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Best things to do in Tasmania

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Where in the world: South Pacific  /  Australia  /  Tasmania

Top 15 things to do in Tasmania

1. Boat Tours & Water Sports, Strahan

Suggested duration: 4 hours
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2. Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, Brighton

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary is home to wombats, koalas, birds, and many amazing natives, including Tasmanian devils, eastern quolls, and bettongs. Meet some of the 80-plus free-roaming kangaroos that enjoy being hand-fed, and receiving a good scratch on the chest! You're allowed to view and share special moments with Australia's unique wildlife. Your entry will also help continue our work with education, conservation, and rehabilitation of Tasmania's threatened wildlife. Bonorong's dedicated volunteers proudly run Tasmania's main 24-hour wildlife rescue service.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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Tours including Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary:

3. Dove Lake Circuit, Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park

Well-maintained paths leading up to the Cradle Mountain encircle Dove Lake Circuit, home to a variety of native wildlife, including wombats, anteaters, and pademelons (small marsupials). The habitat includes unique native plants, such as the Tasmanian deciduous beach, tussock grasses, snow gums, and pencil pines. Formed by glaciation, this lake is now part of the protected Heritage Wilderness Area, which you can visit at the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. You can stroll around the lake on your own or join a long guided walk, such as the six-day Overland Track to the southern edge of this wilderness. Remember to bring waterproof clothes, as it rains almost 300 days a year in this area.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Dove Lake Circuit
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4. Off-Road Tours, Hobart

Suggested duration: 4 hours
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5. Wineglass Bay Lookout, Coles Bay

A gentle walk of about one hour, leading through lush vegetation abundant with native wildlife, takes visitors to Wineglass Bay Lookout, situated within the Freycinet National Park. As you proceed along this trail, take a few moments to rest on the wooden furniture designed and built by local architecture students. As you catch your breath, keep an eye out for wombats and wallabies peeking out from behind the surrounding bushes. From the top, you can see not only the crescent of the wineglass-shaped bay (hence the name), but also green hills and mountains stretching into the distance. In addition to taking photos from here, you can explore other trails before returning to the bay.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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6. Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, Hobart

Established almost two centuries ago, Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens overlooks the Derwent River and the Tasman Bridge. These gardens hold historic plant collections and a large number of significant native and exotic trees and flowers, many dating back to the 19th century. At this location, you can visit the world's only Sub Antarctic Plant House, where plants from the islands located in high southern latitudes are displayed in climatically-controlled habitats mirroring the natural conditions of their native environments. Take a short walk from the city center to see the site's historic convict-built walls, or picnic on the grass. Make sure to stop by the visitor center, which houses a small restaurant, souvenir shop, and a gallery with regularly changing displays.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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Tours including Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens:

7. Cascades Female Factory Historic Site, Hobart

Formerly a workhouse for female convicts in the penal colony of Van Diemen's Land, Cascades Female Factory Historic Site is now a museum listed on UNESCO's World Heritage List. Operational between 1828 and 1856, the factory was an important part of the forced migration of convicts and global developments associated with punishment and reform. The site demonstrates how Britain used penal transportation to expand its sphere of influence, as well as to punish female convicts. Guided tours include short dramatic performances presenting the story of the convicts and their guardians.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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Tours including Cascades Female Factory Historic Site:

8. Mount Wellington, Hobart

Mount Wellington defines the landscape surrounding Hobart the same way Table Mountain does for Cape Town in South Africa. With a summit rising to 1,271 m (4,170 ft), this wide mountain and its oft-snowcapped peak loom over the Tasmanian capital and surrounding Storm Bay. If you're up for a long stroll, hike 22 km (14 mi) to the top from the city. From here, you'll enjoy commanding views of Hobart, the Derwent River, and the bay. If you view of the mountain from the city, try to spy the Organ Pipes, a magnificent cliff of dolerite columns.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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9. Cataract Gorge Reserve, Launceston

In a region characterized by natural beauty, Cataract Gorge Reserve sits as one of Tasmania's most magnificent features. The South Esk River carved the gorge and left behind a verdant landscape. Ride the world's longest single-span chairlift, which stretches a total of 457 m (1,499 ft) and features one span with a length of 308 m (1,010 ft). Walk around the colorful and immaculately landscaped gardens, admire majestic peacocks, or swim in the pool beneath the bright South Australian sun. The Gorge Restaurant and Basin Cafe both serve fresh fare.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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Tours including Cataract Gorge Reserve:

10. Museum of Old and New Art (Mona), Berriedale

A large, privately owned art museum, Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) represents the love child of Tasmanian millionaire David Walsh, who nicknamed it a "subversive Disneyland for adults." Built into the cliffside, the museum features a labyrinth of intentionally gloomy, windowless exhibition spaces displaying Walsh's collection of fun, quirky, and provocative art. Take a self-guided tour with an iPod--you'll receive one upon entrance--and begin your journey by walking down the spiral flight of stairs. The museum opened in 2011 after a renovation to the tune of $75 million.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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Tours including Museum of Old and New Art (Mona):

11. Cradle Mountain, Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park

One of Tasmania's most visited natural attractions and home to the famous Tasmanian devil, Cradle Mountain draws tourists with its beautiful landscapes and diverse wildlife. The mountain is situated within a national park that encompasses rugged peaks, grasslands, alpine heaths, ancient rainforests, and glacial lakes. Start your hike to the summit from the Dove Lake early in the morning. The climb is long and can be difficult for inexperienced (or out of shape) tourists. When you reach the peak, your effort will be awarded with memorable views over Tasmanian wilderness.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
Learn more about Cradle Mountain

12. Salamanca Market, Hobart

Each Saturday, Salamanca Market comes to life with dozens of stalls selling the region's best food, crafts, and souvenirs. Situated in front of large sandstone warehouses that have been converted into a maze of craftspeople's shops and restaurants, the market has been a major tourist attraction for decades. It's also a popular weekend meeting place for local families with kids. The warehouses were built in the 19th century to service the whaling industry. Today the market sells a variety of locally made products at inexpensive prices. This sprawling historic district offers opportunities to shop for gifts, drop by popular eateries, and visit the area's art galleries, which exhibit and sell works by local artists.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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13. Port Arthur Historic Site, Port Arthur

There are few better places to learn about Australia's penal-colony heritage than the Port Arthur Historic Site on the southeastern coast of Tasmania. Once a prison for Britain's hardest criminals, the complex's remains now serve as an open-air museum and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Despite the prison's grim purpose, it offers a scenic setting on the water surrounded by densely forested hills. Take a walking tour to learn about the prison's history, dine at Felon's Bistro, and then conduct a paranormal investigation with ghost-hunting equipment late at night.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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14. Cascade Brewery, Hobart

Founded by an ex-convict in 1832, Cascade Brewery represents the oldest still-operating brewery in the country. Set against the backdrop of a snowcapped mountain and surrounded by lush gardens, the brewery draws clean water from a nearby cascade for its brewing process. Join a tour to learn all about beer-making, and then reap your rewards with a tasting at the end. Pay attention to the label of the brewery's premium lager, depicting the extinct Tasmanian tiger. Note that you'll have to walk up and down a lot of stairs.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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15. Freycinet National Park, Coles Bay

Blessed with secluded bays, clean white-sand beaches, and bird-filled wetlands, Freycinet National Park offers a range of outdoor activities for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. The park's natural assets include the much-photographed Wineglass Bay and the imposing pink granite peaks of the Hazards Range that dominate the Peninsula. There are many ways to experience the park's scenic landscapes--from short walks and long treks to half-day cruises and camping. The pristine waters of the Tasmanian Sea abound with marine life, which makes kayaking, diving, and snorkeling especially appealing. Amenities include a visitor center, electric barbecues, picnic tables, and restrooms.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
Learn more about Freycinet National Park