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 Hobart and Surrounding Areas

Cruise or kayak the Derwent river, sip coffee under the sun umbrellas of Salamanca Square or soak up the seafaring vibe of Hobart's first suburb, Battery Point. Just 20 minutes from Hobart's 19th-century sandstone warehouses lies windswept Mount Wellington. A little further to the south-east, wind past the Coal Valley's cool-climate wineries to the historic towns of Huonville and Richmond. In the coastal hamlet of Kettering, you can take a car ferry to Bruny Island or a wildlife cruise past crags, caves and sea cliffs. From crescent-shaped Cockle Creek, you can sense the World Heritage-listed wilderness of Southwest National Park even if you never step beyond the beach. Learn about life as a mid-19th-century prisoner at the Port Arthur Historic Site on the Tasman Peninsula. Then, stay in Woodbridge, walk the sweeping beaches of Tasman National Park and dine in luxury at Peppermint Bay. See 200-year-old oaks and sandstone cottages in Oatlands or follow the path of pioneers on the Heritage Highway from Launceston to Hobart. Visit the antique-loving town of New Norfolk and stunning Hamilton on the Clyde River. For a taste of high country and malt whiskey, visit Bothwell at the southern edge of the Central Plateau.

 East Coast

From Triabunna, you can take a ferry to history-rich and car-free Maria Island, also a bushwalking and sea-kayaking paradise. Stay in the holiday haven of Coles Bay overlooking crystal-clear Oyster Bay at the entrance to Freycinet National Park. Walk to breathtaking Wineglass Bay, then swim, boat, fish, snorkel and scuba dive from the dreamy white beach. In nearby Mount William National Park, you can follow the Bay of Fires walk past forester kangaroos, Aboriginal middens, woodlands and white beaches. Game fish or dive from the picturesque port of St. Helens on the shores of Georges Bay. Taste farm cheese at nearby Pyengana or visit vineyards and berry farms around the seaside towns of Bicheno and Swansea. Then head to Douglas-Apsley National Park, where you can walk and camp amongst quiet rivers, waterfalls, rainforest and tall eucalyptus and pines. At the northern end of the coast you'll find Flinders Island, the place to dive shipwrecks, climb to the top of the pink and gray cliffs of Mount Strzelecki and search for diamonds at Killiecrankie.

Next: Cataract Gorge, vibrant markets and the western wilderness
FROM: Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure
Published on January 18, 2011

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