Snapshots Of Tasmania

23 September 2014

Tasmania has been the butt of punchlines for too long, and now the joke’s on us mainlanders. Tassie is blessed with dramatic landscapes, snow-sprinkled peaks, a rich colonial heritage and more gourmet food and wine than you could possibly consume in a weekend.

I've had the pleasure of visiting our island state three times, and to say I’m enamoured with its riches would be an understatement – trip number four is already in the pipeline. Before you can say ‘two heads are better than one’, here are some of my favourite snapshots from my Tassie travels.

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Port Arthur

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 An iconic sight - The Penitentiary

The crumbling ruins and old jail cells of the Port Arthur settlement are in stark contrast to the lush green fields and sparkling water of the Eaglehawk Neck setting. It’s hard to believe this was the setting of one of Australia’s harshest penal colonies when you see its beautiful surrounds.

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Tasman National Park

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 Cape Pillar in the distance

If you’re a nature lover, a Tasman Island Pennicott Wilderness Journey should be at the top of your to-do list. There’s something otherworldly as you cruise through aquamarine water off the coast of the Tasman National Park. Spot wildlife, pass seal colonies and see the Southern Hemisphere’s highest sea cliffs, Cape Pillar, along the way.

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Puddleduck Vineyard

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 A puddling duck at Puddleduck Vineyard

If you’re hankering for some fine cool climate wine, look no further than the Puddleduck Vineyard on the Coal River Valley wine trail. Instead of tasting your tipple at the bar, have the wines served to you at a private table while overlooking the scenic lake and immaculate rows of grapes. It’s the perfect way to spend an afternoon.

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Richmond

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 Australia's oldest and second-most photographed bridge

Tasmania’s finest example of colonial heritage, and Australia’s oldest bridge, can be found in the charming sandstone town of Richmond, just 20 minutes from Hobart. Brimming with galleries, cafes and historic attractions, the town has been perfectly preserved and provides a glimpse at what life might have been like in the 1800s.

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Battery Point

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 Catch a glimpse of Mt Wellington from Battery Point

Another fine example of Tasmania’s past, Battery Point in Hobart also offers the chance to step back in time. You can easily explore this sandstone cottage neighbourhood on foot before descending Kelly’s Steps down to the buzz of Salamanca Place.

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Mt Wellington

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 Hobart and beyond from Mt Wellington

Hobart’s riches extend beyond its sandstone city and cultural scene. Take the drive (or cycle if you’re feeling energetic) up to Mt Wellington to see the city from a different perspective. The views are magical, the walking tracks hide an abundance of natural treasures, and the air is crisper than crisp – just don’t forget to wear your layers!

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Bruny Island

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 Pristine, glassy waterways on Bruny Island

Bruny Island is a short drive and ferry ride from Hobart. It’s best to stay a night or two to see it all as the island offers an abundance of wilderness experiences and spectacular views. If you’ve only got a day to spare, you can still experience the best of Bruny along the ‘Made on Bruny Island’ food trail.

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Wineglass Bay

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 Freycinet National Park's crowning jewel

Wineglass Bay is the glittering sapphire in Freycinet National Park’s crown. Despite cloudy days, its dazzling white sand and sapphire coloured sea are even more beautiful in person. Soak up its splendour from the lookout or hike down to the beach to feel the silky sand between your toes.

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Honeymoon Bay

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 Bask in the beauty of Honeymoon Bay

If Wineglass Bay is Freycinet’s crown jewel, then Honeymoon Bay is the national park’s masterpiece. The bay’s jaw-dropping beauty and glowing sunsets will stop you in your tracks. The clearer than clear water softly ripples against the terracotta-coloured rocks and for a moment, you’ll feel as though you’re the only person on earth.

 Honeymoon Bay's unforgettable sunset

Anna Howard

Give me street food over Michelin stars, cellar doors over wine bars and small towns and wide open spaces over big cities any day. Travel for me means ticking off the 'to eat and drink' list one regional flavour and wine bottle at a time.