Tasmania’s rich geographical features and animated climate create the ideal setting for dozens of adventure and thrill activities. Thrill seekers visit Tasmania for experiences of all types: diving, caving, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, cable hang gliding and more.
For the less ‘hands-on’ adventure junkies, scenic flights, helicopter rides, ghost tours and V8 car rides are available in locations across the island. Ready to increase your heart rate?
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Caves and Caving
Tasmania’s extensive cave systems are some of the longest and deepest underground networks in Australia. For those looking to delve deeper into Tasmania’s subterranean, there are a handful of experienced agencies to choose from: Wild Cave Tours offers full and half day tours and include catering. Northern Caveneers and Southern Tasmanian Caveneers are clubs for the more serious cavers who are either experienced or want to learn how to tackle more challenging caves.
Cycling and Mountain Biking
Tasmania’s stunning coastal roads, beautiful mountain paths, and purpose-built bike trails are waiting to be explored by bike. Maydena Bike Park is a gravity focused bike park in the Derwent Valley area of Southern Tasmania and is fast growing an international reputation. Mountain Bike Tasmania offers tours all over the island, ranging from three-hour trips to six-day journeys. Their flagship tour is an electrifying ride down 1000 metres of hairpin turns and stunning views from Ben Lomond. Vertigo Mountain Biking caters for more experienced riders and offers multiple day adventures or shorter day trips. The Mt Wellington Descent is a family friendly option where cyclists journey 21km downhill from the top of Hobart’s Mount Wellington, while enjoying the striking views of Greater Hobart below. Lastly, for visitors who would prefer to take a less strenuous ride round the city, Hobart Bike Hire and Tours has a range of bikes to choose from and supply a cycle map of Hobart. They also offer electric bikes for those who may struggle with Hobart’s hilly terrain.
Avid divers flock from all over to discover Tasmania’s impressive shipwrecks, kelp forests, marine animals and breathtaking underwater scenery. Dive sites are dotted all around the state’s coastline, but are concentrated more often in the North and East of the island. Tasmania’s dive sites offer a variety of depths and conditions to suit different abilities.
Located in southeastern Tasmania, just 75km from Hobart, is the Eaglehawk Dive Centre who take divers into the region’s kelp forests and on journeys to dive with fur seal colonies. Operating close by is Go Dive, also with bases in Hobart and Launceston, who take divers to a wide variety of sites. Scuba Diver Life also offer diving in Tasmania with temperate crystal-clear waters, shipwrecks and schooling fish in the thousands.
Those after a chill-inducing evening in Hobart should book with Ghost Tours of Hobart for a spooky, historic journey through the city’s oldest landmarks and legends. The folks at Hobart’s Penitentiary Chapel take daring visitors on a creepy tour through the courtrooms, dark tunnels, and infamous solitary confinement cells. Launceston City Ghost Tours offers similar night walks through the island’s second largest city. Lastly, a ghost tour at the world-famous Port Arthur historic site is not to be missed. For the truly brave, hands-on ‘paranormal investigation experiences’ are available at Port Arthur using scientific measurement devices to record paranormal activity.
Hang Gliding and Cable Tours
Launceston-based Cable Hang Gliding provides thrilling 20-minute cable flights for participants at any level of experience. Tahune Adventures offers similar adventures (for new and experienced participants) and operates out of a beautiful setting an hour and a half’s drive away from Hobart. Another way to get a thrilling ride through the air is to try zip lining and at Hollybank Wilderness Adventures, just 20k from Launceston. For more experienced hang gliders or paragliders, courses can be taken by contacting the Tasmanian Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association.
Jet Boat Rides
Tasmania’s energetic, winding rivers are the ideal location for a high-speed, scenic jet boat adventure where visitors enjoy high-speed acceleration, hasty standstills and crazy 360 degree spins on board a purpose-built vessel. Huon Jet offers thrilling thirty-five minute journeys down the Huon River and is based south of Hobart.
Tasmania’s extensive network of rivers and waterways makes Kayaking a popular activity at many locations across the state. With Freycinet Adventures, kayakers head to the sea to explore the beautiful Freycinet Peninsula and are given the opportunity to camp in the Freycinet National Park on multi-day kayaking tours. Located in the Southwest National Park, Tassie Bound Adventure Tours focuses on trips around the Derwent River and Lake Pedder. Roaring Forties Kayaking is one of the state’s larger operators and offers a wide range of tours. Visitors are advised to take a look at Paddle Tasmania for detailed information on the Tasmanian river systems and to determine their grading.
Off Road Touring
Tasmania’s network of mountain and forest trails is an off-road enthusiast’s Valhalla. Your adrenaline pumping adventure with Mt Roland Quad Bikes takes you quad biking through -alpine forest, farmland, rocks, mud and hill climbs. Freycinet Adventures specialise in wilderness tours around the Freycinet Peninsula, where visitors take quad bikes along bush trails, up rocky peaks and down to sandy beaches. Pepper Bush Adventures offer a wide range of options to get away from civilisation in luxury 4WD comfort. Tasmanian Safaris take guests off-road in many different ways, including canoeing, kayaking and mountain-biking. Lastly, Flinders Island Adventures whisks visitors around Flinders Island’s mountainous terrain in 4WD vehicles.
Being Australia’s most mountainous state, Tasmania offers an undeniably first-class rock climbing experience. In the area surrounding Launceston alone, there are over 1800 climbing routes in 12 different locations — Climb Northern Tasmania lists and gives information about the best sites in the area for independent climbers to attempt. Rock Climbing Adventures in Hobart offers a wide range of trips for learners to advanced climbers. Those who aren’t ready to head into the wild just yet can learn the basics and perfect their skills at Rock Climbing Tasmania which offers School Groups and those new to the sport, introductory day trips in Launceston’s Cataract Gorge through to personalised multi-day adventures for experienced climbers on some of the more remote cliffs in the state.
Sea Plane & Helicopter Tours
One of the best ways to experience Tasmania’s scenery is from the air, in a light aircraft or helicopter. Above and Beyond, Tasmanian Seaplanes are Tasmania’s only seaplane operation based in the heart of Hobart’s iconic waterfront. Tasmanian Air Adventures offers scenic flights ranging from 30 minutes to three hours over different parts of the island. Strahan Helicopters takes visitors high above the island’s West Coast with air times of between 15 and 80 minutes. Rotor-Lift Aviation based at Hobart Airport offer scenic flights over the entire island and Osborne Helitours operate on the Tasman Peninsular for flights over and around the Port Arthur site and also from Stanley in the north of the State for flights over the Tarkine area. When booking any of these flights, tell them you found them on the Great Australian Secret website
V8 Car Rides
Aspiring racing drivers visit Symmons Plains Racetrack near Launceston to enjoy six or ten laps in a V8 racing car. Participants begin their experience with a briefing session from a professional racing driver before changing into race gear and experiencing a series of hot, fast laps around the professional racetrack.
White Water Rafting
Powerful rivers and tributaries interwoven into Tasmania’s rugged mountain ranges make white water rafting a frequently enjoyed activity across the state. Aardvark Adventures offers short rafting trips and also organises trips for groups and schools. For long adventures, Franklin River Rafting offers eight or ten day trips down the river with the longer trip including hiking the Frenchman’s Cap, one of Tasmania’s most beautiful peaks. Water by Nature also arranges tours down the Franklin River ranging from five to ten days. Those heading to King River will find one day trips with King River Rafting which can be combined with other adventures, such as an overnight stay, a steam train ride, or a flight from Hobart. For information on the different rivers available to raft in Tasmania visitors should go to Rafting.com.
Anyone who is reluctant to take a ‘real’ flight can immerse themselves in the experience of flying a commercial Boeing 737… without ever having to leave the ground. Sim737 is based in Hobart and offers a variety of experiences ranging from 30 to 180 minutes. Anything ranging from the crisp white Swiss mountains to the azure blue Caribbean waters is available as a backdrop, and flight and landing conditions can be changed according to location and experience.