A journey to Tasmania is a rare chance to disconnect from stress and reconnect with the things that matter.
About 40 percent of the island is protected as national parks, reserves and UNESCO World Heritage areas and, remarkably, these wild places are easily accessible. Hike the tallest sea cliffs in the southern hemisphere and breathe some of the purest air in the world. In World Heritage wilderness, walk in valleys where towering Huon pines grow for thousands of years, where rivers meet rare temperate rainforest, and snow-peaked mountains shadow buttongrass plains. See wildlife that exists nowhere else on Earth.
Geographic isolation has contributed to unique biodiversity, and it has also fostered a rare community of creative, down-to-earth, resourceful people with time to make you feel welcome. Tasmania is a place where seasonality and hospitality go hand in hand. One of the joys of travelling in Tasmania is not just the chance to taste produce straight from the farm and ocean, but the ease of meeting the makers at cellar doors, farm gates and local markets. And with four distinct seasons, there’s always something new to see, taste and feel.
Tasmania is a place for adventure; how ever you define it. Test yourself on scores of mountain-bike trails, tee off on top-ranked golf courses overlooking Bass Strait, cast for wild brown trout in glacial tarns, raft on wild rivers. Find stories and freedom on drive journeys connecting wild places, quintessential Tassie towns and friendly locals. Whether the view is from the privacy of a hot tub in a forest, or from a kayak for two, or fireside with Tassie whisky and friends, the world looks different from Tasmania.
Tasmania’s four distinct seasons are reason to travel year-round. Average maximum temperatures in summer, from December to March, are 17-23 °C (63-73 °F). Average maximum winter temperatures, from June to August, are 3-11 °C (37-52 °F). Enjoy beach life and blooming lavender fields in summer, the “turning of the fagus” in autumn when Australia’s only deciduous tree turns brilliant colours, fish for wild brown trout in spring, and in winter join solstice festivals (fancy a communal nude swim?), and warm up around hot tubs and log fires with fine Tassie whisky.
Rainfall varies significantly across the island. Hobart is the second driest capital city in Australia (after Adelaide), while the west coast has an annual average rainfall of 2400 millimetres, which sustains the island’s cool temperate rainforests.
No matter when you travel here, it’s important to prepare for sudden changes in the weather, and especially if you’re bushwalking. Pack warm, fast drying layers for maximum flexibility, particularly in the cooler months, and be sure to carry extra warm clothing and a waterproof jacket.
How to get to Tasmania
As Australia’s only island state, access to Tasmania is by air and sea only. Regular flights depart from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and fly direct to Hobart and Launceston. Direct flights are also available from Melbourne to Wynyard (Burnie), Devonport, King and Flinders Island.
Alternatively, many visitors travel to Tasmania from Melbourne by sea on the Spirit of Tasmania. Departing from Melbourne and arriving in Devonport, this has the added benefit of letting you bring your own car and make the most of Tasmania’s touring potential.
Top 10 things to do in Tasmania
- Cradle Mountain
- Port Arthur
- Freycinet Peninsula
- Maria Island
- Bridestowe Lavender
- Gordon River
- West Coast Wilderness Railway
- The Nut, Stanley
- King Island
What are the top 5 tips for first time visitors/travellers to Tasmania
Tasmania’s environment is sensitive and a lot of care goes into protecting it, as well as communities and the experience for travellers. Always stay on formed roads and walking tracks. Camp only at designated sites, follow fire restrictions, and carry out all waste when visiting wilderness areas. Keep wildlife wild and never feed or touch native animals or birds. Respect Aboriginal culture and sites of significance by observing but not touching cultural and historical structures and artefacts. Drones are prohibited on reserved land, including national parks.
Driving road conditions vary and can be winding and steep, so allow extra time when estimating driving times and distances. Because wildlife is so abundant, native animals often wander onto the road between dusk and dawn – please slow down and take extra care at these times.
Biosecurity Tasmania has some of the world’s most stringent quarantine regulations. You know how it is on an island – the introduction of a pest or disease can have devastating effects on the environment, wildlife and local industry. For details about what you can and can’t bring into Tasmania, see Biosecurity Tasmania.
As Scottish comedian Billy Connolly once said, ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather – just bad clothing’. So no matter when you come, be sure to bring a warm jacket and a rain jacket. In the cooler months, it’s best to bring clothing you can layer because even the winter sun is quite warm.
There’s an entry fee for all Tasmanian national parks. The money raised protects and maintains the parks for the future. You must display a parks pass while in a national park. For more information, see pass prices and information. You can purchase a pass at most Tasmanian Visitor Information Network centres.
For more on Tasmania visit www.discovertasmania.com.au
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