2. Hike to Wineglass Bay
Pounded by the wild Southern Ocean, Tasmania has a cooler and more volatile climate than mainland Australia. But the east coast is the island’s sunniest shore, and the Freycinet Peninsula its most welcoming stretch, with white sand beaches and lime green waters framed by magnificent peaks called the Hazards. Stay at the majestic new eco-lodge Saffire in Coles Bay, which opened in 2010 with breathtaking views from its designer cabins, then take the hour-long hike over the mountain saddle to Wineglass Bay. The arc of the beach is like an enormous goblet, whose pristine sands are patrolled by wallabies. The landscape may look like an antipodean version of Hawaii, but throw yourself into the waves and you quickly realize that this is definitely the deep south, where the currents flow directly north from Antarctica. Saffire also runs boat trips along the peninsula, where you can spot thriving seal colonies—as well as an isolated rock quarry where pink marble was mined to decorate the lobby of the Empire State Building in the early 1930s.