Ruggedly romantic Tasmanian destinations

Surrounded by dramatic coastline and boasting almost countless national parks, rural towns and remote islands, Tasmania is pure rugged romance. For a short break or weekend away that makes you feel as if you’re in a whole other world, visit these sensational spots…

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Ruggedly Romantic Tasmania
(Left) Devil’s Corner Cellar Door, (top right) Honeymoon Bay, (bottom right) Wineglass Bay _ Freycinet Experience Walk

Freycinet National Park

Blessed with impressive pink granite peaks, secluded bays, pristine beaches, sleepy lagoons and incredible wildlife, Freycinet National Park (just over two hours’ drive northeast of Hobart) is breathtakingly beautiful. Located on the island’s east coast, this wild wonderland features some of Tasmania’s most beloved spots, including the Hazards Range, Great Oyster Bay and the iconic Wineglass Bay. There’s even a place here called Honeymoon Bay (definitely visit for sigh-inducing views). Discover remote beaches, unforgettable snorkelling, super-fresh seafood, great cellar doors and a golf-course-with-a-view.

Don’t miss: Start your Freycinet getaway right with a visit to Brown Brothers’ Devil’s Corner Cellar Door (just over two hours’ drive northeast of Hobart). You’ll be able to enjoy the best of the region here – from the cellar’s award-winning wines to freshly shucked oysters straight from the Freycinet Marine Farm. The only thing that might distract you from your mouthwatering seafood platter are the views of the majestic Hazards and the Freycinet Peninsula in the background. 

Stay here: Saffire Freycinet is a bit of an icon in this part of the world. A seriously luxurious hideaway overlooking the Hazards, the resort is where you’ll find one of Australia’s best hotel restaurants. Before checking out, visit the onsite spa, fit in a guided Freycinet tour and take part in a cooking class at Saffire.

Related article: 6 Aussie hotels foodies need to visit 

Images courtesy of Lisa Kuilenburg and Tourism Australia & Hugh Stewart

Wildlife and nature Tasmania
(Top left) Look out for echidnas, (bottom left) Fortescue Bay, (right) Cape Pillar and the Blade

The Three Capes Track

At first glance, the Three Capes Track (90 minutes southeast of Hobart) looks like something out of a Lord of the Rings film. Stretching across 46 kilometres of cliff-hugging wilderness, it takes you from the World Heritage-listed Port Arthur Historic Site, over the mind-boggling Cape Pillar, through to Munro, Mount Fortescue and the tip of Cape Huay. It’s a challenging (but rewarding) four-day trek with overnight stays and Tasman Sea cruises along the way, plus plenty of wildlife spotting (look out for dolphins, echidnas, seals and whales). If you’re not a seasoned hiker don’t be put off; the track has been designed to cater for a broad range of ages and abilities.

Don’t miss: Marvel at the majestic dolerite columns along the track. One to really be mystified by is the aptly named Totem Pole at Cape Huay. A 65-metre coastal stack, this geological marvel attracts climbers from all over the world.

Stay here: The Three Capes Track is an experience rather than a destination, so you have to book to visit and accommodation is included. At each site on the track, two separate sleeping cabins linked by a timber deck provide a comfortable place to spend the night (especially after a day of hiking). Built for comfort and minimal environmental impact, the cabins are shared so you might have to share a room with other visitors (there are partial walls dividing spaces) but the scenery here is worth it.

Images courtesy of Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service

Beautifyul accommodation Bruny Island
(Left) Accommodation on the Bruny Island Long Weekend experience, (top right) Spot Australian fur seals, (bottom right) Neck Beach

Bruny Island

If you’re after an island-hopping experience, venture off Tassie’s mainland to the beautifully laid-back Bruny Island (two hours south of Hobart). Roughly 50 kilometres long, Bruny looks like two separate islands, with North and South Bruny joined by just a narrow strip of land called The Neck. Definitely one of Bruny’s most picturesque spots, Neck Beach offers 360-degree views at the peak of its boardwalk; so pack walking shoes and make the effort. Postcard-ready national park, a chilled atmosphere, foodie gems and a whisky distillery add to the list of brilliant reasons to visit.

Don’t miss: Obviously, you have to check out Neck Beach and take a few cheeky selfies. Once you’ve ticked this off, hit the surf for great waves or enjoy an afternoon of whisky and gin tastings at Bruny Island House of Whisky. Also, pick up everything you need for a cheese platter at Bruny Island Cheese Co. and share it on the deck of your suite or cabin at sunset. 

Stay here: If you’re visiting Bruny with friends, book out Cloudy Bay Beach House. Situated at the island’s southern end, this sophisticated hideaway looks out over crashing waves (there’s a private boardwalk down to the beach available) and is surrounded by 80 acres of native bush. 

Images courtesy of Tourism Tasmania & Poon Wai Nang, Pierre Destribats and Tourism Tasmania and Andrew Wilson

beaches and wildlife tasmania
(Top left) Darlington Probation Station, (bottom left) the Painted Cliffs, (right) Wombats call Maria Island home

Maria Island 

For a real ‘get away from it all’ experience, set your sights for the relatively isolated Maria Island. Hop on the ferry from Triabunna Wharf (90 minutes northeast of Hobart), enjoy a scenic 30-minute cruise over and feel as if you’re leaving the rest of the world behind. On the island, there’s fabulous hiking, kayaking, scuba diving and biking opportunities to be found, plus fascinating historical ruins and amazing wildlife to see. Keep an eye out for the rare Tasmanian devil!

Don’t miss: If there’s one thing that attracts travellers to Maria Island it’s the spellbinding Painted Cliffs at Hopground Beach. Appearing as if painted by an artist, the geological formations have been shaped by Maria’s mineral-rich water and wind. As a result, the sandstone cliffs are utterly gorgeous, covered in flame-toned marble-like patterns. In other words, it’s photography gold.

Stay here: Another destination for serious walkers, Maria Island is best seen on the aptly named Maria Island Walk. The gentle four-day guided walk crosses beaches, passes crystal-clear bays and winds through eucalyptus-filled forests, taking in some of the island’s best views along the way. Accommodation is included (expect beach and bush camping, and a stay in an elegant colonial house) and touches like gourmet candlelit dinners, sunset drinks and a final night banquet make the whole experience incredibly romantic. 

Images courtesy of Flow Mountain Bike and Tourism Tasmania & Dominic Zeng Photoart

King Island, Tasmania
(Left) City of Melbourne Bay, King Island, (top right) Dairy is a big export in King Island, (bottom right) King Island Dairy’s Roaring Forties Blue

King Island

Foodies, this destination’s for you. Sitting in the middle of the Bass Strait, King Island is home to famously good produce, interesting cultural and historical sites, world-class golf courses and some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches. The air here is also claimed to be some of the cleanest in the world. You’ll have to hop on a plane to get here (it’s roughly a 90 minute flight from Launceston) but you’ll be rewarded with everything you need for an unforgettable short break.

Don’t miss: Mention the island and chances are someone will say “King Island Dairy”. Don’t leave without purchasing some delicious goodies from its cheese shop (you have to try the Roaring Forties Blue) and sourcing some fresh seafood from one of the many local providers for a gourmet picnic with coastal views. Before leaving, top off your stay with horseriding along the island’s sandy shores with King Island Trail Rides.

Stay here: With panoramic views of the Roaring Forties, the architecturally designed Netherby Rocks is just a minutes’ drive from the township of Currie but feels totally remote. Think beachfront privacy, giant windows with water views in every room, plenty of space, plus all the mod-cons. 

Images courtesy of Andrew Wilson and Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne

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