18 January, 2023

Eight more Tasmanian hidden gems

Have you stumbled upon Hobart’s medieval-style tennis court? Or the Melbourne-style laneway cafe in Devonport?

You loved our post about Tasmanian hidden gems – so here are eight more! While most tourists take well-worn paths to hotspots like Cradle Mountain and Mona, discover locals’ best-kept secrets. Unique, secluded or even hidden in plain sight, these places and experiences could be the unexpected highlights of your holiday.

Stanley village. Photo: Lusy Productions

Wine not?

In the little north-west seaside town of Stanley, which is graced with many charming old cottages, you could walk past a weatherboard painted grey without realising it’s Stanley Wine Bar. In contrast to the subdued exterior, inside you’ll find a quirky, comfy treasure trove of antique, vintage and upcycled decor. Plus drinks of course, especially local wines, beers and whiskies, as well as tasty snacks like housemade mini pizzas.

National Penny Farthing Championships and Evandale Village Fair. Photo: Rob Burnett

Old-fashioned fun

The National Penny Farthing Championships celebrates 40 years on 18 February, 2023. Riders of this early style of bicycle, with one tiny wheel and one very big one, compete in a street-circuit race. There are lots of silly events too, like the novice race (will anyone stay upright?) and slow race (last over the line wins!). It’s the highlight of Evandale Village Fair, whose other old-timey pleasures include vintage cars and puppet shows.

Hartz Peak Walk, Hartz Mountains National Park. Photo: Stu Gibson

Hartz content

Just 80 kilometres from central Hobart, Hartz Mountains National Park is a great place to quickly get away from it all among waterfalls, glacial lakes, forests, alpine moors and jagged peaks. The difficult 3-5 hour Hartz Peak walk is rewarded with panoramic views across the wilderness to remote mountain ranges. Or take it easy with the five-minute Waratah Lookout walk.

Laneway Cafe. Photo: S. Group

Way to go

Hidden down a lane in a nondescript part of Devonport is one of Tassie’s best cafes – and it’s open from 6.30am daily so you can drive straight from Spirit to breakfast or just a cup of Joe to kick off your road trip. Laneway’s enticing morning menu includes waffles three ways and Argentinian ‘loco’ beans,while gourmet burgers and lemon tart are among the afternoon delights.

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Royal Tennis Court. Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Kathryn Leahy

Tennis, but not as you know it

Get a surprising blast from the past at the Hobart Real Tennis Club, one of the southern hemisphere’s oldest sporting clubs. Watch the indoor sport of real, or royal tennis, which was first played in the 13th century and inspired all racquet games. There’s usually action on the club’s court, whether for matches or practice, and visitors are welcome.

Raptor Refuge. Photo: Luke Bowden

Feathered friends

There aren’t many second chances for sick and injured wild birds, but Raptor Refuge is one of them. Locals like peregrine falcons, masked owls and white-bellied sea eagles are rehabilitated at this volunteer-run centre, which has Australia’s largest flight aviaries. Visitor experiences include private walk-and-talk tours and rescue-to-release workshops. Bookings essential.

Masaaki`s Sushi, Geeveston - Masaaki Koyama. Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

Seafood sensation

Tasmania’s most celebrated sushi master, Masaaki Koyama put the tiny town of Geeveston on the foodie map. Fondly known as the surfing sushi chef, he recently switched from restaurant to food truck serving weekend take-away boxes. This more relaxed Masaaki’s Sushi offers the same exceptional Japanese technique and fresh Tasmanian seafood. Avoid queues – or missing out entirely! – by ordering ahead.

Coal Mines Historic Site. Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority

Mining the past

Just 30 minutes’ drive from Port Arthur is another UNESCO World Heritage convict site, which has free entry yet is often quiet. From 1833 to 1848, the ‘worst-of-the-worst’ laboured at what’s now the Coal Mines Historic Site. This series of ruins can be explored on three easy bayside bushwalks, or if time’s tight just stroll among the tumbledown sandstone and brick buildings near the carpark.

Find out more about Spirit of Tasmania's new Victorian home, Spirit of Tasmania Quay.

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Information included in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. Please contact individual operators for further information.

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