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14-Day Tasmania Road Trip Itinerary

Your 'ultimate' self-drive holiday and tasmania road trip.

This self-drive 14-day Tasmania itinerary is what I like to call your ‘Ultimate’ Tasmania road trip.

No rush. No pressure. Just 14 days of pure driving pleasure as you experience the best natural wonders, gastronomic delights and historic sites Tasmania has to offer!

This page contains affiliate links. If you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!). Read my full disclosure policy  here .

Self-drive Tasmania Itinerary (14 days)

Want to experience the very best Tasmania trip? 

14 days is the perfect amount of time, and a Tasmania road trip is the ultimate way to explore this amazing island.

But what should you see? Where to stay? And do you know the best places to eat?

To make things easy and stress-free I’ve used my extensive local knowledge to create this 14-day self-drive Tasmania itinerary.

Together with my wife I have called Tasmania home for more than 15 years now, so you can rest assured that all my recommendations come from personal experience and my passion to get out on the open road.

Day 1 – Hobart to Derwent Bridge

Day 2 – Derwent Bridge to Strahan

Day 3 – Strahan

Day 4 – Strahan to Cradle Mountain

Day 5 – Cradle Mountain

Day 6 – Cradle Mountain to Stanley

Day 7 – Stanley to Launceston (via Devonport and Sheffield)

Day 8 – Launceston to Bay of Fires (via Tamar Valley)

Day 9 – Bay of Fires

Day 10 – Bay of FIres to Coles Bay (Freycinet)

Day 11 – Coles Bay Freycinet)

Day 12 – Coles Bay to Port Arthur

Day 13 – Port Arthur to Richmond

Day 14 – Richmond to Hobart

When it comes to the structure of this 14-day Tasmania itinerary, I understand that  everyone has different travel priorities , and that’s why I’ve provided multiple options on some days so you can choose the place or activity that suits you best.

For some travellers, family-friendly activities are essential. Or perhaps you want to focus on the outdoors over historic sites? Maybe you prefer to self-cater, rather than eat out. And of course many of us need to stretch our travel dollar as far as it can go, while others will want to experience the Lap of Tasmania in luxury.

It is so important to me that your Tasmania road trip is as special as possible, no matter what your style of travel – which is why I have tailored this Tasmania itinerary to be extremely flexible and adjustable.

You can follow this itinerary exactly, or adjust it to suit your own preferences . Clockwise or anti-clockwise doesn’t matter at all – it’s that easy!

If you have any questions at all, or need more advice, we would love to hear from you over in our Lap of Tasmania Facebook Group . It is a super-friendly community without any grumpy buggers or keyboard warriors to spoil your fun – come and say g’day 😊

I feel that 14 days is the ideal amount of time for a Tasmania driving holiday .

The distance covered per day in this itinerary varies from as little as 110km up to 250km at the most, and this means you can drive around at a leisurely pace while still making the most of your time in Tasmania.

To ensure you aren’t feeling too rushed I’ve also included 2-night stays in the 5 most popular locations.

That’s enough chat… let’s get this show on the road!

Day 1: Hobart to Derwent Bridge (via Mt Field)

📌  Derwent Valley

  • New Norfolk – St Matthews church, Bush Inn and Drill Hall Emporium.
  • Pulpit Rock lookout
  • Mt Field – Russell Falls short walk, Waterfalls Cafe and Gallery (souvenirs!)
  • Westerway – Westerway Raspberry Farm (Dec-Mar) – OR – Platypus spotting
  • Hamilton – Kingdom Gallery at Glen Clyde House
  • Tarraleah – Highland cows and Hydro history
  • Budget –  Highland Cabins and Cottages   (Bronte Park – 20mins from Derwent Bridge)
  • Mid-Range – Derwent Bridge Chalets and Studios (Derwent Bridge)
  • Indulgence – Tarraleah Lodge (Tarraleah)
  • Camping – Mt Field National Park – OR – Left of Field (Mt Field)

Read More : Best Places to Stay in the Derwent Valley

🗺️ Got a couple of extra days? Extend your road trip!

For me, the Derwent Valley is one of Tasmania’s most special places and you could easily spend 3 or 4 nights in the region.

If you have the time, I recommend basing yourself in New Norfolk at the stunning  Explorers Lodge B&B ( read my review here ) and using it as a base to drive up to Mt Field, and out to Maydena, Lake Pedder and Strathgordon.

One other region that flies waaaay under the radar is the Central Highlands of Tasmania. Reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands, you will love a couple of nights at the gorgeous  Ratho Farm  in Bothwell ( read my review here ) and doing day-trips into the surrounding region.

Day 2: Derwent Bridge to Strahan

  • Wall in the Wilderness wood carving – OR – Lake St Clair walking trails
  • Drive the ’99 Bends’
  • Franklin River Nature Trail
  • Nelson Falls Nature trail
  • Queenstown – Iron Blow Lookout
  • Option 1: RoamWild Tour   – OR – Mountain biking on Mt Owen
  • Option 2: Explore Queenstown by foot (Paragon Theatre, Soggy Brolly shared art space, Missing Tiger book store, historic Empire Hotel)
  • Drive to Strahan
  • Budget – Strahan Village (Strahan)
  • Bed and Breakfast – Harrison House B&B (Strahan)
  • Luxe – Wheelhouse Apartments (Strahan)
  • Camping – Big4 Strahan Holiday Retreat (Strahan)

🥂 Special Offer - Harrison House B&B

Book the ‘Bed, Breakfast & Boat’ package with Harrison House B&B, and when you mention the Lap of Tasmania you will also receive your choice of either:

V alid for direct bookings only.

Strahan is a small town with limited late night dining options – especially on a Sunday.

View 42 (all week), Hamers Bar & Bistro (all week), and Risby Cove  (Wed-Sun) are your three best options, but make sure you arrive before 8:30pm. Regatta Point Tavern is also a good option, however they are only open from 6-8pm for dinner (all week).

For other venues around town try to arrive before 6:30pm.

Day 3: Strahan

  • Gordon River & Macquarie Harbour Cruise – Promo Code : LAPOFTAS for 10% OFF
  • Ocean Beach
  • Platypus spotting at Hogarth Falls (Strahan) – OR – Henty Dunes
  • Strahan – The Ship That Never Was

🗺️ Want more time on the West Coast? Queenstown is fantastic!

Queenstown is one of the most fascinating towns you will find anywhere in Australia.

Stay an extra night or two on your way to/from Strahan and discover its emerging arts scene and stark landscapes with a couple of nights at historic Penghana B&B ( read my review ). 

Many road trippers tell me that the West Coast Wilderness Railway is at its best when you start from the Queenstown end as well! 

Day 4: Strahan to Cradle Mountain

  • ‘River and Rainforest’ Wilderness Railway Tour
  • Zeehan – Spray Tunnel (if time allows)
  • Vale of Belvoir Lookout
  • Cradle Mountain Village – Explore short walks around the interpretation centre
  • Best of the Best – Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village  – Promo Code:  LAPOFTAS  for  10% OFF
  • Camping – Discovery Parks Cradle Mountain  – Promo Code:  LAPOFTAS  for  20% OFF
  • Budget  – Cradle Mountain Highlanders  
  • Luxe – Cradle Mountain Lodge

Read More: Cradle Mountain Accommodation – 6 Amazing Places to Stay

Day 5: Cradle Mountain

🍴 Breakfast – Your accommodation – OR – Cradle Mountain Hotel (non-guests are allowed)

  • Option 1: Dove Lake loop walk
  • Option 2: Cradle Canyons Tour (summer)
  • Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery
  • Waldheim Alpine Spa – Spa Treatment
  • Peppers Lodge – Wine and cheese tasting
  • ‘After Dark’ Tassie Devil feeding tour
  • Best of the Best – Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village –  Promo Code:  LAPOFTAS for 10% OFF
  • Camping – Discovery Parks Cradle Mountain –  Promo Code:  LAPOFTAS  for  20% OFF

😍 Special Offer - Cradle Mountain Accommodation

Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village Resort is my favourite accommodation at Cradle Mountain, and after reaching out to them I was so happy when Andy and the team became a Partner of the Lap of Tasmania, helping road trippers find the perfect place to stay and keeping your holiday costs as low as possible 😊

Use the LAPOFTAS code and SAVE 10% when you stay at Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village Resort !

Day 6: Cradle Mountain to Stanley

  • Hellyer Gorge scenic drive
  • Table Cape – Lighthouse
  • Table Cape – Tulip Farm (Sep-Oct)
  • Boat Harbour Beach
  • Drive on to Stanley
  • Highfield House – Self-guided tour
  • The ‘Nut’ – Chairlift to the top of the ‘Nut
  • The ‘Nut’ – Explore the walking trails on top
  • Camping – BIG4 Stanley Holiday Park (Stanley)
  • Budget –  Stanley Upstairs (Stanley)
  • Bed and Breakfast – The Ark Stanley (Stanley)
  • Indulgence – Horizon Deluxe Apartments (Stanley)

Special Offer - The Ark Stanley

Mention the Lap of Tasmania when booking your relaxing stay at The Ark Stanley and receive:

  • Late checkout to noon!

Check prices and availability

Day 7: Stanley to Launceston (via Devonport and Sheffield)

  • Coastal drive
  • Burnie – Tastings at Hellyers Distillery
  • Turner’s Beach – The Berry Patch
  • Penguin – The ‘Big Penguin’
  • See Ulverstone and Devonport
  • Latrobe – Anvers Chocolates
  • Sheffield – Explore the murals
  • Ashgrove Cheese / Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm / Van Diemens Land Creamery
  • Hagley – Hazelbrae Hazelnuts   (enjoy a picnic in their beautiful orchard!)
  • See the historic towns of Deloraine, Westbury and Hadspen on your way to Launceston.
  • Camping – Discovery Parks Hadspen –  Promo Code:  LAPOFTAS  for  20% OFF
  • Budget – Leisure Inn Penny Royal Apartments  
  • Mid-Range – Kurrajong House  
  • Modern – Hotel Verge  
  • Indulgence – Peppers Silo 

Read More : Best Places to Stay in Launceston

Day 8: Launceston to Bay of Fires (via Tamar Valley)

  • Launceston – Cataract Gorge – OR – Tamar Wetlands Walk
  • Tamar Valley Wineries (after 11am) – Moores Hill, Small Wonder
  • Bridestowe Lavender Farm (allow an extra 40mins drive time)
  • ‘Tin Dragon’ Trail – See the historic towns of Branxholm, Derby and Weldborough
  • Pyengana – Pyengana Dairy Farm Gate Cafe, St Columba Falls, Pub in the Paddock
  • Mountain bikers will want at least half a day to ride the world-class trails of ‘Blue Derby’
  • Camping – Big4 St Helens Holiday Park (St Helens)
  • Budget – Queechy Motel   (St Helens)
  • Relaxing B&B – Beaumaris Beach Guest House  (Beaumaris Beach)
  • Indulgence – Sea Eagle Cottage (Binalong Bay)

🎉 Special Offer - Beaumaris Beach Guest House

Use my LAPOFTAS code when booking your beach escape at Beaumaris Beach Guest House and receive 5% OFF all room rates !

Valid for direct bookings only , and not available in combination with other offers.

Day 9: Bay of Fires

  • Bay of Fires Eco Tour (by boat)
  • Lease 65 Oysters
  • Option 1: Explore the Bay of Fires beaches, dunes and coves north of Binalong Bay
  • Option 2: Visit Suncoast Gallery, The Shop in the Bush, and Priority Ridge Winery (Sep-May)
  • Sunset over the rocks of Binalong Bay ( here )
  • Budget – Queechy Motel   (St Helens)
  • Relaxing B&B –  Beaumaris Beach Guest House (Beaumaris Beach)

Day 10: Bay of Fires to Coles Bay (Freycinet)

  • Four Mile Creek – Tastings at Ironhouse Brewery
  • Douglas Apsley National Park – Apsley River Waterhole
  • Bicheno – The Bicheno blowhole
  • Freycinet Marine Farm
  • Friendly Beaches
  • Cape Tourville Lighthouse
  • Camping – Big4 Iluka on Freycinet (Coles Bay)
  • Great Value B&B – Freycinet Waters B&B   (Swansea – 40mins from Coles Bay)
  • Indulgence – Freycinet Lodge  (Coles Bay)
  • Ultimate Luxury – Picnic Island (Coles Bay)

🌞 Special Offer - Freycinet Waters B&B

Mention the Lap of Tasmania when booking your cosy seaside retreat at Freycinet Waters and receive:

Day 11: Coles Bay (Freycinet)

  • Option 1: Wineglass Bay Cruise
  • Option 2: Walk to Wineglass Bay Lookout and then either spend the rest of the morning looping back via Hazards Beach, or return the same way you went in and then explore Coles Bay until lunch
  • Option 1: If you book the cruise then lunch is provided
  • Option 2: Enjoy lunch at The Bay Restaurant at Freycinet Lodge
  • Option 3: Enjoy a casual meal at Geographe Restaurant and Espresso Bar (Coles Bay)
  • Option 1: Freycinet and Maria Island scenic flight
  • Option 2: Visit Providore Wine Glass (Freycinet Lodge) and then enjoy a Tasmanian Tasting session – wine, whisky or gin – at the Lodge (Freycinet Lodge)

Day 12: Coles Bay to Port Arthur

  • Apslawn Wineries – Devil’s Corner, Spring Vale and Milton vineyards
  • Swansea – Spiky Bridge and Spiky Beach

🌊 Maria Island Cruises - 10% OFF

Located halfway between Freycinet and the Tasman Peninsula, Maria Island is my favourite place in Tasmania, and it is an absolute ‘must’ if you can squeeze it into your itinerary!

Let the wonderful crew at  Maria Island Cruises   take care of you as you enjoy one of their two cruise/walk combo tours departing from Triabunna.

Both tours provide the opportunity to spend time on the island exploring by foot, but you also get the choice of either a full circumnavigation of the island, or a cruise to the stunning Ile des Phoques.

Use my  LAPOFTAS  code and receive  10% OFF  your cruise!

Valid for direct bookings only.

  • Pirate’s Bay Lookout
  • Tessellated Pavement – OR – Officer’s Quarters Museum (Eaglehawk Neck)
  • Tasman Arch
  • Devil’s Kitchen
  • Remarkable Cave
  • Port Arthur Ghost Tour
  • Camping – NRMA Port Arthur Holiday Park   (Port Arthur)
  • Budget – Port Arthur Villas (Port Arthur)
  • Relaxing Bed and Breakfast – Storm Bay B&B (White Beach – 10mins from Port Arthur)
  • Indulgence – Stewarts Bay Lodge (Port Arthur)

🌞 Special Offer - Storm Bay B&B

Use my LAPOFTAS code online, or mention the Lap of Tasmania when booking your relaxing escape at  Storm Bay B&B on the beautiful Tasman Peninsula and receive:

  • 10% OFF stays of 2-nights or longer

Valid for direct bookings only. Some blockout dates may apply. Not applicable to tours booked through Storm Bay B&B.

Day 13: Port Arthur to Richmond

  • Port Arthur Historic Site
  • Richmond Village – See St John’s Church, Richmond Bridge, historic Main Street, Richmond Gaol, and the Richmond Wine Wall
  • Wicked Cheese
  • Pooley Wines – OR – Coal River Farm
  • Families – Tara’s Richmond Farmstay  
  • Budget – Every Man and His Dog Vineyard  
  • B&B –  Mulberry Cottage  
  • Luxury and Romance – Prospect Country House   – Stay 3 Nights & Pay for 2 – Mention the Lap of Tasmania over the phone to claim!

    Looking for a romantic escape?

Stay 3-nights & Pay for 2  at gorgeous Prospect Country House. Just mention the Lap of Tasmania when making your booking over the phone! – Check Prices Here

Day 14: Richmond to Hobart

  • Mt Wellington Summit
  • Salamanca Market (Saturday) – OR – Farm Gate Market (Sunday)
  • Hobart Waterfront – Salamanca, Brooke Street Pier
  • Visit Beauty and the Bees
  • Lark Distillery
  • Kelly’s Steps
  • Walk to Battery Point and explore
  • Alternative Option – Hobart’s Hop-on Hop-off Bus
  • MONA Ferry and Museum – Splurge and get a ‘Posh Pit’ ticket ( my guide )
  • Sunset drinks at The Glass House
  • Camping – Discovery Parks Hobart –  Promo Code:  LAPOFTAS  for  20% OFF
  • Bed & Breakfast (south side) – Waterview Gardens B&B (Margate)
  • Bed & Breakfast (east side) – Oceana B&B (Howrah)
  • Budget (Families) – Bay Hotel Apartments  
  • Budget (Historic) – Edinburgh Gallery  
  • Mid-Range – RACV Hobart Hotel  
  • Indulgence – MACq 01  – OR –  MONA Pavilions  

Read More : Best Places to Stay in Hobart

🌞 Special Offer - Waterview Gardens B&B

Mention the  Lap of Tasmania  when booking your delightful Hobart getaway at  Waterview Gardens B&B  and receive:

  • 10% OFF  your booking; and
  • FREE bottle of bubbles 🍾 – OR –  cheese platter 🧀 upon arrival!

Plan your Tasmania road trip

I hope you have found my 14-day Tasmania road trip itinerary useful in planning your holiday!

To put it all together just takes 5 simple steps…

  • Learn more about the Lap of Tasmania,  the best time to visit and places to see
  • Plan your road trip itinerary (right here!)
  • Book your flight or ferry to Tasmania
  • Book your hire car or campervan
  • Book your accommodation

Happy travels, Andrew.

ps. If this is your first time visiting Tasmania, or you are a bit nervous about planning your road trip, then you will love my eBook – “ How to Plan Your Tasmania Road Trip “. It  takes you through the whole process in easy-to-follow steps and also includes a free Holiday Planner that you can use for Tasmania and any other holiday you take in the future!

Travel planning resources

Tasmania’s remote location means there are internet ‘black spots’ across the island. 

A hard copy travel guide or map is the perfect backup, and I love the range from Lonely Planet.

Guide to Tasmania

Map of tasmania, road trip guide.

Picture of Andrew Strikis

Andrew Strikis

We acknowledge and pay respect to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community as the traditional owners  and continuing custodians  of  this island lutruwita (Tasmania).

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Claire's Footsteps

All Destinations , Australasia , Australia , Overland Itineraries , Plan Your Trip

The best road trip in tasmania itinerary (2024 guide).

travel tasmania by car

Are you looking for the ultimate road trip Tasmania itinerary?

The small Australian island is jam-packed full of enchanting waterfalls, mountains screaming out to be climbed and many of Australia’s best trails to explore.

You’ll probably feel a bit overwhelmed at all of the things to do in Tasmania at first; which is where this Tasmania road trip itinerary comes in!

This ultimate Tasmania itinerary accounts for the very best national parks, mountains, lakes and culture in the Australian state.

Whether you’re on a backpacking trip around Australia or visiting Tasmania with your family, there’s plenty for all sorts to enjoy in the Australian state.

How to prepare for this Tasmania road trip itinerary

This Tasmania itinerary begins in Devonport and loops around in a circle; this is presum ing you’ll be taking the Spirit of Tasmania ferry from Melbourne with your own vehicle.

If you have your own car already, this is the most cost-effective option, despite the high ferry cost!

If you don’t have a car, fear not, lots of companies in Hobart offer great rental deals.

If you’re planning on flying into Tasmania , just begin this Tasmania itinerary in Hobart and follow the loop around from there!

This itinerary covers three weeks in Tasmania, but there aren’t many days off!

If you want to explore at a more leisurely pace, I’d recommend four weeks in Tasmania.

If you have less time, there are shorter itinerary options at the end.

These obviously do not cover Tasmania in as much detail, but they focus on smaller areas which enable you to see as much as possible in a shorter time.

Are you ready for the ultimate road trip in Tasmania itinerary?

Let’s go! First things first, book your overnight ferry from Melbourne to Devonport. We pick up this itinerary in Devonport the next day!

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Suggested time – half a day

Arrive in Devonport bright and early!

There isn’t a huge amount to do in Devonport apart from some pretty beaches and a few cafes.

If you’re feeling energised and ready to take on Tasmania after some caffeine, move straight to stop 2…

Known as ‘ The Platypus Capital of the World ’, Latrobe is a popular place to spot the rare mammal.

Take part in a platypus tour, where you will be taken to the best spots to spot the animal, or just try and spot one in the wild yourself!

Spend a night between Latrobe and Sheffield.

Either find a camp spot using WikiCamps or search for hotels in Latrobe or Sheffield by clicking here .

travel tasmania by car

Sheffield is a distinctly unique little town.

In a quaint  community spirit unlike anywhere else, the town is adorned with murals depicting its history.

Find out the story of all of the village’s local characters by going through its street art .

There are also quirky cafes aplenty and a really interesting antique shop to browse.

Liffey Falls

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Your first nature stop on your Tasmania road trip itinerary!

Liffey Falls are gorgeous waterfalls up a gravel road.

A short walk from the car park to the falls ensures that they are very secluded , and the roaring water makes for a perfect picnic backdrop!

Also on site is a ‘big tree’ – spoiler – it’s huge.

Stay the night in Bridport, or at a campsite between Liffey Falls and Mount William. Check out hotels in Bridport by clicking here . 

You could also check out Launceston, the perfect place for a weekend away , en route.

If you’re after a day or two of relaxing and unwinding, this city is ideal for you!

Mount William

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Drive Eastwards towards Mount William in the North Eastern corner of Tasmania.

Mount William is an easy 45-minute hike (one way) to a summit that offers amazing views of bushland and coastline.

And if you’re lucky, you might catch one of these cuties in the car park…

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Bay of Fires

Suggested time – 1.5 days

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Head South from Mount William to the Bay of Fires .

Named in this way because Western settlers saw fire coming from the beaches as they approached, the area is known for gorgeous sandy coves and azure waters.

Binalong Bay was my favourite little town in the area, with amazing tropical-feeling beaches and a small town community.

Things to do in the Bay of Fires

  • Eddystone Point Lighthouse – this 37-meter high-lighthouse has saved many ships over its 130-year history. It offers scenic views and interesting architecture.
  • Walk along the white sand beaches and swim in the clear waters
  • The Gardens Conservation Area – a 20 km self-drive will take you past some of the areas most scenic spots of coastline
  • See the Red Rocks – even though they look fiery, they’re not actually how the region got its name (it did so from Aboriginal people lighting fires along the coast). But the red rocks have become symbolic of the area and are a must-visit in the Bay of Fires.
  • Halls Falls – Located 45 minutes west of Binalong Bay, Halls Falls is an easy but secluded hike through Eucalyptus trees.
  • Grants Lagoon – This is situated just behind Binalong Bay and is somewhat sheltered from the elements – the lagoon water is often a few degrees warmer than the actual sea water.

Find a campsite on WikiCamps, or if you prefer solid walls, check out the best hotels in Binalong Bay by clicking here .

Freycinet National Park

Suggested time – 1-2 days

travel tasmania by car

One of the islands’ most iconic photographs is that of Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park and it will be a highlight of your 3 weeks in Tasmania.

It’s a beautiful beach scene that looks – quite literally – like a wine glass, with beautiful blue seas on each shore.

Things to do in Freycinet National Park

  • Mount Amos – This mountain offers a panoramic view of the surroundings and the bay itself. You can also hike to the beach of Wineglass Bay, where you can enjoy a dip in the cool waters as a reward!
  • Cape Tourville Lighthouse – This is a 20-minute walk, and offers panoramic vistas of the national park at the end
  • Honeymoon Bay Beach – it’s every bit as picturesque as it sounds, Honeymoon Bay Beach is perfectly tranquil and absolutely stunning
  • Sleepy Bay – This fantastically named bay is a short 10-minute walk, taking you past some spectacular lookout points. Head down to the very end to see a beautiful view over the bay.
  • The Hazards – viewable from outside the park, The Hazards are four granite mountains that change colour during sunrise and sunset – they’re every photographer’s dream.

Stay the night in a campsite near Freycinet National Park or in one of the hotels – click here to view them .

Tasman Peninsula

Suggested time – 1-3 days

travel tasmania by car

Onwards to the Tasman Peninsula!

There are three capes you can traverse here. If you’re an avid hiker and have the time, you could do them all – if not, select the best one for you by using the details below.

Walks on the Tasman Peninsula

  • Cape Pillar Hike – this two day long hike is very long – 30 kms in total, and the first day 22 kms must be covered as the only place to camp (unless you are with a tour) is 8 kms from the start/ finish point. The views at the end are spectacular – you’re right on the edge of the cape and can see for miles. However, if you don’t like long hikes, this may not be for you.
  • Cape Raoul  – this 14 kilometre hike takes you through dense jungle and eventually peters out to oceanic views and sheer cliff. Great for those who like day hikes and speedy hikers, the edge of Cape Raoul will give you views to Hobart, Bruny Island and other spots of the Tasman Peninsula.
  • Cape Hauy  – starting from Fortescue Bay, this 8 kilometre hike is ideal for those who like spectacular views without huge distances. With gorgeous ocean and land views from the start, this cape walk is a beautiful way to see the dramatic coastline of the Tasman Peninsula.

Other things to do on the Tasman Peninsula

  • The Eaglehawk Tessellated Pavement – the sheer power of the sea has caused this rock surface to be eroded to form a resemblance to a mosaic – it’s a really unique natural attraction!
  • The Tasman Arch – this arch is another wonderful natural phenomenon that’s well worth checking out
  • The Tasman Blow Hole – At high tide, this blow hole can create a huge gush of water; don’t stand too close!

There are plenty of free and paid-for campsites around the Tasman Peninsula or hotels in the area. Click here to browse .

Port Arthur

Suggested time – 1 day

travel tasmania by car

Located within the village of Port Arthur is one of Australia’s most significant historic sites. It tells the story of the convict settlers of the area and was also the site of the worst mass murder in Australian history. It’s an area steeped in history that’s vital for understanding  Australia’s convict past.

Things to do in Port Arthur

  • The historical sites tell the story of Port Arthur as a convict site. Be sure to go on a historical tour with the informative guides.
  • Port Arthur ghost tours tell some of the haunting tales of spooky happenings in the jail.
  • The Totem Pole and Candlestick Walk is an 8.8-kilometre bush walk with the opportunity to climb up rock formations at the end.
  • Check out the Maingon Bay lookout, which is one of the best oceanic views on the peninsula.
  • If you’re visiting in November, December or January, check out the Port Arthur Lavender Farm for some amazing smells and great photo opportunities!

You’ll be able to stay in the same place as you did the night before or head to Hobart when you finish your day out and stay in a hotel or campsite there.

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Suggested time – 2-4 days

It’s time to touch down in Tasmania’s capital!

Hobart is a hidden gem, a wonderful city bursting with culture and holding immense beauty. It’s an essential to visit, even if you only have 1 week in Tasmania.

The Best Things to do in Hobart

  • The Docklands – on a sunny day these look wonderfully idyllic and inviting, with colourful boats and ramshackle coffee shops lining the edge.
  • The Tasmania National Museum and Art Gallery  – this free entry museum contains a few interesting exhibitions – including a really informative one about bushfires – and a section about Aboriginal Tasmania which is well worth a look.
  • MONA  – this museum may be what makes Hobart famous, and although it’s kind of pricey to get in, it’s a museum unlike no other, challenging you to really think about life and the world through art.
  • Salamanca Place  – this charming area of Hobart is home to Georgian architecture housing galleries, restaurants and boutiques – perfect for an afternoon’s exploration. On Saturday mornings (8:30am- 3pm) the Salamanca Markets are hosted here, which sell local produce and hand made gifts.
  • Derwent River Cruise  – this historic cruise will tell the tale of the city of Hobart and how it came to be.

Mount Wellington

You can’t visit Hobart without catching a sunset or sunrise at Mount Wellington.

One of my favourite bits of travel advice ever was “if you can see the top of Mount Wellington when you get to Hobart, stop whatever you’re doing and get the hell up there”. (Thanks David, a volunteer at the Devonport tourist information centre).

It will be a highlight on your entire road trip in Australia . Drive right up to the peak and be AMAZED at the view spreading out beneath you. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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If you’ve got a bit of time, try to catch sunrise as well!

Accommodation in Hobart

Even if you’re camping around Tasmania, Hobart is a great spot to recharge in some city-centre accommodation.

Here are some of the best places to stay in Hobart.

Budget: Montacute Boutique Bunkhouse is a hostel that will change your opinion of budget accommodation. Each dorm is intricately furnished, and there is a lovely common area and BBQ to enjoy as well as balconies with mountain views. If you don’t want to stay in a dorm room you can opt for a private bunkroom or queen bedroom. On-site is free parking, free luggage storage and free WiFi. Click here for rates and book today .

Mid-Range:  Riverfront Motel & Villas is perfect for families or those wanting outdoor-based accommodation without camping. Providing a mix of motel-style and villa accommodation, it is located close to MONA. Laundry facilities, a BBQ and a restaurant and bar are on site.  Click here for rates and to book today .

Luxury:  Ibis Styles Hobart is a great luxury spot within the city. On site is a swimming pool and a fitness centre and the rooms are decorated in a state-of-the-art style. It’s in a great location to Hobart centre and Salamanca Market. Click here for rates and to book today .

Bruny Island

Suggested time 1-2 days

travel tasmania by car

Next up, hop on a boat from Hobart to Bruny Island.

Bruny Island offers coastal walks, scenic views and great food and wine. There’s nothing quite like the scenery of the island, and there’s an adventure here to suit everybody.

Things to do on Bruny Island

  • Head to the gorgeous beaches of the island
  • Visit the Bruny Island lighthouse, the second oldest lighthouse in Australia, for an amazing sunset view
  • Sample some of the amazing foods and wines of the island by touring some of the farms and shops – the Bruny Island Berry Farm is a firm favourite, and there are lots of vineyards on the island selling amazing wines.
  • Take one of the many walking trails on the island

Stay a night or two on Bruny Island. There are campsites on WikiCamps or click here to look here for accommodation . 

Mount Field

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This national park, perfect for practising your travel photography , excels in waterfalls and tall trees – with a 2.5-hour loop walk taking you to the best of both!

Best Spots to Visit in Mount Field National Park

  • Russell Falls
  • Horseshoe Falls
  • Lake Dobson for a scenic, quiet swim – and for downhill skiing in winter!
  • Tall Trees Walk – a 30-minute circuit starring the world’s tallest flowering plant

There are plenty of accommodation options and campsites near the national park. Click here for hotels near Mount Field .

Lake St Clair

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Beautiful Lake St Clair is the deepest lake in Australia.

There are many hikes you can do from the national park, and it’s also where the overland track, a 60-kilometre odyssey through wild Tasmania finishes.

The Best Hikes in Lake St Clair National Park

  • Mount Rufus is an ever-changing hike with a beautiful peak, great views and varied terrain making the walk back really interesting!
  • Shadow Lake is well worth a walk around
  • Of course, relaxing by the lake and enjoying some of the shorter walks is also a great way to take in Lake St Clair

There are hotels around the national park that are great for a night’s stay – click here to view them . Alternatively, you could camp near the park. 

Heading to the West Coast, Strahan is a port town known as one of the country’s most beautiful seaside towns.

It’s a somewhat sleepy place, but there are a few things to do in Strahan that make visiting the West Coast town worthwhile.

Things to do in Strahan

  • Take a boat trip to Sarah Island , which was once a convict prison and has lots of history.
  • Artisan shops in the town
  • Huge sand dunes (perfect for boarding!) along a rugged beach
  • The Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park which Strahan serves as a gateway to. This is Tasmania’s greatest wilderness and is a fantastic place to hike in.

For hotels in Strahan, click here . 

Cradle Mountain

travel tasmania by car

Cradle Mountain may be the highlight of your Tasmania road trip itinerary.

Its jagged peaks have certainly inspired many an explorer to the island, and heaps of people dream about scaling the mountain one day.

Things to do in Cradle Mountain National Park

  •  If you’re a keen hiker or climber, the Cradle Mountain summit hike   should be number one on your list – it is without a doubt one of the best hikes in Tasmania . It wasn’t something I was planning on doing. But for some reason, on the day, I found myself on the top of that thing. It was the scariest experience of my life. I’m so glad I did it, but it’s really not for the faint-hearted (it was much scarier than Huashan, the supposed most dangerous mountain in China ). You have been warned!
  • Marion’s Lookout Walk enables you to see Cradle Mountain and snap an iconic feature – without actually climbing up the thing. It’s a bit of a climb to reach this lookout, as you can also see some of the park from a birds-eye view.
  • Dove Lake Circuit is an easy walk with a view of Cradle Mountain looming above. This is a great walk for those who don’t like hiking but do love nature.

If you’re camping, there are plenty of spots, both free and paid, around the National Park.

If you’re looking for a room, you could stay in Somerset .

travel tasmania by car

Now it’s time for the North Coast!

Stanley is a gorgeous little seaside town where everything looks astonishingly perfect. It’s small and quiet, but it’s a wonderful place to explore to have a bit of contrast from all the hikes.

If you’re spending 2 weeks in Tasmania or longer, it’s a nice addition to your road trip itinerary.

Things to do in Stanley

  • Climb up The Nut, an ancient volcanic crater.
  • Treat yourself at one of the many ice creameries lining the quaint high street.
  • If it’s warm, the beach is lovely, with calm, kind of warm waters and beautiful views. It’s one of my favourite swim spots in Australia!

Here are some more amazing things to do in Stanley .

Searching for somewhere to stay in Stanley? There are campsites near the town or check here for the best accommodation deals in Stanley itself .

 North Coast

travel tasmania by car

Finish your Tasmania road trip by checking out some of the North Coast highlights. These can be encompassed in a Stanley – Devonport drive.

Best Parts of the North Coast

  • The beautiful beaches of Boat Harbour Bay
  • The town of Bernie
  • Penguin , where if you’re lucky you might see fairy penguins darting on shore at dusk.

If you’ve got another night until your boat back to the mainland, find a campsite on WikiCamps or check out the best places to stay in Devonport .

Back to where you began! Get to Devonport in good time for your Spirit of Tasmania return to Melbourne this evening.

Shorter Tasmania Road Trip Itineraries

“This all sounds great… but I just don’t have the time!” I hear you cry.

Have no fear.

Here are some itineraries for 3 day, 5 day, 7 day, 10 day and 2 week trips to Tasmania.

You can still feel the Tassie magic, even with a shorter amount of time!

Tasmania Road Trip 3 Days

travel tasmania by car

If you only have 3 days in Tasmania, you’ll have to focus on a specific area of the state. Here are my recommendations:

Option One – from Devonport or use alternative day 3 for from Hobart

  • Day 1 : From Devonport, drive south to Cradle Mountain – or drive north from Hobart. Spend a day hiking in the national park.
  • Day 2:  Explore Lake St Clair National Park.
  • Day 3:  See Stanley and the Nut, as well as the north coast en route back to Devonport.
  • Alternative Day 3:  Drive to Mount Field National Park. Spend the day exploring the park before heading back to Hobart.

Option Two – from Devonport or reverse for from Hobart

  • Day 1:  Visit the Bay of Fires.
  • Day 2:  Head to Freycient National Park and hike to one of the Wineglass Bay viewpoints. Then start driving south to Hobart
  • Day 3:  Spend the morning looking around Hobart. Then head back to Devonport to catch the ferry.

Tasmania Road Trip 5 Days

travel tasmania by car

  • Day 1:  Head to Binalong Bay and the Bay of Fires. Spend the day exploring here.
  • Day 2:  Spend the day in Freycient National Park
  • Day 3: See the sights of Hobart
  • Day 4:  Day trip to Bruny Island
  • Day 5:  Visit Port Arthur
  • Day 1:  Head to Cradle Mountain and spend the day in the National Park
  • Day 2:  Head to Lake St Clair National Park and spend the day hiking
  • Day 3:  See Hobart
  • Day 4:  Visit Freycinet National Park
  • Day 5:  Spend the day at the Bay of Fires

Tasmania Road Trip 7 Days

travel tasmania by car

  • Day 1:  Head to the Bay of Fires and spend the day exploring here
  • Day 2:  Go to Freycinet National Park and see Wineglass Bay
  • Day 3:  Visit the Tasman Peninsula and hike one of the capes OR visit Port Arthur
  • Day 4: See Hobart
  • Day 5:  Visit Mount Field National Park
  • Day 6:  See Lake St Clair National Park
  • Day 7:  Hike up Cradle Mountain!

Tasmania Road Trip 10 Days

travel tasmania by car

  • Day 1:  Go to the Bay of Fires
  • Day 2:  Hike around Freycinet National Park
  • Day 3:  Visit the Tasman Peninsula and hike one of the capes
  • Day 4:  Visit Port Arthur
  • Day 5:  See Hobart
  • Day 6:  See Hobart
  • Day 7:  See Mount Field National Park
  • Day 8:  Head to Lake St Clair and hike up Mount Rufus
  • Day 9:  Do some smaller hiking trails around Cradle Mountain National Park
  • Day 10:  Hike up Cradle Mountain

2 Weeks in Tasmania

travel tasmania by car

  • Day 2:  Spend a day chilling around Binalong Bay
  • Day 3: Hike around Freycinet National Park
  • Day 4:  Spend another day in the park
  • Day 5:  Visit the Tasman Peninsula and hike one of the capes
  • Day 6:  Visit Port Arthur
  • Day 7:  See Hobart
  • Day 8:  See Hobart
  • Day 9:  See Mount Field National Park
  • Day 10:  Head to Lake St Clair and hike up Mount Rufus
  • Day 11: See Strahan, go sandboarding and drive along the beach
  • Day 12:  Do some smaller hiking trails around Cradle Mountain National Park
  • Day 13:  Hike up Cradle Mountain
  • Day 14: Head to Stanley and climb up The Nut

Have you ever been to Tasmania? What were your favourite bits if so? Is this Tasmania road trip itinerary useful? Let me know in the comments below!I hope you enjoyed this list of the best things to do in Tasmania! Please share it or follow me on Facebook ! 

If you're thinking of a Tasmania road trip, whether you're spending 1 week in Tasmania, 2 weeks in Tasmania or 3 weeks in Tasmania check out this Tasmania itinerary for all of the best things to do in Tasmania.

2 thoughts on “ The best road trip in Tasmania itinerary (2024 guide) ”

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I have great memories of Tasmania, I can’t understand why so many travellers miss it out. Sounds like you made the most of it though and saw plenty.

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It’s a fantastic place it’s it! Definitely saw a lot, there’s still more to see though. I want to go back and do the Overland Track at some point 🙂

Comments are closed.

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Tasmania road trip (complete 10 day itinerary + tips & map)

By: Author Tracy Collins

Posted on Last updated: March 21, 2024

Are you planning a  Tasmania road trip?  In this article, you will find all the information you need to make the most of your time on this beautiful island.

We have recently returned from a 12-day road trip around Tasmania and in this post, I detail our Tasmania road trip itinerary as well as information about the top things to do and see and great places to stay.

Tasmania is often described as “an island of contrasts” and after our visit, I could not agree more. We experienced beautiful beaches, fantastic views of bays and mountains, amazing wildlife, great walks and incredible food and wine. The smallest state in Australia certainly packs a punch!

Tasmania has been named as one of the top destinations worldwide to visit by numerous travel magazines. About time I say!

A view of the Hazards a mountain range in Freycinet National Park Tasmania

10 reasons to visit Tasmania

How to travel to tasmania, how to travel around tasmania, tasmania road trip map, what to see in hobart and surrounding areas, things to know when visiting hobart, where to stay in hobart, richmond (day 3), tasman peninsula (days 3/4), things to do in freycinet national park, where to stay in freycinet national park, where to stay at the bay of fires, launceston (days 7/8), launceston to cradle mountain (day 8), things to do and see at cradle mountain, where to stay in cradle mountain, hobart (days 11/12), driving in tasmania, when is the best time of year to visit tasmania, tasmania national park pass, useful resources, read more about tasmania.

  • National parks
  • Stunning scenery
  • Amazing wildlife – devils, wombats, echidnas!
  • Wonderful food and wine
  • An interesting history
  • Hikes to suit everyone whatever their ability
  • Beautiful beaches
  • Quaint towns with great names – Melton Mowbray, Richmond, Sheffield and Derby!
  • Art! MONA (more on that later)
  • Stay in some of the most outstanding accommodation available anywhere in the world

Tasmania Itinerary Road Trip

We flew from Brisbane to Tasmania with Virgin Australia .  There are many flights a day from all the major cities in Australia to both Hobart and Launceston.

Flying from Melbourne to Hobart takes around an hour. The flight from Brisbane takes just over 2 hours.

If you want to take your own car/motorhome over to Tasmania there is the option of catching the Spirit of Tasmania ship. This departs from Melbourne and arrives in Devonport approximately 9-11 hours later.

For recent up-to-date costs check out the Spirit of Tasmania website.

Tasmania was made for road tripping!

Whether you decide to hire a car and stay in hotels along the way (as we did) or hire a camper van/motorhome and camp your way around the state you will have an amazing time.

We booked our car with Hertz and were able to pick it up at the airport on arrival. WE found collecting and dropping the car at the airport was a smooth, easy process.

There are lots of things to see and do in Tasmania and unless you have a month or more it is impossible to see everything.

I would suggest identifying the areas you would most like to visit and plan your Tasmania itinerary around that. That is exactly how I planned the trip and generally it worked out well.

Although Tasmania is small don’t rush it – take time to enjoy the different places as you travel around. We spent 3 nights in both Freycinet National Park and Cradle Mountain National Park which gave us some time to truly relax.

View of a boat from a beach in Tasmania

A 10 day Tasmania Road Trip Itinerary

Hobart (Days 1/2/3/ and 11/12)

We flew from Brisbane and arrived at Hobart International Airport in the early afternoon. After picking up our hire car at the airport we drove the 18 kms into the city of Hobart where we had booked a 2-night stay.

Hobart is the capital of Tasmania and Australia’s most southern city. With an estimated population of 220000 Hobart is making itself known on the international stage for 2 things – art and food.

We spent an afternoon on day 1 exploring the city itself. On day 2 we drove out of the city down to Dover and Southport for the day before returning to Hobart in the late afternoon.

To be honest we weren’t bowled over by Hobart and next time I would probably give it a skip and drive straight to the Tasman Peninsula. However, if you haven’t yet been I would recommend spending a day/evening there to go to the markets and explore the waterfront area.

Salamanca Markets

The Salamanca Markets are only on a Saturday so if you really want to go you need to book your trip accordingly. Apparently, they are excellent with about 300 stalls open for business from 8:30 am onwards.

Unfortunately, we missed them as we were in Hobart earlier in the week though we did enjoy a stroll around the waterfront area where the markets are held.

There are numerous restaurants and cafes as well as galleries and shops to explore in the area.

Good to know – arrive earlier rather than later as I hear they start to pack up around 1 pm.

Check out the Salamanca Market website for further details .

Salamanca Market building in Hobart

Mount Wellington

You can’t miss the 1271 metre high Mount Wellington as you drive into Hobart. We did have a great view from our hotel of the mountain but sadly didn’t get a chance to drive up to take photographs of Hobart as cloud covered it on the days we were in the city.

If you are luckier when you visit head up to Mt Wellington via Pinnacle Road for views of the city and harbour.

Check out the Mt Wellington website for further details.

View of Mount Wellington in Hobart Tasmania

MONA the Museum of Old and New Art

We made time at the end of our trip to visit MONA . I hated it. BUT I would still recommend visiting! It is meant to shock and there is clearly a load of irony in the way the collection has been put together by the somewhat eccentric millionaire owner.

From the moment you arrive and actually try to figure out how to get into the damn building (hint – cross the tennis court) to the intentional lack of labels and information on any of the art MONA gives you an experience like no other art gallery does. Confronting in capital letters.

So go. But don’t blame me if you think bleurghhhh what the hell was that!!

Hobart Art Museum artwork room

Bruny Island

We were able to spot Bruny Island during our day 2 trip south of Hobart. The island is becoming a very popular destination for day trips from Hobart though you can stay on the island too.

Take a  bushwalk in the South Bruny National Park or take an eco-cruise to explore its coastline. Look out for seals, penguins, and wallabies and other wildlife.

Bruny Island also has some excellent local produce too including wine, cheese, truffles, berries and fresh oysters.

If a trip to the island is something you would enjoy there are plenty of recommended tour options available including:

  • Bruny Island: Full-Day Food and Wine Tour from Hobart
  • Bruny Island Wilderness Cruise
  • Bruny Island Wilderness Coast Eco-Tour from Hobart

If you have time you could add a night or two staying on the island into your Tasmania itinerary.

  • Although quite small Hobart does have a one-way system on many of the roads in the centre of town.
  • Hobart is a great city to explore on foot.
  • The main shopping area in the centre of Hobart is the Elizabeth Street Mall.
  • There are lots of great cafes/bars and restaurants in the waterfront area of the town so head down there for a coffee or a bite to eat!
  • Beware visiting when the cruise ships are in port. It is a favourite destination of the floating hotels and you could find it a little busier than anticipated if a million passengers disembark at once.

We found the hotels in Hobart relatively expensive.

Whatever your budget I would recommend finding something closer to the city centre within walking distance of the waterfront or actually on the waterfront itself.

There are AirBnb’s available in Hobart if you prefer.

We stayed at the RACV/RACT Hobart Apartment Hotel which was a 5-minute walk to the waterfront area. The room was clean, spacious, the bed was comfortable. Parking is available and is free to RACV/RACT members.

Salamanca Markets in Hobart.

On day 3 we left Hobart to head to the Tasman Peninsula for a 2 night stay. The drive to the Peninsula only takes about an hour and a half and is 100 km from Hobart.

On the way we took a small detour to the town of Richmond which is 26 km (30 mins) from Hobart. The most famous landmark in Richmond is the bridge which was built in 1823. We parked on the main street and took a stroll down to the river and bridge.

There are lots of beautiful heritage buildings to admire in the town. With arts and craft centres, galleries and a choice of tea houses as well as a convict-era gaol (the oldest in Australia) Richmond is definitely worth a few hours to explore.

Richmond is also home to the Pooseum a place where “talking about poo is not taboo” This science museum is dedicated entirely to yes you’ve guessed it animal droppings.

Although we didn’t go the reviews on Trip Advisor for the museum are excellent so if you have an interest in finding out all about poo this is the place to visit!

Richmond Tasmania.

After a few hours in Richmond we drove the 80 km onto the Tasman Peninsula itself.

If you are driving down towards Port Arthur you will be on the A9 Arthur Highway which passes the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo . I had read good report about the place so we stopped to explore further.

The Unzoo is built around the concept of inviting us into the natural habitat of the animal. Rather than animals being exhibited in cages as in a traditional zoo the park aims to immerse the visitors in the habitat. It is an interesting concept and in some areas they are definitely succeeding.

This is a great place to see devils and if you can time it do try to be there when they feed them! Watching a devil bite through bone like it was a piece of cheese was incredible!

Over the last 20 years over 95% of the devil population has been wiped out by a cancer that causes facial tumours and death within 6 months. At present there is no known cure and insurance populations of disease free devils have been created in an effort to prevent their extinction.

Unfortunately the only wild devil we saw in Tasmania was dead by the side of the road.

Information about visiting the Unzoo:

Location:  5990 Arthur Highway Taranna

Costs:  Adult $36 Child $20

Opening hours:  9 – 6 (summer) otherwise 9-5

Tasmanian devils and the Unzoo.

After  couple of hours at the Unzoo we drove to Port Arthur itself where we had booked one night at Stewarts Bay Lodge . The Lodge is located in Port Arthur and was ideally located for our visit to the former prison colony the next day.

We spent the rest of the afternoon at the beach located about 5-minute walk from our cabin before having a lovely evening meal in the on-site restaurant.

If you are looking for accommodation in Port Arthur I would highly recommend the cabins at Stewarts Bay Lodge . They were clean, well equipped and perfectly located.

CLICK HERE for up-to-date prices and to book a stay at Stewarts Bay Lodge.

Port Arthur 1

On day 4 we visited  Port Arthur Historical Site . The site is one of 11 places across Australia that make up the  UNESCO World Heritage-listed Australian Convict Sites.

We spent a few hours exploring the site and learnt so much about the history of both Port Arthur and the lives of the convicts who were sent there.

I would recommend attending the introductory talk when you first arrive and also taking the included boat trip around the bay. There are a number of tours available to book including the very popular Port Arthur Ghost Tour. I can only imagine how creepy the place is after dark!

Additional information coming in my post dedicated to visiting Port Arthur Historic Site soon.

Good to know – Check that there isn’t a cruise ship dropping a few thousand passengers off the day you plan to go!

Richmond Tasmania.

Freycinet National Park (Wineglass Bay) (Days 4/5/6 )

After spending a few hours at Port Arthur Historic Site we drove 240 kms (just over 3 hours) to Freycinet National Park where we had booked accommodation for 3 nights.

I have to say this is one of the most spectacular places I have ever stayed anywhere in the world. We spent 3 nights at the beautiful and very luxurious Edge of the Bay resort which overlooks Coles Bay and the Hazards Mountain Range.

This is THE place to go to recharge your batteries and completely unwind. We ate breakfast every day with wallabies appearing from under the bushes to check out what we were eating (and if we would share – we didn’t!)

Edge of the bay Resort in Tasmania

We had a very lazy few days and didn’t do any of the famous hikes (I know!) including the one to Wineglass Bay . If hiking is your thing head over to the information centre at the entrance to the park. There are entry fees for vehicles and individuals which you pay at the entrance to the park.

Freycinet Wineglass Bay walks map

I would highly recommend a stay at the Edge of the Bay resort . Although pricy this is somewhere you will never forget. It is probably one of the best located places we have ever stayed anywhere in the world. It is very popular so book early to avoid disappointment!

Freycinet National Park

Bay of Fires (Days 6/7)

On day 6 we reluctantly left Freycinet National Park and drove 88 kms to our next destination – the Bay of Fires .

The Bay of Fires is situated on the northeastern coast of Tasmania. It stretches from Binalong Bay in the south to Eddystone Point to the north. The bay was named by Captain Tobias Furneaux in 1773 when he sailed past and say the fires of Aboriginal people on the beaches.

Famous for crystal clear water, beautiful white sand and orange rocks it really is worth visiting. We booked one night in St Helens which is located at the southern end of the conservation area.

We took a drive as far as we could do through the area and stopped off for a few walks along the beaches. Watch out for echidna along the side of the roads when you are driving. We saw quite a few at the Bay of Fires.

Bay of Fires in Tasmania Australia

As we were only spending one night in the area we booked in St Helens. Campsites are available in some parts of the conservation area and there are also numerous accommodation options near Binalong Bay including Airbnb.

We had the opportunity to catch up on washing too at this point of the trip as we were running out of clean clothes. We stayed at Pelican Point Sanctuary for the evening which was clean and spacious and we had access to a washing machine (laundry detergent provided) and a washing line.

Bay of Fires Tasmania

On day 7 we drove from St Helens to Launceston which is approximately 160 kms (2 hours drive) There are 2 possible routes to Launceston from St Helens but as January is peak season for lavender we took the northern route and stopped off at Bridestowe Lavender Farm .

Just to take these photographs! It was really beautiful and if you are visiting Tasmania when the lavender is out I would recommend a visit (there is a small entry fee when the lavender is in bloom) There is a shop and a cafe too selling lots of lavender goodies including lavender ice cream!

TASMANIA LAVENDER FARM

We spent one evening in Launceston at a lovely B&B (Kurrajong House Bed and Breakfast) owned by a couple originally from the UK.

Our room at the Kurrajong House Bed and Breakfast in Launceston Tasmania

We found there wasn’t a great deal to do in the city and spent a few hours playing crazy golf at Grindelwald a Swiss-themed Tamar Valley Resort about 10 minutes from Launceston.

Having lived in Switzerland I was not entirely convinced of its true Swiss-ness but it did pass a few hours!

A Swiss style village in Tasmania

Next time I would probably skip Launceston altogether but if you do decide to spend a night there I would highly recommend the Kurrajong House Bed and Breakfast . (no children permitted)

On DAY 8 we drove from Launceston to Cradle Mountain where I had booked 3 nights at the world famous Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge.

Cradle Mountain is 140 kms from Launceston and takes about 2 hours. However DO NOT drive straight there!! This drive takes you past some of the recommended producers on the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail. At some point I am going back to do the entire trail but for this part of the trip we incorporated 2 stops.

Our first stop was at Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm Cafe . We loved it so much we also stopped there on our return drive to Hobart! If you like raspberries you will love this place! Buy some of the chocolate coated raspberries to take away! And enjoy!

Raspberry Farm Tasmania

Tasmania really excels in its produce. Wonderful fruit and vegetables, excellent wines and tasty cheese!

Our next stop before heading up to Cradle Mountain was at Ashgrove Cheese . There were plenty of samples to try and some very tasty cheese made its way into our provisions.

ashgove cheese farm

Cradle Mountain (Days 8/9/10/11)

After eating far too many raspberries and cheese products we made our way up to Cradle Mountain which was our base for the next 2 days/3 nights.

You will notice on the drive there are dead trees everywhere – in some places it looked like an alien landscape. When we asked in the park about this we were told that the damage is being caused due to climate change.

Scientists are studying the area and the effects of sustained heat/droughts which is having such a massive impact on the area. A real wake up call.

Take a tour of the park

We took a tour from our hotel of the park at dusk which was an amazing time to see the animals. Standing in a field surrounded by wombats was just amazing!

We saw pademelons, wombats, echidna, and possums out in the park. The guide was also really knowledgeable so we were able to learn a lot about the various wildlife too.

wombats on cradle mountain

Take one of the many hikes around the park

There are lots of hikes to do in the park with the shorter walk around the Dove Lake Circuit one of the most popular. The Dove Lake Circuit is only 6 km and a fairly easy couple of hours.

Cradle Mountain walk

Alternatively if you prefer something very short but very beautiful try the Enchanted Walk which takes about 20 minutes and starts at Cradle Mountain Lodge!

Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge in Tasmania

Visit the Devils @ Cradle

This is a wildlife conservation facility on Cradle Mountain dedicated primarily to the care of Tasmanian devils (though they do have quolls there too).

We paid $75 each for a joey encounter which enabled us to see some of the captive-born joeys that are being raised at the sanctuary. We found it very informative and loved meeting the animals.

My favourite was a young wombat named Pancake whose mother had been killed in a car park. Unfortunately, this is all too common as wombats have no sense of danger when it comes to cars and many people do not think to double-check before reversing.

Quokka and a quoll

How to get into the park

Cars are not allowed in the park during the hours of 8:30 – 4:30 pm in winter and 8:00 – 6:00 pm in summer.

If you want to go into the park catch a FREE shuttle bus which will drop you in a number of places along the way.

You need to purchase entry tickets for the park. See below for park ticket passes and information.

Map of Cradle Mountain.

We booked 3 nights at the world-class Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge . From the moment we arrived at the Lodge we knew this was an incredibly special place to be.

Our room was perfect, our welcome hamper superb, the setting, the wombats wandering around the lodge, the spa, the restaurant everything just made for a wonderful experience.

If you enjoy spas I would highly recommend spending some time in “The Sanctuary” at the onsite Waldheim Alpine Spa . The private sanctuary has a sauna, steam room, large hot tub and a cool plunge pool as well as a lounge area and is available for 60/90/120 minutes for your exclusive use.

Overlooking the Pencil Pine River and surrounded by King Billy Pines this is the perfect place to relax.

Entrance to Peppers Cradle Mountain

We drove back to Hobart on day 11 from Cradle Mountain. The drive took approximately 4 hours so we had enough time to head to MONA before checking into our airport accommodation for the evening.

As I have already mentioned MONA I won’t go into it again but I think next time I would try to fly into Hobart and out from Launceston to avoid losing a day driving back down the island.

This would have perhaps enabled us to explore more of the west of the island particularly Strahan. Next time!

On day 12 we sadly left Tasmania and flew home (on one of the most turbulent flights ever – not sure if had something to do with the notorious roaring 40’s)

Good to know when planning your trip to Tasmania

In Tasmania, you drive on the left (as in all of Australia!) There are stickers on the windscreens of hire cars and as you drive away from the airport you will see road signs to remind visitors. You will also be given a leaflet when you pick up your hire car with important information about driving in Tasmania.

Apparently, it has been an issue for some visitors to Tasmania.

Be mindful of wild animals . I have been nowhere in the world that seems to have the number of animals wandering the roadsides! Wallabies, echidnas, possums, devils, wombats everywhere! And unfortunately, too many of them splattered. Be especially careful at dawn and dusk.

On a more positive note if you are there during the right seasons keep an eye out for fruit and veg being sold by the roadside. Pull over, help yourself (well pay first!) and then eat your body weight in cherries, raspberries, apples etc. Delicious!

If you are driving from the north back down to Hobart I would highly recommend you take the 1 motorway.

We decided to take the scenic route on the A5. Mistake. Gravel, no other humans for hours, smoke in the trees and a potential flat tyre (luckily it was something stuck on the tyre – not an animal!) made this a not altogether pleasant few hours. Forget the scenery and stick to the main route!!

Beautiful Tasmania in Australia

Tasmania has a climate of 4 seasons . The warmest months are between December and March (summer) when temperatures range between 17 and 23 degrees celsius.

In winter temperatures can dip as low as 3 degrees with highs of only 11 degrees. If you are visiting Cradle Mountain you can expect even colder temperatures with ice and snow in the winter months.

Even in warmer months temperatures can vary greatly so it is best to be prepared for all weather conditions. We visited in January and experienced unusually hot weather with temperatures of 28 degrees on Cradle Mountain. The week before it had been 13 degrees!

One of the BEST things about Tasmania in the summer months are the lighter evenings ! In January it was daylight after 9 in the evening. A real treat for those of us from Queensland (aka the land of no daylight savings!!!)

If you are planning to visit more than one of the National Parks while in Tasmania it may be cost-effective to purchase a Tasmania National Parks Pass. There are a total of 17 parks so chances are you will!

The Holiday Pass pass covers entry into all of Tasmania’s national parks for up to two months and also provides free use of the Cradle Mt shuttle bus.

The Holiday Pass costs

  • $56 per vehicle up to 8 seats; or
  • $28 per person

Alternatively, you can buy a daily pass which costs

  • $22 per vehicle up to 8 seats; or
  • $11 per person

Click here to purchase your pass!

Parks and Wildlife Services – For information on the various parks, hikes, maps and up-to-date information on conditions.

Booking.com – For hotels around Tasmania I used booking dot com. I like the ability to have the option to choose free cancellation. They also have a wide range of properties to choose from to suit all budgets.

Enjoy your trip to Tasmania

We loved Tasmania! We have seen quite a lot of Australia since we moved here from Europe and it is easily one of the most beautiful places we have visited in the world.

Tasmania is made for road trips and we will definitely be returning to explore more of the country in the future.

Have a fantastic time!

I have lots of information on my blog about travel in Australia including more posts dedicated to Tasmania.

  • Top tips to make the best of your Tasmania trip
  • A guide to the wildlife of Tasmania
  • Check out my comprehensive guide to Australia which includes links to all my articles

Tasmania Road Trip Itinerary

In A Faraway Land

Tasmania 10 Day Road Trip Itinerary for Photographers and Outdoor Lovers

Marta

43 Comments

  • August 1, 2023

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I often heard Tasmania being described as the love child of Australia and  New Zealand .

Tasmania is a small island just south of the main island of Australia, known for its mountainous landscape, beautiful coastal region, and a vast variety of wildlife – with the Tasmanian devils and wombats being the most prominent of all.

Due to its compactness, it is one of the best places in Australia to plan a road trip.  Nowhere else in Australia will you experience so much beauty without having to drive for hundreds of kilometers per day. 

With endless hiking and photography possibilities, it’s a place you can’t miss when visiting or living in Australia. 

Tasmania 10-day itinerary: the logistics

I spent 5 months living and traveling around Tasmania and designed this itinerary based on my personal favorite places and hikes around the island. 

How much time do you need to see Tasmania?

I always think it’s a relative question. You can spend a lifetime exploring Tasmania and still not see everything but that would also mean you would have to move there.

If you want to get a good taste of Tassie and see most of its highlights, I personally think 10 days, +/- 2 days either way is an optimal time.

Remember that the slower you travel the lesser cost per day your vacation will have as you won’t be cramming too many activities and sights in a shorter amount of time. The best time to visit is between December and March during the summer. 

How to get to Tasmania

There are two ways of getting to Tasmania. One is to cross over on an overnight ferry from Melbourne and dock in Devonport on the north tip of the island.

Traveling by ferry from Melbourne to Devonport

The Spirit of Tasmania is the only company that operates on this route and offers passenger ferry rides across the Bass Strait.  

This choice is great for someone who already owns a car and wants to save money on renting one. You can just bring your camping equipment along and off you go. If camping isn’t for you and you prefer a bit more luxury just stay in a hotel.  

Flying to Hobart

If you don’t cope with traveling on ferries very well and get seasick, the second, faster, and most popular way is to fly into Hobart – Tassie’s little capital. Companies like Virgin Australia and Jetstar are leaders when it comes down to flight connections between Australia’s Mainland and Tasmania. 

How to get around Tasmania?

Rent a compact car with discover cars.

The best way to explore the little island is by self-driving. If you brought a car with you, you’re all set to go. If you need to rent one, check out   Discover Cars .  It’s my go-to website for the best deals on compact cars. 

Rent a campervan with Motorhome Republic

My preferred way for road-tripping is by traveling in a small camper van or motorhome, as it gives you a lot of freedom when it comes down to accommodation. Essentially your home is where you park it! If you are after renting one – check out the Motorhome Republic .

You will be able to compare the rental options and will be guaranteed the lowest prices. They’ve partnered up with 10 different fleets in Hobart including companies like Britz, Maui, and Apollo, which are the most reputable camper van companies and can be all found on their website by following the link above.

Parks & Wildlife Entry Pass

Since most of the island is a protected area, you will require Parks Pass to enter national parks in Tasmania. I can tell you straight away, that purchasing separate day passes is not worth it. For example, a day passes for Cradle Mountain National Park costs AUD 28 per person/day. If there are 2 of you that’s already 56 dollars. And that’s only for one day!

A way more economical option is to purchase 8 weeks pass for AUD 89.50, which will cover up to 8 people for all national parks on the whole island.

That’s way better value for money and it will save you time too as you will only have to purchase it once. You can get one at the Parks and Wildlife office located at the gates of any of the national parks or online through  Parks & Wildlife Service  prior to your travels. 

Tasmania Road Trip Map

Below you can see the interactive map for this road trip including interesting spots, hiking trails, and photography locations. Click on the button in the top left of the map to navigate through the layers.

10-day road trip itinerary around Tasmania: day-by-day breakdown

Mount Wellington, Tasmania

I spent 5 months working and traveling around Tasmania during my working holiday year in Australia and though I still didn’t manage to see everything I wanted to see, I certainly have been there longer than an average visitor.

Since photography and being outdoors are my two favorite things I wanted to put together an itinerary that will encompass both great places to photograph and the best places to hike in Tasmania. 

This road trip begins and finishes in Hobart*. You can just simply fly here from mainland Australia, and pick up your rental car right at the airport without having to spend money getting a taxi or shuttle bus into town.

You will then travel counterclockwise through some of the most scenic spots on the island including Freycinet, Cradle Mountain, and Mount Field National Parks, just to name a few. 

* TIP: If you came to Tasmania on a ferry you will start in Devonport. In this case, you can start your exploration in Cradle Mountain NP and follow the loop from there. 

Day 1-2: Hobart and the surroundings

Mount Wellington, Tasmania

Hobart is a brilliant capital city, very old by Australian standards but still modern enough to have everything you’ll ever need. A city is still a city however and chances are you came to Tasmania to do an adventure road trip and to get some fresh air in your lungs.

After all, you did search for the Tasmania road trip, didn’t you? If you do have to spend a day here exploring though here are a few things to get you started.

Things to do in Hobart, Tasmania

Go up mount wellington and walk the rivulet track.

Mount Wellington is about a half an hour’s drive (20km) to the west of the city. At 1,269m above Hobart, which is at sea level, it’s pretty inconspicuous and it’ll probably be the first thing you notice when flying or driving into Hobart.

It’s quite common to have an inversion day when on the top of Mount Wellington. With clouds rolling just below the peak, the tour up Mount Wellington is the perfect introduction to Tasmania’s landscapes. 

You can visit Mount Wellington by booking the Explorer bus.

Salamanca Market / Farmers Market

If you’re lucky enough to be in Hobart for the weekend, every Saturday the Salamanca market turns into a busy jamboree with loads of food stalls, live music, and people trying to sell all kinds of odds and sods.

Sunday is the Farmers Market which is way less touristy than Salamanca and a great chance to pick up super fresh fruit and veggies for your journey.

Best places to stay in Hobart

Pickled Frog Hostel

If you are a solo traveler, it will be a great place to kick off your road trip and meet fellow backpackers.

Alabama Hotel

Merge of old and new. Fantastic design at an affordable price. 

Salamanca Inn

One of the top picks in Hobart. Located in the best part of the city and a short walk from all the attractions.

Day 2-3: Tasman National Park

Tessellated Pavement, Tasmania

After you’ve enjoyed Hobart’s great seafood and local delicacies start your road trip by heading east. The drive to the Tasman Peninsula should take you about an hour and a half of continuous driving.

Continuous driving however is not going to happen. You should stop at the beautiful geological attractions at Eaglehawk Neck. The Tessellated Pavement (photo above) is my favorite spot, especially for sunrise as it looks East.

Things to do in Tasman National Park

Tasman National Park, Tasmania

Once you’re on the peninsula there are several hikes in the area that are popular. These are my favorite two:

A beautiful hike in the southwest of the peninsula. The 14km 5-hour return walk gives you a chance to see Ship Sterns Bluff from the first lookout. 

Situated on the eastern side of the peninsula. The undulating 8km and 4-hour return track gives spectacular cliff views. If you’re a rock climbing daredevil this is also where the world-famous Totem Pole is.

Join a wildlife cruise

Cruise along the coastline which is part of the Tasman National Park. On this wildlife cruise, you will discover the home of a diverse range of wildlife including hundreds of seals, migrating whales, and abundant sea birds in their thousands.

Visit Port Arthur’s UNESCO Historic Site

Port Arthur’s historic site was basically an old prison from the mid-1800s where all the murderers and rapists from England were sent to. It’s a creepy place where a lot of people were tortured and lost their lives. If you are not easily scared consider joining the night tour around the prison.

Places to stay in Tasman National Park

Port Arthur Holiday Park

Water views, free WiFi, and fantastic reviews all without breaking your wallet

Four Seasons Holiday Cottages   

10 min drive from Port Arthur. Idyllic waterfront location with gardens and BBQ facilities. 

Luxury  

Stewarts Bay Lodge

It offers a private beach area, a waterfront restaurant, and accommodations surrounded by natural bushes.

Day 3-4: Freycinet National Park

Bay of Fires, Tasmania

Driving for 3 hours (200km) up the eastern coast, you’ll love the views on your right-hand side. Eventually, you’ll make a right at Swansea toward Coles Bay which is the closest place you can drive to on the Freycinet Peninsula.

The Freycinet peninsula is one of the most stunning pieces of land in all of Australia and it’s also one of the oldest national parks too. 

Things to do in Freycinet National Park

Hike to the top of mount amos (photo above).

The famous viewpoint here of Wineglass Bay can be seen best from the top of Mount Amos which is a relatively steep, 3 hours uphill, 4km return walk.

Be warned this should not be attempted in wet conditions as the rocks become very slippery. If the weather isn’t in your favor do the less extreme walk to the viewpoint overlooking the bay. For trail conditions and maps visit the visitor center located right at the park entrance. 

Photograph the Hazards

If you love to photograph seascapes this spot is for you. The hazards are a mountain range in Freycinet National Park separating Coles Bay from Wineglass Bay. Mount Amos is amongst the peaks in the range.

The best spot to snap a photo of them is at the opposite end of the bay, looking just across toward the range. Both sunset and sunrise will work. 

The Hazards, Freycinet National Park, Tasmania

Take a scenic flight above Wineglass Bay and Maria Island

Admire the white sands of Wineglass Bay from the air by joining a scenic flight. Venturing from the Freycinet Peninsula, the journey will take you over the seal colony of Ile Des Phoques before progressing to Maria Island.

Once on the island, you will embark on an exploration of the national park. Plenty of native wildlife species call Maria Island their home.

Places to stay in Freycinet NP

Big4 lluka on Freycinet

Free parking and close proximity to Wineglass Beach. Free Wifi provided.

Malting Lagoon Guest House

the best value-rated property in Coles Bay. Includes breakfast and free bicycle rental.

Freycinet Lodge 

Cabins with spectacular views over Coles Bay with a restaurant serving fresh local produce. 

Day 4-5: Bay of Fires

Once you’ve enjoyed Freycinet then it’s time to keep driving up the east coast to the Bay of Fires. Don’t worry it’s not really on fire, most of the forest fires in Tasmania normally occur in the northwest.

It’s named the Bay of Fires due to the orange rocks which stand out so prominently against the white sand beaches and the crystal clear water.  

Tassie’s Bay of Fires is another of Australia’s pristine locations. Its relaxed atmosphere is perfect for unwinding, hanging out, having a BBQ, and then enjoying a cold beer with a fire on the beach whilst watching the sunset.  

Bay of Fires, Tasmania

Things to do in the Bay of Fires

Visit binalong bay.

Sit on your butt down and enjoy the beach at Binalong Bay located at the southern tip of the Bay of Fires. The sand here is so fine it will squick under your feet as you walk along the shore.

This is a perfect place to take a break from hiking, sip a few cocktails on the beach and enjoy the sea breeze. You’ve got some hiking coming up at your next destination, hence you should probably be well-rested. 

Photograph the rocks

If you are the type that simply can’t sit still you should drive along the Bay and search for some awesome photography spots. The rock formations and the bright orange colors make for some awesome compositions. Since you are facing east sunrise is the best time for capturing memorable shots. 

Where to stay around the Bay of Fires

Big4 St Helens Holiday Park 

great value if you are traveling with a family or group of friends.

Midrange/Luxury

Bed in the Treetops B&B

Imagine waking up amongst the treetops to the sound of chirping birds and the sea waves. It sells quickly so make sure to book quickly.

Day 5-7: Cradle Mountain National Park through Bridestowe Lavender Estate

Bridestowe Lavender Fields, Tasmania

Now that you’re all relaxed it’s time to go to the Tasmanian Highlands and get your hike on. Cradle Mountain National Park is my favorite place in Tassie and if there is one place you should stop longer than one night this is it!

I worked just at the border of this National Park for a total of 4 months and still didn’t get my fill.

If you are traveling during December/January make sure to stop at the  Bridestowe Lavender Farm  first. It’s 120 kilometers from St Helens in the Bay of Fires. The entry fee is just 10 dollars and you can admire the purple fields, which seem to have no end. Make sure to try their lavender ice cream or tea as well!

After getting your dose of the lavender smell, drive to Launceston to stock up on food before going to Cradle Mountain. You can thank me later!

There are no supermarkets in Cradle Mountain village, just a little and very overpriced convenience store, a visitor center, a gift shop, and 4 hotels, so replenishing your food in a bigger city, like Launceston, might be a good idea.  

Best hikes and places to photograph in Cradle Mountain NP

Hiking in Cradle Mountain National Park, Tasmania

In Cradle Mountain National Park hiking and photography go hand in hand, so if you are after some awesome shots from your travels be prepared to break a sweat.

The trails in the park are very well-maintained and marked. Please note that there are a few spots where the chains have been placed and where you will have to scramble a bit. Most walks start from Dove Lake car park. 

Marion’s Lookout 

After the Dove Lake Circuit, this is the most popular hike in the park, and for a good reason. There are two ways you can get there. The first one is from the Ronny Creek parking lot via Crater Falls, this is also where the famous Overland Track starts.

The second path leads from the Dove Lake car park and takes you via Wombat Pool. If you do the hike in the late afternoon it’s pretty common to meet wombats on the trail, this is the reason it’s so popular.

There is also a third alternative route to Marion’s lookout (called the link track), though shorter in distance it is a lot steeper and best to avoid, especially during bad weather conditions. Whichever way you choose account for at least 2-3 hours roundtrip.

Cradle Mountain Summit

Although it is Tasmania’s fifth highest peak, if you are relatively fit like me, summiting Cradle Mountain isn’t too strenuous. The walk starts from the main car park at the northern end of Dove Lake. The most popular route which goes around the Wombat Pool ascends firstly to Marion’s Lookout. 

From there to the base of the mountain is flat and easy and shouldn’t take you long.  The last hour is the hard part, climbing over big, but easily manageable, boulders. You can make a lunch stop at the Kitchen Hut to recharge your batteries before the last push.

Do yourself a favor and leave your heavy bag there whilst getting up to the summit. Remember to still carry your water though. Parks Tasmania reckons that it should take around 6-8 hours to return but I’ve done it in 5 and I’m not exactly a quick walker. So I reckon if you’re fit you can get up and down in 4/5 hours from the Dove Lake car park.

Dove Lake Circuit 

If you are after something less demanding on your knees this one is for you. The circuit is a great introductory walk to the park. The trailhead leaves again from the Dove Lake car park.

Though Parks & Wildlife Tasmania recommends doing it clockwise, my advice would be to go anticlockwise. It will be a bit easier that way. Your first stop will be the famous Boatshed where photographers from all over the world swarm to capture this famous scene. 

Boat Shed by the Dove Lake, Cradle Mountain National Park, Tasmania

Hansons   Peak

A lot less popular, which boggles me a lot, is the hike to Hanson’s Peak. With that said it is definitely my all-time favorite and I’ve done it a few times. It’s a perfect spot to see the sunset and has a good view of the Weindorfers Tower and Cradle Mountain Summit.

Again the trailhead is at the Dove Lake car park. Head left along the lake first following clockwise the Dove Lake Circuit. After around 20 minutes the track will split into two.

Follow the left side (Lake Rodway Track) and start going up. After another 45m-1h and a bit of scrambling on the last part, you will reach the top and the spectacular views that go with it! (See below)

Hansons Peak

Mount Campbell 

This is an unofficial track and no longer maintained but I thought I will include it anyway. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous and prefer off-the-beaten-path hikes, then completing this one should be your top priority when visiting Cradle Mountain NP.

The hike to Mount Campbell starts the same way as Hanson’s Peak. Once you reach the saddle you will see Lake Hanson to the left and Dove Lake to the right. Instead of following the path to Hanson’s Peak, turn around and start going up the opposite direction, with your back facing Cradle Mountain.

After around 45 minutes of scrambling you will reach the top. This was by far my favorite sunrise spot in the whole park! (photo below)

Mount Campbell, Cradle Mountain National Park, Tasmania

Bonus: Tasmanian Devil Sanctuary

Right near the entry to the Cradle Mountain National Park, you will find Devils @ Cradle – a Tasmanian Devil Sanctuary. This endangered species is native to Tasmania and until recently it could only be seen on the island. In recent years a small population was introduced to mainland Australia in the hopes of saving the species.

You can stroll leisurely through the sanctuary, observing the animals in their natural daytime routines. Witness them sleeping in their cozy dens, basking in the sun, engaging in playful fights, or foraging for food.

Best places to stay in Cradle Mountain National Park

Discovery Parks – Cradle Mountain  

Holiday cabins with cooking facilities, dorms, tent sites, and powered sites for your campervan

Cradle Mountain Hotel   

affordable luxury with two restaurants and a beautiful photo gallery 

Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge  

selection of wood cabins surrounded by the Tasmanian Wilderness equipped with either gas or wood fire

Day 7-8: Mount Field National Park

It’s time to see some waterfalls! The drive out of Cradle Mountain towards Mount Field National Park is a long one but can be broken up by stopping at Nelson Falls (photo below) just 700 meters from the A10. This part of the drive through the native rainforest passes many photogenic roadside lakes.

Montezuma Falls would be another interesting walk to do, but it’s a bit longer (8km). I personally didn’t find the waterfalls as spectacular as the other ones you are about to see but the choice is ultimately yours. 

Nelson Falls, Tasmania

Upon arriving in Mount Field National Park you’ll notice there’s nothing there except a visitor center and a campsite. The newly refurbished visitor center is packed with information about the local flora and fauna and deep down I’m glad there are no shops and hotels there. It adds to the whole scenic experience.

There are many beautiful photography spots here in Mount Field but the two listed below are my favorites.

Russel Falls

These are one of the most easily accessible falls in all of Tasmania, they are also one of the most awe-inspiring too. The short 400m track leads to a huge two-tiered waterfall that appears out of nowhere. You’ll definitely hear it before you see it.

Russel Falls, Tasmania

Horseshoe Falls

A further 10 minutes past Russell Falls will take you to the more secluded Horseshoe Falls. The whole walk can be made into a loop via the Tall Trees Walk.

Horseshoe Falls Tasmania

Places to stay in Mount Field NP

Campsite inside the park. Basic amenities but an incredible experience. You can pay for the site at the visitor center. 

Roslyn House B&B  

Rustic country decor and antique furniture.  It includes a fully-cooked breakfast, a guest lounge with a log fire, and free WiFi access.

Midrange/Luxury  

Sassafras Springs  

20 min away from Mount Field NP and on the way back to Hobart. Breathe the fresh country air, drink the fresh spring water, and eat the fresh seasonal fruit and veg from this eco-friendly hotel in the Derwent Valley

Day 8-9: Bruny Island

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This leg of the agenda will take you south away from rainforests and toward the southern coast of Tasmania. The ferry to Bruny Island leaves from a small town called Kettering and costs 38$ in return during peak season. Timetables for the ferry can be found here, and the journey lasts approximately twenty minutes.

Bruny Island is basically two islands connected by a small stretch of road called The Neck, which happens to be one of my favorite photography spots in Tassie. This is a great part of the road trip.

Bruny Island is a place of sheer indulgence, you’ll love it. Once you find yourself on the island you’ll get the chance to eat local cheeses, meats, whiskeys, seafood, wines, beers, berries, and much more. You won’t need to look far to find such frivolities, most of them are located just off the main road.

TIP: Another possibility to visit Bruny Island is to travel back to Hobart, drop off your rental car, and join an organized day trip.

Best hikes on Bruny Island

Fluted cape track.

This 2.5-hour hike (5.4km) leaves from the beach at adventure bay on the southern part of Bruny Island. It winds up the cliffs and offers spectacular views of local fauna and flora.

Cape Queen  Elizabeth

This is longer than the fluted cape track but is quite flat in comparison. It’s a 12km route, going in and out on the same track, and it should take 4 hours. You’ll get spectacular views of cliffs but instead of being on top of them as on the Fluted Cape track you’ll be on the beach looking up at them.

Places to stay on Bruny Island

The Campsite at the neck

There is no booking system for it. It’s on a first come first serve basis. With basic and clean facilities it’s perfect for budget travelers. 

Budget/Midrange

Captain Cook Holiday Park 

This park is directly opposite the beach with its white sand and sky-blue sea and it isn’t uncommon to see pods of dolphins and migrating whales in the Bay.   

Adventure Bay Retreat  

Just a minute’s walk from a beautiful white sand beach and set in the native bushland. 

Day 10: Fly out of Hobart

Unfortunately, your time in Tasmania is coming to an end. Take the ferry back and travel to Hobart to drop off your rental and catch a flight to the mainland.

This tour can be adapted into a week by taking out a few days on the Tasman Peninsula and Cradle Mountain or can be extended into a two-week itinerary by adding extra days in Strahan and doing side trips to either the Hartz Mountains just south of Hobart or to Mount Eliza in Southwest National Park. 

If you found this itinerary useful please use the affiliate links I have provided in the itinerary. It won’t cost you anything extra (in fact it’ll actually save you money) and every time you make a purchase I make a small commission on the products and places I recommend. It also helps me to maintain my website and create more awesome itineraries like this one! Thanks. 

Have you got any questions about this itinerary? Post them in the comments! I always answer. 

Useful websites and apps for planning your trip around Tasmania

  • Booking.com  – for booking hostels and hotels around the island
  • Discover Cars – for finding the best deal on compact car rentals in Tasmania
  • Motorhome Republic  – search engine for motorhome hire in Tasmania
  • Parks & Wildlife Services  – the official website for National Parks Services in Tasmania. Includes information about hikes, maps, and current trail conditions. 
  • Wikicamps Australia  – fantastic smartphone app for finding campsites and roadside stops for all of Australia. It will pay for itself after its first use. 

Marta

Hi! I am the photographer and creator of www.inafarawayland.com. I come from Poland, but I've been living, travelling and working around the globe since I turned 18. A few years ago, during one of my trips to Scotland, I bought my first DSLR and my adventure with photography began. When I am not stuck to my computer editing photos, you can find me hiking somewhere in the mountains.

Hi Marta! Such a great itinerary. I was wondering if you had winter specific recommendations, or any specific recommendations for July/Aug/Sep. I’m looking to see some snow! I’ll also be taking a 4wd over from Sydney. Do you reckon I’ll need winter tyres? Thank you 🙂

Hi Alexandra. Winters in Tasmania are mild, but you might have to carry snowchains visiting places like Cradle Mtn NP. You might find some snow on the top of Mt Wellington in Hobart and in Cradle Mountain NP. I live in the Alps so we always change to winter tires in the Fall, but NZ and Australia don’t.

Hi Marta, thanks for this amazing blog and itinerary, really helpful. My husband and i are planning to take a trip down this July and have about 8 full days to spare. Would be great if you can advise the recommended route and if there are any places to skip (apart from lavender field) given that we’re visiting right smack winter. We are thinking of self drive, flying in and out from Hobart. Thanks a bunch!

Hi Stephy. Thanks so much for your feedback. I haven’t travelled Tasmania in Winter, but I worked in the Cradle Mtn Hotel until the start of winter and everything was still open. Hiking will be more difficult, but other than that everything is still open, so apart from the Lavender fields I would visit everywhere.

Hello, this post is amazing!! me and my partner are planning on travelling to Tas in December. We are tossing up whether to hire a car or hire a campervan. we are in our early 20’s and want to get out and do as many things as possible. Any other suggestions would be amazing.

Hi Ellie. December is a great time to travel Tassie in a Campervan. However days when you could just plan your trip day to day are gone and nowadays I would recommend pre booking campsites in advance. With that said campervan travel doesn’t give you the freedom that it used to. It really comes down to your budget and personal preferences. I prefer campervan travel because I don’t have to pack my things every day and check in and out of hotels. I hope that helps

Did you have any issues taking your furry friend into any of the parks and reserves?

I would love to bring my little cattle dog along the ride with me 🙂

Hi Zac. No, Jasper my dog joinied the team recently when I came back to Europe. Look up the rules for certain areas directly on the Tasmania Parks site.

I’m headed to Tassy with my son (7yo) this July. Will the outdoor hikes be unbearably windy/intolerable? (We’re New Yorkers, so we can stand the cold:)). Just want to make sure this is still going to be a good trip for us during this time of year. (Thank you for providing so many details!!)

Hi Nicole. Thanks for visiting. I wish I could give you a straight answer but I can. July is the mid winter season in Tasmania. But winter in Tasmania is very different to winter in New York 🙂 It is very mild and it only snows in the high parts of the mountains. You won’t be able to hike in Cradle mountain much but you should be able to do coastal walks and waterfall walks etc.

Hi Marta! This blog post is so excellent and EXACTLY the kind of trip planning I’ve been searching for. I don’t have any questions, I just wanted to thank you for putting together such a thoughtful route with so many excellent options. I’m both a photographer and hiker, and cannot wait to plan a trip like this to Tasmania, hopefully soon!

Hi Hannah. Thanks so much for your lovely feedback. I hope you have an amazing time in Tasmania when you decide to visit!

Hi Marta, super blog and info thank you. How is mud Sept for being in a camper van? Family with 2 kids (11&13). Like our remote beautiful and unique places to stay but also like a bit of comfort too! 10 days in and out of Launceston. Much appreciated, Lorraine

Hi Lorraine. September is officially spring time in Tasmania, but it is early spring. You can expect some low temperatures at night still so getting a campervan with a heater to deal with the cold and condensation would be ideal. I hope that helps!

Hi Marta, just wondering if this itinerary is solo traveller friendly? thank you.

Hi April. Absolutely, but if you travel solo then you have to take some precautions, particularly if you plan on hiking. Always let someone know your plan, where you are heading and when do you plan on being back. Mountains can be treacherous any everyone should exercise caution when hiking.

Your itenary looks amazing! I will go to Tasmania with 2 friends in February.

Unfortunately we only have 5 full days in Tasmania. We fly to Hobart on Monday evening and fly from Launceston to Sydney on Sunday evening (so 6 nights). Which itenary would you recommend to us in which we will definitely do/see all the highlights of Tasmania? We love hiking. I would like to include Brunny Island, but perhaps as a day trip (without an overnight stay), but I don’t know where it is best planned. We would also like to visit Bay of Fires to relax on the beach for an afternoon/evening. Thank you very much in advance for all the tips! Greetings

Hi Joni. Thanks for visiting and for your lovely feedback. It would be best if you visit Bruny Island first. There are organized day trips with transfers from Hobart. I would then head to Tasman Park, and Cradle Mountain. So 1 night Bruny, 1 night Tasman, 2 nights in Freycinet (or 1 night Freycinet, 1 night Bay of Fires) then 2 nights Cradle Mountain. Cradle Mountain is not too far from Launceston so you can get back for your flight in no time. I hope that helps! 🙂

Hi Marta! I wanted to drop a comment and let you know how amazing your Tasmania itinerary appears! The mix of destinations and activities you’ve chosen showcases the stunning beauty of the region. I’m particularly intrigued by the diverse experiences you’ve included, from exploring Cradle Mountain to savoring local delicacies in Hobart.

I was wondering, though, how accessible would this trip be for someone who can’t go on hikes? It would be great to know if there are alternative options or recommendations for those who might have mobility limitations. Thanks for sharing your exciting plans!

Hi Mayur. Thanks for your great feedback. You will have no problem following this itinerary but you would have to redesign it a bit. Maybe cut some days out in Cradle Mountain in favour for Coles Bay or Hobart. But even Cradle Mountains is accessible to people with mobility issues as buses and cars can get all the way to Dove lake.

Awesome! very attractive photo and detail itinerary, appreciate it!

I plan to visit Tasmania March 2023! one question: about every location you mentioned, with hiking, is it a “round trip” that I can return to the starting point, that I left my car there?

Thanks in advance for your reply 🙂

Hi Vincent! Thanks for visiting and for your great feedback. Yes, all hikes take you back to where you started. They are either out and back the same way or they go in a circle. Let me know if I can help further!

Thank you for the info! It looks absolutely EPIC! Would you recommend this itinerary for the winter months ( July)?

Hi Kim! Thanks so much for stopping by. Winters in Tasmania are quite mild so yes, I would, however, you can skip the Lavender Fields as there won’t be any. You could spend a little bit more time around Hobart instead. I wouldn’t recommend travelling in a campervan during this time of the year, just hiring a regular compact car and staying in cozy hotels. Also expect snow in Cradle Mtn NP so some hikes won’t be accessible. I hope that helps! Let me know if you have more questions.

Thanks for all the info- how awesome. My husband and I were wanting to travel in April- would this be a good time to go to Tassy and to follow your blog? Thanks!

Hi Liv! Thanks for stopping by. April is a beautiful month to travel Tassie and especially for visiting the Cradle mountain NP, where the autumn foliage takes place. I would recommend however that you opt-in for hotel stays instead of travelling in a campervan, because the nights can be cold already. Let me know if I can help any further!

Hi Marta, this blog is brilliant and I will be basing our 16 night adventure on your recommendations for sure!! Just a question though, since COVID the prices for cars in Tasmania is more than 4 times the usual amount so I am trying to work out a way to reduce the number of days we need to hire a car. What would you suggest we can see/do without a car? ie The trip to Bruny Island? Time spent in Hobart? Thank you so much!

Hi Nicole! Thanks for stopping by. Sorry to hear about the rental prices. I would have thought it would be the other way around since noone is travelling at the moment they would try and attract as many people as possible, but then again I imagine local travel is doing just fine. tbh the only place I can think of are the two you have mentioned. After all you will be visiting many places which are far away from each other so you will need a car to get there. Sorry I can’t help any further, but I reckon a car is a very useful thing to have on a roadtrip in Tasmania.

Hi Marta, I was wondering how would the itinerary work if I started from Devonport if I was to come by the Sprit of Tasmania in my own car? Thank you!

Thank you for a detailed, informative post! I loved that you captioned the photos in your descriptions!

Your welcome! i am glad I could help!

Hi Marta, your itinerary sounds perfect. We would like to get to see The Southern lights, would you have any suggestions to help us out ourselves in the best position possible to see them. We plan to travel to Tasmania in August this year. Any hints would be greatly appreciated. We are thinking 12 days Thanks Carmel

Hi Carmel. Thanks for visiting. I am glad you like my itinerary. Now to your question, Southern lights are actually quite disappointing. You need to have a crazy storm to actually be able to see any colours with the naked eye, otherwise you only see faint lighter lights on the horizon. The photos of the Southern light that you see online are taken with long exposure. The camera can catch the colours. Very intense storms happen rarely. What I am trying to explain is that don’t get high expectations and if seeing aurora is your dream, then go to Northern Canada, Iceland, Lofoten Islands. Anywhere in the arctic circle. I hope that helps.

Hi Marta, great pics and places. I am the owner of the campground @ cape raoul that you gave a plug to. I know your intentions are well but I don’t want my place advertised online for the world to see. Please remove the plug. Andy

Hi Andy. Yes it was definitely put with the best intentions as we really enjoyed our stay there, but I understand and removed the info. You might now want to remove your comment too. Cheers, Marta

Love this blog! Thanks for sharing.

Planning to go to Tasmania at the end of May. Is it easy to drive to Cradle Mountain at this time of year? Will a small hire car be ok?

Hi Sarah. It can happen that it already snows at higher elevations, but the snow hardly ever stays down in the valleys. Plenty of locals drive small cars year-round there. You might have to look into renting a car that also comes with snow chains, in case you have to use them, but generally, you should be ok.

Hi Marta, Thx for the lovely blog. We have just booked our flights. We are 2 adults 2 kids (3yo + 10yo). We are flying in/out of Launceston. Dec 29 – Jan 9 so 12 days. What would be the best route to travel – Launceston to Cradle to Hobart and back up? Would a Campervan work for us and will it be easy to find places for it? We have never done a Campervan trip and would love to do it here. What would you suggest? We are coming from Sydney.Thx Robbie

Hi Robbie! Thanks for stopping by. If you look at the map I have made for this itinerary you will see that it is a loop and it goes through Launceston. It means you can do exactly the same loop, just instead of starting in Hobart as per my itinerary you start in Launceston. I would probably also do it clockwise in that case leaving Cradle Mountain for last (I think it’s the best part of itinerary and it will leave you something to look forward to). So Launceston -> Bay Of fires – Freycinet – Tasman NP – Hobart – Bruny Island (optionally) – Mt Field NP then Cradle Mtn and if You have time afterwards you could also add walls of Jerusalem NP. Let me know if that helps and if you have more questions!

Thx for the tip Marta. Yes Clockwise sounds better. Would you recommend we spend 1-2 days in Launceston (or surrounds) (my wife is adamant to relax here before the drive start)? Also, Campervan – Van type/Toyota hi-ace – is it ok for the drives or should i just car hire and book rooms along the route? Thx again..

Hi Robbie. It’s really up to you. I am not sure what kind of a traveller are you. More into camping and roughing it out or more into luxury. What I do know is that Toyota Hiace campervan might be very small for a family of four and small confined spaces can create tensions (speaking from experience here:) If you had 2 weeks of guaranteed beautiful weather when the campervan would only be used for driving and sleeping then it might be ok, but personally with two kids I would probably opt more for option nr 2. As for Launceston I didn’t find it very exciting. I am not sure where you are flying from. I presume from within Australia because of all the lockdowns so spending 2 days in Launceston might be a bit of an overkill. 1 night would be more than enough. Bay of fires isn’t too far of a drive from Launceston and I would much rather hang out there longer and rest than in Launceston.

Hi Marta, this blog is amazing! Thank you for giving so much detail, it is going to make our trip much easier and I am so excited now 🙂 My boyfriend and I are hoping to do this itinerary and I was wondering roughly how much we should estimate to spend if we did this based on the budget accommodation? Any rough estimate would be greatly appreciated! 🙂 Thanks in advance, Sophie x

Hi Sophie. Thanks so much for your awesome feedback. Your question is highly dependent on so many things, but most importantly the timing. If you go during the busiest time you can count on spending twice as much on accommodation as during the shoulder season. The most budget option would be to rent a campervan during the shoulder season and just stop at campsites every 2-3 days. My very rough estimate would be around 50 AUD/person/day excluding the rental but including gas, food (self cooking) and parks entries, but if you are a hardcore budget traveller you could even do it for cheaper. I hope that helps!

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The Perfect 2-Week Tasmania Road Trip Itinerary

Picture of Richard Barnes

  • Last Updated: January 12, 2024

Check out this perfect 2-week self drive Tasmania road trip itinerary to help you plan your epic adventure around Australia’s most beautiful state!

Tasmania, that bit of Australia that everyone knows exists but few seem to visit.

I first visited Australia in 2008 and sadly did not make it to Tasmania. Since then it’s been a place that has been on my bucket list.

Recently my wife and I finally made it down that far south to check out all the best places to visit in Tasmania .

This stunning island may just be Australia’s best-kept secret. Although I cannot imagine it staying that way for long.

Unlike the rest of Australia, Tasmania is small and compact.  The journeys are short, the roads are winding and the sea is cold. It’s perfect for a road trip.

The scenery is simply breathtaking. Of all the places I have been in Australia, this may just be my favourite state.

From the beauty of a national park to the natural beauty from nearly any side of the road views, a road trip through Tasmania is truly spectacular.

Tasmania Road Trip Itinerary

Table of Contents

Driving Comfort

Buying a national parks pass, eating and drinking in tasmania, day 1: hobart, day 2: port arthur, day 3: tasman peninsula, day 4: maria island, day 5: freycinet national park and wineglass bay, day 6: freycinet national park and bay of fires, day 7: bay of fires, day 8: tamar valley, day 9: cradle to coast tasting trail, day 10: boat harbour beach and cradle mountain, day 11: cradle mountain summit, day 12: cradle mountain, horse riding and onto the west coast, day 13: strahan and the western wilderness way, day 14: bruny island, what did we miss on our tasmania road trip itinerary, tips for a self drive tasmania road trip.

Below is our 2-week Tasmania itinerary that took us all the way around this beautiful island. Obviously some parts can be extended or chopped off as you wish.

However, we found this Tasmania itinerary gave us plenty of time to see the vast majority of what we wanted to see without being rushed.

Be warned though, Tasmania is not like mainland Australia.

It does rain, especially around Cradle Mountain. So even in the middle of summer, do not be surprised if you encounter a fair few showers during your road trip.

READ MORE: Don’t miss our new  travel to Australia  guide.

How to Get Around – Car vs Campervan

You cannot road trip Tasmania by public transport alone. To really enjoy and experience everything this incredible place has to offer you need your own set of wheels.

Luckily renting a car in Tasmania is cheap, we rented a car for $66 dollars a day, which included zero excess insurance.

The cheapest campervan we found was 3 times this amount. But if you love this style of travel, then this could be a good option. Check out Spaceships for affordable vans for rent.

We would recommend hiring a car for Tasmania for the following reasons:

The overall cost of renting a car is substantially cheaper. However, in effect, you need to work out if car rental + accommodation is going to be cheaper than camper-van + holiday parks.

From our pre-trip calculations, a car turned out to be our best bet.

We averaged $150 on car + accommodation on our trip, which was cheaper than the rental cost of a camper van.

Cars drink less fuel, period. We had a lovely Toyota Prius Hybrid which meant our fuel costs were minimal. This is a big plus on a Tasmania road trip, where fuel prices can be quite high.

I personally prefer driving cars to camper vans due to the manoeuvrability, ease of parking in cities and less stress driving on winding roads.

Of course, this is all up to you though. With an epic Tasmania itinerary, you’ll have an amazing time no matter how you choose to get around.

The best way to get around is to rent a car and explore on your own! We recommend Rental Cars , which has the largest range of vehicles for the best value on the market.

Buying a National Park Pass is a must for anyone planning to visit Tasmania’s National Parks .

It costs $89 AUD per vehicle and gives you unlimited entry to Tasmania’s National Parks for 2 months.

You can buy it at any National Park visitor centre. Just remember to display it on your dashboard or you will be fined.

It also saves $10 AUD on the ferry to Maria Island. The alternative is paying $24 AUD per 24 hours. So long as you visit national parks for a minimum 3 days then you’ve made your money back.

Like mainland Australia, eating out can be quite expensive at times. As a result, the vast majority of travellers will be cooking for themselves at numerous points on their travels.

Pick up a cheap cool bag to keep food fresh, as you cannot always guarantee a fridge (unless of course, you have a campervan).

We stayed in a mixture of holiday parks, AirBnBs, hotels and guesthouses on this Tasmania itinerary. We only had a couple of nights without a kitchen which helped us keep our spending down.

Click here to get $35 off of your first AirBnB booking!

That being said, Tasmania’s gourmet produce is both popular and delicious so don’t forget to indulge now and then, especially on the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail!

2-Week Tasmania Road Trip Itinerary

Without further ado, let’s hit the road with my ultimate Tasmania road trip itinerary!

Fly into Hobart city centre and pick up your rental car.

After getting to our AirBnB and dumping our stuff head up Mount Wellington for stunning views over Hobart and the wider area, even as far as Bruny Island.

Then head to the Museum of Tasmania before spending the evening wandering around Battery Point and beautiful Salamanca.

Hobart Sunset

From Hobart, it’s a short drive to Port Arthur on the east coast. This excellent historical site gives you the opportunity to understand more about Tasmania’s fascinating convict history.

You can book a guided tour or a ghost tour to learn more about the history and spookiness around the historic site. Also consider booking your entry ticket online in advance during peak season to save yourself some time.

Port Arthur is also home to Australia’s worst-ever massacre. While this is a pretty morbid topic, it’s important to pay homage to the victims at the Port Arthur Memorial Garden.

  • Where We Stayed: Bluegum Guesthouse

On Day 3 of your Tasmania road trip, you are likely to first experience the island’s infamously temperamental weather.

Spend the morning exploring the convict coal mines located on the north west coast of the Tasman peninsula.

From there, head back to quirky little Doo Town for some gorgeous coastal scenery and excellent food from the fish and chip van next to the blowhole.

Close to Doo Town are some beautiful coastal viewpoints which a well worth exploring.

After crossing back across the Eagles Neck, check out the dog line museum before heading on towards the tessellated pavements. Here there is a lovely walk along the coast giving some wonderful views of the Tasman peninsula.

From here, head up to the tiny coastal town of Triabunna, in preparation for your journey to Maria Island.

  • Where we stayed: Triabunna Holiday Park

Check out our full guide to the best things to do on the Tasman Peninsula !

Catch the ferry from the Tiabunna Visitor Centre at 10:30. You should aim to get to the ferry terminal around 30 minutes before departure.

Incidentally, you can also pick up you National Park Pass here and save yourself $10 AUD on the ferry ride.

The journey only takes around 30 minutes. And if the weather is looking good, you can stake out space at the front to sunbathe.

We only spent one day on Maria Island . If you want to stay the night there are campsites and cabins that can be booked.

READ MORE: Check out our brand new guide to the best things to do in Tasmania !

You are also able to rent mountain bikes, which can be arranged at the visitor centre in Triabunna and picked up in Darlington.

If you are only doing 1 day, a bike allows you to cover a decent amount of ground.

From Darlington, we headed for the painted cliffs which are leisurely 30-minute ride. We dumped our bikes and went to explore the amazing coastline.

We carried on further down the track stopping at various points along the way to explore the coastline and find a place to have our picnic.

It was here we encountered wombats, wallabies and pademelons.

We carried on further down the coast before heading back to snorkel around the painted cliffs.

The area from Darlington to just beyond the painted cliffs is a protected marine reserve. The snorkelling is pretty good, but the visibility isn’t great.

This wasn’t helped by the huge thunderstorm that hit not long after getting in.

As I was coming back in I got the fright of my life in the form of a 2-meter wide stingray coming out of nowhere.

Do be aware that the water here is cold too. I went in without a wet suit and was okay, but you will definitely have a more pleasant experience with one.

We spent the remaining couple of hours dropping the bikes off, spotting roos on the hills close the jetty and avoiding the rain.

After getting the last ferry back we drove up to Bicheno. Coles Bay is the other popular option for accommodation in the park. Coles Bay is closer to the attractions, but Bicheno is a bit bigger and has more going on.

We chose this as it was cheaper than anything else close to Freycinet and after camping in the rain in Triabunna a tent wasn’t on the agenda for Miranda.

  • Book your accommodation for Bicheno ahead of time here .

Maria Island Tasmania Road Trip

We hopped in our car and headed for the Freycinet National Park for day 5 on our Tasmania road trip.

From Bicheno, it’s around a 30-minute drive. Probably more during dawn or dusk as the risk of wildlife jumping out increases dramatically in and around the national park.

We headed down to the visitor centre to check out some of the walks to come up with our plan of action. We ended up doing the Wineglass Beach Walk overlooking Wineglass Bay.

Understandably this is one of the most popular walks in Tasmania, so don’t be surprised if it’s busy. To avoid the crowds simply walk down to Wineglass Bay Beach from the lookout.

The vast majority of tourists head up to the Wineglass Bay Lookout and back down again. As a result, the beach is actually very quiet in comparison. This is a great spot to pull out that picnic basket.

Alternatively, if you have the time, consider this Wineglass Bay cruise from Coles Bay.

There are plenty of other great walks in the national park. The Hazards Beach walk, in particular, gets rave reviews, and you can’t really beat the Mount Amos hike at sunrise .

Don’t forget to display your Parks Pass if you are doing any longer than 2 days in Tasmania’s parks.

That evening it was back to our AirBnB in Bicheno and dinner at a Pasini’s, a great little restaurant on the edge of Bicheno.

Freycinet National Park, Wineglass Bay, Tasmania

Day 6 of the road trip, we spent the morning at Freycinet checking out Sleepy Bay and the beautiful friendly beaches. The latter giving the iconic windswept beach vibe that Tasmania is known for.

We grabbed something to eat in Bicheno and headed up towards the Bay of Fires. This drive is spectacular, a real highlight of any road trip around Tasmania. So have your camera ready and keep your eyes peeled for places to park.

Accommodation in the Bay of Fires area around St Helens in the summer can be eye-wateringly expensive. We actually stayed 30 minutes south of St Helens at Scamander Sanctuary Holiday Park in possibly the nicest tent I have ever seen.

After dumping our stuff we carried on up Tasmania’s other famous beach, Binalong Bay along the east coast. Head to the Northern section of Binalong Bay, by taking the C848, to avoid the crowds.

The water here actually wasn’t too cold, although it can get really windy, so a tent or windbreaker could be a lifesaver on the beach.

  • Where we stayed: Scamander Sanctuary Holiday Park

The park has a fully equipped kitchen and fantastic glamping style tents. It’s awesome for a Tasmania road trip.

Wineglass Bay Freycinet

On Day 7 of your Tasmania road trip itinerary you’re in for a treat.

From Scamander towards St Helens and the Bay of Fires, the coastline is absolutely stunning and the chances are you will have it all to yourself.

Even in mid-January, one of the busiest times in Tasmania, we had whole beaches to ourselves.

Following this, we headed beyond Binalong Bay up to the Gardens for some beautiful coastal scenery and a bit of bouldering.

Once you get beyond one of Tasmania’s most famous beaches you have a plethora of beautiful places to stop and explore.

We headed as far as the road would take us hopped out of our car and went exploring. Half the fun of the Bay of Fires is exploring. Just park up somewhere that looks pretty and go for a wander.

Late afternoon we headed for little Launceston, Tasmania’s second city, for want of a better description.

We still had some picnic food so we took it down to the marina for dinner as the sunset.

This was definitely a highlight of our road trip along Tasmania’s east coast.

Bay Of Fires

We took a slightly more relaxed pace in our road trip today taking in the gorgeous Tamar Valley.

We did plan on heading over the Bridestowe Lavender Farm. However, we ended up in Seahorse World and Platypus House at the northwestern end of the Tamar Valley.

This was a little pricey, but pretty interesting. The platypuses and echidnas are extremely adorable.

From Tamar Valley we headed back down towards to Cataract Gorge stopping in at the Exeter bakery for a curry rice pie (a must if you’re passing).

At Cataract Gorge, there is a lovely walk or you can do like most and hop straight in the lake.

This was one of our highlights during our two-week road trip in Tasmania.

Effectively this is a 150km trail that you drive and stop off at gourmet produce places and eateries on the route. If you are in any way a foodie, this is an absolute must.

Most of the eateries are between Deloraine and the wonderfully named town of Penguin. However, we carried on beyond Penguin to beautiful Stanley for our final stop on the trail.

After an amazing seafood dinner, we hiked up the Nut for some stunning sunset views. Whilst it’s not a long hike, the initial climb is extremely steep.

Sunset At The Nut

On day 10 of the road trip, we spent the morning at the beach and the afternoon in the mountains.

We spent the morning at the beautiful Boat Harbour Beach with golden sands, clear blue water and gorgeous coastal scenery!

From here it was a 1.5-hour drive down to one of Tasmania’s highlights; Cradle Mountain.

After checking into our hotel, we headed down to complete the Dove Lake hike. Here we found a gorgeous, easy hike that is perfect to do around sunset.

  • Where we stayed : Cradle Mountain Hotel

The Cradle Mountain Hotel was above our budget. But the convenience and lack of more affordable accommodation close to the park made this a winner in our eyes.

Dove Lake, Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain- Lake St Clair National Park has some of the best hiking in Tasmania and is a must-see on a road trip. It is the beginning of the Overland Track, as well as being the stage for some phenomenal day walks.

Sadly we did not have enough time to do the Overland Track so I settled for the summit hike. (Although you can read all about the founders of this website’s experience of hiking the Overland Track by clicking here .)

Safe to say this is a tough hike and it absolutely should not be attempted in wet or snowy conditions since it will make the final rock scrambling and bouldering sections extremely dangerous.

This hike is an absolute must if you are heading to Cradle Mountain. And you can easily spend a few hours relaxing along Lake St Clair after the hike.

Don’t miss the NOMADasaurus guide to  hiking the Larapinta Trail , one of Australia’s other great walks.

Marions Lookout, Cradle Mountain

We checked out some of the shorter walks that began around the experience centre in the morning.

Afterwards, we headed out with Cradle Country Adventures to go horse riding around their Belvoir Area track taking us up for a stunning view of Cradle Mountain.

From here we headed down towards the old mining town of Queenstown stopping in a Zeehan on the way.

Whilst it makes an interesting place to look around, Zeehan does have a slight “straight out of a horror film” kind of vibe, fascinating in an odd kind of way.

Queenstown is littered with relics and reminders of the mining boom. It was a great place to spend the night.

  • Where we stayed : Empire Hotel

This excellent old hotel is a stark reminder of the gold era time of the west coast. The food here is great!

If you want a real adventure from Cradle Mountain and have a bit more time, head out to the Tarkine for this 2-day road trip extension!

On Day 13 of our road trip, we drove down the west coast to the quaint seaside village town of Strahan. If you head due west from here the next bit of land you would hit would be Argentina.

Along with Zeehan and Queenstown, Strahan also benefitted hugely from the gold rush times. Now it’s a much more sedate and laid back affair.

It’s a decent place to explore for a morning, but probably not worth much more time than that. From here it was a long drive down to Hobart.

The west coast is Tasmania at its most desolate. There is one road from Strahan to Hobart. At times, it almost seems like the outback but with more trees.

There are plenty of viewpoints, short hikes and sights on route to break up this long drive.

This gorgeous little island is only an hour or so away from Hobart. As a result, Bruny Island can get pretty busy at weekends or during the holidays.

It pays to show up half an hour early than you really need to as the queue to get on the boat can be pretty long.

We immediately headed for the Neck viewpoint, which since it is one of the best viewpoints can be pretty busy. However, the views are absolutely spectacular.

From here we headed down to grass point for a beautiful coastal and then spent to rest of the day beach hopping around the rest of the island.

A great idea is to go ahead and book this tour in advance so you get the best of Bruny Island in a 3-hour cruise. If you have more time, consider this highly-rated full-day tour .

Alternatively, if you missed it on Day 1 of your Tasmania road trip you could spend the day exploring Mount Wellington for some incredible views over Hobart.

Bruny Island, Tasmania Road Trip Itinerary

Well in our 2 week Tasmania road trip we managed to see a huge amount of the island. But there were a few things we sadly did not get the opportunity to visit.

The list below were places that we planned on visiting on the road trip. However, unfortunately for us, time ran out.

  • Haast Caves
  • Mole Creek National Park
  • Mt Field National Park

There are probably plenty of other amazing things that we missed on our road trip, but that just gives us a reason to return to this incredible island.

Hope you enjoyed my 2-week Tasmania road trip itinerary. If you did leave a comment below! Happy travels.

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Richard Barnes

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Hey, I am from Israel and planning (with my wife) a trip to Tasmania, around February-March. First of all, thank you for your route, it is well described and provided a lot of information that I will certainly use in my planning. I read several posts, and what I’m missing, including yours, is a reference to watching (terrestrial) animals. I know Tasmania is one big nature reserve. Have you encountered any animals? Which? where? Are there any established sites to meet animals? Anything you recommend? Thanks for everything, Shmulik.

Tasmania is a great state to travel around. There are a few sanctuary around but do your research before you go. We highly recommend Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary just outside of Hobart. They are great.

You can have animal encounters sometimes when you are hiking and on Maria Island. Please keep your distance from the animals and never touch them. They are wild. Have a great time.

Wow! We are trying to plan a road trip around Tassie and had no idea where to start. You have given us so much wonderful information. I will be telling my friends about your site. So very thankful for the breakdown you provided. Thank you thank you thank you. Hugs and Blessings to you both.xx

Hi Wendy, how exciting you are going to Tasmania. We love this state so much. We spent 3 months exploring Tassie, so if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are happy to help. Happy planning. 🙂

I would suggest you missed a few things to do around Strahan. The wilderness in that location is absolutely incredible and there are some beautiful hikes to do, along with train and boat excursions. Apart from that critique, your itinerary and write-up was excellent. Thanks for posting.

This is on my bucket list as well, such a beautiful place. I’m wondering being from the states if I will be able to adjust to driving because I would rather drive myself around. Fantastic article thank you!!

Hi Heather, thank you so much. We totally understand about driving on the other side of the road. It is like that for us when we visit the USA or Canada. The rental companies understand this and some offer a lesson before hiring. Definitely get the insurance so you are covered incase anything happens. Your travel insurance may offer you car rental insurance so check with that first before taking out the rental car’s insurance. Our suggestion is to hire a small car. This will depend on what time of year you are going. In winter hire a larger vehicle as it may snow. In the summer, you should be fine with a smaller car. The roads are quiet in Tasmania compared to other places in Australia, like near Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast.

A perfect Tas itinerary indeed! Beaches and national parks are the best for families with kids. Thanks for the self-drive tip as we also wouldn’t want a rushed trip. Keeping this post handy!

Agree. They are so beautiful there. We were blown away. Thank you. Glad the article was helpful

Tourism Tasmania owes you a beer! I wanted to take a two week holiday in October 2021 but wasn’t sure where Was contemplating scuba trip on Great Barrier Reef, Margaret River/Perth road trip, Darwin NT, and Tassie.

Read your article and within 6 hours booked Spirit of Tasmania for a two week stay in Tassie and started making some pre and post travel and accommodation plans!

haha thank you. We are stoked this article was helpful for you. There is so many awesome places to go in Australia. That is awesome we could help you decide. You are going to have such a great time in Tasmania. It is a beautiful state. When are you planning on going. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out. There is so much to do in Tasmania. It is a little overwhelming (in the good way). Have a great trip.

Very helpful ideas. We are planning a trip to Tasmania to see and learn more about the convict sites. Not sure how they would fit into your itinerary but we will see.

We have budgeted $5000.00 to cover accom car hire food and drink etc for 14 day tour….hope this covers it all,we are happy for 4star accom and mix some cabin s in as well… I think a plan of Hobart one night,port Arthur one night,Coles bay one night,Bicheno one nightLaunceston 2 nights,(including drive to Campbell town and Ross and back one day),then one night Devonport (why don’t people seem to like Devonport as a stop?)then overnight Wyndham,one night cradle mountain,Strahan 2 nights ,then back to Hobart 3 nights.and do road trips down to Huonville,Bruny ,mt Wellington etc.

Interesting read. We did a similar itinerary but focus a bit more on hiking and camping. Tasmania is a great place for outdoor lovers!.

When in Strahan, one must take the trip on the cog railway and the spectacular Gordon River tour. You might give a warning about driving on the road into Queenstown from the south – it is treacherous.

Near Hobart is the Bonorong Wildlife Refuge. There is a nighttime tour I did not get to take that is supposed to be especially worthwhile. A good place doing good things.

Sorry if the names I gave aren’t exact – it’s been a few years. (I hope to go again soon!)

Thank you so much for the tips Ginny. Something to add to our list. 🙂

great pictures, I would love to go to one of these places, thank you for sharing this post.

Thank you for your comment Jasmine. Richard made us want to go too. We have never been either. Tasmania looks like an incredible place.

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Ultimate 8-Day Self Drive Tasmania Road Trip Itinerary Planner

By: Author Angela Price

Posted on Last updated: March 30, 2024

Ultimate 8-Day Self Drive Tasmania Road Trip Itinerary Planner

From hiking in Cradle Mountain to wildlife spotting in Freycinet National Park, this self drive Tasmania itinerary highlights the best places to visit in Tasmania and where to stay. It includes helpful driving distances to help plan an easy trip around Tasmania.

A Tasmanian road trip should rank highly on the bucket list of anyone planning a visit to Australia because Tasmania is one of the most beautiful places you could wish to visit.

Tasmania is filled with fantastic scenery, great outdoor activities, wildlife and culture, and after spending six weeks in the land down under, I can honestly say that the eight days I spent driving around Tasmania were my favourite.

Exploring the great outdoors is my passion, and although Tasmania is an island, it still has a diverse range of landscapes perfect for discovering on a road trip, including mountain escapes, coastal towns and city settlements, which is why I loved it so much.

Australia’s largest island state feels untouched by the outside world, which is difficult to imagine until you have visited it yourself, so follow my Tasmania road trip itinerary for one of the world’s best road trips.

This travel guide may contain affiliate links – please read my  disclaimer and privacy policy for more information.

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Table of Contents

Useful Information About Tasmania

Travel to tasmania.

Tasmania is an island off Australia’s mainland and, as such, can only be reached by water or air.

The Spirit of Tasmania Ferry from Melbourne to Devonport is an easy choice if you want to travel through the night.

We booked onto the overnight ferry to sleep during the nine-hour crossing and wake up refreshed in Tasmania.

This didn’t quite pan out as expected due to sailing in stormy waters, so we were pretty tired when we disembarked.

If your sea legs aren’t entirely up to a sometimes rough crossing, then flying into Tasmania from one of the mainland’s regional airports will be your best bet.

The two main airports in Tasmania are in the island’s capital, Hobart and Launceston.

Flight times from Melbourne are a little over one hour. From Sydney, flights will take two hours.

For your Tasmania road trip, you can rent a vehicle in Devonport , Hobart, or Launceston.

Driving around Tasmania

Driving is on the left-hand side, so if you come from the UK, it will be the same as driving back home.

Tasmania is excellent to explore on a road trip. The roads are well-maintained, signposts are good, and the scenery is out of this world!

Wildlife in Tasmania is abundant, so you must be vigilant when driving around Tasmania to be alert to the potential of animals on the roads. At dawn and dusk, the wildlife is particularly lively.

Sadly, a lot of roadkill is scattered on the roadside verges, so be prepared. It was not something I expected to see, and I found it upsetting.

a road leading out of the town of Sheffield with Mount Roland in the distance

Accommodation in Tasmania

There are plenty of great places to stay in Tasmania, ranging from cabins, apartments, BandBs, and luxury hotels, so there is something to suit all budgets.

It is worth booking your stay in Tasmania in advance as it is a popular visitor destination, especially in the peak season, and lodgings can get booked quickly.

Cradle Mountain accommodation , in particular, is always in demand and can often be booked out completely.

A green cabin with a corrugated roof in the wilderness

Weather in Tasmania

Tasmania is an outdoor playground that can be visited at any time of the year.

Over the winter months, expect snowfall and low temperatures, especially in the mountains. If you enjoy skiing, snow sports, winter scenes and log cabins, this is the time to visit.

If you prefer moderate temperatures and don’t mind some rainfall, then spring or autumn will suit you perfectly.

I visited Tasmania at the end of February, just as summer turned to autumn, and I had a few days of rain but mostly sunshine. It was perfect weather to enjoy hiking in the wilderness.

Tasmania travel in summer will see temperatures increase, so factor that into any plans you have for long hikes and mountain climbs.

sunset over the Hazard mountain range in Freycinet

Best places to visit on an 8-day road trip around Tasmania

  • Sheffield – the unique town of murals
  • Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake – the heart of Tasmania’s wilderness
  • Strahan – the gateway to Gordon River cruises
  • Coles Bay – home to Freycinet National Park
  • Port Arthur – historic penal settlement and open-air museum
  • Hobart – the capital of Tasmania

Self Drive Tasmania Road Trip Map

Tasmania Travel Itinerary

Day one and two – sheffield and cradle mountain.

Our 8-day Tasmania self drive itinerary started on a crisp summer morning in February as we arrived in Devonport on the overnight ferry from Melbourne .

We quickly picked up the Kia rental car we had pre-booked for our road trip and were ready to head to our first stop in Tasmania, the mural town of Sheffield, which was on the route to Cradle Mountain.

Red and white ferry ,the spirit of Tasmania, docked in Devonport.

The driving time from Devonport to Sheffield is 25 minutes

As a lover of street art , I couldn’t wait to see the charming Tasmanian town of Sheffield.

It is famous for its murals covering just about every shop front and building in town and its annual Muralfest event, which attracts hundreds of creatives competing to leave their mark on this normally sleepy town.

If you arrive on an early morning ferry like us, you will find that the town doesn’t get going until around 8.30 am, which gives you time to take some fabulous photographs of the murals with no one around.

When the town starts to stir, head to one of the cafes for breakfast before continuing your drive to Cradle Mountain.

Learn about Sheffield in my blog post, the Mural Town of Sheffield .

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Leaving Sheffield, the view of Mount Roland is incredible as it rises in the distance.

Road leading to Mount Roland with fields on either side

The drive to Cradle Mountain is straightforward; the driving directions are below:

Stay on the C136 after leaving Sheffield and turn onto the C132 at Moina.

Continue on this road until you come to Cradle Mountain Road, which will take you to the town centre, where you will find most of the Cradle Mountain accommodation and the Cradle Mountain Information Centre.

The driving time from Sheffield to Cradle Mountain is 60 minutes

Cradle mountain.

Cradle Mountain must be on your itinerary if you love being outdoors and connecting with nature.

It feels untouched by technology and outside influences and has strict policy codes about the number of visitors allowed into the national park daily.

For that reason, you have to buy a pass to gain access. This can be picked up from the Cradle Mountain visitor centre, and funds go toward the upkeep of Tasmania’s national parks and reserves. 

boardway through wilderness in Cradle Mountain National Park

When you visit Cradle Mountain National Wilderness Park, you will discover waterfalls, valleys, mountain hikes, lake walks and wildlife.

We did several walks, including the incredible Dove Lake Walk and loved every moment.

One evening we visited the Tasmanian Devils’ sanctuary , one of the fun things to do in Tasmania. We watched them feed and learned more about Australia’s iconic creature.

a black fur Tasmanian devil with its mouth fully open displaying its sharp teeth

Read more about how we spent two nights in Cradle Mountain and why it became our favourite place in Tasmania.

Where to stay in cradle mountain.

One thing to remember is that Cradle Mountain is undoubtedly the most popular place to visit in Tasmania, so accommodation in Cradle Mountain is always in demand.

If you plan on staying at Peppers Cradle Mountain Resort, the Cradle Mountain Hotel or Cradle Mountain Lodge, you must book far in advance.

We stayed at the Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village , which I had booked six months before my trip.

Wooden boathouse on the edge of Dove Lake with Cradle Mountain in the background

Day Three and Day Four – Strahan

The driving time from cradle mountain to strahan is two hours..

Once we had left Cradle Mountain, we headed for our next stop in Strahan on Tasmania’s west coast.

Driving Directions from Cradle Mountain to Strahan

To reach Strahan, drive along the C132 from Cradle Mountain and eventually join the A10 Murchinson Highway.

While you are driving along the highway, you will pass Lake Rosebury. It is worth stopping here to take photographs and enjoy the scenery. The reflections of the trees in the water are mesmerising.

A blue lake surrounding by trees that are reflecting in the water

Continue along the A10 and join the B28, which takes you passed Lake Plimsoll, a trout fishery.

Lake Plimsoll sign on the road side in front of the lake

We continued our drive on the A10 until we reached the B24, which took us into Strahan.

I included two nights in Strahan on my road trip itinerary as the historic village intrigued me.

It is the remotest village on Tasmania’s west coast and was once a bustling port during Tasmania’s mining mecca of the 1800s.

It is now home to Gordon River Cruises, famous throughout Australia for taking visitors through the magnificent heritage wilderness of Franklin Gordon Wild Rivers National Park.

Sunset in Strahan

We had intended to join one of the cruises, but sadly, lousy weather stopped that, so we left without experiencing it ourselves.

We got one good day in Strahan, so we popped down to the town, familiarised ourselves with some craft shops, walked around the water’s edge, and discovered what a “Bottle-O” was.

For my non-Australian readers, it is a dedicated off-licence as alcohol is not sold in supermarkets; a strange experience for me coming from the UK as a bottle of wine is often featured on my supermarket shopping list next to my fruit and veg!

Aerial view of Strahan looking towards the road and water

We stayed in a lovely Airbnb property (no longer listed), where we caught up on our washing. That’s one of the chores you still must do on a long trip. There’s no getting away from needing clean clothes!

Learn about Strahan in my blog post: Eight great things to Do in Strahan , for an idea of the activities on offer during your stay.

Where to stay in strahan.

Strahan has varied accommodations, from apartments to camping grounds. I have listed several places that will suit all budgets and lifestyles.

Aloft Boutique Apartments  – these contemporary, self-contained apartments are less than a 5-minute drive from Ocean Beach. They have private patios, free wifi, and on-site parking.

Check availability and pricing for Aloft Boutique Apartments

Salt Box Hideaway  – this one-bedroom apartment offers mountain and sea views and free wifi. It is a cosy retreat after a day of exploring the hidden gems in Strahan.

Check availability and pricing for Salt Box Hideaway

Strahan Village  – a favourite holiday accommodation for visitors to the Tassie town of Strahan, offers several dining options. Fantastic views of Macquarie Bay from most of the rooms.

Check availability and pricing for Strahan Village

Strahan Backpackers  – features quirky, budget accommodation, a shared lounge, a garden, barbecue facilities and a terrace.

Check availability and pricing for Strahan Backpackers

Macquarie Head Campsite  – situated at the entrance to the harbour, this campsite might have one of the best views in Strahan!

Check availability and pricing for Macquarie Head campsite

Day Five – On the Road: Strahan to Coles Bay

The driving time from strahan to coles bay is 5 hours and 30 minutes, driving directions from strahan to coles bay.

Leaving Strahan, we took the B24 Lyell Highway for our long drive to Coles Bay and the incredible Freycinet National Park. Only two roads take you in and out of Strahan, so you can’t get lost.

When you eventually come to a fork in the road, after around an hour, you must turn right onto the A10.

Once on this road, there are several tourist spots to see if you have time, including Iron Blow Lookout and Nelson Falls.

I didn’t stop at either of these, so I can’t give an opinion on whether they are worth seeing, but they feature in many Tasmania travel books.

Lake St Clair National Park

After two hours of driving, we turned off at Derwent Bridge to see Lake St Clair, part of the Cradle Mountain National Park.

Over six days, a well-trodden and challenging 65km hike called the Overland Track can be done from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair. It is a popular trail among hikers, so bookings must be made well in advance.

When we arrived in the Lake St Clair car park, we met a couple that had completed their hike along the Overland Track; they said it was hard but worth it for the scenery. I would love to do it someday if I ever return to Tasmania.

wooden hut in a grasy area with a cut-out silhouette of a man with a rucksack.

Once out of the car, we grabbed lunch from the onsite cafe and set off to stretch our legs and explore the lake.

The rain that had been with us since leaving Strahan had finally stopped, and an ethereal mist had descended over Lake St Clair, making it look somewhat eerie but magical.

It is probably prettier in the sunshine with a backdrop of blue skies, but we weren’t bothered. Being alone at the lake, apart from one lone wallaby, was perfect for us.

Fog descending over Lake St Clair in Tasmania.

Driving Directions from Lake St Clair to Coles Bay

Back in the car, we continued along the A10 Lyell Highway until we reached the B11 turning (on the left-hand side) near Bronte Park.

From here, we continued for another three hours until we reached Apslawn, where we got out to stretch our legs.

The place we found to stop was at the Devil’s Corner Cellar Door , where I planned to pick up a bottle of local wine to enjoy that evening.

Sadly, it was closed as we had arrived too late (I have a habit of lingering in places a bit too long, i.e. Lake St Clair!), so all we could do was enjoy the beautiful view of Coles Bay and the butterflies.

View across fields to the ocean.

Finally, at the end of day five, we arrived at Edge of the Bay Resort in the Coles Bay Conservation Area to spend two nights.

The accommodation blew me away, and after a sunset mooch around the resort, we settled down for the night, ready for a full day in Freycinet National Park in the morning.

view across bush shrubs leading to the ocean and mountains.

Where to Stay in Coles Bay

Eagles Peak Freycinet  is a choice of luxury one and two-bedroom cabins set by the beach with garden and sea views.

Pricing and Availability for Eagles Peak

Freycinet Lodge  has a waterfront location and offers secluded cabins in a coastal bush setting, two restaurants and a bar.

Pricing and availability for Freycinet Lodge

Hazards Hideaway  – An entire one-bedroom holiday house with one bathroom, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a patio with sensational views.

Pricing and availability for Hazards Hideaway

Freycinet Resort  – Freycinet Resort offers luxurious accommodations with 360-degree views of The Hazards, Friendly Beaches, Great Oyster Bay and the Tasman Sea.

Pricing and availability for Freycinet Resort

Big 4 Freycinet  – This self-catering accommodation is just a minute’s walk from the white sand beaches of Coles Bay. 

Pricing and Availability for Big 4 Freycinet

Saffire Freycinet  – For complete luxury but with a hefty price tag, Saffire is the most premium accommodation in Freycinet National Park.

Reviews for Saffire Freycinet

Is there any Freycinet camping allowed in the national park?

Yes.  Richardsons Beach Campground  is adjacent to the visitor centre within the park.

Day Six – Exploring Freycinet National Park

Freycinet – hiking, beaches and breathtaking scenery.

After exploring the west coast and the central wilderness of Tasmania, it was time to hit up the east coast at Freycinet National Park.

It is undoubtedly one of the must-see places in Tasmania, and some unmissable sights in Freycinet National Park include Wineglass Bay, Cape Tourville Lighthouse, and Honeymoon Bay. These spectacular Tasmanian landmarks are a “must-see” on lists of Australia’s best places to visit.

There are plenty of hiking trails in Freycinet National Park for all abilities, from gentle circular routes to the more ambitious 3.6km Mount Amos hike. We enjoyed the 3km Wineglass Lookout walk, unsurprisingly all uphill. Even though we ended up pretty hot at the top, the views from the lookout point made up for it.

Beaches feature heavily in the Freycinet landscape, with several close to the main Freycinet visitor’s area.

Learn more about Freycinet in my blog post on 11 sensational things to do in Freycinet National Park .

A view to Wineglass Bay blue water and sandy beach from a lookout.

Day Seven – On the Road: Coles Bay to Hobart

The driving time from coles bay to hobart is 2 hours 30 minutes with no stops (or a lot longer if you divert to see unscheduled attractions as we did).

I was sad to leave Coles Bay and the incredible Freycinet National Park, but it was time to hit the road again and head to our final stop in Hobart, Tasmania’s capital.

Of course, I didn’t simply want to drive from A to B; I had already researched several places along the East Coast I wanted to see, meaning I had to divert from my route to Hobart and side-track to the Tasman peninsula.

Driving Directions from Coles Bay to Port Arthur

We headed out of Coles Bay on the C302 and joined the A3 Tasman Highway after driving for 25 minutes.

We continued for 90 minutes to the town of Orford, where I turned off the Tasman Highway and onto the right-hand fork of the C320 Welangta Road. You can also drive the coastal C320; it will just take longer.

Then take the C336 Bream Creek Road, which quickly joins the C335 Kellevie Road until you reach the forked turning of A9 Arthur Highway. Turn left.

Continue along the A9, and it will take you to Port Arthur via two other places worth a stop. One is Eaglehawk Neck, The Blow Hole, and a weirdly sounded tourist attraction, the Tessellated Pavement.

A stop to see the Blow Hole at Eaglehawk Neck

Eaglehawk Neck is a narrow strip of land with water on both sides, and the blowhole is on it.

Stand and watch the ocean push through the ‘hole in the rock’ and blow its water high into the air. Stand close enough to the railings, and you are in for a soaking.

Landscape image of Eagleneck point in Port Arthur.

A stop to see the Tessellated Pavement

The Tessellated Pavement, formed of rock about 300 million years ago, proved hard to find.

When we did, I wasn’t that impressed, regardless of it supposedly being one of Tasmania’s best-kept secrets.

Unless you are really curious to see it, I would give it a miss.

Grey Tessellated Pavement beside the sea in Tasmania

After leaving the Tessellated Pavement, hop back on the A9 to Port Arthur. It is a 30-minute drive.

If you have time to spare, you might also want to stop at Port Arthur Lavender and Tasmanian Devil Unzoo.

We left these two Port Arthur landmarks out of our itinerary because we had to get to Hobart, and I didn’t want to drive in the dark.

Port Arthur historic penal settlement

One place you must visit in Tasmania is the Port Arthur historic site. This historic penal settlement is one of 11 places comprising the UNESCO Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property.

Wander around this massive 19th-century prison site and learn about the hardened criminals who lived alongside children who had committed minor crimes like stealing apples.

Many inmates, even children, had been shipped to Port Arthur from the United Kingdom when Australia was the place to send convicts!

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Information boards scattered around the site give you insight into what life was like at Port Arthur.

Don’t miss the shows with character actors portraying daily life for inmates, guards and the warden. The shows are excellent, and I would recommend watching one of them.

Make sure to take the leisurely boat ride in Carnarvon Bay. It sails around the Isle of the Dead, the convict’s burial site.

The scenery around Port Arthur is spectacular, so it’s easy to forget this was once one of Australia’s most significant penal settlements.

water and boats at Port Arthur penal site

While at Port Arthur, don’t miss visiting the ruins of the Convict Church, built by inmates – also the solitary confinement cells in the Separate Prison.

If you are brave enough, step inside the windowless cell, shut the door and see how long you can last. It’s not for the faint-hearted!

prison window in the ruins of a building in Port Arthur Tasmania

Driving Directions from Port Arthur to Hobart

After visiting Port Arthur, leave the site and drive back the way you came on the A9.

After driving for around 2 hours, you will come to the town of Sorell and the end of the Arthur Highway (A9). From Sorell, jump onto the Tasman Highway (A3 into Hobart).

You will cross by pretty bays and travel across large stretches of water with dramatic views as you get nearer to Hobart. We enjoyed seeing the changing colours at dusk as the sun began to set.

Sunset across the sea in Tasmania

Day Eight – Exploring Hobart

Hobart, the capital of tasmania.

Waking in Hobart only reminded me that we were coming towards the end of our time in Tasmania, which was a really sad feeling.

We had loved everything about Tasmania and would have stayed for a lot longer if we had known how beautiful and welcoming it would be. Nevertheless, we still had one full day left to explore Hobart, and we would make the most of it.

view of the houses in Hobart with Mt Wellington in the distance.

Being the capital of Tasmania means there are plenty of things to see in Hobart, and the waterfront is the best place to start.

You will find Constitution Dock and Franklin Wharf here, where you can wander around, see moored boats, and visit cafes and restaurants.

You can also visit Australia’s second oldest museum, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG).

a cruise liner in Hobart harbour with smaller vessels moored up beside it

Close by is Salamanca Place, home to the famous Saturday market in Hobart.

We missed the market as we arrived mid-week; however, Salamanca Place is full of lovely eateries, galleries and artisan shops.

Angie leaning against a full size bunny/woman sculpture in bronze in Hobart

Take the Kelly Steps from Salamanca Place to Battery Point to see the heritage houses in Arthur Circus, Hobart’s most affluent suburb.

Green heritage house with a road sign saying Arthur Circus.

And lastly, one place you must visit in Hobart is the botanical gardens ; the grounds are beautiful and if, like me, you love visiting botanic gardens around the world , this is one Hobart attraction you need to see.

Red Japanese Bridge across a pond in the Botanical Garden in Hobart

You can find out more about Hobart in my blog post Best things to do in Hobart in two days

Where to stay in hobart.

If you are looking for a place to stay in Hobart, there are many heritage hotels, chain hotels and private rentals.

I have detailed one from each price range and also linked to the Booking.com website, which will show a variety of pricing and availability for Hobart properties.

Luxury –  MACq 01 Hotel  – Each room is linked to real Tasmanian characters ranging from heroes, explorers and inventors, making it a fun place to stay in luxurious surroundings by the waterfront.

Comfort –  Hadley’s Orient Hotel  – Built in 1834 and heritage-listed, this is Tasmania’s oldest continuously operating boutique hotel. It is located in the Central Business District, close to all the main tourist sites.

Budget –  Shipwrights Arms  – A heritage pub with rooms built in the mid-19th century and close to Battery Point. The rooms are clean, basic and comfortable and receive a good guest rating.

Booking.com  list lots of  accommodation in Hobart  to suit all budgets. Reservations can be cancelled within 24 hours of arrival, allowing flexibility in your schedule.

My final thoughts on Tasmania

After an amazing 8 day road trip around Tasmania, it was time to fly to Sydney.

We were to continue our 6-week Australian trip along the East Coast, but if the truth be told, we didn’t really want to leave.

While spending over a week road-tripping in Tasmania had been a fantastic experience for us both, we still felt we had only rubbed the surface of this fantastic island.

Angie and Dominic hiking Dove Lake in Cradle Mountain during their Tasmania Road Trip

For this reason, I have vowed to return one day for an extended trip to Tasmania.

I will revisit places like Cradle Mountain and Hobart but also explore new places like Bridgestone Lavender, Billabong Bay, Mount Field National Park, Bruny Island and Maria Island, to name a few.

Until then, I have lovely memories of the sensational places in Tasmania I was lucky to see with my son and how one of the most unspoilt and beautiful places in the world has captured my heart forever!

Do you need to arrange travel insurance, car hire or accommodation? Please check out my  resources page  to help you plan your trip.

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We Are Global Travellers

A 10-day Tasmania road trip itinerary

Updated On 10th May, 2024

A 10-day Tasmania road trip itinerary

If you’re planning a trip to Tasmania and are wondering what your Tasmania road trip could look like or what you should do with your time there, you’ve arrived at the right blog post. In this blog post, I am going to share a 10-day Tasmania road trip itinerary with you, jam-packed with all the best places to visit in Tasmania. It’s one of the best places to visit in Australia and certainly somewhere you should consider for a road trip in Australia!

This 10-day Tasmania road trip is perfect for those who want a real taste for what Australia has to offer. Whether you like hikes and bikes, penguin watching, distilleries or heritage sites, Tasmania is an absolute must for internationals visiting Australia as well as Australians looking for a domestic trip that feels like you have gone on an international adventure. This epic road trip itinerary, which is one of the best things to do in Australia , will take you through all the best places to visit in Tasmania.

Of course, this Tasmania road trip itinerary is going to assume you have a car or van with you. I’m not sure it would be of any use for me to write an itinerary for you whilst staying at your hotel lol. However, if you have booked to stay in one place during your time in Tasmania, you may want to use this post to inspire a day trip in Tasmania or to add an extension to your existing booking.

If you want to know more about renting a campervan in Australia, check out this blog post. 

After all, road trips are the best!

Other blog posts you might find useful…

  • Hiring a campervan in Australia
  • A guide to freedom camping in Australia
  • The best things to do in Australia
  • Australia: the ultimate travel guide
  • Everything you need to know about farm work in Australia
  • A guide to solo travel in Australia
  • Australia: the ultimate East Coast bucket list
  • The best things to do in Sydney

A 10-day Tasmania road trip itinerary

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A 10-day road trip itinerary for Tasmania…

I’m going to begin and end this road trip in Tasmania in Devonport, so it’s the perfect Australia road trip if you’re looking for a loop route! This itinerary focuses on East Tasmania and goes in a clockwise direction, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t enjoy this Tasmania road trip itinerary in the other direction. 

This is a 10-day road trip itinerary for Tasmania, but there’s no reason why you can’t adapt it to be a 1-week itinerary, or take your time and spend 3 or 4 weeks completing this route! The absolute best way to see this magical wild place is by camping and caravanning. Tasmania is a camper’s heaven with so many beautiful waterfront and nature immersed campsites. With many of these being free, you can save your money for the experiences, park entry and local food! 

See my guide to freedom camping in Australia here. 

I explored Tasmania in my own van, if you don’t have a van/caravan you can easily rent one from places like Appolo or Britz , or if you’re looking for something more homey, you can rent vans on Camplify starting at $70 a day. Trying to do it on a budget? Then pack a tent and you are ready to go!

However much I love van life, this trip is equally doable in a car, if you prefer. I’d recommend using Airbnb or  Booking.com  for the best accommodation along your route.

In terms of getting to Tasmania, this island state is only a short 2-hour flight from Sydney. You can also get to Tasmania by The Spirit of Tasmania. This ferry runs twice a day and can take you and your car/van from Melbourne, Victoria to Devonport, Tasmania in around 11 hours. Tickets start at around $130 per adult and $100 for a car/motorhome each way. You can also choose to book a cabin to get a good night’s sleep starting at $149 per cabin. Be aware that prices fluctuate in peak season and do sell out, so book in advance! Book your Spirit of Tasmania tickets here. 

travel tasmania by car

Weather in Tasmania: When to visit Tasmania…

Whether you decide to do the full 10-day Tasmania road trip itinerary, pick and choose your favourites for a weekend getaway or immerse yourself for a longer stay, these are a few of my absolute favourite places to visit in Tasmania from my four months exploring this beautiful island state in my van.

If you’re planning a road trip in Tasmania and wondering ‘what is the weather like in Tasmania?’ or ‘when to visit Tasmania’, the best months to visit are between November-February, to avoid the winter closures of some areas. Either way, be sure to pack some warm clothes and a rain jacket (even in the summer months!), so you can enjoy whatever the weather throws at you on your Tasmania road trip. Also, be sure to grab a Tasmania Parks Pass (2 months for $80), which will allow you access into some campsites and all major parks for the trip. 

Day 1: The Nut, Stanley

  • Driving time: 2 hours

It’s Day 1 of this Tasmania road trip itinerary and I hope you’re raring to go! 

After taking the Spirit across from what the locals call “the mainland”, you will arrive in Devonport in Northern Tasmania. Head west for 1.5 hours towards the historic seaside village of Stanley, one of the best places to visit in Tasmania and best known for ‘The Nut’: a sheer sided bluff that is all that remains of the volcanic plug. 

The Nut is accessible by chairlift for $17 pp, or on foot, but be prepared for a short steep climb to get to the top. Follow the 4.6km circuit around the grassy plains of the Nut taking in the stunning sights from above.  

When you’re finished, head into town and wander down Church Street to try the Tasmanian special: the famous scallop pie at Touchwood Cafe. They are also known for their ‘The Nut’ scones that are made even better when enjoyed from this rustic wall to wall glass dining room overlooking the town. 

Make the 20-minute drive towards Peggs Beach Campground for the night ($13 for 2 people).

Day 2: Cradle Mountain

  • Driving time: 3 hours

On your second day of your Tasmania road trip  you’re heading to one of the best places to visit in Tasmania: Cradle Mountain.

Get an early start on the day and drive southeast towards the wild west of Cradle Mountain. This iconic wilderness world heritage destination is a 2.5 hour drive from Stanley and is home to some of the most diverse natural beauty that Tasmania has on offer. From the moss covered rainforests to glacial lakes, it’s no wonder Cradle is such a popular place to visit in Tasmania year round. 

The park provides a free shuttle with purchase of a Parks Pass, so park in the main car park, head to the visitor information centre to get your shuttle tickets, and make your way into the park. 

Take the shuttle to Dove Lake where you can choose from an array of walks in Cradle Mountain. You can spend the full day (8hrs+) hiking to the peak, or keep it to a half day loop winding your way up to Marrion’s Lookout overlooking Dove Lake, and then back through the forest towards Ronnie Creek, where you can encounter a wisdom of wombats traversing the wide grassy plains.  

If you have ever dreamed of seeing a Tasmanian Devil then be sure to check out the after dark feeding tours at the Devil’s at Cradle Sanctuary where you have the chance to interact with these near extinct animals at their most active time ($37.50 AUD pp). This is definitely one of the best things to do in Tasmania! 

Head about 30 minutes out of Cradle to find camp for the night at Lake Gairdner Campground. 

A 10-day Tasmania road trip itinerary

Day 3: Launceton

Heading east for 2 hours, make your way towards the riverside city of Launceston for the day. This is one of the most popular places to visit in Tasmania and a must do on your road trip in Tasmania!

The first stop is Grindelwald, a small village in Tamar Valley Resort on the outskirts of Launceston. This stunning little village was in fact named and inspired by a village in Switzerland and created by a local businessman for his wife who wanted to move to Switzerland.

It features traditional Swiss-German architecture and is a great place to come try your hand at Putt Putt, feed the resident ducks down by the lake and grab some freshly made crepes and a coffee from Miss A Sippy Cafe overlooking the courtyard. 

Once you have had your fill, head into Launceston to explore the beautiful Cataract Gorge. One of the best things to do in Tasmania is to take a walk down the original 1890’s pathway towards the South Esk River to the urban reserve with its rolling lawns and meandering peacocks.  

If you love Indian, be sure to finish the day by grabbing dinner at Pickled Evenings. Open from 5pm, they do an incredible Cheese and Garlic Kulcha and their curries are divine. Portions are on the smaller side, so grab extra rice if you’re hungry, but the flavours are worth it. 

Then make the short 30-minute drive east to camp for the night at Lilydale Falls Campground. 

Day 4: Lavender Fields and Floating Sauna

  • Driving time:

Start the day with a quick explore of the Lilydale Falls and then head 20 minutes east to Bridestowe Lavender Estate to explore the picturesque fields. This is one of the best things to do in Tasmania, not only because of the beautiful purple of the lavender but also because of the cafe! Try one of the many lavender infused items from the cafe, like the subtle flavoured lavender ice cream!

Then drive about 1 hour to the little mountain town of Derby to finish the afternoon with an hour of relaxation at the famous Floating Sauna. Only a short 10 minute walk from town, this woodfired sauna with a window overlooking Derby lake offers a scenic, one of a kind, hot-cold immersion experience. Sessions run for an hour and cost $45 pp. Be sure to book as these spots sell out fast!

Head back into town and sleep at the free camp in town. 

Find out more about freedom camping in Australia here. 

A 10-day Tasmania road trip itinerary

Day 5: Derby

  • Driving time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Derby is the one of the best places to go mountain biking in Australia. The Blue Derby network consists of 125km of trails winding through the beautiful local forests and ancient ferns beginning in the centre of town. 

One of the best things to do in Tasmania is to get a taste of the trails by renting a bike in town and spend the morning exploring! Beginners can enjoy a scenic ride around Derby Lake, while more intermediate and advanced riders can head up on a shuttle and explore the downhill trails. 

Finish your ride with a well deserved pizza at The Hub from $13-22 AUD and make your way east for 1.5 hours to Swimcart Beach Campground in the Bay of Fires for the night. 

A 10-day Tasmania road trip itinerary

Day 6: Bay of Fires and Bicheno

It’s day 6 on our Tasmania road trip itinerary and it’s a good day for an early start. Wake up for sunrise and enjoy coffee with views overlooking the crystal clear blue waters of the Bay of Fires. Spend the morning exploring the beaches, go for a dip, or a surf if the conditions are right!

After that, pack up and head 1.5 hr south to Bicheno. Grab a pastry from Little Bay Collective and take a walk on the beautiful Waubs beach. 

In the evening be sure to check out the penguins in Bicheno! You can book a tour with Bicheno Penguin Tours for $40 pp or go down by yourself down near the boat ramp, but be sure to not shine lights on them or take photos with a flash. Pick a spot, be still and enjoy the magic. 

Drive 15 minutes south to sleep at Friendly Beaches campground. 

Day 7: Mt Atmos and Wineglass Bay

  • Driving time: 1 hour 25 minutes

The next stop is a 25-minute drive to Freycinet National Park to hike the rugged Mt Atmos overlooking the beautiful sweeping beach of Wineglass Bay. These are two of the best places to visit in Tasmania. 

The Mt. Atmos track is 3.6km and I recommend you allow 3 hours with its steep climb with rocky wet slabs in some parts. Be conscious of recent rainfall, bring water and wear comfortable grippy shoes. 

Not up for a climb? Then check out the 2.6 km return Wineglass Bay Lookout track, another one of the best things to do in Tasmania, which delivers similar views from a more accessible vantage point. 

Finish with dinner in town with a casual bite to eat at Richardson’s Bistro or for a more fine dining experience check out The Bay Restaurant with their seasonal menu. Then drive 1-hour to Mayfeild Beach campground for the night. 

A 10-day Tasmania road trip itinerary

Day 8: Hobart Outskirts

  • Driving time: 2 hours 50 minutes

In the morning of day 8 of this Tasmania road trip itinerary head 1 hour south to the National Heritage Listed Richmond Bridge to see Australia’s oldest stone arch bridge built by convict labour in 1825. 

Then, if it’s a weekend, one of the best things to do in Tasmania is to head into Hobart’s Salamanca markets on Saturday and farmgate markets on Sunday to sample the best of Tasmania’s artisans, designers, wine makers and distillers. 

Finish the afternoon driving south along the beautiful Huon Valley for a cider tasting at Pagan cider cellar door. You will be able to try their full range of ciders including their seasonal small-batch blends that you can only get at the cellar door (the quince is an absolute must!).

Free camping is limited near Hobart, so either head back into town and treat yourself for a night in a hotel, or head to The Leah bush camping area for $10 pp. 

A 10-day Tasmania road trip itinerary

Day 9: Mona and Mt Wellington

  • Driving time: 1 hour 50 minutes

On day 9 of your road trip in Tasmania drive into Hobart and up to Mt Wellington. Get a coffee at the Lost Freight Cafe and then drive the rest of the way to the top to enjoy your coffee overlooking Hobart. 

Head to MONA and spend a few hours getting connected to the wacky and weird in the Museum of Old and New Art. Throw out the stereotypical ‘boring’ museums and make sure you don’t miss this unique place to visit in Tasmania: this one of a kind labyrinth leads you down a spiraling staircase to the basement, that progressively winds its way through an array of art. Come with an open mind and enjoy this eclectic museum for $30 pp.

When you’re done, grab a plant based burger from Dubsy’s and enjoy it while sitting on the lawn and see if you can spot the resident chickens running free.  

Head to Kempton free camp for the night. 

travel tasmania by car

Day 10: Jacob’s Ladder / Kempton Distillery

  • Driving time: 4 hours 20 minutes (or 2 hours 30 minutes if skipping Jacob’s Ladder)

Jacob’s ladder, a moody and winding cliffside road in Ben Lomond National Park, is a 3.5 hour drive from Hobart. This is an invaluable habitat for wallabies and pademelons and a photographer’s dream. It’s by far one of the best places to visit in Australia, never mind one of the best places to visit in Tasmania, and if you are up for a longer drive today, you absolutely must go.

A 10-day Tasmania road trip itineraryA 10-day Tasmania road trip itinerary

However, if you’re not wanting to take the detour on the last day of your road trip in Tasmania, you can skip Jacob’s Ladder and book yourself a tour of the Kempton Distillery at 11am for $35pp to enjoy their range of small batch whiskies.

And with that, our Tasmania road trip itinerary has come to an end, and it’s time to head back to Devonport!

A 10-day Tasmania road trip itinerary

Have you been on a Tasmania road trip?

Where are your favourite things to do in Tasmania? Anything you’d add?

Love as always and happy adventuring,

Did you find this post helpful? I’d love you to share it for me.

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A 10-day Tasmania road trip itinerary

IT’S LOVELY TO MEET YOU

I’M MOLLIE AND I STARTED THIS BLOG BACK IN 2013 WHEN I HEADED OUT ON MY FIRST BACKPACKING ADVENTURE. 

I’D LOVE TO SHARE THE JOURNEY WITH YOU, WE’VE GROWN A LOT SINCE THEN!

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Self-Drive Tasmania: The Best Trip Planner for an Ultimate Road Trip

  • Updated on: November 29, 2023

This article may contain affiliate links.  For more information, please see our disclaimer  here.

Table of Contents

Imagine this: I’m spending over a month in the rugged wilderness of Tasmania, an Australian island that’s a world unto itself. This place, one of the last accessible frontiers of raw, untouched nature, is a magnet for anyone with a thirst for adventure. The journey itself is captivating – empty roads meander through an ever-changing canvas of landscapes, making every mile an unfolding story.

In my trusty camper van, which quickly becomes more than just a vehicle but a mobile home, I dive deep into the heart of Tasmania. This extended stay isn’t just a visit; it’s a full immersion into the island’s soul. Every day is a new chapter, each destination a fresh revelation.

Given the luxury of time that many might not have, it didn’t feel right to just churn out a standard X-day Tasmania road trip itinerary. How could I distill this rich, sprawling experience into just a handful of days? Instead, I’ve put together a Tasmania trip planner, a guide born from my extensive explorations. This isn’t about prescribing a route; it’s about offering you the tools to weave your own Tasmanian tapestry, to build a journey that echoes your personal rhythm and style. So, get ready to chart your own course through Tasmania’s wild beauty!

How to get to Tasmania

Ferry - Spirit of Tasmania

As Tasmania is an island, which is not connected to the mainland by any tunnels or bridges, the only way to get there is by boat or by plane. If you want to bring your own car, you can take the ferry, the Spirit of Tasmania . They provide a regular daily service between Melbourne and Devonport.

If you prefer to fly , you can take a flight from Sydney, Melbourne, Launceston, or Hobart. Launceston is a city in the North of Tasmania. Hobart is the capital city of Tasmania, situated in the South.

Don’t miss: Our Complete Tasmania Travel Guide

Best time to visit Tasmania

Tasmania can best be visited between December and February. The temperatures are best during this time of the year. Nature is stunning and there are plenty of  activities  that can be done. But always be prepared for a cool day and cold nights.

Average day temperatures and rainfall in Tasmania. Blue indicates the best travel time

Car rental Tasmania

If you choose to fly to Tasmania, you can rent a car at both the airports in Hobart and Launceston. This is the easiest way to go, as there is barely any public transport in Tasmania, not even an option to bring you into town from the airport.

As the roads are pretty solid in Tasmania, you should be very fine with renting a 2WD car. This can either be a small car, a station wagon, a Camper Van or an RV.

Camping is very common in Tasmania and you will find a lot of free camps and campsites all around. But if camping is not your thing, don’t be afraid, as there are also many opportunities when it comes to B&B’s, hotels, and hostels!

Self-Driving Tasmania

Australia - Traffic Sign

In Tasmania, you drive on the left side of the road, just like in the rest of Australia. This also means that you have to stay on the left unless you are passing.

Always be aware of wildlife. They can cross the road literally any moment of the day. We had to stop a couple of times to let some wildlife cross the road, like an echidna, several wallabies, a goanna, and even a Tasmanian Devil!

If you didn’t see them in time and you hit an animal, always make sure to stop. See if the animal can be rescued or if it had any babies with it that need to be taken care of. Call the Wildlife Rescue at 1300 094 737 to report an animal that needs help.

Always wear your seatbelt and use hands-free devices. Stick to the speed limits, which is 50 km/h in urban areas, 100 km/h in rural areas, and 110 km/h on the highway. Please be aware that gas stations might be further away from each other than you expect, so don’t forget to fuel up on time!

If you don’t like to travel around Tasmania by yourself, check out this amazing 6 day tour.

Know before you go

There are a couple of things you need to know before you start your road trip around Tasmania.

Tasmania National Park Pass

National Park -Tasmania

A National Park Pass is a pass that gives you permission to enter a national park in Tasmania. You can either purchase a single-entry ticket, that gives you access for 24 hours, or you can purchase a holiday pass, that is valid for all the national parks in Tasmania for 8 weeks.

It might save you a lot of money on your Tasmanian road trip to purchase the holiday pass, even when you don’t spend the full 8 weeks in Tasmania. Below are the costs for the different national park passes:

  • Single entry (24 hours): AU$22, which is valid for 1 vehicle and up to 8 persons
  • Holiday pass (8 weeks): AU$56, which is valid for 1 vehicle and up to 8 persons

If you are planning on going to more than 2 national parks, it is more affordable to purchase the holiday pass.

Tip: You can purchase your national park pass at the entrance of any national park, any visitor center or at the Spirit of Tasmania I & II if you arrive by ferry.

Southern Lights

Southern Lights - Tasmania

You might not expect it, but in Tasmania, it is possible to see the Southern Lights! This is also called the Aurora Australis. It is the same natural phenomenon as the Northern Lights, but then in the Southern Hemisphere.

Actually, Tasmania is one of the best places in the world to see these incredible light shows. So, if you travel around, don’t forget to check the aurora forecast and set an alarm clock if the chances are high!

You can see the Southern Lights pretty much everywhere in Tasmania. Just make sure your view to the South isn’t blocked by large mountains or trees. It also helps a lot when you are away from the city so that you don’t have light pollution.

Tip : Join the Facebook group Aurora Australis Tasmania to get to know if and where there is a chance to capture the Southern Lights.

Bioluminescence

Tasmania - Bioluminescence

Another phenomenon to be seen in Tasmania is the bioluminescence, also called sea sparkle. When it gets dark the water lightens up in a bright blue color. The glow is caused by specific algae or plant plankton, flashing when they are disturbed by waves or currents.

This sea sparkle is especially known to be seen around Hobart. So, if you are around, check out if there is a chance to see it!

TIP : Become a member of the Facebook group bioluminescence Tasmania to get to know if and where there is a chance to see this blue fluorescence.

Self-Drive Tasmania Road Trip Planner

That was some basic information about Tasmania. You know where to rent a car and what you always have to look out for. So, now it’s time to finally dive into the beautiful sights, amazing things to do, and incredible National Parks to explore in Tasmania!

I start this road trip around Tasmania in Hobart, but you can literally start anywhere. If you fly to Launceston, scroll down to that point and start planning your Tasmania itinerary from there. Same story if you arrive by ferry in Devonport!

Interactive map of Tasmania

Below you’ll find an interactive map of Tasmania, where you can see all the stops, places of interest, things to do and places to sleep which I discuss in this post. Simply click on the map to integrate it into your Google Maps and navigate to the next stop on your route!

Hobart - Tasmania

Hobart is the capital city of Tasmania, but when you have been to Melbourne or Sydney, you will be amazed by the small size. It really is a cute and compact town where you are able to find anything you need. You can see it all in a day, but you can easily spend here 3 days as well.

Driving isn’t the most comfortable in the city center, as there are a lot of really small and narrow roads. Do you have a Camper Van? Don’t even bother trying to park in the city! Park just outside the center and walk in 10-15 minutes into town.

Tours we recommend:

Mount wellington.

Mount Wellington - Tasmania

Mount Wellington is one of the iconic sights in Hobart. You can drive all the way to the top of the mountain via a winding steep road. It is worth all your time and effort, as the views on a clear day are incredible! Especially during sunrise or sunset.

Once at the top, you can walk onto a viewing platform to have a view over the city and the ocean. There is also an inside viewing platform if you feel cold. Don’t forget, you can climb up a mountain and the temperature can easily be a couple of degrees colder than in the city! When we visited Mount Welling the temperature change was 12 degrees!

Also, don’t forget about the wind. Without any shelter, you will be fully exposed to it. Bring a windproof jacket, gloves, and a hat if you want to prepare yourself!

Salamanca Market

The Salamanca Market is a street market, held every Saturday from 8.30 am until 3.00 pm at Salamanca place. This is in the middle of the city center of Hobart. It is a very vibrant market with lots of handicrafts, arts, jewelry, organic produce, and delicious local foods and breweries.

With over 300 stands, you can easily spend there the whole morning. Wander around, take in the relaxed vibes and search for a beautiful souvenir.

MONA – the Museum of Old and New Art

Mona - Hobart Tasmania

This Museum of Old and New Art is a must-visit when in Hobart. You can get here by car or by ferry. It is a very interactive art museum, where old and modern art is combined.

So, what can you expect to see here? Although it is a very modern and interactive museum, there is also art hanging on the walls. But instead of figuring out what it is all about, you get a device where you can listen to the founder of the museum and sometimes the artist himself. They explain the story behind the art, which makes it way easier to understand.

There is also a lot of interactive art, where you can actually participate in to let it work. For example the pulse bulb, that shows your pulse when you hold on to a metal bar. And there is also a device that lets the wind do the work. Yes, you do understand it right, the wind makes the art here!

You can easily spend half a day at MONA. And if the weather is good you can enjoy lunch or a drink in the garden of the restaurant and watch the boats come by over the river.

Rektango Live Music

Every Friday night from 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm there is a free live music event at Salamanca place. Right behind the Peacock theater people gather to enjoy the music with some drinks.

So, if you are around on a Friday night, definitely go here to get a real local Tasmanian experience!

Places to stay in Hobart

There are several backpacker hostels situated in the middle of the city center. A private room in a hostel is available from US$45 to US$50 a night.

If you want a bit more luxury the Tasmania Inn offers great value for their price. You can book a room from US$65 a night. It is still very close to the city center and they have a restaurant where you can enjoy a dinner buffet for US$21 per person.

The Lea Bush Camp is a very good campsite which is only a 15-minute drive out of Hobart. They only charge AU$10 per person for an unpowered site and AU$12.50 for a powered site. The amenities are spotless and the camp kitchen is a big plus. Outside the bush fire season, you are also allowed to make a campfire at one of the designated spots.

The Tasman Peninsula & Port Arthur

Port Arthur Historic Site

Its time to actually start your self-drive Tasmania road trip! And it starts with a 70-minute drive from Hobart to the rugged Tasman Peninsula. Access to this Peninsula is via the ‘Eaglehawk Neck’, which is an isthmus of only 30 meters wide. Back in the old days, this place was guarded by dogs to prevent the convicts from escaping.

Most of the peninsula is a national park and it offers spectacular coastlines, blowholes, caves and two world heritage listed convict sites. There are also lots of walking tracks!

Depending on how much time you have I would suggest taking at least 1 day to explore the highlights of this part of Tasmania. If you do have an extra day, put on your hiking boots and take one of the incredible hikes!

Tour recommendation for Tasman Peninsula:

Enjoy a day in a sea kayak surrounded with a wide variety of wildlife. Tasman Peninsula Full-Day Sea Kayak Excursion

Port Arthur Historic Site

Port Arthur historic site is a world heritage listed site and is the best-preserved convict settlement in Australia. Explore the old buildings and take in the history that still feels alive when you wander around.

One of the best things to do here is taking the  ghost tour ! Hear spooky stories and enjoy the atmospheric grounds and buildings while you learn something about history!

Coal mines historic site

Another world heritage listed site is the coal mines. A place where convicts were doing forced labor. Old buildings are still standing and you can have a look around and take pictures during a guided tour while you learn all about this place. You can also walk the Convicts Coal Mine Circuit which leads you around the place in two hours.

Tasmanian Devil UNZOO

Tasmanian Devil - Australia

In contrary to a regular zoo, the animals are free in their habitat and the visitors can watch them from certain ‘cages’ in this habitat. This creates spectacular up-close sights and a lot more interaction with the animals.

If you go to the Tasmanian Devil UNZOO, make sure to see the Tasmanian Devil feeding and the bird show! Both real impressive! For tickets check out their website , or click on the day tour below to combine Port Arthur with the UNZOO.

From Hobart: Port Arthur and Tasmanian Devil Unzoo Day Tour

Walking tracks

There are a lot of walking tracks available on the Tasman Peninsula. One of the most famous hikes is the Tasman Coastal Hike which takes 3-5 days to complete. Luckily you can also do parts of this trail in half a day or a full day. Click here for more information.

Places to stay Port Arthur

Tasmania - Port Arthur

There are a couple of places to stay in the area of Port Arthur, as well as hotels as campsites, but they are all pretty pricey. If you just drive off the peninsula, passed the Eaglehawk Neck, there is the Lufra Hotel and apartments . Situated at the beachfront they are offering fully self-contained rooms for only US$80 a night.

Great Eastern Drive

Great Eastern Drive - Tasmnia

The Great Eastern Drive is a 176 km long road between Orford and St. Helens on Tasmania’s East Coast. The road leads you right through the East Coast wine region. There are lots of beaches to explore, hikes to do, and wines to taste!

Maria Island

Tasmania - Maria Island

Maria Island is a natural wildlife sanctuary with historic ruins, beautiful bays, and incredible cliffs. It is a no-car island where you can only get to from the passenger ferry from Triabunna. It takes about 30 minutes with the ferry. You can find the ferry times here on the timetable.

There are several hikes to do on the island that will let you explore several highlights, like the painted cliffs, which are limestone rock formations, and the convict sites at Darlington.

During your visit, you will probably spot a lot of wildlife, like echidnas and wallabies. With a bit of luck, you might also spot a Tasmanian Devil!

Hiking and biking are the main activities to do on this beautiful island. Bikes are for rent from Darlington. Renting a bike will allow you to see quite a lot of the island in just one day! If you like to explore it on foot or want to spend the night there for a higher chance to see the wildlife, you can stay here an extra day.

Accommodation on Maria Island is very basic. It is either a room with 6 to 14 bunk beds or a campsite. There is also no possibility of purchasing any food or drinks, so you need to bring everything yourself! If you aren’t a big fan of this basic accommodation, but still like to see Maria Island, you can go there and back to the mainland within a day.

See below the tours we really like on Maria Island:

Top Tour: Maria Island: Day Trip with Walk, Wombats, and Picnic Lunch

Back on the mainland, you’ll drive 50km from Triabunna to Swansea. On your way, you’ll pass some small towns like Little Swanport and Rocky Hills.

From Swansea, it takes you another 50km to reach Bicheno. On this route, you’ll find some of the best vineyards of the East Coast of Tasmania. For example, check out Milton Vineyard, Gala Estate, Spring Vale Wines, Devil’s Corner, or Freycinet Vineyard to taste some of Tasmania’s best wines!

Coles Bay & Freycinet National Park

Wineglass Bay - Tasmania

Freycinet National Park is one of the most famous national parks in Tasmania. It is beautiful and there are plenty of options when it comes to activities.

From the road junction before Bicheno, it is about 30 km one way to reach the car park of Freycinet National park. From here you can start pretty much all the hikes and explore the Freycinet Park.

Friendly beaches

Before you arrive at Coles Bay you’ll find Friendly Beaches. A lot of people skip them and drive straight into the national park, but I think they are worth a stop to stroll around.

There are tons of viewpoints to see this beautiful part of the coastline, it almost blinds your eyes! There are also many beach access points to get onto the beach and walk around or lay down on the soft white sand.

Coles Bay is a small town and the main entry point to the Freycinet National Park. You can get accommodation here if you like to spend a couple of days in the park, which I would definitely recommend. If you are camping you can book ahead for a campsite in the park itself, which is pretty affordable for an accommodation!

Don’t forget to return to Coles Bay after an intense day with lots of walking to get a super delicious ice cream from the Ice Creamery. Just because you really deserved it!

Our favourite tour:

This tour really impressed us Freycinet National Park: Guided Walking Tour

Wineglass Bay

Tasmania Travel Guide Lookout Revolution Race

This is probably the spot every traveler wants to see when they go to Freycinet National Park and for a good reason! The view on Wineglass bay is absolutely stunning with the clear blue waters divided by a small strip of white sand and high mountains with green trees. The contrast just really crushes it here!

You’ll get the best view on Wineglass Bay from the top of Mount Amos. This is a fairly difficult hike where you need to climb over the rocks to get there. Really…climbing with both hands and feet is necessary to get there.

I understand that is not a suitable hike for everyone. Luckily there is also the Wineglass Bay Lookout Trail, which is a 1.5 km one-way moderate trail. From the Wineglass Bay Lookout, you can get to the beach in another 1.5 km. This trail is quite steep with a series of stairs. But it is worth all the effort because the beach is absolutely stunning!

Honeymoon Bay

Tasmania - Honeymoon Bay

The Honeymoon bay is actually part of the Oyster bay and is a picturesque stop. The white-sanded beach with the yellow boulders and the green trees make the view almost unbelievable. Definitely worth a stop for a picture or even a swim if the weather allows it!

Continue the Great Eastern Drive

Fulfilled after soaking up some beautiful views, doing some awesome hikes, and lovely swims, you can continue your Tasmania road trip going North on the Great Eastern Drive.

Tasmania - Bicheno

Bicheno is one of the bigger cities along the East Coast and is famous for all the wildlife that can be seen here. It is near the East Coast Natureworld , which is a Wildlife Sanctuary. At night you can take a penguin tour in Bicheno to see little penguins, which are the smallest penguins in the world. SPOILER ALERT: Scroll down to Burnie for an even better penguin viewing opportunity!

A famous sight in Bicheno is the blowhole. Watch the waves crashing on the cliffs and spray up high in the air!

Tip: In Bicheo, you have a lot of choices when it comes to accommodation. Simply check booking.com for a hotel or hostel, or check the Wikicamps app for a free campsite.

Tasmania - Surfing

The 50 kilometers between Bicheno and Scamander is called the Surf Coast. The white-sand beaches, the crystal clear blue waters and the reliable swells make it the place to be for surfers! But even if you don’t surf, you will enjoy the beauty of these beaches.

St Helens - Tasmania

The last 20 kilometers of the Great Eastern Drive takes you to St. Helens. This is the hub for fishing boats and a good location to try fishing yourself during a fishing trip. Don’t forget to taste the fish & chips. It doesn’t get fresher than that!

Bay of Fires

travel tasmania by car

The next stop on your self-drive Tasmania trip is the Bay of Fires. This is a conservation reserve famous for its crystal clear water, white sandy beaches, and granite boulders covered with orange mosses.

Unlike the name suggests, it isn’t just one bay where you can see these spectacular views. It is actually a 40 km long coastal strip between Binalong Bay and Eddystone Point.

When the sun sets it becomes even more magical. The orange sky colors the same as the orange mosses on the boulders and together with the white sand and the blue ocean it is perfect photo for a postcard!

There are lots of free camps along the coast, which make it very easy to access the beach during sunset or sunrise. If you prefer to stay at a hostel or hotel, St. Helens is your best chance to get accommodation for a reasonable price.

Tour Recommendation:

If you don’t have that much time but you really want a nice impression of the Island, check out the tour below:

North East Tasmania

After the Bay of Fires, you’ll start to drive to the West. The North-Eastern part you cross isn’t much to explore, yet there are quite a few stops worth it between Eddystone Point and Launceston!

Little Blue Lake

Blue Lake Tasmania

From Eddystone Point it is only a 40 km road trip to Little Blue Lake. Like the name suggests, it is a small lake with incredibly blue water. When I saw it, for a moment I thought I was in Canada.

The blue lake, deep down at the foot of the mountains, surrounded by incredible green trees, is absolutely stunning to see. Take some time to wander around and take some pictures before you continue your way. It is not very well known among tourists, so you might have the place to yourself!

Another 30 kilometers takes you to Derby, a small town famous for it’s Blue Derby mountain bike trails. So, if you have a day left and feel like getting out of the car and be active, this is your chance!

You can rent a mountain bike in the park and cycle uphill before you cross downhill on the 125 km available tracks.

Bridestowe Lavender Estate

Bridestowe - Tasmania

Next stop on your self-drive Tasmania road trip: The Bridestowe Lavender Estate. This Lavender Farm, where they grow French Lavender, is open year-round. It is believed that it is the largest commercial plantation of Lavandula Angustifolia in the world!

The lavender flowers are during the high season. Normally the flowering season runs from somewhere in December until the end of January. This is also the only time a year that you have to pay an entrance fee of AU$10 per person

Tip: Before you pay your entrance fee, check out the status of the flowers on their website . It would be a shame to pay and not see what you expected.

Launceston - Tasmania

From the Lavender farm, you drive 50 kilometers South West to reach Launceston. A pretty vibrant city with lots of shopping and dining possibilities.

If you fly in on Launceston airport, this is where your self-drive Tasmania road trip starts.

Cataract Gorge

Tasmania - Cataract Gorge

The Cataract Gorge is Launceston’s own wilderness which you can reach in a 15-minute walk from the city center. It is crazy how close this is! The zig-zag trail takes you from the car park, over the Kings bridge towards the First Basin. Here, you’ll find a small cafe and a beautiful swimming pool. No wonder the locals call this Launceston’s beach!

If you have a couple of days extra to spend around Tasmania and have the budget, you can take a flight from Launceston to King Island or Flinders Island. Both these islands are only accessible by plane.

More North you’ll find the Cliff grounds, which is a garden with exotic plants and trees. At the Cataract Gorge, you also find a footbridge and even a chairlift to cross the river! The entrance fee to the park is absolutely free, but for the chairlift, they charge you a couple of dollars.

Explore the Gorge during this boat trip: Launceston: 2.5-Hour Morning or Afternoon Discovery Cruise

Fly to King Island or Flinders Island

Tamar Valley

Tamar Valley Tasmania

Only a 25 km drive from Launceston you’ll find the Tasmanians Tamar Valley. This area is known as an excellent wine region. With over 30 vineyards this is the place to be when it comes to wine tasting and culinary foods.

Places to stay

In Launceston, you can book a backpacker accommodation for US$45 a night and a hotel room from US$60 a night.

A nice campsite just off the road towards Devonport is Quamby Corner. They offer unpowered sites for AU$10 per person per night and AU$14 for a powered site. The amenities are very clean and you can use the laundry machine free of charge!

Devonport - Tasmania

Launceston – Devonport is a 100 km drive. Devonport is the main city where the ferry arrives. So, if you want to bring your own car, this is where your self-drive road trip around Tasmania will start.

It is a pretty big city for Tasmania and you can find a lot of shops, cafes, restaurants, and pubs to enjoy dinner or a drink.

In Devonport, there are several accommodations available between US$70 and US$100 per room per night. Most of them offer a private bathroom and some include breakfast.

Tour recommendation

Spot the wildlife of Tasmania during this 2 hour night walking tour. Check this tour, Cradle Mountain Wildlife Spotting after Dark.

Cradle Mountain

Tasmania - Cradle Mountain

Your Tasmania road trip continues with a drive of almost 90 km which will get you from Devonport to Cradle Mountain National Park. This is the most famous National Park in Tasmania with the iconic Cradle Mountain.

There is a huge car park at the entrance where you can take a free shuttle bus to get deeper into the park. The shuttle service stops at several points in the park, so you can choose a spot to get off. This probably depends on your plan for the day and what you want to explore in the Cradle Mountain National Park.

Tours you have to check:

Click here to explore this amazing area and enjoy one of our favourite tours.

Dove lake is a lake at the foot of Cradle Mountain. You can follow the pretty easy trail that takes you all the way around the lake in 2 to 3 hours. The total length of the trail is 6 km and takes you along the iconic boatshed, which is really picturesque with sunset.

Cradle Mountain Summit

Cradle Mountain Tasmania

The trail to the summit of Cradle Mountain is a 12.8 km round trip with a climb of 600m. The trail leads you first to Marion’s Lookout, which gives you a breathtaking view over Dove Lake on the one side and on the other side, the Crater Lake.

Then the trail will take you to the Kitchen Hut, which is nothing more than a shelter hut for emergencies. You can drop your bag here before you start the last climb to the peak. But don’t forget to bring some water and drinks with you because this is the hardest part of the trail and you are going to need it!

The last part to the top is really rough and it takes both hands and feet to get there. It is no longer a trail, but a climb on the rocks. Therefore it is forbidden to go to the summit with rainy or snowy circumstances. The rocks get really slippery and it simply is too dangerous.

When you reached the top you take the same route back to the Kitchen hut and continue your way to Dove Lake to walk along the lake back to the bus station to take the shuttle from there to the main car park.

Overland track

Overland Track - Tasmania

Another hiking track, that starts in Cradle Mountain National Park is the overland track. This is a hike of 65 kilometers which takes about 5 to 6 days to complete. It is Australia’s premier alpine walk and an adventure is guaranteed!

This hiking trail, that is loved by hikers from all over the world, starts at the iconic Cradle Mountain and leads you all the way through the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area towards Lake st. Clair. This is Australia’s deepest lake and the views from up the mountain are more than stunning.

Without any facilities on the way, you have to carry everything. Which means a place to sleep, food, and water. There are some opportunities to fill up water on the way, but always check where from the information center before you start.

Must Read: 11 essentials you need on every backpacking trip

And there are so many more things to do in Cradle Mountain National Park.

Cradle Mountain National Park can be explored in 1 or 2 days. The Cradle Mountain Highlanders is a good place to stay for a pretty reasonable price, taking the location into consideration. You will find it costs US$140 per night for a fully equipped cabin.

Another stunning accommodation at the edge of Cradle Mountains national park is the Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge . They offer a luxury spa, wooden cabins with views and a breakfast buffet is also included. You can book a chalet from US$280 a night.

There are also a lot of free camps in the area!

Mole Creek Caves

If you like to explore caves, you should definitely visit the Mole Creek Caves. There are multiple tours a day that lead you around the underground lakes in the Marakoopa Cave. In this cave, you also have the possibility to see glow worms! The King Solomons Cave is characterized by the lavish colors and formations.

The caves have the same climate all year round. It is around 9 degrees, so be prepared and get dressed well before you enter!

Walls of Jerusalem

walls of jerusalem

Walls of Jerusalem is another national park, which is less visited because it is not accessible by car. This alpine wonderland is only to be explored by the true adventurers among us. You need to be able to handle a multiple-day hike, to get up to the walls and take in the beautiful views from there.

There are no facilities, so you have to bring your own camping gear and food for the time you stay. Luckily there is a possibility to fuel up on drinking water! Come prepared, as the weather is very unpredictable!

Burnie is a small town on the North shore of Tasmania. It has a few accommodations, a small shopping center, and some convenient stores. In my opinion, this place should really be a stop on your Tasmanian road trip if you want to see the little penguins.

Watching Little Penguins

The main reason we went to Burnie was to see the Little Penguins. In Burnie, they have an observation center and in the evenings they provide guided tours that are 100% free of charge.

The guides are very knowledgable and answer all the questions you have. They also tell you more about the cycle penguins go through each year, from nesting to pairing to breeding and to letting go of their young.

The most amazing thing about viewing penguins here is that you can get so close without disturbing them. There is a fence built along the beach to keep the penguins safe in their environment and not roam everywhere in town.

There are some nests right next to the fence and you can easily photograph the babies without having a crazy expensive zoom lens on your camera! Make sure to not use your flash! Once it gets dark, the penguins return from the sea to feed their babies, which is a spectacle to watch.

Tasmania - Penguins

When it comes to accommodation in Burnie, my best recommendation is: Burnie Ocean View Motel and Caravan Park . They offer fully self-contained studios with a sea view. You don’t even need to get out and you can participate in a tour to view the penguins coming from the sea. You can literally see it from your balcony!

Besides the incredible beach view, they have a heated indoor swimming pool, barbeque facilities, and free Wifi. All that for only US$100 per night.

Stanley & the Nut

Self Drive Tasmania Stanley & The Nut

From Burnie, it is around 75 km to get to Stanley. A small town at the foot of The Nut. This is an extinct volcano, which you can access by foot. A short, but steep climb will get you to the top (you can also take the chairlift for a fee). Walk the short circuit on the top and enjoy the many beautiful views over Stanley. You will see the ocean and over to the other far corners of Tasmania.

Tarkine National Park

Tasmania - National Park

After a 50 km drive from Stanley, you’ll arrive in the Tarkine National Park which is in the North West of Tasmania. The Tarkine Forest Reserve is an area where you can find rainforest, sand dunes, and coastal heathlands.

Just driving through the park gives you beautiful views. Don’t forget to stop at ‘the edge of the world’. If you cross the ocean to the West from here, you won’t see any landmass until you reach Argentina. It is the longest uninterrupted distance in any ocean on Earth!

Besides driving through the park, which is already incredible, there are a lot of activities to do. Especially water activities like kayaking or a riverboat cruise. From here you can explore the waterways which are surrounded by blackwood forests.

Tarkine National Park offers lots of camping opportunities. There are also lots of free camps along the coast and campsites with some more facilities in the heart of the park.

If you prefer a hotel there’s only one possibility, which is the Tarkinegrove . It is very close to Roger River in the heart of the Tarkine National Park. Rooms can be booked from US$150 a night and offer a fully self-contained cabin with patio.

Train - Tasmania

Leaving the Tarkine National Park you’ll head towards Strahan. This will probably be your longest drive as it takes 230 kilometers of windy mountain roads to get there. Don’t underestimate this distance, as it can easily take up to 3.5 to 4 hours to drive!

Strahan is iconic for the West Coast Wilderness Railway. Join the train ride and step back in history to the 1950’s. It is an unforgettable railway journey along 35km of wild rainforest tracks between Queenstown and Strahan.

From Strahan, it is only a short drive to Queenstown, situated in a valley on the western slopes of Mount Owen on the West Coast Range. It is a cute little town that makes you feel like being back in the time of the cowboys!

There are a couple of pubs where you can dine a pub meal and it is also a good place to stay overnight. For only US$56 a night you can sleep in the Empire Hotel , which includes breakfast.

Tour recommendation Strahan:

Ready for a nice morning cruise? Check out this tour: Strahan: World Heritage Cruise on Gordon River with Lunch.

Frenchman’s Cap

frenchmans cap tasmania hike

Driving out of Queenstown will lead you along the Horsetail falls. This is a seasonal waterfall that can best be seen after some rainfall. A parking spot next to the highway gives you the opportunity to get out of the car and walk on the boardwalk for a closer view.

After 55 km from Queenstown, you’ll reach the parking area at the Lyell Highway inside the Wild Rivers National Park. You can’t miss it, as many signs will inform you where to park. This is where the trail to Frenchman’s Cap starts.

This is another place that can only be explored on foot. A tremendous 4-day hike takes you afoot to one of the most scenic mountain peaks of Tasmania , the Frenchman’s Cap.

Also with this hike, you have to carry everything yourself. You won’t find any facilities or shops along the route, so be prepared and take enough food, water, and a tent. Don’t forget to bring proper clothes as the weather can change rapidly.

If you are not sure what to bring, check out our blog post about the 11 essentials you need to bring on every overnight backpacking trip . Bring these and you know for sure you will be well prepared!

Mount Field National Park

Mount Field National Park - Tasmania

Another 170 km further you arrive in Mount Field National Park. This park was the first National Park of Tasmania and is well catered for tourists. A visitor center, souvenir shop, and a cafe provide you everything you need.

Russel falls

Russel Falls Tasmania

The Russel falls is the most popular attraction of this park and with a good reason. The beautiful waterfall thunders down over several plateaus and is surrounded by true green exotic trees and plants.

Falls circuit

The Russel falls is actually the first of many waterfalls you come across when you walk the waterfall circuit. A 4.5 km hike leads you along the Horseshoe falls, the tall trees area and the Lady Baron Falls.

The trail contains a lot of steps and goes through the middle of the rainforest, where you can see some amazing plants and trees. Also, keep your eyes open to spot wildlife!

Tour recommendation:

Enjoy a day trip full of wildlife and stunning nature, check out this tour: Mt Wellington, Mt Field, Bonorong & Richmond Day Trip.

Gordon Dam – Tasmania Wilderness Reserve

Gordon Dam - Tasmania

Drive another 100 km further into the Tasmania Wilderness Reserve and you get to the Gordon Dam. This dam, also called the Gordon River Dam, is 198m long and 140m high.

At full capacity, the dam holds back so much water that Lake Gordon becomes the largest lake in Australia! It is also one of the world’s highest commercial abseils, so if you are in for an adventure, you can get it here!

Bruny Island

The Neck - Tasmania

Drive 100 km back towards the junction with the highway and from there it is another 100 km to the ferry terminal for Bruny Island. This will be the last stop on your self-drive Tasmania road trip! Last, but not least I can say!

Tour recommendations for Bruny Island:

Bruny Island has so much to offer, we made a list of our favourite tours to make your trip the best.

Ferry to Bruny Island

It takes about 20 minutes to cross over to Bruny Island. The ferry departs regularly 1 or 2 times an hour, depending on the season. It is smart to bring your car along, as the island is quite big, and exploring on foot will take you a lot more time.

The ferry fee is AU$38 for a return ticket, which you mainly pay for the car, since pedestrians and any other passengers are free of charge.

Tasmania Travel Guide Freycinet

Once on Bruny Island, the first highlight you will pass is the Neck. This is a small isthmus connecting the Northern part and the Southern part of Bruny Island. Walk up the stairs to the viewing platform to get a 360 degrees view!

At the beach of the Neck, there is also a Little Penguin viewing platform. Get there just before the sun sets and wait for the penguins to arrive at the beach. You can see the Little Penguins from September till January.

November and December are the best times of the year, as it is the breeding season. This time of the year you can watch the penguins feed their young!

White Bennet’s Wallabies

White Bennet's Wallabie - Tasmania

The South Bruny National Park is the only place in the world where you can see the White Bennet’s Wallabies. A genetically modified Bennet’s Wallaby that is missing the pigment color to their fur. Some are albino’s which results in a white wallaby with red eyes and a cute bright pink nose.

Your biggest chance to see these animals is at the Southside of Adventure Bay, which is their main habitat. People have often spotted them at the campgrounds. But another good place to look for them is at the start of the Fluted Cape Walk. Which is a nice hike to do anyway!

Whale Watching

Tasmania - Whale Watching

From June till October, you can also watch whales from Adventure Bay! This is the main season that the whales are migrating between Antarctica and the more Northern tropical waters.

Cape Bruny Lighthouse

Lighthouse Bruny Island - Tasmania

Drive to the Southernmost point of Bruny Island and you find the Cape Bruny Lighthouse. The drive takes about 45 minutes from the Neck and takes you on some windy and very scenic roads.

The walk from the car park to the Lighthouse is easy and short. Take some time to walk around and to take in all the stunning views. Also, keep your eyes open for Echidnas, as they love to wander around on this place!

Although Bruny island can be explored within a day, you might want to spend the night here. Especially if you’d like to view the Little Penguins at the Neck.

Camping is easy on Bruny Island, with lots of free camps and paid camping spots. If you like to stay in a hotel , you can book a stay from US$100 a night.

Back to Hobart

To make your self-drive Tasmania road trip complete, you take the ferry back to the mainland and drive in 35 minutes into Hobart city Centre. Here you can stay another night or two before flying back to the mainland of Australia.

If you started your Tasmania road trip in Launceston or Devonport, your next stop will be the Tasman Peninsula & Port Arthur.

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Pinterest Tasmania Self Drive (1)

We love to hear from you!

Thank you so much for reading this self-drive trip planner for a stunning Tasmania road trip. I hope it helps you with planning a trip to Tasmania and on deciding what you want to see and do!

Don’t forget to check out our Tasmania Travel Guide which gives you some basic, but very handy information before you travel to Tasmania. Exploring more of Australia? Check out our Australia page to find out what to see and do in the rest of this amazing country. Also, download the Australia preparation guide below to make it super easy to plan your trip around Australia and Tasmania!

Are you ready to discover more about Australia?  Check out our Australia page to read all our Australia articles.

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10 thoughts on “Self-Drive Tasmania: The Best Trip Planner for an Ultimate Road Trip”

So many great places to visit in Tasmania! Bridestowe Lavender Estate, the beaches, and Russel falls look simply stunning! I hope to them up close!

Wow there’s so many incredible places to see in Tasmania! I want to visit soo much more of Australia and Tasmania just shot up to the top of my list!

Tasmania´s natural landscapes look stunning! I´d love to see the Aurora Australis and visit The Russel falls! Thanks for the useful tips!

SUch a detailed post and great tips!

Thanks for the great guide! What a picturesque drive!

Hannah | https://getlost.blog/

Tasmania looks gorgeous-and you had me sold at whale watching! I’m so close to Australia, but I haven’t been out there yet.

I spent 6 months in Australia and never found the time to explore Tasmania, but it looks so incredible with no shortage of things to do. Hopefully I can get there soon.

Who would have thought there are so many beautiful and wonderful places. Thanks for the great pictures.

Really like your Always around the world. On Tasmania Very useful. Is it possible to get a hard copy of this ? Regards Graham

Hi Graham, I’m happy you like it! We really loved Tasmania! Unfortunately, we do not provide hard copies of our posts. But you could print it at home 🙂 Have a nice and safe trip!

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Bay of Fires

The Best Tasmania Itinerary (+ Tasmania Road Trip Map)

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Tasmania is an island state in Australia known for its rugged landscape, sparse population and of course Tasmanian devils. Affectionately called “Tassie” by Australians, it is rugged and wild and easy to fall for.   Outdoor enthusiasts will love the awesome hiking opportunities and city lovers will appreciate the rich foodie and art culture.

In this guide, we want to help you plan the best Tasmania itinerary with our tips for the best things to do in Tasmania and how to make the most of your Tasmania road trip.

  • 1 When to Go to Tasmania
  • 2.2 Port Arthur and the Tasman Peninsula
  • 2.3 Freycinet National Park – Wineglass Bay
  • 2.4 Bay of Fires
  • 2.5 Launceston
  • 2.6 Cradle Mountain National Park
  • 3 Getting to Tasmania
  • 4 Getting Around Tasmania (+Renting a Car in Tasmania)
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When to Go to Tasmania

Tasmania’s weather is very different from what most people think of when they think of Australia.  Tasmania experiences four seasons and parts of the island see snow in winter.  Christmas through to early February is peak time on the island as it is school holidays and temperatures are the warmest – a comfortable low 20s (C).  If you are looking to avoid the crowds, the shoulder seasons are a great time to travel (March-April and October-November).  Winter offers the best value, but will require lots of layers and winter clothing.

Weather in Tasmania can be very variable and change quickly regardless of which time of year you visit.  Pack lots of clothes to layer and be prepared for swift weather changes. We experienced 12 degree weather and lots of rain at Cradle Mountain, even in January.

Tasmania Itinerary + Map

Tasmania is Australia’s smallest state and with a maximum width and length of 300 km, it is manageable to explore many of the highlights on one visit.  You could race around and see the east coast sights in one week, but 10-14 days will give you a chance to slow down and explore a little bit deeper.  This 1 and 2 week itinerary includes the Tasmania must see highlights and the best places to visit in Tasmania.

1 Week Tasmania Itinerary: Hobart, Port Arthur, Wineglass Bay (Freycinet National Park)

2 Week Tasmania Itinerary: Hobart, Port Arthur, Wineglass Bay, Bay of Fires, Launceston, Cradle Mountain National Park

If you have more time, consider including Bruny Island, the wild west coast, the Huon Valley, the Tamar Valley, Bicheno or Penguin to your itinerary.

Hobart is the capital and largest city of Tasmania with a population of 220,000.  It’s walkable, has a relaxing vibe, a huge arts and culture scene and plenty of farm to table foodie restaurants.  It’s harbourside setting with mountains and valleys surrounding the city make it a great base to explore the outdoors.

Start your visit by wandering the city, climbing Kelly’s Steps to the Battery Point neighborhood with its quaint cottages and views.

Salamanca Market

Hobart is famous for being home to  MONA, the Museum of Old & New .  This Hobart attraction is a privately funded museum that the owner describes as a “subversive adult Disneyland” and for many, it is the highlight of their time in Hobart.   MONA is open from 10-6 in the summer, closed on Tuesdays and the entrance fee is $30/adult. It is located 11 km outside of Hobart.  You can take a ferry or arrive by road.

View from top of Mt WEllington

Mawson’s Hut Replica Museum is a recreation of the hunt that Sir Douglas Mawson’s team built for their Antarctica expedition in 1911-1914.   This is an interesting place to learn more about Antarctica, the polar explorers, and their scientific work. You only need an hour to visit the museum.  It is open daily from 9-5 in the summer and 10-4 in the winter months.  Entrance tickets are $15/adult, $5/child, $35/family.

Where to Stay Hobart

Salamanca Inn – situated right in Battery Park, this mid-range hotel is a great option.  With spacious apartments, an in-door pool, free parking and right in the centre of Hobart, this hotel consistently gets great reviews.  Click here to check the latest prices.

The Henry Jones Art Hotel – an uber cool hotel that looks more like a modern art gallery, this hotel is well situated in central Hobart and offers great service and a great atmosphere.  Click here to check the latest prices.

Camping – the  Discovery Park Hobart is convenient for accessing central Hobart, but is located alongside a busy highway.

Port Arthur and the Tasman Peninsula

Port Arthur is the best preserved convict site in Australia and was actually a penal colony for the penal colony.  It is located 1.5 hours from Hobart, so you can visit on a day trip.  However, the Tasman Peninsula in which Port Arthur sits on is worth spending a night or two.

Port Arthur buildings

Port Arthur is a fascinating place due to its historical significance not just from the convict era, but in more recent times as well.  In 1996, 35 people lost their lives at the tourist site of Port Arthur as a  gunman went on a shooting spree.  Australia quickly took action and amended their gun control laws prohibiting semi-automatic weapons.  Twenty years on and the government’s action has proven successful with a decline in mass shootings and firearm deaths.

Practical Information: Port Arthur is open every day of the year, 9 am to dusk.  Tickets cost $40 AUD/adult, $18/child, $102/family (up to 6 children).  There is a canteen on site serving meals, drinks and snacks.

Port Arthur touring

Learning, learning, lots of learning.

While most visitors come to the Tasman Peninsula to visit Port Arthur, there are many other interesting things to see on the Peninsula.  You can camp and hike at Tasman National Park at Fortescue Bay and visit many geological wonders including the Tesselated Pavement, Tasman Arch, Devil’s Kitchen, and Eaglehawk Neck.  You can also take a boat cruise, visit a lavender farm and enjoy delicious Tasmanian cuisine.

Tasman Arch

Tasman Arch

Where to Stay Port Arthur  

Stewarts Bay Lodge – within walking distance to Port Arthur Historic Site, this is the best accommodation if you want to be really close to Port Arthur.  The lodge is cozy and homey with its own private beach and spacious cabins.  Click here to check the latest prices.

Camping – We recommend staying at Fortescue Bay in Tasman National Park. The camp sites are located right near a beautiful beach and is a jumping off point for hikers doing multi-day hikes. Facilities are basic, but the wildlife opportunities are worth it.  Note that the campground is 12 km off the highway, down a rough unsealed road.   This is a popular campground, so booking are essential.  Sites are $13-16/night.  It is 17 km from the campground to the Port Arthur Historic Site.

Freycinet National Park – Wineglass Bay

Freycinet National Park surrounds Coles Bay on the east coast of Tasmania.  The National Park is best known for Wineglass Bay, a gorgeous stretch of sandy beach and turquoise waters dotted with pink granite cliffs.  It is one of the most popular things to see in Tasmania, so be prepared to share this special spot with other visitors.

The most common walk is to the Wineglass Bay Lookout, a 2.4 km return loop that takes 1-1.5 hours.  From the lookout you can continue your hike down to Wineglass Bay, which will add 3.5 km return and another 1.5 hours.  While Freycinet National Park is synonymous with Wineglass Bay, there are many other incredible places to explore in the National Park.

Where to Stay Freycinet National Park

You have a few choices of where to base yourself when visiting Freycinet National Park.  You can stay in Coles Bay , or nearby Bicheno or Swansea .

Edge of the Bay Resort – located 4 km outside of Coles Bay, the rooms have gorgeous views and you will have wildlife on your doorstep.  Located 5 minutes from town, but peaceful and tranquil, Edge of the Bay Resort is a great choice when visiting Freycinet.  Click here to check the latest prices.

Saffire Freycinet (Luxury) – this architectural gem is gorgeous with modern luxe suites, views from every room, an award winning restaurant and top notch hospitality.  Worth the splurge!  Click here to check the latest prices.

Big 4 Iluka Camping and Cabins – great location opposite Muir’s Beach with nice water views, an IGA down the street and good access to Freycinet National Park.  Click here to check the latest prices.

Bay of Fires

Bay of Fires has gained quite a bit of attention recently as one of the most beautiful places in Australia.  The unique orange covered boulders that litter the coast shine against the white sand beaches and turquoise waters, making for a photographer’s dream.  Best of all, it is still off-the-beaten path so you can find deserted bays.  While the water may look inviting, even in summer it never gets above 65 degrees, making for a very refreshing experience.

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We spent hours climbing the big boulders, finding secret passages through the rocks, and exploring the tidal pools.  The sunsets are incredible .  The best way to experience the Bay of Fires is by camping, however you can stay in nearby Binalong Bay or St. Helens too.

Where to Stay Bay of Fires

Pelican Point Sanctuary – located just north of St. Helens, this quiet place really is a sanctuary.  Located near the sea with abundant birdlife, the clean rooms and friendly staff, make this a great choice.  Click here to check the latest prices.

Airbnb – there are a number of great airbnbs near the Bay of Fires.  Burgess Cottage is a great choice.

Camping – Cosy Corner South campground is a basic free camping area with stunning views right on the water.  It is first-come-first-serve and incredibly popular.  There are a couple of drop toilets, but you need to bring in your own water and take out your waste.

Launceston is Tasmania’s second largest city and is best known for the beautiful Cataract Gorge. In the late 1800s, someone had the foresight to create this beautiful park around this breathtaking Gorge with walking trails, a large swimming pool, restaurants and even a chairlift across the water.

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A 3.4 km walking track will take you around the Gorge and over the long suspension bridge.  The free and chilly public swimming pool can be a great place to cool down or you can go for a swim in the river.  You can ride the First Basin Scenic Chairlift across the river for $13/adult and $8/child, one-way.  The chairlift is open everyday from 9 am.

Other ideas for things to do in Launceston include visiting the Saturday Harvest Market, City Park Launceston, Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery and of course the Tamar Valley wineries.

Where to Stay Launceston

Peppers Silo – this modern and comfortable hotel offers good value with great views of the city and river. Some of the rooms are located inside a renovated grain silo, making this a unique place to stay.    Click here to check the latest prices.

Camping – the Big 4  Lauceston campground is very kid friendly with a playground and jumping pillow for the kids.

Cradle Mountain National Park

Cradle Mountain National Park was one of the highlights of our time in Tasmania and we wish we had allocated more than just one night here.  The terrain is really unique – Lord of the Rings-like with wild alpine moorlands, glacial lakes and moss covered rainforest.  The higher altitude makes it cool even in summer and it is known for its misty and moody weather.  The hiking opportunities are fabulous with everything from short day hikes to multi-day epic trails.

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To protect this fragile environment, the National Park provides mandatory shuttle service between the Visitor Centre and the most popular sights and hikes.  A 24 hour Cradle Mountain pass costs $16.50/adult, $8.25/child, $41.25/family (2+3).  Holiday passes for up to 8 weeks are also available.

The most popular hike is the Dove Lake circuit with gorgeous views of Cradle Mountain on a clear day.  The circuit is 6 km and takes 2 hours.  There are numerous other short hikes if you have time.  You can almost guarantee that you will see a wombat in the National Park.

We only wishes we could have spent more than one night there and that it didn’t rain most of the time we were there.

Tassie is well known for its fabulous produce and food.  On our 2.5 hour drive from Launceston to Cradle Mountain we did stop to sample some local foods highlighted in the  Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail .   We enjoyed the chocolates at  Anvers Chocolates , tasted delicious cheeses at  Ashgrove Cheese , sampled some yummy craft beer at  7 Sheds Brewery and visited enjoyed a lovely meal at the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm.

Marakoopa cave

Where to Stay Cradle Mountain

Camping or Cabins –  Located right on the edge of the National Park, the Discovery Holidays Parks campground offers a wilderness experience right at your doorstep. The campground has a wonderful chalet building with a wood burning stove, a camp kitchen and travelers from all over the world to hang out with.  They also have comfortable cottages and cabins if you are looking for more comfort.  Click here to check the latest prices.

Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge –  a luxury experience in the wilderness, this lodge is picturesque and cozy with open fireplaces, postcard views and even a spa to soothe your sore muscles.  Did we mention the lodge is located right in the National Park?  Click here to check the latest prices.

Getting to Tasmania

Since Tasmania is an island, you have two choices of how to get here: you can fly or take a boat.

The main airports in Tasmania are in Hobart and Launceston which offer frequent directs flights to Melbourne and Sydney.  Flights are 1-2 hours and cost AUD $100-200/each way.

The  Spirit of Tasmania is a ferry that sails between Melbourne and Davenport in Tasmania.  We opted for the ferry since we were bringing our car and thought it would be an interesting way to get across the Bass Strait. The Bass Strait is known to be a rough passage as the warm waters of the Indian ocean meet the Pacific through this narrow and shallow strait. Read our Tips For Taking the Spirit of Tasmania here.    Spirit of Tasmania fares start at $89/person and $99/vehicle, but increase drastically during peak times.

Getting Around Tasmania (+Renting a Car in Tasmania)

The best way to explore Tasmania really is by car which gives you the most freedom.  Many of the most beautiful spots are in between popular Tasmania tourist attractions and with your own car you can stop to enjoy a deserted beach that beckons or buy some fresh cherries from the farm stand.

Most visitors will rent a car from Hobart or Launceston.  A 2WD is perfectly suitable for exploring the east coast of Tasmania.  You will have to be comfortable driving on the left, but the roads are quiet and small.  Similar to New Zealand, it does take longer to get around on the smaller roads.

Click here to check the latest prices of car rentals in Tasmania.

Tasmania with Kids

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There are so many wonderful activities that both kids and parents will love in Tasmania.  Here were our top things to do in Tasmania with kids:

  • climbing the boulders and finding hidden caves at the Bay of Fires
  • learning about Antarctic exploration at Mawson’s Hut Museum in Hobart
  • testing out the chilly waters of Cataract Gorge in Launceston
  • savoring fresh fruit from roadside vendors
  • spotting wombats at Cradle Mountain National Park
  • learning about Australia’s convict history at Port Arthur
  • seeing and learning about the geological formations on the Tasman peninsula
  • shopping for treats at the Salamanca Markets
  • spotting glow worms at Mole Creek
  • riding the Scenic Chairlift at Cataract Gorge, Launceston
  • climbing the boulders on the top of Mount Wellington

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Guide to Tasmania

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Home » Oceania » Best Road Trips in Tasmania (Can’t-Miss Stops in 2024)

Best Road Trips in Tasmania (Can’t-Miss Stops in 2024)

Often overshadowed by the massive Australian mainland, Tasmania is almost a hidden gem. A world away from the Outback, it’s famous for its diverse landscapes (beaches, mountains, you name it), pretty towns and wildlife – not limited to Tasmanian devils!

Like your food? Then take note: Tasmania is a world of fresh produce and wineries. And if you like your cities small and quaint, and your countryside beautiful, then you’ll probably love driving around Tasmania soaking it all up.

But while the Australian continent has some pretty well-established road trip routes, Tasmania is less well travelled. It’s got an air of mystery about it, and you may be wondering if there are any decent road trips. Is it just a tourist island? Can I even rent a car there?

We’re here to fill in the blanks. Tasmania may seem far-off and remote, but there’s a lot going for this comprehensive destination. We’ll be digging into insurance, renting a car, and the rules of the road, before letting you in on a few of our favourite Tasmanian road trips. So get ready; you’re about to become a convert to driving in Tasmania.

travel tasmania by car

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Why Roadtrip in Tasmania?

Tasmania road trip route 1: cradle wilderness drive, tasmania road trip route 2: coast to coast cruise, tasmania road trip route 3: south tas adventure, driving in tasmania, what to pack for a road trip in tasmania, final thoughts on the best road trips in tasmania.

Roadtrip in Tasmania

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Tasmania is awesome for road trips.

It’s small enough that the distances aren’t daunting, there’s a ton of stuff to see and do – towns, beaches, vineyards, hiking in mountains, river cruises, nature reserves – and the air here is CLEAN – the cleanest in the world, apparently .

But wait – there’s more!

  • Tasmania isn’t tiny , but it’s compact enough to make road trips a breeze, with minimal driving time between all its excellent destinations, maximising on your precious, precious time.
  • Speaking of time, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a weekend or two weeks; you’ll definitely get around. Again, the size of Tasmania is a bonus here.
  • Public transport in Tasmania is not great – not great at all. Well, it’s okay if you live in Tas and you just want to go to school and back. But for travelling around the island? Nope.
  • Variety. Tasmania is all about variety. Vineyards, beaches, mountains, and charming towns mean as much hiking, culture, food and drink as you could ask for. You’ll be stopping A LOT because there’s always something interesting or beautiful to check out.
  • You won’t be racing with hordes of other tourists on the roads in Tasmania and traffic is pretty light. Nothing bad about that. You may sometimes feel as if you’ve got the place to yourself.

The road is calling. If you need any more motivation to book your trip, here are a few  inspiring road trip quotes . I’m sure they will nudge you over the edge.

Insurance in Tasmania

Cradle Wilderness Drive – 3 days

Coast to coast cruise – 3 days, south tas adventure – 4 days.

  • From: Sheffield
  • To: Strahan
  • Total Distance: 162 miles
  • Top Road Trip Stops: Cradle Mountain; Mount Farrell; Elizabeth Town.

Tasmania Route 1 Map

This may be a short road trip, but it’s more about the places you’re going to rather than the drive itself.

The drives will be beautiful, no doubt about that. The area around Cradle Mountain is craggy and green, with dramatic sweeping landscapes that are just begging to be explored.

While the time spent in the car is minimal (not necessarily a bad thing, let’s be honest), that means more time spent getting to grips with places like Cradle Mountain and Mount Farrell, and the beautiful Strahan – your endpoint on this road trip.

Road Trip Highlights:

  • Snacking on local fare in Elizabeth Town.
  • Hiking around the incredible wilderness of Cradle Mountain.
  • Getting views of Cradle Mountain from Mount Farrell.
  • Dining lakeside in Tullah.
  • Discovering the wide sands of Macquarie Head.

Day 1: Devonport to Sheffield (1 hour)

Devonport

Start your (short) journey today in Devonport on the north coast. With its beautiful beaches and friendly atmosphere, it’s a good place to kick off your journey.

Your first stop is the Warrawee Forest Reserve for the chance to spot platypuses; grab a guide here and learn all about ’em.

From there, head onward to Elizabeth Town along Route 1, a rural route that feels like a world away from the coastline, with small settlements and farmlands along the way.

Elizabeth Town has some pretty delicious local produce – namely cheese and fruit. Stick around and try it out.

From there, it’s just a short drive through the countryside to Sheffield, which is the gateway to Cradle Mountain. Sheffield, set in the hills of Mount Roland, is a pretty nice mix of rural and artsy.

Round up your day with a hike to Kimberley’s Lookout (a few miles’ round-trip) for views of the surrounding farmlands. Pretty neat.

Also, there’s a place called “Nowhere Else” just out of town – if you like taking pictures of road signs to places with weird names, this is right up your alley, so to speak.

  • Best Stops: Warrawee Forest Reserve; Elizabeth Town.
  • Where to Eat: Eat local produce at Ashgrove Tasmanian Farm in Elizabeth Town; hearty fare at Bossimis Sheffield Bakehouse.
  • Where to Stay: Barrington Church B&B ($) is cosy and cool; Glencoe Country Bed and Breakfast ($$).

Day 2: Sheffield to Cradle Mountain (1 hour)

Sheffield

Today it’s ALL about Cradle Mountain, which is an awesome epic environment. There aren’t really any settlements in Cradle Mountain – and why would there be?

From Sheffield, take the C132 into the gradually all-encompassing nature of the mountainscape itself. Eventually, there’ll be a turning off the road towards Dove Lake. There’s a short circuit around the lake under the towering gaze of Cradle Mountain.

That’s just one example. There are plenty of marked trails in the area; it’s just a matter of taking your pick.

Don’t rush: it may not be far from Sheffield, but that doesn’t mean you should race off down the road looking for the next town. Instead, there’s an option to leave your car at the Parks and Wildlife Service station and take the shuttle bus into the national park for a full day of getting stuck into it.

  • Best Stops: The whole thing!
  • Where to Eat: Altitude Restaurant and Lounge Bar is cool; Hellyers Restaurant is suitable for a drink on a mountain backdrop.
  • Where to Stay: Cradle Mountain Hotel ($$$) is fancy but has an insane setting; Discovery Parks Cradle Mountain offers a more rustic experience.

Day 3: Cradle Mountain to Strahan (2 hours)

Cradle Mountain

Are you ready for more mountains? Good, because today, after driving away from Cradle Mountain, you’ll be saying hello to Mount Farrell.

And that’s your first stop. It’s close to the small town of Tullah, which makes this extra convenient for the fact that there’s a lunch stop at the end of the trail up (and then back down) Mount Farrell. It’s only a two-mile round-trip, but it’s about 500 metres in elevation, so it’s not overly easy.

It’s got some of Tasmania’s most insane views – especially of Cradle Mountain.

There is the option to stop for the night if you’re feeling like taking it slow. The town of Tullah itself is nice, has history, and there’s pretty sweet lakeside accommodation here as well (e.g. Tullah Lakeside Lodge , which is also very affordable).

Otherwise, it’s a simple matter of carrying on the B28 and turning off on the B24 for coastal Strahan. The drive grazes the edges of the reserves and wildernesses of the area, so as you can imagine, it makes for a picturesque trip.

Finish up with a drive to Macquarie Heads, or go on a river cruise up the Gordon River and spend the next few days enjoying the area around Strahan. Spoiler alert – it’s breathtaking.

  • Best Stops: Mount Farrell; Macquarie Heads.
  • Where to Eat: Great views, better coffee and delicious food at Tullah Cottage Cafe; eat your fill at View 42º Restaurant & Bar.
  • Where to Stay: Strahan Backpackers ($) is definitely rustic; Franklin Manor ($$) is charming.

travel tasmania by car

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  • From: Port Arthur
  • To: Stanley
  • Total Distance: 503 miles
  • Top Road Trip Stops: Liffey Forest Reserve; Burnie; Launceston; Narawntapu National Park; Arthur River.

Tasmania Route 2 Map

Tasmania may seem small – especially compared to the massive mainland – but this road trip proves it’s anything but.

Taking in all that’s big and beautiful about Tasmania, this route sees you driving from Port Arthur on the southeast coast all the way to Strahan on the west coast.

So what exactly are you in for?

There are charming villages, lush countrysides and farmland, breathtaking national parks, and (of course) epic ocean scenery pretty much the whole time. It’s a driver’s delight.

  • Meeting Tasmanian devils at East Coast Natureland.
  • Driving through the rainforests of Liffey Forest Reserve.
  • Exploring Marakoopa and King Solomons caves in Mole Creek Karst National Park.
  • Doing some marsupial-spotting in Narawntapu National Park.
  • Gazing out over the seemingly endless ocean at Arthur River.

Day 1: Port Arthur to Launceston (6 hours)

Port Arthur

Port Arthur is a great place to start. A former penal colony in the 19th century, the ruins and standing buildings that are left are now a UNESCO-listed site. It’s an open-air museum, basically, and you should spend some time learning about what went on here.

If you’re in Hobart (which you probably are), then it’s an hour and a half drive to Port Arthur.

A potential stop-off here is Orford, a beachy coastal town with a few coastal trails to stretch your legs on, too. It’s a pleasant detour, especially if you’ve left early (which you probably should do).

Otherwise, continue along the sparkling coastline on the A3 towards Douglas-Apsley National Park, where you’ll make a stop at East Coast Natureworld – stop here to see those famous Tasmanian devils and other wildlife. In the national park, you can hike or take a dip in the Apsley River Waterhole.

Stop for lunch at St Helens, a charming fishing village (option here to check out the St Helens History Room – a small, digestible museum). Then the A3 turns inland through rolling countryside, and it’s around a two-hour drive all the way to Launceston. Easy.

If you have time, you can take a turn off the A3 at Scottsdale to find Bridestowe Lavender Estate for an unreal (and very purple) photo opportunity.

  • Best Stops: Douglas-Apsley National Park; Orford; East Coast Natureworld.
  • Where to Eat: Swims East Coast Coffee for a relaxed vibe and tasty food in St Helens; The Metz is a casual dinner spot in Launceston.
  • Where to Stay: Launceston Backpackers ($); The Cornwall Historic Hotel for something a little fancier ($$).

Day 2: Launceston to Devonport (2.5 hours)

Launceston

Start with a short drive to Tamar Islands Wetlands Centre, where you can stroll along boardwalks and spot local birdlife. It’s a chill start to the day.

There’s more epic nature to be had an hour’s drive out of Launceston at Liffey Forest Reserve. Buy some supplies for a picnic along the way. Once you’re there, you’ll be able to dive right into 28,000 hectares of native forest. There are some great walking options here (and waterfalls), so making a stop is definitely something you should do if hiking is your jam.

After that, it’s Deloraine. This historic town has some pretty insane landscapes on offer, namely the Great Western Tiers. This is Lord of the Rings level scenery. You can also pick up some locally made Tasmanian crafts in town as souvenirs for folks back home.

Carry on the B12 to Mole Creek Karst National Park for the Marakoopa and King Solomons caves for an afternoon in a geologically ancient setting. Then it’s onward – to the sea! Specifically, Devonport. If you like beaches, head to Pardoe Beach, just out of town.

  • Best Stops: Liffey Forest Reserve; Mole Creek National Park.
  • Where to Eat: fresh fish ‘n’ chips at Strait Off The Boat in Devonport; also in Devonport, there’s Prem’s Seafood Bar & Grill.
  • Where to Stay: the Formby Hotel ($) has free parking; Dannerbrog Lodge ($$) has free breakfast.

Day 3: Devonport to Stanley (2.5 hours)

Stanley

The day starts with a detour in the wrong direction to Narawntapu National Park. Here you can see wallabies, kangaroos, wombats, and pademelons (they’re cute). The setting along the coast – with islands and sand dunes, wetlands and estuaries – is pretty spectacular.

Next, it’s back through Devonport along Route 1 to Burnie.

On the way to Burnie, you’ll pass by a place that’s legitimately called Penguin. It’s got a giant statue of a Penguin (in fact, a lot of things here are penguin-themed). If you like your sights oddball and offbeat, it’s worth checking out.

There’s a whisky distillery here, an art gallery, the Little Penguin Observation Centre – it’s a cliche, but there’s something for everyone here. Lunch in Burnie is an option if you’re feeling hungry, too.

Further towards Stanley you can make a stop at Fern Glade to spot platypuses in their natural habitat, or stop for a swim at nearby Sisters Beach – also the gateway for Rocky Cape National Park (recommended for a stroll) – or Boat Harbour.

It’s then just a short burn to Stanley, a historic fishing village.

If you’ve got time and you’re feeling adventurous, consider driving further to Arthur River – otherwise known as ‘Edge of the World’. From here, it’s over 24,000 miles until the next continent, across two oceans (Indian and Atlantic) to Argentina.

  • Best Stops: Narawntapu National Park; Fern Glade; Rocky Cape National Park.
  • Where to Eat: The Chapel (in Burnie) is set in an old church, and it’s pretty cool; for dinner in Stanley, try Post Sealers Cove Restaurant.
  • Where to Stay: Stamps of Stanley ($$) – it’s right near the beach, and you get to stay in the old post office; there’s free breakfast at the charming Ship Inn Stanley ($$).

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  • From: Hobart
  • Total Distance: 169 miles
  • Top Road Trip Stops: Bruny Island; Huon River; Hastings Cave; Hartz Mountains National Park.

Tasmania Route 3 Map

This road trip takes you all the way to Tasmania’s deep south and, we gotta say, it’s a doozie.

It’s going to lead you through a wealth of different landscapes and places to stop off and take it all in. We’re talking waterways, thick forests, vast wilderness, and even vineyards (for the thirsty) and beaches.

Then there’s the tranquillity of the Huon River, as well as Hartz Mountains National Park. You’ll also get to lap up a bit of pioneer history and heritage along the way.

As you can see, there’s a bit of everything going on down south. You’ll even get to hop across the water to Bruny Island.

Noted for its diverse, intricate landscapes as much as its seasonal produce and artsy vibe, Tasmania’s south is an area you’ll want to take your time on. You could do it in three days, yes – but you could also just get lost down here if you want to take time out chilling on beaches. Why not.

  • Floating along the Huon River with its majestic riverscape.
  • Hiking the wilderness of Hartz Mountain National Park.
  • Chilling the heck out in the thermal springs of Hastings Cave.
  • Driving out to the southernmost drive-able point of Australia at Cockle Creek.
  • Whale watching on a boat trip from Adventure Bay.

Day 1: Hobart to Geeveston (1 hour)

Huon River

Find yourself a great accommodation in Hobart and start your journey here. You’ll get a chance to stock up on all-important supplies, like snacks. After that, it’s a simple matter of taking the A6 highway and hightailing outta there.

You’ll leave the city behind and drive towards Kingston, meandering gently through scenic hills, until you arrive. Unless you HAVE to (or want to; there’s a decent beach here), you won’t be stopping in Kingston.

Instead, you’ll take the Huon Highway through a patchwork of fields and hills as it wiggles its way to Huonville, your first stop.

Get out of the car, stretch your legs, and jump on a jet boat along the Huon River. It’s a cool way to see the epic landscape, which is carpeted with “Huon pines.” These are some of the OLDEST living things in the world, with a few allegedly topping 2,000 years old. Crazy.

Back on dry land, enjoy the fruits of the landscape with a local lunch at one of the many wineries here. (If you’re the one driving, pick up a bottle for later on).

From here, drive along the river south to Geeveston, with the option to stop off in historic Franklin along the way. You’re done for the day.

  • Best Stops: Huon River.
  • Where to Eat: the beautiful Home Hill Winery or Kate Hill Wines (don’t drink and drive!) in Huonville; fresh fare at The Old Bank of Geeveston.
  • Where to Stay: rustic meets boutique at Bears Went Over the Mountain ($$); the historic B&B of Cambridge House ($$$).

Day 2: Geeveston to Dover (0.5 hours)

Hartz Mountain National Park

Waking up in Geeveston, the first thing you’ll want is breakfast. Once that’s over and done with, it’s time to head out on the road. It may just be a short drive today, but you’re going to see a TON of natural history along the way.

First stop? Hartz Mountain National Park. Geeveston’s basically the gateway to this place, so you’ll practically stumble into it on leaving.

A simple way to experience the national park is to hike to the top of Hartz Peak itself, complete with insane views of the Tasmanian wilderness on one side and the ocean on the other.

There’s even the chance to see (and soak in) some thermal springs once you’re done in the national park; heading further south, stop off at Hastings Cave to do that.

If you like the idea of “furthest north/south/etc.” then you’ll definitely want to make a detour to Cockle Creek. This is the furthest south you can drive in the whole of Australia . There’s even a beaut of a beach here to cool off and kick back on. If you feel like it, you can finish up here (Boltons Green Campsite is the only accommodation, however).

Otherwise, drive back north to Dover. Day 2 is done!

  • Best Stops: Hartz Mountain National Park; Hastings Cave; Cockle Creek.
  • Where to Eat: cute local cafe Dover Top Stop; splash out with sea views at Dover RSL Club.
  • Where to Stay: cosy B&B, Ashdowns of Dover ($); Smugglers Rest ($$$).

Day 3: Dover to Bruny Island (2.5 hours)

Dover

Even though Bruny Island is just across the water, you’ll have to drive along the coast. That is by no means a bad thing – it’s beautiful.

The drive through orchards, past farmsteads, and along the Huon River is a scenic one.

First up, you’ll be stopping off at Woodbridge. This teeny-tiny seaside hamlet is a great spot for lunch. If it’s a sunny day, make sure you dine al fresco with those impressive sea views as a backdrop. It’s moments like this, just sitting out in a new town, in a new lunch spot, that are the simple pleasures of road trips, and what makes them special.

From Woodbridge, it’s a simple ten-minute drive to Kettering. This is where you’ll catch the ferry over to Bruny Island.

Once you’re on the island, you’ll have nature at your fingertips; there’s the chance to see dolphins, seals, whales and sea eagles, as well as a fair bit of history (for example, there’s the Captain Cook Memorial in Adventure Bay, where the famous explorer landed in 1777). Let’s not forget the scenery! Explore at your leisure.

  • Best Stops: Woodbridge; Adventure Bay.
  • Where to Eat: local food and unreal views at Peppermint Bay (Woodbridge); casual eats at Bruny Island Seafood Restaurant.
  • Where to Stay: right on the beach, there’s Captain Cook Holiday Park ($$); or your own home for the night, Bruny Ocean Cottage  ($$$).

Day 4: Bruny Island to Hobart (1 hour)

Bruny Island

Start your day with breakfast, then explore the island, if you want.

There’s the option to take a sea cruise from Adventure Bay, which will take you to the southern tip of Bruny Island to see wildlife, whales (if you’re lucky), and sea caves.

Other than that, take the car for a spin to Cape Bruny Lighthouse. Built in 1834, you can get incredible views out across the Southern Ocean from this landmark.

Then, wave goodbye to Bruny Island; you’re Hobart-bound. First stop, take the ferry back to Kettering. Then it’s a simple 40-minute drive back up to Hobart. The scenery, as it has been the whole time, is suitably spectacular.

  • Where to Eat: breakfast at Penguin and Pardalote Cafe (Adventure Bay); hearty food at Steamhouse Cafe in Kettering.
  • Where to Stay: bunk up at Hobart Central YHA ($); splurge at The Henry Jones Art Hotel ($$$).

Read our guide on where to stay in Hobart if you’re planning to stay the night there.

It’s a breeze!

The weather doesn’t pose much of a problem. It can suddenly change to fog, ice and snow, anywhere on the island, so it’s good to be aware of that.

Fuel can be an issue. You can’t rely on some of the smaller towns and villages in Tasmania to have fuel readily available, and even less so at night when places shut. Keep it topped up wherever you spot a place to fill the tank.

It’s pretty much smooth sailing – which is part of what makes it so epic for a road trip. Firstly, though, you’ll need some wheels to do it with…

Renting a Vehicle in Tasmania

You may already have a rental car and want to take it on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry from Melbourne to Devonport (expensive), but chances are you’ll be renting in Tasmania itself. A simple task.

In this day and age, it’s probably a good idea to book ahead online, just in case. Otherwise, you can pretty easily secure a rental vehicle in Hobart or at Hobart International Airport, which is probably where you’ll start anyway. Hertz is a reliable option.

There are also Hertz branches in Launceston and Devonport (useful if you’re arriving by ferry), as well as at their respective airports. Other franchises – Budget, Enterprise and Europcar – are available, as are smaller outfits, like family-owned Tassie Car Rentals in Devonport.

A popular choice is a motorhome – you get the extra freedom of staying in comfort pretty much wherever you decide to stop. They’re more expensive, though, and aren’t as social as staying in a hostel or even a hotel.

For any vehicle, most agencies require you to be 21 or over, and some require three years’ of full-license driving experience. Note that if you’re from a non-English speaking country, you may need an International Driving License.

  • Age Surcharge: If you’re 21-24/under 25, you’ll have to pay around $AU16.50 to $AU30.25 extra, per day, depending on the company.
  • Bond/Deposit: Totally depends. Some places ask for $AU100, some ask for $AU1,100 (you’ll get it back 2-10 days after you return the car)
  • Additional Drivers Charge: It’s as low as $AU5.50 per day for an extra driver to be included (usually with a max charge of $AU27.50). Enterprise offers no charge for additional drivers over 25.

You may want to consider additional insurance because it’s always handy to have –  RentalCover.com  is a decent choice. Once you’ve got your car and your insurance, it’s time to hit the road. But first, it’s good to know what you can and can’t do

travel tasmania by car

Don’t have a car? Well, we’re going to have to sort that out! Use  rentalcars.com  to find the best deals on the web and save heaps of cash!

Road Rules in Tasmania

Tasmania being part of Australia, the first thing you’ll notice if you’re not from Australia (or New Zealand, Japan, the UK, and so on) is that you drive on the left.

This will mean driving a right-hand drive vehicle. If you’re not au fait with it, just be extra careful when you drive, making sure you know how to navigate junctions and stuff. Boring, we know, but it can be disorienting – especially if it’s your first time driving abroad.

The Tasmanian government has a big list of their rules of the road online , so if you’re keen to read up, we recommend doing so.

Other than that, the usual stuff applies, like wearing a seatbelt and not drunk driving. Normal.

There are also a few weirdly strict rules in Tasmania that can get you fines if you don’t follow them.

  • You can get a fine for unnecessarily sounding your horn, so curb your honking.
  • What constitutes correct parking is strict. Drivers can be fined for parking cars facing the opposite direction to traffic, and for being “incorrectly” parallel parked – that means at an angle, too close to other vehicles, or too far from the kerb.
  • In Tasmania, it is an offence to leave your car unsecured. This is defined as moving three or more metres away from a car which is unlocked, has the keys in the ignition, or is otherwise somehow not secure – having your window down, for example.
  • It may be natural as anything to you, but you’re not allowed to use smartphone GPS in Tasmania. To use it, it has to be “mounted in a commercially designed holder fitted in the vehicle”. Otherwise, it’s completely illegal.
  • No tailgating. That’s illegal as well. Leave a two-second gap if you’re travelling 60km/h or less, four-second gap if you’re going more than 80km/h.

Insurance in Tasmania

Insurance is not fun, but it is important. Thankfully, you won’t have to worry too much as a lot of rental car companies – especially chain agencies – will have at least some level of insurance built into the price of your rental.

Collision Damage Waiver (or Basic Waiver) has a pretty high standard excess, at around AU$7,000 for cars and AU$10,800 for motorhomes. Note that some places won’t cover some damage to certain parts of the vehicle under the CDW – things like punctures and replacement tyres, windscreen cracks and chips, as well as damage to underbody and headlights.

Personal Accident Insurance isn’t included and will have to be purchased at an extra AU$14 (at least) per day. Neither is Roadside Assistance (at least AU$14 extra). And even if you do pay, key replacement often isn’t covered.

Basically, there are quite a few things not included.

Buying insurance before you go, on the other hand, saves hassle – and saves you being bamboozled into paying for inflated insurance add-ons at the rental desk. Recommended.

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing .

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

travel tasmania by car

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

If you’re not careful, Tasmania’s wilderness will smack ya to next Monday. There are six road trip essentials I never go traveling without:

Mini FIrst Aid Kit

1. First Aid Kit : Even if you don’t plan on doing anything extreme on your trip, like hiking, climbing, or other extreme sports, you never know what could happen. You could cut yourself while cooking, smash a finger in a car door, or burn yourself on a hot radiator. A first aid kit will be able to handle most of these minor situations.

aux cord

2. Aux Cord : One of the only things to do on a long car ride by yourself is to listen to music or a podcast. Since most people use their phones as an MP3 player these days, an auxillary cord is crucial to preserving your sanity. If there is no auxiliary port in your car, buy a radio transceiver or use a portable speaker.

travel tasmania by car

3. Phone mount :  It’s very dangerous to be looking down at your phone while driving. If you need to have access to your phone, for maps and what-not, buy a mount for it. This way, you can keep your eyes on the road and your phone won’t be far from your field of view.

Headlamp

4. Headtorch : Every backpacker should have a head torch! A decent head torch could save your life. If you want to explore caves, unlit temples, or simply find your way to the bathroom during a blackout, a headtorch is a must. Currently, I’m using the Petzl Actik Core rechargeable headlamp – an awesome piece of kit! Because it’s USB chargeable I never have to buy earth polluting batteries.

Roadside Emergency Kit

5. Roadside Emergency Kit : Just like you never know what could happen to yourself , one never knows what can happen to their car . A vehicle can mysteriously fail, break, run into a ditch; all that and then some. Most emergency kit include a pair of jumper cables, a tow rope, a set of essential tools, and ties.

travel tasmania by car

6. Toiletry Bag : I always travel with a hanging toiletry bag as it’s a super-efficient way to organise your bathroom stuff. Well worth having, whether you are hanging it from a tree whilst camping, or a hook in a wall, it helps to have quick access to all your stuff.

Tasmania

Those were just some of the best road trips in Tasmania, but this island is compact enough to let you take inspiration from our suggestions and improvise. As long as you keep the tank full, it’s plain sailing – especially if you’ve opted for a motorhome.

Tasmania is like a well-kept secret – except we’ve been there, and people we know have been there, and yet it keeps this pristine feel to it. Maybe being home to something with the word “devil” as a surname keeps some people away. Maybe. Or maybe it IS a secret. Either way, it’s a roadtrippers’ paradise. You’re welcome.

travel tasmania by car

Alexandria Zboyovski

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travel tasmania by car

Girl Eat World

A girl's adventure in food and travel around the world, 5-day tasmania itinerary: road trip from hobart.

I have heard a lot about Tasmania – about the unique and beautiful nature down there, and how they have the cleanest air in the world because they are so far removed from everything else.

I’ve seen the rugged beauty of Tasmania in Lion , a true story made into an Oscar-nominated drama movie featuring Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel. Needless to say, I was very excited about this trip. It also helped that my Australian friends would gush about how food in Tasmania just tasted better and that their local produce is considered superior even among Australians.

In this post, you can find the details of planning a road trip in Tasmania and the East Coast itinerary I ended up with.

My 5 Days in Tasmania Road Trip Itinerary

In my past Australia posts , I’ve talked about how surprised I was at the sheer size of the country-continent. Well, Tasmania is no exception – even though on the map it looks like a small portion of Australia, it’s still quite huge. If you want to hit everything Tasmania has to offer then I reckon you’ll need a good 10-14 days.

Now here comes the problem – I only have 5 days in Tasmania. So I knew I had to make some sacrifices. I narrowed down what my must-dos are: I want to see at least one national park, I want to eat Tasmanian oysters, and I want to still see some sights around Hobart. Keeping these in mind, I had to settle for the shorter option, which meant driving only halfway up the east coast to Freycinet National Park before driving back down again.

Map of Tasmania Road trip

🗺 Save this map to your phone!  If you are a Google user, click on the image of the map above. The map will then be saved to your “Recent” maps viewed.  Click here for instructions on how to view the map later . It will work from your phone too.

The final itinerary I went with was this:

  • Day 1: Explore Hobart (Fly in the morning)
  • Day 2: Drive up to Bicheno (3 hours)
  • Day 3: Explore  Freycinet National Park
  • Day 4: Drive down to Port Arthur and Tasman Island (3 hours)
  • Day 5: Bruny Island Foodie Day trip

If you have more time – You can always opt to drive further up towards Binalong Bay and the Bay of Fires, before ending up at Launceston, the second biggest city in Tasmania.

Cash Management in Australia

In Australia, you can use your credit card pretty much everywhere. I didn’t use cash for most of my trips there. However, if you prefer to transact in cash, then exchange your money before the trip. Do NOT exchange your money in Australia, especially at the Airport. They generally don’t give you a good exchange rate and sometimes apply a fee for the transaction – check out this article for horror stories .

My friend tried to exchange AUD for SGD at Sydney Airport and was given a rate of $1.43 when the going rate was $1.04. His A$163 became S$115 when it should have been S$155. I know as a general rule you are not supposed to change currency in airports, but to his defense, we’ve changed currencies in other airports and were not ripped off as badly as in Australia.

General Tips for Driving in Australia

  • Rent a car and arrange to pick it up straight from the airport you’re flying into. Saves you tons of time!
  • Have an International Driver’s License with at least a month’s validity.
  • Keep to the speed limit! I have been told the Australian police is very strict on speeding.
  • Fill up the tank before returning your car, or it’s going to cost you.
  • Most businesses (except restaurants) are closed by 4-5 pm. Yes, even grocery stores, so plan ahead if you need to replenish resources.
  • Bring an Adapter for USB Charging in the car. Something like this is perfect. You’ll be driving a lot, so you’ll want to use your phone for music, GPS and research and that stuff will eat into your battery.
  • Bring a power bank. My favorite power bank is the Xiaomi 10,000 mAh. This stuff is super powerful. It can charge my iPhone 7+ more than twice.

My Itinerary of 5 Days in Tasmania

As you can imagine, there are lots to do in Tasmania so I’ve broken up the posts to guide you through the special highlights of the trip:

Day 1: Hobart & Surrounding Area

Hobart is the capital of Tasmania, and likely the starting point if you are an international traveler like us. In this Hobart City Guide post , you’ll find the low-down of this quaint city – what to eat, where to stay, and day trips you can take from Hobart.

A viewing deck on top of Mount Wellington in Hobart

Day 2-3: Bicheno and Freycinet National Park

When driving through the east coast of Tasmania, it’s pretty much a no-brainer that you have to stop by Freycinet National Park . This post will guide you through the planning of visiting the park: how to get there, where to stay, and what to do.

At the top of Mount Amos, Freycinet National Park

Day 4: Tasman Peninsula and Port Arthur

The Tasman Peninsula is only a short 1-hour drive from Hobart and houses some of the most beautiful terrains Tasmania has to offer.

Hint: It’s one of the locations for the movie  Lions , which if you haven’t seen – you should. It’s both shot beautifully and the story is very unique.

While you are there, I recommend stopping by Port Arthur , a historic village that served as a convict settlement built in the mid-18th century!

Here are some tours to Port Arthur / Tasman Peninsula from Hobart you can consider:

  • Port Arthur Day Tour from Hobart – In addition to the village, you’ll also get to see some of Tasman Peninsula’s popular sites, such as Devil’s Kitchen, Tasman Arch, and the Blowhole.
  • Tasman Island Cruises  by Penicott Wilderness Journeys  – If you are the adventurous type, I highly recommend checking out this cruise. This is done by the same company I went to  Bruny Island  with. We got to see dolphins and other wildlife in this cruise!

Find more info about this in my Hobart Guide !

Day 5: Bruny Island

Bruny Island is a holiday island 45 minutes south of Hobart. The island is formed by two large land masses, separated only by a narrow stretch of sand called “The Neck”. More importantly, for me, the island is famous for its gourmet local produce!

You can read about my day of eating and drinking on Bruny Island here .

The House of Whisky is also a very beautiful place to grab a drink and wind down

Getting a Car Rental/Hire

Here is a tip for road trip newbies like myself: You can arrange to rent/hire a car and pick it up straight from the airport you’re flying into. All car rental companies would have their own drop-off zone at the airport parking lot. This saves you time and money since you don’t have to worry about your airport transport anymore!

I booked a car hire through Cheaptickets , which connects you to local car rental companies. I recommend doing this a few weeks before your actual trip!

Tip: You can also book excess insurance with your booking, which covers you in case you get in an accident. If you get this insurance through Cheaptickets, it’s only $9.90 a day. However, if you buy the insurance at booking point, it would cost you $30-40 a day so I recommend to buy the insurance online.

Not a fan of booking ahead? You could just get a car when you get to the airport since all the car rental companies have an office in the airport. However, if you do it this way you might risk not having a car available for hire on the day of your arrival. Just an example, when I was in Hobart it so happened that a huge cruise ship was docking in the city for a few days. A bunch of its 3000-something passengers was looking to hire cars and explore the region and I heard most car rentals were fully booked until Monday when I arrived Saturday morning.

Booking Accommodations in Tasmania

I also booked all my accommodations through Cheaptickets . Cheaptickets’ hotel booking engine is powered by booking.com, so you can be assured you get the best deal and good cancellation policy – though I would still pay attention to each booking since the cancellation policy differs hotel to hotel.

I find the accommodations in Tasmania to be on the more expensive side, especially as you get into the smaller cities. The accommodations I booked ranges from AU$150-200 (US$115-155) per night. Here are the hotels I booked for my itinerary above:

  • Shipwright Arms (Hobart) – This is a really small no-frills hotel & pub located in the historic Battery Point neighborhood of Hobart. Their rooms are very simple and there is no dedicated receptionist at the desk (the person checking us in was also tending to the bar, but this hotel was the cheapest I could find in Hobart that isn’t a hostel or with a shared bathroom.
  • Bicheno by the Bay (Bicheno) – A beautiful lodge just minutes’ walk away from the beach and city center of Bicheno (which is a very small town). I loved this hotel as they have the best shower out of all the accommodations I had on this trip! The hot water heats up in seconds, has good water pressure and they have a heating lamp in the bathroom – something I truly missed on cold nights when I was stepping out of the shower.
  • Rydges Hobart  (Hobart) – The hotel is a renovated heritage building, located conveniently close to the center of Hobart. I’m not sure if they upgraded us, but our Manor Twin room was huge! It has its own living room and a huge bathroom. It’s definitely the most spacious and modern out of all three accommodations.

Example of Cost of the trip

Since I was tracking my spending throughout the entire trip, I am sharing them here with you so you can get an idea of how much you’ll be spending in USD.

Hotel and transport were non-negotiable – I think no matter what you do, you’ll end up spending around that much per day/night. Perhaps you could spend a bit less on the hotel if you are going the backpacking route – shared bathrooms / rooms and all.

For Meals , it varied greatly since on some days we skipped lunch, and on some days we had expensive dinners. I think $45/person/day is a more accurate estimate if you eat a modest breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can also save some money on meals if you choose to cook yourself or eat at a fast food restaurant.

Activities are also negotiable. The price above included a cruise and a full-day food tour which consist of about 70% of the amount above. The rest are the museum entrance, park entrance, etc.

What to expect from driving in Tasmania

Here are a few small things I noted during our road trip:

  • Lots of roadkill along the Tasmanian roads! I’m not sure why since I didn’t see this when we drove in Queensland, but in Tasmania, you can expect to see road kills of varying sizes (from squirrels to wallabies) every time you drive out from the city.
  • All businesses tend to close early, so try to check in to your hotel before 5 pm or be sure to notify the hotel if you are arriving at an off-house so that they can arrange an alternative check-in method and you won’t be left stranded!
  • Yes, even grocery stores will close early so plan ahead if you need to replenish resources. I find this to be very true, especially in Tasmania.
  • Weather changes fast, so bring various layers. Super strong sun – bring adequate sunscreen and layer up with extra clothing to shield yourself, even when you are driving in the car.
  • 3G and 4G were widely available in the areas I went to, but I still downloaded offline maps on my Google Maps app just in case we go off the grid. I experienced low connectivity only at Freycinet National Park .

General Tips on Traveling in Australia

  • A credit card works everywhere in Australia – even in small towns. We brought $200 Aussie Dollars with us and only ended up spending about $50 of it.
  • Have an International Driver’s License that has at least a month of validity left.
  • With rental cars, you should fill up the tank before returning your car, or it’s going to cost you extra.
  • Bring an Adapter for USB Charging in the car in case your car doesn’t have a USB charging point, so you can still charge your  Something  like this  is perfect.
  • Bring a power bank. My favorite power bank is  the Xiaomi 10,000 mAh . This stuff is super powerful. It can charge my iPhone 7+ more than twice.

And that’s all folks! I hope that was helpful to you.

  • April 19, 2021

Tasmania has a lot to offer for travel enthusiasts and will surely not disappoint! There’s always food for the eyes (sceneries) and the tummy. Love this itinerary, so handy!

  • July 20, 2020

Some good points about considerations for overseas travellers. Tasmania is a fabulous place to visit and the National Parks there are world class. Our favourite spots included Freycinet National Park and a summer beach stay in Bicheno.

  • June 9, 2019

Hello Melissa, for the Bruny Island tour, did you do any hotel pick up or you drove somewhere to park your car before the shuttle bus picked you up? Where would you recommend parking the rented car? Thank you 🙂

Hey Joel, we walked to the pick up point since it was close to our hotel. There are plenty of parking around but you’ll have to pay since it’s in the central area.

  • April 16, 2019

awesome post thanks for sharing

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Tasmania Explorer

Tasmania Explorer

Tasmania Travel Guide: Road Trips, Attractions & Accommodation

Planning a trip to Tasmania? Fantastic! This island state at the bottom of Australia offers so much for visitors.

In this Tasmania travel guide, I share everything you need to know about Tasmania in my Tasmania travel blog so you can plan your best trip ever.

Whether you want the best Tasmanian itinerary for a long weekend or a long epic adventure, I can help you below with plenty of inspiration and practical attraction and accommodation guides to help you plan your travel to Tasmania.

This guide is all about overall Tasmania travel planning with plenty of Tasmania travel tips. To read guides to individual places in Tasmania, click here .

If you have just started your travel Tasmania planning, I recommend you start with this article . I go step-by-step through everything you need to do to plan your trip to Tasmania including how to get to Tasmania, get around once you get there, where to go and what to pack and budget.

Click here to download your free Tasmania Road Trip Planner checklist . We’ll help you get ready for your trip! Wan t help with your itinerary? Find our full Tasmanian Road Trip Planner here.

Tasmania Travel Guide

Wineglass Bay

Tasmania is an island off the south east coast of Australia. One of the states of Australia, it offers a lot of variety and is quite different to the rest of the country, yet easy to reach and fun to explore.

With a population of just over half million, it’s also sparsely populated and it’s crazy easy to find a gorgeous beach or slice of heaven to yourself.

Find our ultimate how to plan a trip to Tasmania guide below.

Wineglass Bay

Tasmania Road Trip Planner✅: How To Plan A Trip To Tasmania

Tasmania uses Australian dollars just like everywhere else in Australia. ATMs are readily available in population centres and most places will take credit cards.

Tasmania has four distinct seasons, although sometimes these can all happen within the one day!

I have experienced snow in Tasmania at Christmas time and have been sunburned in winter so be prepared for all weather regardless of the time of year, especially cold weather. Parts like Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park can be cold and frosty at any time of year. Even Hobart can have a hot summer’s day and then the cold wind will start in the early evening and you can go from sweaty hot to freezing cold within an hour.

The sun is particularly harsh in Tasmania so don’t forget the sunscreen and hat. It’s much easier to get burned here than on the mainland of Australia.

Pumphouse Point over the lake

Getting To Tasmania

The major airport in Tasmania is in Hobart with reasonable flight options to Launceston and some flight options to Burnie and Devonport. Flights from other capital cities, particularly Melbourne, can be very cheap with a good deal.

Click here to look up flight costs.

The other popular option is to take the Spirit of Tasmania car ferry from Geelong. This is an overnight or full day journey (day crossing are only at peak times) between Geelong and Devonport on the north coast of Tasmania.

This is a great way to take your car with you which can save on car hire and make travel easier. However, if you aren’t taking your car, it’s easier, quicker and usually cheaper to fly.

Read our full guide to taking the Spirit of Tasmania below.

Spirit of Tasmania

Ferry To Tasmania⛴️: Everything You Need To Know

Top tasmania travel itinerary options.

Planning your trip to Tasmania but not sure how long you want to spend where and how it should fit together? Check out our itineraries as we have done the work for you!

Want more itineraries and a detailed plan for each day? Find our full Tasmanian Road Trip Planner here.

The Neck, Bruny Island

Perfect Tasmania Itinerary 5 Days✅

Strahan waterfront

Tasmania Itinerary 7 Days✅: Perfect Tasmania Driving Holiday

Hobart from Mt Wellington

Self Drive Tasmania: Perfect Tasmania Itinerary 10 days✅

Tasmania Bridge, Hobart

14 Day Tasmania Itinerary✅: Ultimate Tasmanian Road Trip

Best places to visit in tasmania.

Looking for some travel guides Tasmania inspiration? There are many great destinations to visit in Tasmania but what are the best? If you are looking for inspiration for your trip, these articles are for you!

Hobart Waterfront

Best Things To Do In Tasmania With Kids✅

Bridestowe Lavender Estate Tasmania

Lavender Farms In Tasmania💜: Where And When To Go

wineglass bay

Top 10 Best Beaches In Tasmania

Best tasmania accommodation.

There is a huge range of accommodation in Tasmania available in many different places in this island state. From camping in a national park to stunning eco-options, there are some great choices.

They are popular though so book ahead. You can find dedicated accommodation guides in the d estinations part of this site.

Getting Around Tasmania

Getting around Tasmania is easy – if you have a car! This is not a good place to be relying on public transport.

Thankfully, it’s easy to hire a car and drive yourself. We love doing this! You can read more here about driving in Tasmania.

You can also bring your own car on the Spirit of Tasmania from Geelong.

Driving over the Bowen Bridge in Hobart

Bargain Car Rentals Discount Code [5% Off Cheapest Rate!]🚗

LeisureRent motorhome

LeisureRent Discount Code [5% Off Cheapest Rate!]🚗

driving Tasmania winter

Driving in Tasmania🚗: Tips, Laws, Itineraries And More

For car hire, I recommend you book through  Bargain Car Rentals . This Tasmanian car rental company has some great deals and availability. Even better is if you use the code:  TASEXPLORE  you save 5%

Simply click here.

Then when you enter the dates and location, enter:  TASEXPLORE  for the “Discount Code”.

They are located in both Hobart and Launceston.

You can also find other  car hire options here .

Other Tasmania Travel Guides

Mount Wellington

Best Time To Visit Tasmania☀️: Weather, Crowds And More

hotel quarantine exercise

Our Experiences In Hotel Quarantine In Tasmania

You can find more information on specific destinations in Tasmania here or find everything else you need to know about visiting Tasmania in all our Tasmania travel guides here. You can also buy our full Tasmanian Road Trip Planner here.

Bec's Travel Itinerary

Before you go, check this out!

We have lots more on the site to show you. You've only seen one page. Check out this post which is one of the most popular of all time.

Tasmania Without a Car: detailed 7-day & 10-day itinerary

Car rentals are usually in hot demand and expensive in Tasmania. As a result, the option to explore Tasmania without a car can be very attractive for many visitors to Tasmania.

A range of shared transport services is available in Tasmania to take you from one attraction to the next. Hence, you do not need a car rental to explore this wonderful island state and visit Tasmania’s main attractions.

To help you navigate, I have put together a detailed 7-10 days itinerary for visiting Tasmania without a car. Hope you can find this article useful in your trip planning process.

Day 1: Hobart

Hobart Waterfront

For detailed information on attractions in Hobart, you may wish to also check out this article on: ‘ One Day in Hobart

Opens in a new tab.

  • Hobart CBD : Take a relaxing stroll in Hobart CBD after checking into your hotel.
  • Battery Point : A 15 minutes walk from Hobart CBD will take you to the beautiful Battery Point to appreciate its quaint streets and well-preserved sandstone cottages.
  • Salamanca Place : Salamanca Place is well-known for its Salamanca Market , which trades on Saturdays only. This cobblestone street is also lined with beautiful colonial buildings, which makes Salamanca Place a must visit attraction even on non-market days.
  • Hobart Waterfront : Hobart’s stunning waterfront is only a short walk from Salamanca Place. It is a great place for a leisure stroll & to grab some fresh seafood.
  • Lunch : Enjoy a burger and/or some buffalo wings at the Preachers on Knopwood St – really nice vibes at this place, be sure to check out.
  • Dinner : Indulge in some fresh seafood from Hobart Waterfront.

Where to Stay

  • Hobart offers a variety of accommodations to meet every budget and need.
  • For your convenience, it can be a good idea to stay around Hobart CBD or Battery Point .

Day 2: Hobart – Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens & MONA

MONA

  • From Brooke St Pier (Hobart Waterfront), you can find a dedicated MONA ferry to take you directly from Hobart to MONA (Museum of Old and New Art).
  • Take the ferry back to Hobart from MONA.
  • For convenience & to reduce the amount of packing and unpacking during your trip, you may want to stay in the same place in Hobart from day 1 to day 4.

Day 3: Hobart – Mount Wellington Summit

Mount Wellington Hike

For more detailed information on Mount Wellington and its hiking options, feel free to check out my post: ‘ Mount Wellington’ .

  • To start your hike towards Mount Wellington Summit : Take a Mount Wellington Explorer Bus to The Springs, or catch Bus 448 from Hobart to Fern Tree (an extra 40-minute walk from Fern Tree to the Springs).
  • Mount Wellington Summit : It is a 1.5-2 hours hike (one-way) between The Springs and Mount Wellington Summit. At the summit, you will be greeted with a spectacular panoramic view of Hobart, River Derwent, and the Tasman Peninsula.
  • If you have a Mount Wellington Explorer Pass , you can take the explorer bus back to Hobart from either Mount Wellington Summit or The Springs. If you don’t have an explorer pass, you will need to walk back to Fern Tree, before catching Bus 448 back to Hobart.
  • Lunch : Pack yourself a picnic to enjoy with the beautiful views along the hike.

Day 4: Hobart – Richmond & Port Arthur Day Trip

Port Arthur Historic Site

For detailed information on visiting the Tasman Peninsula and Port Arthur, you can also check out this article on ‘ Port Arthur Day Trip’ .

  • Join a day tour from Hobart to visit the stunning Richmond Bridge and Port Arthur Historic Site – not feasible to complete this day trip by public transport.
  • Viator has some decently priced Port Arthur Day Tours, which you may want to check out.
  • Breakfast: Hobart has many amazing cafes – visit one near you before hopping on your tour bus.
  • Lunch : There is a cafe on-site in the Port Arthur Historic Site & it offers a decent selection of drinks and hot food.
  • For convenience & to reduce the amount of packing and unpacking during your trip, you may want to stay in the same place in Hobart , from day 1 to day 4.

Day 5: Hobart to Launceston

Alexandra Suspension Bridge, Cataract Gorge Reserve

  • 10 am: Take the Redline Coach – Bus 702 from Hobart Transit Centre.
  • 12.55 pm: Arrive at Cornwall Square Transit Centre in Launceston.
  • Launceston CBD : After checking into your hotel, take a stroll around the beautiful Launceston city.
  • Cataract Gorge Reserve : Finishing the day at the impressive Cataract Gorge Reserve – 30 minutes walk from Launceston CBD.
  • Breakfast: Hobart has many amazing cafes – check out one near you before catching the bus to Launceston.
  • Dinner : Enjoy a delicious meal at the Gorge Restaurant in Cataract Gorge Reserve.
  • I suggest staying in Launceston CBD for its convenience. In this way, you can also walk around this beautiful city after dinner and/or breakfast.

Day 6: Launceston – Tamar Valley Day Trip

Tamar Valley, Launceston, Tasmania

For detailed information on Launceston and the Tamar Valley, you may wish to also check out this: ‘ Launceston 3-Day Itinerary ’.

  • You are able to visit the main attractions in Tamar Valley by bus, but it will take you an extended amount of time in transit. Therefore, I suggest taking a guide tour or cruise to explore this beautiful valley.
  • Tamar Valley is famous for its wine and fresh produce . There are many interesting and well-priced Tamar Valley Food and Wine Tours available on Viator , which you may be interested in.
  • If you are more interested in cruise , a 4 hours Luncheon Cruise along Tamar River is also available on Viator . It will take you along the stunning Tamar River to visit Batman Bridge and the Cataract Gorge Reserve.
  • Breakfast : Sweetbrew in Launceston.
  • Lunch : This will likely be covered during your day tour/cruise.
  • For convenience & to reduce the amount of packing and unpacking during your trip, I suggest staying in the same place as the previous night.

Day 7: Launceston to Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain

For people who are only planning a 7-Day Trip to Tasmania, please skip to Day 10 of this itinerary. Cradle Mountain is an incredible place to visit in Tasmania, but it may be too compact to fit into your 7-day itinerary without a car.

I have written a detailed article on the Walking Tracks, Wildlife, Weather, Entrance Fee, Shuttle Bus, Where to Eat, Where to Shop, Where to Stay, and How Long to Spend in Cradle Mountain. Feel free to check it out for more detailed information – ‘ All Things to Know When Visiting Cradle Mountain’ .

  • Departure from Launceston: Depending on the transport service you choose, your departure time can be very different: McDermott’s departs at 7.30 am on Sun/​Mon/​Wed/​Fri & Cradle Mountain Transport departs at 11.30 am on Monday – Saturday. * Make sure you also check out their websites for up to date ticket pricing and departure times. *
  • Short Walks near the Ranger Station : Enjoy some of the shorter walks near the Ranger Station and/or Dove Lake for a taste of Cradle Mountain.
  • Wildlife Spotting: Go on a wildlife-spotting near your hotel at night.
  • Breakfast : Check out the delicious meals and interesting decors at Samuel Pepy’s Cafe in Launceston.
  • There aren’t many food choices within Cradle Mountain . Many hotels in Cradle Mountain do offer meal services for hotel guests, which you may wish to look into. For non-hotel guests, you can visit Elements Cafe (for brunch or lunch) or Tavern Bar & Bistro (for lunch and dinner).
  • There is a range of accommodations to choose from in Cradle Mountain . They range from hotels to self-contained chalets and cabins.
  • For travelling without a car, you may wish to stay near the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre or the Ranger Station for convenience (so you are closer to the Shuttle Bus).

Day 8: Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain

  • Dove Lake to Cradle Mountain Summit:  Shuttle Bus > Dove Lake carpark > Dove Lake Circuit (clockwise direction) > Hansons Peak > Face Track > Cradle Mountain Summit (depending on hiking experience & fitness level) > Marions Lookout > Dove Lake Circuit > Dove Lake Boat Shed > Dove Lake carpark > Shuttle Bus (make sure you get back before the last Shuttle Bus departures. Otherwise you will have a very long walk back)
  • Wildlife Spotting : Near the hotel.
  • Breakfast : Element Cafe (near Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre & opens at 9 am)
  • Lunch : Pack a picnic & enjoy it during your hike around Dove Lake.
  • Ideally, stay in the same accommodation as the previous night to reduce the amount of packing and unpacking during this trip.

Day 9: Cradle Mountain to Launceston

Short Walks near the Ranger Station

  • Cradle Mountain:  Enjoy a short walk near the Ranger Station before leaving this wonderful park for Launceston.
  • Cradle Mountain to Launceston : Depending on the transport company you choose, your departure time varies: McDermott’s departs at 2.30 pm on Sun/​Mon/​Wed/​Fri & Cradle Mountain Transport departs at 3 pm on Monday – Saturday. * Make sure you also check out their websites for up-to-date ticket pricing and departure times. *
  • Launceston: Take another walk around Launceston city before leaving Launceston tomorrow.
  • Breakfast : Elements Cafe (near Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre).
  • Launceston offers a range of accommodations for every budget and need.
  • I suggest staying in Launceston CBD for its convenience.

Day 10: Launceston to Hobart via Wineglass Bay

Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park, Tasmania

  • Join a guide bus tour from Launceston to Hobart via the beautiful Freycinet National Park to visit the iconic Wineglass Bay.
  • Check out this Launceston to Hobart tour here on Viator.
  • Breakfast: Grab a quick bit from Banjo’s Launceston.
  • Lunch : Guided by the bus tour you are choosing.
  • If you are taking a flight out of Hobart tomorrow, I would suggest you to stay around Hobart or Hobart Airport tonight.

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Port Arthur Historic Site, Tasman Peninsula

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I'm passionate about travel. I would like to use this platform to share my travel experiences. Please support me by subscribing to this blog. You can also find more travel related contents on my YouTube channel and Instagram. Thank you :)

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Wombat walker, cave conductor: Tasmania opens applications for ‘odd job’ experiences

travel tasmania by car

How would you like to ditch your job for a day to walk an adorable wombat or perform a sound check inside a cave?

These are just some of the “odd jobs” currently being offered by the Australian state of Tasmania as part of a tourism campaign to attract domestic visitors during the off-season months.

Billed as the “antithesis of the daily grind”, these experiences invite those who are looking for a break from their busy lives.

One such opportunity comes from East Coast Natureworld: It is offering a one-day volunteer experience to help “maintain the physical and mental well-being” of its wombats by leading them on their morning excursion.

Highlights of the job include taking the wombats on their daily walk and keeping them motivated with encouragement and snacks.

“These walks are essential to keeping (the wombats) happy and healthy during the winter months,” the job listing said.

Those who are not too keen on walking wombats can choose from a variety of other jobs available.

Night owls can opt to apply as a “star seeker” in the locality of Hollow Tree, where they will learn to navigate the stars and assist experts in celestial observations.

The musically inclined may want to apply as “cave conductor”, where they will conduct a sound check to test the acoustics at Gunns Plains Caves and help a local musician warm up for a performance.

For those feeling more adventurous, there is also a listing for a paranormal investigator at Australia’s oldest continually run asylum, Willow Court.

The job includes learning the history of the asylum and capturing and documenting “disturbances, spectral figures or unexplained phenomena”.

While these jobs are unpaid, successful applicants will get free flights to Tasmania, car hire, two nights’ accommodation and A$500 (S$450) worth of local produce and memorabilia for their labour.

Applications are open until July 8, and only for Australian citizens or permanent residents who are aged at least 18 years old and currently residing in the country.

Applicants are also required to state in up to 50 words why they would like to swop their day job for an odd job in Tasmania for the winter.

In a press release, Tourism Tasmania chief marketing officer Lindene Cleary called the odd jobs campaign a “unique proposition”.

“More and more, we’re all looking for remedies through experiences that make life feel simpler and less stressful,” she said, citing activities such as watching “cottagecore” videos of people gardening and building cabins in the woods.

Dr Amantha Imber, an organisational psychologist and workplace expert, said: “Burnout and exhaustion are at very high levels in Australia.

“One of the best ways to combat this is to take a break – of even just a few days – from the daily grind,” she said.

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Billionaire Clive Palmer axes plans for huge Sunshine Coast vintage car museum at 11th hour

Clive Palmer sits beside a red sports car inside his motoring museum

Billionaire Clive Palmer has axed plans, at the 11th hour, to build a huge vintage car museum on the Sunshine Coast after the development attracted strong community opposition. 

Mr Palmer withdrew his development application for a 32,000-square-metre building just hours before Sunshine Coast councillors were due to vote on the proposal.

Council officers had recommended the development at Yaroomba should be rejected for 11 reasons, including because it exceeded the town planning scheme's height limit and conflicted with the visual amenity of the area. 

The proposal triggered a strong response from the seaside community, with only seven out of 723 public submissions in favour of the project. 

The four-storey vintage car museum was part of Mr Palmer's plans to transform his Palmer Coolum Resort, which was mothballed in 2015. 

Clive Palmer poses for a photograph in front of a statue of Jeff the dinosaur.

The proposal on the 150-hectare site was mooted to have 879 car bays and 363 motorcycle bays to display old vehicles. 

The Sunshine Coast mayor and councillors were due to vote on the project at a highly anticipated meeting on Thursday. 

But on Wednesday afternoon, a town planner for Mr Palmer's company Coeur De Lion Investments notified the council that it was withdrawing the development application. 

Mr Palmer has been contacted for comment. 

Mayor Rosanna Natoli said she could not "really speculate" on why Mr Palmer withdrew the application. 

"It's in the hands now of that particular property owner," she said. 

Local community 'overjoyed'

Lynette Saxton from Development Watch led a long community campaign against the car museum. 

Three woman looking at camera

"We're overjoyed," she said. 

"Clive's reasons for withdrawing are not known to us, but I can only presume it's because council recommended refusal.

"We think council got it absolutely right … we're just very happy that it's been withdrawn."

Ms Saxton said she hoped Mr Palmer had "found a better place to display his vintage cars". 

She said she agreed with the council planners' assessment of the project that it was "much larger" and "much higher" than what was allowed under the planning scheme. 

"[Developers] have to remember that it's the community that has to live with these changes," she said. 

Mr Palmer purchased the former Hyatt Regency resort in 2011 before rebranding and then closing it four years later. 

The Palmer Motorama Vintage Car Museum opened in 2013 with about 100 cars.

Mr Palmer announced a $100 million renovation in 2021 with plans to reopen it in late 2022.

The resort made headlines last year when construction workers were locked out over a workplace dispute. 

In February, the Fair Work Commission awarded three former employees compensation after determining they were unlawfully dismissed. 

At the time, a spokesman for Mr Palmer told the ABC that the revamp was due to finish this year.

Mr Palmer's town planner is seeking a 10 per cent refund of its development application fee, as it is entitled to under the council's fees schedule. 

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COMMENTS

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    This post is designed to help you plan the perfect Tasmania itinerary for your road trip. Navigate this post with this clickable table of contents: Road Map of This Post. 🏙️ Day 1 - Hobart. 🌊 Day 2 - Freycinet National Park. 🔥 Day 3 - Bay of Fires. 🟣 Day 4 - Lavender Fields. ⛰️ Day 5 - Cradle Mountain. ⛵ Day 6 ...

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    robert gardner. 2023-11-01. Google rating score: 5.0 of 5, based on 11 reviews. Nothing beats a Tasmania holiday drive. Let us help you plan your Tasmania road trip with our self-drive and day drive itineraries. Visit Tasmania.com today!

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    This ferry runs twice a day and can take you and your car/van from Melbourne, Victoria to Devonport, Tasmania in around 11 hours. Tickets start at around $130 per adult and $100 for a car/motorhome each way. You can also choose to book a cabin to get a good night's sleep starting at $149 per cabin.

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    Average day temperatures and rainfall in Tasmania. Blue indicates the best travel time. Car rental Tasmania. If you choose to fly to Tasmania, you can rent a car at both the airports in Hobart and Launceston. This is the easiest way to go, as there is barely any public transport in Tasmania, not even an option to bring you into town from the ...

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    Cradle Mountain. For people who are only planning a 7-Day Trip to Tasmania, please skip to Day 10 of this itinerary. Cradle Mountain is an incredible place to visit in Tasmania, but it may be too compact to fit into your 7-day itinerary without a car. I have written a detailed article on the Walking Tracks, Wildlife, Weather, Entrance Fee ...

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