If you’re looking for the ultimate Tasmania bucket list, then this article has got you covered! We recently got back from an epic trip traversing Tasmania and (as is our style) we packed a massive amount in.
From awe-inspiring national parks to quaint coastal villages, this list is a compilation of my favourites, arranged by area for your convenience. It is packed full of first-hand tips and photographs we took while on the island.
So, join me as we delve into the unspoiled wonders of Tasmania.
P.S. ‘First-hand’ content is one of the core values of this website, however there are some places on this list we simply didn’t have time to get to, even though they appeared in our research. Where this is the case, I make it clear we didn’t go and give you links to valuable resources to make your own decision.
Tasmania Bucket List Top 5
Here are my top five picks for the top things to do on Tasmania with tours you can take to explore them.
Gordon River Cruise
⭐️⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1,300+ Reviews
🏆 EDITOR’S CHOICE AWARD
A Gordon River Cruise was the reason we came to Tasmania, and it didn’t disappoint. 6 hours of the most spectacular scenery we’ve ever witnessed, don’t miss it!
Cradle Mountain National Park
⭐️⭐⭐⭐⭐ 300+ Reviews
BEST FOR OUTDOORS HIKERS
Cradle mountain is truly breathtaking with its rugged surroundings, endless walking tracks and a chance to see animals such as wombat in the wild. This tour from Launceston includes 4-5 hours of walking as well as some great stop-offs as local food producers in central Tasmania.
⭐️⭐⭐⭐⭐ 250+ Reviews
BEST FOR COASTAL VIEWS
Wineglass Bay is a Tasmanian icon and our third favourite place on Tasmania. This tour from Hobart is less than $100 and takes you for a full day to Wineglass Bay and Freycinet National park and Richmond.
Exploring Hobart & MONA
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BEST FOR MIXING OLD & NEW
Hobart is the second-oldest city in Australia but the Museum of Old and New Art is anything but. MONA is now the most visited tourist attraction on Tasmania, this tour takes you sightseeing around the city and includes entry to the gallery.
⭐️⭐⭐⭐ 162+ Reviews
BEST FOR HISTORY BUFFS
Port Arthur, Tasmania’s UNESCO listed ex-convict site was the most-visited place on Tasmania until MONA arrived. Avoid the queues on arrival by booking tickets in advance.
Tasmania Bucket List Map
This map will help you to locate all the places on this Tasmania bucket list.
Hobart and Surrounds
Hobart is one of the oldest cities in Australia and a very special place. Combining the rugged looks of a city such as Edinburgh with the awe-inspiring surroundings of somewhere like Cape Town, it has a huge amount going for it.
Salamanca Market is crazy! It’s traditional, it’s surrounded by the ancient buildings of Hobart, but boy does it get busy. We stopped in on our last Saturday in Tasmania and had a fun hour browsing through everything from old records to hand-made waistcoats, and then escaped for some calm. You have to visit, but be prepared for the busyness.
For breathtaking views down over the city, you have to make the drive up Mount Wellington. We visited on a rough day of weather, with the winds threatening to send me right back down to the banks of the Derwent, but even then it was completely worth the trip. In the brief windows carved in the mist, the views over Hobart were stunning, I can only imagine what this would be like on a clear day.
Museum of Old and New Art
One of the more remarkable facts about Tasmania is that the 20th best place to visit on earth is here (as voted for by Lonely Planet writers). Even more amazing is that it’s not one of Tasmania’s natural wonders such as Cradle Mountain or Wineglass Bay. MONA is now the number one tourist attraction in Tasmania, and it’s almost impossible to imagine until you’ve visited. Dug into the Hobart earth like a mine, the ‘building’ itself is a spectacle, that is until you discover such curiosities as the poop machine, vagina wall and man who compose a new piece of music to be played at 4pm daily. And all that alongside some pieces you’d find in a regular art gallery.
What can I say, I didn’t exactly have to have my arm twisted to visit Australia’s oldest brewery, Cascade Brewery. Located at the base of Mount Wellington, the picturesque setting adds to the experience. They offer informative guided tours, though we just stopped in for a tasting platter in the stunning grounds.
Hobart Botanic Gardens
We’re suckers for a botanic gardens, they rarely let us down, and Hobart’s were no exception. We took a couple of hours to wander round the grounds, with stopping for toasties at the café and snapping dreamy photos on a lakeside bridge. The highlight though was the Japanese Gardens as you can see from the photo above.
While you’re at the gardens, walk a few hundred metres up the road to the site of the old Beaumaris Zoo. This was the location of the last known Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger) which died in 1936. Now there are just the gates and some very sad looking pictures of animals, but it does feel like taking in a piece of history.
Yes, it’s technically not Hobart, but it’s bloody close, and worth a visit. My reason for visiting was geeking out on seeing Australia’s oldest bridge, but the Pooseum (yes, exactly what it sounds like), miniature Hobart and gingerbread shop just add to the reasons for heading over.
The West Coast of Tasmania offers an incredible variety of stunning landscapes, thrilling activities, and rich history. From the picturesque harbours of Strahan to the heritage of Queenstown, Tasmania’s wild West Coast has something for everyone.
Strahan is the gateway to a Gordon River cruise, but it is a destination in its own right. There are very few coastal towns in Australia that are this beautiful but also so quiet. There are the unexpected surprises such as the Platypus Walk (where I got to see a rare Azure Kingfisher) and The Ship That Never Was a local play that lays claim to being the longest running in the country, and then the more known ones such as the incredible peaceful Hogarth Falls and the West Coast Wilderness Railway.
An early morning walk through the mottled, crunchy pathways of the forest that lead to Hogarth Falls gives a sense of what the wilds of Tasmania are like, without having to leave the comfort of Strahan. We almost missed this stunning place, popping in on our last morning, don’t make the same mistake!
Gordon River Cruise
I managed to write over 3,000 words about my experience cruising the Gordon River, but to summarise, if you come to Tasmania and don’t do one you are missing out on one of the most iconic things to put on not just a Tasmania bucket list, but I think it would rank very highly on an Australia bucket list too. There’s a reason I made it my number one place to visit on Tasmania, it’s an experience I’m never going to forget.
If you’re making the trip over to Strahan from Hobart (which after all the hype I’ve created about a Gordon River Cruise I hope you are) then Nelson Falls is a great stop-off about 3/4 of the way. The short walk from the car park to the falls was the first glimpse we had of the dark green insides of Tasmania’s temperate rainforest.
It’s easy to drive through Queenstown and miss it, but if you get the chance, pull over for an hour or so. Surrounded by peaks that make it feel more like New Zealand than Tasmania, the historic buildings and little cafés make it worth a wander. If you like the outdoors and have a couple of days to spare, then Queenstown has a maze of challenging mountain bike tracks surrounding it.
Iron Blow Lookout and Horse Tail Falls
Up the mountainside from Queenstown, Iron Blow Lookout and Horsetail Falls are adjacent but exist for different reasons. Iron Blow Lookout man made, the huge pit of what once was the biggest copper mine in the world, whereas Horsetail Falls are made by nature, with a dramatic drop carved out between the trees.
Henty Dunes is a sprawling expanse of sand dunes that stretch for over 15 kilometres along the coastline. Walking along the dunes can be an otherworldly experience (if you can get up their steep sides!), the windswept sand creates a constantly shifting landscape that feels almost like being on another planet. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try sandboarding down the dunes, but make sure you hire boards from Strahan in advance, there ar eno facilities here.
Central & North West Tasmania
Tasmania is full of beautiful places, and central and northwest regions offer some of the most incredible natural attractions.
We made a mistake at Cradle Mountain and that was not doing our research in advance. I thought it was going to be a pull-up and take photos kind of place, but it’s definitely not. There are kilometres of walking tracks here and multiple stops. You have to abandon your car at the visitor centre and get a bus, the few hours we set aside were definitely not enough.
Despite our rush, it was truly magical. This is on everyone’s Tasmania bucket list for a reason. We got the bus all the way out to Dove Lake to start with for the classic Cradle Mountain views and had a wander round the tracks there.
We then came back to Ronny Creek for what we thought would be an elusive sight – a wombat in the wild, however there are so many here there’s a risk you might actualy trip over one! We must have seen two dozen wombats around the hills, snuffling through the grass and this guy above who was hanging out right by the boardwalk.
Devils @ Cradle
If you’re visiting Cradle Mountain be sure to put aside some time to visit Devils @ Cradle, a wildlife conservation facility dedicated to saving the Tasmanian Devil. During your visit, meet these unique creatures, learn about their conservation efforts, and even have the opportunity to adopt a devil! This is the best place we’ve ever seen Tassie Devils and a bonus stop for Cradle Mountain.
Given the lack of time we’d planned for Cradle Mountain, we simply didn’t have time for Montezuma Falls. It is the highest waterfall in Tasmania, with a drop of 104 metres, and is accessed via a scenic 3-4 hour return walk through lush temperate rainforest,
Stanley & The Nut
The picturesque coastal town of Stanley is a great place to explore, with beautiful beaches and historic buildings. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit The Nut, a massive flat-topped volcanic formation that overlooks the town and offers spectacular views. Climb The Nut for some of the most beautiful panoramic views of the coastline. There’s a walking track to the summit or, if you prefer, take the chairlift for a less strenuous experience.
Head to Cape Grim and take a deep breath of the cleanest air in the world! This remote coastal region, only accessible via a guided tour, is home to lush green landscapes and rugged cliffs.
House of Anvers Chocolate Factory
Indulge your sweet tooth at the House of Anvers Chocolate Factory, where you can learn about the chocolate-making process and taste some of the island’s finest chocolate delights.
Don’t miss Marakoopa Cave located in Mole Creek Karst National Park. This stunning underground wonder features subterranean rivers, breathtaking formations, and fascinating glowworms. Join a guided tour to explore this magical world below the surface.
Launceston and North East
We caught Launceston on a bad day – cold and drizzly, it was doing its best impression of a northern English town. I came away with literally one photo – this rather blurry view of the Snow Monkeys in City Park.
We rushed it a bit because of this and are determined to come back. The cafés we holed out in to avoid the rain were wonderful, and we missed out on some of the museums. There’s more to Launceston that we saw,
Cataract Gorge Reserve is perhaps Launceston’s most famous attraction, and rightly so! What we missed out on in Launceston city centre we definitely made up for here, with the sun coming out just as we arrived.
You absolutely must come here, it is a delight! The world’s longest single span chairlift, walks up the gorge side, old-style bridges, peacocks and ice cream. This is a very Victorian playground, and it’s aged beautifully.
I bet you didn’t expect to see this one on a Tasmania bucket list, yes this really is a Swiss village out here in the Tamar Valley. When Roelf Vos took a trip to Switzerland with his wife, he decided to bring a little slice of it home with him. Thankfully he had a bit of cash, as he decided to bring a whole village, which opened to the public in 1989. Grindelwald is now a fully-functioning town, a fun little stop off just north of Launceston.
We didn’t have time to get to Lavender House, but it is a notable attraction famous for its extensive lavender fields. Visitors can walk through the well-maintained rows of fragrant plants, providing an excellent backdrop for memorable photographs. There is an on-site café that really goes to town on the lavender theme. Enjoy a lavender scone, accompanied by clotted cream and lavender jam, washed down with a cup of lavender tea.
Seahorse World was a place of real mixed emotion for us. I’ve put it on this because I feel you kind of have to come as it’s rare to get up this close to seahorses, however the fun was taken out of it for us when we realised all the seahorses are sold to zoos, none of them are helping repopulate the ocean. Change the name to ‘Seahorse Farm’ and you’re probably a bit closer to the true meaning of this place.
Given they’re right beside each other, if you have the option between Seahorse World and Platypus House, take the latter option. The platypus were impressive, not a creature that’s seen up close very often, but the real superstars were their monotreme cousins the echidna. There are three of them in a neighbouring room which seem to be quite happy surrounded by people and were one of the highlights of the whole island for our little girl.
Once a thriving gold mining town, Beaconsfield now offers visitors a chance to step back in time and explore its well-preserved heritage sites. A key attraction in Beaconsfield is the Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre, which provides an in-depth look into the town’s gold mining past. Interactive exhibits and displays engage visitors, offering insight into the lives of the miners and their families. I would also highly recommend stopping in to the Miners Gold Brewery next door – mine’s a pint of their red ale!
East Coast Tasmania
East Coast Tasmania is a stunning region of Australia’s island state that offers a wide variety of breathtaking destinations to explore. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it up to the north of the east coast, only getting to Wineglass Bay and Freycinet National Park.
Bay of Fires
Named after its iconic orange-hued granite boulders, the Bay of Fires is a must-visit destination that stretches over 50km from Binalong Bay to Eddystone Point. Take a leisurely beach stroll, soaking in the turquoise waters, and admiring the striking contrast of white sand against colourful rocks. There’s also the option to indulge in some bird-watching or go snorkelling to get a glimpse of the underwater world.
Wineglass Bay, nestled within the Freycinet Peninsula, is another must-visit destination on Tasmania’s East Coast. The bay is characterised by its distinctive shape, resembling a wine glass, though the real reason for it being named this, was due to the blood red colour the waters would turn in whaling season. To fully appreciate its beauty, my suggestion would be to do the popular Wineglass Bay Lookout walk, which offers panoramic views of the bay and sparkling waters below.
Maria Island is known for its stunning landscapes, rich history, and unique wildlife. The island is home to a variety of ecosystems, including sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, and dense forests which can be seen on the island’s many walking trails. In addition to its natural beauty, Maria Island is also steeped in history. The island has a rich Aboriginal and European history, with evidence of human habitation dating back over 40,000 years. Visitors can explore the island’s many historic sites, including the ruins of a convict probation station and a 19th-century whaling station.
The Tasman Peninsula is a stunning region in Tasmania that offers a mixture of rich history and incredible natural beauty. In this section, I will share my top picks for places to visit in the Tasman Peninsula.
Port Arthur Historic Site
The Port Arthur Historic site has a difficult history, initially as the site of Tasmania’s biggest penal settlement, but more recently as the location of Australia’s worst mass killing. It seems strange to say that it is a ‘must-visit’ but it really is, with so much of the 1800s architecture still here and the stories of the prisoners told sympathetically throughout. You’ll need to set aside a fair bit of time to explore, three hours would be the minimum in my opinion.
Tasman Arch and Devil’s Kitchen
If you’re after some unique geological formations, the Tasman Arch and Devil’s Kitchen are a great stops on the way to Port Arthur. These natural wonders can be easily accessed via a short walk from the car park, offering spectacular views of the rugged coastline. Take some time to appreciate the power of the ocean and its effect on shaping these incredible landmarks.
Three Capes Track
For an unforgettable hiking experience, the Three Capes Track is a must-do. This multi-day hike will take you through some of the most picturesque landscapes in Tasmania, with awe-inspiring views of the coast, cliffs, and surrounding wilderness. Make sure to book your hike and accommodation in advance, as this popular trail has limited availability.
Bicheno is a picturesque coastal town in the East of Tasmania. Famous for its pristine beaches and granite blowhole, which is a spectacular sight when the waves crash into it. You can also see penguins here, book with Bicheno Penguin Tours to witness the adorable Little Penguins waddle back to their nests at dusk.
We didn’t get down south of Hobart, but there were a few places on our list if we’d had a bit more time on Tasmania.
One of the places I had recomended to me most was Bruny Island, situated along the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. To reach Bruny Island, you’ll need to hop on a short car ferry from Kettering. Once there, you’ll be captivated by the island’s stunning landscapes, from pristine beaches to lush rainforests. Here are a few places you shouldn’t miss while visiting Bruny Island:
- Adventure Bay: Take a leisurely walk along the white sand beach at Adventure Bay, where you’ll have the chance to spot dolphins or even whales!
- The Neck: Visit The Neck, a breathtaking isthmus connecting North and South Bruny. Be sure to climb the stairs of the Truganini Lookout for panoramic views of both sides of the island.
- Bruny Island Lighthouse: Embark on a guided tour of the historic Cape Bruny Lighthouse and learn about its fascinating past.
Tahune Airwalk takes you on a treetop adventure through the lush Huon Valley forest. The airwalk is a 618-metre-long walkway, suspended up to 30 metres above the forest floor, with suspension bridges and stunning forest views.
If you’re seeking an extra adrenaline rush, you could try the Eagle Glider, a thrilling zip-line experience that flies you through the forest canopy.
Hastings Caves and Thermal Springs
Hastings Caves is located in southern Tasmania’s Huon Valley. The cave system was formed millions of years ago by underground rivers and features a variety of stunning formations, including stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstones.
You can take a guided tour through the cave system, which lasts approximately 45 minutes and provides a fascinating glimpse into the geological history of the area. After exploring the caves, you can take a dip in the nearby thermal springs. The naturally heated water is rich in minerals and has been popular for its therapeutic properties for over 100 years.
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