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14 Top Day Trips From Hobart and Best Tours of 2023

BEST DAY TRIPS FROM HOBART

When you hear the word Tasmania, you likely picture the cartoon character of the Tasmanian Devil. While this is a real animal, it cannot represent the genuine beauty of this Australian Island State.

When planning your trip to Tasmania, it is highly recommended to make the state’s capital, Hobart your base of operations. The city sits against the beautiful backdrop of nearby Mount Wellington.

Hobart is central to many day trips that allow you to explore the area’s local beauty, history, food, and culture. There is something for everyone during the day, at night, with families, and even for trips without a car.

Some of the best parts of this coastal town can only be experienced without a car. Taking a stroll through historic battery point lets you discover some of the oldest sailor’s cottages from when Tasmania was settled.

There is also the historic waterfront where you can take a leisurely stroll while enjoying a refreshing cocktail or beer. Many restaurants where you can get off your feet and grab a quick bite to eat.

You may want to stretch your legs just a little more, past the city limits. There are plenty of places to discover on day tours from Hobart to fill the rest of your vacation with food, fun, and exploration.

14Port Arthur

Port Arthur, Tasmania

The historic village of Port Arthur is named after George Arthur, the lieutenant governor of what the British called Van Diemen’s Land, also called Tasmania today.

From its founding in 1833 until 1853 Port Arthur served as a penal settlement, housing the hardest of criminals. Most criminals housed in Port Arthur were repeating offenders, often committing offenses even after being sent to Australia.

Much of the local area has been converted into an open-air museum, allowing for the education of the penal colony and the treatment that the prisoners went through.

There are two simple ways to get from your home base of Hobart to Port Arthur. If you have a car, it is a peaceful one-hour and twenty minutes drive.

If you don’t have a car, there is a bus that for fifteen dollars and two hours of your time will get you there. It is advisable that you book your return ticket so you know when the bus back will be leaving.

Some of the best things to do/see in Port Arthur:

  • Port Arthur Historic Site – This is the best-preserved convict settlement in all of Australia. The site documents the harsh treatments many of the convicts there suffered. This is one of the most popular attractions in Port Arthur.
  • Remarkable Cave – A natural cave made from years of crashing waves. It is a beautiful cave to explore with a small beach that can only be reached during low tide.
  • The Isle of the Dead – Take a tour of Port Arthur’s cemetery where over 10,000 convicts, military and civil officers, and their families are buried. 

13Launceston

Launceston, Australia

Launceston is one of the oldest cities in all of Australia, having been settled by Europeans in 1806. It is a riverside town in northern Tasmania, lying right next to the junction where the North and South Esk rivers become the Tamar River.

The area is known for having the first use of anesthesia in the southern hemisphere and the first underground sewers in Australia. It is also home to many historic buildings and sites.

There are only two ways to get from Hobart to Launceston. The first and best is if you have your own car. It will take you a little over two hours to drive from Hobart to Launceston.

The other method is to take a bus, which will cost you forty-four dollars and take from two and a half to three hours. It is important to note, there are not many bus trips from Hobart to Launceston and back every day, so it’s important to plan ahead.

Some of the best things to do and see in Launceston are:

  • Cataract Gorge – Home to the Kingsbridge, this gorge was carved by the South Esk River and hosts walking trails on both sides, some being in use since the 1890s. Just south of the gorge is a small cafe and a clear swimming pool to cool off.
  • Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery – Learn about local history and browse through both Australian and International art. This is the largest regional museum, with two locations in Australia. 
  • Heritage Walks – Take in the restored colonial and Victorian buildings on a walking tour. Or learn about Launceston’s milling and mining past. This is one of the most relaxing Launceston day trips.

12Mount Wellington

Mount Wellington, Tasmania
Photo by Anh Dinh

Also called Kunanyi in the Palawa Kani language spoken by Aboriginal Tasmanians. Mount Wellington is the summit of the range located in the Wellington Park reserve.

It is perfect for a day trip spent hiking original trails or tracks, as they are called in Australia. Mount Wellington is a must-see day trip for any vacation to Hobart.

If you have your own car, a trip to Mount Wellington will only take you about thirty minutes. There are no buses for people who don’t have their own car, but there are several shuttle companies that offer trips to and from Mount Wellington daily.

If you enjoy riding a bike, you can spend two hours cycling up to the mountain. It is important to do your research before visiting Mount Wellington. Depending on the time of year and weather, some or all roads might be closed or dangerous to pass. 

Hikes to take on Mount Wellington (easiest to hardest):

  • Sphinx Rock
  • Silver Tells Loop
  • O’grady Falls Loop
  • The Springs
  • Organ Pipes
  • The Summit

11Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park, Tasmania

Freycinet National Park boasts a diverse coastal landscape with rocky coves and surging surfs, as well as sheltered bays and sandy beaches. The national park is open to the public year-round, but it is important to plan ahead depending on the weather.

The drive from Hobart to Freycinet National Park will take about two-and-a-half hours by car. There are no buses from Hobart to Freycinet, but if you don’t have a car, have no fear.

There are daily tours offered from Hobart, which allow you to enjoy the scenery on your way to and from your day of adventure.

The prices and schedules of these tours change, so it is important to reach out to the tour company or purchase your tickets in advance, before setting out for your day trip.

Some of the best things to do/see in Freycinet National Park are:

  • Wineglass Bay – This secluded bay with crystal clear waters and curvaceous sandy beaches can only be reached by a three-hour hike or boat. The hike is not strenuous, and the vistas that you can enjoy while soaking up the sun on the beach are more than worth it.
  • Cape Tourville Walk – Explore the area around this unmanned lighthouse that was constructed in 1971. While you can’t climb up into the lighthouse, the surrounding area offers breathtaking views.

10Mount Field National Park

Mount Field National Park, Tasmania
Photo by Ivan Herman

This national park is unique as you can explore everything from temperate rainforests to alpine moorlands, all within a small area.

The higher you climb Mount Field, the more changes to the scenery and views you will experience, making it feel like you’ve traveled much further than you really have. 

There is a bus that will take you from Hobart to Mount Field National Park, and it takes you about an hour and a half. The prices of the bus vary based on the season and weather, so it’s best to try to purchase your tickets in advance.

If you want to get there a little quicker and have your own vehicle, it will take you about one hour and a half in your personal car. 

Some of the best things to do/see in Mount Field National Park are:

  • Russell Falls – Take a peaceful walk down to this beautiful, natural waterfall that is surrounded by moss-covered trees that fill the area with a fresh earthy smell.
  • Tall Trees Walk- This is a thirty-minute hike among some of the tallest and oldest trees in Australia. It should be noted that only a few of the famous California redwoods are taller than the trees found here.

9Hastings Caves

Hastings Caves, Tasmania
Photo by Justin Martin

Get ready to explore what lies beneath the Tasmanian landscape with the Hastings caves. This cave complex and natural spring were formed nearly forty million years ago. They were discovered by miners in 1917 and have since been opened to the public.

It is only about an hour and a half drive from Hobart to Hastings Caves in a personal vehicle. If you are taking public transport, there are buses that will take you two hours to get there.

Some of the best things to do/see in the Hastings Caves are:

  • Newdegate Cave Tours – This is a forty-five-minute guided tour through the caves, covering their history and formation. The tours cost $24 dollars and have to be booked at the visitor center. 
  • Float in the Thermal Spring – For $5 you can enter the natural thermal spring where you can take a relaxing swim or enjoy some of the short walks around the area.
  • Have a BBQ – If you are looking for a unique experience, you can have a BBQ right next to the pool, you just need to bring your own food and tools. Imagine telling your friends about the craziest place you ever cooked out.

8Bothwell

Bothwell, Tasmania
Photo by Rexness

This small town is located right along the river Clyde in central Tasmania. It is also home to over fifty heritage sites. Bothwell is also home to one of the oldest golf courses in Australia, having been built in the 1850s. 

Getting to Bothwell from Hobart only takes about an hour if you have your own car. It will take a little longer if taking the bus up to an hour and a half. 

Some of the best things to do/see in Bothwell are:

  • Thorpe Water Mill – This watermill was built in the 1820s and used to power the nearby flour mill. It was restored in the 1970s and now resides near the Nant Distillery where you can sample some hand-crafted single malt whiskey while learning about the watermill.
  • Australian Golf Museum – Australians take their golf seriously and this museum is proof of that. It documents the history of golf across all of Australia after being brought over by Scottish settlers.
  • Castle Hotel – This is one of the oldest pubs in Australia, originally receiving its license in 1829. It’s the perfect place to stop in for a warm bite to eat or to sample a couple of beers. 

See also: Excellent One-Day Trips from Brisbane 

7Huonville

Huonville wineries, Huon Valley

Huon Valley region is famous for the apple orchards and villages that dot the valley. It was settled by British colonists in the 1820s who perfected the growing and harvesting of apple trees over the years.

Most trips to the valley will have you exploring Huonville, the largest village in the area.

A bus trip from Hobart to Huonville will cost you $9-12 and will take only fifty-five minutes to get there. If you have your own trip, you can save on the bus fare and get there in only thirty minutes. 

Some of the best things to do/see in Huonville are:

  • Willies Apple Shed – Discovers the traditions and modern methods of managing apple orchards across the region. You can also taste some organic cider while learning how they make it right there in front of you.
  • Wooden Boat Center – Take some time to see how modern shipwrights impart traditional knowledge to students learning shipbuilding from across the world.
  • Peppermint Bay Restaurant – This restaurant boasts fresh, local produce in many of its meals. Enjoy the beautiful backdrop of the area while you rest your feet and get a bite to eat. 

6Bruny Island

Bruny Island, Tasmania
Photo by Charlievdb

This island is separated from the rest of Tasmania by the D’Entrecasteaux channel, which is named after the explorer who discovered the area. If you are looking to really experience the Tasmania wilderness, Bruny Island is the place where you will get your fix.

Getting to Bruny Island isn’t as easy as other trips, but it’s definitely worth it. You can purchase a round-trip bus ticket for about $75 that will get you to the island in about two-and-a-half hours and cover the cost of the ferry.

If you’re driving on your own, you can get there in about an hour(40 minutes driving and 20 minutes by ferry), but you’ll have to purchase a ticket to cross on the ferry.

Prices and times for the ferry are subject to change, so it’s best to check the current rates and times when planning your trip. 

Some of the best things to do/see on Bruny Island are:

  • Walk by The Neck – This strip of land connects North and South Bruny and is wide enough to walk across. The neck offers amazing three-hundred and sixty-degree views of the surrounding area, land, and ocean that will take your breath away. This is one of the most unique places to visit during your day trip from Hobart.
  • Tour Cape Bruny Lighthouse – This lighthouse was built in 1808 and was operational until 1996. Now you can climb the steps to the top and enjoy the views enjoyed by the lighthouse operators for almost two hundred years.
  • Cloudy Bay – If you’re of the adventurous sort, you can get your surf on in this protected bay. It should be noted that this is for experienced surfers. If you aren’t comfortable getting on the board, you can cool off in the water or enjoy the secret ‘loo with a view’.

5New Norfolk

New Norfolk River, Tasmania
Photo by eGuide Travel

Derwent Valley hosts historic villages, rainforests, waterfalls, and more. The area was first settled in 1807 by five hundred and forty-four migrants from Norfolk Island. Much of the area is often referred to as New Norfolk.

New Norfolk town is only thirty-five minutes drive from Hobart by car. If you are taking public transport, the bus will take you there in one hour and will cost you $7-10.

Some of the best things to do/see in New Norfolk are:

  • Pulpit Rock – This point allows you to look out and enjoy the beautiful Derwent River
  • Derwent Valley SUP school – It is said that there is magic in the Derwent river, so you better be prepared. Here you can learn the best methods for safe paddling on the river, before getting out there yourself to enjoy.
  • New Norfolk Swimming Pool – Cool off after enjoying a walk or a bike ride on the track that leads to the award-winning Tynwald Park. 

4Maria Island

Maria Island Pier, Tasmania
Photo by Ron Knight

This mountainside island was originally settled by local aboriginal tribes. The area was later turned into a penal colony, with the first convicts arriving in 1825.

The penal colony was later converted into a probation station for the management of convicts in eastern Australia.

To get to Maria Island from Hobart you can book a shuttle bus or if you are driving yourself, there is a ferry that can take you to and from the island, and the trip from Hobart will take you about an hour and a half.

It’s important to check the ferry times and prices in advance as they are subject to change. 

Some of the best things to do/see on Maria Island are:

  • The Painted Cliffs – Check out the Sandstone cliffs that look like they are painted in oranges, yellows, and reds. It is best to visit the painted cliffs at low tide, which allows you to see them in their entirety.
  • Darlington Probation Station – This is the site of the first penal colony on Maria Island, which was later turned into a Probation Station. There are many buildings that survive and have been restored and tours that share the history of the penal colonies on the Island.
  • Haunted Bay – This bay gets its name from the sound the nearby penguins make when they roost. The bay features beautiful hikes and scenery, you might even sneak a peek at the penguins that try to avoid human contact. 

3Tasman Peninsula

tasman peninsula, tasmania
Photo by Prince Roy

This peninsula is currently dotted by smaller towns and villages. It was originally populated by local aboriginal tribes before being settled by Europeans. The area has traditionally been known for its timber and fishing industries.

Getting to the Tasman Peninsula by car will only take you about an hour and twenty minutes. A bus ride is advertised as costing about $20 and will take you two hours to get there.

Some of the best places to visit on the Tasman Peninsula are:

  • Pirates Bay Lookout – Check out the Eaglehawk neck lookout that looks across this sheltered bay. You can also hike around the area, and maybe even stumble across hidden treasure left behind by pirates that used the bay as a bolthole or hideaway.
  • Tasman Island Boat Cruise – Take a cruise past towering sea cliffs and past sea caves. You can even get close to the rock pillars at Cape Pillar and Cape Hauy.
  • The Blowhole – Enjoy a short ten-minute walk around this unique geological feature carved out by years and years of waves. On days with big surges, water will shoot out of the carved gap, like water being blown out of a whale’s blowhole. 

2Tahune Forest

Tahune Forest Airwalk, Tasmania
Photo by Atsushi Kase

This beautiful forest is located southwest of Hobart. It features some of the most beautiful trees and unique wildlife in Tasmania.

Getting to the Tahune forest from Hobart will take you about an hour and twenty minutes in a personal vehicle.

There are daily tours you can purchase from Hobart starting at $60 dollars that will get you there in just short of two hours and often include some of the activities you can experience there.

Some of the best things to do in Tahune Forest are:

  • Air Walk – Enjoy spectacular treetop views as you walk across the steel canopy 50 meters in the air.
  • Eagle Glide – Experience what it’s like to be a bird, gliding through the trees along with this zip line/ glider combo that lets you really feel the wind in your face.
  • Twin Rivers Adventure – Grab your kayak or raft and explore the many rivers in the Tahune Forest up close and personal. 

1Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, Tasmania

The name Bonorong comes from an Aboriginal word meaning “Native Companion.” This meaning is at the very heart of the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary.

The workers at Bonorong work hard to help visitors get up close and personal with the animals they are working to protect while telling the stories of those that have sadly gone extinct.

There are several ways to get to Bonorong from Hobart, the quickest being a twenty-five minutes drive if you have your own car.

You can also take a bus, but it will take over an hour because of several stops that the bus takes along the way. Finally, there are several tours that you can book from Hobart, many of them combining travel, entry, and even special experiences. 

Some of the best things to do/see in Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary are:

  • Daily tours – Your entry ticket ($32 for adults and $18 for kids) gives you access to a guided tour through the sanctuary. While you aren’t guaranteed to see every animal, sometimes they like to hide, every tour gets to see a Tasmanian devil eat a snack. 
  • Short Animal Encounters – For an extra fee ($25) this tour allows you to spend ten minutes playing with a wombat, possum, tawny frogmouth, or echidna.
  • Feeding Frenzy – While the cost is a little higher ($165 for adults and $90 for kids) getting to spend two-and-a-half hours hand feeding many animals right in their exhibit. 
  • Night Tour – Have you ever wondered what your favorite animals do at night? This two-and-a-half-hour tour lets you hand-feed the same animals as the feeding frenzy tour but at night. It also limits the size of the groups, giving you even more time to interact with the animals. The cost for the Night tour is the same as the Feeding Frenzy ($165 for adults, $90 for kids).

Best Things to Do in Hobart City

Hobart’s attractions offer plenty to do, no matter what you are looking for. If you prefer to stay inside the city, let’s look at some of the best things to do in Hobart.

Fun Things to Do in Hobart:

Free Things to Do in Hobart:

Things to Do with Kids in Hobart:

Things to Do at Night in Hobart:

  • Explore the night market and eats in Franklin Square
  • Watch the Aurora Australis lights
  • Catch a game of footy, Australian Football

Romantic Things to Do in Hobart:

It is clear to see that no matter what kind of adventure you are looking for, the city of Hobart has what you are looking for. The best part is that there are so many things to do.

One day you can explore the history, the next enjoying a beautiful beach and the third getting up close and personal with some native wildlife. Hobart, with all of its day trips, is definitely a top-tier vacation destination.



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