chapel in Separate Prison, Port Arthur
chapel in Separate Prison, Port Arthur

We found the balance between active and restful in Tasmania. During the initial planning I was tempted to organise a seven-day tiki tour around the island, but I knew moving accommodation and several hours driving each day would be exhausting. Instead we narrowed it down to two primary locations: six nights in Hobart followed by three in Coles Bay. It turned out to be the right mix.

Day trips from Hobart kept us from feeling confined to intercity options and we left the capital with hopes of returning.

Wineglass Bay
Wineglass Bay

After staying in a hostel, the studio apartment on Freycinet Peninsula overlooking Coles Bay was the perfect setting to spread out and watch wallabies hop across the lawn. There were plenty of beach walks from our apartment and within the National Park. Wineglass Bay has been voted one of the world’s best beaches by a number of travel authorities. Access if by foot or boat only. We hiked an 11km circuit to Wineglass Bay. For those looking for a challenge, I was intrigued by a three-day hike in Freycinet National Park. I’d consider doing it in cooler weather.

One day we took a road trip up the east coast through villages and seaside towns. In the north we stopped at a number of beaches in Bay of Fires. The contrast of the pure white sand, blue water, and orange-hued granite rocks is stunning.

We left Tassie content with our first visit and armed with a wish list for a return trip: Cradle Mountain, Huon Valley, Cascade Brewery & Cascades Female Factory. Ultimately it was less like New Zealand than I expected, in part because of the daily reminders of Tasmania’s colourful history as a colony of convicts.

Dates: 27 Jan 2017 – 5 Feb 2017
Travel with: Allen
Weather: cool evenings and comfortable days with a mix of sun & clouds, nearly constant breeze; 60-70s
Accommodation: The Pickled Frog, Hobart; Eagle Peaks at Freycinet

Tasmanian devil
Tasmanian devil


  • Lonely Planet’s Hobart walking tour
  • Salamanca Market
  • Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery: One Hell of an Inferno: The 1967 Tasmanian Bushfires exhibit
  • full day Port Arthur tour (!)
  • Tasman National Park: Devil’s Kitchen and Tasman Arch
  • swim at Hobart Aquatic Centre
  • Hobart Walking Tour: History of Alcohol
  • tour of Parliament House
  • State of Tasmania Library
  • Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary – wombats, Tasmanian devils, koalas, kangeroos, echidna named Randall
  • Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) with ferry back to Hobart
  • Royal Hobart Hospital
  • Kate’s Berry Farm, Swansea
  • Wineglass Bay Circuit (11km) at Freycinet National Park
  • Cape Tourville Lighthouse, Freycinet National Park
  • beer tasting at Iron House Brewery, east coast
  • Bay of Fires & Binalong Bay
  • Spa Saffire: Balance Clay Body Mask (!) & Aromatherapy Massage
  • Catholic Mass at Bicheno Community Church

Food & Drink (in Hobart unless noted):

  • Tassie beers at Customs House Hotel
  • Fish Frenzy
  • IXL Long Bar
  • Woolworth’s for self catering
  • cafe at Port Arthur
  • Lark Distillery
  • Jackman & McRoss
  • Jack Greene for beer tasting paddles (!)
  • Pilgrim Coffee (!)
  • Blue Eye (!)
  • Salamanca Whisky & Wine Bar, formerly Nant Distillery
  • Salamanca Fresh for picnic in Salamanca Lawns
  • Getaway Cafe, Orford
  • Skippers Seafood Eatery, St Helens
  • Pasini’s, Bicheno
  • Freycinet Marine Farm (!!)
  • The Farm Shed, Bicheno
  • The Bay, Freycinet

Transportation: Air NZ & Virgin Australia, Europcar