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Tasmania - A ‘Must-visit’ Vacation Destination

February 26, 20248 min read

In our last blog, we highlighted some of the top reasons to visit Tasmania, one of Australia’s best-kept vacation secrets until recently, when it was featured in the New York Times’ 2024 Travel Destinations

We also teased an exclusive interview with our very own Sharon Tidbury, Australian travel expert and kind of a big deal. Let it never be said that we deliver any less than the absolute best on our promises to our American mates - here indeed is the exclusive interview with Sharon on her Tasmanian tour!

Sharon’s Tasmanian Adventure

The Exclusive Interview

“Sharon, I heard this trip to Tasmania was really a special assignment for you. Tell me why you were so excited to embark on this adventure to Tasmania.”

“I get to travel to Australia twice a year, thanks to work, but it had been several years since I had last had the chance to travel to Tasmania. So I was very excited to get back. Tasmania has an incredibly pristine wilderness with its own unique wildlife, and I had really enjoyed spending some time in Hobart on a previous trip. I was excited to return to Tasmania and get to visit Hobart again as well as several national parks.”

“Take us through your trip. Where did you start, how did you get to Tasmania?”

“I was excited to experience the direct air service with Air New Zealand for the first time, which flies to Auckland non-stop, with direct connectivity from there to Hobart.”

“You flew more or less direct from New York?”

“Yes, I flew straight from JFK [airport] to Auckland, then right on to Hobart! Direct with Air New Zealand is absolutely one of the easiest ways to travel to Tasmania. They also fly from LA, San Francisco, Houston, and Chicago, so it’s a great option for vacationers all across the US.”

Hobart Tasmania waterfront

Hobart Waterfront, Tasmania

“And what was your experience like on arrival in Hobart?”

“Once we got into Hobart, we checked into the lovely Saffire Freycinet Lounge at the airport. There, we got some quick R&R before meeting our private driver and guide for the drive to Freycinet National Park.”

“So you got on the road to Freycinet pretty quickly.”

Saffire Freycinet Aerial View at Sunet at Freycinet in Tasmania Australia

Freycinet National Park, Tasmania

“Yes, we were going to spend the first few nights there, so we got right on the road once we were ready. We didn’t mind - it was a comfortable and pretty quick drive, just two and a half hours, and our guides knew the best places to stop en route.

“Our first stop was at Frogmore Creek winery, where we had a delicious lunch and a sampling of Tasmanian wines right amongst the vines - just an incredibly beautiful place. Next we stopped at Richmond Bridge, which is Tasmania's oldest stone bridge, in an area that will make you think of the Lord of the Rings movies - it has that kind of look and charm. And we took some time to visit a few of the lovely beaches in the area as we got closer to Freycinet.”

Richmond Bridge from shore, Tasmania

Richmond Bridge, Tasmania

“Sounds like the trip to Freycinet was an adventure in itself.”

“It really was! I highly recommend the full Saffire Freycinet experience for anyone who wants to experience a truly luxurious Tasmanian vacation.”

“What was your first impression of Freycinet National Park when you got there?”

“It’s breathtaking. When we got to Saffire Freycinet, the view of the Hazards [mountain range] from the lodge just hit me immediately - these towering, rugged mountains circling around the calm blue waters of the bay. The forest hugs right up to the lodges, and every suite has huge, floor-to-ceiling windows, so we found ourselves surrounded by this unique Tasmanian wilderness while still being in the lap of luxury.

Saffire Freycinet at Freycinet National Park in Tasmania

Saffire Freycinet, Tasmania

“So I settled into this beautiful space, transfixed by the views of Freycinet National Park, feeling very fortunate to be in one of the most stunning locations in Australia. Then I hot-footed it to my 5-course degustation dinner with matching wines, extremely excited for the next five days of travel in Tasmania.”

Saffire Freycinet is one of Australia's most luxurious luxury lodges, an all-inclusive gem featuring just twenty airy suites, each with its own incredible, private view of the surrounding wilderness. Saffire Freycinet offers a uniquely Tasmanian experiences program, amazing food & wine offerings, and all that the modern luxury vacationer could ask for. Click here for more information.

“What did you do at Freycinet National Park?”

“I spent a very restful night at Saffire Freycinet, really to experience the most luxurious option in the national park area. Then I spent the next two days in the park itself, which is an incredible place to visit for uniquely Tasmanian outdoor experiences. 

“Over these two days, I visited an oyster farm, put on waders, and harvested and shucked oysters at the source. Then I hiked to Wineglass Bay - the most scenic lookout in the national park, and took a stunning flight over the beautiful, wild landscape of eastern Tasmania - pink granite mountains, secluded bays, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear waters as far as the eye can see!”

“After your Freycinet adventure, what was the next step on your Tasmanian journey?”

“Our next stop was Maria Island, which is an island natural wildlife sanctuary. The island is incredible by itself - historic ruins, sweeping bays, dramatic cliffs - but my favorite thing was the wombats! They’re so cute, and it was such a thrill to see so many of them in their natural environment.”

Couple on Tasmania Vacation looking at Wombat on Maria Island

Wombat at Maria Island, Tasmania

“Next you moved on to Hobart, right? What experiences did you get to sample in Tasmania’s capital?”

“Yes, we got to stay in Hobart for the next few nights - first at the new Crowne Plaza, and  then at the luxury Harbourfront MACq 01. In Hobart, we kayaked on the Harbour and visited the thought-provoking and often controversial MONA (Museum of Old & New Art), where we were confronted with some very controversial art - let's just say you have to visit to fully appreciate it!

“From MONA, we traveled to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary for the three-hour private night tour. Our ranger took us into the animal enclosures, where we got up close with emus, kangaroos, echidnas, possums and paddy melons. We even got to feed the wombats, Tasmanian devils, cockatoos, kookaburras & lorikeets!”

Tasmanian Devil at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

Tasmanian Devil at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

“The Sanctuary sounds amazing, can you tell us more about it?”

“It’s in a beautiful area, overlooking the Tasmanian countryside. The main objective of the sanctuary is to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife for release back into the wild, but some need long-term care - those were the ones we interacted with. There’s also a wildlife hospital, which we also got to visit. They do an incredible job caring for Tasmania’s sick and injured wildlife.”

“How did you spend the rest of your time in Hobart?”

“We spent the next day partaking in some activities in the city, including a walking tour of historic Salamanca Place and Battery Point. We ended the tour with our guide enjoying a drink at a historic pub before continuing on to dinner at the newly opened Tasman, a luxury hotel that was at one time a hospital, then later became derelict for a while. It’s now been repurposed and simply oozes character - I highly recommend it for the upscale Tasmania vacationer. 

“Our final day entailed a visit to Bruny Island, which is just a short ferry journey from outside Hobart. There we got to experience stunning coastlines, walks on the beach, beer and cheese tastings, wine tastings and whale, seal and dolphin spotting.”

Salmanca Market, Tasmania

Salamanca Market, Tasmania

“What was your experience traveling between these destinations? Is getting around Tasmania a good experience?”

“Tasmania is a compact island state with excellent infrastructure - getting around by road, ferry, or small plane is quick, and the scenery is amazing. Every step of our journey was a pleasure.”

“Thanks Sharon, any final thoughts before we go?”

“If you are thinking of including Tasmania in your Australia trip, think of it two ways - if you can devote 5-7 days to explore the Island, fantastic. You’ll be able to self-drive or join an escorted tour to see a good amount of the island.

“However, if you don’t have that much time, consider three nights in Hobart and basing yourself there. The vacation experiences you’ll find in the city and surrounding area are incredible, there’s definitely something for everyone. Tasmania is truly unique in history, wildlife and scenery, and it’s absolutely a must-visit on your Australian tour.”

Aspire Down Under group photo in Tasmania

“Cheers, Sharon!”

Imagine all that awaits you on your own unique Tasmanian vacation experience

We enjoyed hearing about Sharon’s Tasmanian experience and sharing it with you. We hope you’ve enjoyed this quick read as well, and that it might inspire your own ideas for an Australian or all-Tasmanian tour of your own.

At Aspire Down Under, it’s our passion to share and craft incredible Australian vacation experiences with our American mates, including vacation packages and hand-crafted itineraries, ranging from cross-country tours to deep explorations of great locations like Tasmania. 

Contact us today to find out how we can help you make your Tasmanian vacation dreams a reality, including all transportation and 24/7 in-country support.

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