Tasmania is an island located at the south of Australia. This place is famous for its wildlife, beautiful landscapes, and great quality food. Not only that, its the only place in the world where you can actually spot Tasmanian Devils. All of these reasons drove my attention towards this magical island, which is why I decided to visit it before I left Australia.
I flew from Sydney to Hobart, the capital of Tasmania. When I arrived, I was surprised by the weather. Everyone warned me that Tasmania was very cold. Instead, when I got there it was boiling hot. I was sweating all the time. But don’t be fooled by this, Tasmania apparently has warm days and very cold evenings, so be prepared to bring extra layers for your sleep.
Hobart is a beautiful city. The design of many of its houses, buildings and plazas has a notorious European influence. Its a cozy city with pubs, parks, culture and nice landscapes. I spent three days in Hobart and I would say its worth visiting this city.
The main activities that I recommend in Hobart are the following:
• Mount Wellington. No entrance fee. Its the biggest mountain in Hobart with beautiful views of the city. You can reach the top either by car, cycling or hiking. I hiked with a group of friends from the hostel to the top and its worth it. The free shuttle of the Pickled Frog Hostel dropped us at Fern Tree Car Park and we started hiking from there. Reaching the top took us 1-1:30 hours. We took the Fern Glade Track until Radfords Monument. From there we turned left through Radfords Track until we got to Pinnacle Track. We followed Pinnacle Track until we reached the top.
• MONA. Admission fee AUD 28.50. I am not a museum type of guy but this one is very special. The Museum of New Arts in Hobart is one of the coolest museums that I have visited. It has received several awards and positive international reviews due to its particular collections. The exhibitions are very entertaining, specially when you go with more people. There are many “weird” concepts of art that will blow your mind. Enjoy it.
• Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. Admission fee 28. This place is a wildlife sanctuary designed for the purpose of rehabilitating wounded animals and protect endangered species. You can see the Tasmanian devils, wombats, albino possums, kangaroos, echidnas and koalas while you visit this place. I took the free shuttle from the Pickled Frog and spent the morning at the sanctuary. Bonorong offers free tours at 11:00 am, which are very educational.
• Salamanca Market. No entrance fee. Its the atmosphere that makes this place special. The whole Salamanca area is beautiful. Narrow streets, quiet plazas, art exhibitions, restaurants and pubs create the vibe in this place. The market is open on Saturdays but you can still visit the place at anytime during the week.
After I left Hobart, I hitchhiked towards Freycinet National Park. I got three lifts in total until I reached the place. My first ride was Pattrick, an Australian cool guy that I met at Mount Wellington and was driving around Tasmania. He did not have much space at the front of his car so I jumped at the back of the wagon and traveled next to his luggage.
My second ride was an Aussie truck driver, very friendly but I struggled to understand him since he had a really strong accent. My last ride was a guy named Chris who had recently moved from Sydney to Tasmania. He was very laid back and seemed to be enjoying his new life in Tasmania. Chris worked around the area so he took me straight inside the park without having to pay for any fees.
When I got dropped at the park, I started climbing the famous Mount Amos. This hike is not easy. Its very steep and requires you to have both hands free in order to make it to the top. Nonetheless, its worth it. Once you get to the top, the view to Wineglass Bay is breathtaking, probably one of the most amazing views that I have seen.
At the top of Mount Amos I met two really cool Scottish girls named Cazz and Amy. They were traveling around Tasmania by car and invited me to tag along with them; of course, I said ‘yes’. We drove around a big part of Tasmania, visiting the places that we wanted to see during the day and camping during the evenings.
During our roadtrip, we visited the following places:
• Freycinet National Park. I did not pay admission fee. This is where Mount Amos and Wineglass Bay are located. I recommend hiking Amos if you are physically fit and later drive around the park to swim in the beautiful beaches.
• Bay of Fires. No admission fee. Located at the north of the east coast, this place has stunning white sand beaches with crystal clear water. Besides this, the rocks located at the shore are orange and red making the whole scenario even more impressive. The rocks have lychen, which is why they have such colors. We took our lunch and had a “picnic” at the beach. After our meal, we had a long nap under the sun and, obviously, got roasted. Remember to wear sun cream, its Australia.
• Craddle Mountain National Park. Entrance fee AUD 16.50. Craddle Mountain is one of the most famous national parks in Tasmania. There are many half day and full day hikes that you can do. Once you get to the Information Centre, you have to catch a bus (included in the entrance fee) that leads you to the start of the different tracks. We did the Dove Lake Walk and Marions Lookout. We wanted to do the Craddle Mountain Summit but we got very late and didn’t have enough time. Make sure that you get to the National Park early in the morning if you want to do the full day hikes.
• Bruny Island. Ferry to Island AUD 33 per vehicle. This island is located south of Tasmania. If you drive south of Hobart you can catch the ferry which takes only 20 minutes to get to Bruny Island. We split the ferry costs so each one had to pay AUD 11. The island is big which is why I recommend going there on a vehicle. You can go around Bruny Island in 1-2 days. We went to the Neck lookout and the Lighthouse, beautiful spots to have panoramic views of the island. Besides this, we went to the Berry Farm for some hot drinks and dessert. If you are lucky, there is a chance for you to spot white walabees and pinguins.
Some tips that I recommend if you are going to Tasmania for a short period:
• I recommend staying at The Pickled Frog in Hobart. Its not the cheapest option but the hostel is worth it. The staff is very friendly, the facilities are in good conditions and they offer free shuttles to Mt. Wellington, MONA and Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. Besides this, you can rent tents and camping gear from them.
• Hitchhiking is easy. The distances are not long and the people are willing to give you a lift. I did not have to wait much when I did it.
• If you are camping, I recommend an app called Wikicamps. We used it to know which camping grounds were free, had toilets, showers, BBQ, tent friendly, etc.
• Additionally, if you are camping, make sure that you have a good tent and layers. The evenings can be very cold.
• There is a Woolworths supermarket in almost every town so I recommend cooking to help you with your budget. There are a few Coles but no Aldi Supermarkets.
• Drive carefully, there are many animals on the way.
• Respect the nature and the national parks, Tasmania is still a very ‘untouched’ place compared to the rest of Australia.
• Enjoy the stars every evening!
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