Travellers “down under” would often stop at hitting the Australian mainland and restrict their visit primarily to the coastal cities like Sydney and Brisbane or the other choices like Melbourne or perhaps out into the outback somewhere like Alice Springs to see the famed Ayer’s Rock. Not many consider taking the opportunity to traverse a little further south to the island of Tasmania, across the Bass Strait to see and experience all the strange and wonderful things this lesser known area has to offer. This article will look at getting to Tasmania and all the things there are to see and do once you’re there.
Getting to Tasmania is pretty straightforward, however be advised that if you have rented a car that it’s unlikely you will be able to take it to Tasmania. Instead you’re better off arranging to rent another car once in Tasmania.
Tasmania is serviced by several airlines that fly from major cities in Australia as well as a reliable ferry service from the southern coastal city of Melbourne. The crossing takes a full day or night depending on the season, so be prepared to spend a long time on board. If this isn’t your preference though, flights operate from all the major cities on the eastern side of Australia. From Perth you will likely have to connect in the likes of Sydney or Melbourne.
Cars are the best way to get around Tasmania, letting you go at your own pace. If you are unable to rent a car, however, you can get around by public transport such as on the TassieLink bus system. Do plan ahead though as some services can be infrequent on both TassieLink and the other bus system, Redline Tasmania. These are the two bus lines that service the greater region of Tasmania.
Things to See and Do
First and foremost, relive your childhood by seeking out the famed Tasmanian Devil – the only carnivorous marsupial that calls Tasmania its home. While a generally quite rare sight, the chance of seeing one alone will excite you. Normally seen by roadsides at night eating the remnants of other animals hit by cars.
Other wildlife include kangaroos, bandicoots, wallabies and the like, with some wildlife being more common than others. Stay a night in a national park to encounter a ring or bushtail possum.
Tasmania is nearly 50% covered in protected national parks, so finding a slice of paradise on the island won’t be difficult. It’s perfectly possible to find an area that’s quiet or even deserted to set up for a picnic and enjoy the natural scenery of the island.
There are countless things to see in Tasmania, with favourite landmarks including the Cataract Gorge – a 15 minute walk from downtown Launceston, where you will find the gorge in all its natural beauty along with restaurants and a beach. Hastings Cave is a huge tourist draw, featuring the largest tourist dolemite cave in all of Australia as well as a network of other enjoyable caves. The Bay of Fires is a perfect place for nature lovers with the white sand, blue waters and red cliff faces the camping, swimming and general relaxing here is idyllic.
For those who like history, Port Arthur is the best preserved convict site in Australia and is well worth a look. For the shopper, check out Salamanca Place in Sullivan’s Cove – a treasure trove of handmade, antique and unique items as well as fresh fruits and vegetables at the markets.
So in all Tasmania is a unique and interesting place to head to if you’re spending time in Australia. The benefit of Tasmania is that it enjoys some of the wildlife and other scenery similar to the mainland, but with temperatures much more comfortable in the summer months. So pack your bags – Tasmania awaits!