Tasmania is an island that will take your breath away. Within a couple of hours, you can be strolling through a stunning national park, exploring an early Australian colonial village or having lunch on a island full of cheese. So if you're in a need of some inspiration or can't decide where to go, here are five incredible day trips just out of Hobart.
Just a short 20-minute ferry ride from Hobart, Bruny Island is jam packed with Tasmania’s finest gourmet produce, making it the #1 destination for a travelling foodie.
Essential pit stops include the Bruny Island Smoke House to sample smoked pastes, pate and chutneys and the Bruny Island Berry Farm for the tastiest darn treats including cheesecake drowning in berry coulis, berry tarts, berry muffins and champagne jellies brimming with all of the fruits.
Tip: As there is no public transport on Bruny Island, we suggest taking your car on the ferry, which cost just $33 or $38 in peak season.
The Hastings Cave Reserve
Located 90 minutes southeast of Hobart you’ll find the amazing Hastings Caves and thermal hot springs. On a guided tour, learn about the largest dolomite tourist cave in Australia before heading to the springs for a splash in its balmy 28-degree water.
A walk along the hot springs track will take you to the convergence of two water streams. If you put your hand in the water here, you'll be able to feel the warm current from one stream meeting the cold current from the other.
Tip: There’s a decent cafe (mains $10 to $20) at the visitor centre, which also sells BBQ packs and picnic hampers.
Port Arthur and Tassie Devils
Head 90 minutes east to Tasmania's Port Arthur historic site and stroll the landscaped Victorian gardens, and you'll find it hard to imagine this was once a reviled prison that held 1,100 convicts at its peak. And what trip to Tasmania is complete without catching a glimpse of the adorable and endangered devils? Head another 20 minutes north to the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park and witness the snarling, fighting and bone crushing in a spectacle of devilish behaviour during feeding time.
Mount Field National Park and Russell Falls
Located 60 minutes out of Hobart, Mount Field National Park is Tasmania's oldest and most loved national park. It’s home to tall swamp gum forests, massive tree ferns, cool temperate rainforests, alpine vegetation and pine forests around the lakes. A wide variety of wildlife can also be found in areas native to Tasmania including wombats, platypus, bandicoots, echidnas and the even the Tasmanian devil.
The star attraction is Russell Falls, one of Tasmania’s best known and most photographed waterfalls. It even featured on a set of 1899 postage stamps to promote tourist in the region.
Tip: Water generally flows over Russell Falls all year round, but is best during winter as the snow on the local mountains melt, or after heavy rainfall.
Just 25 minutes from Hobart, Richmond is the perfect place to learn about Tasmania's past and can be as easy as a stroll down the pretty nineteenth century streets.
Richmond is best known for its historic jail (or gaol?), the oldest and best preserved convict structures still existing in Tasmania. It was built in 1825 and is open for self-guided tours daily, 9am-5pm, and as you wander through the cold, cramped cells, you can read the stories of various inmates.
Also being at the centre of one of Australia's fastest-growing wine regions, the Coal River Valley, a visit to the Puddleduck Vineyard is a must. Here you can enjoy a sit-down tasting of their current releases paired with a local cheese platter.