My partner and I (we’re both in our 20′s) are spending two weeks in Tasmania in August.
We already plan on going to Cradle Mountain and Port Arthur but what are some lesser known but still awesome/fun things to see and do?
TAKE YOUR CAMERA!! AND LOTS OF EXTRA MEMORY CARDS!!
And I hope you’re already planning on renting (“hiring”) a car for the whole two weeks. Driving around Tas was funny at times: there were million-dollar ocean-front views, edging cow pastures (“paddocks”), not a house in sight!
My personal top pick: kayaking in the waters around the Freycinet Peninsula. Actually, the whole peninsula is just beautiful! Don’t plan on swimming, though, because August is winter, and the water is antarctic. It may even be too cold for kayaking, unfortunately. But the walking trails and photo-ops alone are definitely worth the trip. We stayed in a semi-independent cabin, and had wallabies on our porch every morning, and beautiful little birds in all the shrubs around us.
Launceston is a great little city for walking around in. Check out websites, though — they can tell you more than anyone on Y!A, ‘cuz Y!A has character limits.
You may have to go through Queenstown to get from one place to another, but you have no need to look forward to it. Queenstown, Tas, is post-apocalyptic-looking — unlike the places all around it! Such as Strahan, and Russell Falls (National Park).
Russell Falls has *loads* of waterfalls in and around the park, and a lot of not-very-shy wildlife. You can get to any number of waterfalls that are along short walking trails, by pulling off into tiny car-parks along the highway going through the park. We spent the better part of a day just getting to our hotel at the park’s edge, because we stopped and walked most of the gorgeous little trails along the way.
Strahan (pronounced “Strawn”) was great when family-and-I went there. Definitely do all the boat trips you can in the area — the historic and the wildlife-natural. And the seafood in Strahan was fantastic!
The iconic Tasmanian wildlife photographer was Peter Dombrovsky. If you want a beautiful and not-silly souvenir of your trip, try and pick up a print or two by him.
In Hobart, they have some good, easy-to-see-the-whole museums and public gardens. They also have the historic Salamanca Market (check websites for more). And they have really excellent walking trails for weekend-walkers (as opposed to the longer, seriously-sport trails at Cradle Mountain).
Definitely try to catch a whale-watching cruise, if you can — it may be a little off-season for it, though. See if you can find out what’s happening on internet news sites that cover Tasmania, in the weeks before you go.
Port Arthur was excellent, but we went there within two years of the Massacre, so a lot of the park personnel were clearly still grieving. Even so, the Ghost Tour was very good, nice and creepy without overdoing it. And the park is beautiful, even the parts that resound with tragedies-past.
My DH and I were travelling with our kids, so of course we went to places like Tasmazia (we all love hedge-mazes) and the mountain-top Pancake House in the middle of nowhere (excellent food, though!). And the Tasmanian Devil breeding centre (which also breeds thousands of venomous snakes, for venom-harvesting to produce snake-bite treatments).
I hope all this helps! Bon voyage!