Tucked across Great Oyster Bay with views of rugged Freycinet National Park and Schouten Island, we simply couldn’t go past the charming township of Swansea with its historic buildings in a spectacular setting. First explored by Captain Cox in 1798, then established as a garrison in 1827 and initially named Great Swanport, the tiny hamlet with only 530 locals is a traditional fishing and holiday destination. Brochures will tell you that Swansea is on Tassie’s sunny east coast.
“Offering seafood treasures, a casual lifestyle and the many moods of Coles Bay.” – Ken Boundy
True, but more often than not Swansea is comfortably warm rather than swelteringly hot, with maximum average temps of around of 22°C, making it all the more popular as a base for travellers exploring the state’s oldest national park, nearby wineries and berry farms in the temperate climate. Breathtaking Coles Bay and unforgettable Wineglass Bay are also close at hand, and Swansea pretty much sums up what the island state does best: showcasing almost untouched landscapes and friendly wildlife with abundant fresh local produce at hand – think oysters, walnuts, olives, berries, wine.
It’s a nature and gourmet lover’s paradise. But if you don’t like the quiet solitude of days spent fishing, bushwalking or relaxing at the beach, don’t even think of setting foot anywhere near this wonderful town. The sound of silence would kill you.
Where? // 134km (2hrs) northeast of Hobart, and 135km (2hrs) southeast of Launceston.
Did you know? // Tasmania has the highest per capita level of boat ownership of any state in Australia. And Swansea boat ramp on a summer’s day is a great place to see Tassie’s boaties in action.
Return to: the 100 Best Towns in Australia