Why Tasmania is One of the Hottest Destinations of 2018

Looking for an active, adventurous vacation? Tasmania offers that and a whole lot more.

maria islandCourtesy Coral ExpeditionsLooking to go somewhere remote? Like really remote? Tasmania, an island off Australia’s southern coast, certainly fits the bill. Not only is it located halfway around the world from the United States, but it has a rugged terrain that’s largely protected park and reserves. The Australian state is known for its “bushwalk” hikes; trails range from easy walks to pretty intense hikes (some with rock scrambling at the top), but all afford amazing views.

The best way to really get to the hard-to-reach spots is to book a cruise on Coral Expeditions I. The small size of the ship (46 guests) means it can easily maneuver into spots like Port Davey, which sees few visitors because of its remote location. Even for soft adventurers, Coral offers an array of daily activities, including shorter walks and mini cruises. Plus, the ease of having to unpack only once while the ship does the heavy work of moving to a new hiking spot overnight means your journey will have a relaxed vibe—there’s nothing better than coming back after a long day of hiking to a delicious meal, hot shower, and comfortable bed before embarking on another hike the next day. Of course, the real scene stealer is the scenery: Tasmania boasts some of the most gorgeous mountain and beach settings in the world. Here are the highlights:


Originally set up as a penal colony, this lovely seaside town is where you can embark on the Coral Expedition I. Fly in a day or two early to hit the Museum of Old and New Art, which is quickly becoming world-renowned for its diverse collection, including piece of “living art” called Tattoo Tim. Spend a few hours at the museum before heading to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary where you’ll see Tasmanian devils, wombats, and kangaroos up close. Stay at the MACq 01 hotel, a new boutique accommodation on the wharf, which offers amazing views and fresh, locally sourced food.

Port Davey

One of the most beautiful places to go hiking is Port Davey, an oceanic inlet located in the southwest part of Tasmania. Port Davey is part of of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and is a mecca for bird lovers. A hike up to Mount Gilmore, a steep uphill trail, is a must-do for its 360-degree views of mountains and beaches. Check out more of the most underrated travel destinations in the world.

Melaleuca and Bathurst Harbor

bathurst harborCourtesy Coral ExpeditionsCruising through the Narrows into the Bathurst Harbor affords amazing views, especially at sunrise, as the ship glides toward Pim Point. The Melaleuca Inlet is another great place for birders; it’s home to the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot. For a really fabulous moderate hike, head out to Mount Beattie at Bathurst Harbor; you’ll be reward with spectacular views after your climb to the top. Find out about more of the 10 most extreme travel adventures in the world.

Bruny Island

Adventure Bay - Bruny IslandCourtesy Coral ExpeditionsLocated on the southeastern coast of Tasmania, Bruny is separated from mainland Tasmania by the channel. Start your hike at Adventure Bay and go along the Fluted Cape trail to the top, where there are dramatic views of Storm Bay and Penguin Island. After the hike, stop at the Bligh Museum of Pacific Exploration and the Captain Cook Monument for a bit of historical perspective on the area.

Wineglass Bay

wineglass bayCourtesy Coral ExpeditionsWineglass Bay is one of the most-visited spots by Americans to Tasmania—and for good reason. Sitting on the Freycinet Peninsula, this area became a national park in 1916. The moderate walk is a mix of groomed track and stairs. Views of the forest, bird life, and mountains make for diverse scenery. Don’t miss these other 10 travel destinations that are getting more popular by the minute.

Maria Island

Maria IslandCourtesy Coral ExpeditionsFor many hikers, Maria Island is the trail not to miss. The trek up to the top of Bishop and Clerk goes through open meadows, forest, scree, and large boulders, but the scramble to the top is worth it for the stunning views. Plus, you may encounter wild wallaby and wombats along the way. Be sure to check out the Fossil Cliffs and the Darlington Probation Settlement, a former penal colony.

Tasman National Park

Fortescue to Port ArthurCourtesy Coral ExpeditionsWith Tasman National Park’s unique geological formations, including Tasman Arch, Devils Kitchen, Mitre Rock, The Lanterns, and the Candlestick, it’s possible that the scenery here to is Australia’s most stunning. To really get a feel for the place, hike from Fortescue Bay to Cape Hauy; it’s one of the most picturesque (and physically challenging) trails. You’ll get amazing cliff views on this 5.5-mile hike. Plus, be sure to visit the most popular travel destinations in Australia.

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Judy Koutsky
Judy Koutsky is a New York-based writer and editor covering health, lifestyle and travel. Her award-winning articles have appeared in over 30 publications including RD.com, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Oprah.com, Parents, Forbes.com, Shape, USA Today, Prevention, Good Housekeeping, Web MD and Scholastic. You can see her writing at JudyKoutsky.com or follow her on Instagram at @JudyKoutsky