The beautiful island state of Tasmania lies south of Victoria just under the tip of the Australian mainland and across the Bass Straight. Tasmania has so much to explore and do, so unless you have time to explore then to get a sampler of its beauty, produce and heritage Hobart is your destination.
Hobart is a beautiful little city. It doesn’t have the hustle and bustle you’d expect from a city because it is relatively small. It’s surrounded with colonial buildings and a few modern ones all lining the edges of the Derwent River and Hobart’s famous constitution dock where every year sailors from around the globe race to the finish in the Sydney to Hobart.
Hobart has some great places to eat and visit and if you’re spending some time there on a Saturday the Salamanca Markets are a must, they are a blend of local arts, craft and produce all in one area. Mures make some great fresh seafood if you want some of Tasmania’s famous fish and chips.
Speaking of produce not to far outside of Hobart, about a 45-minute drive you will find the wineries along the Coal River Valley heading towards Richmond. This is a full day road trip – really you will want to stop and take in the sights, so it will take you a full day. Discover gorgeous mouth-watering chocolate made on the premises of the Coal River Farm also enjoy lunch and some fruit picking and if you get a chance go feed the goats (how could you resist).
Head down the road to Puddleduck Vineyard to try their selection of wines by the pond and the head over to my favourite winery Pooley Wines that is located just before you enter the historical town of Richmond. This little road trip is beautiful and your bellies will be full by the time you get to Richmond.
The town itself has a few places to visit. The Richmond Bridge is Australia’s oldest stone bridge and is surrounded by a one of the prettiest backdrops. The town has a few little gift stores where you can pick up souvenirs. My tip however, is to have lunch at the vineyards to truly appreciate the area.
A visit to MONA is a must! The gallery plays host to a great range of eclectic art and sculpture. Get the M1 ferry from Brooke St Pier that takes you to the museum. They serve complimentary Moo Brew (Tasmania’s finest beer if you ask me) and nibbles as you sail down the Derwent when you purchase the Posh Pit ticket. Tickets can be purchased through the MONA website.
Next to MONA there is the Moo Brew brewery. If it’s not fully booked out take a tour and have a tasting or simply enjoy lunch.
Port Arthur is a day trip on its own. Really to fully see the site you need to allocate a full day. The road trip down to Port Arthur is beautiful and you will definitely make a few pit stops because there’s plenty of photo opportunity. It’s roughly an hour and a half to get there from Hobart.
Port Arthur is the historic penal settlement that encompasses a large area. There are many buildings to see including an asylum and prison. If you dare there are also ghost tours that run in the evenings. Make sure that you also go on the ferry ride of the bay, its beautiful and also explains most of the sites history.
Down the road from Port Arthur about a 35 minute drive, are two great natural formations found at Eagelhawk Neck – The Tasman Arch and Devils Kitchen. The Tasman Arch can be seen about 100 meters from the lookout of Devils Kitchen, it is a huge natural bridge that spans the gap across the chasm, that forms Devils Kitchen with its deep trenches that were created by the Tasman Sea over millions of years.
If you get a chance on the way back or if you really want to get up close to a Tasmanian Devil then the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo is a great little pit stop. It’s not a zoo but rather it encourages face to face encounters with some of Tasmania’s most unique wildlife including the endangered Tasmanian Devil (they’re loud, but oh so cute). It also has a native garden with some rare species of plants.
There are also gin and whisky distilleries that you can visit, Mount Wellington and trips to Bruny Island.
No matter what you decide to do you will fall in love with Tasmania and it’s natural beauty and want to go back to explore more of this gorgeous state.