Tasmania should be on top of the bucket list of every nature lover traveling to Australia for its unique nature, wildlife and gorgeous national parks. The island is quite compact size and relatively easy to explore, so even in a short time you can see quite many places.
How to get to Tasmania
There are two options for accessing the island: a ferry from Port of Melbourne or taking a flight.
Spirit of Tasmania is the only company operating the ferry route from Melbourne to Devonport. For traveling around the island you definitely need a car, so if you do have one then taking the car and going with the ferry is the best option.
Ferry prices vary a lot so it is better if you do have flexible travel dates. Price for the vehicle is 87$ but the price per passenger varies depending on how full the ferry is. Good trick is to check the booking site multiple times a day because there prices may go up and down depending on how much people are canceling their bookings. The ferry takes 9 hours from Melbourne to Devonport and there is not much to do, so bring some food and a book or good company.
NOTE: Tasmania has quarantine regulations so you cannot take any fruits with you. Read more information from here.
If you don’t have a car then taking a flight is cheaper and faster option than the ferry. JetStar is probably the cheapest company flying from Mainland to Tasmania. My plane ticket during the high season costed 60$ from Melbourne to Launceston. Flight time from Melbourne is around 1,5 hours.
When we were going to Tasmania on January (high season) the ferry prices were really high, so we did an arrangement that my partner went with the ferry with the car and I took a flight from Melbourne to Launceston (1,5 hours from Devonport). On that time the passenger price to the ferry was around 200$ and the plane ticket was 60$, so even with the petrol costs we saved quite a lot of money.
If you don’t have a car I would strongly recommend renting one when you get to Tasmania. Traveling with a car makes exploring the island so much easier and more flexible. If you are a sporty person then you can also choose a bicycle as your form of transportation. A lot of people do cycling around Tasmania which is also more environmentally friendly option than a car.
NOTE: Avoid driving during the dark cause there is even more nocturnal animals than in the mainland that are active during night-time. Especially pademelons are everywhere and hopping on the roads.
Here are my 5 favorite places we visited in Tasmania!
1. Cradle Mountain
This iconic landmark of Tasmania is truly spectacular so it is no wonder that it is one of the main tourist destinations of the island. We took the hike to Marion’s Lookout and the views were really amazing! You can do a hike all the way to the mountain but sadly we didn’t have time to do that. Also the track around Dove Lake is quite popular. If you are into hiking you can take the famous Overland Track which is a six days hike. Make sure you stop by at Ronny Creek to say hello to the cute wombats that who are strolling around the area.
For entering the national parks in Tasmania you will need to buy a National Park Pass. If you are planning to visit more than one national park then the most reasonable option is to buy a Holiday Pass, which is 60$ per vehicle and is valid for 8 weeks. You can buy the pass from Visitor Centre.
2. Bay of Fires
Bay of fires is one of the most beautiful beaches I have been in Australia. Sand is super white, ocean perfect turquoise blue and the scenery is completed with red boulder rocks. As a bonus there are free campsites located right next to the beach!
3. Freycinet National Park
Home of the famous Wineglass Bay this national park is really popular among tourists, so go early if you want to avoid the crowds. We took a hike first to the lookout and then down to the beach. There is a lot of tracks to choose from and also campsites if you want to have more time to explore the area. There is free cold (really cold) shower at Ranger Creek if you feel like needing one after hiking in the national park.
This small quiet village in the north west part of the island has a wonderful beach with good uncrowded surf. Camping is allowed (for free) almost right next to the beach with the views to the Ocean, so if you are into surfing and beaches then this is definitely a place to go. The sunset in here is also pretty amazing!
5. Liffey Falls
A beautiful waterfall located about 25 kilometers south from Deloraine. There is a nice short track to the falls from the upper car park but if you want to take longer walk there is another track to the falls from the lower car park. This one is about 2 hours hike. There is also a campsite in the lower car park which looked nice but we didn’t stay there.
BONUS TIP: Spot a Platypus!
Deloraine is located about 50 km’s south from Devonport and probably one of the best places in Australia to see platypuses in the wild. What I have learned about platypuses is that they are shy, nocturnal and you only can see them during dusk and dawn by being completely silent. But these rules don’t seem to apply to the platypuses living in Deloraine river.
There is a caravan park located next to the river where we stayed for 11 days and saw platypuses almost every day. These platypuses are not nocturnal. They swim in the river all day long so you have plenty of time to spot them and take pictures. They are also used to the sounds and people so they are definitely not shy either. Caretaker of the caravan park told us that there is a family of eight platypuses living in the river.
Sadly we didn’t have time to go to Hobart or the southern part of the island. Also we could not go to some places we wanted to go because of bush fires. There is a lot of bush fires in Tasmania during summertime, so check from Tasmania Fire Services that there is no road closures in the places you are planning to go.
If you have some good travel tips for Tassie please share in the comment box below. 🙂