Exploring Tasmania with the Solside Studio crew
@solsidestudio are a creative collective who create conscious content through their distinct style of inspiring and adventured filled photography and video. The group recently headed out to Tasmania and give us their top tips for how to make the most out of your holiday in such a unique location.
Tasmania, Australia, is a hidden gem that offers breathtaking landscapes, unique wildlife, and a ‘breath of fresh air’ vibe. It’s a perfect destination for those who love nature, adventure, and exploring off-the-beaten-path locations. Having spent four months travelling around Tasmania in our homes on wheels, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite hikes, camp spots and activities to help you make the most out of your trip to this stunning island state.
Before you go
What to Pack
Tasmania’s weather is infamously all over the place regardless of the season, so it’s wise to bring a variety of clothing options to ensure you’re always prepared.
Thermal, sweater, rain coat, puffer jacket
Beanies (we love the ones from Will and Bear – they’re made from premium wool, have a comfortable fleece lining on the inside, plus they’re so easy to pack!)
Hiking boots + backpack
Sunscreen (the sun over summer is spicy!)
Bathing suit (the water is chilly, but it’s refreshing especially in the summer months)
Getting There: Spirit of Tasmania
Besides getting a flight and renting a car/van, the only way to get to Tasmania with your own vehicle is via the Spirit of Tasmania ferry. We recommend booking far in advance as tickets sell out quickly. You can book a day or night trip – we’ve done the night trip and booked ourselves a tiny cabin to sleep in and fully recommend this option. Well worth the extra money for comfort on the 12 hour trip!
If you’re wanting to bring your dog, you have the option to book a kennel for them to stay in or you can leave them in your car, you just have to let the employees know when you’re checking in and they’ll have you sign a waiver. Make sure your dog has plenty of water and ventilation for the journey. The night ferry is the better option for this so your dog can spend most of the time sleeping.
Apps to Download
There are a few handy apps we used during our time in Tasmania that may be helpful for making your trip more seamless:
- Wikicamps/Campermate: for finding the beautiful free camps Tasmania is known for. These apps also list water fill up points, hot showers, and so much more.
- AllTrails: great for planning out and researching hikes
- Windy: because keeping an eye on the wind and weather is the BEST thing you can do to really make the most of your time there
- MadPaws: great for finding pet sitters if you bring your dog and want to go into the national parks
- Google Maps: download some routes when you’re in signal so that you are prepared when travelling as a lot of areas outside of towns have no service
Now, onto the fun part! We spent over four months on this beautiful island & we still feel like we only just scratched the surface with all of the wild beauty & places to explore. So, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of our absolute favourite activities & must-do hikes so you don’t feel overwhelmed by all of the options like we did!
Perhaps what Tasmania is most well known for are its absolutely breathtaking hikes. Here are a few of the hikes we did that we would recommend to anyone visiting the state. We guarantee you’ll be in awe of the natural beauty that surrounds you the entire time on each of these. Unfortunately our furry friends aren’t welcome on these hikes so you’ll need to organise a puppy sitter if you want to do these.
Mt Field - The Tarn Shelf Circuit
We’re starting off with our collective favourite hike, the Tarn Shelf Circuit in Mt Field National park. We had high expectations for this hike & even those were blown out of the water as we made our way up the mountain, & along the shelf scattered in tarns (small mountain lakes) & autumn hues with the annual ‘turning of the fagus’ (a deciduous plant species found in alpine areas thats leaves turn from yellow to a majestic burnt orange in the Autumn months) in full bloom. If you decide to do the full circuit as we did, we’d highly recommend starting by looping right at the lake (where the hike starts) & heading towards the Twilight Tarn hut. That way you can time it to be hiking along the Tarn Shelf in the golden afternoon light which is one of the most spectacular sights we have seen in our whole time in Tasmania.
This hike isn’t for the faint hearted. With some very hard climbing & steep rocky sections, be sure you are well prepared. The guys did this one on their own as we couldn’t take the dogs with us, but they said it was one of the best hikes they have ever done. With incredible views of Lake Rosebury & the surrounding mountain ranges, the initial steep climb is well worth it for the 360-degree views at the top.
A well known hike in Freycinet National park, its spectacular views of Wineglass Bay make it well worth the hype. This hike also has some very steep rock scrambling sections that can become very slippery when wet so make sure there hasn’t been any rain before you go up. Pack a picnic lunch & give yourself a good amount of time to enjoy the beautiful views from the top!
An amazing hike on the Tasman Peninsula that provides insane coastal views & the most jaw dropping towering cliffs that look like a natural fairy castle. You start by hiking through a lush forest (perhaps the hardest/ steepest part of the hike) before it opens out to wind along the breathtaking cliff edge. Be sure to keep an eye on the weather as it can turn quickly here so bringing some wet weather & warm gear is always a good idea.
Kayak to Lovers Falls
This is such a fun day activity to do if you’re in the area. Based in Corrina, you can hire kayaks from the Wilderness Village & cruise down the beautiful Pieman River. Around 4 km downstream from the village you’ll come across a staircase leading into a lush forest. Tie your kayak up here & follow the boardwalk to the waterfall viewing platform. While you’re in the area be sure to do the Whyte River Track walk that winds through the magical Tarkine forest & along the Pieman River edge.
Coffee + a view at Cubed Espresso
Perhaps the best coffee we had in Tasmania & with the most breathtaking view to match, Cubed Espresso at Eaglehawk Neck is a must visit. The freshly baked sourdough loaves are also delicious so be sure to grab one if they have them! If you’re staying in the area, the lovely owners of Cubed also run the most beautiful air bnb, The Stand Alone, that makes you feel as if you’re hidden away in your own forest oasis.
Diving at Bay of Fires
Who knew we would find diving spots comparable to those we found on our travels in the north west of WA, but the Bay of Fires is definitely up there. With its crystal clear turquoise waters & abundant sea life, we’d highly recommend taking your snorkels out here!
Beach stroll + Tessellated Pavement at Pirates Bay
Eaglehawk Neck on the Tasman Peninsula was definitely one of our favourite places we visited in our time in Tasmania. We especially loved Pirates Bay, a gorgeous beach that has a really peaceful energy about it. Be sure to go for a mindful stroll along it as the sunsets to really experience it’s magic. The tesselated pavements are also a natural wonder worth seeing while you’re here.
Sunset swim at Lake Rosebury
Okay, it doesn’t have to be at sunset, a swim here any time of the day is lovely, but if you’re feeling brave, swimming as the sun dips below the tree line & the mountain views are dripping in golden light is pretty magic. The evenings we spent here were some of our favourite memories from our time in Tassie.
Catch the ferry to Bruny Island
A short ride over, this island-off-an-island is a perfect two or three day excursion full of beauty. Grab a loaf of fresh sourdough from the Bruny baker roadside fridge, drive on the beach at Cloudy Bay and go for a dip at Adventure Bay.
Where to stay
Easily the best state in Australia for its abundant, free & wildly beautiful camp spots. If you’re keen to try out vanlife, then Tasmania is the place to start. Its ease in finding beautiful places to park made life on the road feel like a dream. A few of our absolute favourites were…
Bay of Fires
In particular: Cosy Corner, Sloop Reef & Swimcart Beach. These spots will blow your mind with how beautiful they are. Nestled right by the coastline with campsites looking out onto the turquoise water, you’ll never want to leave.
Camping here felt like we were tucked away in the middle of nowhere, with spots right on the lake or near the flowing river (to the left of the lake, our personal favourite spot). If you’re lucky you’ll be visited by the local platypus. If you're feeling brave go for a dip in the icy river stream & spend the afternoon bathing in the winter sun & being lulled into the deepest sense of peace by the sound of the flowing water.
As we mentioned earlier, this was one of our favourite camp spots in Tassie. We made some fond memories here with lake swims, & long chats around the campfire as the starts twinkled above us. Not to mention the absolutely breathtaking views of Mt Murchison from here. Our favourite spots to camp here were on the point or at the old boat ramp.
Another amazing lakeside camp spot that is well worth the visit. Again with the beautiful mountain views & the most peaceful feeling to it. Lap up the serenity here with slow days listening to the bird song, watching the ripples across the water & feeling the sun on your skin.
Most of this camping area is only accessible with a 4WD, but there are a few spots at the very start that are easily accessible. The beauty of this place is how wild it feels – you can be completely alone out there. Just remember to check the wind forecast beforehand – the west coast is notoriously windy and it would be a make or break!
As always, be sure to follow all signage at each of these spots & it’s good practice to double check on Wikicamps that they are still open to the public. Be sure to leave each spot better than you found it so we can all continue to enjoy special places like these without costing the earth.
We were pleasantly surprised at the amount of incredibly beautiful & cosy air bnb’s in Tasmania. Some of the most beautiful places we have ever stayed. If you’re after a little more luxury during your time (we’re talking afternoon outdoor baths, peaceful forest sounds, coastal views, & the most incredible decor) here then be sure to book a stay. A few of our favourites were:
A special thank you to Will & Bear for keeping us warm & stylish throughout all of our travels with their beautiful hats & beanies. Tassie can definitely get cold so we were all wearing our beanies non-stop throughout our travels here.
Check out @solsidestudio on Instagram to follow along on all their adventures.