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Tasmania's natural beauty is incredibly varied, ranging from rocky, snow capped outcrops to calm bays lined with golden sand, and wild plains - all of it home to a wide range of wildlife - and much of it unspoiled by too many visitors. Australia's only island state, Tasmania is definitely out of step with the mainland, strongly tied to its colonial history, visiting can feel a bit like a step back in time. But the heritage of the place adds to the fascination, and some of the best places to stay in Tasmania have been converted from graceful colonial constructions.
The craggy peak of Cradle Mountain, the wide scoop of Wineglass Bay, the great stretches of peaceful sand on Seven Mile Beach and the peaceful green-grey of the Huon Valley are all pristine and unmissable for anyone interested in the beauty of the great outdoors.
Island isolation has protected this diverse and precious ecology, and kept the population low, so Tasmania is now home to some of the world's rarest plants and animals. And even since the great swathes of wilderness have became visitor attractions in their own right, the Heritage Listings have served to prioritise protection of the environment.
As well as the natural treasures, Tasmania has some interesting historic and archaeological sights - like Port Arthur, the Hobart docks, or the grand, Gothic Cascade Brewery, and this is a great place to do some sailing, or some cycling.
Tasmania isn't the backwater mainlanders jibe about though, the food and wine of the Tamar Valley will impress gourmets, the ocean provides a bounty of seafood, and there's no shortage of luxurious accommodation.
Our pick of the best places to stay in Tasmania range from hip city spots, to a remote wilderness lodge - there really is something for everyone.
For a luxurious escape from it all
- Woodbridge on the Derwent is a collection of eight luxurious suites in an 1825, convict-built riverside mansion just 25 minutes from Hobart. Many of the original features, like late open fireplaces, a ballrooms and library, remain and you're surrounded by food and wine country.
- Saffire is an all-inclusive luxury lodge with 20 rooms and views of Coles Bay. The 'rooms' are a collection of suites and private pavilions dotted along the coast, and there's a fantastic spa, as well as a myriad of walking trails which start right from the lodge.
For a Hobart city break
- The Henry Jones Art Hotel is Australia's first 'art hotel' a hip, stylish space converted from an 1820s jam warehouse right on Hobart's waterfront. Rooms are tasteful and you're in a great spot.
- The Islington Hotel is a obverted Regency house with a fabulous modern stone and glass extension allowing for even more spectacular views of Mt. Wellington. The grounds, on the outskirts of Hobart, are manicured and beautiful and the interior is decorated with art and antiques.
- If you like your city chic modern then you'll like the Mona Pavilions, a collection of slick, uniquely designed self-catering pavilions on the Morilla Estate on the grounds of the Mona Museum. Just a short ferry trip from Hobart, as well as the museum there's a heated infinity pool, gym and sauna.
For the great outdoors
- Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge offers four different types on accommodation, from suites to detached family cabins, surrounded by the wilderness of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park. The lodge is surrounded by walking trails and there's also a fabulous spa.
- The Avalon Coastal Retreat is a three bedroom house, each bedroom with its own bathroom, right on a private beach. The owners will happily stock the fridge, as well as leaving you with a collection of beach towels, wetsuits, boogie boards, backpacks and walking maps.
Best Hotels in Tasmania
Quamby Estate 10 rooms from $122Launceston, Tasmania
Peaceful country estate with rolling green lawns in beautifully landscaped grounds. Antique furniture is scattered tastefully throughout this charming house. A quiet drawing room with fireplace and comfortable, elegant bedrooms. Enjoy evening meals in the relaxed dining room and picnics on the lawn.Country Escape - Set on 150 acres of stunning parklands, boasting a golf course, tennis courts, lakes and drawing rooms with marble fireplace.Romantic Break - A romantic escape with fragrant gardens, gourmet couples dining, and suites with classic antiques and spa bath.Fishing - Anglers will be pleased to hear the lake is well stocked with fish.Secluded setting - For escaping.
The Red Feather Inn 12 rooms from $147Tasmania
This collection of colonial buildings is nestled in the Meander Valley in Northern Tasmania. All rooms and suites boast a garden view and contemporary interiors. A beautiful location for an intimate wedding or romantic getaway, with cooking classes on site and an array of local attractions nearby.Secluded setting - For escaping.Cooking classes - Check for timings.Local markets - Good for local colour.Romantic - Good for couples.Recommended by - CN Traveller
Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge 86 rooms from $151Tasmania
A Tasmanian wilderness experience that's hard to beat. Four different styles of accommodation including suites and standalone family friendly cabins. A fabulous Spa sanctuary makes this the perfect base for trekking in the Cradle Mountain area.Outstanding location - Located on the edge of the spectacular World Heritage listed Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National ParkGreat walks - 20 walking trails from the lodge to suit every fitness levelSights nearby - Helicopter flights can be arrangedSpa - Views over the Pencil Pine riverRecommended by - Fodors
Henry Jones Art Hotel 50 rooms from $170Hobart
Australia's first dedicated art hotel has transformed a historic 1820s jam warehouse on Hobart's waterfront in to a contemporary, hip and stylish space. Rooms are tastefully furnished with large bathrooms. Perfect for a weekend city break or honeymooners.Sights nearby - Bruny Island, Tasman IslandOutstanding location - On Hobart's waterfront
Pumphouse Point 18 rooms from $202Tasmania
A romantic lakeside hideaway in a converted pumphouse. This remote lookout has 12 gorgeous bedrooms with breath taking views and a cosy sitting room with large sofas and warm fireplace. Unwind at this fabulous spot with communal dining and a well stocked honesty bar.Back to Nature - Bring your hiking boots and explore the fjord-like wilderness of the incredible Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.Fishing - Phenomanal trout fishing is avaialble on the lake, the hotel has expert guides and ghillies.Great walks - Head out in any direction, Lake St Clair boasts over 100km of impressive walks.Restrictions on children - Over 17s only
Villa Howden 10 rooms from $234Margate, Tasmania
Villa Howden, located on the tranquil shores of North West Bay, offers traditional elegance and the perfect place to stay for intimate celebrations and quiet contemplation. Rooms are beautifully decorated and fresh local produce is served in peaceful dining rooms. A secluded country house.Sights nearby - Just 15 mins from Hobart. Close to Port Arthur, Salamanca Market, Air Walk and Mount Wellington.Swimming Pool - Indoor salt water poolLocal markets - Salamanca Market,Great walks - Huon TrailRecommended by - Tablet
Islington Hotel 11 rooms from $247Hobart
An old Regency house is the perfect setting for this boutique hotel with fabulous glass/stone extension,found on the outskirts of Hobart with stunning views to Mt Wellington. Art and antiques. And a swimming pool, BBQ facilities and an acre of manicured gardens including a 100 year old willow tree.Restrictions on children - Must be aged 16 or overViews - To Mt WellingtonLocal markets - Good for local colour.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Fodors
Woodbridge on the Derwent from $334near Hobart, Tasmania
Eight luxury suites in historic 1825 convict-built riverside mansion, only 25 minutes from Hobart. Family owned and run, with a private ballroom, library and open fireplaces. A great base for exploring renowned local cuisine and wine producers.Outstanding location - In Derwent Valley, Tasmania's renowned gourmet food bowl with wineries and farm gate producers5* Luxury - Tasmania's only 5 star accredited hotelLocal markets - 30 mins drive to Salamanca MarketsKayaking - Kayaks available for guest useRecommended by - Small Luxury Hotels
Mona Pavilions from $377Hobart, Tasmania
Slick, contemporary self-catering pavilions on the Morilla Estate a short ferry ride from Hobart in the grounds of the Mona. Festivals, culture courses, with free museum entry, a gym, sauna and heated indoor infinity pool.Sights nearby - On same site as Mona museum, 15 minutes outside of HobartSwimming Pool - Heated infinity poolDesigner - Uniquely designed interiors.Outstanding locationRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith
Avalon Coastal Retreat 3 rooms from $563Tasmania
This exclusive house has three delightful rooms, each with their own bathroom. Wetsuits, boogie boards, beach towels, backpacks and walking maps are all provided, and there's the option to have the fridge fully stocked up. Stunning coastal views ensures this is self-catering at its best.Full of character - Wetsuits, boogie boards, beach towels, backpacks and walking maps all providedViews - Out to Great Oyster BayOn the beach - Private beachOutstanding locationRecommended by - Fodors
Saffire 20 rooms from $1130Tasmania
Stunning views of Coles Bay from all angles of this all inclusive luxury lodge, designed to relax and rejuvenate. Indulge in the Sapphire Spa with private suites and pavilions dotted along the coast. Fantastic walks with opportunities to see wildlife and the endangered Tasmanian devil.Sit-out TerraceFishing - Flathead, flounder, calamari squid and Australian salmon can be caught in Great Oyster BayGreat walks - Around Freycinet Peninsula and to Wineglass BayBirdwatching - At Pelican BayRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet, Fodors