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Eight of the Best Day Trips from Hobart

There are great day trip options in almost every direction from the Tasmanian capital, including historic Richmond and Port Arthur, beautiful Bruny Island, and shimmering Russell Falls in Mount Field National Park. Here are eight amazing destinations that can each be done in a day.
Eight of the best day trips from Hobart
Eight of the best day trips from Hobart: Mount Wellington summit

1. kunanyi Mount Wellington

kunanyi Mount Wellington towers 1,200 metres above Hobart and a trip up to the summit is high on the list of must-dos for most visitors. The views are epic — and on a good day, you’ll be able to see the entire city, the River Derwent, the surrounding countryside, and even as far afield as Bruny Island. Be prepared for every weather eventuality as conditions on the mountain can change rapidly.

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2. Richmond

A visit to the historic town of Richmond in the Coal River region, just 30-minutes’ drive north of Hobart, is an easy and relaxed day trip option. There’s plenty to see and do in what is one of the oldest European settlements in the country. Stroll across Richmond Bridge — the oldest convict-built road bridge in Australia, see the country’s oldest operating Catholic church, and pay a visit to Richmond Gaol, which dates back to 1826. Richmond is also home to an eclectic selection of galleries and boutiques, and plenty of cafes and eateries. It’s an altogether delightful spot to spend a day.

Eight of the best day trips from Hobart
Eight of the best day trips from Hobart: Richmond Bridge

3. Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

Consider combining your visit to Richmond with a stop at the fabulous Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary — home to a menagerie of native Aussie critters, including several feisty Tasmanian devils. Devil Facial Tumour Disease has decimated Tassie’s devil population, and while researchers continue to search for a cure, healthy groups like this one are vital to the long term survival of the species. The sanctuary operates a 24/7 wildlife rescue service across the island and much of that work is funded by entry proceeds. There are various guided tours throughout the day, which are included in the cost of your ticket.

Eight of the best day trips from Hobart
Eight of the best day trips from Hobart: Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

4. Bruny Island

Stunning Bruny Island south of Hobart offers nature and gourmet food lovers the very best of both worlds. Visitors can immerse themselves in the island’s unspoiled natural environment, and access some of Tasmania’s finest gourmet fare at the same time. The island produces oysters, cider, chocolate, honey, artisanal cheese, and much more. Bruny is effectively two islands, joined by a sandy isthmus. If you want to focus more on the setting and less on maps (keeping in mind that mobile phone coverage on the island is often patchy), an organised tour is a good way to go. Climb to The Neck lookout for stunning 360-degree-views of the isthmus and surrounding coastline.

Eight of the best day trips from Hobart
Eight of the best day trips from Hobart: The Neck, Bruny Island. Image: Jess Bonde

5. Port Arthur Historic Site

With one fifth of living Australians descended from convicts transported from Britain in the 18th century, our convict heritage remains an integral part of the Australian story. Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed Port Arthur Historic Site brings that story to life in an engrossing and emotive way. Port Arthur is located on the Tasman Peninsula, approximately 1.5 hours’ drive from Hobart. You reach the picturesque peninsula by crossing an isthmus — once guarded by ferocious dogs to deter convict escapees. More than 12,000 convicts were incarcerated at Port Arthur over the course of 50 years and today there are around 30 surviving buildings to explore. Your entry ticket includes a 25-minute harbour cruise past the aptly named Isle of the Dead — the final resting place of more than a thousand inmates and officials.

Eight of the best day trips from Hobart
Separate Prison, Port Arthur. Image: Tourism Tasmania/Kathryn Leahy

6. Russell Falls

Mother nature’s best is on display all over Tasmania, but perhaps nowhere more so than in Mount Field National Park — home to the exquisite Russell Falls. Surrounded by verdant rainforest, the tiered falls occupy an almost prehistoric world of filtered light, soaring tree ferns, mossy logs covered in colourful fungi, and babbling streams. The one-hour drive west from Hobart will see you pass through quaint towns and rolling green hills. The pastoral landscape gradually morphs into the dense temperate rainforest of the national park. Birdsong and the rich scent of eucalyptus fill the air as you stroll beneath the ancient forest canopy to the falls and back.

Eight of the best day trips from Hobart
Eight of the best day trips from Hobart: Russell Falls

7. Huon Valley

The Huon Valley begins just 30 minutes’ drive south of Hobart. The region suffered a very tough time in 2019 as bushfires wreaked havoc, and the popular Tahune Forest Airwalk — an elevated walkway 30 metres above the forest floor — has now reopened. Rolling green fields, lush rainforest, crystal clear rivers and small fishing villages set by picturesque inlets are the hallmarks of a visit to the valley. Drop by Willie Smith’s Apple Shed and Museum at Grove, go jet boating on the Huon River with Huon Jet, visit the fascinating Wooden Boat Centre at Franklin, and wander through the town of Geeveston — the gateway to the remote reaches of the Picton and Huon rivers.

Eight of the best day trips from Hobart
Willie Smith’s Apple Shed and Museum. Image: Tourism Tasmania/Jonathan Wherrett

8. Cradle Mountain

At four hours’ drive each way, a day trip from Hobart to majestic Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is a big expedition, but for some time-poor tourists it’s regarded as an absolute necessity. Dove Lake at the northern end of the world-famous park is a focal point for most day visitors, and on a good day the view of Cradle Mountain rising behind the tranquil waters of the lake is spellbinding. There’s a six-kilometre walk around the lake and you’re quite likely to encounter contented wombats grazing on the windswept open grassland. Also keep your eyes peeled for devils, spotted quolls, echidnas and wallabies.

Eight of the best day trips from Hobart
Cradle Mountain. Image: Tourism Tasmania/Masaaki Aihara

If you have the time, pay a visit to the Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery. It houses a fabulous collection of paintings, photographic works, ceramic pieces and sculptures that take inspiration from the surrounding region.

Do you have any suggestions to add to our list of the best Hobart day trips? We would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.

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Adam Ford

About the writer

Adam Ford is editor of Top Oz Tours and Travel Ideas, and a travel TV presenter, writer, blogger, and photographer. He has travelled extensively through Europe, Asia, North America, Africa, and the Middle East. Adam worked as a travel consultant for a number of years with Flight Centre before taking up the opportunity to travel the world himself as host of the TV series Tour the World on Network Ten. He loves to experience everything a new destination has to offer and is equally at home in a five-star Palazzo in Pisa or a home-stay in Hanoi.





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