Cradle Mountain. Port Arthur. Wineglass Bay.
Tasmania has a feast of world-renowned attractions.
But many of its other gems often don’t receive the accolades and attention they deserve. And we thought it was time to change that.
So, we’re taking a tour of Tassie to unearth a bunch of first-rate attractions and experiences that deserve a larger slice of the limelight.
There is a prized wine region on Hobart’s doorstep and yet somehow – somehow! – Coal River Valley is not a household name. Just a 20min drive or so from the CBD – and even closer from BIG4 Hobart – leads to this cool-climate district and its cluster of irresistible boutique cellar doors. And while you’re out ‘this way’, you can stop by the charm-filled town of Richmond, home to Australia's oldest-surviving bridge.
Stay at: BIG4 Hobart.
While Freycinet Peninsula is no attention-dodger, this paradisical island at its southern boundary is not so prominent. Fortunately, a lack of crowds is a large part of its appeal. Take an aqua taxi day trip to this car-free island and soak up a wealth of astounding scenery, including waterfalls and white sand beaches. Schouten Island is a dream destination for snorkelling and canoeing, too.
Stay at: BIG4 Iluka on Freycinet, Coles Bay.
Backdropped by the impressive sight of magnificent Mt Roland, this regional centre decided to inject even more colour into its surrounds. Subsequently, Sheffield is now adorned with roughly 200 vibrant murals. These colourful creations are a nod to the area’s fascinating past and catch the eyes with ease.
Two spectacular layouts – the Dunes and Lost Farm – are planted on the state’s mesmerising northeast coast and regularly rank among Australia’s best golf courses. We’re talking top-10 material, or better. Enjoy world-class setups complete with outlooks reminiscent of the UK. A bucket-list experience for golfers.
Sure, this star-studded area attracts attention – it makes up roughly 20% of the entire state, after all. What is less recognised is just how significant it all is. For context, most World Heritage sites possess just one or two of the 10 criteria for such a status. Yet the Tasmanian Wilderness meets a mammoth seven of the 10 criteria. And for visitors, opportunity for exploration is boundless. The area includes treasure-packed national parks like Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair, Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers, Mt Field, and Mole Creek Karst.
This natural wonder is hardly a spotlight dodger but its proximity to Launceston’s heart – and BIG4 Launceston – is often underappreciated. Cataract Gorge is mere kilometres from the CBD, yet visit and you’ll feel like you’re a world away. This towering attraction and its surrounds are home to walking paths, rolling lawns, and beautiful gardens alongside a swimming pool, chairlift rides, and more.
Stay at: BIG4 Launceston.
Cascade is an icon in beer circles, but did you know that this is Australia’s oldest continually operating brewery? Established in 1824, Cascade sure has a rich past, and enjoying a thirst-quenching brew or two within its heritage beer garden ranks as a thoroughly enjoyable history lesson. Someone has to do it.
Stay at: BIG4 Hobart.
This relaxing seaside town not only has a lively blowhole, but it is ridiculously easy to reach. The smallest of detours from the Tasman Highway leads to a car park, and from there the shortest of walks allows visitors to witness this wondrous water show up close. Amazing. Please note: Care is required here; families should be extra vigilant with their children.
Explore from: BIG4 Iluka on Freycinet.
While it doesn’t get the press of some other Tasmanian national parks – think Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair, Freycinet, and Mt Field – Narawntapu is every bit as enticing. Indulge in a wealth of diverse landscapes and scenery, including coastal heathlands and wetlands, along with prime viewing opportunities of engaging wildlife, particularly at dusk.
Where Coal River Valley might evade attention, this northern wine region effortlessly earns endless eyeballs and pleases plentiful palates along the way. What warrants equal attention is the Tamar Valley’s extensive network of cycling and mountain-biking trails. These paths gift a succession of dazzling views, including ample outlooks of ever-present River Tamar.
Beaconsfield captured worldwide attention in 2006 following a goldmine collapse and subsequent dramatic rescue of two miners. Yet that event forms just part of the town’s extensive mining history, all of which can be retraced at this action-packed heritage centre. There are plenty of interactive exhibits that are sure to captivate along with a dedicated section that details that rescue.
Explore from: BIG4 Kelso Sands.
Diversity delights day trippers. This is an island that rightly deserves fame among Australia’s best. The stunning Painted Cliffs, a World Heritage convict relic, sparkling beaches, wildlife, mountains, bike trails, and more make this an unforgettable destination. It’s reached via a 30min ferry ride from Triabunna on Tasmania’s glittering east coast.
Explore from: BIG4 Hobart.
The neighbouring estates form part of the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property, a collection of 11 important historical places – including Port Arthur. These two structures are recognised as Australia’s most significant rural estates and a tour of their grounds reveals all manner of engrossing past tales. This history easily comes to life via the estates’ wonderful preservation and untouched rural surrounds.
Explore from: BIG4 Launceston.