Tasmania is so much more than its moniker ‘The Apple Isle’ would lead you to believe. While, yes, the food and wine industry has exploded into a burgeoning scene that would impress even the most discerning gourmand, there is a unique cultural history that is reflected in the architecture and the small towns dotted through the countryside. Tasmania is the perfect place to go for a road trip, if only to get acquainted with the villages the locals call home.
Read more: The highlights of the east coast of Tasmania
The perfect place to visit if you’re looking to explore Freycinet National Park, Coles Bay has picturesque pink granite mountains and calm blue waters. Coles Bay might be just a small town but what it lacks in restaurants and shops it makes up for in beautiful natural surrounds.
Both beautiful and terribly sad, the history of Port Arthur began as a penal colony for Australia’s convicts. Beyond the morbid and the menacing, there are historical buildings and stories unique to the area that are best discovered through one of the tours here – the local ghost tour is one of the favourites in the area.
Just a half an hour drive from Hobart, Richmond is an historical township that is home to Australia’s oldest bridge, built in 1825. Don’t forget to pull up a chair at the local bakery for coffee and cake while you’re here, too.
Located in the north of Tasmania, Launceston is Tassie’s second largest city and is a great stop for the food, wine, art and nature lovers – there’s something here for everyone! Stop by the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery or take a stroll over Kings Bridge which was built in 1867. The Cataract Gorge Reserve, known locally as simply the Gorge, has chairlifts, a swimming pool and exotic plants to wonder through.
Hobart may be a capital city, but traditional charm isn’t lost on this place. Heritage buildings, scenic waterways and award-winning restaurants are just some of the things to explore here. Modern art lovers will love Hobart’s controversial MONA gallery, while the Salamanca Markets will equally delight the foodies and shopaholics.
Set on the banks of the South Esk River in the north of Tassie, Evandale is an historic town that is home to the National Penny Farthing Championships, which is a fun event that brings the town alive and includes races, music and colonial costumes.
Cygnet is fruit-growing country and you’ll see apples and cherry orchards make a patchwork of the surrounding hills. This quiet town has become a favourite for artist types and there are many craft shops, studios and galleries to meander through. Don’t forget to stop by the Hartzview Vineyard which was once home to the Italian prisoners of war in the early 1900s.