8 Feb 2018
Small in size but big in personality, we know why Hobart is one of Australia's fastest growing holiday destinations. There's weird and wonderful art, the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, and boat-rocking seafood to be had.
Beyond the fringe of the city, though, you'll discover so much more: history, waterfalls, crisp apples, and seals (lots of them).
Here are our top five day trips from Hobart that have our seal of approval.
1. Port Arthur
WHERE: Port Arthur Historic Site, Arthur Highway, Port Arthur, TAS 7182
Emerald green grass, nineteenth century architecture, and a view out over calm water, it's easy to forget that this site was once inhabited by the worst British convicts. Their punishment: be sent to Port Arthur and complete hard, unpaid labour. Today, you can visit the historic convict church and guard tower for an afternoon. The evening lantern-lit ghost tour will give you the heebie-jeebies, as the guide takes you to the haunted spots throughout the site and tells you stories that'll send goosebumps up your spine.
Distance from Hobart: 101km (1hr32m drive)
Image: Port Arthur Historic Site; Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Melinda Ta
2. Mount Field National Park
WHERE: 66 Lake Dobson Rd, National Park, TAS 7140
Mount Field is Tasmania's oldest national park, which was known simply as 'National Park' until 1947 (simple days). With tall, skyscraping trees and endangered plants that look prehistoric, you'll probably end up tripping over trying to looking at everything up above and around you. There are walks for every person, from the easy and iconic Russell Falls walk through to the more challenging Mt Field East Circuit. Say g'day to the native wildlife around the visitor centre: wallabies, pademelons, and possums.
Distance from Hobart: 82km (1hr30m drive)
Image: Russell Falls; Credit: Tourism Tasmania
3. Bruny Island
Off the coast of Hobart is Bruny Island: wild terrain, striking cliffsides, and rare wildlife. The island looks like two separate islands, but it's connected by a thin strip of land called 'The Neck'. The Neck's grassy dunes are home to fairy penguins and mutton birds, and it offers spectacular views of Cape Queen Elizabeth. Drive further down towards South Bruny National Park; Australia's second oldest Lighthouse, the Cape Bruny Lighthouse, in the national park is one of the last remaining staffed lighthouses. If your sweet dreams are made of cheese, the Bruny Island Cheese Company is a gouda place to visit. Their traditionally made cheeses are paired well with the in-house brewery's bevvies. Penicott Wilderness Journeys offer three-hour and full-day tours to Bruny Island departing from Hobart.
Distance from Hobart: 33km drive to Kettering Ferry Terminal (32m) and 20 minute ferry ride to Bruny Island.
Image: Bruny Island Cruises - Pennicott Wilderness Journeys; Credit: Sean Scott
4. Tasman Island
Join multi-award wininng adventure tours Pennicott Wilderness Journeys on a cruise to Tasman Island, where you'll find the highest vertical sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere. Depending on the time of year, you might be lucky enough to see dolphins, albatrosses, whale, jellyfish, sea eagles, or seals. The staff are knowledgable and helpful, and will make sure that you feel safe and comfortable on this sometimes bumpy journey. We hope you like the colour red - you'll be donning a big waterproof poncho to protect you from the sea spray.
Distance from Hobart: Dock Head Building on Franklin Wharf in Hobart for the bus and ferry [full-day tour] or 94.6km drive (1hr22m) to the their Tasman Island Cruises Booking Centre and then a bus transfer to boat [half-day tour].
Image: Tasman Island Cruise Cape Pillar and The Blade; Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Kathryn Leahy
5. Huon Valley
All this chatter about great food and wine around Tasmania, but where's it all at? Needless to say, delicious treats and drinks are abound - and not too far outside of Hobart city. Over yonder and through to the western hills lies the Huon Valley. The Apple Shed is an iconic establishment of the valley, with a tasty cider range, a distillery, and a photo-worthy orchard of gorgeous apples. If you're feeling parched, look no further. Delicious wines are made in this slice of the Southern Wine Route, including at Chatto Wines, Home Hill, and Hatzview Vineyard. Too much sitting and indulging? The Tahune Airwalk, a canopy walkway 50 metres above the banks of the Huon River, and the superbly old stalagmites and stalactites of Hastings Cave and Thermal Springs will keep you plenty busy.
Distance from Hobart: 30m to 1hr30m drive west of Hobart [location dependent]
Image: Huon Valley; Credit:Tourism Tasmania & Dan Uglow
Image: Hastings Cave; Credit: Tourism Tasmania & John de la Roche
Ready for Hobart town? Book your holiday on a site or in a cosy cabin at Discovery Parks - Hobart.