Tasmania is a relatively untouched part of Australia in terms of tourism – perhaps due to distance and a lack of marketing more than anything else – however, it’s something of a gem in terms of places to travel.
Offering a distinctly different experience compared to most of the popular destinations in mainland Australia, Tasmania has an environment and atmosphere that is often compared to an uncrowded version of England, with plenty of greenery and gentle rainfall adding a fresh feel.
While it’s a relatively small state if you’re operating on a limited amount of time for your holiday planning a Tasmania itinerary can still be quite challenging. In an attempt to make things easier for planning your Tasmanian holiday, we’ve put together a recommended itinerary for stays of lengths 2, 3, 4 and 5 days in Tasmania, covering Hobart, Launceston and Port Arthur areas in particular.
Our aim with these recommendations is to provide the first-time visitor with a combination of all the best things to do in Tasmania.
NOTE: To get the most out of this itinerary, you’ll want to fly into Hobart airport and depart from Launceston airport at the end of your trip.
The majority of Tasmanian itineraries will begin with most people flying from the mainland into Hobart as their first port of call; thus you’ll have the chance to mainly focus on the highlights in and around Hobart’s capital, such as the majestic Mount Wellington, the nearby wildlife-rich Bruny Island, and the historically impressive town of Port Arthur.
Explore Hobart and Bruny Island
Hobart City Half-Day Tour (morning or afternoon): Despite not being nearly as famous as some of Australia’s other capitals, Hobart is definitely not without its charm. As Australia’s second-oldest city, it’s not only popular for its maritime atmosphere but also its rich colonial heritage.
Both morning and afternoon tours are available that will showcase the best highlights of Hobart in an efficient yet enjoyable manner, with a cavalcade of gardens, galleries, historic landmarks and plenty of other scenic highlights on offer.
These coach tours have been perfected over the years to cram as many local attractions into one itinerary without degrading the quality of the tour, and A half-day tour also means you’ve got half a day remaining to spend participating in another activity in the morning or afternoon.
Bruny Island Wilderness Cruise (3 hours): Bruny Island is one of the more stunning, yet underrated, wildlife destinations in Australia. This award-winning nature cruise was voted one of Australia’s best tourism attractions three years running between 2008-11, and with good cause: on the trip you’ll come across a huge range of amazing natural surrounds as well as local Tasmanian wildlife such as dolphins, seals, whales, albatross and a myriad of other marine life.
This award-winning nature cruise was voted one of Australia’s best tourism attractions three years running between 2008-11, and with good cause: on the trip you’ll come across a huge range of amazing natural surrounds as well as local Tasmanian wildlife such as dolphins, seals, whales, albatross and a myriad of other marine life.
The rocky and rugged coastline contrasts beautifully with the blue waters, and the world-class guides on the tour will explain all the history and geography with passionate detail.
Head to Port Arthur
Port Arthur Day Tour: Despite its recent black mark in history, Port Arthur remains one of the most intriguing and historically rich destinations in Australia. As a physical reminder of Australia’s convict past, the buildings and ruins for which Port Arthur is famous are a living relic of colonial heritage.
Hotel transfers from your Hobart accommodation will take you to the site where you’ll come across a range of highlights such as the Commandant’s House, penitentiary, old colonial church and much more.
Packages are also available that will combine a visit to the historic site with a delightful cruise on the waters of adjacent Carnarvon Bay which will provide you with a wholly different vantage point of the site, and also provide the chance to view the area’s famous “Isle of the Dead”.
Explore the City and Mt Wellington
Mount Wellington Morning tour: No trip to Hobart is complete without a journey to Mount Wellington, and this relatively compact tour will showcase all its essentials (while including hotel transfers) without taking up too much of your day.
You’ll see such regional highlights on the way as Battery Point, the Cascade Brewery and Gardens, the massive rock formation of the Organ Pipes and more, before arriving at the alpine environment of Mt. Wellington’s summit. From the top, you’ll be witness to an amazing panorama of Hobart and its waterways.
Explore the City in the Afternoon: Take the time to explore the town of Hobart at your leisure and see what it has to offer away from the tourist itinerary. There are plenty of chances on offer to indulge your taste buds, as the city and greater region it resides in are renowned for their cheeses, fresh fruits, chocolates and local beers.
Walk around the port and docks area which serves as the finishing line for the annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race, and take in the fresh ocean air and the sights of some of the impressive vessels which line the harbour.
To continue the rest of this itinerary, you will be required to make the 2.5-hour drive to Launceston.
Visit Cradle Mountain National Park
Upon arriving in Launceston, you’ll notice that one of the most prominent nearby natural features is magnificent Cradle Mountain, which is not just an impressive peak in itself but also home to a wonderful national park with some spectacular scenery on offer.
You’ll soon come across cascading waterfalls surrounded by greenery, lush rainforest, glacial lakes and plenty of wildlife such as platypus and echidna that the region is famous for. Tours that take you to Cradle Mountain National Park typically include all national park fees, however, lunch is either an optional extra or at your own expense.
Launceston/Hollybank Treetop Adventures and Launceston City Walk
Zip Line Adventure at Hollybank Treetops Adventures: The towering forests of Hollybank can be reached in around 20 minutes’ drive from Launceston, and these increasingly popular zip line adventures allow you to glide through the treetops to not only experience some outstanding views but get a dose of flying-fox fun as well.
The tour is informative as well, as the enthusiastic guides provide commentary on the history and ecology of the area while taking every step to preserve the conditions of the forest. You’ll stop at multiple viewing platforms along the way, each of which will provide you with a different vantage point to see the sights of the forest from various heights and angles.
Explore Launceston on foot before flying home: Launceston is a peaceful, relaxed city with a laid back atmosphere reflecting its charming location and old architecture. Take the time to stroll around the great Dove Lake, which is always a hit with visitors to the city, or to the Ashgrove Cheese farm for some rich dairy delights.
Admire the view across to nearby Tamar Island, or travel a little further for a quick visit to the popular wildlife attraction Seahorse World.