The Tasmania Bucket List

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

#20 - Mole Creek Caves

Where is it? Mayberry, TAS

Tasmania's finest and most-visited cave system may require a fair bit of effort in order to reach, but its incredible blend of stalactite and stalagmite formations, underground rushing streams and spectacular limestone formations that are the result of the sheer passage of time await as wonderful rewards for travellers. The Mole Creek Caves network lies at the foot of the Western Tiers and consists of over 300 varied caves and sinkholes that make up its entirety, however the King Solomon and Marakoopa caves are the two headlining attractions that are accessible to the public. Each of the caves is remarkable in their own way; Marakoopa is renowned for its display of glowworms that rank amongst the largest in the country, while the King Solomon's caves vivid colours and sparkling crystalline structure makes for a veritable feast for the eyes.

Those looking to explore the caves can take part in one of three different guided tours, each of which last 45 minutes, and oriented towards both different ages and fitness levels. The cave's guides bring along with them a staggering level of knowledge and enthusiasm regarding the caves' structure and history, always allowing ample time for additional questions and investigation. Lastly, the caves serve as a welcome reprieve on hot summer days, measuring a chilly 9°C (48.2°F) within - so be sure to dress appropriately before gawking at their wonders. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & George Apostolidis

#19 - The Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens

Where is it? Hobart, TAS

Tasmania’s greenery is one of its prominent hallmarks that helps separate the state from its northern brothers, and its botanic leanings are reflected in few better places than Hobart’s Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens. Lying on the city’s eastern side, the gardens are impressive, even by the high standards set by botanic gardens in some of Australia’s larger capitals and has continually been refined and meticulously groomed throughout its nearly 200-year-long history. The gardens cover an expansive 13.5 hectare area featuring over 6,500 diverse species of plants, flowers and all other aspects of the floral kingdom, with the overall gardens divided up into various individual themed sections highlighting advanced gardening styles from all across the globe.

Everything here emanates a world-class level of quality and care, from the arrangement to the facilities to the maintenance to the attitudes of the grounds staff. The gardens are laid out over the side of a hill that provides glimpses of the Derwent River, and provide numerous open spaces for relaxation and contemplation that are the perfect spot for a quiet picnic or to kick back and enjoy a book surrounded by nature. Image credit: Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens BOOK
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#18 - Peruse the Salamanca Markets

Where is it? Hobart, TAS

If you're looking for the ultimate spot to buy a souvenir or sample some local goods in Hobart, be sure to take a stroll through the city's long-running and famous market - Salamanca Market. Open on Saturday mornings, at this fabulous marketplace you'll find a diverse range of goods, with over 300 stalls playing host to an array of different products including fresh fruits and vegetables, delicious coffees and cakes, and an abundance of fine Tasmanian art and crafts including homewares, Tasmanian timbers and unique clothing pieces. The items on display here are typically of exceptionally high quality, and unlike at other standard retail souvenir stalls, you'll be able to come away with a distinct memento from your time spent in Hobart.

There's an immense selection of fresh food to try here, as well, so arriving early in the morning comes recommended to do "breakfast with a view" before browsing the other items on display. Easily accessible due to its fantastic location, Salamanca Market is closely located to many other fabulous Hobart sites, including the historic St David's Park, Battery Point - famous for its Georgian cottages and village atmosphere; and most notable the Hobart's picturesque waterfront hosting a harbour filled with impressive yachts and boats. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Sean Fennessy BOOK
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#17 - Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

Where is it? Brighton, TAS

Tasmania's native wildlife is one of its major drawcards, and while the state is home to a number of quality wildlife attractions in which to encounter its various critters, few provide the quality of experience and hands-on focus that Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary does. The sanctuary lies just to the north of Hobart (roughly a 30 minute drive) and is home to plenty of Aussie animals - including its trademark Tasmanian Devils - that adults and children alike will love. Bonorong specialises in the care and rehabilitation of orphaned and injured wildlife, as all animals are at the park for a reason; funding for the park comes from the guests who visit.

The passion of the sanctuary’s staff is obvious here, and they go the extra mile to entertain and educate about the animals and their habitats. What truly sets Bonorong Sanctuary apart, however, are their outstanding night tours – as the vast majority of the most intriguing animals on offer are nocturnal, it’s a great and intimate way to see some of these natural beauties at their most active. Extraordinarily cute creatures such as sugar sliders, Tawny Frogmouths, possums and – of course – Tasmanian Devils all take on a whole new life at night, and are all done with a sense of delicacy and care that you simply don’t find often at larger and more commercial attractions. Image credit: Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary BUY
TICKETS

#16 - The Wall in the Wilderness

Where is it? Derwent Bridge, TAS

Scoring bonus points for uniqueness and being a raw example of sheer skill, this distinct attraction located relatively in the middle of nowhere amongst the Central Highlands of Tasmania is truly inspiring. Consisting of a number of huge, wood-carved panels fashion from local Huon Pine by passionate artist/sculptor Greg Duncan, the Wall in the Wilderness is a testament to the passion and devotion of a single individual that pays homage to the history of an entire region, one painstakingly made carving at a time. Featuring a number of individual carvings that document key points throughout Tasmania's history, the Wall showcases a mixture of Tassie's citizens, its government, and its wildlife depicted with a stunning sense of realism and attention to detail.

Roughly 10 years in the making - the end result of which will be a 100m-long, double-sided shrine to Tasmania's history - the Wall highlights such aspects as the Hydroelectric scheme, the Forestry Commission, and even the simple struggles of the state's residents and the pure hard work that helped make Tassie what it is today. The encompassing building adds an additional warm and cosy atmosphere for visitors making the trek here, with a fireplace, comfortable furnishings and a quality cafe from which to grab a coffee then sit back, relax, and admire the handiwork. The Wall in the Wilderness is worth making the trip to Derwent Bridge in and of itself to see one man's gift to the state of Australia; it's a relatively unknown and criminally underrated Tassie attraction. Image credit: Greg Duncan & Wall in the Wilderness

#15 - History at The Tench

Where is it? Hobart, TAS

Old Hobart Gaol - nicknamed "The Tench" by its former inhabitants - is a concentrated hub of early Australian colonial history, and a harrowing reminder of how far the fields of crime and punishment have come in the times since. Situated just a few minutes walk from the centre of Hobart, the complex saw over 50,000 convicts pass through during its existence and - while much of the gaol and convict sections have since been destroyed - still provides insight into the lives of those of the era as well as the likes of the brutal nature of solitary confinement. Visiting The Tench today allows visitors to gain a sense of its evolution over its 200 year history, including the transition of its chapel into the role of courtrooms, and via absorbing the biographies of both inmates and staff. Add in various other photos and artefacts and there's a wealth of era-specific information to take in here.

Guided tours are available that offer a more detailed look into the penitentiary's construction, daily life and other interesting facets, which are conducted by dedicated National Trust volunteers who certainly know their stuff. Other options for experiencing The Tench include more eerie ghost tours after the sun goes down, as well as regular theatrical events that are held within. History buffs will find few better places in all of Tasmania with which to sate their curiousity than the Penitentiary Chapel Historic Site.Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & National Trust Tasmania

#14 - Climb Mt. Wellington

Where is it? Hobart, TAS

One of Hobart’s most obvious highlights also ranks amongst its best, and there are few spectacles that can compare with Mount Wellington – both in terms of the view from afar and offered atop it. Sitting just to the west of central Hobart, the mountain makes for an impressive sight, with its seasonally snow-dusted peak making for a wonderful contrast with the greenery of its slopes. The summit of Mt. Wellington can be reached via a roughly 25 minute drive from the city CBD, with both tours and regular shuttle buses making the trek from the centre of Hobart on a consistent basis.

The trip to the top is well worth the time investment, as upon reaching the summit and disembarking you’ll be presented with one of the most picturesque vistas in the state; Hobart’s famously clear skies couple with near-360 degree views to form a panorama that’s truly impressive. The view covers a variety of landscapes including Hobart itself, the boat-covered harbour extending to the Southern Ocean, the waters of the Derwent River and the vibrant green of the Derwent Valley and makes for perhaps the best overall photography point in the region. Image credit: Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman BOOK
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#13 - Walk the Bay of Fires

Where is it? East coast, TAS

Tasmania's Bay of Fires on the state's north-east coast is a cavalcade of all the colours that Tassie's nature can conjure together in a single stretch of coastline; it's a myriad of hues that blends whites, oranges, blues and greens into a dazzling display that's even more impressive when experienced up close. The landscape of this region is dotted with various secluded inlets, bays and sheltered lagoons that make every kilometre of exploration an exercise in new discoveries, and the abundance of flora and fauna that inhabit the area means that there's seldom a dull moment here. The most famous on-foot option for touring the region its its Bay of Fires Lodge walk with The Tasmanian Walking Company, a 4 day coastal journey that allows ample extra time for “stopping to smell the roses” - or, in this case, stopping to enjoy the pristine waters with a swim or kayak.

The walk derives its name from its eco-friendly lodge painstakingly built at a point amongst its 20-some kilometre expanse, and is thus the only building in existence within the area.The entirety of the Bay of Fires Lodge Walk is divided up into a series of walks that encompass much of the beauty of the Mt. William National Park, and it's a trek that has become famous due to being a favoured spot of many renowned photographers. The clash of colours are a prominent reason why, with the aforementioned orange rocks a striking display that are covered by a species of lichen that give them their vivid hue. Image credit: Sean Scott BOOK
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#12 - Stanley & The Nut

Where is it? Stanley, TAS

The small yet picturesque town of Stanley in Tasmania’s northwest is charming if unremarkable in its own right, however it’s its prominent neighbouring natural feature that makes the surrounding landscape a standout from the norm. That’s largely because there’s the massive, 152 metre-high remnant of an extinct volcano which looms over its buildings – known as The Nut, the flat-topped plateau contrasts with the town itself and the adjacent sea to make for an unusual and scenic vista. Great views can be had both of The Nut when viewed from afar, and from atop its surface gazing out to the surrounding area, and as a result paying a visit to this little slice of the Southern State brings with it some truly rewarding vantage points.

Ascending to the top of the Nut grants wonderful, 360 degree views of rolling greenery and the waters of the Bass Strait, and its relatively flat top is conducive to some excellent sightseeing. Visitors have the option to walk to the plateau of the Nut via its signature “Zig Zag Track”, which is a steep but rewarding little adventure; it’s only around 400 metres in length but will put the burn into your calves; be sure to wear appropriate footwear if attempting. Alternatively, those looking for an easier way up – along with some spectacular scenery along the way – can opt for the excellent Nut Chairlift which offers a more leisurely 250 metre ride to the top. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Garry Moore BOOK
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#11 - Walk the Three Capes Track

Where is it? Far south-east, TAS

One of the newest additions to the Tasmanian travel essentials list - and the result of thousands of man hours of labour and millions of dollars of investment in development - the Three Capes Track is a 46km-long journey along some of the most majestic coastal stretches of the entire state. Encompassing some truly stunning sights that include towering dolerite cliffs that rank amongst the highest of their kind in the Southern Hemisphere, the walk encompasses the triumvirate of capes Raoul, Pillar and Huay that each provide spectacles that are "Dramatic Tassie" at their best. Designed to be walked over three separate days and divided into three distinct sections, it's a journey that brings with it numerous visual - and spiritual - rewards in return for the money and effort.

All that monetary investment has resulted in an epic walk that's remarkably well-equipped compared to others of its ilk; walkers have access to comfortable bedding within scenically-positioned cabins, has cooktops on which to prepare meals, and a path that varies in its structure but provides consistently stable footing throughout. With an enforced limit of 48 walkers per day making for some guaranteed solitude, the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service’s gargantuan effort has resulted in something truly remarkable. Image credit: Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service

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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