With over a third of the island protected as national parks, reserves and conservation areas, there's no shortage of great walks in Tasmania. Good roads, light traffic and short distances make Tasmania a great place for touring.
Attractive Tourist Places
Set amongst the historic Georgian sandstone buildings of Salamanca Place in Hobart, this famous market attracts thousands of locals and visitors every Saturday of the year. From the market, it's a short climb up historic Kelly's Steps to reach the Georgian cottages and the early maritime village atmosphere of Battery Point. Also nearby is Hobart's picturesque waterfront where you'll find fishing boats berthed close to cruising yachts and the occasional square-rigger or two.
The Museum of Old and New Art – MONA is arguably one of the most controversial private collections of modern art and antiquities in the world – it's certainly the largest. In all, the collection takes up three floors within a subterranean architectural masterpiece and is guaranteed to impress. With over 400 art works, the collection includes Sidney Nolan's Snake, Wim Delvoye's Cloaca Professional, a machine that turns food into excrement, and Chris Ofili's The Holy Virgin Mary.
Mount Wellington is a wilderness experience just a 20-minute drive from Hobart and is much loved by locals. The 21-kilometre drive to the summit passes through temperate rainforest to sub-alpine flora and glacial rock formations, ending in panoramic views of Hobart, Bruny Island, South Arm and the Tasman Peninsula. There are bushwalking trails suited to all fitness levels and barbecue and picnic facilities are provided. Mountain activities also include trail biking and abseiling.
The Port Arthur Historic Site on the Tasman Peninsula is Australia’s most intact and evocative convict site and one of Australia's great tourist destinations. The 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 around 12,500 convicts served sentences and for many it was a living hell.
Cataract Gorge Reserve, known locally as the Gorge, is a unique natural formation within a two-minute drive of central Launceston - a rare natural phenomenon in any city. The First Basin on the southern side has a cafe and a swimming pool surrounded by bushland knows to locals as Launceston’s beach. In contrast, the shady northern side, named the Cliff Grounds, is a Victorian garden created with ferns and exotic plants.
Cradle Mountain is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and one of the most accessible, interesting and most visited places in Tasmania. Located at the northern end of the Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park, Cradle Mountain is surrounded by smooth glacial lakes, ancient rainforest, and unusual alpine vegetation. Cradle is also the starting point for the world-famous Overland Track, a magnificent six-day walk that through the heart of some of the world's finest mountain terrain.
Freycinet National Park is home to dramatic pink granite peaks, secluded bays, white sandy beaches and abundant birdlife. Situated on Tasmania's beautiful east coast, Freycinet National Park occupies most of the Freycinet Peninsula - a long strip of land that looks out to the Tasman Sea from the eastern side and back towards the Tasmanian coastline from the west. The park is loaded with natural assets, including the pink granite peaks of the Hazards that dominate the Peninsula and the iconic and much-photographed Wineglass Bay.
The Blow Hole and Tasman Arch are just two of several unusual geological formations found in the Tasman National Park, a place of rugged beauty and natural diversity with some of the most stunning coastal scenery anywhere in Australia. Formations like the Tasman Arch, the Blow Hole, the Devils Kitchen, the Tessellated Pavement, Remarkable Cave and Waterfall Bay can all be reached by car, but by far the best views of the rugged coastline are from the park's many bushwalks.
The Gardens hold historic plant collections and a large number of significant trees, many dating back to the nineteenth century as well as the world's only Subantarctic Plant House. Here, plants from subantarctic islands in high southern latitudes are displayed in a climatically-controlled environment, where chilly fogs and mists mirror the wet, cold conditions of their island homes. The Gardens also contain some of Tasmania's most significant built heritage, including the Superintendent's cottage and the Arthur Wall.
Lake St. Clair is at the southern end of the of the world famous Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park and is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The lake is the deepest in Australia and is surrounded by rugged mountain ranges with impressive views of Mount Olympus, the Traveller Range and Mount Rufus. There are several walks in the area around Lake St. Clair ranging from leisurely strolls to overnight bushwalks, as well as beautiful forests to explore.