Things to See and Do

If adventure is your thing, then you know it’s not just what you do, but WHERE you do it that counts. Just a quick jaunt across Bass Strait by air or ferry and you’re in Tasmania, Australia’s only island state, where outdoor escapes turn into epic adventures. Tourism Tasmania has provided some great suggestions, either before the race or afterwards when you can shift down a gear and wind back to island time to enjoy. There is a lot to do in Tassie, so to get you started here are some ideas kicking off in St Helens, home of XPD 2018.

SEAFOOD – There’s plenty of it in the seaside town of St Helens. Sample fresh seafood at local eateries Mohr & Smith or from the Paddle Wheeler fishing punt. Catch your own on a fishing charter with Zulu Charterz. You might also like to try Lifebuoy Café & Quail St Emporium, Blueshed Restaurant or Crossroads Wine Bar & Café where you can unwind with some live music.

Image Credit: Tourism Tasmania and Rob Burnett

BEACHES – Every coastal town along Tassie’s East Coast has a beach (or two, or three) waiting for you to discover. Beach lovers, warm up your peddling legs on a brisk walk to St Helens Point and stop for a while at Peron Dunes to take in the vast ocean beaches and watch surfers. In fact you can kick off your shoes anywhere along the Great Eastern Drive, from St Helens to Orford and wander coastlines.

Image Credit: Pete Harmsen

BAY OF FIRES – Take a short drive from St Helens and you’ll arrive alongside the white beaches, lichen-covered granite boulders and crystal clear waters of Binalong Bay. Just a few more minutes and you land at the Bay of Fires. Both are famous for taking your breath away.

Image Credit: Pete Harmsen

CRAFT BEER – Get the scoop on why Tasmania’s the ultimate place for beer-making at Iron House Brewery just over half an hour from St Helens. Taste craft beer, stout, wine, vodka and whisky all brewed on site at the Ironhouse Brewery using premium ingredients and water sourced from the property’s own spring.

Image Credit: Tourism Tasmania and Rob Burnett

CELLAR DOORS – Discover cellar doors on the East Coast Wine Route, chat to the winemakers and taste their wines. This is one of the state’s favourite wine regions, known for fine cool climate varieties. On your cellar door list don’t miss Darlington Vineyard, Devils Corner, Freycinet Vineyard, Gala Estate, Milton Vineyard, Spring Vale Wines, and Priory Ridge Wines which is just near St Helens.

Image Credit: Pete Harmsen

CHEESE – Cheers to cheese at Pyengana Dairy Farm – half an hour from St Helens. Venture inland to the Holy Cow Café featuring light meals, lush handmade ice cream and fine Pyengana cheeses. Not far from Pyengana is Tassie icon Pub in the Paddock, one of the oldest pubs in Tasmania and the only pub where you can have a beer with a local and a pig at the same time.

Image Credit: Flow Mountain Bike

SURFING – Tasmania’s East Coast is made for aquatic adventures like surfing. The Great Eastern Drive’s best surf spots are clustered along the Surf Coast, between Bicheno and St Helens Point and offer reliable swells year round, with crystal clear, uncrowded waves just about everywhere you look. Buy or hire gear at surf shops along the coast and acquire some local knowledge on where to find the best breaks, or check surf conditions online at sites like Magic Seaweed and Surfing Tasmania.

Image Credit: Tourism Tasmania & O’Neill Coldwater Classic

WINEGLASS BAY – Heading south along the coast is Coles Bay and Freycinet National Park – an excellent base for exploring Wineglass Bay. Paddle under the Hazards mountain range with experienced guides from Freycinet Adventures.

Image Credit: Wai Nang Poon

MARIA ISLANDMaria Island was once home of a convict probation station, then a late-19th-century industrial venture, today the island is entirely national park and the site of an insurance population of healthy Tasmanian devils. Released two years ago, the devils are thriving and ever visible – adding to an already-rich wildlife experience. Just a short boat trip from Triabunna, spend a day exploring beaches, mountains and the World Heritage-listed Darlington convict station by bike or by foot.

Image Credit: Flow Mountain Bike

BLUE DERBY MOUNTAIN BIKING – About an hour from St Helens is Blue Derby, Tasmania – a mountain biking mecca that has changed mountain biking in Tasmania and Australia forever. Host of the 2017 Enduro World Series the adrenaline will continue to pump thick and fast on these trails.

Image Credit: Flow Mountain Bike

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