The Ultimate Tasmania Road Trip Itinerary
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Planning a trip to Tasmania? The small island is jam packed full of enchanting waterfalls perfect for practicing your travel photography, 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! After three weeks road tripping the island and extensive research, I have put together this ultimate Tasmania itinerary, which accounts for the very best national parks, mountains, lakes and culture in the Australian state.
This Tasmania itinerary begins in Devonport and loops around in a circle; this is presuming 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 prices. If you’re planning on flying into Tasmania, just begin this Tasmania itinerary in Hobart and follow the loop around from there!
This itinerary takes 3-4 weeks to throughly explore the island. If you have less time, there are shorter itineraries 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 Tasmania road trip itinerary?
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; although a great morning coffee stop is ‘Café S’il Vous Plait’. If you are feeling energised and ready to take on Tasmania after some caffine, move straight to stop 2…
Suggested time – half a day
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 campspot using WikiCamps, search for hotels in Latrobe through this link, or find a hotel in Sheffield by clicking here.
Suggested time – half a day
Sheffield is a distinctly unique little town. In a quaint community spirit unlike anywhere else, the town is adorned in murals depicting its history. Find out the story of all of the village’s local characters by going through its street art. There’s also quirky cafes aplenty and a really interesting antique shop to browse.
Stop 4. Liffey Falls – half a day
Your first nature stop! 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 between Liffey Falls and Mount William.
Suggested time – half a day
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…
Bay of Fires
Suggested time – two days
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 are 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.
Where to stay in the Bay of Fires
Find a campsite on WikiCamps, or if you prefer solid walls, check out the best hotels in Binalong Bay by clicking here.
Freycient National Park
Suggested time – 1-2 days
One of Tasmania’s most iconic photographs is that of Wineglass Bay in Freycient National Park. 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 Freycient 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 which change colour during sunrise and sunsets – they are every photographer’s dream.
Suggested time – 1-3 days
Onwards to the Tasman Peninsula! There’s 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 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!
Suggested time – 1 day
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 of 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 a 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!
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.
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.
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). Drive right up to the peak and be AMAZED at the view spreading out beneath you. It’s a once in a lifetime experience.
If you’ve got a bit of time, try to catch sunrise as well!
Accomodation in Hobart
Even if you’re camping around Tasmania, Hobart is a great spot to recharge in some city-centre accomodation. Here’s some of the best places to stay in Hobart.
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
This national park 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
Lake St Clair
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 oddessy 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
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
Cradle Mountain may have been the main reason you came to Tasmania. 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 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 Guildford or Somerset.
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.
Things to do in Stanley
- Breakfast at Moby Dick’s
- 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’s 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 accomodation deals in Stanley itself.
Suggested time – 1 day
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’s 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
If you only have 3 days to road trip Tasmania, you’ll have to focus on a specific area of the state. Here’s 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
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 Freycient National Park
Day 5: Spend the day at the Bay of Fires
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!
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