Tasmania, Australia: Many people know the name but most can’t pinpoint it on the map. It’s the southernmost state of Australia and is a mixture of rolling plains and the most beautiful beaches in the world. While it may seem like a small island, it can take days just to catch a glimpse of all Tasmania has to offer. Here are the Top 5 places to visit on the eastern coast from Launceston to Hobart.
1. Bay of Fires
Located on the north-eastern coast of Tasmania is the Bay of Fires, voted the second most beautiful beaches in the world for its crystal clear water, soft sand, and red granite rock views. Regardless of the weather, anyone can appreciate the ocean views and how unpopulated it is. When we visited, our tour bus of 16 was the only people on the beach for miles.
2. Wineglass Bay
Also considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Wineglass Bay sits inside Freycinet National Park, about halfway between Launceston and Hobart. With a mild hour hike, you reach the lookout and just another 45 minutes can get you down to the white sands and calm waters. After heading here, don’t forget to tour the rest of the park, visiting places like Honeymoon Bay and Cape Tourville.
3. Bonorong Conservation Park
While there are plenty of conservation parks around the mainland; Bonorong is a necessary stop for anyone visiting Tasmania. All of the animals in the park have been rescued from the area and if possible, taken back when rehabilitated. Here you can see wombats, Tasmanian devils, koalas, kangaroos and other native animals. My favorite part: getting to hand feed the kangaroos that hold your hand when feeding. It is definitely a once-in-a-life-time experience.
4. MONA (Museum of Old and New Art)
Just a little warning, the MONA, while considered a top museum world-wide, is very controversial, The owner, a billionaire, who made his money through gambling around the world, chooses all the artwork in the museum hoping to surprise and make viewers think in new ways. While you are here you will see things no other museum can put up such as a poop machine, remade asylums and much more. To help with the overwhelming feeling, the MONA also has its own winery and microbrewery.
5. Port Arthur
Set right on a small bay, Port Arthur is an expansive 100-acre historical mark. The second oldest prison in Australia, Tasmania has done a great job of preserving the 200-year-old prison, hospital and homes in the area. I would definitely recommend taking the two guided tours, one a walking tour and the second a boat tour that give tourists just the right combination of story-telling and history.
As a disclaimer, this list could be a lot longer because Tasmania has some amazing small towns like Ross and Richmond, mountains to climb like Mt. Wellington that overlooks Hobart or one of the best penguin walks in the southern hemisphere, the Bicheno Penguin Walk that shows you the smallest penguin in the world, the blue penguin. Also, Tasmania has the oldest Australian brewery and the world’s best whiskey that everyone should try and tour!