Is It Worth Visiting Tasmania For One Day?

Normally we’re advocates of slower travel, so we rarely debate the idea of flying somewhere to only spend one night. But we’ve discussed visiting Tasmania for years and always put it off for “next time.” And on our most recent visit to Melbourne it looked like Tasmania would once again be pushed back for a future trip because Bell was very busy, working remotely for her day job, in addition to needing time to catch up with family and friends. But then a friend passed away and it reminded me that time isn’t promised to any of us, so I decided to book a last minute plane ticket to Hobart for a day. If you’re thinking the same, here’s a few things to consider, along with tips for making the most of a short visit to Tasmania.

Tassie - boats

Debating Your Australian Itinerary

There’s a lot to see in Australia and it’s a vast country. Bell’s family spent two months traveling the country in a camper when she was a kid. In previous visits and during my year living and working in Melbourne in 2004, I’ve traveled around Victoria, Sydney and a little around New South Wales, Brisbane, the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest in Queensland. I’ve still not visited Uluru (Ayer’s Rock), the Outback or Western Australia. I’ve also never visited Adelaide or Canberra and because each is also only an hour flight from Melbourne, I considered flying to one of those cities instead of Hobart, if there was a drastic difference in the price of last minute plane tickets. But there wasn’t, and Australians generally recommend Hobart over Adelaide and Canberra.

Downtown Hobart

Tassie Bay

Budget

Australia isn’t a cheap country, and if you’re traveling all the way there, you’ve most likely already factored several domestic flights into your budget. I flew from Melbourne to Hobart with Tiger Air and returned the following night with Jetstar. Both airlines are discount carriers and even just 7 days before departure I was able to score roundtrip tickets for $160 Australian ($120 US). We recommend sites like momondo, skyscanner and google flights for finding the cheapest fares globally. And always check multiple sites.

Unless you’re a backpacker with a very tight budget, don’t let a little extra money get in the way of visiting Tasmania. This may be your only visit to Australia and Tasmania is very worthwhile!

Hobart, Tasmania: MONA, Waterfront, Aussie Flag

 

How to Maximize Your Time in Tasmania

Hobart is a chill town that’s very walkable. You can see many of the most worthwhile areas, like the waterfront and Salamanca Place in a couple hours. The three biggest attractions of the area are Mount Wellington, MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) and Port Arthur. On a very short visit, you’re probably going to have to pick two out of the three. I chose Mount Wellington and MONA, partly because they’re both closer to downtown Hobart than Port Arthur.

But I didn’t rent a car and unfortunately I just missed the 10:15am shuttle bus to the summit of Mount Wellington and the only other bus was at 1:30pm. That essentially left me with a decision between the later shuttle bus or catching the 30 minute ferry to MONA. If it’s a Saturday in summer there’s also a 3:30pm shuttle up to Mount Wellington, but otherwise there are just two buses the other six days. I decided to visit MONA because I’d been told the ferry ride and surrounding area was fantastic, and it was.

If you rent a car, you can drive up to Mount Wellington, MONA and also squeeze in a winery. Tasmania has developed an international reputation for some high-end pinot noir. If you enjoy red wine, this is what you should drink in Tasmania!

Trampoline at MONA, Hobart

Other Tips

There’s several activities at MONA asides from the gallery, so allow additional time to walk around and enjoy it. There’s an adjacent winery and even a trampoline with an amazing view of Hobart. If you’re a little conservative you may not like MONA because one aim of the gallery is to shock people, which is partly why it’s become world renown and scores big special exhibitions like Gilbert & George. The ferry ride offers a wonderful view, and the boat is very modern, with interesting art like sheep and cow statues on the deck.

MONA, Hobart, Tasmania MONA ferry, Hobart, Tasmania

 

A great place for a casual dinner and tasty craft beer or Tasmanian wine is the hipster haven, Preachers. Dine inside and feel like you’re eating in someone’s house, or you can sit outside in their retro bus in the courtyard. I enjoyed a melt in your mouth lamb burger with nicely seasoned thick cut fries. And the staff are happy to let you sample a couple craft beers before making a commitment. But in Tasmania the highlight is the pinot noir and lots of hip bars and restaurants line Salamanca Place to enjoy a glass or bottle with company.

Tassie Food

Saturday would be the best day to visit Hobart for some, asides from larger crowds and higher prices in the hotels. Saturday is when the Salamanca Market takes place, which is one of the best in Australia. I flew into Hobart Wednesday evening and flew back to Melbourne late Thursday night so I missed it.

Conclusion

Yes, it’s worth visiting Tasmania if you only have a spare day! Of course, you should try and visit for longer and I certainly wish I had more time. But a short time is better than no time at all, especially since Australia is so far away for most people. So if you have an opportunity to visit Hobart, don’t pass on it!

18 thoughts on “Is It Worth Visiting Tasmania For One Day?

  1. Glad you enjoyed Tassie and there is a lot to see if you have time take the Spirit of Tasmania and put your car on and travel around.

    1. Thank you for the tip for those who have more time. Hopefully on a future trip we’ll be able to enjoy more of Tasmania together by car!

  2. WHile I wish I had the time to do slow travel I usually end up getting a night or 2 just like you did in Hobart. So happy to see that you can fit a lot in a short trip!

    1. We hear you Brianna, we haven’t had the time for slow travel since moving back to the US from Europe. We like it in theory, but in reality, short vacation time also makes it hard for us these days. It’s nice when you can cram a lot in and not have it feel stressful and I think Hobart is a great place for that!

    1. Hi Natasha, are you referring to the people having two heads? 😉 I would have loved to have seen Port Arthur, hopefully next time!

  3. I am generally the kind of person who loves slow travel, and like spending a lot of time in one place. But I have always enjoyed one day trips in between, and this one looks like a great place to be. I might just consider it for a longer time, but I am glad you enjoyed it in 24 hours too!

    1. Hi Street Trotter, indeed I wish I had more time in Tasmania. Next time! I’m glad you’re considering it for longer, that way you have time for all the highlights and to also discover some lesser known gems.

    1. Hi WyldfamilyTravel! I did indeed have a great time in Hobart and really hope to return someday to spend longer in Tasmania. I know how it is, I grew up in Florida and have barely visited anywhere in the Caribbean, despite the fact that you can take cruises all over the region, and cheaply from Florida. But it felt more interesting and exotic to travel further when the opportunities presented themselves.

  4. Better to take a short trip than no trip at all! Scott and I thought our trip to Hobart was jam-packed into 4 days. Good for you for going for it, despite the limited time. If you’d had a couple more days, I’d recommend the Tasman Peninsula and Mt. Field National Park.

    1. Definitely wish I had a few more days, Jenn, and that Bell could have made the trip too. Thanks for the tips. We’ll add them to the list for a future trip to Tasmania!

  5. You covered quite a lot in a day! And great choice picking Tassie over Canberra. I live in Canberra and I would recommend you to go anywhere else if you have the spare day 😉 I personally wouldn’t try to do Tasmania in one day (unless that’s absolutely the only time I have) because Tasmania itself is so diverse and huge. I went for a 3 day visit to Launceston and even then I didn’t feel like I covered much, though visiting the Bay of Fires was absolutely breathtaking and made me want to retire there 🙂

    1. Haha, that’s funny about Canberra 😉 Bell visited Canberra when she was younger and says similar things. I’d still like to see it one day. If we ever move back to Australia there will be more time to visit.

      Yeah it was a busy one day in Hobart! Typically I never do that and I wish I’d had more time. But I really could only spare just over a day because of commitments to family and friends in Melbourne. I’d love to return and see more of Tasmania, including Launceston. It would be great to rent a car. Sounds like you had a great trip. I look forward to reading about it! Happy travels and thank you for the great comments! 🙂

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