The Tasmania Bucket List

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

#70 - Take a Boag's Brewery Tour

Where is it? Launceston, TAS

A local icon that's become a national sensation over the decades and based out of Launceston since back in 1881, James Boag is one of the names that immediately springs to mind when referencing the world of Tasmanian beer. Its original brewery has been a part of the Launceston cityscape since that era, and today those with a passion for the golden amber can pay a visit to not only taste some of its top drops, but also get a dose of additional insight into both the brewery's history and the beer production process in general. The James Boag's Brewery offers tours to the public 7 days a week which serve as a great way to see beer being made while garnering an overall picture of Launceston's history in general, both via the deep knowledge of the guide staff and from its on-site museum that documents brewing history in a number of different forms.

Tours of the brewery last either 60 minutes or 1.5 hours depending on which itinerary you choose, with the latter tour adding some extra culinary delight to the experience; these tours are capped off with beer tasting matched with several delicious Tasmanian cheeses that are delightful. The brewery thus serves as a great way to pass some time on a rainy day in Launceston, as well as a surprisingly good venue for dining as well, as its lovely beer garden allows you to enjoy its meals and beverages in the glow of the sun. Offering a personalised experience compared to larger, international breweries that give off a highly commercialised atmosphere, the Boag's Brewery is one of Launceston's must-do's. Image credit: James Boag's Brewery

#69 - History at Richmond Gaol

Where is it? Richmond, TAS

Australia's oldest intact gaol is just one of multiple highlights of the wonderfully historic Richmond Village, however it's hard to argue that it's also the best. Built in 1825 over the course of 15 years, the site is remarkably well preserved given its age - it actually preceded the more famous Port Arthur site by several years - and makes for one of the best overall experiences of a historical goal in the country. Richmond Gaol's size pales in comparison to Port Arthur, and this is part of its appeal as a historical marker; it serves to reinforce how tiny the quarters were for prisoners confined here, and can be quite astounding to see firsthand reminders of the levels of pain (both physical and mental) inflicted on inmates during the era.

Information on each room within the gaol complex is conveyed through a number of different methods such as voice overs, informational boards, books documenting individual convict's lives, and various other era-appropriate artefacts. The site also boasts very reasonable entry costs given how well such an old building is maintained, particularly its female section which remains in tip-top shape - a testament to the volunteers who assist with its upkeep. Kids are even catered for via a treasure hunt that keeps them entertained while distracting from the more morbid details of convict life, making for an educational and historic window into colonial history that families can enjoy as a group. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Kathryn Leahy

#68 - Cruise the Tamar River

Where is it? Departs from Launceston, TAS

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Somewhat of a misnomer, the Tamar River is an estuary consisting of salt water that winds its way through 70km worth of Tasmanian terrain ranging from Launceston to Low Head and allows travellers an alternative vantage point from which to take in some of the diverse and picturesque scenery of the Tamar region. Cruising the Tamar with Tamar River Cruises provides a relaxed, scenic journey that encompasses a number of different highlights of both the natural and man-made varieties along the way. Bird life features prominently throughout, with the likes of sea seagles, swans, pelicans and a number of other seabirds making for great photo subjects, while old colonial mansions that have stood for many years dot the waterfront.

A cruise along this waterway also culminates in visiting Cataract Gorge itself - one of the Launceston region's most impressive features - while passing under the various bridges both in the lead up and within makes for an interesting prospect. While most will walk the gorge at some point during their Tassie travels, a cruise provides a different angle on its banks and large rock walls. In addition, newcomers to the Launceston region will hear commentary that provides a historic overview of its past including the valley, the gorge, disasters that have taken place in the past, and its human development. Those looking to cruise its waters can join operator Tamar River Cruises for a number of short and extended itineraries to see the waterway at its best.

#67 - Ride the Don River Railway

Where is it? Runs from Devonport to Coles Beach, TAS

This excellent heritage railway experience that runs alongside the scenic Don River's banks may be short on length, however it's undeniably big on charm and runs almost entirely on love and passion. One of the sole passenger-bearing remainders of Tasmania's age of rail, the train ride involves a 30 minute journey from Devonport to Coles Beach, winding its way through some beautiful bushland along the way. The train itself is undeniably gorgeous having been wonderfully restored by the volunteers who keep the railway functioning, and its old-world charm makes for a ride that's highly atmospheric.

The trip is a leisurely, meandering affair and is immensely popular with children, making for an ideal trip for families with young kids, while adults who are both locomotive and history enthusiasts will also get a great deal enjoyment out of the Don River Railway. In addition to the ride itself, the station comes equipped with a surprisingly robust museum that is home to the largest collection of locomotives in Tasmania, with the workshops having undertaken some excellent restoration projects on these old dames of transport past. Good, old fashioned family fun that comes at a highly reasonable price. Image credit: Don River Railway

#66 - Play a Round at Barnbougle Dunes

Where is it? Bridport, TAS

Golfing enthusiasts will be hard pressed during their travels in Australia to find a better selection of holes than what is on offer at Barnbougle Dunes. Widely regarded amongst the premier golf courses in the world, it's an exercise in dazzling course design that takes full advantage of the wonderful, undulating and slightly wild landscape of Tasmania's north-east coast. This is a course where the vistas play just as much of a role as the golfing itself; stunning views are on the cards throughout, and overall it's one of the more geographically unique golfing experiences available. It's also an undeniably tough course - particularly when the characteristic coastal Tassie winds are blowing - that comes with some truly brutal greens.

The course is kept in immaculate condition while still retaining its inherent wilderness appeal; wallabies populating the surrounds add a dash of life to the proceedings, and no golf carts are permitted in order to help retain both the environment's stability and its picturesque conditioning. Barnbougle's outstanding fourth hole in particular is a wondrous exercise in course design, and one of the most distinctive Par 4's on Earth. While its remote location can make it require a fair chunk of effort to access, the course comes with both an excellent restaurant and on-site accommodation to make extended stays possible. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania and Rob Burnett

#65 - Escape to the Tarkine

Where is it? North-west wilderness, TAS

This huge section of Tasmania's north-west is an example of gorgeous, untouched wilderness that's unmolested by development; in many ways, it's something of a "land that time forgot". The Tarkine is a part of the state where some of the world's oldest living trees, significant sites of Aboriginal heritage, extensive cave systems and wonderfully fresh air combine to make for an experience that's escapist in the extreme. Add in an abundance of native wildlife covering a huge range of species - with a number of Aussie icons among them - such as wombats, echidnas, Tassie Devils and much more - and you've got a destination that remains shockingly undervisited relative to its beauty on offer.

As a result, experiences in the Tarkine are entirely oriented around experiencing its pristine natural offerings in a variety of manners, be it taking part in single or multi-day walks to soak in some panoramic views, or cruising the pristine and tranquil waters of the Arthur or Pieman Rivers. Self-drive visitors will be in their element here, as making your own way through the wilderness and camping in a picturesque part of the Tarkine is one of Tasmania's best ways to unplug from civilisation. With several great loops from which to choose, "getting lost' has never been so thoroughly enjoyable as in the Tarkine. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania

#64 - East Coast Natureworld

Where is it? near Bicheno, TAS

One of Tasmania's most expansive wildlife attractions is located to the north of Bicheno in the form of East Coast Natureworld, which its amongst an extensive and far-reaching blend of parkland and lagoon that's almost as enjoyable to explore as it is to encounter the animals found within. If you're after a venue in which to encounter cute Aussie animals within a free range environment, there are few better places to do so than here; the majority of the wildlife at East Coast Natureworld are free to roam the land as they see fit, which makes for an entirely organic and more realistic animal encounter. All the key Australian wildlife staples are viewable here, along with a surprisingly large number of snakes, lizards, and other reptiles in their own dedicated section.

East Coast Natureworld also serves as a hub of admirable conservation work that ranges from breeding programs, to animal rescue and recovery, to in-depth Tasmanian Devil research and preservation, and it's obvious the staff on hand have a true passion for the wellbeing of all of the state's wildlife. Any visit to Natureworld comes with plenty of walking as part of a requirement - although there's a sort of "tractor train" available as transportation - however given its wonderful natural environment and highly reasonable price of entry, the energy investment is well worth it. A excellent all-round attraction for the whole family, and a must-visit for wildlife enthusiasts. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania and Rob Burnett

#63 - Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre

Where is it? Beaconsfield, TAS

This regional attraction is both interesting and moving, managing to connect both past and present into a single, comprehensive exhibition of the highs and lows of a part of Tasmania's mining industry. The Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre helps to provide perspective on the key role mining played in the state's development, while also paying tribute to the tragedy and survival story of 2006 in which the local mine collapsed, the miners who were trapped, the rescues that were undertaken and the life that was lost. In this regard, it succeeds admirably, while also providing plenty of exhibits that document the town of Beaconsfield as a whole and its early origins as a mining settlement.

The main emphasis of this attraction is on combining history with interaction, all accompanied by a vast and impressive array of old mining equipment. There's plenty of potential time to be spent perusing both the centre and mine, and a number of great photo opportunities of old structures that look particularly magnificent in the sunlight. It's a moving narrative that's dealt with in a both tasteful and well-presented manner given the subject manner that can be easily accessed around 20 minutes to the north of Launceston. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Tim Hughes

#62 - Take a Scenic Flight with Par Avion

Where is it? Cambridge, TAS

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Much of Tasmania's landscape is impressive enough when viewed on foot, yet it takes a dose of altitude and skill to fully appreciate some of its alpine beauty at its best. The scale of famously beautiful parts of the state such as Wineglass Bay, Maria Island, and Tasmania's World Heritage listed wilderness areas take on a whole new life when witnessed from high above, and it's here that scenic flight operators Par Avion Wilderness Tours come in, offering a range of itineraries designed to showcase some of Tasmania's finest to the general public. Renowned for going above and beyond in their service and professionalism, their pilots take passengers on memorable air adventures while delivering commentary via headphones on the landscapes below along with their histories.

Scenic flights come with the added benefit of viewing some of the most untouched areas of Tasmania that are otherwise inaccessible by foot, road or rail. Pilots know all the best angles from which to maximise the views of the top natural highlights, too, and as a result this is an experience in which you'll want to bring along a quality camera as a smartphone just won't do the panorama justice. Although they require more of an investment of coin compared to the average bus tour, the visual rewards on offer sum up just why many consider Tassie to be Australia's most beautiful state. Image credit: Par Avion

#61 - Witness the Aurora Australis

Where is it? Various locations, TAS

By far one of the Southern Hemisphere's most accessible destinations for soaking in views of this incredible night sky phenomenon, Tasmania servers as an excellent base for viewing the Aurora without having to hike to the Antarctic to do so. The "Southern Lights" are a worthy contender to their more famous northern counterpart, and can be seen at a number of different spots all throughout Tasmania where levels of light pollution are at their lowest. The dancing colourations in the sky are formed from a combination of solar winds and sunspots and are thus difficult to predict, and are best viewed through the lens of a quality camera rather than with the naked eye.

Tasmania's southerly location plays a large role in the quality of its viewing, with the winter months and their extended periods of dark making for the best time of year for a chance at seeing the Aurora at its best. Various coastal areas to the south of the state typically offer the best overall viewing conditions, however even locations such as the Cradle Mountain / Lake St. Clair National Park have been known to display the gorgeous colours near their best. For seasonal updates, visit the Aurora Australis Tasmania website. Image credit: Pierre Destribats

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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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