From markets to convict sites and even a walk through the trees, Southern Tasmania delights with so many things to see and do.
Showing unique arts and crafts, locally made souvenirs, freshly grown produce and even some excellent fashion, the markets that are scattered throughout Tasmania are a wonderful starting point to discover everything the state has to offer. Of course, when we’re talking about Southern Tasmania, we can’t go past Salamanca Markets in Hobart. It’s an institution and most definitely one of the most renowned markets in Australia, attracting thousands of visitors every Saturday morning.
But there’s more to the market place in southern Tasmania than Salamanca. The Cygnet Market is a unique and vibrant market with a warm and cosy atmosphere. From art to locally-grown produce, there are a variety of stalls to explore.
After making its final journey in 1978, the Margate Train carriages now house a bustling variety of retail businesses and are hot to the Margate Train Sunday Market. Every Sunday, the carriages are filled with stalls selling a range of things including antiques and collectables, second hand clothing, plants and fresh produce. Even the buffet car is open for coffee and snacks.
As the name suggests, Kingston Beach Handmade Market has a focus on handmade products. The atmosphere is always buzzing, with stalls bringing together an eclectic mix of artists, designers, craftspeople and growers.
Places to go
With some of Tasmania’s most beautifully preserved natural environments, Bruny Island should be top of your visitation list. While it is one single island, often it’s mistaken for two different ones, with North and South Bruny joined by a nvery narrow strip of land, known as The Neck. There are dozens of lookout points to view the breathtaking scenery and gorgeous sandy beaches to stroll along. A tour of the Cape Bruny Lighthouse is also most definitely worth it.
Port Arthur is Australia’s best preserved convict site and one of the country’s most important heritage destinations. As you visit the site, you’ll learn about some of the people who passed through the place and there are more than 30 historic buildings and ruins to explore. There are, of course, different types of tickets and tours to choose from including a Ghost Tour which runs after dark. Port Arthur is most definitely one of those places where you wish the walls could talk.
Steeped in history and a family-friendly destination, Richmond is one of Tasmania’s most popular places to visit. Take a stroll along Richmond Bridge, the oldest bridge in the country that’s still in use. There’s also Richmond Gaol – the oldest intact gaol in Australia. There are delightful shops to pop into and the Richmond Maze to explore. And when you’re done, head into Sweets and Treats, a traditional-style lolly shop and a Tasmanian institution.
The picturesque Derwent Valley is filled with historic villages, wilderness rainforest, spectacular waterfalls and gorgeous scenery. It’s well worth a drive through the valley, stopping along the way at New Norfolk, the Salmon Ponds, Russell Falls and Hamilton.
Things to See and Do
Walk above the forest canopy with the Tahune Airwalk. As you look down, you’ll get a glimpse of where the waters of the Huon and Picton Rivers meet. Along the way, there are spectacular views and there are various trails to take including the Swinging Bridges and Huon Pine walks. While you’re there, go and visit Australia’s oldest living tree.
Situated in Derwent Bridge, the Wall in the Wilderness is one of Australia’s most ambitious art projects undertaken in recent years. The designer, Greg Duncan, has carved the history of the Tasmanian Central Highlands into 100 metres of timber. The carvings show the history, hardship and perseverance of the local people and it’s truly a magical sight.
While Tasmania is most famously-known for Port Arthur when it comes to convict history, there’s also the Coal Mines Historic Site which is well worth a visit. The site was the state’s first operational mine and it’s actually where the worst convicts from Port Arthur were sent. Discover the site on foot and learn the history as you wander the paths and tracks.
Remarkable Cave is essentially, a long tunnel in a beautiful and dramatic spot, situated under a cliff. There’s a viewing platform at the bottom of the steps that offers an incredible view of the opening. It can be explored at low tide. However, for those looking for something a little less ‘wet’ there are several walks where you can still experience the magic that is Remarkable Cave.