Your Personal Guide To Visiting Tasmania, from a Food-Obsessed Local

Your Personal Guide To Visiting Tasmania, from a Food-Obsessed Local
Wineglass Bay, Image Credit: Lauren Bath

It’s been a wild year and after over twelve months of next to zero travel, it’s finally time to start booking some interstate travel and take advantage of all that unused leave you’ve accumulated.

Summer may be well and truly gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an epic wintery escape, and Tasmania is the place to do just that. As someone who lived in Hobart for 12 years, I can promise you won’t regret a trip to the Apple Isle – unless, of course, you were to visit Launceston, I will not be held accountable for that, sorry! 

Tassie is filled with beautiful scenery, incredible food and wine, art and more, so what are you waiting for? Here are all the places myself and some of my Hobartian friends suggest for an amazing Tassie getaway: 

Hobart

Tasmania
Credit: MACq 01 and Adam Gibson

Where to stay

MACq 01 is my number one hotel recommendation in Hobart. It’s won a bunch of awards for its storytelling concept, where they immerse their guests in the historical narrative at every touchpoint through the architecture, interior design, food and drinks and more.

Where to eat and drink

Sonny is a wine bar with an inventive menu and interesting wines – but don’t bother trying to get a booking because these guys are walk-in only.

Templo is a small neighbourhood Italian restaurant that celebrates seasonal local produce. The menu isn’t huge, so you can’t go wrong here, but my tip would be to try the gnochetti. Book in advance, as these guys only seat 20 people at a time.

If steak or seafood is more your thing, you’ll love Landscape Restaurant & Grill on Hobart’s waterfront in the 1830s IXL building. It’s a modern and dark space and features a simple, sophisticated menu.

Tasmania
Templo, Image Credit: Osborne Images

Things to do

It wouldn’t be a trip to Hobart without visiting the famous Salamanca Markets, one of Australia’s most loved markets with over 200 stallholders – also, the perfect place to buy something for your family and friends back home, perhaps a Huon pine cheese board?

Make sure to take advantage of all the taste testers available (including alcohol!) and grab some fruit leather or some pancakes from the Smallest Pancakes in Town stall.

MONA (the Museum of Old and New Art) is an absolute must-do, even if you’re like me and aren’t all that artsy. You’ll want to make sure you pre-book to avoid disappointment. You’re guaranteed to find some fascinating pieces of artwork here – including The Great Wall of Vagina, which is precisely what you think it is. The guys behind MONA also put on the Dark Mofo festival, which returns this year from June 16-22. I’ve sadly never been (thank you, Covid) but have only heard amazing things. Again, make sure to book tickets to avoid missing out!

If you’ve got time for lunch or dinner during your MONA visit, stop by Faro Bar + Restaurant.

Is gin calling your name? (It’s always calling mine.) If so, Forty Spotted Gin Bar has a gin blending experience, or if you prefer, you can just grab a drink and sip away. If you’re after a beer, there are also many microbreweries, including Hobart Brewing Co, Captain Bligh’s, Shambles Brewery and T-Bone Brewing Co, among others. Or you could always pay a visit to Tassie’s oldest brewery, Cascade Brewery, at the foot of Mt Wellington.

Venture just 15 minutes out of Hobart, and you’ll find one of Tassie’s most awarded cellar doors, Frogmore Creek. Enjoy a quick drink or stay for a long lunch. You won’t regret it.

Cradle Mountain

Tasmania
Cradle Mountain, Image Credit: Emilie Ristevski

Where to stay

Cradle Mountain is one of my favourite places in Tassie, so make sure to add it to your list. Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge is on the edge of the World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park, and places you right amongst the alpine wilderness while also offering incredible food, wine, and indulgent spa treatments (fancy!). If you want more luxury, stay in the King Billy Suites, which feature an outdoor jacuzzi.

Things to do

The two-hour walk around Dove Lake is a flat, family-friendly trail that features a mix of terrains. You’ll see waterfalls, dense rainforests, sandy beaches and more! Worth a visit.

Lake St Clair

Tasmania
Pumphouse Point, Image Credit: Emilie Ristevski

Where to stay

Pumphouse Point is a unique site that was a pump house from 1940 until it was completely refurbished and opened to guests in 2015. Pumphouse features 18 rooms across two heritage buildings, The Pumphouse over the water and The Shorehouse on the land. Oh, and there’s no WiFi. Yep, you read that correctly. 

Things to do

Without Instagram, you’ll be encouraged to connect with nature, and there is over 100km of impressive walks to be had that range from leisurely strolls to overnight treks. You can also hire an e-bike or even a dinghy if that’s your vibe.

Freycinet

Where to stay

You’re not going to find more beauty in one place than in Freycinet, another of my favourite Tassie locations. If you’re visiting for a special occasion and you want to be a little bit fancy, Saffire Freycinet is where you’ll want to stay. This award-winning luxury retreat offers sweeping views and chic suites, but I wasn’t exaggerating about the luxuriousness. Rooms start at a cool $2500. 

If you’re after something nice that won’t break the budget, Freycinet Lodge is another great option and features both rustic and contemporary rooms, depending on your taste. Rooms start from $269 a night.

Where to eat and drink

Palate restaurant at Saffire Freycinet is known as one of the most exclusive restaurants in Tasmania, so if you have the chance, pop in for a meal. The menu features fresh seafood caught locally and homegrown Tasmanian produce.

Things to do

The Wineglass Bay Lookout walk is an absolute must-do in Freycinet, in fact, it may be illegal* to visit the area and not complete this walk. You can only reach the bay via a three-hour return bushwalking or by boat, and you’ll want to set off as early as possible because this hike gets busy. 

There are so many incredible views to be seen in Freycinet (more than I can name), but if you can, try to catch a sunrise or sunset over Coles Bay with a view over The Hazards mountain ranges. 

Bay of Fires

Tasmania
Bay of Fires Bush Retreat, Image Credit: Melissa Findley

Where to stay

Some of the best free camping in all of Tasmania can be found in the Bay of Fires, but if glamping is more your thing (I feel you), Bay of Fires Bush Retreat is probably calling your name. You can choose from three different accommodation options: the Bell Tents, The Bunk House for bigger groups and The King Room.

What to do

Bay of Fires is considered one of the most beautiful beaches, globally. It stretches over 50 kilometres from Binalong Bay to Eddystone Point, so find yourself a secluded beach and soak up those views! 

This is only a taste of what’s on offer during a visit to Tassie. Did you know Satellite Island near Bruny Island and Picnic Island in the Freycinet Peninsula can be hired out, privately? Wild, I know. There’s a lot to see and experience, so hopefully this guide will help you get the most out of your time in the island state.

* OK, maybe it’s not illegal per se… 

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