At the beginning of this year, my partner told me that he was taking me on a surprise holiday. A little less than an hour and a lot of incessant nagging later, I got the surprise destination out of him.
When June arrived, we rented a sweet Mitsubishi ASX and drove around Tassie for 10 days, exploring the sights and siren calls of Dark Mofo and stopping off at a few too many wildlife parks.
Over the past few months since our return, I’ve noticed Tasmania become more of a holiday destination for young Aussies (sorry, Bali – a bit of diversity is never a bad thing) and I figured it might be handy to share how we spent our 10 days road-tripping around Tasmania.
Fountainside provided the goods. A central location and nice facilities. Did someone say “por qué no los dos?”
We walked down to Salamanca Market for breakfast early Saturday morning for some cute mini pancakes! If you’re into vintage clothing, good music, and cool vibes, Salamanca Market is the place to be.
Daci & Daci Bakers
Best. Bakery. Ever. And not bad coffee for Tasmania either (#perthcoffeesnob). For breakfast, I ordered Daci & Daci’s house-baked apricot and almond granola. Their almond croissants are also delightful.
Frank restaurant was booked out the entire duration of our trip to Hobart, which certainly says something about how incredible this restaurant is. Inspired by South American food, Frank focuses on sourcing the best produce Tasmania can provide. We showed up to the restaurant at about 6pm, and after a few cocktails at the bar (and quite a few free cocktails, might I add!) we were very happily seated by 8pm. I’m not sure if it was my blood-alcohol content speaking or just the fantastic flavours but our dinner at Frank was flawless.
Flippers Fish and Chips
Chippies! From a boat. Shaped as a fish. On the wharf. For this, I would definitely go back to Hobart.
If you’re after a quiet spot close to all the tourist activities, Grape Bar near Salamanca markets has a relaxed atmosphere and great pizza.
Dark Mofo Winter Feast
Dark Mofo is my kind of festival. When I have access to organic cider, warm Australian meals, and obscure art, my heart will always be full. This year’s winter feast was packed with dozens of food stalls, towers shooting out fire, gothic decor, and sizzling bonfires. Sponsored by Asahi, this rollercoaster of art and flavour is never ever to be missed on a winter trip to Hobart.
The Museum of Old and New Art is a must-see. Enjoy the scenery on the Mona Roma ferry as you make your way to perhaps the most mind-boggling experience of a lifetime.
Don’t skip the Void Bar at the base of the museum, as fancy as it seems! We ordered a Bijou (with Gin, sweet vermouth, Green Chartreuse, and orange bitters) and a Pegu Club (with Gin, orange curaçao, lime juice, Angostura and orange bitters). #lit
Tasmania isn’t a summer destination and Dark Mofo festival really plays on this. As noted previously, if you’re lucky enough to get to Hobart in June, you have to check out both Dark Park and the Winter Feast.
Port Arthur is a beautiful spot with some pretty dark history. The hour and a half drive is worth it for the historic buildings and eerie stories. Break up the day with a visit to Pirates Bay Drive Lookout, the Tessellated Pavement, Eaglehawk Neck, Tasman Arch, and Unzoo for the cute Australian animals! If you’re a bit of a biology geek and are driving back to Hobart at night, don’t forget to stop at the shore of Eaglehawk Neck Bay for the bioluminescence.
I don’t think we were mentally prepared for this drive. The road to the peak of Mount Wellington is one-way, getting narrower as you reach the top, with cars driving in both directions. Although the near-death and high altitude adrenalin when you reach the top is pretty spectacular, never mind the view.
On our last night in Hobart, we had no time or energy to travel hours to hunt for Aurora Australis. We were, however, lucky enough to see a glimmer on Seven Mile Beach. Another one off the bucket list ✓
Edge of the Bay Resort
In my opinion, Edge of the Bay is the only place to stay when in Freycinet. Quite literally on the edge of the bay, you’ll get to experience stunning sunsets, close encounters with wildlife, and Scandinavian inspired eco-friendly accommodation. The suites are stunning and they definitely flaunt eco-tourism at its finest.
There aren’t many places to catch a bite in Freycinet so be prepared and bring your meals and drinks with you. However, if you get stuck, Richardson’s Bistro cooks up some great Tasmanian seafood. It was so divine to soak in the winter sun on the deck while sipping on a fresh glass of Willie Smith’s Organic Apple cider.
Freycinet National Park
Tourists visit Freycinet year-round for the scenery, wildlife, and nature hikes. Pull out your hiking boots and CamelBak because you could spend a whole week exploring this national park. After you stop off at the visitor centre for your park pass make sure you at least do the walk to Wineglass Bay. Sleepy Bay, Honeymoon Bay, and the Cape Tourville Lighthouse are some great spots to explore, too.
Mantra Charles Hotel
Launceston is a great city to explore while you make your way up the east coast of Tasmania. We splurged a little and booked a night in Mantra’s 1 Bedroom Spa Apartment. It was nothing less than a luxury.
The Prickly Cactus
I love Mexican food more than life itself, so booking a table at the Prickly Cactus was a no-brainer for me. Tourist-friendly staff and cheap fishbowl margaritas are always a win.
If you’re feeling like a bit of fresh air, Cataract Gorge is a beautiful spot for a short hike or a ride on the chairlift.
Trowunna Wildlife Park
On the way to Cradle Mountain, Trowunna is a privately owned wildlife sanctuary and a natural safe haven for Tasmanian flora and fauna. I love that most of the animals are free to roam and that all admissions go directly towards helping the wildlife. To be honest, I really didn’t want to part with the wombats.
Cradle Mountain Highlanders
When we booked our accommodation at Cradle Mountain Highlanders, little did I know that our hosts would already know me from when I was a tiny tot in Kalgoorlie! We stayed in the cozy and romantic Woodsmoke cabin. It really did feel as if we were the only two people in the Tasmanian wilderness at Cradle Mountain. Thank you, Brad and Lisa, for the amazing eco-stay!
Cradle Mountain Café
There are fewer places to get food in Cradle Mountain than there are in Freycinet, so plan ahead! However, if you’re craving a visitor center sausage roll and an overly priced flat white, there is no other place to go than the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre Café (literally).
Dove Lake Circuit
You better pull out those hiking boots again for this scenic walk. You really can’t visit Cradle Mountain without doing Dove Lake Circuit. The biodiversity is unreal and the view of the mountain is even more spectacular.
If fairies exist, they would definitely exist on the Enchanted Walk. The magical greenery of this shorter hike is simply breathtaking and the ultimate picture of how I imagined Tasmania to be.
Tasmania tourist questions? Leave a comment below!