Tasmania’s Top 4 Attractions
Located a mere 240 km off the coast, Tasmania is the 26th largest island in the world and covers a total area of 68,401 square km, although it’s only inhabited by just over 500,000 permanent residents. From rainforests to vast, uninhabited plains, Tasmania features just about every type of ecosystem you can imagine.
f you’re ready to explore one of the world’s last wild frontiers, here are some of the attractions and experiences to consider. Just keep your camera handy to snap a few pictures of the infamous and elusive Tasmanian devil.
Bay of Fires
Situated between Binalong Bay and Eddystone Point, the Bay of Fires is one of the most visited tourist attractions in all of Tasmania. If you’re lodging in St. Helens, the entrance through Binalong Bay is only about a 10-minute drive, making it an ideal day trip. The contrast of beautiful blue water, white sands and red rocks is what draws people in, not to mention the ideal surfing conditions. If you’re looking for a more subdued activity, don’t worry, because there is plenty more to do at the Bay of Fires, including bird watching, fishing, boating, swimming, camping or lounging on a beach chair engrossed in a tawdry novel. Situated on the northeast coast of Tasmania, the Bay of Fires is a fun family option nestled inside the beautiful Mount William National Park.
Tasmania’s history as an English penal colony during the 19th century is well-documented. Several prison grounds and buildings still remain, but none are more infamous than Port Arthur. Drive approximately one hour southeast of Hobart and you’ll easily find Port Arthur. The town itself boasts a modest population of around 500 permanent residents, but once again, the main draw is the massive penal complex, which housed thousands of the most notorious criminals from across England and Australia for several decades. Nevertheless, Port Arthur is a beautiful little town.
Technically part of the Lake St. Clair National Park, Cradle Mountain lies approximately 165 km from Hobart, which is a jaunt, but well worth the car ride. The park itself encompasses nearly 1,600 square km and features several varieties of rare flora and fauna, most of which are unique to Tasmania. The crown jewel of the park is Cradle Mountain, which, depending on your fitness and interest level, is accessible through a wide variety of trails. If you’re more interested in a leisurely stroll, consider taking a walking tour of the mountain as part of a larger group. There are plenty of steeper, more dangerous climbs for the adventurous at heart. If you’re able to reach the top of Cradle Mountain, your reward is one of the most beautiful views in Tasmania.
The second largest city in Tasmania, Launceton, is a great place to rent a reasonably priced hotel room or enjoy a laugh with your spouse or kids after a long day of sightseeing; however, the real reason most tourists visit is the famous Cataract Gorge. Take a 15-minute walk from the city centre and you’re at the Gorge, which is found on the banks of the South Esk River. The gorge is divided into two banks, the first of which features a lake perfect for swimming, boating or relaxing. The second bank is called “Cliff Grounds” and, aside from being much shadier and cooler than the first bank, is alive with several varieties of flora and fauna. Aside from the natural beauty, Cataract Gorge also features a rotunda, footbridge, restaurant, gift shop and swimming pool.
There are several smaller towns and villages scattered throughout Tasmania, but if you want to experience the amenities of an urban area, stick to the capital city of Hobart. Nearly half of all Tasmania’s residents live in and around Hobart, making it the ideal spot to lodge, dine and enjoy a little nightlife. Don’t worry about breaking your budget, because some of the best Hobart hotels are quite reasonably priced.
This post was brought to you in collaboration with Sandra Johnston, a blogger and former resident of Tasmania.
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A Solo Traveller addicted to Australia!