Tasmania travel advice for international visitors

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Tasmania is the ultimate destination for nature lovers. With dramatic scenery, world-class beaches, unique peaks to climb and endless treks, Tasmania is ideal for a holiday with the family or one full of adventures.

The Australian island state has much to offer and planning a holiday in Tasmania can actually be a lot of work. Get all the information and advice to travel to Tasmania in this thorough guide for international visitors. Readers will learn about:

  • How to get to Tasmania and explore the island
  • When to travel to Tasmania
  • Prices in Tasmania for a holiday
  • Tasmanian tourist attractions and landmarks

How to get to Tasmania

Tasmania is an island territory, meaning that it can only be reached by plane or ferry. The main airport in the state is Hobart Airport (HBA.) There have been no scheduled international flights since 1998 but the airport maintains customs and immigration facilities.

HBA serves about 2 million passengers per year. Most flights to Hobart Airport depart from Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. Other direct domestic flights to Tasmania land in Launceston, Wynyard (Burnie), Devonport, King and Flinders Island.

Some travellers decide to get to Tasmania from Melbourne by sea. This can be a good alternative especially for those who are not on a tight schedule and wish to take their car with them.

Best time to go to Tasmania

Visitors should keep in mind that Tasmania is located in the Southern hemisphere, meaning that summer runs between December and February. This is also considered peak season so prices may be higher and it is advisable to book well in advance.

The Tasmanian winter starts in July and it is the best time to see the snow and practice winter sports. However, temperatures can be quite rigid. Spring and summer are a better choice for beach activities and bushwalking.

What is the best way to travel around Tasmania?

The most convenient way to get around Tasmania is by car. Many international visitors decide to hire a vehicle and explore the island’s beauties at their own pace.

Although driving in Australia means for many having to get their license translated into English and/or getting used to driving on the left, this can still be the easiest and most fun way to move, especially with the family or a travel buddy.

Tasmania document requirements for foreign visitors

The vast majority of foreign nationals need a visa in order to enter Australia and, therefore, Tasmania.

For eligible tourists, the fastest and easiest option is an online visa like the eVisitor visa and the ETA. The application takes only a few minutes to complete and can be submitted online from anywhere in the world.

Together with their visa and the passport they used during the application, tourists should take to Tasmania other relevant documents such as their driver’s license and confirmation of their accommodation and activity bookings.

Tasmania safety advice for tourists from overseas

Tasmania and Australia in general are considered very safe destinations for tourists. Australians are very friendly and welcoming people, happy to greet and help visitors should the need arise. Do not hesitate to ask for directions or assistance.

Tasmania and Hobart experience even lower crime rates than the national average according to 2017-2018 national crime statistics. However, travellers should be aware of petty crimes and the risks associated with spending time in the wilderness in an area one is not familiar with.

General safety advice for Tasmania includes:

  • Keeping your belongings close
  • Avoiding carrying expensive items, especially in crowded places
  • Always having plenty of water and food with you when hiking and driving
  • Considering hiring a local guide for explorations
  • Telling someone about your plans if taking part in a multi day trek
  • Swimming in patrolled beaches only

Is Tasmania expensive to travel?

Compared to the price of a trip to Australia, a Tasmanian holiday can be relatively inexpensive. Visitors can expect to spend about AUD $150 per day, although it is possible to spend much more or less depending on one’s choices on accommodation.

Booking well in advance and avoiding peak season will noticeably help travellers on a tight budget.

What to do and see in Tasmania

Tasmania boasts some of the country’s most famous attractions for fans of history and nature. Here are some:

  • Freycinet National Park and Coles Bay are home to some incredible, breathtaking landscapes. Picture sandy beaches, stunning camping locations, and trails for all levels
  • Port Arthur Historic Site is the ideal place to learn about Australian history in Tasmania. Built as a penal colony in 1830, the jail expanded to host over 3,500 convicts and is now one of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Australian Convict Sites
  • Great for a daytrip from the state capital Hobart, Bruny Island and the South Bruny National Park are home to fur seals, penguins, albatross, eagles, wallabies, and many more species. From nice walks and cheese factory explorations to climbing cliffs, there is something for everyone on the island
  • Perhaps the most famous reserve in Tasmania, Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair feature popular treks (such as the 6-day and 40-mile Overland Trek) as well as Australia’s deepest lake
  • Launceston can boasts several attractions, such as the Cataract Gorge & First Basin, and the Mole Creek underground caves just out of town towards Cradle Mountain

What should you not miss in Hobart?

Hobart is Tasmania’s capital city, yet it retains an old small town feeling. The lifestyle in this ex penal colony built in 1804 is relaxed and laid back.

Some of the best things to do and see in Hobart include:

  • Enjoying the breathtaking views from the top of Mount Wellington 
  • Strolling around the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens
  • Shopping at Salamanca Market
  • Exploring the MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) and its collection of over 1,900 works from Ancient Egypt to current times
  • Heading to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (Australia’s second-oldest museum) to learn about the Indigenous culture of Australia

Learning about an important piece of Australian women’s history at the Cascades Female Factory, an ex workhouse and penal colony for women opened in 1828 and now part of the 11 UNESCO-listed Australian Convict Sites