Top 10 Attractions in Tasmania

Tasmania’s most visited attractions and experiences are a great way to get to know our island.

01 - SALAMANCA MARKET - HOBART

Tasmania’s Own Market is a selection of your favourite Salamanca Market stallholders and is open every Saturday from 8.30 am to 3 pm. The market consists of over 230 stallholders representing artisans, designers and producers – it’s as Tasmanian as we can make it.

The market is centrally located at historic Salamanca Place, nestled against historic Georgian sandstone warehouses. It is home to galleries, restaurants and cafes and is only a short stroll to the city centre. It’s the best place to find Tasmanian-designed and handmade products, as well as home grown produce, talk to the makers and find the heart of a creative island.

With so much to see, give yourself plenty of time to browse and soak up the atmosphere. There is plenty of delicious ready-to-eat breakfast and lunch market fare. This market is a showcase of local gins, whiskeys and wines, preserves and artisanal cheeses, organic skincare, Tasmanian timber and ceramics, woollen products and handmade jewellery, clothing and homewares. You’ll discover the story behind the makers that make Salamanca Market so special.

02 - KUNANYI/MT WELLINGTON

Kunanyi / Mt Wellington is a wilderness experience just a 20-minute drive from Hobart and is much loved by locals.

The 21-km drive to the summit passes through temperate rainforest to sub-alpine flora and glacial rock formations, ending in panoramic views of Hobart, Bruny Island, South Arm and the Tasman Peninsula.

No other city in Australia has a vista like this one. The interpretation centre at the top protects you from the blustering winds while an open viewing platform on the western side of the car park looks out to the World Heritage Wilderness Area beyond.

There are barbecues, picnic facilities and bushwalking trails for all fitness levels. Mountain activities also include trail biking and abseiling.

Park entrance fees do not apply and there are no opening or closing hours.

The Pinnacle shelter at the summit is open to the public during the summer months (daylight savings) from 8 am – 8 pm, and during the winter from 8 am – 4:30 pm.

03 - MUSEUM OF OLD AND NEW ART – MONA

The Museum of Old and New Art – Mona is Australia’s largest private museum and one of the most controversial private collections of modern art and antiquities in the world.

Described by its owner as a “subversive adult Disneyland”, the collection includes everything from ancient Egyptian mummies to some of the world’s most infamous and thought-provoking contemporary art.

With around 300 art works on display, the collection takes up three floors within a subterranean architectural masterpiece and is guaranteed to impress.

The 3.5 ha site includes a function centre, Moorilla winery and vineyard, a cellar door and wine bar. There’s also the Source restaurant, Faro restaurant, Void Bar, a pizza and cocktail bar, a 63-seat cinema, the Mona Library and Gallery and eight stylish accommodation pavilions.

Dubsy’s is slinging burgers on the lawns and there’s live music every operating day, curated by the ex-Violent Femmes bass guitarist and Mona music curator Brian Ritchie and his team.

Visitors can catch a high speed ferry from Hobart’s waterfront for a 30-minute ride up the River Derwent right to the steps of the museum.

Mona is open Friday–Monday, 10am–5pm.

04 - PORT ARTHUR HISTORIC SITE - TASMAN PENINSULA

The Port Arthur Historic Site is Australia’s most intact and evocative convict site and one of Australia’s great tourist attractions.

Located on the Tasman Peninsula, the site has more than 30 buildings, ruins and restored period homes dating from the prison’s establishment in 1830 until its closure in 1877. During this time around 12,500 convicts served sentences and for many it was a living hell.

Today, the site sits in 40 hectares of landscaped grounds and you’ll need plenty of time to fully experience all that it has to offer.

Entry is valid for two consecutive days and includes a guided walking tour, harbour cruise, entry to the museum, the Convict Study Centre and Interpretation Gallery, and the site of the dockyard.

For a small additional fee you can also cruise to the Isle of the Dead and join a guided tour of Port Arthur’s island burial ground. The tour offers an insight into the lives of those who were part of the penal settlement including convicts, soldiers, civilians and their families.

Or instead, you can take a trip to Point Puer Boys Prison. This was the first reformatory in the British Empire built exclusively for juvenile male convicts. Point Puer was renowned for its regime of stern discipline and harsh punishment.

The Port Arthur Historic Site is open every day of the year.

05 - FREYCINET NATIONAL PARK AND GREAT OYSTER BAY

When you first set eyes on Great Oyster Bay set against the backdrop of Freycinet National Park and the three pink-granite peaks of the Hazards mountain range – you know you’re somewhere different. This is a visual experience to remember.

Situated on Tasmania’s beautiful East Coast, Freycinet National Park occupies most of the Freycinet Peninsula. This long strip of land looks out to the Tasman Sea from the eastern side and back towards the Tasmanian coastline from the west.

The park is loaded with natural assets, including the granite peaks of the Hazards that dominate the Peninsula, abundant birdlife and the iconic and much-photographed Wineglass Bay.

There are long and short walks across the park to secluded bays, clean beaches and bird-filled lagoons that walkers of all abilities will enjoy.

For an excellent half day trek, continue on from the Wineglass Bay lookout down to the beautiful, perfectly curved beach and back to the park entrance via the Hazards Range. The walk has amazing views of Great Oyster Bay and the coastline surrounding the sleepy seaside village of Swansea.

The Hazards look their best at sunrise and sunset, when the pink granite glows bright and brilliant.

06 - CRADLE MOUNTAIN - WORLD HERITAGE WILDERNESS

Cradle Mountain is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and one of the most interesting and most visited places in Tasmania.

Located at the northern end of the Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park, Cradle Mountain is surrounded by glacial lakes, ancient rainforest, and unusual alpine vegetation.

It’s easy to appreciate the beauty of this unique place on one of the many short walks found in the area.

You can stroll from cascading rivers to dense, old-growth rainforest in just 20 minutes on the Enchanted Walk. For a more extended walk, the two-hour circuit of Dove Lake is one of Australia’s great short walks or spend the entire day tackling Cradle Mountain summit itself.

Cradle Mountain is also the starting point for the world-famous Overland Track, a magnificent six-day walk through the heart of some of the world’s finest mountain terrain.

A range of tours are available from Cradle Valley, just outside the park boundary, including horseback trail rides and helicopter flights over the region’s rugged mountains.

There’s a variety of accommodation options available but please note that accommodation and hotels at Cradle Mountain often sell out, particularly in the high season, so it’s always wise to book.

07 - CATARACT GORGE

Cataract Gorge Reserve, known locally as the Gorge, is a unique natural formation within a two-minute drive of central Launceston – a rare natural phenomenon in any city.

In an easy 15 minutes, you can walk from central Launceston along the banks of the Tamar River into the Gorge. From there, follow a pathway originally built in the 1890s along the cliff face looking down onto the South Esk River.

The First Basin on the southern side has a cafe and a swimming pool surrounded by bushland, known to locals as Launceston’s beach.

In contrast, the shady northern side, named the Cliff Grounds, is a Victorian garden with ferns and exotic plants.

The beautiful Kings Bridge over the Gorge was floated into place in 1867.

With a kiosk, restaurant and swimming pool, rolling lawns and a rotunda, a footbridge and a chairlift across the river, as well as peacocks and wallabies at dusk, this may be Australia’s most alluring urban reserve. And entrance is free.

08 - ROYAL TASMANIAN BOTANICAL GARDENS - HOBART

Tasmania’s Botanical Gardens may be small compared to other states but many say they are the best.

Established in 1818, the gardens are just a short walk from Hobart’s CBD.

The gardens hold historic plant collections and a large number of significant trees with many dating back to the nineteenth century.

There’s also the world’s only Sub-Antarctic Plant House. Here, plants from sub-antarctic islands in high southern latitudes grow in a climate-controlled environment with chilly fogs and mists mirroring the wet, cold conditions of their island homes.

The gardens also contain some of Tasmania’s most significant built heritage. Of special interest is the Superintendent’s Cottage, now the Administration Office, and the Arthur Wall. The wall’s design was once common in Britain. Being hollow, the wall can be heated to encourage the growth of fruit trees  planted beside it.

The visitor centre houses a restaurant, souvenir shop and a gallery with regularly changing exhibitions by local artists and a display area for the Gardens’ own exhibitions.

The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens are free of charge and open 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

09 - BLOW HOLE AND TASMAN ARCH

The Blow Hole and Tasman Arch are just two of many unusual geological formations found in the Tasman National Park, a place of rugged beauty with some of the most stunning coastal scenery found anywhere in Australia.

Not surprisingly, the park offers some of the best coastal walks in the country. A stroll of just an hour or two reveals sheer drops overlooking chasms and surging ocean, off-shore islands, white sandy beaches and a waterfall that tumbles into the sea.

At the southern end of the park are some of the highest and most spectacular sea cliffs in the world.

You can reach the formations like the Tasman Arch, the Blow Hole, the Devils Kitchen, the Tessellated Pavement, Remarkable Cave and Waterfall Bay by car, but by far the best views of the rugged coastline are from the park’s many bushwalks.

The park is also the home to the famous Port Arthur Historic Site, Australia’s most evocative and intact convict penal settlement.

The Tasman National Park is a 1.5-hr drive from Hobart.

10 - THE TASMANIAN MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) is the second oldest museum in Australia, but visiting the gallery, you wouldn’t know it. Today, the gallery’s collections sit in a stunning contemporary design, sensitively integrated with the museum’s heritage buildings.

Known as TMAG to locals, the museum’s art collection includes works from Tasmania’s colonial period through to contemporary Australian and international artists.

There is fascinating archaeological material of national significance, some of which was unearthed in the renovation of the museum itself, and displays that tell of early life in the colony.

There’s also a significant collection of Tasmanian Aboriginal cultural objects.

Another gallery tells the story of the Tasmanian tiger (a bit sad!) and its interactions with society.

And for a break, the museum’s Courtyard Café offers great food and a chance to regroup before the next round.

Located on Hobart’s historic waterfront the museum is just a short stroll from bustling Salamanca Place.

With interactive displays, spacious galleries and masterful story-telling, TMAG has something for everyone.

Admission is free – and so are the tours.