No matter the season, visitors and locals of Tasmania all delight in the natural landscapes and tasty delights of this southern state. Hobart and its north, west and south regions are filled with spectacular wineries and rolling hillsides to marvel at. But Tasmania's smaller islands stand strong as must-visit destinations to stretch your legs and treat your tastebuds.
First on the list, Maria Island is easily described as one of the most beautiful places to see in Australia. And there's really no better way to experience all of it's beauty than with a guided walk. A four-day one in fact.
Jo Kennedy from Kennedy & Turner Travel Associates in Brisbane has explored the untouched Maria Island by foot, and has a long list of reasons why she recommends it to her clients. Read about her experience below...
The ‘Maria Island Walk’ is without a doubt the best way to explore the island. This four-day journey took us all around the island, from spectacular white beaches to breathtaking cliffs and mountains. Although four days of walking may sound a bit gruelling, the experience was really quite luxurious. The first two nights were spent in ‘tents’, which were actually very comfortable permanent fixtures at the tour company’s two wilderness camps. On the third night we stayed in a beautiful heritage listed cottage at the top of the island. The food and wine throughout the walk were also amazing. The tour has won so many Gourmet Traveller awards, so as you’d expect the guides were fantastic cooks. Everything you eat and drink during the trip is produced in Tasmania. The journey was packed with breathtaking scenery. Highlights included climbing Mt Maria and the twin peaks of Bishop and Clerk; swimming in the crystal clear water at dawn; and visiting the magnificent ‘Painted Cliffs’. The island is full of wildlife and we were lucky enough to see penguins, wombats, black cockatoos and Cape Barren geese (the world’s second rarest breed of goose). The more adventurous walkers have the option of alternative routes and climbs, while those wanting a more leisurely stroll are also accommodated. It really is as challenging or as easy as you want it to be. The Maria Island Walk was a completely unique experience in an untouched part of Australia. I’d strongly recommend this trip especially for groups of girls and couples.
Next on our list is Bruny Island, famous for its incredible food. If you ask Jo Kennedy, she would recommend to you a personalised degustation filled with every delight on the island. A whisky tasting at Bruny Island House of Whisky, a light lunch with hot chips and fresh oysters at Get Shucked Oysters, a wine tasting at Bruny Island Premium Wines, a local cheese board at Bruny Island Cheese Company, a stop at Bruny Island Honey and finally your fill of sweets at Bruny Island Chocolate Co. Is your mouth watering just reading this?
If you can manage it after filling up on the Island's delicacies, a walk around Bruny Island will leave you speechless. There's a number of walks designed for different fitness levels and interests. Try the Mavista Nature Walk through the rainforest, an easier walk from Sheepwash Bay to Alonnah through coastal bush or perhaps the beautiful Cape Queen Elizabeth Track covering stunning beaches with incredible views of The Neck and Adventure Bay.
If there's a place to picnic in Tasmania, it's King Island. The name may ring a bell. Even more if you picture your local supermarket cheese aisle. King Island Dairy is amongst the most popular creamy, cheddar and blue cheese out there. And you can visit their home on King Island for a cheese tasting and tour of the special cheesemaking process before purchasing your favourites straight from the source. But cheese is not the only item that should be in your King Island picnic basket. The island is world-renowned for its local and fresh produce, with many restaurants globally flying it in. Beef, vegetables, lobster, oysters, octopus and more are favourites, and you should try them with local honey, herbs, cream and garlic prepared lovingly with advice directly from the locals who produce it.
Despite its Island status, there are actually 44 unique walks you can try on King Island. The King Island Maritime Trail, which opened in 2001, is the most popular choice and takes you on a historical tour of the heart-break and heroics of the coasts shipwrecks, like The Cataraqui in 1845, The Neva in 1835 and The Netherby in 1866.
Sitting rugged and beautiful in the Bass Strait is Flinders Island, vast with stunning ranges, wildlife and beaches. There's something for everyone here no matter what you're interested in, but we'll always recommend that it ends with a very good meal, glass of wine and a view. Bird watching, wildlife photography or simply enjoying the breathtaking surroundings are the recipe for unwinding, or have a go at snorkelling, fishing or scuba diving for something a bit more fast-faced. The locals will welcome you with open arms as they share their proudly produced catches, like fresh abalone and giant crayfish straight from the ocean. Enjoy them lovingly prepared at one of the local foodie spots, like The Flinders Wharf.
Hop between the islands with a private driver and mid-trip stay in Hobart. Your local Travel Associates advisor can design a personalised holiday in Tasmania for you, ready for when the lockdowns ease.