Tasmania is not the first place your mind wanders to when you dream of Australia, is it? Tasmania is to mainland Australia as Hawaii is to the USA. Secluded from the rest of the continent, this island state has had to ward off attacks from the entire world.

Tassie is commonly misrepresented as a land full of simple-minded, backwards, inbred humans. Be that as it may, we are well-versed and worldly backpackers that do not succumb to silly claims without exploring a location for ourselves.

Wholeheartedly, I surmise that the perception of Tasmania was skewed in order to weed out people not worthy of visiting this glorious land. It was like some ploy or marketing scheme, to keep the land serene for those backpackers brave enough to break stereotypes — hey, that’s you!

Tasmania, Tas, Tassie, Little New Zealand, or Under Down Under — referred to by many names — this gem is known for a lot more than just being home to a cute Looney Tunes character. Australia’s wild island state boasts the cleanest air in the world, some of the clearest waters, undisturbed natural forests, and incredible views.

We’ve put everything there is to know about backpacking Tasmania in this epic insider guide. So let’s get right to it!

Where to Go Backpacking in Tasmania


We’ve mentioned it above, but we have to say it again. Visiting Tasmania when you’re backpacking Australia should be a must! A backpacker’s treasure and retreat, separated by the Bass Strait, Tasmania sits 240 km (150 mi) south of mainland Australia. Over 40% of the population resides in the Greater Hobart precinct — the largest city and state capital — leaving most of the land unspoiled.

Fresh seafood, tasty wine, vast wilderness, pristine beaches, majestic mountains, and wildlife that cannot be found anywhere else on earth, are only a portion of what makes backpacking Tasmania truly special.

Best Itinerary and Route for Backpacking Tasmania

Tasmania Travel Guide
1. Hobart; 2. Mount Field NP; 3. Lake St. Clair; 4. Queenstown; 5. Strahan; 6. Cradle Mountain; 7. Sheffield; 8. Launceston; 9. Bay of Fire; 10. St. Helens; 11. Bicheno; 12. Freycinet National Park

This is the best itinerary for tackling a Tasmanian road trip! You can travel in either direction or pick a city — other than Hobart — to begin your route.

A 10-day itinerary would be ideal to travel this full circuit and make all of the best stops. Feel free to extend this journey if you would like to further explore the wonders of Tasmania. Hiking, biking, scuba diving, fishing, surfing, trekking, and learning a rich history are all activities that could require extra days in certain locations.


Places to Visit in Tasmania

I have covered an entire circuit around the island state in my backpacking Tasmania itinerary. Get ready for mountains, sea, wildlife, forests, and much more. Tasmania has a little something for everyone!

Backpacking Hobart

Hobart is the most populous city and the heart of Tasmania. The second oldest city in Australia, it is located on the estuary of the Derwent River and its most powerful feature stands at a height of 1,271 m (4,170ft), Mount Wellington. Being a port city, the economy depends a great deal upon its shipping activities. With its geographical proximity to Antarctica, Hobart is home port for Antarctic activities for Australia and France, making it an Antarctic gateway city. Admit it, that is pretty cool.

During the summer months, Hobart is a popular cruise ship destination. Knowing where to stay in Hobart can be a real advantage when it comes to booking your accommodation. The city is a great base for your Tasmanian backpacking adventure since there are so many great hostels in the city. They give you the chance to meet like-minded travellers, make new friends, and have a comfy bed to rest your head at night.

Tasmania Travel Guide

MONA – Museum of Old and New Art, sits just 11 kilometers north of Hobart’s city center and is easily accessible by bus or ferry. The 30 minute ferry ride is a great experience in itself, enjoy a cocktail while taking in scenic Hobart. David Walsh, MONA owner, describes the museum as ‘a subversive adult Disneyland’.

Opened in 2011, MONA breaks all of the rules when it comes to museums, beginning with the fact that its infrastructure is that of an underground, inverted pyramid. With exhibits that are anywhere from beautiful to disturbing and delightful to weird, this museum is one that you cannot pass up while visiting Hobart. A unique and innovative art experience, whether you agree with what you see or not, it will get a conversation started. End your day at the Moorilla Estate for a bite or to indulge in some wine or craft beer.

Since 1972 a street market in Salamanca Place, Salamanca Market, has been a booming Saturday morning activity. Hobart lures in craft merchants from the foothills to set up their stalls on this ordinary street. Every Saturday from 8am to 3pm the street comes to life with over 300 vendors of unique Tasmanian products, fresh organic produce, secondhand clothes and books, tourist souvenirs, ceramics, woodwork, antiques, ethnic food, and drinks.

Salamanca Place, on the waterfront, is one of Tasmania’s best known landmarks. Hobart’s nightlife revolves around this area, as many bars and restaurants have been converted out of old warehouses into the rows of sandstone buildings that stand today.

Kunanyi/Mount Wellington is the summit of the Wellington Range and encompassed by Wellington Park. A sealed, narrow road allows you to drive to the summit of the mountain; alternatively, the Hobart Shuttle Bus Company runs tours to the summit, daily.

Tasmania Travel Guide
Mount Wellington – Tasmania

Often covered by snow due to its high altitude, Mount Wellington’s lower slopes have many trails to be explored. For those feeling intrepid, you can bike down the mountain’s hills, go rock climbing, or try abseiling. Wellington Park’s website is loaded with the most up-to-date visitor information and maps of the park, importantly.

The most distinctive feature of Mount Wellington is The Organ Pipes. A cliff of dolerite columns is what was formed after the process of Tasmania becoming separated from Antarctica and a truly spectacular site that is not to be missed.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Cascades Female Factory, is a former Australian workhouse for female convicts. This is currently in operation as a museum and a popular tourist attraction to give you a taste of Tasmania’s history as a penal colony.

Cascade Brewery, Australia’s iconic and oldest brewery, sits at the foothills of Mount Wellington. Pure Tasmanian water is sourced from the mountain to bring the tasty beer that they brew today. Take a tour of this legendary brewery while you are exploring the city.

Visit Battery Point, a suburb of Hobart, and one of the cities most prestigious areas. Take a free guided walking tour to learn about the suburb’s rich history.

Other great points of interest include the Royal Tasmania Botanical Gardens, the Tasman Bridge – an important feature for Hobart, Kelly’s Steps – an architectural landmark, and gorgeous beaches like Seven Mile Beach or Long Beach – for the true Australian experience.

Tasmanian Devil
A Yawning Tasmanian Devil

Backpacking Hobart to Strahan

Around 64 km northwest of Hobart is Mount Field National Park. Founded in 1916, this nature reserve has a range of landscapes and offers much diversity in terms of vegetation. Take a bush walk through enormous fern forests and look with amazement at some of the tallest trees on Earth, Eucalyptus regnans.

Mount Field National Park also has a good representation of native Tasmanian wildlife such as echidnas, wombats, bandicoots, pademelons, and of course the Tasmanian devil. Interestingly, the last known wild Tasmanian tiger was captured in this region in 1933. Keep your eyes peeled for a possible spotting of this thought to be long extinct animal.

From the visitor center take a hike to Russell Falls, an easy 20 minute walk. Continue your journey onto Horseshoe Falls and Lady Barron Falls on the Lady Barron Creek – all fantastic, cascading waterfalls.

Camping is allowed within the national park, and it is rated as one of the top campgrounds in Australia, but be aware that fees do apply.

Tasmania Travel Guide
You’ll come across one or the other echidna on your trip.

Continue your journey to Lake St Clair, Australia’s deepest lake with a maximum depth of 160 m (524 ft), carved out by ice during several glaciations over a period of 2 million years. A peaceful and calm lake, as well as, the headwaters of the Derwent River. There are forests located around the water to be explored, many walking tracks, and even overnight bushwalks. Try looking for platypuses while enjoying the tranquility of Lake St Clair.

For stunning views of Franklin River Valley and Frenchman’s cap, take a 3 km walk to Donaghys Hill lookout. A return walk of about 40 minutes, enjoy a gradual climb up to the lookout platform. A lovely walk through the dense rainforest with breathtaking sights at the top, this is thought to be the best panoramic views of western Tasmania.

Make a pit stop in Queenstown, an old mining town and Tasmania’s gateway to the West Coast. Queenstown is surrounded by hills and mountains with a landscape that is often described as moonscape because of its rocky and surreal appearance. With over 90 bends down a spiraling road, the drive into Queenstown is sure to take your breath away.

Travelers wanting to stay and learn more about this town can appreciate its history with an underground mine tour or visit to the local museum. Discover impressive views at places like the Ironblow lookout at the top of Gormie Hill. Amazingly, you can take a journey on a steam train with Tasmania’s West Coast Wilderness Railway.


Backpacking the Wild West Coast

Strahan is a small picturesque fishing village and a harbor town on Tasmania’s west coast. You may have arrived in Strahan from the steam train adventure that began in Queesntown. If you prefer a water over train journey, explore the remote Gordon River World Heritage Area by taking a cruise out of the harbor.

There are plenty of choices for activities in this tiny town like riding a jet boat up the King River, four-wheeling, or sandboarding down sand dunes. The Bonnett Island Experience will take you to the mouth of the Macquarie Harbour which is home to a colony of Little Penguins.

A locals’ secret and not far from Strahan is the Henty Sand Dunes. A vast expanse of white sand along the coast with dunes reaching a height of up to 30 m (98 ft). A trek is necessary to reach your site and there are no facilities on location, so bring plenty of water. However, the climb to the top of these sand dunes with views of pine plantations and ocean for 360 degrees, is well worth the exercise.

If you have the stamina, run and jump down these sand dunes, roll around, do handstands, and have a blast. Toboggans are available for rent in Strahan to toboggan down the dunes.

Tasmania Travel Guide

Ocean Beach is about 1.5 hour walk from the Henty Sand Dunes and it is Tasmania’s longest beach.

Head towards Roseberry to discover Montezuma Falls, Tasmania’s highest waterfall at 104 m (341 ft). An easy walk along the track, about 3 hours return, guides you right to the base of the falls. Take delight in the flora and fauna along your route and note some of the many birds you will see on your way. The pathway follows a historic route of the former North East Dundas Tramway with some of the tracks still exposed.

Montezuma Falls is impressive no matter what the day, but even more spectacular after heavy rainfalls. Not a common backpacker mentality, but I guess while visiting Montezuma Falls you should pray for rain!

Another peaceful mining town, as is common in Tasmania, is Tullah. Meet some friendly locals and have a chat over a beer. Be sure to check out Lake Roseberry, whether you want to have a simple relaxing stroll, float on a canoe, or take a dip – this quaint lake is just another bit of beauty on your Tasmanian journey.

Backpacking Tasmania
Montezuma Falls

Backpacking Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain is Tasmania’s best-known natural attraction located in the Tasmanian World Heritage Wilderness Area. Standing at 1,545 m (5,069 ft) above sea level, Cradle Mountain is in the northern end of the park, and it was named after its resemblance to a gold mining cradle.

Cradle Mt-Lake St Clair National Park landscape consists of rugged mountain ranges, ancient rainforests, shrubland, streams, and glacial lakes; Dove Lake, Lake Wilks, and Crater Lake. Wildlife is also abundant at Cradle Mountain with even more opportunity to spot those Tasmanian creatures you may have missed thus far. Due to the endless hikes of varying length and difficulty, there is a little something for everyone to take pleasure in. Walks range anywhere from 20 minutes to nearly 6 to 8 hours, or if you are brave enough, you can undertake the world famous 65 kilometer Overland Track.

Boots are recommended for all walks within Cradle Mt-Lake St Clair National Park for your safety. It is extremely important to check the weather, as your entire experience is dependent upon your surroundings. Visibility of the mountain could be limited, certain hikes may not be safe, and you will want to know if you need to dress for snow.

Be sure to purchase maps of walks at the visitor center where your friendly local Tasmanian will even suggest tailor-made advice for your specific needs. The short walks of under 2 hours include Dove Lake Loop Track, Visitor Center Rainforest Walk, The Weindorfers Forest Walk, and Enchanted Walk.

Popular choices for overnight walks include Cradle Lake Circuit. Cradle Lake Circuit will be using part of the Overland Track, so it is important to avoid adversely affecting other overnight hikers on a different journey than you.

For those wanting to brave the magnificent 6 day walk of the Overland Track, well you came to the right place. Cradle Mountain is the starting point of this 65 kilometer hike that takes you back to the southern end of the park; Lake St Clair. Weather, physical fitness levels, and preparedness are all factors that need to be taken into consideration before attempting this feat.


Backpacking Cradle Mountain to Launceston

An hour or so outside of Cradle Mountain is a curious little town known as Sheffield, the “Town of Murals.” In 1973 when the town saw a population decline, it decided to reinvent itself by combining art with tourism, an inspiration from a small Canadian town that revived itself through mural art. Over 60 murals depicting the town’s history and scenery stand today, and are attracting 200,000 tourists annually. Explore Sheffield’s buildings and roadside art, pop into some galleries, and grab a nice lunch.

If you want to hangout for more than a bite and are not exhausted with hikes, then take a visit to Mount Roland with 360-degree views to Barn Bluff, Cradle Mountain, and the Bass Strait. There are other nearby natural attractions to be visited like Kimberely Warm Springs, Lake Barrington, Gowrie Park, and Devils Gate Dam.

Launceston is Tasmania’s northern capital and second largest city. The city, or large town, has a growing number of bars, pubs, restaurants, and coffee shops to choose. Strictly enforced building regulations have restricted the height on new buildings, so most structures do not stand over 5 stories. Launceston has many preserved Victorian and Gregorian style buildings, along with a mix of art-deco architecture giving it an interesting feel.

City Park, next to the city center, is one of many parks throughout the town. The Tasmania Zoo, which offers breeding programs for the Tasmanian devil is located nearby.

Easily, Launceston’s premier tourist attraction is the Cataract Gorge with its close proximity to the city center. A chairlift stretches 308 m (1,010 ft) across the river gorge, found at the lower section of the South Esk River, making this the longest single-span chairlift in the world. Stroll along the pathway known as King’s Bridge-Cataract Walk, ride the funicular or chairlift, swim in the swimming pool, or take a boat cruise.

For those bold backpackers, glide across the treetops in a forest canopy with flying fox tour or ride a segway—or both! You may opt instead for cable hang-gliding with a bird’s-eye view of Tasmania’s forests.

Nearby Tamar Valley is a great base if you would like to dabble in some Australian wine tastings at local vineyards.

Mount Roland

Backpacking East Coast Tasmania

Just shy of 3 hours drive from Launceston, you can reach Tasmania’s East Coast and the absolutely stunning Bay of Fires. The area extends from Eddystone Point in the north to Binalong Bay in the south. Bay of Fires was coined by a captain who saw fires on the beaches made by the Aboriginal people. The region has come to be known for its pristine turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and orange-hued granite (produced by lichen). All of this beauty, in true Tasmanian fashion, is sitting amidst coastal forest areas.

The northern section of the bay is part of Mount William National Park and the southern end is a conservation area. Swim, fish, camp, boat, bird watch, or indulge in any beach activity of your liking; it can all be done here. Certified divers can find marvelous diving in this area and there are plenty of surf spots for you water lovers. Bay of Fires beach was actually voted one of the two most beautiful beaches in the world in 2005 by a prestigious UK travel magazine. A far cry from the Tasmania we have seen to date, Bay of Fires proves the diversity of this magical island state.

Tasmania’s most scenic coastal drive takes you down to St Helens and the seaside town of Bicheno. St Helens is a town on Georges Bay and the largest fishing port in Tasmania, making it an excellent place to buy fresh seafood like oysters – yum.

Tasmania Travel Guide

Continue your way down the coast until you stumble upon the amazing town of Bicheno, a picturesque fishing town and seaside resort. Without a doubt, there are plenty of outdoorsy Tasmanian activities to be had in Bicheno like sea kayaking, bushwalking, scuba diving, and of course – fishing. The Bicheno Blowhole is a popular attraction where water surges up through a narrow rock formation and spouts up in the air. Undoubtedly, visitors are most attracted to the little penguin colony. As darkness falls head down to the beach to see the penguins nest.

Do not pass up the opportunity in Bicheno for a visit to East Coast Natureworld. This 150-acre park is the perfect place to get up close and personal with Tasmania’s unique wildlife. Wander the grounds at your leisure and be sure to take photos of your favorite rescued animals. I snapped several selfies with kangaroos and got a shot of a Joey hanging out of his momma’s pouch! Finally, catch a glimpse of a Tasmanian devil and learn all about this elusive creature.

Another icon on Tasmania’s East Coast is the splendid Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park. Wineglass Bay can relish in the fact that it is one of the most impressive beaches, arguably, in the world. Its crystal clear waters sparkle in the sun and the white sand is flawless, making this yet another location for scuba diving, fishing, kayaking, swimming, and snorkeling.

Coles Bay, the small local village, looks upon the ‘Hazards’ which are 300 m (984 ft) pink, jagged granite mountains in Freycinet National Park. There are many walks across the park that are suitable for all abilities and capable of finding abundant wildlife, stunning beaches, and hidden coves. Two of the more challenging hikes would be Mt. Amos—with postcard perfect views or Hazards Beach Circuit, and a common but great alternative is the moderately steep, 45 minute hike up to Wineglass Bay Lookout.

East Coast Tasmania
Bay of Fires

Off The Beaten Path Travel in Tasmania

Backpacking Tasmania, with the island being a mere dot on the map, may seem like a swift expedition, but the expansive areas off the beaten path may surprise you. The state actually encompasses 334 surrounding islands! Obviously, we cannot cover every square inch, but there are definitely some great places to be discovered if you have the time.

Bruny Island is for those nature and wildlife lovers out there. The island is situated just off the coast of mainland Tasmania, and has some phenomenal coastal scenery and cliff top views. Just a short ferry ride from mainland Tassie, The Mirambeena ferry offers remarkable sights of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel from the upper deck.

Venture up to Neck Lookout for full visibility of the 50 km long Bruny Island. A highlight is the South Bruny National Park with cliffs overlooking the beaches and the beautiful Cape Bruny Lighthouse. Cruise around the island on the Bruny Island Cruise or take the Fluted Cape walk. Try to spot white Bennett’s wallabies and be sure to indulge in delicious local produce – specialties include oysters, cheese, and chocolate.

Tasmania Travel Guide

Off the beaten path is Port Arthur, another Tasmanian treat. On your way to this port, stop by Australia’s best preserved colonial village of Richmond. Appreciate the colonial architecture like the area’s most famous landmark the Richmond Bridge.

Continuing south onto the Tasman Peninsula, you can admire the impressive seaside rock formations. Walk through the Tasman National Park which is noted for having some of the best coastal scenery in all of Australia. Visit Eaglehawk Neck enroute to Devils Kitchen and Tasman Arch – spectacular. Waterfall Bay is a lovely location for a bushwalk.

Ultimately, you will wind up in Port Arthur, one of Australia’s most significant heritage sites. Port Arthur was once the center of a network of penal settlements, and the worst convicts in all of Australia were sent here between 1830 and 1877. Gardens, architecture, and former prison facilities are all available for tours. Port Arthur is loaded with a chilling history to be unearthed.

Northern Tasmania offers even more regions to be uncovered by backpackers. Make your way to the town of Stanley that will not disappoint with its endless natural attractions. Wander wild and rugged Flinders Island or sneak on over to incredible King Island. Truly, the moment you land in Tasmania you will desire to unravel more and more of this astonishing land.


Backpacker Accommodation in Tasmania

Backpacking Tasmania is a rugged and earthy experience. Try staying in a forest covered Airbnb or meet local Tasmanians while Couchsurfing. Park your RV or setup tent at the many campsites around this wild island state.

In true Australian fashion, stay at a backpacker hostel for a taste of local Tasmanian life. Just like the rest of Australia’s hostels, the backpacker accommodations in Tassy are incredibly welcoming, the staff is friendly an you’ll feel well looked after.

Your average mixed-bed dorm is going to run at about 20 AUD per night, depending on your location. Be aware that Tasmania is off-the-beaten-path in terms of Australian travel, so you will only find hostels in the larger towns throughout the island.


The Pickled Frog

Find hot showers, cold beer, and an open fire at the Pickled Frog in Hobart, Tasmania’s coolest hostel!

  • $$
  • Bar
  • No Curfew

Where to Stay in Tasmania

LocationAccomodationWhy Stay Here?
HobartThe Pickled FrogFree Mt Wellington trips, MONA shuttles, WIFI, and car park. Located in a central location and recently refurbished.
StrahanGreen ViewsFree toiletries, hairdryer, parking, and WIFI. TV, kettle, linens, towels, heating and AC in each room.
TullahTullah TavernRated the best value in Tullah! Great location for reaching local landmarks and all the freebies you need are included.
Cradle MountainDiscovery ParksGreat cabin accommodation at Cradle Mountain. Solo travelers like this location. On-site parking and BBQ facilities available.
LauncestonLaunceston BackpackersExcellent price on mixed-bed dorms. Free parking and city maps.
BichenoSeaview Holiday ParkWalking distance to the Blowhole and penguin colony. Free parking, WIFI, and pet friendly.
Cradle Mountain

Tasmania Travel Tips

The following is a breakdown of the basics and everything you need to know before your Tasmania trip. Whether you are a first time backpacker or experienced in the art of travel, it is always nice to have a reference of useful information.

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Best time to travel to Tasmania

Forget all notions you have of mainland Australia when you decide to venture into Tasmania. This island has four distinct seasons with a cool temperate climate–very unlike the mainland.

Summer down under is from December to February with maximum temperatures ranging between 20°-24° C ( 68°-75° F.) Making summer the most ideal period to venture around Tas.

Winter is from June to August and those are the the coolest and wettest months for this state. Winter maximums range from 12° C (54° F) on the coast to 3° C (37° F) on the Central Plateau. The highest elevations receive considerable snowfall in the winter.

Sunshine and rainfall are highly differentiated on this island state. Be sure to prepare for potential downpours and strong rays, no matter the region or time of year.


Tasmania Packing List

On every adventure, there are six things I never go traveling without:

Active Roots Security Belt

1. Security Belt with Hidden Pocket: I never hit the road without my security belt. This is a regular looking belt with a concealed pocket on the inside – you can hide up to twenty notes inside and wear it through airport scanners without it setting them off. This is hands down the best way to hide your cash.

AR Water bottle

 2.Travel Water Bottle: Always travel with a water bottle – it’ll save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. AR bottle are tough, lightweight and maintain the temperature of your beverage – so you can enjoy a cold red bull, or a hot coffee, no matter where you are. For every AR bottle sold, we donate 10% to PlasticOceans.org – an initiative to reduce plastic in our oceans!

AR microfibre towel

3. Microfibre TowelIt’s always worth packing a proper towel. Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.


4. Headtorch: Every backpacker should have a head torch! A decent head torch could save your life. If you want to explore caves, unlit temples, or simply find your way to the bathroom during a blackout, a headtorch is a must. Currently, I’m using the Petzl Actik Core rechargeable headlamp – an awesome piece of kit! Because it’s USB chargeable I never have to buy earth polluting batteries.

Hammock for backpackers

5.HammockTaking a tent backpacking is not always practical but hammocks are lightweight, cheap, strong, sexy (chicks dig hammocks) and allow you to pitch up for the night pretty much anywhere. Right now, I’m rocking an Active Roots parachute hammock – it’s light, colourful and tough.

AR Toiletry Bag

6. Toiletry Bag: I always travel with a hanging toiletry bag as it’s a super efficient way to organise your bathroom stuff. Well worth having, whether you are hanging it from a tree whilst camping, or a hook in a wall, it helps to have quick access to all your stuff.

For plenty more inspiration on what to pack, check out my full Australia packing list.

Books to Read While Backpacking Tasmania

  • The Backpacker Bible – Get it for free! Learn how to ditch your desk and travel the world on just $10 a day whilst building a life of long-term travel with an online income. To inspire and help the next generation of Broke Backpackers, you can now grab ‘How to Travel the World on $10 a Day’ for free!
  • Lonely Planet Tasmania (Travel Guide) – Relevant, up-to-date travel information and advice from the world’s leading travel guide publisher, Lonely Planet. Pre-order the newest edition or grab the previous book for a fraction of the price.
  • A Long Way Home: A Memoir – An incredible story about a 5 year old boy, Saroo Brierley, who got lost on a train in his home of India. Unable to remember his hometown, he was eventually adopted by a couple in Tasmania. After years of wondering, Saroo sets out to find his hometown and family despite his gratitude for the life he was given in Tasmania.
  • Carnivorous Nights: On the Trail of the Tasmanian Tiger – A hip and hilarious account of a postmodern safari. Margaret Mittelbach, Michael Crewdson, and renowned artist Alexis Rockman set out on a mission to track down the elusive Tasmanian Tiger.
  • The Black War: Fear, Sex, and Resistance in Tasmania – The most intense frontier conflict in Australia’s history, the Black War, was fought between 1825 and 1831 in which 1,000 Aborigines violently died. However, little is known about this war. The Black War tries to shed light on the events that took place and the tribes’ struggle for survival.
  • Tasmania’s Convicts: How  Felons Built a Free Society – Alison Alexander tells the history of what became one of Britain’s most notorious convict colonies in Tasmania.

Australian Travel Phrases

English is the spoken language of Australia, but the Aussie vernacular may leave even a native English speaker perplexed. Slang is so commonly used, you may question if Australians are speaking English at all!

I have compiled some of the most popular phrases, so you are not left dumbfounded while having a chat with the locals.

Ta – thank you

Arvo – afternoon

Barbie – barbeque

Bottle-O – liquor store

Esky – cooler

Mozzie – mosquito

Servo – petrol station/gas station

Roo – kangaroo

Ute – pickup truck

Whinge – wine

Bathers – swimsuit

Bush – the Outback or anywhere outside of town

Fair dinkum – true, genuine

Grog – liquor, beer

Sheila – woman

Thong – flip-flops

Tinny – can of beer

Tucker – food

Chunder – vomit

Dunny – toilet

Footy – Australian Football League

Maccas – McDonalds

Mates Rates – discount

She’ll Be Right – everything will be fine

Stubby – can of beer

Bloke – guy

Truckie – truck driver

How Ya Goin? – a friendly greeting

The entries are just a selection of common phrases, but you could fill an entire book with Australian slang.

When in doubt, assume an Aussie chopped a word in half and maybe slapped an “o” on the end. i.e. Defo for definitely, Cuppa for cup of tea. No one has time to use full word

s in Straya!

Apps to Download Before Backpacking Tasmania

  • Maps.Me – My favorite offline map app. Download your map and route before you venture out to stay on track while backpacking Tasmania.
  • XE Currency – The most accurate app for currency conversions.
  • HIDE.ME – I always have a VPN ready to go on both my phone and laptop, and use Hide Me which is one of the fastest and most reliable options out there. This particular VPN allows for up to five connections which is handy for keeping all of your devices connected without having to purchase multiple VPN packages.
  • Wi-Fi Finder – Locate fast, free WiFi anywhere. Hotspot locations are revealed on a map. Wi-Fi Finder can be used offline, obviously.
  • DiningOutTas – Find the best local eats at your fingertips. A foodie must-have app.
  • Tasmania Tide Times – Tidal, sunset, and sunrise information. As well as, information on beach, river, and fishing spots.

Staying Safe in Tasmania

By world standards, backpacking Tasmania is extremely safe even for solo travelers and women. Tassie has a low crime rate, so personal safety should be easy to maintain through common sense.

In case of an emergency situation, dial 000 for police, fire, and ambulance services. Vast wilderness, rugged landscape, strong sea conditions, possible bushfires, and unpredictable climate are all factors that could land you in an unfavorable position. It would be wise to have a contingency plan before making any type of expedition.

Always advise friends of intended trips and treks before venturing out. Record bushwalks at registers provided at the beginning and end of walking tracks.

Check out Backpacker Safety 101 for tips and tricks to stay safe while backpacking.

Pick yourself up a backpacker security belt to keep your cash safe on the road.

I strongly recommend traveling with a headlamp while backpacking Tasmania (or anywhere really – every backpacker should have a good headtorch!) Check out Will’s post for a breakdown of the best value headlamps to take backpacking.

Staying Safe in Tasmania

Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll in Tasmania

The legal drinking age under down under is 18. Australians love their booze, so it is easy to find pubs and bars wherever you go in Tasmania. Hobart is going to have the best party scene with full bars and live music being easy to come by.

Marijuana is illegal, but the fertile soil makes Tassie a great location for growing. The state is inching closer to legalization for medical use, but not quite there, yet. A nature lovers paradise, you should have no problem scoring the green in Tassie.

Tasmania is huge for arts and culture, so festivals and events are going to be a popular attraction. As is with most of these events, you can find your common party drugs. Luckily, because of the state’s isolation, hard drugs do not seem to be much of an issue on the island.

Travel Insurance for Tasmania

Traveling without insurance would be risky so do consider getting good backpacker insurance sorted before you head off on an adventure.

I have been using World Nomads for some time now and made a few claims over the years. They’re easy to use, professional and relatively affordable. They may also let you buy or extend a policy once you’ve started your trip and are already abroad which is super handy.

If there’s one insurance company I trust, it’s World Nomads. To find out why I use World Nomads, check out my World Nomads Insurance review

Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!

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Tasmania Travel Guide to Getting Around

Arriving in Tasmania

The departure point for most flights and ferries into Tasmania is Melbourne, Victoria on mainland Australia. Although, there are some flights out of places like Sydney and Brisbane.

Tiger Air, Virgin and Jetstar are your best bet for flights and will generally fly into Hobart or Launceston. Backpackers often purchase one-way tickets in the likelihood that they may arrive in one city but want to depart from another.

The Spirit of Tasmania sails between Melbourne and Devonport.  Devonport is a coastal city in Tasmania’s North, and it is the third largest city on the island. If you purchased a car or campervan on mainland Australia, you can bring it across on the ferry for $83. Ferries book up fast, so it is a good idea to purchase ferry tickets ahead of time.

Tasmania is also becoming a major destination for cruise liners due to its great access.

Flight into Hobart

Entry Requirements for Australia

There several different types of tourist visas available to those who wish to go backpacking in Australia. The three primary tourist visa types are:

  1. Visitor visa (subclass 600)
  2. Electronic Travel Authority Visa (ETA) (subclass 601)
  3. eVisitor (subclass 651)

The 601 and 651 visas essentially function in the same way albeit with different application processes. The 600 is for those who want to stay in Australia for longer than 3 months at a time and for those who don’t qualify for either a 601 or 651. The grand majority of nationalities can apply for all of these visas online.

The ETA (601) and eVisitors (651) are the simplest and easiest visas to acquire. Both enable unlimited entries into Australia within the span of a year – the duration of stay cannot exceed 3 months at a time. The biggest difference between these two types of visas is that they are only available to specific countries. Americans and Canadians, in addition to several other nations, must apply for an ETA. British, as well as most European citizens, must apply for an eVisitors visa.

The Visitor visa (600) is the most expensive of Australian visas but can grant the most time. Applicants can apply for a 3, 6, or 12-month duration at rates that vary from AUD140 to AUD1020. For any nation that doesn’t qualify for a 601 or 651, the 600 visa is the only means of entering Australia.

Upon arriving at customs, your visa will be checked and you’ll be subject to search. Australian customs takes declared items very seriously so you must be sure to do so. Also, note that criminal offences and felonies may bar you from entering the country.


Working Holiday Visas in Australia

Several nationalities have the option of applying for an Australian working holiday visa, which authorizes travelers to work legally in the country. This visa is an amazing opportunity for anyone who wants to stay and go backpacking in Australia for a longer term.

There are two types of working holiday visas in Australia:

  1. A Working Holiday visa (subclass 417)
  2. A Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462)

(If you’re thinking to yourself how stupidly similar these visa titles are, I’m right there with ya.)

Both visas entitle visitors the ability to work in Australia for a period of 12 months. Note that the possessor of a 417 or 462 can only hold a single job for a period of 6 months. Certain countries can only apply for a 417 or 462 i.e. the English can qualify a 417 but Americans must apply for a 462.

To apply for either visa, applicants will need to show that you have at least AUD5,000 in their bank account. Both visas will also require a bill of clean health and clean criminal record.

Applicants of a 462 visa will need to provide some key additional details. With the exception of the United States, those applying for a 462 must provide a letter of support from their government. 462 applicants will also have to pass a character test in which they’ll need to prove that they’re of good moral quality. Usually, a certificate of excellence, like a diploma or special certification, will suffice for this.

The most important difference between a 417 and 462 is that possessors of the former can apply for a second year given they’ve met some criteria. Unfortunately, American citizens and other 462 applicants can only have a working holiday in Australia for up to a year.

How to Travel in Tasmania

Transportation networks in Tasmania are going to be different than the rest of  the country, as they were developed separately. Therefore, Greyhound does not operate in Tassie and there are no regular passenger train services.

For the most freedom and flexibility, travelers are going to rent a car to to get around the island. If backpacking Tasmania with others, this will be the most affordable means of transport. Arrangements should be easy out of the three major cities–Hobart, Launceston, and Devonport.

You can sort your car rental here. Booking in advance is obviously the best way to get the lowest price on a rental. Often, if you can pick up your rental car from the airport, it ends of being cheaper in the end. You can also purchase a RentalCover.com policy to cover your vehicle against any common damages such as tires, windscreens, theft, and more at a fraction of the price you would pay at the rental desk.

There is nothing overly tricky about driving in Tasmania. Distances are not vast between destinations, and roads are well maintained and quiet. Take special care and attention while driving down narrow and winding roads, through snow and rain, and between dusk and dawn because of the the wildlife.

Look into purchasing a National Parks Pass for a flat rate on vehicle entry fees. On a Holiday Pass, you can visit unlimited parks throughout the state for up to two months at $60 per vehicle.

The two main coach operators in Tassie are Tassielink and Redline. Buses are a great option for solo travelers not wanting to navigate alone. Most major destinations within the state have scheduled services on the bus routes. Both companies meet at the ferry in Devonport, as well as, having links between Hobart and Launceston.

If time is limited there are several tour companies that operate in Tasmania–aimed at backpackers.

Driving Tasmania

Hitchhiking in Tasmania

Hitchhiking Tasmania is an option for those savvy and adventurous travelers.

Tasmania is the second smallest Australian state, making it easily hitchable in comparison to the mainland. Point A to point B cannot cover a hugely vast distance on a secluded island, so no trip should be too long. Also, local Tasmanians should not give you issues trying to hitch a ride with their eagerness to help.

Some Tasmania-specific advice to keep in mind:

Climate will change drastically throughout the state. Be aware of temperature differences between the coasts and mountains.

Bushfires pose a real threat throughout Australia. Be fully aware of your surroundings, and have a backup plan if you do not have a lift. Strong winds cause fires to spread–well–like wildfire.

Winter can be freezing in Tasmania. Do not subscribe to the belief that all of Australia is hot and sunny, all of the time. Tasmania is different, and you will need to prepare for waiting in snow, cold, and freezing rain.

Also, it can be dangerous driving through the night due to those cute critters. Many Australians avoid night driving outside of populated areas.

Be wise if you choose to hitchhike!

Hitchhiking in Tasmania
Donaghys Hill Lookout

Having a Campervan in Australia

Traveling Tasmania by campervan is by far the best way to get around. There are many car and campervan rental companies in Australia that offer long-term contracts. Each has a wide variety of vehicle types from sedans to 4x4s to campervans.

Campervans are definitely the most popular way of getting around Australia as they provide both transport and lodging at the same time. Living out of a campervan can be convenient, fun, and cheaper than conventional travel. By having the ability to sleep anywhere you want, you’ll save money and get more out of your Australian adventure.

Thanks to the plethora of rental companies available, it’s a breeze to hire a campervan while backpacking Australia.  I recommend going with Wicked Campers. Wicked Campers typically offer up some of the cheapest and most backpacker friendly campervan rentals in Tasmania. Check them out!

Most offer good rates especially for longer periods of time. Make sure to check the contract though – many rental companies impose certain restrictions on going offroading and over a certain amount of miles per day, and charge extra fees for not following these parameters.

If you plan on staying in Australia for a long time (more than 6 months) try buying your own campervan. Doing this will allow you more flexibility and, if you took care of the car, the chance to sell it when you’re done. You can find adds for used campers in many hostels and on the online boards like gumtree.com.au.

When buying a camper, be sure to take the vehicle to the shop to get it checked before actually committing. Most auto shops are used to this kind of request and will charge a competitive fee.

Your home for the next several months.

Onward Travel from Tasmania

Japan, New Zealand, Indonesia, and Fiji are all popular travel destinations for Australians. Bali and Thailand are also huge backpacker favorites. These countries can be reached at fairly reasonable prices from mainland OZ. Let us not forget that Tasmania is the gateway to Antarctica!

You came all of this way, though. Why leave now? Australia, as a whole, could take years to fully travel, it has so many regions for backpackers to discover.

Travel up the stunning East Coast from Sydney to Cairns, Head to the Red Centre to discover the Outback. Go north to see the crocodiles in Darwin. Ride Camels on the beach in Broome. Travel up the West Coast and compare the Ningaloo Reef to the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy wineries in Adelaide. Cruise the Great Ocean Road and wind up in Melbourne.

Western Australia

Australia is a magical land so take the time to discover all of it’s wonders. Be sure to check out our all-encompassing guide on backpacking Australia for more info.

Tasmania Backpacking Costs

Daily Budget

Dorm Bed in a Hostel: $10-30

Small Basic Room for Two: $30-40

Short public bus ride (1 hour or less): $1-5

Campervan rentals: anything from $30

Set meal in a small restaurant: $4-8

Dinner in a fancy restaurant: $20-30+

Fast food: $4-6

Beer in the shop: $3-6

Coffee: $3-6

Tours and activities: anything from $15

Let me be honest, Australia is not cheap, but the price to travel there is worth every cent.

Your costs are going to solely depend on where you stay, how you travel, what you eat, activities you choose, and your alcohol intake. The following are a few guidelines to keep your travel costs down.

Joining a Tasmanian tour company can actually be a money saver. These tours include accommodation, park entry fees, transportation, knowledgeable guides, and other freebies along the way. Some companies allow you to pick an itinerary of your choice to fit your needs, so prices will vary.

A campervan rental will save on accommodation, but a small car and tent are probably your most affordable travel choices. Stay in large mixed-bed dorms at hostels that offer complimentary breakfast, tea, coffee, linens, WiFi, maps, and parking.

Try to grocery shop, pack snacks, and cook dinner with friends if you are on a tight budget. Purchase alcohol from the bottle shop to avoid paying high prices at the bar, wineries, and breweries.

Pre-purchase any flights, rooms, and excursions that you can ahead of time. This allows you to pay in your own currency—dodging hefty conversion fees.

It would be wise to budget 80-100 AUD, per day, to cover food, transportation, booze, park fees, and activities. However, you can easily cut that budget back with precise planning. Luckily, backpacking Tasmania is cheaper than mainland Australia.

Money in Australia

Australia’s currency is the Australian Dollar. The current exchange rate is 1 AUD: 0.78 USD, 0.64 Euro.

Major credit and debit cards are accepted throughout Australia. Being a first world nation, you will find banks, currency exchange locations, and ATMS in most major cities.

The process for opening a bank account is fairly easy even for those on a working holiday visa, and it is in your best interest to load up your bank card and steer clear of international transaction fees.

Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
Active Roots Security Belt

Custom-designed BY the Broke Backpacker FOR broke backpacking, the Active Roots Security Belt will keep your valuables safe no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash or a passport copy. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to.)

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Top Tips for Broke Backpackers

  • Camp: You cannot get much cheaper than free when it comes to accommodation. Check out this post for a breakdown of the best tents to take backpacking or a camping hammock if you prefer.
  • Eat local food: By local, I of course mean, the local supermarket, where you can purchase instant noodles for nourishment. If you are camping on a really tight budget; it’s worth taking a portable stovecheck out this post for information on the best backpacking stoves.
  • Volunteer: If done properly, volunteering is an excellent way to cut down your costs on the road. I strongly recommend Workaway – you pay $29 for the year and have access to thousands of projects all around the world, where you can help out in exchange for food and board.
  • Book your transportation early: Both plane and train tickets are much cheaper if you purchase them in advance.
  • Couchsurf: Check out Couch surfing to make some real friendships and see Tasmania from the perspective of locals.
  • Work in Australia: Many countries can easily obtain a one year work visa in Australia. (See visa requirement section above.) Many backpackers work in Australia for several months and save up plenty of cash to travel around Australia afterwards.
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Internet in Tasmania

You should have no problem logging-in while backpacking in cities like Hobart, but phone and internet use is limited in the bush.

Libraries or government-funded Online Access Centres will be available in most Tasmanian towns. WiFi access is often free in most accommodation, but access is limited in more isolated areas of the island. You can purchase an international travel adapter or Australia specific adapter on Amazon for a low price.

If you are bringing your smart phone, you will need an international calling plan, or—a cheaper means of phone and internet access— unlock your phone and purchase a SIM card in Australia.

Make Money Online Whilst Backpacking Tasmania

Traveling in Tasmania long-term? Keen to make some cash when you are not exploring the island?

Teaching English online is a great way to earn a consistent income—from anywhere in the world with a good internet connection. Depending on your qualifications (or your motivation to obtain qualifications like a TEFL certificate) you can teach English remotely from your laptop, save some cash for your next adventure, and make a positive impact on the world by improving another person’s language skills! It’s a win-win! Check out this detailed article for everything you need to know to start teaching English online.

In addition to giving you the qualifications to teach English online, TEFL courses open up a huge range of opportunities and you can find teaching work all over the world. To find out more about TEFL courses and how you can teach English around the world, read my in-depth report on teaching English abroad.

Broke Backpacker readers get a 35% discount on TEFL courses with MyTEFL (simply enter the code BACKPKR), to find out more, please read my in-depth report on teaching English abroad.

Whether you are keen to teach English online or looking to take your teaching game a step further by finding a job teaching English in a foreign country, getting your TEFL certificate is absolutely a step in the right direction.

Mt Field National Park
Russell Falls

Must Try Experiences in Tasmania

People in Tasmania

Australia is a Western culture, but that does not mean that Aussies subscribe to the same values as other Westerners. Religion and politics are not often discussed in everyday conversations. As a multicultural society, consisting of many ethnic groups, Australia is optimistic and welcoming.

Aussies are known for their laid-back attitudes, love for sports and the beach, drinking and BBQ’s, friendliness, and most importantly their adventurous personalities. Tasmanians are particularly warm, friendly, and welcoming.

Aboriginal Australians are considered to be the oldest known civilization on Earth. These indigenous peoples were the target of many injustices committed by white people over two centuries of colonization. In 2008 the Prime Minister delivered a historic apology for the mistreatment of Aboriginal Australians.

Stolen Generations were the tens and thousands of Aboriginal children taken from their families by the Australian government in an attempt to assimilate them into white society. This was the main focus of the Prime Minister’s public apology.

Today, Australia has made it a national commitment to close the gap on employment, education, and health between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. You will often find that most white Australians share the same sentiment that Aboriginal Australians were horribly mistreated and misunderstood. Many try their best to show respect for their native peoples’ culture, and feel remorse for the choices of many of their ancestors.


Food in Tasmania

Renowned for its organic farming and premium fresh produce, Tassie is a foodie’s dreamland. People visit from all around the world for a taste of a truly incredible food experience.

With its clean, green environment and proximity to water, Tasmania offers a range of fresh seafood, local meat, and delicious produce. Top local foodie items include: salmon, scallops, honey, cheese, apples, beer, wine, cider, and many, many more.

Home to cool climate wines, Tasmania generates excellent sparkling wines and pinot noir. The environment is also ideal for production of cider, whisky, and gin.

The island state offers opportunity for simple meals from food trucks, to some of Australia’s finest restaurants, and everything in between.

For an authentic Australian experience always be sure to try: Kangaroo, Emu, Vegemite, Tim Tams, and Lamingtons.

For more on popular dishes in Australia, check our backpacking Australia guide!

Festivals in Tasmania

Tasmania has a vibrant arts and cultural scene—it’s no wonder MONA has its roots here! Year round, choose from a range of music, art, and food festivals throughout the state.

Most notably, The Museum of Old and New Art: Festival of Music and Art (MONA FOMA) — or just MOFO, is an annual based music festival in Hobart. It is billed as Tasmania’s largest contemporary music festival. A wintertime version is also held in June called Dark MOFO.

Falls Festival is a multi-day festival held in locations throughout Australia including Marion Bay, Tasmania. Camping is available at all locations and within walking distance to beaches. Events include an array of musical artists and genres, dance, comedy, theater, circus, and cabaret.

The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is an annual event starting in Sydney, New South Wales on Boxing Day and ending in Hobart, Tasmania. Widely considered as one of the most difficult yacht races in the world, it covers a distance of 1,170 km (630 nautical miles.) Hobart Race Village is loaded with entertainment and events in celebration of the end to this amazing race.

Trekking in Tasmania

Highly underrated for the Australian continent—Tasmania is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Here are the top treks around the state:

  1. Freycinet National Park for coastal and beach treks
  2. Tasman National Park for its dramatic scenery and rock formations—specifically the four-day Three Capes Track
  3. Mount Field National Park to discover Tasmania’s waterfalls
  4. The six-day Overland Track from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair
  5. Walls of Jerusalem National Park for the ultimate nature experience

Scuba Diving in Tasmania

Tassie is a diving mecca with over 5,000 kms of coastline. The following are some of the best dive spots:

  1. Bicheno — Paradise Reef, Golden Bommies, and Magic Garden
  2. Maria Island and the Troy D off its coast
  3. The caverns and kelp forest of Bruny Island and the Tasman Peninsula
  4. Rocky Cape and Boat Harbour in the northwest
  5. The shipwrecks around Flinders and King Island, Betsey Island Ships’ Graveyard, and Tinderbox Marine Reserve

Surfing in Tasmania

Shipstern Bluff—Shippies—off Tasmania’s south-eastern coast has become known worldwide as Australia’s most fearsome surf break. Shippies has waves regularly rising above 6 meters and loads of sharks around, so leave it to the pros to conquer this wave!

Eaglehawk Neck is a good spot, and anywhere on the east coast from Orford to Bicheno will have surf.

Marrawah’s in the northwest is another spot for the best of the best.

South Cape Bay is the furthest south you can surf in all of Australia.

Martha Lavinia Beach on King Island is a wave that breaks both left and right.

Late summer is the most pleasant time to surf Tasmania’s waters, when they are the warmest. For those surfers trying to chase the biggest swells, hit up Tasmania in the winter.

Surf Tasmania

Brief History of Australia

Aboriginal Australians arrived on Australia mainland between 40,000 and 70,000 years ago. Their traditions relating to music, art, and spirituality are among the longest surviving in human history. Before the arrival of the British, the amount of Aboriginal people living in Australia was between 300,000 and 1 million.

In 1770, Lieutenant James Cook claimed the land for Great Britain, after the Dutch first sighted Australia in 1606. In 1788, a fleet of 11 boats arrived in Botany Bay to establish New South Wales as a Penal Colony. Furthermore, convicts were sent to all states, but South Australia became a free colony in 1836. More than 162,000 convicts were transported to Australia from Great Britain.

Australia began to look like a desirable location after the discovery of gold and the kickstart to their economy. The Eureka Stockade at Ballarat, in 1854, was a rebellion against taxation. Some see this as a crucial event in the evolution of Australia’s democracy.

Chinese immigration began at this period with 50,000 Chinese establishing roots in Australia.

In 1901, a federation of all of the states, the Commonwealth of Australia was created. The creation of Canberra marked it as the capital of New South Wales, with a temporary parliament in Melbourne.

The Australian and New Zealand Anzac Corps took part in the World War I Gallipoli Campaign, in 1915. April 25, ANZAC Day, was the same date as the first landing at Gallipoli. Australians remember and pay their respects to the sacrifices of their armed forces on this day.

After World War II and the Vietnam War, an influx of migrants moved to Australia. Between 1949-1974, The Snowy Mountains Scheme, employed 100,000 people. 70% of these people were migrants from 30 different nations. Today, people from all over the world call Australia home. The continent has become known for it’s equality and lack of clear class distinctions.

Brief History of Tasmania

It is believed that Tasmania was once joined to mainland Australia, but little is known about the human history of the island until British colonization in the 19th century.

The Tasmanian Aborigines, an indigenous population, inhabited Tasmania in numbers estimated to be between 3,000 and 10,000, at the time of British occupation. A combination of infectious diseases, conflict, and the Black War nearly decimated the population to 300 in 1833. Almost all of the remaining indigenous population was relocated to Flinders Island.

Dutch explorer, Abel Tasman, made the first recorded sighting of Tasmania in 1642. The island became know as Anthoonij van Diemenslandt, and then shortened to Van Diemen’s Land.

In 1803 a small party sent from Sydney under Lt. John Bowen, formed the first settlement in Tasmania on the eastern bank of the Derwent estuary—Risdon Cove. Captain David Collins established an alternative settlement just 5 km south in 1804—Sullivans Cove. This was on the western side of the Derwent, where fresh water was more plentiful. Risdon was later abandoned. Sullivans became known as Hobart Town, named after British Colonial Secretary—Lord Hobart—then shortened to just Hobart.

Early British settlers were mainly convicts, tasked at developing agriculture and other industries. Numerous other convict settlements were made, such as, the harsh penal colonies at Port Arthur and Macquarie Harbour. Troops were deployed across Tasmania to drive the Aborigines into captivity on nearby islands, because the Aborginal resistance to invasion was so strong.

Final Thoughts on Backpacking Tasmania

Tasmania is jam packed with gorgeous landscapes, pristine beaches, rugged mountains, unique wildlife, delicious food, a rich history, and incredible people.

It is hard to believe the reputation it holds—Tassie crushes stereotypes, and you are an awesome backpacker to desire to unravel the mystique of this glorious land! Hopefully, this Tasmania Travel Guide is going to help you plan an awesome adventure away from the typical tourist places.

If you feel like we’ve missed something, let us know in the comments below!

Beaches of Tasmania
Beaches of Tasmania

Being a Responsible Backpacker in Tasmania

Reduce your plastic footprint: Perhaps the best thing you can do for our planet is to make sure you do NOT add to the plastic problem all over the world. Don’t buy one-use water bottles, the plastic ends up in landfill or in the ocean. Instead, pack a tough travel water bottle.

Go and watch A Plastic Ocean on Netflix – it’ll change how you view the plastic problem in the world; you need to understand what we are up against. If you think it doesn’t matter, get off my fucking site.

Don’t pick up single use plastic bags, you’re a backpacker – take your daypack if you need to go to the shop or run errands.

Bear in mind, that many animal products in countries you travel through will not be ethically farmed and won’t be of the highest quality. I’m a carnivore but when I’m on the road, I only eat chicken. Mass-farming of cows etc leads to the rainforest being cut down – which is obviously a huge problem.

Need more guidance? – Check out our post on how to be a responsible backpacker.

Australia and New Zealand are close pals, but let us not forget that they have two distinct cultural identities. It is very rude to assume the nationalities are one in the same.

Be kind and respectful, mind your P’s and Q’s, and always greet people even if they are a stranger. The word “mate” can go a long way. Australians pride themselves on their friendliness.

Australians drive on the left side of the street. You should also walk down the footpath on the left. However, on escalators you want to stand on the left and pass on the right.

Tipping is not expected and can sometimes be considered rude. I once told a cute bartender in Australia to, “keep the change” and he looked at me like I was a huge bitch. You can use that line on taxi drivers, though, and it will be okay. Restaurants will accept tips if the service was exceptionally good.

Never refer to an Indigenous Australian by a slang name, and always be respectful of their culture.

Finally, having proper bushwalking and camping etiquette is important while backpacking Tasmania. Everyone wants to enjoy their journey and treks — not just you, so be sure to have a good grasp on the generally agreed-upon etiquette for exploring this island state. A good reference to keep you safe and responsible can be found on this site.

Want to learn how to travel the world on $10 a day? Check out the Broke Backpacker’s Bible for FREE!

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