Pristine beaches, ancient rainforests and stunning alpine peaks; beautiful gardens, rich history and culinary delights. Although Tasmania has so much to offer visitors of all ages, the Apple Isle’s old-fashioned charm, quaint historic villages and leisurely pace makes it all the more attractive to mature travellers. Whether you choose to travel independently or with a group, you can expect a Tasmanian holiday to be natural, epicurean, historical, luxurious and wild. Here are some top things to do and best places for seniors in Tasmania.
Take a wildlife tour
Tasmania is home to many endangered or extinct animal species such as the eastern quoll, eastern-barred bandicoot and Tasmanian devil. And there are opportunities to view wildlife at national parks, sanctuaries, wildlife parks and nature tours around the island.
Take a boat trip to Bonnet Island – a small island at the mouth of Macquarie Harbour – where you can get up close and personal with colonies of little penguins and short-tailed shearwaters.
Thrill of the trike
When Bob and Margaret Sullivan decided to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary in Tasmania, the couple didn’t dream they would find themselves riding a trike (or three-wheeled motorbike) kitted up with helmets, gloves and wind jackets.
“We had never been on a trike or motorbike before but we thought we’d give it a go as we wanted to do something really memorable for our anniversary,” says Bob Sullivan.
The Sullivans’ six-hour wine-tasting tour of the Coal River Valley with Hobart’s Trikemania Adventure Tours (+61408 655923) included stops at cellar doors, a fruit farm and lunch at Meadowbank Vineyard.
Two days later they were back for more; this time for a ride to the top of Mount Wellington.
“It was exhilarating and so much fun. We felt comfortable and safe, even while zipping around the edge of the mountain,” says Bob Sullivan.
Farms and food
A drive around the island offers a cornucopia of tastes; speciality cheeses, mouth-watering seafood, beef, leatherwood honey, handmade chocolates, truffles and apples.
Farms like Freycinet Marine Farm, where Pacific and Angasi oyster are harvested, and Kate’s Berry Farm, for fresh raspberries and strawberries, are just two of the many farms that welcome visitors.
Tasmania has an overwhelming quantity and diversity of gardens. There are gardens devoted to roses, fields of tulips and valleys of lavender.
You can take a guided tour of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical gardens, visit a bonsai nursery or stay in a cottage with a beautiful garden.
Tasmania’s climate is perfect for the English-style gardens many Australians have been brought up to enjoy.
Botanica World Discoveries has a tour of private gardens that are usually closed to the public. Many of Tasmania’s gardens have the charm of English and European style.
Of Tasmania’s many heritage attractions and historic sites, Live History is one that brings the past into the present through a strolling theatre performance.
You walk alongside actors in period dress as they re-enact history and conditions in the Female Factory where female prisoners were held.
Bring history to bed by sleeping in a historic hotel such as The Lenna, once owned by Scottish shipbuilder Alexander McGregor, or the sleek avant-garde Henry Jones Art Hotel, converted from the old IXL jam factory.
Golf and spa
Since the 1830s when homesick Scottish settlers created Australia’s oldest golf course, Ratho Links, on a farm in Bothwell Tasmania’s golfing credentials has continued to grow.
There are 80-plus golf courses including the Scottish-style links of Barnbougle Dunes, ranked as Australia’s top public-access course by Golf Australia magazine.
The problem about golfing holidays is that it doesn’t always suit couples. But combining a golfing and spa holiday could be the ideal solution.
Some attractions offer discounts for holders of a Seniors Card so don’t forget to ask.