Summer is a great time to explore southern Tasmania. Home to great beaches, events, hiking trails, food and wine experiences and plenty of cultural attractions, there are endless options to explore the regions.
1. Make the most of Summer events or local markets
While the usual busy event schedule has been somewhat slimmed down this season, due to that pesky pandemic, there are still plenty of amazing events and markets to explore. If you’re wondering what to do for summer in Hobart, wonder no more!
- Street Eats @ Franko is back and on every Friday night! $5.50 entry fee to enjoy those summer days drifting away … what better what to start the weekend!?
- MONA museum will be resuming its summer Mona Foma Festival from the 22nd – 24th of January. The event celebrates music and art and visitors can soak up the eclectic sights and sounds that the festival is famous for.
- Check out Shakespeare in the Gardens – The Comedy of Errors (opening Friday 29 January at 7pm) at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens.
- Forestier Art Trail (or F.A.T for short) is held on regatta weekend (6-8 February 2021) through Dunalley and Murdunna, and visitors can hop between the various artists to view an incredible range of wares (painting, sculptures, textiles, ceramics and printmaking).
- The Parade of Sail 2021 will be held on February 7! There are four local Tall Ships and over 100 other vessels registered and ready to go. Just gather up your friends or family, pick out a good picnic spot along the Derwent and perch yourselves above the Parade to make a day of it!
- The Tasmanian Southern Open Vineyards weekend is set to go ahead on 19-21 February, 2021 and will spotlight Tasmania’s key southern wine regions: Derwent Valley, Coal River Valley and the Huon Valley. Over forty vineyards across these regions will throw open their doors to guests, offering a unique opportunity for wine lovers to meet the masterminds behind some of Tasmania’s most loved wine labels, some of whom don’t usually operate a cellar door. If you don’t have a car and are looking to stay in Hobart, check out the Urban Wine Walk, happening in Hobart on 20 February.
- Vibrance Festival 2021 is being held on 22nd February 2021 – Vibrance Festival is Tasmania’s first and only street art festival, dedicated to the painting of large-scale murals and offers a program of music, local food and beverages, street art tours, film nights, skateboarding demonstrations, public spray wall, markets and more.
- The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) have some fantastic exhibitions, including David Keeling: Stranger and Around the World in 80 Objects.
- Venture out on the weekend and explore the great range of local markets on display. Pick up a Christmas gift for a loved one (or yourself) and enjoy a chat to the local producers. For a comprehesive list of local markets, visit A Guide to Local Markets.
For a full list of events and activities, be sure to check out the regional events calendar.
2. Discover the pristine beaches
What better thing to do on a warm, sunny, summer day than hit the beach. Southern Tasmania is home to some great swimming and surf beaches along with dog-friendly beaches for your furry friend. Grab some SPF, a sun-hat and some treats and enjoy a day in the sun.
Visit Our Guide to Tasmania’s beaches to plan your next beach day.
3. Catch the ferry to Bruny island
For a weekend away or a great day out, catch the Bruny Island ferry from Kettering (a 34-minute drive south of Hobart) and explore the unique island. Be sure to climb the stairs at The Neck Lookout for panoramic views of the Bruny Isthmus and pick up yourself some fresh Bruny oysters to enjoy in the sun.
4. Walk the Three Capes Track
Take some time out on the coast and tick the Three Capes Track off your bucket list. The track takes you along the stunning Tasman Peninsula where you can experience the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest sea cliffs up close.
For the non-campers, book a trip with Three Capes Lodge Walk where you can dine with friends and sleep in the comfort of your own private accommodation.
5. Sip a cold beverage
If there is one thing Tasmanians know, it’s how to craft a fine tipple. Home to some of the finest sparkling wine, Riesling, cider, beer and gin in the country, you’re sure to find something to sip on around Southern Tasmania.
Stick around the city and enjoy the many great bars and restaurants or venture out into the countryside and meet the makers. For a guide on places to sip a summer tipple visit 24 Spots for a summer beverage in Southern Tasmania.
6. Feast on fish and chips
Is there anything better than some fresh fish and chips on a summers day? Head down to the Hobart docks and pick up some battered goodness from one of the local fish punts. For dessert, grab an ice cream from Mures Lower Deck or Van Diemens Land Creamery and wander around the boats. Take it to the next level and enjoy your fish and chips from a kayak! If fish and chips aren’t really your thing, there are plenty of amazing restaurants and cafes nearby to eat and drink your way around Hobart.
7. Cruise the coastline
If you are interested in discovering more of southern Tasmania’s waterways check out our blog Explore Southern Tasmania from the Water.
8. Enjoy a picnic
Pick up some fabulous fresh produce from a local farmers market or stop by one of the great small grocers in Hobart and grab some picnic goodies for a day out in the park. There are lots of great picnic spots in Southern Tasmania for you to enjoy.
9. Learn about the history
Southern Tasmania is filled with an intriguing history. During the early 1800s, thousands of convicts were sent to Tasmania and many of the historic buildings you see around Tasmania today were built by convict labour.
The Port Arthur Historic Site is the best-preserved convict site in Australia, and among the most significant convict era sites worldwide. The nearby Coal Mines Historic Site was Tasmania’s first mine, operated by over 500 convicts. In Hobart, the Cascades Female Factory tells of the thousands of female convicts transported to Tasmania.
10. Abseil the Gordon Dam
Get the heart pumping this summer with an abseil down the 130m high Gordon Dam wall in Strathgordon. The site serves as the worlds highest commercial abseil and is located in the beautiful Southwest National Park.
11. Take a brewery tour
Warm day, cold beer – the perfect combination. Pair that with an iconic building in the Hobart skyline and you have a great day out. The Cascade Brewery (c. 1824) is home to one of Tasmania’s finest brews and hosts brewery tours for the beer-lover (or non-beer-lovers) around the historic building.
12. Feel the flow
Hit the mountain bike trails this summer and feel the flow. Maydena Bike Park is a year-round mountain bike and adventure park, located in Tasmania’s Derwent Valley. With access to over 820m vertical elevation and stunning wilderness, the park is Australia’s biggest gravity-based bike park.
13. Experience Tasmania from the air
Take your love of the Tassie landscape to new heights with a birds-eye view of the region. Jump on a seaplane, light plane or helicopter and explore the mountains, forests and coastlines from the air.
Take off from the Derwent River for a scenic tour of Hobart on Above and Beyond‘s seaplane, experience the remote landscapes of the Southwest National Park with Par Avion, enjoy the incredible Tasman Peninsula Coastline with Osborne Heli Tours or Tasmanian Air Tours or take a grand tour of Southern Tasmania with Rotorlift Aviation.
14. Hike to a secluded beach
There’s nothing better than a dip in the ocean after a hike in the sun. Enjoy a 4-hour return hike to South Cape Bay –one of Tasmania’s southernmost beaches – and enjoy a refreshing paddle and lunch overlooking the beach at the halfway point. If you have warmed up again on the way back, wade in the crystal clear waters of Cockle Creek where the South Cape Bay trail starts and ends.
15. Learn how to scuba dive
Southern Tasmania has some incredible diving locations and summer is the perfect time to embrace the wonders under the water (we aren’t brave enough to get in during winter).
Eaglehawk Dive Centre offers full-service dive tours on the Tasman Peninsula along with a scuba experience for those who are not qualified divers. For those keen on completing a Padi dive course, see the team at Go Dive Tasmania.
16. Test your brain power
For a great family day out – with a touch of healthy competition – take on an escape room at Evolo Room Escape.
You and your team will be put in a mysterious room filled with Evolo’s innovative and decoratively themed puzzles but you only have 60 minutes to figure out how to escape. Just be careful not to be outsmarted by your kids!
17. Cuddle a fluffy animal
It has been a stressful year, cuddle it out with a cute fluffy animal at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. Here you will find wombats, koalas, Tasmanian devils, birds, quolls and Forester kangaroos who are always keen for a good scratch on the chest. Join one of the daily tours of the sanctuary to learn more about the animals, the threats they face and the efforts to help protect them
18. Paddle Board in the Derwent Valley
Meander your way up and down the beautiful Derwent River at New Norfolk on a stand-up paddleboard (SUP). Derwent Valley SUP offer lessons and will guide you along the calm, tranquil waters of the river. Paddleboarding can be tiresome work so make sure your refuel at one of the many great cafes located in New Norfolk.
19. Get your art fix
MONA is back! After undergoing a few changes since closing in March, the museum re-opened on the 26 December 2020 with a few new things for you to enjoy. The doors will be open Friday – Monday (10am – 6pm) and you will need to book ahead. Home to ancient, modern and contemporary art, MONA is a must-see when visiting Hobart. Don’t expect a traditional museum experience when visiting though, some of the installations are sure to raise eyebrows and churn stomachs but that is the fun of it! Make a day of it by catching the Mona Roma Ferry from Brooke St Pier and stick around to enjoy a glass of wine on the lawn or lunch in one of the great on-site restaurants.
Take a break from the sun and enjoy some art in one of Hobart’s many great museums. The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery have a wonderful range of short and long term exhibitions for you to enjoy, including upcoming exhibitions: Around the World in 80 Objects and an art installation by David Keeling, called ‘Stranger’. For interesting Antarctic heritage, visit Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum or take a step back in time to at Narryna and discover the 1830s merchant’s house.
Keep an eye on our events calendar for updates on events in Southern Tasmania this summer.
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Header Image: Dodges Ferry by @seaurchindesign