What to see and do on a trip to Tasmania

MONA Tasmania

Jessica Taylor Yates

Posted January 16, 2023

Local mainland tourists and foreign visitors alike are discovering how the southern island state gives visitors an unforgettable experience. 

On a trip south to the Apple Isle, you’ll discover the secret jewel of Australia waiting to be explored. 

Located just 240 kilometres across the Bass Strait, travellers from Victoria can hop on board the Spirit of Tasmania ferry with their car and pets in tow, or choose to take a short flight and catch a bus in to one of the cities and experience all they have to offer.

Known for its stunning landscapes, delectable food scene, historical landmarks, and cooler climate, here’s a guide of what to see, eat, do and where to stay in Tasmania. 

Bruny Island will take your breath away. Image: Getty.
Once a penal colony, Port Arthur is now an open-air museum just under 100 km from Hobart. Image: Getty.
The hike up Mt Wellington takes around two hours, providing views of Hobart and Southern Tasmania. Image: Getty.
Cascade on Collins is located in the heart of Hobart, featuring food, drinks, and a cost atmosphere. Image: Supplied.
The ferry on the way to MONA certainly isn't boring. Image: Alamy.
The Salamanca Markets are a treasure trove of artisan finds. Image: Alamy.


As Tasmania’s capital city, Hobart is home to almost 50 per cent of Tasmanians, with much of the attractions able to be explored on foot. 

See and do

Shop the Salamanca Markets  

Looking for a light outdoor stroll? The Salamanca Markets run near the Hobart waterfront every Saturday. With a range of local produce, artisan products, jewellery, clothing, gins and knick-knacks to rummage through, walking the markets with a coffee in hand in a great way to spend the morning. 

Visit the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) 

A must see for any visitor. A quirky art museum featuring ancient and contemporary art, MONA doesn’t take itself too seriously. For those just there for the activity, the site also features many bars and restaurants, and is the home of Tasmanian festivals including Dark Mofo. 

For art lovers, the museum contains over 1900 individual pieces, where you can download an app for further information on each piece.  

To complete the experience, head over via ferry – it leaves right near the Salamanca Market. Easy!  

Take a tour of Port Arthur 

 An hour and a half from Hobart lies Port Arthur, a former prison that is now a classified UNESCO World Heritage site. On a historic tour that includes a cruise, find out about Australia’s colonial convict history, or even come back at night for the ghost tour – if you dare. 

Hike Mount Wellington  

A sizeable peak at 1,271 metres tall, Mount Wellington is known as Tasmania’s most accessible mountain to climb, including its surroundings in Wellington Park. Whether you’re an experienced hiker looking to make your way up top, or simply looking to do a stroll to Wellington Falls, the sights will take your breath away.

Feed animals at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary 

As well as Australian wildlife, a visit to the sanctuary features rare and exotic animals found only in Tasmania, including the famed Tasmania Devil.  

Day trip to Bruny Island  

Well, you’re already on an island, but take a day trip to an even smaller one! On a wilderness cruise, take in the adorable sea life like fur seals, whales and dolphins.

Arrive and discover remote beaches and rocky cliffs, stunning wildlife, Jurassic plants and natural habitats, as well as the coastal views that make Bruny Island a coastal wonderland. 

Eat and drink 

Tasmania is famed for its gin distilleries, and so it is definitely worth giving one of these a visit in your time down south. 

For eats, consider one of these magnificent food and wine experiences, or grabbing a bite alongside Hobart’s wharf as you look out on the pier.  

RACV Hobart Hotel’s Cascade on Collins Bar, inside the historical cascade building, is a newly renovated establishment featuring Tasmania’s finest produce and beverages, while the Hotel’s Charcoal Restaurant showcases the area’s local seafood and vintage wines. 

If you’ve got a bit more time, tick off out Hobart bucket list here.


Launceston's stunning Cataract Gorge provides a place to swim in the summertime. Image: Alamy.
Take a cruise along the stunning Wineglass Bay. Image: Getty.
Visit a winery in the spectacular Tamar Valley. Image: Alamy.


Looking to explore? Hire a car and head two and a half hours north to Launceston, one of Australia’s oldest cities filled with historical architecture and natural beauty. 

See and do

Visit Cataract Gorge  

If you think you need to head out of town to see nature at its finest, think again. Just 15 minutes outside of the Launceston city centre lies Cataract Gorge, a wilderness wonderland waiting to be explored. 

As well as several hiking and walking trails for different abilities over the ranges and gardens, there’s a suspension bridge, wildlife, and even a chairlift for those who prefer to take in their views from the skies. Reward yourself with a bite to eat at the café, take a dip in the First Basin pool in the summer, or bring a picnic and enjoy the panoramic views of nature at its finest. 

Explore the Southern Ocean Aquarium

Get behind the scenes with this engaging exploration of magical seahorses with a guided tour exploring marine caves, discovering the wider aquarium and even enjoying a fish feeding experience. Fun for all ages. 

Take a cruise over Wineglass Bay  

On the east coast of Tasmania lies the picturesque Wineglass Bay, the stunning white sand paradise home to the Freycinet National Park and sparking turquoise waters around Coles Bay.

To catch all the sites, take a cruise that will give you front row seats to whales, fur seals, little penguins, blowholes, and waterfalls amongst the backdrop of the granite mountain ranges. 

Eat and drink 


A UNESCO-listed ‘City of Gastronomy,’ one of only 49 worldwide, Launceston is famed for its fresh produce and wine regions.

As well as hatted restaurants including Mudbar, Grain of the Silos and Josef Chromy, the area is known for its farm fresh produce, cooking experiences, and the community Harvest Launceston Farmers’ Market that runs every Saturday morning. 

Head to Tamar Valley 

Don’t leave the Launceston region without a visit to Tamar Valley, the wine region spans over 65 kilometres.  Head to one of 20 vineyards, orchards, dairy farms and townships that you can visit for a sampling of their fresh produce and a glass on the Tamar Valley Wine route, or if you prefer to enjoy a tipple yourself, on a Tamar River Cruise.

Have more time? Find out everything with our ultimate guide to Launceston.


The Spirit of Tasmania docks in Devonport, the state's third largest city. Image: Supplied.
The walk to the Mersey Bluff lighthouse provides stunning coastal views. Image: Alamy.
RACV Hobart provides a solid base for you to begin your Tasmania journey.


An hour north-west of Launceston lies Tasmania’s third-largest city, Devonport. As well as being the place where the Spirit of Tasmania docks, it’s the perfect way to finish off your journey the other side of the Bass Strait. 

See and do


A treasure trove of wonder, mystique and roving experiences, Reliquaire is not your regular antique or toy store. Located 10 minutes outside of Devonport in LaTrobe, the store is a magical wonderland from the moment you walk in to the rotating displays at the end. 

Reliquaire contains finds from all over the world, from skincare to story books and giant cheetah statues to themed displays like Alice in Wonderland or Santa’s Workshop, and hidden gems large and small. A café is also located on site. 

Mersey Bluff Lighthouse

Standing since 1889, the Mersey Bluff Lighthouse stands to the west of the Mersey River, and is known for its distinguished vertical red stripes. Take a stroll down the rugged coastline where you can take a picture in front of the famed monument while taking into the crystal views of the Vass Strait.   

Tasmanian Arboretum

Just 12 kilometres south of Devonport lies the Tasmanian Aboretum, a botanic tree garden over 66 hectares featuring the world’s largest collection of Southern Hemisphere Conifers, Tasmanian living woody plants.

Wildlife can also be spotted, including platypuses swimming, and over 80 different bird species to be spotted amongst the treetops. 

Eat and drink

While Tasmania’s famed Tasting Trail spans across the state’s north-west, Devonport and its surrounds are the perfect opener to your gastronomic journey. 

The food and drink trail is designed to take visitors on an adventure through local producers, whether it be paddock to plate, honey farms, cellar doors or berry patches.

In Devonport, places to hit on the trail include Island State Brewing, the city’s local brewery; Peter and Una Seafoods, who have been serving up gourmet produce fresh from the sea since 1949, and Leaping Goat Coffee, offering premium blends of your creamy cup of Joe.


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