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The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Hobart & Beyond’s Waterways

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Hobart is one of the prettiest cities around, with a mountain and a river to boot! She’s not just our best gal because of her looks though; she has much more to offer than just a pretty face. That said, there’s nothing wrong with admiring her beauty, and she looks particularly lovely from the water.

Choose from a diverse range of experiences throughout Southern Tasmania, including traditional tall ships, yacht charters, cruises, kayaking adventures, jet boat rides, and more. Here are our tips on what you’ll find in each region. All aboard!


Hobart sits majestically on the shores of the River Derwent, and was once a major centre for whaling and ship-building. Today, you can jump aboard a scenic cruise, kayaking tour or chartered vessel.

  • Take the scenic route to Mona aboard the ferry and arrive at the delightfully quirky museum in style (be warned, there are 99 steps to climb once you get off). If you’re feeling fancy, opt for the ‘posh pit’ and enjoy complimentary drinks and canapés in the exclusive lounge, bar, and private deck.
  • Relax on a Derwent River harbour cruise with Hobart Historic Cruises (the lunch and dinner cruises are fantastic). The skipper provides interesting commentary throughout, offering info on sites and buildings of historical importance and features of geographical interest.
  • Roaring 40s Kayaking offer half-day and full-day tours of Hobart. Experience Hobart’s iconic waterfront on a 2.5 hour city paddle. If you’re feeling more adventurous, there’s an option to discover tranquil bays, lichen-covered cliffs, sea caves, and idyllic sandy beaches.
  • Hobart Yachts offer a three hour skippered charter sailing experience on the Derwent River. Sail aboard a fast and comfortable 62-foot luxury ocean racer/cruiser, and participate as much as you like. The cruise will typically take you to the gateway to the Southern Ocean and return crossing the Sydney to Hobart finish line.
  • Enjoy a half day heritage sail aboard the traditional tall ship SV Rhona H, exploring the Derwent River. Guests can choose to help sail or just sit back and relax.
  • Coral Expeditions‘ Pristine Tasmania round voyage from Hobart is on offer between January and March. The seven night immersive voyage takes you into the wilderness, showing off the rugged coastal beauty and Wold Heritage Listed National Parks.

The Southern Trove

The Southern Trove is a treasure trove of natural beauty. Tour the sheltered bays of the d’Entrecasteaux Channel, experience the majestic Huon River, revel in the perfect reflections at Franklin, admire the pristine waters of the Far South, and have a wild experience in the lost world that is the Southwest National Park.

  • The Peppermint Bay Lunch Cruise departs from Hobart and cruises along the River Derwent, through the picturesque d’Entrecasteaux Channel, and on to the calm waters of Peppermint Bay.
  • If you’re after a shot of adrenaline, an exhilarating 35 minute Huon River Jet Boats ride along 12 km of the Huon River will do the trick. You’ll speed through the rapids, pulling off 360 degree spins and breathtaking turns, as well as discover tranquil spots with perfect reflections of riverside forests.
  • If you’re craving the simple freedoms of another time, a heritage sailing experience aboard traditional tall ship SV Rhona H will delight you. Choose from a full day sail to Kettering or a longer trip to Bruny Island.
  • Drift gently through quiet stretches of the Picton and Huon Rivers on a raft or kayak with Tahune Adventures. See rare Huon pines overhanging the banks, spot birdlife in the rainforest, hear stories of the forest pioneers, and enjoy morning or afternoon tea featuring delicious regional produce.
  • Roaring 40s Kayaking offer an incredible multi-day sea kayaking adventure, paddling deep into untouched Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area in the wild and rugged Southwest National Park.
  • Yukon Tours offer traditional sailing cruises on the tranquil Huon River, as well as some longer tours. Their seven day cruise into the heart of Tasmanian World Heritage wilderness is unforgettable – a picturesque voyage from Franklin to Port Davey in the Southwest National Park.
  • Bruny Island Cruises is an award-winning three hour wilderness cruise exploring the rugged coastline of Bruny Island. Cruise alongside epic sea cliffs, enter deep sea caves, and pass through the narrow gap between the coast and ‘The Monument’. Search for wildlife including seals, dolphins, migrating whales and sea birds.
  • Tasmanian Boat Charters offer multi-day ecotourism adventure cruises into Port Davey, in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Enjoy fresh Tassie produce and fine wine on board the Odalisque, while being captivated by the harbour’s rugged terrain, marine reserves, and beautiful mirrored waters. They also offer private charters, including to Bruny Island and Recherche Bay.
  • Hobart Yachts offer a range of sailing experiences, with something for everyone. Spend a day sailing to Bruny Island for an exquisite seafood lunch and relaxation, with magnificent scenery and wildlife. Or, choose a charter to Port Davey and Bathurst Harbour – a once in a lifetime journey into the Southwest Wilderness.

The Port Arthur & Tasman Region

The Tasman Peninsula is home to some of the most dramatic scenery in the world. As well as boasting some of the highest sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere, it also has some stunning bays.

  • Get up close and personal with giant sea cliffs and resident Australian fur seals on a Roaring 40s Kayaking adventure. Paddle along the coast of the Tasman National Park, gazing up at 200 metre high fluted rock formations, peering into natural sea caves, and searching for wildlife.
  • Tasman Island Cruises provides unforgettable three hour wilderness cruises along the spectacular coastline between Port Arthur and Eaglehawk Neck. The coastline is part of the Tasman National Park and is home to a variety of wildlife.
  • Tasmanian Boat Charters offer tailored itineraries to the spectacular Tasman Peninsula on board the Odalisque. Highlights include Cape Raoul, Shipstern Bluff, the Port Arthur Historic Site, the Tasman Passage, Fortescue Bay, Eaglehawk Neck, the Coal Mines Historic Site, and the Iron Pot Lighthouse.
  • Hobart Yachts offer customisable charters from Hobart up the East Coast of Tasmania. Sail past towering sea cliffs, spectacular rock formations, an Australian fur seal colony, and secluded beaches. Stay overnight in iconic locations like Port Arthur.
  • Enjoy a heritage sailing experience on board traditional tall ship, SV Rhona H. During your adventure to Port Arthur, you can choose to help sail or simply sit back and relax!

For more suggestions, see: Six Ways to Experience the Tasman Region from the Water.

We love it when you share your adventures with us! Share your snaps by tagging @hobartandbeyond and using #HobartandBeyond on Instagram and Facebook – we’ll share our favourite pics on social media and in the blog.

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