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Discover Tasmania: Top 3 Reasons to Visit This Hidden Vacation Gem

January 22, 20247 min read

Tasmania is an island of wild and beautiful contrasts, a place where untamed wilderness meets refined culinary and cultural sophistication, an escape where ancient forests whisper tales of the past, where the air is filled with the scent of eucalyptus, and where every turn on its many winding roads brings you face-to-face with scenes of breathtaking vacation beauty.

Tasmania is a land where history is felt and touched in the sandstone buildings of Hobart, in the echoes of Port Arthur, along the traditional trails of the indigenous Palawa people. It's a place where the spirit of the wild beckons travelers to explore craggy mountains, serene beaches, and lush rainforests.

Tasmania is often thought of as Australia's best-kept vacation secret, but we at Aspire Down Under don’t believe in keeping secrets from our mates! In this quick guide to vacation travel in Tasmania, we’re going to let you in on the top 3 reasons why Tasmania should be on your radar as a top Australian vacation destination.

  1. Urban exploration and cultural treasures

Tasmania’s cities boast a harmonious blend of history, culture, and modern vibrancy sure to appeal to almost any traveler. Tasmania’s vacation capitals, Hobart (the actual capital) and Launceston (the “northern capital”) offer a unique juxtaposition of the old and the new. These cities are gateways to Tasmania's rich colonial past, its evolving art scene, and its commitment to culinary excellence.

Hobart Australia Victoria Dock

Hobart, Tasmania's capital, effortlessly combines Tasmania’s Aboriginal and colonial heritage with contemporary culture. Situated on the Derwent River, and set against the backdrop of Mount Wellington, Hobart provides travelers with a glimpse into Tasmania's past, present, and future. The city's compact, walkable size, coupled with its rich architectural heritage, makes Hobart a delight to explore for history enthusiasts and casual visitors alike. 

For those looking to venture beyond the city, Hobart's location offers easy access to the scenic Coal Valley's wineries, the historic towns of Huonville and Richmond, and the natural beauty of Bruny Island and Southwest National Park.

Launceston, known as the 'Garden City' for its plethora of public and private gardens, is an ideal destination for travelers seeking a tranquil yet culturally rich experience. Launceston is a testament to Victorian architectural prowess, with its well-preserved 19th-century streetscapes, while also serving as a gateway to nearby natural wonders like the Cataract Gorge.

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart and the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Launceston are excellent places to learn about Aboriginal culture. These museums house collections and exhibitions that showcase Aboriginal art, tools, and stories, offering visitors historical insights into the island's Aboriginal heritage.

Launceston also offers vacationers a unique culinary adventure, from cool climate wines to fine dining experiences and locavore menus that showcase the region's rich agricultural heritage and local indigenous customs. The blending of tradition and luxury epitomizes the “new Launceston experience”, appealing to visitors looking to indulge in Tasmania's renowned culinary delights while deepening their understanding of local culture.

Cataract Gorge Australia Tasmania

  1. Wild and untamed natural beauty

Journey back to nature's raw and rugged beauty in Tasmania, where outdoor adventure beckons travelers to immerse themselves in its untamed beauty. From the heights of Cradle Mountain to the tranquil shores of its coastlines, Tasmania offers a mosaic of experiences that resonate with the essence of exploration.

Tasmania's national parks, a cornerstone of the island's majestic outdoors, offer a sanctuary where the wilderness can be deeply and harmoniously experienced. Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, with its iconic Overland Track, exemplifies the allure of the Tasmanian wild. 

Cradle Mountain National Park

Amidst ancient rainforests and alpine heathlands, visitors to Tasmania find themselves on a journey through landscapes that have stood the test of time. Tasmania’s well-maintained state parks and diverse ecosystems are a haven for wildlife, offering experiences with Tasmania's unique fauna in their natural habitat.

Catch a glimpse of the elusive Tasmanian Devil or the gentle pademelon - the smallest and (somewhat debatably) cutest relative of macropod marsupials like kangaroos. These incredible animals can only be found in the wild right here in Tasmania!

No Tasmanian vacation would be complete without experiencing the raw beauty of Tasmania's west coast, where the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park lies cradled by nature's embrace. Strahan, a charming town that serves as gateway to this pristine wilderness, offers a narrative of resilience and beauty, seated gently along rivers carving through dense rainforest. It's a place where the past and present converge, offering travelers a chance to explore the untouched corners of the world.

The transition from rugged mountains to the serene coastlines reveals another facet of Tasmania's unforgettable landscape. Freycinet National Park, featuring the jewel-like Wineglass Bay, presents a coastal escape where azure waters meet white sands and granite peaks. This serene haven invites adventurers and peace-seekers alike to explore its beauty, from secluded beaches to scenic walks that offer breathtaking vistas at every turn.

  1. Immersive cultural experiences with Tasmania’s First Peoples

Exploring Tasmania offers a unique opportunity to deepen your understanding of its Aboriginal heritage. This journey through time sheds light on the enduring traditions and the rich cultural history of the island's First Peoples. Engage with the profound stories, art, and customs that are integral to Tasmania's identity, as shared by the local Palawa community themselves.

Engage in immersive experiences that offer insights into one of the world's oldest living cultures, from guided walks that traverse ancient landscapes to tastings of traditional bush foods. 

These experiences are not just about sightseeing – they're about connecting with, understanding, and respecting the profound bond between the land and its First Peoples. They’re also genuinely fun, immersive vacation experiences you’ll find only in Tasmania!

In Tasmania, visitors can participate in guided walks through landscapes whose natural beauty is a reflection of their deep cultural significance to the Aboriginal community.

Led by local Indigenous guides, these walks offer unique and deep insights into the traditional practices, stories, and connections to the land of Tasmania’s First People. Walks can last for an hour or so up to a few days, so be sure to balance your desire to connect with the land and its history with your commitment and fitness level and choose an appropriate experience for yourself!

"Bush tucker” refers to the various foods native to Australia that are found in the “bush”, or wilderness. This term encompasses a wide range of food sources traditionally used by Aboriginal peoples, including plants, animals, and insects. 

Bush tucker is not only significant for its nutritional and culinary aspects but also forms a crucial part of Aboriginal cultural practices. For those interested in traditional Aboriginal cuisine, Tasmania offers experiences where you can harvest and taste traditional bush foods, some of which offer guided foraging for native ingredients and preparation using traditional methods, an unforgettable experience for all the senses. 

These experiences in Tasmania offer a genuine and respectful way to engage with and learn about the Aboriginal heritage, enriching visitors' understanding of the island's cultural landscape.

A journey of discovery to Tasmania is just a step away

We hope this brief guide has given you some new insights on why Tasmania is a must-visit vacation destination! While it’s long been one of Australia’s “best-kept vacation secrets”, Tasmania is starting to get some recognition - including a recent mention in the New York Times’ top 52 vacation destinations.

If you’re interested in learning more about Tasmania, one of our very favorite colleagues here at Aspire Down Under was recently very lucky to take a Tasmanian adventure herself - and we’ll be following up this article with an interview about all the wonderful experiences she had there!

In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about why Tasmania might just be the perfect vacation destination for you - and just how easy that adventure can be! - we hope you’ll consider getting in touch with us at Aspire Down Under. Our qualified travel professionals are waiting to answer your questions and tell you how you can “Say G’day!” to Australia and its hidden vacation gem, Tasmania.

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