The Best of Tasmania

As AFAR Journeys turned its attention to Australia, we asked Pamela Lane of Travcoa to create a trip to Tasmania, one of her favorite destinations. From its famous mascot, the Tasmanian devil, to its long history with some of Australia’s earliest settlements, the island is a unique corner of Australia. In recent years, an exciting culinary scene has also emerged, taking advantage of the bounty from the island’s farms. For Pamela’s full itinerary, visit AFAR Journeys.

Coles Bay Rd, Coles Bay TAS 7215, Australia
One of the most stunning natural sites in Tasmania, the Freycinet Peninsula is most famous for a short but steep hike to the perfect white-and-turquoise horseshoe beach known as Wineglass Bay. It’s hard to believe the name comes from a gruesome whaling history that once dyed the bay the shade of red wine. Travelers on an expedition with Freycinet Adventures can kayak the electric-blue waters of Coles Bay and stay in a private camp on secluded Hazards Beach, where they’ll wake up to views of the rocky shoreline, sheathed in orange lichen, and the zigzagging Hazard Mountains, circled by sea eagles. No trip to the Freycinet Peninsula is complete without freshly shucked oysters from the Freycinet Marine Farm.
Arthur Hwy, Port Arthur TAS 7182, Australia
One of Tasmania’s top tourist attractions is the crumbling ruins of a penal colony, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the penitentiary, where 60 stone buildings remain, for a sobering glimpse into the brutal lives of the 12,500 convicts incarcerated here between 1830 and 1877. Visitors can also tour the Dockyard and Port Arthur gardens. There’s so much to see that a guided tour is recommended—especially the one that covers paranormal activity. (There’s also a lantern-lit ghost tour, for brave families only.)

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