Welcome to Tasmania!
Or, as locals lovingly call it, “Tassie.” Sitting just off the mainland of Australia, south of Victoria, is the small island of Tasmania. Mostly it’s an untouched paradise full of natural beauty.
From beautiful white sand beaches along the East Coast to the rugged mountain landscapes of the West Coast and just so much to explore in between, there’s always a new pocket of Tasmania waiting to be uncovered.
Living Like Locals
There’s only one way to find the truth out about a city, and that’s to move there! Rasmus and I have officially spent eleven weeks (almost three months) in Tasmania this year. And we expect to spend at least four more weeks here, if not more.
Tasmania is widely known for having the cleanest air in the world.
Tasmania is a kind of “safe zone” when it comes to COVID. They’ve only had a handful of cases since the beginning of the pandemic and have been able to snuff them out before they ever spread widely. We are currently waiting here until the border to New Zealand opens (if it does).
If the borders don’t open we’ll likely live the next 9 months on the road! On the Australian road again! In the meantime, we’ll be here in Tasmania, just living like locals!
We’ve split time now between Hobart and Launceston. And for us, Hobart is a better base. It offers a lot more in the way of food and things to do. But there is natural beauty all around Tasmania!
Top Local Finds in Hobart
The best way to find the cool local stuff in a city? Ask the locals! Here are our favorite under-the-radar finds in Hobart:
Hip bar with a bus parked in the courtyard for seating, serving craft beers, cocktails and burgers.
In the Hanging Garden
A live music and cultural precinct, featuring music venues and an extensive tiered beer garden with kitchens and bars. Don't blink, because you'll miss the entrance!
Jokers Comedy Club
A great little comedy venue that brings talent in from all over! The world needs comedy right now.
Looking for a four dollar happy hour beer, and a burger the size of your head? This local dive bar is your stop!
Fabulous brunch spot tucked away in Sandy Bay.
This is the best americano coffee I've found in Hobart, and I've tried dozens of places!
Farm Gate Market
This market is the little sister of the famous Salamanca Market that attracts all the tourists. It's more aimed at locals and open Sundays year-round.
Best Time to Visit Hobart
Hobart might just have some of the worst weather in Australia. It’s the most southern state in the country and you can expect winter most of the year. It’s rained quite a bit in every month we’ve been here including January, March, April, August, September, and October.
Visit during the “summer months” of January and February is when you might get a little more sunshine and warmer days. However, the weather is temperamental in Tasmania, so no matter what time of the year you visit, make sure you pack some warm clothes, a good jacket, and some closed-toed shoes.
Road Trip Tasmania - Explore by Car
There’s no doubt about it exploring Tasmania by car is the best way to explore the little island. You can drive from top to bottom in about four hours. And with a car, you’ll have a lot more freedom to veer off the beaten path when something grabs your eye.
Tasmania has the oldest trees in the world.
The first time I ever drove on the left side of the road was in Tasmania! And the tight little turns did give me some anxiety at first, but before long, I was comfortable on the country roads that sometimes remind me of home.
Earlier in the year, I took a trip from Launceston across to the Bay of Fires and down to the Freycinet National Park. I’ve never seen anything like it. It reminded me of the 101 highway that runs down the California coast, except this highway was deserted and unadulterated by traffic and smog.
Top Road Trip Destinations from Hobart
I've taken some of the most iconic road trips of my life in Tassie. These were my favorite by far:
Is a scenic white-sand beach and turquoise bay with a path to a rocky lookout offering iconic vistas.
The Bay of Fires
The Bay of Fires is a bay on the northeastern coast of Tasmania in Australia, extending from Binalong Bay to Eddystone Point. The bay was given its name in 1773 by Captain Tobias Furneaux in Adventure, who saw the fires of Aboriginal people on the beaches.
Russell Falls is a tiered–cascade waterfall on the Russell Falls Creek, is located in the Central Highlands region of Tasmania, Australia.
One of the tallest sea cliffs in Australia, Cape Raoul is a rock feature on the southern part of the Tasman Peninsula.
Pademelons, Potoroos, and Bandicoots, Oh My!
I love Tasmania for the wildlife. Unlike the big Australian cities, you’ll get to experience nature up close and personal wherever you stay. Right now we have a mama wallaby that lives behind our Airbnb who carries a joey in her pouch!
But there are tons of wild birds and colored parrots that sing and wake you up nearly every day. And it’s hard to get around without seeing some kind of small marsupial. Sadly, you’ll see a lot of them on the side of the road.
The Tasmanian devil is the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world.
Tasmanian wildlife includes lots of animals I had never heard of before visiting Tasmania including the wallaby, pademelon, potoroo, wombat, bandicoot, and of course, the Tasmania Devil (only found in Tasmania)! I highly recommend spending time at an animal sanctuary getting to see the animals up close.
Our Hobartian Life
People who live in Hobart are called Hobartians. We aren’t official Hobartians yet, but if this border restriction keeps up, we might be!
Life in Hobart is slow, the food is good, and there’s always something fun for locals to enjoy. We are in our third long-term Airbnb and we’ve parked ourselves about a 15-minute walk from downtown Hobart, which I’d highly recommend.
Hobart has an estimated population of over 224,000 people.
You don’t need a car to get around, but we like to explore the wilderness on the weekend, and a car is definitely needed for that. On every block in the city, you’ll find a trendy cafe or something local and delicious to eat, like a wallaby sandwich or freshly shucked oysters. And if craft beer is your thing, Hobart would be your heaven. There are around 12 different breweries in about a 2.5-mile radius.
We are currently eating our way through the city, getting one recommendation after the next from locals we meet. And in the next few weeks, I’ll put out a guide to Hobart’s food scene!
We’ve found ourselves at the local produce markets every weekend, either the Salamanca Market or Farmgate market. And this last week we went to a comedy night at the casino, which I highly recommend.
In the upcoming weeks, I’m planning quite a few trips including Bruny Island (with white kangaroos!), Coles Bay, and Bridestowe Lavender Farm, and Cradle Mountain!
Planning a Trip?
Start here: discovertasmania.com.
Check out all the locations for Tasmania Visitors Centres to find the one closest to you.
For a list of all the wi-fi hotspots in Tasmania: discovertasmania.com.au/travel-information/wifi-hot-spots
Tasmanian Travel & Information Centre Hobart: 20 Davey Street, Hobart | Ph: (03) 6238 4222 hobarttravelcentre.com.au
Have you been to Tasmania? What were your favorite stops?! Comment below.