We’re back with another of our Best in Tassie Challenges. Today we talk tourist attraction, and you may be a little surprised with the outcome. It’s what we love about opening the floor to reader opinion. If we just reeled off our own thoughts all the time, that would be way too one-dimensional. We are empowering our audience to join the conversation and be part of the direction we take. And of course, you’re welcome to join the conversation be leaving a reply on this article for all to see.

Tourist Attraction - Cradle Mountain Lodge
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A perfect day brings magical reflections, Cradle Mountain Lodge (photo by Carol Haberle)

Tasmanian Tourist Attraction: What’s Your Favourite?

We launched this Best in Tassie series with the intention of making it a weekly feature. But sometimes good intentions are side-tracked by other highly important topics we can’t wait to share. Throw a few IT issues into the mix as we transition to a new and better website, and it’s already been a fortnight since our Best in Tassie Adventure article was published. Where does the time go?


 

We’re still on the track though. That track might take us the long way around, but it will always travel within the state of Tasmania and no-where else. And this week, we journey from tourist attraction to tourist attraction via our Facebook page.

Tourist Attraction - Ida Bay Railway
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On track to visit tourist attractions, in every direction, but Tasmanian only
Iday Bay Railway in the far south of Tasmania (photo by Carol Haberle)

Cradle Mountain National Park: A Shining Star

Reader Haylee shared two photos with Think Tasmania, and we wondered at the time if they were meant for our Best in Tassie National Parks feature, or this one. It’s relevant either way, because Haylee nominated Cradle Mountain National Park as the “best place in Tassie”.

Tourist Attraction - Cradle Mountain
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Haylee sent in this beautiful photo from Cradle Mountain National Park

Jillian agreed, declaring Cradle Mountain had 165,000 visitors last year and suggested it was the closest many people will ever get to wilderness. Howard chimed in as well, with the single word: Cradle. Given Howard is the owner-operator of Cradle Coast Tours, he may be biased, but we don’t mind that in this context. in fact, we encourage it. We figure Howard is probably well-placed to judge a good tourist attraction in Tasmania.

Tourist Attraction - Cradle Coast Tours
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Howard of Cradle Coast Tours shows off north west Tasmania (photo by Michelle Kneipp Pegler)

Another person we’d consider a good judge is Wayne, who with wife Julie has travelled extensively in Tassie as a tourist and even shared the experience of their trips with Think Tasmania. “Even though I think everything in Tasmania is good, I’m going for Cradle Mountain,” says Wayne.

Tourist Attraction - Cradle Mountain National Park
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Cradle Mountain National Park, Tasmania (photo by Dan Fellow)

Tasmania: On Top of the World…

Our very own Carol Haberle has written a beautiful article about Cradle Mountain, and from her words and photos it’s plain to see she’s a big fan of the scenic wonder as a tourist attraction. However, she nominated Eagles Eyrie as her personal favourite, telling us it was “magic”. That’s clearly a huge endorsement for the Top of the World experience via Maydena and the Styx Valley.

Tourist Attraction - Eagles Eyrie
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On Top of The World Tour with Adventure Forests (photo by Carol Haberle)

We did comment during the running conversation that the results coming in weren’t quite what we’d originally expected from our Facebook community. We had thought we’d get lots of mentions of Cradle Mountain (as we did); but also thought the other big guns of Tasmanian tourism (MONA, Port Arthur, Cataract Gorge, Wineglass Bay) would feature heavily. Possibly given the timing, we also thought the West Coast Wilderness Railway might get a run.

Tourist Attraction - West Coast Wilderness Railway
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West Coast Wilderness Railway tourist attraction (photo by Dan Fellow)

… And Under the Ground

Geoff had this to add: “has a bit of a tangent change from the expected, doesn’t it Think Tasmania. Most of those you mentioned are heavily pushed by Tourism Tasmania and tourist organisations on the mainland. What I always look for are the smaller operators and those that give good value for money. That is why you will find Gunns Plains Caves has very reasonable rates and is always a hit with visitors when they find out the price and then after they have seen the wonders underground. We try to keep the tours affordable for all, especially families. Two adults and two kids does not a family make in most instances, but that is what people are charged for around this country. We encompass all your family (that are not adults) in the family rate. That is why were get return visitation from larger families.”


 

In the interests of full disclosure, for readers that may not be aware, Geoff is the chief at Gunns Plains Caves and has every right to nominate his own backyard in the stakes for top tourist attraction. But in a spirit of generosity and community sharing, Geoff also gave a lovely mention to the George Robinson Cruise up the Arthur River. He says the tour is “relaxed with the most knowledgeable crew looking after you. I really enjoy the way they look after you without much fuss and the tucker has always been great. Well done Rob and all at Arthur River Cruises.” Nice one!

Tourist Attraction - Gunns Plains Caves
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North west tourist attraction, Gunns Plains Caves (photo by Michelle Kneipp Pegler)

Roger Findlay (another regular Think Tasmania contributor) joined the conversation, asking if the aforementioned cruises were “on the old wooden boat with the sea eagle that takes meat from his hand”. To which Geoff replied “yes, wood, brass, sea eagles and Rob at the helm spinning his magic. What could be better unless you were underground!!!”

One For The Money, Two for The Show…

Several places were given the nod by individuals. Carol thought Tasmazia was one of the best tourist attractions in Tasmania while Catherine suggested Tut’s Whittle Wonders in Strahan. Emma preferred Mount Wellington for its sweeping views of gorgeous little Hobart.

Tourist Attraction - Mount Wellington Views Over Hobart
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Views over the Tasmanian capital of Hobart from Mount Wellington (photo by Anelda Lotter)

Ruth, Vicki and Erica were all adamant that the whole Tasmanian package was the best tourist attraction. “The people, the natural beauty of our environment, flora and fauna, and the stories our people have to tell,” claimed Angeline. Kathy also thought “the island as a whole; not one area as such. So much to see; so little time”. We agree wholeheartedly with that sentiment.

…Three To Get Ready, Now Go Cat Go!

Tracee, we’ve learned (from our 6pm forum o’clock sessions) is planning to move to Tasmania. She is “in awe of” everything in Tassie so far. She is planning a definite return to Port Arthur, and just loves the walk around Cataract Gorge. “Those zig-zags are killer but worth every step” apparently. Tracee did also admit that the price was a deterrent sometimes when choosing things to do in Tasmania.

Tourist Attraction - Port Arthur Convict Settlement
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Port Arthur Convict Settlement tourist attraction (photo by Kerrie Dodson)

Rodney felt accommodation costs were stopping most Tasmanians from really enjoying their own state. “It’s just too expensive for most people, so they don’t bother and that is costing Tasmania greatly”. As with all things in life, the cost of accommodation AND the tourist attraction is a juggle. The operator needs to make a living and maintain their service. The customer has to prioritise how much they spend from the amount they have at their disposal, and decide where they will spend it.


 

While we’re on the touchy subject of money, we’d like to add something. We’ve experienced many statewide tourist attractions that have been completely free of charge (or at least cost just a nominal fee). Maybe that’s another topic for a Best in Tassie Challenge: Free Stuff. We feel there’s a variety of options in every region and town in Tasmania; something on the doorstep for everyone to enjoy. So locals really should get out there, and get amongst it.  And visitors… we’ve rolled out the welcome mat, so come on down!

Tourist Attraction - Kangaroo Bluff, Derwent River, Wrest Point Casino Hobart
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Tourist attraction, free to visit ~ Kangaroo Bluff Battery in Bellerive, Hobart

Do you agree or disagree with the findings from our micro survey? Is there anything glaringly obvious that we’ve missed in this communal round-up? Or do you know any local secrets that you’re willing to share? This is just a reflection of comments from our Facebook status, but that was open to everyone. Let’s play a game of Chinese whispers. Just leave a message on this article about your favourite tourist attraction, and we might mention it to one other person. Or maybe even a lot more!

All relevant and reasonable opinions are welcome in Think Tasmania
discussions. The submission of topic ideas for future Best in Tassie
Challenges from readers and interested parties will also be considered.

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