We’re going to start in the North East with Launceston, home of Boag’s. Brewery tours are one of Launceston’s most popular attractions. Launceston is Australia’s third oldest city, behind Sydney and Hobart, quite a claim to fame really, but probably one on the whole overlooked. It is the second largest city in Tasmania, the main city in the North and a great place to start your travels as, unless you arrived with the Sydney to Hobart fleet, one of the main ports of arrival by sea is in the north on the Spirit of Tasmania.

The Spirit of Tasmania sails from Melbourne to Devonport daily. Whether you are looking for a cool, summer alternative on uncrowded beaches, or seek year-round nature adventures, Tasmania is the place to get away from the mainland crowds.

The Tamar Valley-Launceston area is a great place to discover, as it offers a richly memorable and historic view of Tasmania, whether it is the 19th Century parks and Victorian buildings of Launceston, or the colonial architecture of Low Head. Set aside at least a day for Launceston itself. Take in a guided tour or a visit to the Queen Victoria Museum. This region also includes the world renowned Cradle Valley and historic Devonport.

The theme of drinking and eating abounds no matter where you are in Tasmania, but rarely more so than in the north east – famous for its first-class cool-climate vineyards and gourmet food producers. Organic fruit and vegetables, old-fashioned boiled lollies and hot-smoked ocean trout are just some of the delicacies on offer. Even if you don’t drink, it is worth taking a day trip around the vineyards for the views, both water and rural.

For the more historically minded, take a visit to Low Head, a short drive from Tamar’s George Town. The distinctive 19th Century lighthouse is a landmark. Continue on to Windermere to locate the historic St Matthias Church. Along the way you will find wonderful wind-swept views and quiet serene, picnic spots.

In the North East, a highlight is the spectacular Binalong Bay.

Heading South

There are two routes which lead to Hobart, the East Coast or the Heritage Highway route. By going down one way and coming back up the other, you will get a real feel for both the coast and inland Tasmania.

East Coast Tasmania Escape

The east coast covers the area south to Hobart, including the Freycinet Peninsula, Bay of Fires, Chain of Lagoons and Maria Island. This is a route which follows national parks, mountains and gorges, vineyards and fishing villages. Don’t forget to stop and taste some of that wonderful local seafood while you are passing through.

Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park

One of the world’s most famous beaches is Wineglass Bay, located in Tasmania’s Freycinet National Park. It is the views of the bay itself that capture photographer’s eyes – it is an instantly recognisable sight.

Depending on the time of year, this area becomes very busy, or you may have the landscape all to yourself. To explore the local area you can stay in Coles Bay (famous for being the first town in Australia to ban plastic bags), or bring a tent and some hiking boots and stay in Freycinet National Park itself.

Sea Charters and Cruises are also available from the area if you want to explore the Freycinet Peninsula in more detail.

The Inland Route

Driving on the Midland Highway inland route is also worth the time and effort. Ross is an historic village nestling in the middle of the route, with one of Australia’s oldest bridges, completed by convicts in 1836. A perfect place on the Launceston/Hobart road to stop.

Both aboriginal and colonial history abounds in stories of bushrangers, writers and painters as well as hunting lands, gracious homesteads and carriage stops.

Hobart

Some say that Hobart is the only place to be in late December and early January when the Sydney to Hobart fleet arrives and sails up the mouth of the Derwent River. Tasmania’s capital is Australia’s most southerly city. It is a relaxed and laid back place which welcomes visitors year round, but at this time of year offers a party you will find hard to forget.

Many convict made buildings are still on view and have been preserved for modern usage. Parks, riverside beaches and rainforest reserves ensure the city stays grounded in nature. You could easily spend a day, or more exploring Hobart, from the famous Salamanca Market, Battery Point to the Waterfront and docks area.

Late December to early January sees the Taste of Tasmania along the Hobart waterfront, a well-known and much loved summer attraction celebrating Tasmanian food and wine districts. The Summer Festival runs through until the second week of January

Image above: 

- Tasmania is abounds with beautiful sights. Featured here is Richmond Bridge

 

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