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Things to do in Tasmania

Everything is so easy to get to: you can stand atop a mountain peak in the morning and paddle an azure sea in the afternoon. You can pack more into your day because you spend less time driving.

You can cycle through historic villages, sip on premium cool-climate wines or journey deep into the western wilderness. Naturally, it is all here for you to discover in Tasmania.

CRADLE MOUNTAIN-LAKE ST CLAIR NATIONAL PARK

Part of the Tasmanian World Heritage Wilderness Area and home to Cradle Mountain.

Cradle Mountain, the start of the 65-kilometre (40-mile) Overland Track, is the northern end of the 161,000-hectare (397,840-acre) Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Tasmania’s highest mountain, 1,617-metre (5,305-foot) Mt Ossa, is in this park, just off the Overland Track, while another beautiful national park, the Walls of Jerusalem, abuts its eastern boundary.

Take one of the many short walks through the ever-changing vegetation of the shores and mountainside to gain a full appreciation of the magic of this area.

GORDON RIVER

Two wild rivers – the Collingwood and the Franklin – hurtle through mountainous rainforest wilderness and merge as the Gordon River, which flows into the vast Macquarie Harbour on the west coast.

Both rivers flow through deep valleys and spectacular ‘narrows’ and over rapids in deep rainforest country where few have walked.

For a gentler river experience drive to Strahan on the west coast and join a cruise up the Gordon, or board a scenic flight from Strahan that takes you deep into the Gordon River to Sir John Falls and 1,000 year old myrtle and Huon pine trees. Any of these will be an unforgettable experience.

PORT ARTHUR

Port Arthur Historic Site on the Tasman Peninsula is Australia’s most intact and evocative convict site.

The Port Arthur Historic Site has more than 30 buildings, ruins and restored period homes, dating from the prison’s establishment in 1830 until its closure in 1877. During this time about 12,500 convicts served sentences and for many it was a living hell.

Today, the Site sits in 40 hectares (90 acres) of landscaped grounds, and you need to allow plenty of time to fully experience all that the Site has to offer.

SALAMANCA

Salamanca Place, in Sullivans Cove, is Hobart’s favourite hang out. It’s where the hip meets the homespun and everything in between.

Salamanca is lined with a long row of simple Georgian sandstone warehouses built in the 1830s. These mellow north-facing buildings once stored grain, wool, whale oil, apples and imported goods from around the world. Nowadays, you can wander under the heavy stone arches to find craft and design shops, jewellers, coffee shops, restaurants, the Peacock Theatre, subterranean bookshops, outdoor gear, and fashion boutiques

Don’t forget to enjoy the sights, sounds, flavours, action and colour of Australia’s best outdoor market every Saturday from 8:30am to 3:00pm at Hobart’s Salamanca Place.

DIVING IN TASMANIA

Come and see why National Geographic magazine underwater photographer David Doubilet describes diving in Tasmania as ‘an exquisite combination of lyrical beauty and the wistfully bizarre.’

Home to some of the best temperate diving in the world, diverse and easily accessible underwater wilderness, and explore magnificent kelp forests of the Southern Ocean.

The spectacular coastline and clear, cool-temperate waters are superb for diving in Tasmania. The visibility ranges from 12 metres (13 yards) in the summer to 40 metres (43.5 yards) or more in the winter.

SURFING

Head out to the southern-most beaches in Australia to surf the fattest waves.

Surf Shipstern Bluff – Australia’s heaviest wave.

Our beaches are never crowded.

One of the best things about surfing in Tasmania is that, as long as you’re willing to travel, you will always find a great ride.

Close to Hobart, Park and Clifton Beaches are the favourite spots. Eaglehawk Neck on the Tasman Peninsula usually has a wave, and all up the east coast from Orford to Bicheno there’ll be somewhere breaking.

Further south, Bruny Island’s Cloudy Bay faces the Southern Ocean – it gets really big breaks. So does South Cape Bay (accessible from Cockle Creek). Surfers carry their boards on a seven-kilometre (4.5-mile) bushwalk through the World Heritage Area to reach this south coast beach.

FOOD AND WINE

Tasmania is a gourmet paradise, where people live close to the land and sea and there is a natural flow from paddock to plate. Four distinct seasons make it perfect for producing prime cheeses, mouth-watering berries, wide-ranging vegetables, stone fruits, herbs, premium beef, specialty honey, mushrooms, cool-climate wines and some of Australia’s leading boutique and production beers.

Enjoy regional fare, friendly encounters with growers, makers and chefs, and celebrate the delights that come with the changing of our seasons.

WILDERNESS AREAS

About 40 per cent of Tasmania is protected within national parks and reserves, and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to experience the wilderness – on a Dove Lake or Russell Falls walking track, from a cruise boat off Bruny Island’s south coast or by light plane to Melaleuca, deep in the south-west.

You can explore the dramatic landscapes of the world’s last great temperate wilderness – in the rugged mountain ranges, dense rainforests, wild rivers and glaciated peaks of the west coast and Central Highlands you’ll discover wildlife, scenery and vegetation unlike anywhere else on earth.