Tasmania is an island - and a world - apart from mainland Australia. It's a place of wild landscapes, friendly people, a relaxed island lifestyle, wonderful wine and food and adventure aplenty.
There is so much to see and do, so much to learn. Hobart is the place to start with the enthralling Antarctic Adventure, which has over 50 interactive exhibits, the view from Mt Wellington and a day tour to Port Arthur. Stroll around Salamanca Place with its grand Georgian architecture and a wonderful market every Saturday morning.
Older children who like plenty of action can overdose on adventure here. They can go rafting on the Picton or Franklin Rivers, fly on a cable hang-glider at Trevallyn, go sea kayaking, hiking around Cradle Mountain, or learn to abseil at Freycinet National Park.
Take your car over on the Spirit of Tasmania and drive through the beautiful scenery around Devonport, explore the wonders of Launceston and the charming village of Ross.
How do I get there?
Tasmania is just over an hour's flight from Melbourne. Qantaslink, Virgin, Jetstar and Regional Express operate frequent services to Tasmania, with direct flights: from Sydney and Melbourne to Launceston and Hobart; from Brisbane to Hobart; Adelaide to Hobart and; from Melbourne to Devonport, Burnie and King Island.
You can also get to Tasmania via sea. Spirit of Tasmania I, II and III cruise across the Bass Strait between Melbourne and Devonport seven days a week, carrying both passengers and their cars. There is also a service from Sydney to Devonport that runs up to three times per week.
When to go, Weather
Tasmania has a temperate, maritime climate with four distinctly different seasons. Temperatures tend to be a little lower on the west coast and in the central highlands. The average maximum temperature in Summer is around 21°C, while in Winter the average maximum is 12°C. Spring and Autumn are very pleasant, with average temperatures in the mid-teens. Rainfall varies dramatically from east to west - Hobart, with an annual rainfall of 626mm is the nation's second driest capital city after Adelaide. On the west coast, an average fall of 2400mm ensures that the rainforest thrives.
||12 - 21°C|
||9 - 17°C|
||5 – 13°C|
||8 – 18°C|
Where to stay
Tasmania's accommodation is as varied as its scenery, with a ride range of styles from five-star luxury to backpacker pubs and camping grounds. Families might like to consider the convenient, affordable option of a self-contained unit, or those looking for a taste of life in the country can opt for a farm stay. Kids and parents can experience feeding and caring for farm animals, milking cows, mustering stock and tending crops. There are hundreds of attractive and comfortable town and country B&Bs - some in stately Victorian heritage homes. Coastal and alpine lodges make an excellent base for visiting Tasmania's national parks and World Heritage Area.
Food and Drink
Tasmania's rich soils and mild climate have helped it become one of Australia's best known regions for excellent food and wine. In particular, Tasmania produces world-class ales, beers, and wines, wonderful seafood including rock lobster, oyster and Atlantic Salmon and the highest quality beef and dairy products from King Island.
Hobart and Launceston have a good mix of national department stores and major chain stores, speciality stores, arts and crafts galleries, souvenir shops and quirky gift stores. When in Hobart, you must spend a Saturday shopping for local produce, pre-loved goods, arts and crafts at Salamanca Markets.
Antique shops in country towns harbour treasures like colonial relics and furniture crafted from the rare and fragrant Huon Pine.
Major airports in Tasmania are located in Hobart, Devonport and Launceston. Hobart International Airport is located 17km out of the city. Facilities at the airport include a café and bar and car hire from Hertz, Avis, Europcar, Budget and Thrifty.
Transfers from Airport
The Airporter Shuttle Bus services are the most convenient way to get from the airport to your hotel if you're not picking up a hire car.
The Airporter Bus meets all passenger services landing at Hobart Airport and drops off at hotels, motels, B&Bs and hostels in the CBD, Sandy Bay, Battery Point, North Hobart and New Town. The bus can also deliver passengers to the airport. Ring 0419 382 240 or 0419 383 462 to make a reservation. The fare is $9.20 per adult one way and $16 return (children and pension card holders $4.60 each way).
The Airport Shuttle to Launceston Airport meets all passenger flights seven days a week. If you wish to catch the shuttle bus to the airport, ring 0500 512009 to arrange a pick-up point. The fare is $10 per adult.
Getting around for families
Hiring a car or bringing your own is the best way to make the most of a trip to Tasmania if you want to visit regional areas. As Tasmania is relatively small, road distances are short and you can easily visit several towns and attractions in a single day.
All major national coach companies run tours around Tasmania with itineraries varying from 7 to 15 days. Tasmania's own Redline Coaches operate regularly between major centres. TassieLink has regular services to wilderness and World Heritage regions. Half-day and full-day coach tours operate from Tasmanian cities to various local sights and attractions.
Tasmania's smaller islands can be reached by ferry or plane. Vehicle ferries operate between Kettering and Burny Island and across the Pieman River at Triabunna. Passenger ferries cruise between several other islands. There are internal flights Hobart-Burnie, Burnie/Devonport-King Island and Launceston-Flinders Island.
What to wear
Pack casual, comfortable clothing. Tasmania's maritime climate means unexpected changes of weather - so it is advisable bring a lightweight 'spray' jacket and a warm jumper. If you're planning on walking in the mountains it's vital that you bring warm clothing that you can layer on as needed.
Click here for Things To Do & See in Tasmania.