Do you need a little break to reset and recharge? Escape the hustle and bustle with a short drive south! We’ve listed some relaxing things to do to unwind, all within a half hour drive from Hobart.
1. Drive to the beach
The sound of waves lapping at the shore is an instant relaxer. The popular Kingston Beach is just a 15 minute drive south from Hobart. Go for a stroll along the sand, set your inner child free on the beach swings, then indulge your outer adult with a drink at one of the hip bars and restaurants overlooking the beach. Many of the businesses are dog friendly, and the whole beach north of Browns River is a 24/7 off-leash area. Another great option is Blackmans Bay Beach, which is a short drive south.
2. Find a secret beach
Enjoy a short walk (or boat) to a secluded gem. The Boronia Beach Track (1 hour / 2 km return) begins 100 metres up the hill from Kingston Beach, off Mt Royal Rd, and descends through large blue gums and sheoaks to the sheltered beach below. Fossil Cove is another special spot reachable via short walk (1 km / 30 mins return). At low tide, explore the large rock archway, then find joy in the smaller details in the fossils on the opposite side.
3. Go bushwalking
If the Japanese can bathe in the forest to de-stress, then we can bathe in the bush! There are lots of beautiful tracks to explore, and remember to keep an eye out for wildlife and birdlife. Some great walks within a half hour drive of Hobart include the coastal Alum Cliffs Track, the Tinderbox Hills Track, the North West Bay River Track, and the network of trails in the Peter Murrell Reserves. Many tracks are dog, bike, and horse friendly (see individual links for details).
4. Wind back the clock
Step back in time and take a break from stressful modern life. Get your endorphin hit with the climb to the top of the historic Taroona Shot Tower. Take a moment at the top to catch your breath and enjoy the picturesque views of the Derwent Estuary. Visit the Channel Museum at Margate to learn about days gone by and hear some captivating tales about the region’s past. You might return with a new appreciation for modern life!
5. Treat yourself to high tea
Get a little bit dolled up and treat yourself to traditional high tea at the charming Villa Howden (on each Sunday from 2pm to 3pm). Choose to indulge on the deck overlooking North West Bay, on the terrace surrounded by beautiful gardens, in the restaurant with music on the baby grand piano, or on a picnic rug in the landscaped gardens. You’ll feel like you’ve escaped to the French countryside—très magnifique!
6. Go cider tasting
Get your favourite mates together and head to Willie Smith’s Apple Shed to unwind in the peaceful Huon Valley. Taste their delightful range of cider and indulge in some amazing food (don’t skip the homemade apple pie for dessert). The Shed hosts regular events, including live music on Friday nights, the Artisan & Produce Market on Saturdays (10am – 1pm), and Sunday sessions on the first Sunday of the month.
7. Go stargazing & aurora chasing
On a clear night, the Southern Trove is a top spot for stargazing, with some lovely, quiet spots to look to the sky. Try and spy the mystical Aurora Australis when she’s forecast to visit (get away from bright city lights and look south). Our tips include near the boat ramp at Howden and down at Tinderbox. Finding your own special place is half the fun (it might be safer to do some location scouting before it gets dark though).
8. Relax at Dru Point
The Dru Point Reserve at Margate is a great spot to unwind. Go for a stroll along the waterfront, do some bird watching, go cycling, have a game of tennis, head out in the boat, or make use of the BBQ and picnic areas. You can also let your dog burn off some energy in the fenced dog exercise area.
9. Hit up the local shops & eateries
Delicious food and a dose of retail therapy is just what the doctor ordered! Check out the variety of shops, galleries and eateries at The Margate Train. Also located at Margate is the Brookfield Shed, an old seed drying shed transformed into a hub of food and activity (it is especially lovely when the lavender fields are in bloom between December and January). For farm fresh goodness, book yourself on a tour of Longley Organic Farm, attend one of their events or workshops, or swing by their farm gate honesty shop.
10. Explore the Inverawe Native Gardens
Explore Tasmania’s largest landscaped native garden at Margate, with gorgeous views over North West Bay. The Inverawe Native Gardens are home to thousands of colourful native plants and all 12 endemic bird species have been spotted. Wander the gardens, check out the interpretive displays, discover quirky sculptures, and relax with tea on the terrace. The gardens are open daily between September and May, with guided tours available on request.
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