Things to Do in Tasmania - page 4
While it might look wide and inviting for boats, the Tamar River is a treacherous channel that’s rife with rocks, patches of reef, and shifting sandbars that will swallow vessels that don’t know exactly where they’re going. Luckily for mariners on Tasmania’s north coast, a pilot station at Low Head still operates and helps assist boats headed up the Tamar River toward Launceston. Established here in 1805, the Low Head Pilot Station is Australia’s oldest continuously inhabited pilot station, and the museum is set in “Pilot’s Row”— a string of buildings that were built by convicts in the middle of the 19th century. When visiting Low Head Pilot Station today, you can learn about everything from signaling and lights to the tools used in navigation, as well as look at some early maps that were drawn when much of modern Tasmania had yet to be explored.
The craggy mountain of Ben Lomond looms over the national park that takes its name. A haven for winter-time skiers and clement-weather hikers, Ben Lomond National Park’s treeless plateau stretches for around 14 km (8.5 miles) and soars over 1,300 meters (4,265 feet).
Wildflowers and rare grasses carpet the plateau in spring but it’s the winter-time ski season that gets Tasmanians and visitors excited about Ben Lomond. Tasmania’s only downhill skiing area, Ben Lomond has ski lifts, ski hire, ski lodge and licensed restaurant.
Year-round, keep your eyes alert for Tasmanian wildlife in the park, including Bennett’s wallabies, wombats, Forester kangaroos, quolls, potoroos and possums.
Beer lovers and history buffs alike will find what they’re looking for inside Launceston’s historic Tamar Hotel, dating back to 1826 and today housing the James Boag Brewery Experience.
The museum highlights the Tasmanian brewing company’s history since its founding in 1883 by James Boag and his son. You’ll learn the fascinating story of the Boag family, but the real highlight is the brewery tour.
The brewery tour is 1.5 hours of pure unadulterated beer appreciation – explore the brewing process in detail then taste the award-winning beers, with local Tasmanian cheeses to soak up the amber nectar.
As a general guide, Boag’s beers are noted for their quality and style, and include a European-style pilsner, traditional draught lager and traditional English pale ale.
Entry to the museum is free, though the tour is not, and Boag's also features a café, gift shop and beer garden where visitors can relax and sample some beer.
One of Tasmania’s highlights is its historic Georgian-era towns, and Evandale is no exception.
With its Main Street lined with National Trust-listed buildings, the immaculately preserved little town offers a glimpse into centuries gone by. The best way to explore Evandale is to take a stroll past heritage buildings like St Andrews Church, Blenheim, the Royal Oak and the saddler’s shop.
Evandale comes to life on Sundays for the weekly market, featuring local produce and crafts.
The annual Penny Farthing Championship turns back the clock each February and brings more camera-toting visitors than usual to the little town. Participants dress for the occasion in late-Victorian dress, and Evandale’s Main Street becomes the route for penny farthing races.
There are some historic grand homesteads in the countryside surrounding Evandale, revealing glimpses into colonial days. Visit 19th-century Clarendon Homestead to admire neoclassical Georgian architecture and stroll through manicured formal parklands.
Pubs, bakeries and cafes are another Evandale attraction, the ideal pit stop for local produce, coffee, Tasmanian wines and gourmet cakes. You’ll also find antiques stores and local crafts shops.
Launceston’s City Park is a historic patch of green in the town’s heart. The landscaped parklands were developed by Launceston’s horticultural society in the 1820s.
Today, the gardens are a tranquil oasis of European and native trees, with a duck pond, monuments, playgrounds and the High Victorian building known as Albert Hall.
Visit the Senses Garden to smell the different perfumes of herbs and flowers, or the moated monkey enclosure to see the garden’s macaques.
Every year in February the park hosts Festivale, Tasmania’s leading food and wine festival. During summer the park also hosts free music performances by local pipe bands and community youth orchestras.
Colonial to 21st-century art, Australian craft and design, natural history, science, convict memorabilia – Launceston’s Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery (QVMAG) is a cornucopia of Tasmanian history and design.
The museum’s Aboriginal collection features traditional shell necklaces and community history. Other permanent exhibitions include installations tracing Tasmanian lives, science and technology, transport, sport and the art of the blacksmith.
An important research and resource center, the museum also has a rich collection of photography, oral histories, cuttings and files.
The popular Launceston Planetarium explores the origins of life, Pluto and the current night sky with digital shows, technical wizardry and the high-powered star projector.
The National Automobile Museum of Tasmania has one of the country’s best collections of classic and historic cars and motorbikes, spanning more than a century of automobile design. Vintage cars are the star attraction here, though the super cars also impress. The 1969 Fiat Spider is a highlight for many visitors.
With a mission statement to sustain, inspire and create, the Design Centre of Tasmania puts the focus on good design and sustainability.
The center was established to stimulate the creation of high-quality Tasmanian craft and design. Today, only Tasmanian-created items are exhibited and sold, and the work of emerging craftspeople and designers is highlighted. Around 16 exhibitions are hosted annually.
The Design Centre is also home to the Wood Design Collection, Australia’s first collection of contemporary wood designs.
The retail gallery is another highlight, selling top-quality designs in glass, wood, ceramics and textiles. Take-home gifts include locally designed and crafted jewelry, furniture, homewares and furnishings.
Hobart is set on the River Derwentr estuary, which sets it apart as one of the world’s great sailing cities and harbors.
Take a cruise by jet boat or ferry on the Derwent, or cross the water by water-taxi. Cruises go upriver to Moorilla Winery or the Cadbury Factory, or out to Iron Pot Lighthouse near Bruny Island.
The harbor is indented with sandy bays and beaches and crossed by several bridges. From the water you can see Mount Wellington, the docks, botanical gardens and suburbs.
Sea kayaking is another way of experiencing the Derwent, leaving from the Hobart docks and paddling around the city.
Tasmania’s apple orchard, the Huon Valley is a lush and pretty region on Hobart’s doorstep.
Centering on the little riverside town of Huonville, on the Huon River, it’s a region of hillside orchards and villages. The large orchard industry now embraces berries, vineyards and stone fruit, and the towns offer tearooms and antique shops.
Book a jet-boat ride on the river, sample hundreds of varieties of apples, drop into a cellar door for some wine tasting, go fishing or relax at a country-style cafe.
The Huon Valley also makes a great base for exploring Tasmania’s wild national parks and going for a stroll on the Tahune Forest AirWalk.
More Things to Do in Tasmania
Extending between Richmond and Port Arthur, the Convict Trail traces the history of Australia— which was initially founded as a convict settlement—back to its origin. Learn about how convicts developed the country’s infrastructure as you pass some of the tallest and most-scenic sea cliffs on the planet.
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