Hobart sits on the southern coast of Tasmania, surrounded by world-class attractions and sights. Only a short drive away, many of the surrounding areas can be visited within one day. Whether you’re enamoured by Tasmania’s beautiful landscapes, rich Indigenous and European history or the abundance of high-quality produce on offer, you will not be disappointed by any of these locations. Keep reading to discover the five best day trips from Hobart.
Do you love a road trip? With winding coastal roads and water views, a drive up the east coast of Tasmania is a holiday must. Start in the town of Sorell, which offers a local “trash and treasure” market every Sunday, before heading to the beautiful beachside town of Orford to experience its unbeatable views of the historically rich Maria Island. From Orford, drive another 40 minutes until you reach Swansea where you can stop for a bite to eat, stretch the legs and let the kids have a play on the playground before heading back down the coast.
Iconic and historic Port Arthur is a well-known day trip from Hobart, but there’s also plenty to see and do on the drive down the peninsula towards the town. Stop in at the Dunalley Fish Market for lunch and savour the best freshly caught seafood in the area before carrying on towards the small town of Eaglehawk Neck. Wander over this town’s tessellated pavements and visit Doo Town, where every property has “Doo” in its name. From Eaglehawk Neck it’s only another half an hour more to reach Port Arthur and get a dose of convict history.
A trip to the lakes makes for a long day, but it’s definitely worth it if you have the time. Head up the Highland Lakes Road, passing through small country towns such as Kempton and Bothwell. If whiskey is your thing, then be sure to call into some of the local distilleries in this area, such as Nant or Belgrove.
You’ll encounter the Steppes Conservation Reserve where you can see a historic homestead that was built in 1863 as sheep grazing was becoming popular in the highlands. Just down the road from the homestead there’s also the Steppes Sculptures, 12 intricate bronze sculptures mounted on rocks, a gift from the late Tasmanian sculptor Stephen Walker who adored the highlands. Once you reach the central highlands, make for Great Lake, where you can stop at Great Lake Hotel for some lunch before embarking on some fishing or bushwalking. Bonus points if you take this trip in the winter as the region is absolutely stunning in the snow, just be careful on those icy roads.
Often overlooked as a day trip of its own and usually just a stop on your way to the lakes or the west coast, Hamilton is a perfect, low-key Sunday drive. Head to Jackson’s Emporium for a bite to eat, where they specialise in home-style cooking and heritage accommodation. This is the perfect place to break for lunch or even base yourself if you want to explore more of the Derwent Valley. After refuelling, go for a walk around the town and take a gander at the old heritage buildings like the Old Schoolhouse (1858) and St Peter’s Church (1837). If you’re still feeling restless after your wander, you can take a slight detour on your way back to Hobart and stop in at the Salmon Ponds to feed the fish and have a delicious afternoon tea.
This list could never be complete without including Bruny Island. One of Tasmania’s most well-known holiday destinations, Bruny Island is also perfectly located for a day trip from Hobart. Drive the 30 minutes to Kettering where you will board the iconic Bruny Island Ferry and sail over to the island, taking in all the D’Entrecasteaux Channel has to offer. Once you arrive it’s really up to you how you want to spend your day. There are activities that will appeal to everyone, from fishing to penguin watching to flying over the island in a light aircraft. As for food, the world is quite literally your oyster; drop in to Get Shucked for a feed and taste some of the freshest oysters in Tasmania. Or, if cheese is more your thing, wander down the road to Bruny Island Cheese Co. If you’re after more of an à la carte meal, go no further than Bruny Island Premium Wines – it showcases exquisite Bruny Island produce and caters to most dietary requirements.