Five reasons why Tasmania could be an ideal holiday destination

  • 12/08/2023
From food and drink to picturesque scenery, festivals and amazing wildlife, Tasmania has something for everyone.
From food and drink to picturesque scenery, festivals and amazing wildlife, Tasmania has something for everyone. Photo credit: Tourism Australia / Natalie Mendham Photography

Australia is one of the most popular destinations for New Zealanders travelling abroad due to its short direct flights, ease of entry and diversity of holiday options.

Each state in the country has different key attractions, from world-class wine regions to premiere live entertainment and sport events and truly legendary surf resorts.

But Tasmania insists its offering for tourists is unique.

"Our vast range of cultural experiences from art museums and historic sites to hiking and mountain bike trails means there's something for everyone in Tasmania, and we invite New Zealanders to make the trip across the ditch to experience it for themselves," Sarah Clark, CEO of Tourism Tasmania, told Newshub.

"We are home to World Heritage rainforests and diverse landscapes that offer an abundance of unique plants and wildlife that can be found around the island, and offer a boutique award-winning food, drink and produce scene that is attracting attention from some of the world's greatest chefs."

Tourism Tasmania has provided what it claims are the top five reasons why Kiwis should consider making Tassie their next holiday destination.

Food and produce are tourist attractions in Tasmania.
Photo credit: Tourism Australia / Samuel Shelley

The food and drink 

Tasmania is described as a gourmet foodie destination promising top-notch cuisine, including some of the finest artisan cheeses in Australia, mouth-watering berries, crisp apples and pears, premium beef and specialty honey.

Also on offer are cool-climate wines, some of Australia's leading boutique and production beers and ciders and world-class, award-winning whisky and gin. The island's food has attracted the attention of Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver and Annalise Gregory, who eventually moved there.

The produce of Australia's most southern state is said to be particularly good due to the unique combination of rainfall, coastline, isolation and natural abundance. The island's compact size also means it's possible for producers to sell direct from the source - allowing visitors to connect with makers, hear their unique stories and discover a distinctly Tasmanian, 'downshifted' way of life.

From hopping between Hobart's many wine bars, eating seafood fresh from the ocean with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys, to embarking on a whisky-tasting trail or tasting salt on the east coast with Tasmania's famed Salt Sommelier, there is solid variety of tasty experiences in Tasmania. 

Hikes in nature in Tasmania.
Photo credit: St John Photography

Wild nature

Being an island at the bottom of the Earth - with 334 smaller islands making up the Tasmanian archipelago - means Tasmania's geographic isolation has contributed to unique biodiversity with plenty of natural wonders to explore.

Isolated from the Australian mainland for over 12,000 years, the island has a rich diversity of landscapes. From buttongrass plains to cool-temperate rainforests, alpine plateaus to rugged peaks, towering sea cliffs to long stretches of white sand, Tasmania's pristine scenery will undoubtedly appeal to nature lovers.

The island boasts world-renowned hikes in UNESCO World heritage-listed wilderness, starbathing under one of the darkest skies on earth, the natural lightshow of the Aurora Australis, fishing for wild trout in mountain streams, rafting on wild rivers, teeing off beside the sea, and of course, you can always stand quietly among the trees to breathe it all in. This easy access to beautiful scenic spots is said to make Tasmania an ideal place to unplug, recharge and reconnect.

Wildlife of Tasmania.
Photo credit: Tourism Tasmania/Rob Burnett

Incredible wildlife

Tasmania is an island ark of plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth, and visitors can enjoy close encounters with pocket-sized predators and forest giants alike.

The clean waters are home to a variety of sea life from seals and dolphins to whales and seadragons, while the many forests contain a range of bird species, 12 of which can only be found in Tassie. What's more, wombats, devils, puggles, platypuses and pademelons call Tasmania home, and there are plenty of experiences to get up close and personal with all kinds of four-legged friends. 

Tourists can take the wombat pledge at Mariah Island, enjoy an animal encounter at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, swim with seals at Eaglehawk Neck and learn about the Tassie Devil breeding programme at Devil Ark.

The chances to participate in Tasmanian Aboriginal-owned and led experiences are growing.
Photo credit: Samuel Shelley

The history and heritage

Tasmania - or lutruwita by its palawa (Tasmanian Aboriginal) name - is a small island with a long history. It's one of the few places on Earth with landscapes unchanged from the time of the ancient Gondwana supercontinent, and has unique biodiversity. 

The chances to participate in Tasmanian Aboriginal-owned and led experiences are growing. Travellers now have the opportunity to learn more about First Peoples' connection to Country through their stories, knowledge and enduring culture. In the dunes and beaches in Tasmania's larapuna/Bay of Fires area for instance, the land seems almost to speak. The sand dunes and depressions in the land tell of shelters once used by Tasmanian Aboriginal people. 

Visitors can go foraging for bush tucker with palawa Kipli, take a guided walk through the Bay of Fires to learn about the Palawa via the wakalina walk, or hear traditional stories of fire, earth and water with Blak Lead Tours as you tread the coastline of Trial Bay. There's a host of Aboriginal-owned and operated experiences for visitors to learn more about Tasmanians' deep and rich Aboriginal history. 

Tasmania's festival and events calendar is brimming with things to see and do.
Photo credit: Lusy Productions

The culture of creativity

Across Tasmania communities have cultivated their own distinctive creative lives, influenced by history, inspired by nature and shaped by shared stories and experience. 

A sense of adventure is said to run through the island's creative life. From historic sites reinhabited in surprising ways to bold original ventures, the island's arts and culture scene may challenge and inspire visitors. 

Tasmania is also well-known for its vibrant art scene. There are the big names - think Mona (the Museum of Old and New Art) and TMAG (the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery) - but also a constellation of small, edgy galleries and thought-provoking public art sites.

Celebrating everything from penny farthings to pinot noir, spinnakers to sporrans, tulips to nude swimming, Tasmania's festival and events calendar is brimming with things to see and do. The locals love a party, with bonfires warming up winter festivals and sparkling waters serving as the backdrop to summer celebrations. In fact, year-round, there's a festival or event happening somewhere in the state - and travellers from New Zealand are said to be always invited.