Top 5 Things to Do in Tasmania (Part 2)

We bring you five amazing things to do in Tasmania on a trip around the island. Our list includes the opportunity to shop for a storm at Hobart's Salamanca Market, explore the splendor of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, cross the Gordon Wild River, ride the West Coast Wilderness Railway, and contact your inmate at the Port Arthur historic site.

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1. See the Southern Lights

Also known as the Aurora Australis, the Southern Lights are created by solar winds and can be seen throughout the year in Tasmania, depending on weather conditions. The full-color gamut is rarely visible to the naked eye, but it looks ethereal and impressive through a camera lens, so you'll likely see green, yellow, or white light dancing over the horizon.

They are most easily identified when looking south from a location away from artificial light. Mount Wellington and Mount Nelson near Hobart are good places to try your luck.

2. Go Wine Tasting

Tasmania is full of top-notch food and wine, and the climate is suitable for a variety of grapes, including pinot gris, riesling, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, and cabernet sauvignon.

If you are in Launceston, you can explore the Tamar Valley, while the Derwent, Coal River, and Huon valleys are not far from Hobart. There are also a few wineries along the east coast between Swansea and Bicheno.

Try Stefano Lubiana for biodynamic wines, Pooley Wines for sustainable viticulture, Devil's Corner for pizza and pinot, and Josef Chromy for lakeside sparkling.

3. Enjoy the Views of Mount Wellington

No visit to Hobart is complete without a trip to Mount Wellington, which offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding countryside from a vantage point 4,000 feet above sea level. The mountain, called Kunani by the Muwinina Indians, is surrounded by hiking and biking trails, as well as a popular climbing area at Tubes de Organs.

While there is a small cafe in Springs and restrooms throughout the park, there is no visitor center, so we recommend planning your trip in advance. The summit (known as the Pinnacle) is a half hour drive from Hobart, with buses and tours available. Wellington Park is free and opens 24 hours.

4. Meet a Tasmanian Devil

Often seen showing teeth and snarling, these rabid little animals were the inspiration for the Looney Tunes character Taz, and they are also the largest carnivorous marsupials in the world. They once lived throughout Australia, but are now only found in Tasmania. Even here, their numbers are rapidly declining due to a rare contagious cancer.

Over the past two decades, the Tasmanian government has launched conservation efforts to ensure that the Devils do not share the fate of their distant relative, the extinct Tasmanian Tiger. You'll see them at most zoos in the state, as well as Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park, Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, and Cradle Wildlife Park.

5. Take the cable car to the nut

At the northwestern tip of Tasmania, Nut is an impressive 140-meter-high volcanic rock formation that offers spectacular views of the Bass Strait and Cape Rocky National Park. Take the cable car or follow the steep trail to the top. (It will take about an hour to complete the full circuit on foot).

At the base of Nut, the historic town of Stanley is an ideal base for exploring this rural part of the coast. The cable car costs AU $17 round trip and is closed during the winter.

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