From Hobart to Port Arthur – Best Places to See in Tasmania
Tasmania, the Island of Inspiration, is the perfect destination for anyone, be it adventurers going on an active holiday, digital nomads looking for something new, or even travelers wanting to relax in nature, far away from home. With dramatic sea sides, vivid wildlife and breathtaking sceneries, it is no wonder that much of the land (over 40%) is a protected area, with no less than 19 national parks overall.
For a long time, Tasmania had only two cities: the capital Hobart and the historic Launceston in the north of the island. While today, the count has risen to six, these two are still the largest settlements in Tasmania that see a good number of tourists each year, especially Hobart, as it is the epicenter of so many must-see places – including the nearby historic site of Port Arthur. So, here are some of the things from Hobart to Port Arthur you should not miss out on.
The streets of Hobart
The second oldest capital in Australia, Hobart is a truly historic city with a dark past that will slowly reveal itself the longer you stay here. From 19th-century warehouses to the oldest brewery still operating in Australia, history is everywhere you look. The serene little harbor with the peaks of Mt Wellington in the background, the Salamanca Market held every Saturday, Battery Point and the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) are what gives this place a unique atmosphere, so immerse yourself in the local culture during your stay. As mentioned, Hobart is conveniently located near a lot of things worth seeing, so it’s a great place for digital nomads too with several co-working spaces around the city and good Wi-Fi, which is just a plus.
See the Tasmanian devil
Get up-close with the native animals of this island by visiting the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo by the highway on the way to Port Arthur. This “unzoo” prides itself in providing unique, first-hand wildlife experiences where you can see the animals as if they were in their natural habitat, and you can even take it to the next level by participating in a “Devil Tracker Tour”. Besides cute and unusual animals, you can also see the native flora in this park, and there is even an art gallery section where you can see permanent as well as temporary exhibitions connected to the wildlife of Tasmania. Afterwards, don’t forget to try some of the best chocolate you will ever taste at the nearby Federation Artisan Chocolate place.
Three Capes track
As mentioned in the beginning, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to National Parks and hiking tracks in Tasmania. One of the best options located just by Port Arthur is the Tasman National Park, with its rugged shores and magnificent cliffs. A 3-day adventure 3 capes track is a hike of a lifetime: from Cape Raoul through Waterfall Bay all the way to the cliffs of Cape Hauy, the sceneries will take your breath away. This is one of the newer tracks in the region but ever since its opening in 2015, it has been extremely popular – it attracted twice as many hikers in just one month than it did before in a year. So, when you are in Tasmania, you should not miss the chance of looking over Bruny Island and Tasman Island from the heights of the coast.
The Port Arthur Historic Site
Your Tasmanian trip needs to include learning about the darkest secrets of the island. This well-preserved historic site once used to be a prison for the worst criminals transported to Australia, and you can learn all about them by taking a guided tour, seeing a live play or even exploring the haunted chambers at night on one of the available ghost tours. The now serene scenery is a harsh contrast to what this place used to be in the past, and it will certainly pique your interest even if you’re not particularly a history buff. Afterwards, you can grab a bite at the nearby lavender farm that boasts a delicious and unique cafe with lavender-inspired drinks and dishes.
Exploring the nature
Another great day-trip when you just want to take it easy and marvel at some beautiful sights is an excursion to the northern part of the Tasman National Park. A little south from the Eaglehawk neck, you can check out Doo-lishus, a great place to grab some seafood, then walk from the Tasman Blowhole and the Fossil Bay lookout (which gives you an amazing view regardless of the weather) to the Tasman Arch and the Devils Kitchen, which are interesting rock formations you can explore and take some pretty spectacular photos with.
Both Hobart and Port Arthur have a lot to offer, from beautiful vistas through delicious meals all the way to a trip back in time. Try staying here for a few weeks and explore some of the places you found interesting on this list, and you will find that you love it!