north-east coast's largest town is both a wonderful, charming location in and of itself while also serving as the ideal springboard to visit both Binalong Bay and the rest of the Bay of Fires - both of which individually appear elsewhere on this list. While its surrounding attractions garner most of the attention, St. Helen's is enjoyable in its own right and has enough appeal to serve as a solid getaway spot that comes with an added dash of convenience. The beach and sea play a prominent role in the region's appeal, and St. Helen's has long been renowned for its fishing; as a result, seafood here is of exceptional quality including scallops, abalone, oysters, lobster and various kinds of fish - there are plenty of options for dining at restaurants that make the most of this bounty of the ocean to produce some quality dishes.

Being outdoors here is likewise pleasant, as the region boasts an unusually warm climate for Tasmania, and whether you're taking a walk through some lovely conservation areas or simply sitting and admiring the famously gorgeous sunsets and sunrises, the outside lifestyle offers great appeal. More active types may instead choose to get out on - or in - the water to indulge in some quality swimming and surfing, or instead make the short drive to visit the tumbling and gorgeous St. Columba Waterfall. Accessed via a fairly challenging but scenic bushwalk, the falls are photogenic in the extreme and even serve as a venue for a tranquil swim during the warmer months. Whether you use it as a launching point or a base, St. Helen's has plenty to offer. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania

#47 - Wings Wildlife Park

Where is it? Gunns Plains, TAS

One of Tasmania's most ideal attractions for families, Wings Wildlife Park is a family-run operation that offers plenty of animal interaction all immersed amongst some great Tasmanian bush scenery. It's a little out of the way situated in the midst of a lovely slice of countryside in Gunns Plains, however the trip is well worth the effort for those with kids who love animals, as animals there are aplenty at Wings. Home to a large number of indigenous creatures as well as exotic species such as camels, ostriches and even bison and buffalo, the variety of wildlife on display here is impressive, as is the well-laid-out and spacious nature of the animals' enclosures.

Wings is about encountering wildlife in a location that's exceptionally quiet and brimming with wide-open spaces to enjoy; it's a genuine wildlife experience rather than a zoo. The close-up nature of the park makes for plenty of opportunities for some excellent travel photos, while all the patting, feeding and face-to-face viewing will prove a delight for kids. Visits here are rounded out with some wonderful and instructive animal talks given by park staff, which along with daily feedings, make for an extended experience that provides even more value for money. There's on-site accommodation available, too, for those wanting to explore the surrounding areas and make for an overnight trip that the children will remember for a long time. Image credit: Wings Wildlife Park

#46 - Visit the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery

Where is it? Hobart, TAS

Serving as a great starting point for gaining more overall context for further travels onward throughout Tasmania, the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery is an excellent cultural attraction on the waterfront at Hobart. Having been recently redeveloped, "TMAG" brings along with it a highly modern and chic feel inside - somewhat ironic given its status as the second-oldest museum in Australia - and helps bring fresh life to its documentations of the past. The museum is host to an extensive amount of exhibits, with wonderfully varied displays on indigenous history, the Antarctic, coins, local wildlife and Tasmanian art, to name just some of what you'll find here.

There's so much crammed into what is a relatively small space that you'll likely want to spend several hours here in order to get the most out of a visit. Temporary exhibitions are regularly cycled throughout the year in order to keep things fresh, too, making repeat visits a possibility. Add in the fact that entry is entirely free (although donations are appreciated), and this should be one of the initial items on any first-time visitors to Tasmania's itinerary. Capping things off is the museum's top notch cafe, which offers surprisingly high quality food and coffee and makes for a great way to recharge before soaking in more history. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Kathryn Leahy

#45 - Do the Tahune Forest Airwalk

Where is it? Geeveston, TAS


An immersive experience that grants visitors the chance to walk amounts some of the true "giants of the forest" while surrounded by some of the world's tallest trees, the Tahune Forest Airwalk provides a scenic outlook of both plant and water that's hard to match. Offering a footbrige/walkway that suspends walkers at various heights ranging from 20 all the way up to 50 metres above ground, the Airwalk is a little off the beaten track to reach but well worth the drive from Hobart as there are few experiences quite like it in the country. The walkway is surrounded by reassuring safety fences (a nod to the heights-adverse traveller) and runs alongside a mixture of towering Huon Pines, Blackwoods, Sassafrass and various other species. The raw majesty of th etrees in terms of both beauty and sheer scale makes for a wonderful panorama, particularly when coupled with the distant mountains and rushing waters of rivers underfoot.

The experience culminates in the cantilever platform that grants spectacular views of both the forest and the ranging waters of the Huon River below, which is even more of a wondrous sight after recent rainfall. A number of supplementary experiences such as hang gliding, bike tracks and scenic walks (both across swinging bridges and back on solid ground) round out the attraction's offerings and help make the trek more worthwhile. Several tours are also available that include the Tahune Airwalk on their itineraries, while self-driving is also possible for those willing to put in the effort. Be sure to bring a quality camera! Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Garry Moore

#44 - Low Head Penguin Tours

Where is it? Low Head Coastal Reserve, northern TAS

This relatively unknown wildlife encounter doesn't have the fame of one of its counterparts in Victoria on the mainland, however it's an experience that offers even more of an intimate meeting with one of nature's cutest critters. Taking place each night after sunset on the coastal reserve at Low Head in Tasmania's north, visitors have the chance to watch large quantities of Little Penguins emerge from the water then waddle up the beach to their burrows for roosting. Deriving their name from their size - they average only around 30cm in height - the Little Penguins are wonderful to behold; particularly the sight of adults making their way up to shore with their babies in tow.

While numbers vary from night to night and throughout different parts of the year, there's the potential to see hundreds of penguins during peak season. You can't touch them of course - the tours are conducted with an environmental consciousness and respect for the creatures and their habitats - but you'll be close enough to be able to. Guest a re divided into small groups, which helps both to not startle the penguins as well as gain more personal insight into the animals from the knowledgeable guides. Far more up-close-and-personal than other similar experiences both in Australia and New Zealand, Low Head Penguin Tours make for one of Tasmania's most touching animal meetings. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Chris Crerar

#43 - See a show at the Theatre Royal

Where is it? Hobart, TAS

Perhaps Tasmania's foremost shining bastion of cultural entertainment, Hobart's historic Theatre Royal is a classy, classic venue for the peforming arts that has been in operation since back in 1837. The venue remains teeming with old-world charm to this day, starting with its gorgeous facade, extending through to its luxuriously-decorated interior dotted with signature Victorian red and gold, and culminating with the talent that appears on stage. Throughout the theatre's history it has seen numerous prominent domestic and international talents grace its interior ranging all the way from Lawrence Olivier through to Hugo Weaving, and this weight of history lends an aspect of significance each time one attends a show here.

The theatre is relatively small on size yet is ornate and full of character - marvel at its gorgeous chandelier - and as a result, regardless of what kind of show is taking place, carries with it inherent entertainment value. Performances at the Theatre Royal range from ballet, to drama, to musical and various others, with the theatre having survived demolitions plans, fires and a range of other obstacles to showcase all of them proudly and with wonderful acoustics. It's a standout piece of architecture and culture in what is overall a fairly young country. Image credit: Theatre Royal

#42 - Coal Mines Historic Site

Where is it? Tasman Peninsula, TAS

While its larger sister site of Port Arthur might steal the show, the Coal Mines Historic Site on the Tasman Peninsula beside Little Norflk Bay is distinctive in its own right, and combines historic ruins with lovely water-adjacent scenery. Formerly home to around 500 convicts - including some of the worst offenders from nearby Port Arthur - the site remains as a testament to the grim circumstances under which it operated. Formed with the goal of extracting coal to help with the still-new colony's self-sufficiency while using the convicts as a cheap source of labour, the site has various ruins that indicate its previous function, including a number of solitary cells that serve as a reminder of the harsh conditions in which its prisoners were housed.

Visiting the Coal Mines Historic Site is free, and makes for a simple "arrive and wander/ponder" proposition; it's relatively deserted compared to Port Arthur and thus ideal for those after a more tranquil and contemplative atmosphere. The site has plenty of tracks and well-formed paths both throughout and around on which to explore, with signage detailing some of its history. Photographers in particular will appreciate a trip here, as a lack of other visitors makes for some top photo-taking opportunities - particularly around sunset. In all, it's an interesting visit and a wonderful contrast to the more developed Port Arthur Historic Site. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Port Arthur Historic Site

#41 - Escape to Flinders Island

Where is it? Bass Strait, TAS

It's ironic that some of the best experiences around the island state of Tasmania can involve heading to another island, but this is again the case with the secluded and picturesque Flinders Island, the other of the two main islands of Tasmania within the Bass Strait. Flinders is a large island yet often goes overlooked by tourists, however this works as a boon for those who actually do visit; this makes for a destination where the gorgeous beaches have no footprints and come with an aura of remoteness that the majority of mainland Aussie beaches can't match. The island's friendly - and limited - local population provides the benefit of having access to amenities, stocking up, then simply escaping from it all and enjoying its unspoiled nature.

Whether you're simply strolling along one of the numerous marked tracks or aiming to soak in the wonderful views from atop Strzelecki Peak that offers a gorgeous panorama atop its granite surface (as a reward for the 4 to 5 hours return trip), the island provides escapism in its purist form. Getting to Flinders Island is not the cheapest of tasks - it's only accessible from Launceston or Essendon on mainland Australia via light aircraft - while those looking for a complete package can book a trip with Flinders Island Adventures who offer all-inclusive tours. If you're looking to drive along empty roads to find your own little slice of heaven, then Flinders Island more than delivers. Image credit: Stu Gibson

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.

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The Tasmania Bucket List Map

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