5 Things to do in Tasmania that are not outdoor adventure-things
Although you may not believe it, the are are quite a few things to do in Tasmania that have nothing to do with outdoor adventure. After all, thousands of tourists come here each year and you can’t expect them all to be as active as we are, right? While in Tasmania, we mostly did pretty active things because, after all that’s what we enjoy doing most. However, every now and then, we also explored something that you would not imagine us to enjoy, something that doesn’t have a high adrenaline factor and/or that doesn’t make your heart beat faster other than with excitement. Here are our five favorite things to do in Tasmania that are not outdoor-adventure related:
You just can’t visit Hobart without going to see MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art. Located about 12 kms from downtown Hobart you can easily drive there if you have a vehicle but the better option is definitely taking the boat from the harbour and cruise down to MONA. The ride is somewhat scenic and gives you great views of downtown Hobart from the water as well as their suburbs, Mount Wellington (if the weather is good) and the industrial part of town. Upon arrival at MONA everyone is given a couple of headphones as well as something that they call The O but is in fact an iPhone, which will guide your through the museum. If you have come to see classic art, you are definitely at the wrong place here, but if you’ve come for some funky art that does computerized cloaca’s that smell like hell and skulls made of beetles, you have come to the right place. We wandered around the museum for a couple of hours and were amazed by the collection they have here. My favorites definitely were the fountain that splashes words and the Madonna sing-a-long. Check it out if you have the time!
2. East Coast Natureworld in Bicheno
Although you may not expect it, chances of seeing a Tasmanian Devil live are slim. Getting a picture of them is even more difficult, because they are very unlikely to show themselves to humans by daylight. The only chance we got, was when we were camping on Maria Island and we heared them screaming outside of our tent. However since we just caught something sniffing around inside the hood in front of our tent and it was pitchdark, we didn’t want to get outside and get the scare of a lifetime. Instead, we went to the East Coast Natureworld in Bicheno. This center didn’t seem as commercial as other wildlife parks around Tasmania and and we heard good stories about it. As it was a gloomy day and I wasn’t feeling well from a sunstroke I caught the day before, we decided to head over and take a look. They have plenty of Tasmanian/Australian animals there to see such as wombats, kangaroos, snakes, emus and of course Tasmanian Devils. They will feed them so you can have a great look at them and tell about their habits, their lives and how their population has reduced from 100.000 to just 10.000 in the past 20 years only. My favorite part of course was feeding the wallabies, I mean, WALLABIES!!
3. Port Arthur
“Let’s go and see Port Arthur tomorrow” Martijn suggested when heading out to the Tasman Peninsula. “Hmm, we didn’t fly all the way to the other side of the world to look at a bunch of old buildings” was my reply to him and at the time, that was exactly how I felt. We have ‘old buildings’ all over Europe and after cycling the eastcoast for 8 days, I was anxious to get hiking again. However, before you kill me, I’ll admit that I couldn’t have been more wrong. ‘Some old buildings’ was definitely not what Port Arthur is, if I’d had to describe it in just a few words, it would be ‘an amazing and educative open air museum’ would be a much better fit. As we only had the afternoon to spend there, we decided to go for the cheapest package, which was just the entrance ticket, it includes entrance for 2 days, a basic 40 minute tour around the premises and a 20 minute boat tour through the harbor. I was truly amazed by the rich stories behind this place, that is much more than just a prison, contrary to what many people seem to believe. We spent the full afternoon wandering around the old buildings, checking out the museum and reading convict’s stories about their lives in Port Arthur. A must on your list of things to do in Tasmania!
4. Take a daytrip to Maria Island
Maria Island is one of those places overlooked by many, but if you want to see wildlife and dive back into history, Maria Island is your place to go. We hadn’t included this in our planned itinerary, however we heard really good stories about it and so we decided to go over for a trip. Although we camped here, Maria Island can easily be visited on a daytrip. According to the website of the Park and Wildlife Service of Tasmania, there are no motor vehicles, no shops and no worries. You can catch the boat from Triabunna on the east coast and a short ride will bring you to the island. Pre-booking the boat is recommended as the times vary. Check the Maria Island Ferry and Eco Cruises website for up-to-date information. When arriving at Maria Island, it’s only a short walk up to Darlington, a World Heritage Site. Darlington is the most intact example of a probation station in Australia. There are fourteen convict buildings that reflect the probation system in Van Diemen’s Land. If you are looking for wildlife in its natural environment, you will love Maria Island. Within a few hours we’d already seen a ton of wombats, kangaroos and baby tiger snakes. There’s just no way you can’t love Maria Island.
5. Bicheno Blowhole
Once you are in Bicheno for the East Coast Nature World, you may as well make a stop at the Bicheno Blowhole. This natural phenomenon can be accessed for free and is a true joy to look at. A blowhole is a sea cave which grows inwards and up, resulting in a perpendicular shaft open at the surface. They occur when there is a weak joint in the rock and as the waves pound and erode the rock just above the waterline a cave is slowly but surely formed. As a wave hits the rock the water pushes through the length of the cave at ever increasing levels of pressure so that when it hits the surface then it does so with explosive force. We didn’t expect too much of it, but as it turned out, the blows were pretty strong and it was a lot of fun to look at. Each time it was going to be a surprise if the blow was going to be small or big. It kind of reminded me of the geysers in Iceland…
6. Hang out at Bingalong Bay
Last one on our list of things to do on Tasmania is Binalong Bay, the prettiest beach in Tasmania if you ask me. Here you can catch a first glimpse of the beautiful orange rocks that cover most of the east coast and is known as the Bay of Fires. You can easily get to Binalong Bay from St. Helens, the tourist hub you can overnight, have dinner and relax for a bit. Binalong Bay is tiny, the town that is, so there aren’t any facilities there, other than Moresco Restaurant, which serves awesome cakes and coffee. From their deck, you have a splendid view over the bay. If you head a bit further up the road, you will see the first few red rocks not much later. You can easily access them from the parking lot or otherwise access the viewing platform a bit further down. After exploring the rocks, make sure to take a plunge into the ocean. The beach at Binalong Bay is beautiful, not too crowded and one of the most amazing you will come across in Tasmania!
That was our top list with things to do in Tasmania. Other suggestions for things to do in Tasmania that are not outdoor adventures are going to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart (free entrance), strolling around in the Salamanca Market, drive up Mt. Wellington and of course take a road trip around the island, which we also wrote an extensive post on this and how to see off the beaten path places such as the Great Lakes and Mount William National Park.
As you can see, Tassie is not just for the outdoor adventurers. There is plenty to see and do for everyone, it has great museums, wineries, boat trips and plenty more for the tourist. For more suggestions, also check this Discover Tasmania blog with plenty more things to do!
What else should we have seen and/or done while on Tasmania?
Want to read more of our posts about or other, more adventurous things to do in Tasmania? Then you may also like the following posts:
– Biking in Tasmania: our tips and tricks for an awesome ride!
– Tasmania in pictures, week 2
– The best hikes in Tasmania
Traveling to Tasmania from Melbourne? Then check out this blog bij Amanda with the Melbourne Hidden Gems!
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Thanks for sharing!