Must-do new Tasmanian experiences
Whether you're a thrill seeker wanting to jump-start the heart, or looking for something to do with the kids, there's something new here for everyone's must-do list.
The Derwent Experience
Passionate locals Sam and Fiona have a mission: to foster positive connections while showcasing their beautiful backyard, the Derwent Valley.
Their small group experiences allow guests to ‘Taste, Relax and Explore’, and Sam happily considers himself ‘Chief Explorer, Storyteller, Driver and Magic Moments Maker’. The Derwent Experience offers a variety of tours from themed and premium bespoke, as well as corporate wellness programs that include business coaching.
Choose from the best of the great outdoors – hiking, fishing, mountain biking or stand-up paddleboarding – or you can sample the area’s gastronomic delights, including a visit to the famous Agrarian Kitchen. If shopping is more your style, you can explore the antiques and local artisan wares the area is well known for. Photography enthusiasts might also like the upcoming winter and spring workshops with passionate local Arwen Dyer.
Walk and taste craft brew tour
The fast-growing craft beer scene has resulted in many new, smaller breweries opening across Tasmania. The Brew Hop’s new three-hour guided walking tours around Hobart’s craft breweries are run by guide and owner Harrison Westlake.
He is Cicerone Certified, meaning he has studied the beer experience in order to elevate its understanding with consumers.
Learn about the art of brewing and its rich history while experiencing the talents of independent Tasmanian craft breweries firsthand. Stop and sample at three different breweries for a comprehensive selection of beers, from traditional styles like IPA through to local small-batch beers produced seasonally.
The walk also includes going behind the scenes of a working local brewery, plus the inclusion of lunch at nearby gastropub Tom McHugo’s or Shambles Brewery in North Hobart.
The Pillinger Explorer
Taking you to some of Tasmania’s most remarkable temperate rainforests, teamed with fascinating stories of days gone by, this small group experience is the latest offering by the multi-award-winning Gordon River Cruises.
The intimate five-hour cruise offers the best of Tasmania’s produce with a chef-prepared gourmet lunch and a range of beverages, including local wines.
Explore the rugged ruins of the abandoned port and township of Pillinger, located on the shores of Macquarie Harbour. Learn about this once-thriving township that played an integral part in western Tasmania’s history.
You will also glide past Reindeer Lodge and on to working fish farms to learn about their operations, before making your way through the treacherous waters of Hells Gates at the mouth of Macquarie Harbour. Here you’ll stop and disembark at the intriguing Bonnet Island to hear tales of survival of those who lived at the old lighthouse, and take in the sweeping views of Ocean Beach – Tasmania’s longest beach stretching more than 30km. The Pillinger Explorer tour on board the MV Sophia is set to recommence in October 2020.
Studio Theatre at the Theatre Royal
Once dubbed ‘a dream of a theatre’ by Noel Coward, Hobart’s Theatre Royal is Australia’s oldest working theatre and a much-loved treasure. Built in 1837, it has seen many changes including a devastating fire and being saved from demolition on several occasions – most notably with help from a passionate Sir Laurence Olivier.
Today it takes another step forward by linking to the Hedberg Performing Arts Centre, in a project spanning 15 years since conception. Named after The Hedberg Brothers Garage, which was built on the site in 1925, the new building incorporates elements of the original double-storey building. The Theatre Royal will continue its live performances on the Main Stage, but will now be complemented by the addition of a brand-new intimate theatre space called Studio Theatre, seating 210 – 350 patrons.
Gliding at Tunbridge
Soar like an eagle in your two-seater dual-control glider over Tasmania’s Central Highlands, safe in the knowledge that you’ll be guided by an experienced pilot. Tunbridge is the new home of Gliding Tasmania – the only gliding club in the state.
After a ground briefing, your instructor will secure you in for the ride of your life. Next, a powerful tow-plane will tow you up to your release height and the instructor will release the towrope. From then on, you’ll be soaring peacefully with the air currents and marvelling at the world below you.
A qualified flight instructor will perform the take-off and landing, but between times you will have the opportunity to take control of the glider under the guidance of your instructor. Considered suitable for all ages from 15 years and upwards, it’s never too late to try this awe-inspiring adventure.
Bruny Beach Escape
From beach toys, board games and beautiful books, to the welcoming wine, inclusive wi-fi and the Weber (barbecue), there’s barely a thing to think about other than relaxation and enjoyment. Escape to this homely four-bedroom abode on Bruny Island, and you’ll be situated a mere 40 steps to the sand.
Bruny Beach Escape was established by Tasmanian couple Bec and Nick with the intention to create the perfect family adventure, group weekend or romantic getaway. You’ll be situated just 30-minutes’ drive from a host of farm gates, cafes and a local general store. The popular Bruny Island Cheese and Get Shucked Oyster farm are also a slight detour away.
But if you don’t feel like wandering too far, you can have your own adventures close-by at the sheltered swimming beach, ideal for those with kids. You’re also welcome to use the kayaks and life jackets stored at the house. In warmer months, enjoy evening sunsets across the bay, or you might prefer a cosy winter weekend in front of the fireplace. Regardless of the time of year, you’re guaranteed a warm welcome and unforgettable experience.
In an age when consumers have rediscovered the value of premium products that can be traced to an ethical source, the founder of Provenance Kitchen, Emma Bruce, has launched an exciting new cooking workshop, ‘Surf and Turf’. The dual farm experience specialises in abalone and beef and runs for six hours.
Your day will start with an immersive experience out on the farm, walking through the paddocks with Cape Grim Beef farmer John Bruce (Emma’s father) as he explains their production of a sustainable and ethical beef product that is favoured by chefs and used across 25 countries. You will also tour the local abalone farm and see how this delicacy is produced in the pure waters of the north-west Tasmanian coast. Along the way, you’ll join Emma on the beach to forage for local herbs to use in your dishes.
Enjoy the stunning Highfield Historic Site as you cook up a storm in the kitchen, covering four courses including shucking, tenderising and cooking abalone, slow-cooked beef short ribs, seasonal side vegetables and seasonal dessert. A sumptuous group meal matched with premium Tasmanian wines completes the day.
St Helens mountain biking
There is absolutely no doubt that this adrenalin-fuelled outdoor pursuit has firmly placed Tasmania on the world map. The pretty town of St Helens on the east coast is the latest hotspot after the opening of the St Helens Mountain Bike Trails.
The area is internationally recognised for its iconic images from the Bay of Fires. The new trail additions in the area are only an hour’s drive from Derby – possibly the most famous of Tassie’s mountain biking trails. The St Helens Mountain Bike Trails are located in two unique locations: stacked loops south of the township, and an awe-inspiring wilderness trail that runs for 42km and starts at the top of the Blue Tier and winds to Swimcart Beach.
The ride sure has people talking, having been voted the number one trail in the world by the best riders from the Enduro World Series.