7 Remarkable Reasons to Visit Tasmania
Tasmania is an island to retreat, where you can connect with the abundance of natural beauty and tap into a unique part of Australian history. The coastline boasts extraordinary rock formations, towering pillars, picturesque bays and unique wildlife. Just inland is Port Arthur which leads the sites in historical significance. Deeper inside a host of waterfalls wait to be discovered. Here are 7 remarkable reasons to visit Tasmania!
1. 55 Waterfalls!
The waterfalls of Tasmania are an experience in themselves. Numerous stunning waterfalls pepper the magnificent rainforests and hide deep in the national parks. The island boasts over 55 waterfalls, each unique to its landscape. There are hidden gems like Adams Falls, accessible by kayak or an experienced hike. This fall boasts a spectacular drop that’s 40 meters high. There is also the multi-tiered, cascading variety like Hardings Falls, surrounded by eucalyptus forests. And those enclosed in their own atmospheric amphitheater-like Horseshoe Falls.
Freycinet National Park
2. Freycinet National Park
On the Eastern coast of Tasmania, sits the Freycinet National Park — the first national park in Tasmania. Home to some of Australia’s most iconic species, a hike through Freycinet National Park may be rewarded with sightings of potoroos, echidnas, quolls and wombats. The park stretches out over the breathtaking Freycinet Peninsula, which contains three of our next remarkable reasons to visit Tasmania.
Wineglass Bay and the Freycinet Peninsula
3. Wineglass Bay
Another reason to visit Tasmania is this beautiful site, rated as one of the 10 best beaches in the world. Its crescent shape indeed resembles its namesake. From any of the surrounding viewpoints, the “glass” fills and recedes with the seas. The bay is sheltered by rocky points and the renowned pink granite Hazard mountain range. In fact, the reputation of its seclusion and beauty made its way to the British Queen in 1950. The Royal Yacht Britannia came ashore and she enjoyed an Australian beach barbecue, launching Wineglass Bay into the public eye.
The Hazards Mountain Range
4. The Hazards
The Hazards Mountain Range is renowned for its pink granite peaks. They provide a stellar backdrop to many viewpoints on the Freycinet peninsula. Five mountains are in the range: Mayson, Amos, Dove, Baudin and Parson. The long and graceful Hazards Beach lays on the west coast of the peninsula, stretching for a couple kilometers beside crystal turquoise waters. Take a stroll down the beach and the ocean may bring you some gifts in the form of crabs and shells washing in. This beach displays the closest and grandest views of the Hazards range. For those climbing to the top of the range, there are some excellent spots for whale-watching.
5. Coles Bay
The seaside village of Coles Bay is nothing less than charming. It sits surrounded by the Freycinet National Park and at the foot of the pink Hazards. It was named after Silas Cole, who collected oyster shells from Aboriginal middens. He made lime mortar, used to build the sleepy seaside town of Swansea, across the Great Oyster Bay. Coles Bay is positioned on the northern end, overlooking the calm waters. With some luck you may spot a pod of dolphins or Australian fur seals, and in the winter whales often visit. Coles Bay’s population reaches only about 350, however their food scene is well-known for incredibly fresh ingredients. The local oysters, mussels, scallops, and rock lobsters paired with wine from regional vineyards makes for a complete Tasmanian food experience.
6. Port Arthur
This UNESCO listed historic settlement and its dark history, sits in contrast with the gorgeous surrounding nature. A former prison colony set on the tip of the Tasman Peninsula, it was first established in 1830 as a timber station. A small town was then built to house and punish over 1,000 convicts. Between 1830 and 1877 over 12,500 convicts resided here, working in industries such as ship works, flour mills, shoemakers, smithing and brickmaking. The site holds more than 30 buildings that include houses, ruins and memorial gardens. Learn the powerful stories told of the hardships during this time and of the more recent massacre of 1996. Don’t miss the potential ghost sighting. Witnesses dating back to1870s have claimed to see these apparitions and ghost tours are available which are led by lantern, a more investigative experience using full spectrum cameras is also an option.
7. Cape Raoul
Accessed via Port Arthur, Cape Raoul is situated on the southernmost part of the Tasmanian peninsula. If there was a remarkable reason to visit Tasmania, this formation surely ranks at the top. The outstanding coastal seascape includes towering columns, rock platforms, and some of the highest cliffs in Australia. A scenic view atop a 300-meter high cliff gives a unique opportunity to take in the coastline. Perhaps the most stunning aspect is the dolerite columns, a subvolcanic rock formed by a magma cooling effect. This spectacular colonnade can be found at the end of the Cape Raoul plateau, rising to 200 meters in a remarkably jagged and massive display and dropping deep into the ocean.
When escape, respite and discovery are on your agenda, Tasmania might be the perfect location. At Grasshopper Adventures, we launched a tour experience of Tasmania (as featured in Vacations & Travel) that covers most of the above locations and then some. Check out the full tour on our website. We hope to see you there!
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A special thanks to Visit Noosa (@visitnoosa), @harrisoncandlin, and Kanu Kapers for sharing some of the above images.