Published on September 24th, 2011 | by Alicia Taggio1
A Love Affair with Tasmania
When most people come to Australia they chose to do the three R’s (The Road, The Rock and The Reef) and travel up the Gold Coast meeting lots of great people along the way and sailing the Whitsundays. Now I have nothing against doing these things (My Great Ocean Road Experience is one I will never forget) but I made a promise to myself that when I came out here to Australia, that I would do and see more than the popular tourist attractions.
Which brought me here, to the beautiful state of Tasmania.
I’m going to go ahead and say that Tassie is one of the most underrated places to travel to in Australia. Not many people make it out here (not even Aussies). But as a Canadian, I immediately connected with everything this beautiful place had to offer. Seriously, put aside all the weird things you’ve heard about Tassie people. I’m serious when I say I’d love to retire in the city of Hobart.
The southern tip of Australian territory, Tasmania is an island separated from the mainland by the Bass Strait. It is a place of wild and beautiful landscapes and friendly, relaxed people, with a temperate climate, rich history and slow pace of life. There is no hustle and bustle here, even in the cities. No traffic jams and no smog. Encircled by the Southern Ocean, Tasman Sea and Bass Strait, the air is clean, the water pure and the soil fertile.
The Top 5 Reasons to Love Tassie?
1.) THE LANDSCAPE
Very similar to Vancouver, when you fly into Hobart you see a stunning city surrounding with lush green mountains and sitting right on the water. More than one third of Tasmania is preserved in a network of national parks and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The city’s skyline is dominated by the majestic Mount Wellington, which towers over the city at 4,170 feet (1,271 m) high. I strongly recommend checking out the incredible panoramic views from atop the mountain. Whether you drive or bike to the top, the view will take your breathe away (literally) – so dress warm!
2) THE FOOD
The freshest seafood, the tastiest cheese, (I highly recommend hitting Bruny Island and trying the Otto wrapped in Proscuitto) and wine that will make your pallet very happy. There is also an amazing selection of fresh cheese. It was really cool to see how it was made when I visited a local cheese factory. This picture really says it best.
3) THE CASCADE BREWERY
The Oldest Brewery in Australia, this building has a lot of history. For merely $20 you get the most interesting beer tour, tasting, and true appreciation for the art and craft that goes into making this beer. If you love your brews, you’ll love spending an afternoon here. I recommend testing your knowledge at the end of the tour with the sample quiz. You get 6 samples of beer and if you guess the names of at least three of them correctly, you win a prize from their gift shop.
4) WINEGLASS BAY
In my opinion, this is the most beautiful place on the east coast of Tassie and it’s only about a 2.5hr drive from Hobart. As if the drive itself wasn’t amazing enough (minus the ridiculous road kill count) seeing the view from the top of the lookout makes the 40min leg burning climb up completely worth it. Note to self: bring water.
5) THE SALAMANCA MARKETS:
Every Saturday in the city of Hobart, local businesses set up shop selling everything from fresh food to beautiful pieces of art and is one of Hobart’s best loved markets and a tourist attraction in itself. Travellers can enjoy shopping here for everything from locally grown organic fruit and vegetables and freshly-cut flowers to fine Tasmanian arts and crafts and an array of bric-a-brac. The markets are situated along Salamanca Place, the cultural hub of Hobart, where the old sandstone Georgian warehouses house galleries, theatres, cafes, craft shops and restaurants. My favourite part was all the local musicians who played throughout the day. Tassie is also the only place where Huon Pine is grown, so you’ll find lots of cute cheese platters and rolling pins made from this attractive looking wood. I also found the best coffee I’ve ever had in my life at a cafe called Tricycle.
Hobart is small and compact, therefore it is easy to explore on foot or bicycle. There is an efficient local bus service, the Metro, for which day passes are available. Ferries also run daily between Franklin Wharf and tourist spots around the harbour.
Do yourself a favour and put Tasmania on your ‘Must-See’ places when you visit Australia. Getting here was ridiculously easy. I found a $19 flight with Jetstar from Melbourne to Hobart and it was only a one hour plane ride away.
For more information about Tasmania feel free to call a Flight Centre Travel Agent at 1-866-502-4605 for more information on booking your next Australian adventure.