Solo Travel in Tasmania
Tasmania has the country’s friendliest locals and solo travel in Tasmania is incredibly safe for women to travel around even at night. There isn’t a specific travelling trail and it doesn’t have the party scene that you find on the mainland Oz so it’s ideal for the quieter traveller.
Tasmania has a great road network so it’s perfect for a self drive but watch out for the nocturnal wildlife. As on the mainland make sure to log any walks in the visitors books at national parks if walking alone.
Tasmania is actually one of the states of Australia and is believed to have once been part of the mainland. Today it is an island 150 miles south of the continent and being Australia’s largest island we feel it deserves its very own destination page.
‘Tassie’ as known to the locals is a World Heritage Area and nearly half of the island is full of national parks and reserves with ancient rainforest and untouched landscapes. The island has five unique regions and the South-West is home to the world’s only temperate rainforest eco system. If you’re into partying then this isn’t really the place for you but if it’s the great outdoors, convict history and wildlife that you’re into, Tassie is the place to come. Many miss it off their list but we think it’s worth a visit (and where else can you see a Tasmanian devil?)
If you only do one thing when you visit Tasmania, make sure it’s a visit to Port Arthur. This old convict settlement holds the key to life back in the nineteenth-century. Its hidden past lays within haunted ruins and desolate buildings and if you want to be scared silly, join the nightly ghost tour (but it is not for the faint hearted). Visit the historical site of the nearby Coal Mines for more convict history and free entry to the ruins.
Travel to Tasmania for the Tasmanian Devil Park to see the native animal unique to Tassie. You may be surprised to see these critters up close as the Tasmania devil actually isn’t that devil-like, named so because of their blood curdling screams and ability to eat through bones, they are more like small pigs than devils. You can see more of these little devils feeding at Bonorong Wildlife Park in Brighton.
Entry onto the island is either from Devonport, Launceston or Hobart. Hobart is the capital and sits in the South. Walk around the harbour with Mount Wellington in view as you sample the restaurants and bars of the capital or get arty at the modern art museum. Each Saturday, Hobart holds a market at Salamanca Place where you can buy arts, crafts and handmade jewellery from all over the island.
Launceston is Tasmania’s second largest city in the north of the island with a seaport and vibrant cafes. Nearby is Cataract Gorge, a canyon landscape just a fifteen minute walk away via the boardwalk. This area of wilderness has great walking trails, panoramic views and is well worth a visit, and is close enough to the city to explore.
North of Launceston is the arrival point of Devonport and Nabowla, home to the islands' acres of lavender farms. If you’re in need of an inspirational boost, this is the place to come but the calming display of purple hues are not year round.
Tasmania really is a place for reflection and rejuvenation. Cradle Mountain is also in the north and is one of the islands (or possibly even Australia’s) most beautiful areas. There are a variety of walks around spectacular scenery, past rivers or around the top of the Cradle’s summit. Plus log cabins set within the wilderness for some pampering and relaxation but It’s not all green rolling landscapes, lavender fields and mountains. Tasmania has one of the most photographed beaches in the world, Wineglass Bay, aptly named after its curved shape. The bay lies in the coastal wilderness of Freycinet National Park on the East coast peninsula. Admire from the lookout point or walk the five hour circuit around Mount Mayson.
There is plenty for those who like adventure too; try white-water rafting, surfing, abseiling, caving or off-road touring at Huon Valley, South of Hobart. For a slower pace of life, cruise along the Gordon river or relax at the thermal pool at Hastings Cave, the largest tourism cave in Oz. For wildlife spotters, visit the historical village of Stanley to see the island’s penguins and seals.
One of the things to do in Tasmania is enjoy its fresh produce. You cannot beat the food and wine here (even the food on the ferry crossing is divine). The champagne rivals that of French regions and fresh oysters can be sampled at the island’s oyster farm – try Tasmanian Blue Mussels at Freycinet Marine Farm. You won’t need to go without your five a day here as fruit sellers sell freshly picked fruit at the roadsides, just remember to carry some change.
Tasmania even has its own islands, Maria Island, a small island which can be reached by plane or a 40 minute ferry ride and Flinders Island with pink granite cliffs and green pastures (also accessible by ferry or plane). If you are on a self drive, the roadhouses will remind you that you’re still in Oz but Tasmania really does have a different feel from the rest of the mainland so don’t be surprised if all the gorgeous scenery and fresh air inspires you to stay longer.
How long do I need?
Realistically at least five days to a week. Fly into Hobart then depart from Devonport to make your way from the South to the North.
Accommodation in Tasmania
There are so many options for Tasmania accommodation whether you prefer apartments, country retreats, motels, and cosy lodges. Booking.com has an extensive choice of Tasmania accommodation for all budgets including hostels. Airbnb has rooms in local’s homes and many of them offer the entire home or flat to stay in. Save $20 off your first stay with this Airbnb link.
If you're feeling flush, treat yourself at Peppers Seaport Hotel, a 4.5 star stylish hotel on the waterfront of Launceston. Peppers has views of the river or the city and is only 20 minutes from Cataract Gorge. Here are our recommended hotels in Tasmania for women travelling alone:
GatG Favourite – Balmoral On York, Launceston
In a good location near the shops and waterfront, you won’t be short of places to eat here. The hotel offers great customer service and each room has a comfy bed with your own sofa to chill out after a day sightseeing in Launceston. Prices from £75 p/n. Find Out More
GatG Favourite – Amberley House, Hobart
If you prefer to stay in a beautiful restored mansion, Amberley House is a warm, welcoming house with plenty of charm and character. In a good location with friendly staff, this Hobart accommodation is ideal for solo females. Prices from £125 p/n. Find Out More
GatG Favourite – Lake St. Clair Lodge, Cradle Mountain
In one of the stunning locations in Tasmania, this quiet lodge near the lake at Cradle Mountain is cosy and warm with friendly, helpful staff. Meet others whilst sat at the fireplace in the Lodge Bar. Prices from £135 p/n. Find Out More
If you’re looking for some company on all or part of your trip consider taking a Tasmania tour. Intrepid Travel is a responsible tour company and over 50% of people using their trips are solo travellers. They tend to use hotels instead of hostels and have a more comfortable style of accommodation and offer a 6 day Taste of Tasmania tour including hiking at Cradle mountain.
- Tasmanian Expeditions – Offers small group activity holidays for the active solo with hiking and rafting tours.
- World Expeditions – Join a group of other women on the Women’s Overland Track, one of the finest walks in Australia for 6 days.
- Experience Tasmania – With coaches and minibuses around the island they can be a bit touristy but they are a good way to meet others and see Tasmania on day and half day tours.
Travelling Around Tasmania
Hiring a car is the best way to get around but Tasmania isn’t that small and it can take seven hours to drive from East to West. Make sure you carry your British driving licence with you. The bus network is great for solo travellers and there’s an unlimited pass for up to a months stay.
To hire a car we recommend pre-booking car hire with Avis so you can collect your car when you arrive at the airport.
From the Airport
- Hobart – A bus shuttle departs outside the terminal after every flight. If you’re travelling outside of office hours it’s better to pre-arrange a transfer for the 15 minute drive to the city.
- Devonport – NorthWest Shuttles offer on demand services from the airport (AUD 15) and ferry terminal (AUD 10) to the city which is 7 miles from the airport.
- Launceston – The airport shuttle meets all daily flights for a single fare of AUD 15 for the 9 mile journey.
Feel more confident with someone waiting for you at the airport when you pre-book a transfer with Hoppa, a reliable and safe service for solo females.
Where can I go from here?
Sydney 2 hrs
New Zealand 3 hrs
Melbourne 1 hr
Travelling onwards (check visas before you travel)
Tasmania to Sydney – Fly into Sydney from Hobart.
Tasmania to Melbourne – Fly from Devonport, Launceston or Hobart or take The Spirit of Tasmania, an overnight journey which sails from Devonport. You can take a hire car with you on this 11 hour trip but make sure you book early.
- Can I drink the water? Of course!
- Is tipping expected? No.
- Fixed price or barter? Fixed price.
- Any ATMs? Yes.
- Which side of the road do they drive? Left.
- Good for vegetarians? Yes if you like fish. Hobart has more for vegetarians.
- Any seven wonders of the world? No.
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Capital – Hobart
Population – 512,000
Language spoken – English
Did you know? More than 20% of Tasmania is World Heritage listed.