Tasmania’s diverse choice of landscapes and the ability to drive from east to west and north to south with such ease makes it a unique destination.
National parks make up a large part of the island and you can only go a few minutes in the car without seeing water in some form, whether it be ocean, rivers, waterfalls or lakes. It is the perfect destination for those looking to get off the grid and indulge in nature and history.
Here are my top winter hiking and stroll spots in the widely untouched island.
A two-hour drive from Launceston Airport or a five-and-a-half hour scenic drive through national parks from Hobart will take you to the edge of Dove Lake at the base of Cradle Mountain.
Like most Tassie walks, the hike is a popular choice in summer. In winter, it is almost ghostly but the beauty of the clear white snow, the silence and the misty air is not to be missed.
Known as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Wineglass Bay makes you work for a swim. The hike can be long or short, depending on which route you take.
The 24km return is my pick, venturing through Australian bushland, past zigzag pathways through The Hazards and Coles Bay before eventually reaping the rewards of Wineglass Bay.
The National Park is home to a bundle of walks around the area. Sleepy Bay, a small beach painted in pastel, was a favourite. Only a short walk from the main road, the pinky coloured rocks and pebbled beach is a perfect spot to watch the sunset and the moon rise.
The Extraordinary Cave/Devils Kitchen
There are many long walks and hikes around Cape Raoul, south of Port Arthur, but for those looking for a few short stop-offs on the drive back to Hobart, the Extraordinary Cave and Devils Kitchen lookout are a must.
The cave is a 10-minute walk but don’t let the short timeframe fool you; it’s a steep drop to the base of the cave and the walk up will have you panting. The view at the bottom is worth the sweat because if you look closely through the cave you’ll see the walls form the shape of Tasmania.
Only a few kilometres drive away, The Devils Kitchen, a cliffside observation platform offers striking views of the ancient rockface and the beautiful ocean. While the views during the day are extraordinary, at night time visitors can spot bilbies, pademelons and possums.
Port Arthur, located on the Tasman Peninsula, is home to one of Australia’s most historic convict sites. History enthusiasts will need plenty of time to experience all the historic site has to offer, with more than 30 buildings, ruins and restored homes speckled over 40 hectares of landscaped grounds.
The grounds offer visitors options of a cruise to the Isle of the Dead and a guided tour of Port Arthur cemetery. But a slow stroll around the grounds is the perfect way to get your steps up while indulging in Tasmania’s history.
While most visitors tend to leave as the sun goes down, some stick around for a lantern-lit ghost tour. The tours recount real people’s documented stories of sightings and unexplained occurrences. The mysteries will resonate with you even as the lantern starts to dim at the end of the evening.
* The writer travelled at her own expense.
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