Tasmania is a rugged wilderness known to most people as the home of the Tasmanian devil. Lovable cartoon characters aside, Tasmania is home to vast swaths of natural, untouched beauty. There is no end to the number of things visitors have access to. From the capital city of Hobart, visitors to Tasmania can go on day trips to a huge number of places. All it takes is a bit of four-wheeled transportation. Here are some of the top day trips from Hobart by car.
From Hobart, Kettering is only a short, scenic drive away. The coastal town is home to the Oyster Cove Inn, a mansion originally built in the 1930s that has since been restored and serves as a tourist attraction. It offers beautiful views of the Oyster Cove Marina and a clear line of sight to Bruny Island. From there, guests can hop on a ferry and visit Bruny Island itself. Kettering is also home to the Kettering Oval, an arena which hosts numerous cricket matches but is also home to one of Tasmania’s best food and wine events, the Taste of the Huon.
2. Port Arthur
Port Arthur is one of the best day trips around Hobart. Australia’s history as a penal colony of England is well known. Tasmania’s Port Arthur is one of the original Australian Convict Sites created by the British Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries, which makes it a great destination for the history buffs. It’s considered to be the top tourist attraction in Tasmania.
There are a number of historical tours available in Port Arthur, as well as easy access to the Tasman Peninsula and the Tasman National Park, an area of vast natural beauty and home to many species of wildlife that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
3. Hastings Caves
The Hastings Caves are the largest dolomite caves in Australia and are home to a group of thermal springs that draw thousands of tourists each year. The heat of the springs and the high mineral content of the water makes it a popular destination for bathers who want to rejuvenate themselves in the natural waters. The caves themselves are millions of years old and full of natural beauty that’s hard to find elsewhere. Admission fees are inexpensive, but opening and closing times vary by season, so it’s a good idea to check ahead of time to ensure you arrive before they close.
4. Tahune Forest
The Tahune Forest is one of the most striking examples of natural beauty to be found in all of Tasmania. The Tahune Forest Airwalk allows visitors to walk across swinging bridges that span the entire distance of the Huon and Picton Rivers. It takes roughly a full hour to cover the entire loop created by the Swinging Bridges; however, those with a fear of heights are advised to reconsider due to the sheer drop underneath the bridges themselves. In addition to the Swinging Bridges, the Tahune Forest offers gliding tours, a bike track that more intrepid adventurers can explore on two wheels, and many other activities.
Richmond was once a main military post that has an older history than even Port Arthur. It’s part of the infamous convict trail that convicts passed through as part of their transportation to the Australian Penal Colonies. Small group tours are available that give detailed accounts and histories of the time period.
6. Mount Wellington
Mount Wellington is the most famous mountain in all of Tasmania. Known as kunanyi, or to the Aboriginese, Unghbanyahlette or Poorawetter, it rises to 1,269 meters above sea level. It’s famous for the dolerite columns called the Organ Pipes, which serve as one of Hobart’s biggest tourist attractions. The more adventurous will appreciate the hiking trails, as well as the view from the summit that can be reached by a 22-kilometer long narrow-track road.
7. Gourmet Cruises
One of the attractions of Tasmania is the cuisine. Because it has served as a penal colony, many different European cuisines have blended together to become a unique mix of flavors that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Many gourmet cruises depart from Hobart’s harbor and take guests on a sight seeing tour accompanied by delicious foods. Considering that Tasmania has some of the best wines in all Australia, taking the time to go on a day trip gourmet cruise is well worth it.
8. Derwent River Valley
The Derwent River Valley is home to the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, which houses kangaroos, wallabies, Tasmanian devils, and a number of other rare and exciting creatures. It even has white African lions. The River Valley is also home to the oldest Anglican church in Australian, construction in 1820. Aside from the establishments the valley contains, it is also home to vast expanses of natural landscapes. The land in these areas is essentially the same as it was millennia ago, giving visitors a glance at what the world was like long before humans inhabited as much of it as they currently do.
9. Mt. Field National Park
For an easy Hobart day trip, consider visiting Mt. Field National Park. It’s home to the oldest trout hatchery in the southern hemisphere and also offers numerous guides and information for those who want a more informative, in-depth tour of the area. It’s easy to find food at various restaurants along the way, so you don’t have to worry about wandering into an area where there’s nowhere to eat. Mt. Field National Park has one of the few true rainforests left in the world, and it’s something everyone should experience at least once in their life.
10. Russell Falls
While these falls are close to Mt. Field National Park, they deserve a visit all on their own. They’re the perfect destination for when someone is tired of all the other attractions and wants to sit in the quiet and natural beauty of nature for a while. They’re accessible by a paved walking track and offer plenty of photo opportunities. While they aren’t the tallest waterfalls in the area, they are perhaps the most relaxing. Only 70 miles from Hobart, the Russell Falls are an easy day trip and a smooth drive through scenic landscapes.
Tasmania is a wonderful part of Australia that offers a look at an ancient world. These are some of the best day trips from Hobart Tasmania for the money; while some are longer than others, it’s hard to go wrong with any of them. Choose the one that looks most appealing and go. Many people never pay a visit to Tasmania, so take advantage of your opportunity and explore this beautiful island. Whether you’re there for food, to see rare, exotic animal life, or to simply enjoy the beauty, Tasmania has something for everyone.