Our Tasmania Travel Diary


Last week we did a whirlwind trip to Tasmania. I’m going to be completely honest and say that I didn’t know much about Tasmania before I visited. My neighbours, who travel for around 9 months of the year, are currently spending six weeks touring the whole island. Before they left I picked their brains on what to do and see, giving them a map to mark out everything that I needed to do.

Usually I travel with my husband and my girls, but it’s been my Ma’s lifelong dream to travel to Tasmania {she’s never been overseas and all she’s wanted was to visit Tassie}. So I did what any good daughter would do, I took her with us.

Here’s how our trip went down.

DAY ONE: Gold Coast to Melbourne, and then aboard Spirit of Tasmania

We departed the Gold Coast for Melbourne and then headed straight to Port Melbourne. That place is fancy; big houses, beautiful views, fancy cars. F-A-N-C-Y. Spirit of Tasmania is a ship that you can drive your car {and caravan etc} onto, so that you can hope off when you arrive in Tasmania and continue driving along and exploring.

We traveled as foot passengers, so we just boarded and picked up a car on the other side. Either option is really easy to do.

The Spirit of Tasmania does both day trips or overnight trips. On the way over and back, we traveled overnight. We checked-in and boarded at 6:00pm, ate dinner and then headed to bed, waking up at our destination.

Inside our cabin


If you didn’t have kids, and wanted to have a really good time {i.e. stay up late!} you totally could. You could play in the gaming lounge, or sit around in one of the many areas and have a few drinks, or watch a movie in the cinema. For kids there is a games room, a play area for little kids, and a kids’ movie too.

We dined at the Leatherwood Restaurant, which offers three course meals for $64, or two courses and drinks for $56. There is also a selection of Tasmanian wines to choose from. I suggest that you book as soon as you get onto the ship, because both times it was booked out very quickly. Alternatively you could dine at the Captain’s Table where meals can be purchased for $31 {kids under 5 eat free}. It’s a buffet-style restaurant which was really popular as well.

leatherwood-collageWe ate at the Leatherwood Restaurant on both our trips on the Spirit of Tasmania. I’m a creature of habit {if I find something I love, I stay with it} so I can tell you the beef is worth ordering, as is the sticky date pudding. There’s also a Tasmanian Tasting Plate that you can for entree to kick off your tastebuds for what Tassie has to offer. For kids there are beautiful meals {no nuggets and chips in sight, yay!} and ice cream sundaes for dessert.

Straight after dinner I headed to our cabin to take Lulu to bed {Spirit of Tasmania provided a portacot, we brought our own linen}, while Ma took Lacey out to explore and play around. We were warned that the swell in the Bass Strait {the body of water we travelled over to get to Tasmania} can get a bit hairy, but we didn’t feel it at all. It was calm, and we all slept like babies.

TRAVEL TIP: If you’re traveling by car, pack a small bag to take on the ship {don’t take all your belongings}. And make sure you take any medication etc with you, because you can’t access your car again once the ship is sailing. If you’re traveling by foot {without a car} pack a small bag to take to your cabin and check-in all other luggage if you’re travelling without a vehicle or leave it in the boot of your car if you are travelling with a vehicle. This just makes life much easier for you.

DAY TWO: Devonport, Elizabeth Town, Launceston and Longford

At around 5:45am a call comes over the speaker that it’s almost time to depart the ship. It’s a wake-up call of sorts, giving you just under an hour to shower, pack-up and leave the ship. I’m an early morning person so this suits me perfectly. In fact I was up before the wake-up call watching the ship sail into port.


Our first stop is breakfast at the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm Cafe at Elizabeth Town. If you don’t like raspberries {I don’t even want to know who you are!} but you will still find something to like on the menu. We’re mad about raspberries, so it suited us perfectly. I started with a raspberry hot chocolate and swiftly moved onto poached eggs and mushrooms with raspberry hollandaise {it’s really subtle}.

You can buy fresh raspberries, and other berries, and products, which we did before leaving. I also recommend taste-testing what they have to offer near the counters. On the day we visited it was chocolate coated raspberries {yum!}.

christmas hills raspberry farm cafe

We then went to Ashgrove Cheese to pick up some more supplies for our stay. You can taste test cheeses, and watch cheese being made too. We visited on a public holiday, so all the cheese-makers were at home relaxing. There are also colourful replica cows around to keep the kids enthralled while you munch on lots of cheese.

TRAVEL TIP: One of the things I quickly fell in love with during our stay was that there was so much to see as you travel around. I saw many things that I wish I’d stopped for, but just told myself I’d see them on the return trip. Just stop and check out something when you see it, because you might take another route on your return. On our travels we stumbled across an apple farm, and decided not to stop. I had instant regret, did a u-turn and went back. BEST APPLES EVER.

seahorse worldAfter filling up on cheese and raspberries we headed to Beauty Point to checkout the Seahorse World, which also took us through Beaconsfield. Lacey had been learning about Seahorses at school, so it was a treat to visit the first ever seahorse farm in the world. Did you know that the males give birth to the young, rather than the females? We got to hold seahorses, while we took a tour and learned lots about them. After Seahorse World we headed next door to the Platypus House. Platypus House is also home to echidnas. The girls were getting a little impatient, so we asked if we could skip the entire tour and instead sneak in to see the playtpus and echidnas and then head off on our next adventure. Our neighbours told us these two places were a must visit for kids, and I’m glad we listened.

We then hopped into the car and headed east to Launceston. After a little bit of a drive the girls were ready to run around, so we headed to City Park. I’ve heard there’s also a great monkey park {and I’m not sure if this is the same thing} but this was perfect for us. Easy to find a carpark, lots of shade and equipment perfect for little people and more active kids too.

slideWe finished our Launceston tour with a visit to the Cataract Gorge. We didn’t have enough time to do it any justice, and I thought it would have suited Lacey but not Lulu, so we drove around and then head a little further south to Longford for the night.

Now, my little family has been very blessed to stay at some beautiful, fancy locations around the world. I know that we’re so very lucky. But I do have to say that where we stayed on our first night in Tassie is the best place we’ve ever stayed {for kids}. It was just so beautiful, and I could tell that the kids were just happy from their toes to their hair follicles.

brickendon-cottageBrickendon is a World Heritage Listed Colonial Farm Village. Basically, it’s a very sweet place built in 1824 that has oodles of character, loads of friendly farm animals and a sense of energy that demands that you relax. Our accommodation for the night was a three bedroom farmhouse with a loungeroom, a full kitchen, two dining rooms {I think one was a breakfast room} and the most comfortable beds you ever did sleep in. Surrounding the house animals roamed free, an apple tree grew out the back, and next door we woke to sheep being sheared. Like seriously, this was a dream for us. We spent hours playing with the animals, feeding them grass and even managed a selfie with a sheep {how freaking cool!}.

As the sun went down it was a little chilly so we lit a fire in the lounge room, and relaxed after a full day of travel and fun, and sat back and chatted, had some wine and watched TV.

Brickendon Estate has a number of houses spotted over the property, so depending on your requirements you could pick the place to suit your needs. There was a wedding the weekend that we arrived, so there were a few families on the property who were staying on after the reception to enjoy life on the farm.

pigfarm apple

We feasted on cheeses, baguette with Tasmanian butter, fresh apples from the tree, and dips… and then had the best sleep we’ve had in a while. I think it was a mix of the crisp cool air {a welcome change from the humidity back at home}, being worn out and all the cheese!


DAY THREE: Longford, Richmond and Hobart

After our blissful sleep, we woke and helped ourselves to some breakfast goodies that Lou {from the Archer family who’ve owned the property since way back when} had left us with the night before, and the girls were begging to head outside again. So we did.

We did a lap of the farm; visiting the rabbits, chickens, pig, sheep, calf, goat, geese and horse and then came back and heard a noise coming from a nearby shed. I assumed the farm wasn’t a working farm, and more a historical site, but being nosey, I went into the shed to find people shearing sheep. We sat down and watched for a while, amazed out how quickly a sheep can get a haircut and how well-behaved they are. Better behaved than some children I know…

Once we’d tidied up the cottage, and gathered our belongings, we packed the car and headed off to our next destination, a sweet little town called Richmond. But first we stopped at JJ’s Bakery {readers told me that I shouldn’t miss it} and grabbed a little on-the-road munchies. The pumpkin and fetta quiche was to die for, just quietly.

richmondThis little town feels like somewhere I’ve visited before {Southern Highlands of NSW, maybe?}, the streets are lined with sweet houses with beautiful gardens, and I pretty much want to move right in. The reason we stopped at Richmond, was because one of my readers had told me to visit Old Hobart Town, which is a small miniature replica village of Hobart in the 1820s. I love that stuff. Lacey was enthralled because she was promised a sticker if she could find four hidden things around the place, and she managed to do that and score herself a sticker. Definitely worth a visit if you like small things, and history. It cost us $32 to enter as a family.

We then wandered about town, stopping in for an ice cream for the girls at the lolly shop, and meandering past the bakery which was bustling. I had a hankering for scones with jam and cream, and every cafe seemed to be offering them. We settled for Ashmore Cafe on Bridge Street, and they didn’t disappoint {thankfully!}. If you’re doing a tour of Tasmania, particularly heading from the North to the South, I’d recommend putting Richmond as a pit stop, or a stop over. We only saw a tiny part of it, but what I did see, I loved.

We were keen to get to Hobart and check out our accommodation so we hit the road again, firstly stopping at the Wicked Cheese Factory and for a teeny bit of wine tasting at Pooley Wines {we bought a bottle of the Pinot Grigio}. We didn’t know that the Wicked Cheese Factory was as good as it was, otherwise we would have parked ourselves there for lunch. There’s a lawn for the kids to run around, and they offer yummy lunch options too.

TRAVEL TRIP: Expect travel to take a little longer than your GPS says. The roads are beautiful, but smaller than I imagined {narrower} and there are lots of people sight-seeing {i.e. driving below the speed limit}, so just take that into account. Who’s in a rush anyway?

We traveled further south to Hobart, to Salamanca Wharf Hotel. We checked into our accommodation and the receptionist asked, “We’ve upgraded you to the penthouse, is that OK?” OK? Honey, that’s more than OK! While I love rustic and personality, my Ma likes fancy. So she was thrilled to hear the words ‘upgrade’ and ‘penthouse’. The room was beautiful, and right in the heart of everything. Seriously, all the things. If you wanted to eat at the nicest restaurants, you could do that. If you wanted to walk around and explore, you could do that. If you wanted to head out to visit MONA via boat, you could do that too. Our accommodation was where everything was happen, so I’d definitely plan on spending a few days here next time, so that I could check everything off my Hobart Bucket List.

Salamanca Wharf Hotel looks and feels like it was only built yesterday, with the most modern of functionalities {a car stacker!} but it also feels like home. I took advantage of the washing machine and washed our clothes, so we didn’t have to worry about it on our return. All the toiletry products are by one of my favourite brands, Mor, and were gardenia-scented, so I may have secretly stashed a few away to bring home. They also have Wifi for guests, so if you want to work or play, you can do that too.

Apparently the Salamanca Markets, on Saturday mornings, are unmissable… so if you’re around on a weekend make sure you plan to head to those. Unfortunately we traveled during the week so missed out, but next time!

Salamanca Wharf HotelAnother of my readers {oh how I love you guys! You give good advice} said that I need to get to Daci & Daci Bakers in Hobart, and I noticed it as we were driving to our accommodation. So after we rested in the apartment for 10.3 seconds, the girls and I headed out for baked goods and a play in the nearby park. We grabbed a fruit salad and Concorde {mousse & meringue!}, and sat in the sun for a while. Later we headed to Mures for a quick seafood dinner. I was craving fresh seafood and seasonal vegetables in a fancy restaurant, but two exhausted children and fancy meals don’t mix, so instead we ate and then headed back to our accommodation for an early night.

DAY FOUR: Hobart, Mount Wellington, Elizabeth Town and Turner’s Bay

IMG_4501After waking early, I made a last minute decision that we HAD to see the sunset from the top of Mount Wellington. I Googled the time that the sun was rising, and Googled the distance to the peak of the mountain and basically calculated it all wrong. We drove up the mountain and just missed the start of the sun rising, but it was beautiful all the same. The sun waits for no one!

Mount Wellington is beautiful, like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It felt like we were in a whole different world, because the clouds were lingering around us. The temperature was close to freezing point {2 degrees Celsius!}, so without coats, scarves, thermals, beanies {i.e. warm stuff} we couldn’t stand the cold temps for long. So we’d run out, check out the view and then head back into the car to warm up. It was so worth the drive. Do it if you’re in the area. Take warm clothes!

IMG_4370 IMG_4371

We ate breakfast at the cafe below the Salamanca Wharf Hotel and I think you should try the caramel pancakes {if you’re ever in the area}. So deliciously naughty. And then we hit the road again. We stopped at the Cadbury Factory, because it wouldn’t be right not to stop. It’s $4 to visit {but that doesn’t include seeing chocolate being made}, and each person gets a goodie bag. The chocolates are super cheap, if you’re a Cadbury chocolate lover. Because it was Easter time, we grabbed a $25 huge bag of Easter eggs. Easter shopping done.

The trip from Hobart to Devonport is more than three hours long, so we wanted to make sure we were there early and didn’t miss the boat. Can you imagine? We made a pit stop at Campbell Town where we found another JJ’s Bakery, so we grabbed some lunch and let the girls stretch their legs again.

TRAVEL TIP: I went into a travel agent and grabbed their guide to Tasmania before we left for our trip, and it included a map with travel times, so I could estimate how long it would take to get to places. This website is good too, so you can plan your trip out a little.


Before boarding the ship we filled our spare time with a trip to Anver’s Chocolate Shop and up to Turner’s Beach Berry Patch for berry picking. We loved picking our own berries. We took a container out into the patch and picked until we were satisfied. Quarantine laws allow us to take berries out of Tassie but not bring any fruit in, so stock up and take some berries home! This loot below only cost us $2. Bargain.


We managed to fill every minute of every day during our stay in Tasmania with good stuff. We were knackered but so very happy. Tasmania delivered more than I dreamed of. The people are beautiful and friendly, the landscape is stunning, and there’s just so much to do and eat. I’m already planning a trip back to visit the East Coast, and to take Hubby along next time.


Our trip home was another night of smooth sailing. We ate dinner at The Leatherwood Restaurant, and settled in for an early night. Everyone slept well again, waking before the 5:45am wake-up call. Each room has a bathroom, and room for your luggage. If you don’t want to splurge on a room you can grab an Ocean Recliner, or you could take a day trip and play cards with your mates all day {like my neighbour does, and loves it!}.

Before this trip I didn’t know that Spirit of Tasmania had cabins and restaurants. I actually thought people parked their cars on and stayed in their cars the whole trip {I had no idea!}. The set up is really comfortable, and better than I could have imagined. I definitely recommend putting Tasmania on your travel bucketlist.

TRAVEL TIP: The ladies at the Devonport office told me that if you plan in advance, you’ll save money on your Spirit of Tasmania fare. So plan your holiday ahead of time. At the moment Spirit of Tasmania has a special offer, with 50% off passenger fares. Day sailings start from $43 each way and night sailings from $48 each way. Travel from 16 May to 17 September 2015. Offer ends April 4 unless sold out prior. You can book by visiting here.

And now for some exciting news: One person is going to win a $200 gift voucher to spend on a Spirit of Tasmania trip. It could be you! Simply answer the following question below to be in the running: Why do you want to visit Tasmania?

We traveled as guests of Spirit of Tasmania.

One entry per person
Open to Australian Residents Only
Competition closes April 1st 11:59pm

143 thoughts on “Our Tasmania Travel Diary”

  1. It’s ironic, I’ve travelled so much in Australia, but I’ve never been to Tassie, even though I’ve always wanted to go! We’re in the process of applying for citizenship and we’ve promised ourselves that once we get the blue passport, we’re going to celebrate with a tour of Tasmania (even though we won’t need the blue passport to get there!) I can’t wait. Oh, and I also really want to go to run the Cadbury Half Marathon because, “hello chocolate” and you get to have your photo taken with Caramello Koala himself. My hero! Obviously it goes without saying, I love this post so hard and will follow all your top tips to a T (for Tasmania!)

    • I want to visit Tasmania to show my kids that Tasmania is truly a beautiful place to visit on a holiday. I love Tasmania

    • Tasmania is my home state, full of apples, mountains, white sandy beaches, my grans cooking, my mum’s couch, cousins and their kids. We are Gold Coasters now, but sometimes we yearn the crisp air, old buildings and food, oh the food! I took the Able Tasman once as a kid and will never forget the rolling seas and would love my two kidlets to wake up to seaspray and sunrises ondeck! xxx

  2. I have been to Tassie once for a whistlestop, but would love to take the ship and take time to explore the island with my children. It would be great to have the time to take in all of the beauty and travel east and west, rather than straight up the middle, as I did on my short visit. And we loved Beauty Point in particular, so I’d love to go there.

  3. we went to tassie in January and I seriously want to move there! It is amazing. We went on the spirit and took out camper trailer and went all around but still missed so much. I would go back and do all the places we missed as well as go back to Freycinet National Park. Simply Stunning.

    and how good is ashmore cheese! We still have a little bit in the fridge…. savouring it!!!

  4. After recently having our first ever big family holiday to New Zealand with our 19 month old we now have the travel bug to do some more adventure with her. Before our daughter was born we travelled a lot and it wasn’t til we went on this trip that we a) realised how much we missed it and b) it’s totally possible, with a little planning, to still explore our wonderful world!
    Next on our list was a road trip around tassie so if we won this it would be amazing and hopefully bump this trip up from next year to this year!

  5. The Food, the wine, the scenery! Who doesn’t want to take a trip to Tassie? It’s definitely on my to see list

  6. Tasmania was where we’re meant to honeymoon (21 yrs married this year)… But we had a baby instead and the honeymoon never happened. Tasmania has always been on my wish list and this year I put it in my vision board. I loved this post and can now really envision all the places I want to see…and raspberries, YUM!! Oh and I also thought people stayed in their cars too, cabins is so civilised x

  7. We (other half and I) have wanted to visit Tasmania since we hwrd about the MONA gallery! My other half is a lover of weird things. We had organised to go 2015 New Years but our daughter was sick so we could not go. Other half is 30 this year, would love to spoil him to visit MONA! 🙂

  8. I just love with a passion anything to do with Convict things! And Tasmania sure has this to offer a Convicty History buff like moi! Also I have never travelled there EVER because I always thought it was more for couples in love and have never wanted to go there and feel like a loser in love!!

    However over the last few years I can see that I was VERY WRONG and would love the chance to go there with some good girl friends and have a wonderful adventure 🙂 xxx

  9. Funnily enough our story is similar to yours. My Mum will be 78 next month and has never ventured out of Victoria (except a very quick trip across the border to Barham 30 odd years ago for the pokies!). Not even when her best friend passed away in Queensland many years ago could we convince her to travel interstate. We nearly fell off our chairs recently when she said she’d like to visit a dear friend in Tasmania this year! Shock! Horror! Is she feeling ok? My wonderful husband offered to take her on the Spirit of Tasmania, God love him. Whilst we’ve not organised anything yet, I loved reading your post so much that I think we should make a family trip of it with myself and my son going also. Your travels sounded wonderful and made me want to go there too.

  10. Tassie is one of those places that has always been on my husband and my bucket list. We both are country born and breed, so to us Tassie would feel like a little bit of home away from home. My husband is on a DSP for PTSD, he cant handle crowded placed, especially in unfamiliar places, so i think Tassie would be an awesome place for him to go where he can relax and unwind. And who wouldnt want to ho to Tassie all that stunning senery, food and history, i just want to go relax and soak it all up.

  11. When I visit my brother in Sydney next month, we’re taking a week-long trip to Tasmania, bit excited 🙂

  12. Visiting tassie would be top of my list of places I need to visit. My parents and sister live in Tassie, mum after having a stroke is being cared for by my dad and I havent seen them in 5 years. Phone calls and social media are just not the same as being there and being able to give them a hug.

  13. How yummy is Ashgrove Cheese!!! Did you go to House of Anvers? Best Hot Choc I have EVER!!!
    One of my besties and I did a weekend trip over to visit another good friend and she showed us soo much while we were there!

  14. I have extra holidays this year and Tassie is on my list of places to go. My son spent six months in bed last year due to a condition he suffers from and we didn’t have a chance to head too far away from home! He is doing ok at the moment and we want to enjoy some family holidays before he needs treatment again!

  15. 13 years since I landed in Australia
    and I’ve always wished I could see Tasmania.
    I come from Canada, where it’s known for cold.
    I’d love to taste Taz cheese, covered in mould.
    A place that will make me miss my old home
    ’cause it’s green and lush,
    and makes you have to wear something plush.

    I’ve heard they are similar in that respect.
    I need to see it for myself, I must inspect.

    I’d love to drive the long windy roads,
    and put my phone on silent mode.
    We’d gorge ourselves with berries,
    and then play with something hairy;
    A horse or a cat, a cow or a goat,
    Or maybe a seahorse, something that floats.

    A historical place, that helped give us our roots.
    Where convicts worked hard with mud on their boots.
    I’d love to hear the old stories, and see the old bones –
    the heritage homes surrounded by stones.
    A place full of wonder and so much delight,
    Sail away on a boat instead of taking a flight.

  16. I have never been to Tassie but so want to go. Hubby and I had planned to go about 11 years ago but I got pregnant and we never made it! It looks so beautiful, so green. I love that crisp air and rolling hills. The berry farms look like fun and wouldn’t the kids love the Cadbury factory, I bet Lacey did. Cradle mountain is definitely a bucket list must see! Thanks so much for sharing you tips and I love that you took your mum xx

  17. We moved to Australia nearly two years ago and are doing our best to see all that we can. Tassie seems like the next logical step. I miss the cool winters of the northern hemisphere, so the idea of bundling up in a jumper and lighting a fire sounds just about right. Everyone says that Tassie is a laid back, beautiful and unique place to visit. Seems like the perfect holiday!

  18. The Mr and I would love to go to Tassie. And after reading this and seeing your gorgeous pictures, I want it even more. Everything just looks so pretty and fresh! I think it would be a fantastic holiday for the whole family. x

  19. I’d love to visit Tassie to see the land I’ve always heard about where my great-great relative William Coventry was transported to from Ireland, only to escape and be eaten by his fellow convict escapees! An infamous cannibal story lurking in our family tree, and a wonderful place to discover!

  20. This post brings back so many great memories. We travelled to Tassie in 2012 after we had to cancel China due to me suffering bad morning sickness. Unfortunately the Tassie roads were unkind in that aspect lol but the sights were so amazing. It’s a place I want to return with our kids (after June when the 2nd arrives), because even with so many great overseas adventures, it was a really wonderful holiday we would love to do again.

  21. 3 words – Cadbury Chocolate Factory! start and finish here. Even though Tassie is part of Australia, it still remains a mystery to me and I would love to visit it and explore more of Australia.

  22. Wow, you guys covered a lot of ground! I have travelled heaps of Tasmania since I was a child. My dad’s whole side of the family is there and we especially ramped up our visits towards the end of his parents’ lives (they passed away in 2013). So many fond memories 🙂

  23. My husband and I have not had a holiday since our honeymoon in Queenscliff Victoria nearly 16 years ago. Funnily enough it was a choice between Tasmania and Queenscliff and Queenscliff won out on account it was cheaper!
    I’d love to surprise hubby with a trip to Australia’s largest island that has everything you want and need! From lush rainforests to beautiful, sandy beaches. It has mountains which see a lot of snow in winter and breathtaking lakes which look straight out of a fantasy film. Low light pollution makes the night sky mesmerising and because 45% of the island is natural parks and World Heritage sites you’re pretty much guaranteed that it’s beautiful. Plus there’s awesome and rare rock formations, the largest lavender farm in the world, some of the cleanest air in the world (about the same quality as Antarctica) and its wineries are among the best in Australia. There’s wonderful walking trails and amazing views that make the whole island just scream ‘relaxation’.
    Due to its isolation, the island has really unique and diverse flora and fauna and if you climb Mt. Wellington, you get some epic views of the capital, Hobart. In fact, the whole place is just a collection of epicness and beauty and the sunset is a spectacular show, no matter what time of year. It truly is the island of perfection. Please let me start packing my bags to get hubby and me out of here!!

  24. Wow! Who wouldn’t want to go to Tassie after reading all about your amazing holiday! Sounds like a dream I would love to make come true for my little family of 4! Sounds like some lifelong memories were made and that’s why I would love to go, so we can some make some of those magical memories for ourselves! 🙂

  25. Oh Chantelle! I hope this isn’t too weird but I have tears. You showed off our beautiful state just perfectly and it makes me proud to see it’s made an impression on you and your family. I loved that you took time to explore the northern half of the state too, it’s sad that this often gets overlooked by travel writers, but you picked some of the best places to highlight in the north. I couldn’t help nodding along to everything you’ve written. This is such a beautiful place and I love how you’ve captured it. Btw my nephew is a chef for the Leatherwood restaurant, great to see it was your favourite on the ship. So glad you loved our little island!

    • Oh wow. That’s so cool. I wonder if he cooked my meal. It was yummy, particularly the sticky date pudding.

      I am so glad that you were touched by my story, because honestly I loved Tasmania more than I imagined I would. I’ve traveled to some really great places, but Tassie is now at the top of that list. I really loved it. It was too short, but that just means I’ve got a hankering to go back.


  26. I’d like to win the voucher for my Mum and Dad. They have wanted to go to Tasmania for years, but farm life has always stopped them – my Dad is forever helping other people but never wants to trouble people by asking them to look after his 40 acres for him to go away. Unfortunately he has just been diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma and will be beginning treatment soon, however we are staying positive and know he will get through this – he wants to be around to see his 1st grandson, who is 18 months old grow up. To win this voucher would be a shining light at the end of the tunnel my Dad is about to enter xx

  27. I love Tasmania with all of my heart. I had always wanted to visit and my husband lived there for a couple of years as a child, so we decided to make Tassie our honeymoon destination.
    We didn’t really want to travel overseas for our honeymoon and we wanted to choose somewhere that we could return to a lot over the course of our marriage to remember the awesome honeymoon we went on and to take our kids on holidays because it would be such an amazing place for a family holiday.
    We spent an amazing 2 weeks driving around the island and saw so much but there is still so much we want to go back and see. I also really want to take the Spirit of Tasmania because I think it would be so much fun. I was really against it for the longest time because (TMI alert) my parents would always tell me (and anyone that was visiting!) that I was conceived on the Abel Tasman (the predecessor to the Spirit). Awkward indeed!! I think I have sufficiently recovered from that trauma and I’m willing to give the Spirit of Tasmania a try. Plus I am just dying to get back to Tasmania.
    Come to think of it, it would make an awesome ‘babymoon’ to go back to Tassie now that I’m pregnant!

  28. How awesome is Tassie – the kids and I had a wonderful adventure down there in January and can’t wait to go back for more – we did a day sail and so would love to do an overnight cabin! Why would we love to go? Well one of my besties moved down there 2 years ago and she’s about to have her first baby – so we have to go back for baby cuddles <3

  29. Great tips. Saving this for when we finally make it out there!
    My husband and I are having our first baby in a few weeks and hoping to plan one or two mini-breaks while I’m on maternity leave, once we’re ready to travel with the baby.
    Tasmania is one of the places on our list as we’ve never been, and it looks so relaxed with all the greenery, water, mountains and beautiful food. I can’t wait to visit 🙂
    Also, those berries! Yum!

  30. My Nanna lives in Tassie, about 15 minutes from where the ship sails in a nice little town called Ulverstone. It is her 90th birthday in November and travelling on the boat would be a great way to take my kids over to celebrate.

  31. I lived in tassie 12 years ago, I’ve been wanting to take the husb and kids over to show them off to my old mates but it’s quite pricey and its been taking a very long time to save up. I just love tassie, so many beautiful places to visit, food to eat, wine to drink and for me people to hang out with! So glad you enjoyed your time there, it’s hard not to hey!

  32. I want to travel to Tasmania, as my husband grew up there, and it would be so great to take our 2 kids there to see where Daddy grew up. Such a beautiful part of our country! I can’t wait to see it.

  33. I want to explore the historical building, learn more about our start as a country and discover the beautiful towns that Tasmania has

  34. We are expecting our third baby very soon but would love to go on a family holiday later this year. We are really hoping to go to Tasmania but we were not sure we could afford it with the new addition. This voucher would help out so much!

  35. A holiday is on my wish list. Not just a holiday but a holiday to Tasmania!
    We are overdue for a family holiday. My husband has been to Tasmania. It’s the only state I haven’t been to. And our 3 yr old has to start somewhere!
    I keep seeing and hearing about all these wonderful places to see as grown ups as well as awesome things for kids to see and do. All the things to do together… the mind boggles!
    Travelling on the The Spirit of Tasmania with all the fun and luxury it has to offer, , taking our car fully equipped for our family…yes please!

  36. My sister lives in Tasmania with her new baby so I would live to win the voucher to be able to go and visit her!

  37. Well, we have never been to Tasmania, but have always talked about going there! Mostly we would love to go there for the food – the local produce looks amazing! We are suckers for goooooooood food! We are due to have a baby this year, so what better place for a “Babymoon”?!

  38. I’ve always wanted to hire a car and travel around Tassie stopping and exploring as we go! We’ve just never managed to find the time!

  39. I want to travel to Tasmania because it is home! My partner is in the Defence Force so we move around the country every 2-3 years, and are currently living in Melbourne. I’ve lived in 5 different states and Territories and while they have all been great, there’s no place like home. It is truly the most beautiful place in Australia! I LOVE taking my 2 kids home to see their family and show them they place I call home!

  40. Tasmania is the only state left in Australia for me to visit. Haven’t always wanted to go there but it has been added to the top of my list in the last few years. Through the amazing world of Instagram, have seen some amazing pictures and insights into the apple isle that I had never seen before…and I would love to see it for real! Oh, and the cheese, wine, fresh produce…and to hike the Overland Trail!

  41. Tassie is the Apple of my eye. Its green! It’s nature at its best. It’s historical! It’s Australia!

  42. I had never thought too much about Tasmania until my parents had their honeymoon there (8 years ago) and their photos were breathtaking! Tassie is definitely somewhere I feel would be a lovely (& easy) trip with our kids while they’re young, and I feel we should take advantage of living 25 mins away from Port Melbourne.

  43. My better half has just come back from 3 weeks hiking in Tassie and has promised that we MUST go together next time, he said it’s the best place on earth, on that basis why wouldn’t i want to go!!!

  44. I love Tasmania & it’s rugged beauty… Unfortunately on our visit in Hobart ,a car ran a red light & smashed into us. Our car was written off! We were so fortunate that we along with my little boy were not hurt, but very shaken!
    As we had travelled in our own car we had to leave it there. VERY STRESSFUL time . Organizing the insurance.. Taking every thing out the car that was valuable & organizing our return home ! I hope to go again to really take in all that Tasmanis has to offer.

  45. You have sold it for me Chantelle – your travel diary and photos are AMAZING!!! I want to take my girls Bonnie and Maeve, and visit all of the beautiful places you have told us about. An overseas holiday in our backyard, what could be more perfect?! xx

  46. Thoughts of taking our 7 & 6 year old to Tasmania began early this year. We found it difficult to find information about adventures that would inspire our family of four, and I am ashamed to say we booked a sunnier more ‘theme parked’ adventure. Your blog has inspiried me and my initial thoughts have been proven correct that it certainly needs to be on our families bucket list.

  47. We have never been to Tasmania before, I feel like it just suits us to a tee. Today is my husbands birthday and I would love to be able to spoil him with out first family holiday with our 6 month old little tot. The Spirit of Tasmania seems like a really good option as we can take all of the little ones bits and pieces without having to worry about fitting it into overhead compartments and feeling the wrath of other travels when the bebe cries. It would be lovely to make some beautiful family memories.

  48. My husband had a really BAD cruise experience years ago when he was single, and vowed to never go on a cruise again. Which means I don’t get to go on a cruise. I think this overnight trip would be a great way for him to change his perspective on cruising (and give me a chance to experience it!). We’ve been fortunate enough to be able to explore a lot of Australia and the World, but we’ve never made it to Tassie, and it’s at the top of my list – it looks like a foodies paradise!

  49. We would love to take our little boy James on the ‘big ship’ to see the ‘horseys in the sea’ and The Cadbury Factory. I’d love to visit the D’Anvers Chocolate factory, Meadowbank Winery and MONA. Hubby wants to see Wineglass Bay, Peppermint Bay and the Cascade Brewery. Oh and we’re all made for mushrooms and apples, so we want to get to the Huon Valley too. So much to do in the most relaxing state of Australia. We can’t wait to be tourists in Tassie.

      • Thank you! The list is twice as long in actual fact, but these are the ‘not negotiables’ for us. The West Coast is apparently amazing, particularly Stachan. I’d also like to do a wine tour…everything from the Tamar Valley, Janz, Home Hill, Freycinet Bay and Bay Of Fires. Mmmm, must get back to work. Thanks for the awesome post (loved the extra tips too)

  50. I’d love to travel the highways and byways of Tassie, eat beautiful local food and explore the beautiful wilderness

  51. I spent 3 weeks cycling from Davenport to Strahan to Hobart 21 years ago and loved it (Tassie, not the cycling). I would love to have a family holiday there to show my children how beautiful it is and to visit the east coast, which I didn’t get to do all those years ago.

  52. The apple Isle says it all.. She’ll be apples when you’re there. We have great friends there who we rarely see, so visiting them and all the sites is just what our young family ordered. Thanks, Kate.

  53. Despite the fact that it looks stunning, every lifestyle show I watch, every country magazine I read, shares stories of people on the land, providing and creating, food, art, you name it. I’d love to see that.
    And the spirit of Tasmania, what a wonderful experience to travel over on that as opposed to same old same old of flying.

  54. I went to Tassie in the dead of winter a few years back, so most of the farm gates were closed and I was also 1st trimester preggers (I spewed my way around Tassie) so I’d love to go back and try again! Lol

  55. I will be honest Tassie is breathtaking and special that’s why I live here.My children haven’t been to Launceston let alone Devonport since they were toddlers.For me I would take my family to the dinosaur park in Devonport and monkey park in Launceston.Dinosaur park It’s just a playground but at three my son thought it was the best place he had ever seen and now 17 I’m sure his reaction will be different but still priceless.My daughter still remembers seeing monkeys when she was little but nothing else about Launceston and has always wanted to go back to see monkeys and Launie.As for Spirit of Tasmania we have never been on. So winning this voucher would mean NO more excuses to explore our own State with added bonus to visit Melbourne where we could go to the zoo to see LOTs of monkeys and a visit to museum to see real life replicas of dinosaur skeletons and not just swings made look like them 🙂

  56. Growing up in Europe Tasmania always sounded like this far, far away place full of devils (The cartoon ones) and palm trees. Now that I live in Melbourne I know it has so much more to offer. I would love to make the climb to see wineglass bay or to discover Hobart. Visiting Tasmania is high on my to do list 🙂

  57. oh I forgot to add – Id love to visit Tasmania because it looks like there is so much to explore and see in such a small island, and the fact its part of Australia but unique in its own way would make it an interesting destination – the food and local produce also looks amazing!

  58. My husband asked me to marry him while watching the sunrise over Hobart (an early and cold but beautiful surprise). That was nearly three years ago and now we have a beautiful little girl and we want to take her back to show her where daddy asked mummy to marry him, and where the story of our beautiful little family began. Tasmainia has a very special place in our hearts.

  59. I’d love to take Holly back to where she was born and take the whole family to explore Tassie, and for me it would be amazing to catch up with one of my best friends who lives in Devonport

    • Oh my god, I forgot that you lived in Tassie! I can remember writing the address on an envelope to you now.

      How funny! You have to take her back there. And the rest of the gang too.

  60. My partner goes crazy for a cruise – but I get motion sickness. Traveling to Tasmania and eating ever bit of cheese I can get my hands on will make the trip worth it.

    Louise x

  61. I’ve waited until my daughter was 13 to do a lot of travelling, I always wanted her to be old enough to appreciate it, and as a single mum, I needed her to be old enough that I wouldn’t be constantly running around after her. Tasmania is one of those places I would love to take her, so full of history and so beautiful.

  62. My Dad was born in Tassie and lived there until he was 15 when he left home to come over to the ‘mainland’. I’ve been there many times over the years to visit his family but haven’t been back since I’ve had children of my own. My husband and I have been throwing the idea around of taking our caravan across on the boat so the kids can see where Poppy grew up and all the amazing things Tasmania has to offer.

  63. It would be absolute BLISS going to Tassie…
    We honeymooned there for four wonderful days ( in Winter! ) back in 2003
    I would love to take our two children there, they would go nuts with how beautiful it is.
    Hubsabroonie and I would go nuts (again) with how beautiful Tasmania is!
    And to go by boat on the The Spirit Of Tasmania… OH MY that would be and awesome experience for this ol salty!

  64. My husband was born and raised in Tasmania, descending from a long line of convicts. We have followed the paper trail of the family back to the first fleet. How nice it would be to follow the footsteps of those naughty ancestors and see what they saw!

  65. My husband and I retired and then had to have hip and knee replacements each so finally took a much dreamed of trip to Tassie!! What a wonderful place!! Would go back in a minute finance allowing !!! So much that we didn’t have time to see and do.

  66. I would love to go back and propose to my partner at the top of wine glass bay look out, we were there 2 years ago and never made it to the top as the Tasmanian bush fires started that day and the area was closed down.

  67. I’ve never been there! There’s Cradle Mountain, Freycinet Peninsula, Wineglass Bay, Tahune Forest Airwalk, Mt Wellington summit view, Cataract Gorge in Launceston, Salamanca Markets, and not to mention the food and drink. Yes, a GRAPE escape!

  68. We are planning a big family holiday soon, before our eldest daughter gets ready to leave home, and Tassie is our destination. We have always wanted to visit Tasmania and to say I’m looking forward to it is a complete understatement. Thank you for all your tips. I’m going to note them all!

  69. What’s not to love? Berries, apples picked fresh from a tree, cheese, wine, bakeries. Mmmmmm, I would love to visit and eat my way around the island. I am excited to visit Hobart, Launceston, the ‘Nut’ in Stanley, Cradle Mountain and Freycinet. I love the thought that not only do I get to eat my way around the island but I also get to visit places named after foods; the Nut, Wineglass Bay, Oatlands, Cockle Creek, Sorrel, Penguin 😉

  70. Would love to take a trip to Tassie, went there years ago with the idea that we would take our time and drive around at our leisure. This was not meant to be though, did the West side of the island and had to come home without finishing our trip.
    Now I would dearly love to be able to say to hubby, let us go end our tour !

  71. I’ve never been and it just looks so clean, green and with amazing scenery; it would be a crime not to really!

  72. I would LOVE to travel to Tasmania! Its my 30th this coming August and Tasmania is the no: 1 place on my list to go for my birthday. My husband and I brought a farm on the weekend down in portland and we would love to tour around to gather ideas and meet other farmers, along with celebrating my birthday. This would be A-m-a-z-i-n-g and such a blessing to us.

  73. A chance to rekindle the relationship with my partner would be great. Kids could enjoy some time with their grandparents and we could spend some much needed time together in a place we have never been before.

  74. I so enjoyed reading your blog on your trip from QLD to Tasmania, aboard the Spirit of Tasmania! Last time I visited Tasmania I took my Mum and so this brought back incredibly fond memories as my Mum passed away 8yrs ago!
    Mum and I did a fly/drive, but we would have loved to go via the *Spirit of Tasmania* soaking up the atmosphere of Bass Strait in comfort, dining in a restaurant instead of a rushed cuppa whilst flying.
    I would revisit places I took Mum, plus those where she was unable to venture.
    A legacy to her because she loved Tassie and died shortly after our return

  75. I want to take the husband and kids to Tasmania to show them how beautiful it is. I hiked the Overland Track almost 20 years ago (gah, feeling old!) and have always wanted to do it again.
    I’d also like to go to the Cadbury factory. (But not until after October, when my current year-long chocolate ban ends!!)

  76. Tassie has been our bucket list for years now. I recently booked a week there and then had to cancel due to financial issues. We are a family who loves a good driving holiday and would relish the chance to do a Tassie driving adventure much the same as the one you just did.

  77. At 81 this is the best w3ay to travel to Tasmania, so easy and so relaxed. I want to see Tassie before I die.

  78. I love travelling and trying the local produce. I always come back from a holiday with chocolate and honey. My last trip was to the US, where we tried chowder in San Francisco, beef ribs in Charleston and a hangover grade sandwich with chips in it in Portland, Oregon. I would love to show my young son the green scenery and try the local produce, as we do at an apple orchard in Pialligo in Canberra. Whenever possible we buy local and from the producer.

  79. My husband’s ancestors also lived in Tasmania, in amongst the footholes of a mountain… somewhere?! I’m looking forward to the day when we can spend some time in Tasmania, and explore the area that his mum and family grew up in, and take in all of the beautiful, untouched country side. And all of the amazing food (and scotch) that comes out of Tassie – why wouldn’t you want to go!

  80. My Fijian mother in law lives in Tasmania as well as the kids cousins. We have only taken our first two to Tassie once. Now with bubba no 3 almost 1, I would love to surprise nanny and take the kids across on the Spirit of Tasmania. It’s on our bucket list for 2015 so winning would be bliss. 🙂

  81. My mum moved to Tasmania (Dover) a few years ago, and we haven’t been able to visit her and my Step Father since they moved. It looks like an amazing place to visit, and would love dearly to surprise my mum for her birthday this year!

  82. Hubby spent the majority of his childhood growing up around Hobart and it stole a little piece of his heart. He often talks about how he’d move back in a heartbeat if we could and I know he would love, and I mean LOVE to take the kids one day to show them the place he grew up and make memories there with them too. It’s a magical place for him.

  83. Planning to get there one day cost are extra for Fwd an camper trailer to travel over. One day we will get there

  84. I’ve just become a single mother and would love to take my 18 month old and four year old on such an amazing trip.

  85. Tasmania is my dream ‘Aussie’ destination and having never before in my life left Melbourne, I’d like my first trip to be the best.

  86. I feel like the odd friend out. Everyone I know has been and loved it there, coming back raving about this heaven on earth. I want in!!!

  87. My family and I are in serious need of a sensory reboot, to experience the basics of feelings, sight, sound, touch and taste the wonders Tassie has to offer.

  88. I emigrated to Perth from the UK 8 years ago and I love it but I do miss the countryside, especially a long walk on a crisp fresh day. My partner has been and says I will love it, we plan to go there on our next holiday and I can’t wait!

  89. Wow after reading the amazing time your family had I am so inspired to travel on the Spirit of Tasmania
    check out the Historical buildings , rent a car and experience everything Tassie has to offer
    i’m excited just thinking about it

  90. (T)asmania is the place to be
    (A)holiday there would fill me with glee
    (S) almon,cheese, cider and wine
    (M)ade locally…so divine
    (A)dventure, nature,history and arts
    (N)ow these are things after my own heart
    (I)’d love to escape the rat race
    (A)nd Tasmania I would embrace

  91. The ancient forests, the winding roads,
    Local produce and watering holes.
    The cleanest air, the genuine smiles,
    The return planning for the apple isle.

  92. I’d love to return to Tassie, my first visit was in 1986 and I was eleven years old rocking a perm mullet & questionable denim, travelling with Mum & Dad in the commodore around Tassie for a couple of weeks. Fast forward *cough* 29 years later and I’ve got an almost eleven year old and a 12 yr old! We’ve been planning for years, and never got there! Time to host my own family adventure! I want to check out and photograph all the things I missed the first time! Look out Cadbury & Cascade Brewery!

  93. Been in Australia for 12 years and visited a few of the amazing sites, but haven’t had a chance to visit Tasmania. The family have put all our holidays on hold while my beautiful wife studied to be a nurse and then a midwife. We have a large family and also fostering two children so makes holiday expensive and sometimes unattainable. Would be amazing to travel to one more gorgeous places in Australia

  94. As penniless University students we honeymooned in Tassie, backpacking, hitch-hiking our way around, camping mostly in caravan parks.. Years have passed. We’d love to return via the Spirt of Tasmania and experience again Tassie’s delights in a little more style and comfort.

  95. I have been promising Miss 7 that her and I would go on a cruise together one day, Tassie would be a great baby step for us!

  96. I am tracing my family tree so I’d love to visit the church in Campbell Town with the church window dedicated to my Grandmother ‘and friends’ when she was a child and the WWI Avenue of Honour in Hobart with a tree dedicated to my Great Uncle. Perhaps I could find where my great grandmother was born while I’m there too!

  97. My hubby and I met in Launceston 20 years ago! (Man, that makes me feel old!) Now that our children are now 7 and 3 I think it’s about time we finally returned and showed our kids where we met!

  98. I would love to go back. We did a trip similar to yours when my eldest was 2 and he’s now 13. I would love to take my other kids there to show them just how beautiful a place it is.

  99. So many treasures in Tassie! Sailing across sets the mood for the adventure that awaits.
    I have a dream to go fossicking for sapphires in the north-east, eat oysters and cheese anywhere I can find them and bring home cases and cases of Gillespie’s ginger beer and whiskey. A pirates life for me!

  100. I want to visit Tasmania, mainly because I’ve lived in Victoria my whole life and never been out of the state. I want to travel so badly, especially within my own country. Tasmania appeals to me because of the absolutely gorgeous scenery: The rain forests, and the history behind many buildings, it would be an incredible experience

  101. I want to visit Tasmania, because I have never been! We visit Victoria every year and often see the Spirit of Tasmania docked as we travel over the Westgate bridge and always say “One day…” Hopefully our one day will be soon.

  102. I’d love to walk the Cradle Mountain track and winning a voucher would make me one step closer to that goal, and one less excuse not to go and do it!

  103. Ive heard so many wonderful things about Tassie and have always wanted to do the trip over on The Spirit, but up to now it just hasn’t happened. Maybe if I’m lucky enough it will finally

  104. I love Tassie! I’ve dragged everyone there, boyfriends, best girl friends (hens weekend) husband (a few years after the boyfriends), parents (who had their honeymoon there in the 60’s – ahead of their time)! The most incredible hiking, landscape and fabulous arts scene! I would love to take my kids on a ‘Tassie Wilderness Adventure’ and with all the gear that entails it has to be by ferry!

  105. I was born in Tasmania but moved to Aus when I was little and never been back this would give me the chance to re visit my true home and see where I come from

  106. My husband is from the US and he has never enjoyed the delights of Tasmania. He’s from Oregon and he’d love the gorgeous nature and stunning beauty.

  107. My husband and I actually had a trip planned to Tassie for earlier this year but we then fell pregnant and had a baby boy instead. Meanwhile, my sister and her family moved to Tassie for work just before he was born. I would love to be able to take my family on a trip to Tassie which we’ve always wanted to do and introduce my little boy to his aunt, uncle and cousin.

  108. My life will not be complete without at visit to MONA, I’m jealous every time I see another Facebook friend there instead of me

  109. After taking longer than expected to fall pregnant, and experiencing some losses along the way, my husband and I decided to buy a van and convert it into a camper. Our plan was to head off on as many road trips as we could to keep our spirits high and our minds at peace. Our first trip was along the Great Ocean Road – our souls were refreshed after a rough couple of years. Shortly after we returned home we found out we were pregnant again and today our joy, Luca Brave, is 4 months old. We still plan to head off on as many road trips as we can but from now on they will look slightly different. We’d love for Luca’s first road trip to be to Tassie, maybe we could even take a detour along the Great Ocean Road and show him the places that made us brave again.

  110. no other reason than to see my family and my children to see their grandparents. Living away from the family and having my own family, I miss Tasmania and want my children to see what I experienced as a child living in the most beautiful state ever…..

  111. How dreamy your photos are Chantelle, the Apple Isle looks so enchanting!! I have been to Hobart before, but next on my list is Launceston & Cradle Mountain (seeing a Tasmanian Winter would be magical, especially seeing snow around Lake St Clair!!).

  112. I have a trip to Tasmania for September this year, I am traveling with my husband, 3 children and my sister, her husband and their 2 children. Tasmania is a world away for our children to experience the beauty and thrill of travel but it is only a hop skip and jump away. I am looking forward to enjoying the food, wine, scenery and family activities. Tagging your blog so we too can experience some of the wonderful adventures you did.

  113. My little boy’s adopted Nan and Pop live near Devonport. I’d love to take him back to spend more time with them. I also just love Tasmania’s rich history, there’s so much more to discover about our country in that beautiful state.

  114. I would love to visit Tassie with my husband and 3 kids as my parents have visited there many years ago and said it looked alot like Scotland in places and as I left Scotland when I was 7yrs old and I’m turning 55 in May I would love to share this with my family and see it for myself.

  115. I love reading your travel diaries, and this one was super interesting. Tassie looks so beautiful, and that little cottage you stayed in sounded to-die-for! 🙂

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