The Tasmania Bucket List

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

#60 - Gaze over Iron Blow Lookout

Where is it? Near Queenstown, TAS

One of the more unusual and distinctive panoramas on offer in Tasmania comes courtesy of this lookout point located just outside Queenstown on Tassie's west coast. Iron Blow is an open cut mine where large copper deposits were found after a failed search for gold, and in the present day serves as a unique tourist attraction courtesy of its easily accessible viewing platform that grants dramatic views over what is a truly colourful - and rutted - landscape. Lying just next to its newly-revamped carpark, the catilever of the Iron Blow Lookout offers a vantage point overlooking a mixture of surrounding mountains and down to the Linda Valley, where the practical ghost towns of Gormanston and Linda can be seen.

Its reds, ochres and blues are a far cry from the typical green-and-azure beauty that most Tasmanian lookouts encompass, and for this reason it's well worth the minimal effort to visit. The site also comes with plenty of detailed information about the gold era on the Tasmanian west coast, as well as the pioneers who undertook the gargantuan mine-cutting process in the past that's quite fascinating. While it's not an attraction you'll spend copious amounts of time at - it's a short but impactful stop near Queenstown - the individuality of the site makes it worthwhile, and it's a great spot for coming away with one of the more unique and colourful travel photos during a Tasmanian holiday.

#59 - Visit The Tasmanian Arboretum

Where is it? Eugenana, TAS

Located close to the city of Devonport and situated within a visually striking and peaceful valley, the Tasmanian Arboretum is the place to go for those looking for a relaxing and undeniably pleasant spot in which to simply stroll and revel in the beauty of nature. A spacious and well-kept botanical park, the Arboretum is home to around 1,000 species of different plants as well as plenty of wildlife which can be found within - including both a large variety of water birds and even Platypus which can be spotted swimming in its Founder's Lake. As an exceptional rarity in terms of animal encounters in the wild, the platypus themselves are reason enough to visit, but that is far from the only drawcard that the Arboretum has to offer.

It's a wonderfully landscaped environment that's particularly gorgeous during the autumn months due to the cavalcade of changing colours that can be witnessed, while a number of well-formed tracks throughout that range from mild strolls through to uphill climbs make for ideal thoroughfares for a wander. Plenty of seating is interspersed throughout for taking a breather, while those looking for additional insight can either schedule one of the guided walks that are available for booking, or hire an audio guide from the kiosk for a minimal fee for further interpretation of the Arboretum's offerings. In all, a great job is done by the volunteers that support the Arboretum's ongoing existence; it's a hidden gem in the north-west of Tasmania.

#58 - Old Hobart Town Model Village

Where is it? Richmond, TAS

This enchanting little place to Hobart's north-east is one of the more unique attractions in the area – it's a lovingly-crafted, authentic rendition of what Hobart used to be, albeit in miniature form. It's easy to see from the get-go that a lot of work has gone into not only carving the models, but simply positioning the dolls to form realistic scenes; from a distance, the figures could be mistaken for an actual old-world town. Kids in particular love spotting all the quirky and unique characters around the village, many of which are striking humorous poses or are in funny, unexpected locations. There are also a few subtle "nods" to adult visitors as well, with scenes that convey some additional subtile with and inherent comedy value.

It's an interesting feeling to become a giant for a while and wander around the streets of Old Hobart Town Model Village admiring the various caricatures of life “back in the day”, especially if you'll soon be entering actual Hobart again soon after, and makes for an interesting discussion point on how much things have changed to how the city looks today. The village sits in the charming town of Richmond (mentioned elsewhere on this list) and is well worth a stop to stretch your legs if you're heading either out of Hobart or are on your way back in. While you'll likely only spend around half an hour or so here, its charm is undeniable and your little ones will likely love the “fun” aspect it provides, while as adults you'll be able to simply appreciate the craftsmanship.

#57 - Table Cape Lighthouse Tours

Where is it? Near Wynyard, TAS

Ideal for those seeking wonderful views who also have an interest in history, Table Cape's lighthouse sits in a wonderful spot atop an ancient volcanic plug that grants it a tremendous outlook over the waters of the Bass Strait. A historic building dating back to its first commencement of operation back in 1888, it's the only operating Lighthouse open for tours in mainland Tasmania, providing extra insight that is both informative and interesting. While visiting here involves making your way across a bumpy section of road, both the lighthouse itself and the walk around the headlands nearby make it worth the effort for those taking the scenic route from Wynyard nearby.

Visitors to the lighthouse can take part in a 25 to 30 minute tour that includes some magnificent views of both the north coast as well as inland - a magical opportunity for photos - involving a sweeping panorama of rugged cliffs and beaches. The tours are conducted for a cheap fee and provided by an extremely friendly and knowledgeable guide who goes into great detail on both the lighthouse's history as well as the lay of the local land. There is a wealth of information at the lighthouse as well to provide extra context for those not visiting during tour times as well. While it's perhaps best visited during tulip season when its surrounding fields are bright will floral colour, and when they're not in bloom the majesty of the landscape and the intrigue of the lighthouse's past makes for a highly interesting side trip. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Don Fuchs

#56 - Cruise and Dine at Peppermint Bay

Where is it? Woodbridge, TAS

Peppermint Bay - a little hub of varied delights for both the eyes and the tastebuds - sits on the waterfront at Woodbridge and serves as the port of all for scenic cruises that depart from Hobart and end on its picturesque waters. Oriented around a uniquely-constructed building that won awards for its architectural design and features gorgeous, high windows that grant a wonderful aspect across the d’Entrecasteaux Channel, Peppermint Bay is one of the most pleasant dining venues you'll come across during your Tasmanian travels. Meals here are of a high quality across the board and come in good portion sizes, while eating outdoors here overlooking the water during periods of fair weather has its own distinctive appeal.

The cruise to Peppermint Bay itself takes in views of both Hobart's coastal highlights as well as Bruny Island, and culminates in an arrival at Peppermint Bay itself. The spot has become a popular location for celebrations and functions due to its mixture of satisfying scenery and food, and can also be accessed via a scenic drive through the Huon Valley as opposed to the more popular water-borne route. Perfectly maintained gardens lend an extra sense of class to the proceedings, and are dotted with a number of sculptures and ponds to help add character to the landscape. Whether you're a local looking for a wedding destination or a traveller taking a cruise, the chance to sightsee and dine go hand in hand at Peppermint Bay. Image credit: Peppermint Bay

#55 - West Coast Heritage Centre

Where is it? Zeehan, TAS

One of the most varied and robust documentations of a section of Tasmania's history displayed via an intriguing mix of forms, the West Coast Heritage Centre at Zeehan combines together a blend of buildings that encompass various aspects of the West Coast's history. It's a surprisingly large scale attraction that is utterly extensive in his scope and has been continually expanded over the years to include physical items that range from photo galleries, to old trains, to relics of blacksmithy and numerous other era-specific items. Add in some truly world-class mineral displays featuring a number of specimens of magical colour varieties, and there's enough here to keep history buffs occupied for several hours.

The West Coast Heritage Centre features numerous themed exhibition spaces, as well as its highlight Gaiety Theatre which provides guests with a chance to step back in time to the days of subtitled motion pictures - a true rarity as far as moviegoing experiences are concerned nowadays. Simulated mine displays, meanwhile, add a sense of life to the static exhibits, and the various tools of the trades of yesteryear that are on display serve as a reminder of just how far we've come technology-wise. An utterly enormous overall collection that is both presented with flair and wonderfully laid out, all of the Heritage Centre's aspects combine to produce a wonderful insight into the living and working conditions of its era, and a fitting tribute to Tasmania's early pioneers. Image credit: West Coast Heritage Centre

#54 - Visit Richmond Village

Where is it? Richmond, TAS

A destination in which the phrase "old fashioned" is applied as a term of praise rather than in a derogatory manner, Richmond is a gorgeous little village teeming with history and character within easy reach of capital Hobart. Entering the town is akin to instantly stepping back in time, as reflections of Australia's early colonial days still run strong here; it's particularly renowned for its Georgian architecture encapsulated by its signature bridge. Perhaps the town's key architectural highlight, not only is the bridge charming in its construction, but its ranking as the oldest bridge in the country is impressive in its own right. Other buildings of note include the grim yet interesting Richmond Gaol, the lovely design of its St. John's Church, and any number of other of its 50-some heritage constructions.

Richmond's not solely all about history, however; its green and grassy natural surrounds are a joy to explore, while those looking for culinary experiences can visit plenty of charming little cafes and eateries at which to grab a well-crafted bite. Situated in the heart of the popular Coal River Valley wine region, enjoying a drop of the good stuff is also a highly viable prospect here, with several vineyards from which to choose. Its unique buildings, peaceful charm and easy access help to rank Richmond Village amongst the list of Australia's best small towns. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Brian Dullaghan

#53 - Hastings Caves State Reserve

Where is it? Hastings, TAS

If you're after a more nature-based attraction away from the majority of the crowds that brings with it a combined dose of wonder and fresh air, the Hastings Caves and its associated Thermal Springs manages to check both boxes. Home to an expansive an ancient cave network filled with an incredible number of impressive stalagmite and stalactite formations made of dolomite rather than the typical limestone, the Hastings Caves are visually stunning and comparable to some of the other prominent cave networks on the Australian mainland. While there's plenty of steps to navigate here - none are individually particularly arduous, but as a total they all add up - the combination of the caves' beauty and the enthusiasm and knowledge of the guides on hand makes putting in the effort more than worthwhile.

The experience at the caves begins at the Visitor's Centre – home to a number of jovial and helpful staff – where you're able to join a guided tour and venture under the earth to explore and learn about the well-lit caves' history and structure. In addition to the caves themselves, the Reserve offers a Thermal pool for swimming that is fed by naturally-heated water that's all set amongst some delightful forested surrounds. There are a number of facilities here that make staying for a near-full day feasible (barbeques, a spacious picnic area with showers, change rooms and more) and which help to make the not-insignificant 3 hour return trip from Hobart worthwhile. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

#52 - Hollybank Treetops Adventures

Where is it? Underwood, TAS

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Tasmania’s lush forests aren’t just an impressive display of untouched nature at work – they also offer great opportunities for exploration and sightseeing. The Launcestion region’s Hollybank Treetops Adventure aims to take advantage of these towering trees by providing visitors with the chance to ascend high above the ground and take in some airborne-adventurous fun. Featuring a series of integrated zip lines / flying foxes, the experience manages to be both thrilling and safe, and provides an aspect and viewpoint that is quite incredible once you’ve gotten over any initial nerves from being so high up.

It’s an extensive course that will see you flying from tree to tree and station to station, and throughout the journey you’ll be presented with interpretive commentary detailing the forest’s environment and the types of local wildlife that can be found within. The journey includes sections of cableway that span between 15 and 400 metres, bridging one station to the next, and while that might seem precarious to some, safety is always the highest priority with all harnesses and other protective gear some of the best on offer. Zip lines on the tour can also be conducted in tandem for skittish customers or younger children, and there’s simply something fun about soaring through the air with a friend or family member that’s hard to match. Image credit: Hollybank Treetops Adventure

#51 - Mawson's Hut Replica Museum

Where is it? Hobart, TAS

This relatively new addition to Hobart's array of cultural attractions also ranks among its best. Aiming to replicate the conditions and accommodations of Douglas Mawson and his crew of Antarctic researchers and explorers as they braved the southern continent during the early 1900's, the attraction has been recreated in painstaking detail. These details range all the way down to such minor specifics as it being constructed from the same timber used in the real huts in Antarctica, to the initials painted on the bunk beds in which each man slept. With so much crammed into such a small overall building, it's hard to imagine sharing a space filled with 18 people for lengths of up to two years and a reflection of the endurance and strong will of these historic explorers.

The Mawson's Hut Replica Museum brings along with it an interactive element too, as visitors are able to sit on the bunks, touch artefacts and otherwise physically go hands-on with much of its contents; as it's the closest many of us will get to a trip to the Antarctic, this extra dose of immersion comes greatly appreciated. Guides who staff the museum have a wealth of knowledge on its history, with some having even visited the original site in the Antarctic themselves, and their friendly and helpful attitudes help augment the experience greatly. Easily accessible on Constitution Dock in central Hobart, this is a slice of Australian exploratory history that's truly worth knowing about. Image credit: Mawson's Hut Replica Museum

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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