Time comes to a standstill in Tasmania.
You cannot help but to feel that way, as you are greeted by picturesque views of this captivating island that is 2120 km from the mainland of Australia. The radiating warmth of friendly and inviting locals is also one reason this beautiful island beckons many to come visit.
If you are looking for a respite with a good mix of wilderness and modern activities, look no further than Tasmania. The boundless forests and rustic farms commonplace on this island are ideal for nature-loving travellers who covet a reprieve from the hectic city life.
Tasmania will make your heart palpitate in sheer excitement and here’s why:
There is never enough sightseeing to be done
Anywhere in Tasmania is an Instagram-worthy moment because the views are just that gorgeous. If you really got to ask, some of the best picks are Mount Nelson and Truganini’s Lookout at Bruny Island. It is also beauty in its entirety at Mount Wellington. Along the way to your destinations, you will be tempted to make pit stops just to capture the magnificence of the passing views you see in a car.
Get in touch with the nature lover in you at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
You can get up close to many animals in Tasmania. You have probably heard of the famous Tasmanian Devil (think Looney Tunes) and yes, you can see one at Tasmania.
Unbeknownst to many, the Tasmanian Devil is unfortunately an endangered species and a rather timid animal too. Bonorong Sanctuary actually takes in this endangered animal, along with other injured and endangered animals, providing a safe enclosure for their rehabilitation. During the tour around the centre, we learned that many injured animals are taken in and being nursed back to health.
If kangaroos are the main draw to come visit this sanctuary, be sure to check with the centre about its availability. Sadly, we didn’t get to use the complimentary kangaroo feed given upon entry due to some technical issues with the kangaroo enclosure on our trip.
Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, 593 Briggs Rd, Brighton TAS 7030, Australia | Open 9am to 5pm daily | Adult ticket price: A$28
Visit The Apple Shed at Huon Valley, Tasmania
This is definitely a must on your travel itinerary. The Apple Shed houses both the Apple Museum and a cosy restaurant-bar. Even the locals love themselves a cold bottle of Willie’s Smith organic apple cider from time to time.
Fans of fruity ciders will also rejoice knowing that they have not just apple but pear ciders too. Best of all, their apple cider is made from organic apples, which is a mean feat to find elsewhere. Now if drinking can be made healthy, there’s simply no excuse not to give it a try.
Willie’s Smith Apple Shed, 2064 Huon Hwy, Grove, TAS 7109, Australia | Open 10am till 5pm on weekdays but till 9pm on Friday; Open 10am till 6pm on weekends
Cheap oysters at the beautiful Bruny Island
We are so used to seeing exorbitant price tags on oysters in Singapore, we couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw a dozen oysters at Get Shucked Oyster Bar going at only A$18.
At Hotel Bruny, we found fish and chips and seafood spaghetti, which was as fresh and tasty as they could possibly get. We were more than impressed when the server took down a chalkboard portrait stating the day’s special down just so we could see, as our table was a wee bit distant from it. Talk about impeccable customer service.
Hotel Bruny Bistro, 3959 Bruny Island Main Rd, Alonnah TAS 7150, Australia | Open 11am till late daily
Get Shucked Oyster Bar (and Farm), 1735 Bruny Island Main Rd, Great Bay TAS 7150, Australia | Open 9.30am till 5pm daily
It’s a haven for cheese-lovers at Wicked Cheese Company
Blue cheese may not be everyone’s cup of tea but even for a non-cheese lover like me, I was sold on the smoked cheddar at Wicked Cheese Factory. The smoked cheddar is made from Tasmanian cheese smoked with a mixture of beech and hardwood. The hints of smoke infused into the cheese does not overpowering the distinct flavor of cheese but instead strikes a balance between the cheesy and nutty flavors.
Wicked Cheese Company, 1238 Richmond Rd, Richmond TAS 7025, Australia | Open 10am till 4.30pm daily
Immerse into the local culture at Cygnet and Margate markets
The local markets at Tasmania are certainly worth a visit as you immerse yourself into the local culture. Expect truckloads of self-made handicrafts and the aroma of freshly baked pastries as you take a stroll in these markets.
When the Tasmanians say Margate Train Market, they literally mean a train in the market. Having pancakes for your breakfast in a café on a stationary train is also not unusual here.
Be sure to also head down to a quaint little town like Cygnet, known for the local, hand-crafted chocolates at an old bank building. Their market comes alive with locals and tourists alike, strolling by many pop-up tents selling a diverse range of local produce, pastries and even Asian food like Green Curry Laksa.
Margate Train Market, 1567 Channel Hwy, Margate TAS 7054, Australia | Opens every Sunday, 9am – 1pm
Cygnet Market, 14 Mary St, Cygnet TAS 7112, Australia | Opens every first and third Sunday of the month
Fantastic food wherever you go
Walk into any café or restaurant at Tasmania and you can easily find yourself decent food that won’t disappoint. Hardly would you be let down by the plate of chips you have ordered, as the locals are meticulous even in the way the food is plated and being served to you.
We were in foodie heaven at Beachfront 32 (try their twice-cooked five-spiced Scottsdale pork belly) and Ashmore on Bridge Street. Food simply tastes good in Tasmania.
Beachfront 32, 32 Osborne Esplanade, Kingston TAS 7050, Australia
Ashmore on Bridge Street, 34 Bridge St, Richmond TAS 7025, Australia | Open 8.30am till 4.30pm daily
Authentic farmhouse stay at Allens Rivulet
Travellers with an adventurous streak in them can also consider a short stay at a farmhouse, where you become more attuned to the nature lover in you. Chances to get up close with animals such as the horses, sheep and dogs are aplenty at a farmhouse. We ended our stay on a good note — the night before we left as we gathered around a bonfire (courtesy of Lesley, our unforgettably hospitable host) on a chilly winter’s night in Tasmania.
An isle famously known to be in the shape of a heart, Tasmania has this magical ability to leave you increasingly smitten with every passing day. If given a choice, we’d never want to leave this beautiful island.
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