These five unforgettable day trips from Hobart cover convict tales, culinary adventures and bucketloads of natural beauty.
From rugged coastlines and pristine beaches to quaint villages and wildlife encounters, here’s a guide to the best day trips from Hobart.
Port Arthur Historic Site (Approx. 1.5 hours drive)
Set off on a historical journey just a short drive southeast of Hobart to the Port Arthur Historic Site, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed destination. Once a brutal penal settlement, today it stands as a haunting reminder of Australia’s convict past. Take a guided tour through the well-preserved ruins of over 30 buildings, explore the lush gardens, and cruise along the eerie waters surrounding the Isle of the Dead. You’ll be transported back in time as you learn about the 12,500 convicts who lived through a hellish experience at this site. Stop in at McHenry Distillery, Australia’s southernmost whisky distillery, on your way back for a tasting paddle of their wonderful spirits.
Bruny Island (Approx. 1-1.5 hour drive + ferry)
For an adventure that covers both culinary delights and natural beauty, head 35 minutes south to Kettering and catch the 20-minute ferry to Bruny Island. Known for its stunning landscapes and gourmet delights, Bruny is a food lover’s paradise. Savour freshly shucked oysters at Get Shucked Oyster Bar, and indulge in artisanal cheese at the Bruny Island Cheese Company (the O.D.O. or One Day Old cheese is a favourite). Cap it off with a visit to The Neck (the isthmus between north and south Bruny) and the Cape Bruny Lighthouse for panoramic views of the rugged coastline. Nature walks, encounters with local wildlife and delicious local produce make Bruny Island one of the best day trips from Hobart.
Richmond (Approx. 30 minutes drive)
For a charming escape into Tasmania’s colonial past, take a short drive to Richmond. This historic village, with its well-preserved Georgian architecture, provides a glimpse into the early days of European settlement. Wander along the cobblestone streets, visit Australia’s oldest stone bridge (built by convicts in the 1820s), and explore the Richmond Gaol, where you can learn about the harsh conditions faced by convicts. With its antique shops, cafes, and friendly locals, Richmond is a delightful day trip that feels like a step back in time. On your way there, stop in at the Coal River Farm for artisanal chocolate, small-batch cheeses and fresh berries in season.
Mount Field National Park (Approx. 1.5 hours drive)
Nature lovers and adventure seekers will love the wonders of Mount Field National Park: Tasmania’s oldest national park and part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. A short drive northwest of Hobart transports you to this world of ancient eucalypt forests, alpine tarns, towering tree ferns and cascading waterfalls. Russell Falls, Horseshoe Falls and Lady Barron Falls are some of the park’s highlights, easily accessible via well-maintained walking trails suitable for various fitness levels. In winter, the park transforms into a snowy wonderland, offering a different but equally enchanting experience.
Freycinet National Park (Approx. 2.5 hours drive)
This is a bit further afield, but if white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters and granite peaks sound like your ideal day, then Freycinet National Park on the stunning east coast is the perfect destination. The iconic Wineglass Bay, with its crescent-shaped beach, is the highlight of the park. Head off on a hike to the Wineglass Bay Lookout for a breathtaking panoramic view, while experienced hikers can opt for a more challenging trek to Mount Amos. Over the summer months, make sure to use mosquito repellent and wear loose, long-sleeved clothing to prevent bites: the mozzies here can be relentless and there is a risk of Barmah Forest virus and Ross River virus.
For more to explore in Tassie’s capital, check out the best festival and events in Hobart all year round.
Travel to Hobart
Rex flies to Hobart. Book your flights here.