When you visit Tasmania, the city of Hobart is an ideal place to stay. As one of Australia’s most underrated cities, Hobart is sleepy in nature, perfectly complementing its cultural and culinary draws.
But Tasmania is so much more than this one city, and you shouldn’t go all the way there only to miss some incredible places. Don’t worry – many of the best places to visit in Tasmania are right near Hobart. These best day trips from Hobart won’t disappoint.
How to Get Around
Although you can make many of these day trips with public transport, consider renting a car for the day to give yourself more flexibility and independence. With your own four wheels, you control your time and schedule; depending on how many people are in your group, renting a car might even work out to be cheaper than other forms of transportation. You can compare car rental deals and find the lowest prices at Rentalcars.com, an aggregation site that searches and displays prices and availability from hundreds of car rental companies so that you can get the best possible car for your budget.
Don’t want to drive or deal with the hassle of public transport? No worries! We’ve listed the best tour for each day trip (where available).
Home to Australia’s best-known former convict settlement, the town of Port Arthur out on the Tasman Peninsula is one of the best Hobart day trips. The main attraction here is the Port Arthur Historic Site, where you can learn about Australia’s convict history as you walk past the buildings, ruins, and gardens of this former penal colony.
You can also take a guided tour to hear what life was like for prisoners, then discover more of the city’s past in the interactive exhibits and displays at the Port Arthur Gallery. Don’t miss the harbor cruise, which allows you to see Port Arthur from a fresh perspective and spot the graves over on the Isle of the Dead.
Getting there: It takes one hour and 20 minutes to drive to Port Arthur from Hobart. The only other option to get there is a guided tour.
Looming over Hobart, quite hard to miss, is Mount Wellington – one of the best places to visit from Hobart. On a trip up Mount Wellington, also known by its Indigenous name of Kunanyi, you’ll be visiting the highest summit of the Wellington Range.
At the top of the mountain lies the Pinnacle Observation Shelter. On a clear day, the shelter offers an exceptional panoramic view of Hobart. Down from the summit you’ll find bushwalking trails that can take you through a series of diverse environments, from rainforest to alpine terrain. You might even find snow on Mount Wellington in the winter.
Getting there: The top of Mount Wellington is a short trip from Hobart – just a 20-minute drive from the city center. You could also hike up, which takes about three hours, or visit as part of an organized tour of places around Hobart.
One of the best things to see in Tasmania outside of Hobart is Bruny Island in Storm Bay. Visiting this large island is a lot of fun if you’re after nature and scenery, thanks to its abundant wildlife and raw landscapes. You might spot seals, echidnas, and even white wallabies on the island. There are also plenty of picturesque places to explore, particularly The Neck – the narrow isthmus that connects North and South Bruny.
Then there are the impressive cliffs and beautiful beaches of South Bruny National Park, not to mention the lookouts at Adventure Bay and Cape Bruny. Cape Bruny is an especially memorable visit, as you can tour the island’s lighthouse.
Getting there: To reach Bruny Island from Hobart, first drive 30 minutes to Kettering, where you’ll catch the hourly ferry over to the island. Without a car, your only choice is to go with a guided tour.
Freycinet National Park
Given the chance, you can’t pass up a visit to Freycinet National Park and Wineglass Bay on Tasmania’s east coast. Freycinet National Park is one of the most captivating day tours from Hobart, thanks to its superb scenery and delicious seafood.
The most famous attraction here is Wineglass Bay Lookout, from which you can see Wineglass Bay’s beach and Hazards Beach on either side of the narrow peninsula. Walking along other trails in the park, you’ll find quiet bays, gorgeous sand beaches, and the pink granite peaks atop the Hazards mountains range. Round out your day with some tasty local seafood in nearby towns such as Swansea, which is just across Great Oyster Bay from Freycinet.
Getting there: Driving from Hobart to Freycinet National Park takes around two hours and 45 minutes. A guided tour is the only other way to make the day trip.
Book Tour to Freycinet National Park
Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
If seeing local wildlife is high on your agenda for your Australia visit, consider a trip to the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. Not far from the center of Hobart, this excellent wildlife park allows you to see a whole host of local critters and even get up close with a few.
Native animals that call the sanctuary home include wombats, koalas, sugar gliders, quolls, and – perhaps most notably – Tasmanian devils. With your paid entry to the sanctuary, you also get a guided tour to help you learn more about these animals. You even get to hand-feed the forester kangaroos that freely roam the reserve.
Getting there: You can reach Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary from Hobart’s city center by taking two buses, with the trip totaling one hour and 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can make the 25-minute drive yourself or visit with an organized tour.
Book Tour to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
Not all of Tasmania’s natural wonders are on its surface, as the incredible Hastings Caves prove. Underneath the forest of Hastings Caves State Reserve in southern Tasmania lies a wonderful complex of caves well worth seeing in person. You can take a guided tour through these caves – including the largest dolomite cave in the country, Newdegate Cave, which is full of fascinating formations such as flowstones, stalactites, stalagmites, and helictites.
Hastings Caves State Reserve also boasts its own thermal springs that feed a swimming pool. At 28 degrees Celsius, the pool is not exactly hot, but it’s an enjoyable place to swim, thanks to the nice forest surroundings and the useful picnic and barbecue facilities.
Getting there: It takes roughly one hour and 45 minutes to drive to Hastings Caves from Hobart.
Mount Field National Park
To see why Tasmania’s nature is so fondly talked about, make the best side trip from Hobart to Mount Field National Park. This is one of the few accessible places in the state’s wild southwest, but it has everything you could want.
The park’s most iconic attraction is Russell Falls, a three-tier waterfall that you’ll likely want to visit first. Next, take the Tall Trees Walk to see the giant swamp gum trees, which, at 30 meters high, are the world’s tallest flowering plant.
While these sights are surrounded by primeval rainforest and ferns, you’ll find a far more alpine environment over in the Lake Dobson area. More hiking trails are available here in the warmer months, but come winter, it’s known for its ski slopes.
Getting there: To drive from Hobart to Mount Field National Park takes close to an hour. If you don’t have a car, your only way to get there is a guided tour.
Book Tour to Mount Field National Park
For a calmer day away from Hobart, seek out the colonial town of Richmond, just north of the city. The town was settled in the 1820s, making it quite an early settlement by Australian standards, and that old-time character lingers to this day. Walking through the town, you can find various historic buildings and structures, including many from the Georgian era.
The town’s most famous landmark is the Richmond Bridge, the oldest bridge still in use in Australia. Other places with “Australia’s oldest” honors include the colonial Richmond Gaol (the oldest jail) and St. John’s (the oldest Catholic church still in operation). You can spend the rest of your time in town admiring quaint cottages or learning about colonial life at the Old Hobart Town Model Village.
Getting there: Buses go from Hobart to Richmond every few hours, and the journey takes just 25 minutes. You can also make the 25-minute drive yourself or go with a guided tour that visits other places on the way.
Another town near Hobart overflowing with colonial character is Bothwell, up near Tasmania’s Central Highlands. Like Richmond, Bothwell was settled in the 1820s and still proudly bears that history. In fact, there are more than 50 National Heritage List buildings in and around Bothwell that bear architectural and historical significance.
Bothwell is also a cool day trip if you’re interested in golf, as it’s home to Australia’s oldest golf course, Ratho Farm Golf Links. The town even has its own golf museum. In the surrounding areas, you’ll also find several whisky distilleries, where you can experience the island’s fondness for the spirit.
Getting there: Bothwell is an hour’s drive from Hobart and beyond the range of public transportation.
In terms of variety, few regions around Hobart are better to visit than the Huon Valley. Following the Huon River southwest of Hobart, this valley combines river scenery, fresh produce, and captivating landscapes. Among its many destinations, one not to miss is the Tahune Forest Airwalk that takes you through the tree canopy. Then there are the nearby suspension bridges, which allow you to walk out over the Huon and Picton rivers, and the trails across the forest floor.
The region is also known for its many apple orchards, which are particularly worth a visit if you like apple cider. Otherwise, just take a drive along the Huon Highway and admire the beautiful scenery of the Huon River flowing out into Sunken Rock Bay.
Getting there: Only certain parts of the Huon Valley, such as Franklin, are accessible by bus from Hobart, with the trip taking around an hour. To get the most out of the valley, you’ll need your own wheels.
These are just some of the day trips you can take when you visit Hobart. Clearly, you have plenty to look forward to when visiting this enchanting corner of Australia.
Leave a Reply