Tasmanian journey author Andrew Strikis of Lap of Tasmania shares one of the best things to do in Tasmania on a highway journey across the Australian island.
On the opposite facet of the world – an island off an island – Tasmania is the slice of paradise you by no means knew you wanted.
Even amongst Aussies on ‘mainland’ Australia, Tasmania is seen as one thing a little bit bit quirky – a little bit bit totally different.
Its colonial historical past and sluggish tempo of life have been the standard sights, however current years have revealed its different, extra thrilling abilities to curious vacationers.
Things to do in Tasmania
From the golden seashores of the sun-drenched East Coast to the uncooked, brooding vitality of the West Coast Wilds, Tasmania is a nature lover and photographer’s idyll.
From the bubbling wineries of the Tamar to the colourful festivals of Hobart metropolis within the south, it’s a foodie’s dream.
The very best factor? The island is tiny, making a highway journey the proper solution to discover Tasmania’s rivers, valleys, and snow-dusted alpine peaks.
What to see on a Tasmania Highway Journey
Click on this hyperlink in your map of this Tasmania Highway Journey.
Two weeks on the island is good, and these are 11 of essentially the most wonderful things you are able to do whereas finishing your very personal Lap of Tasmania.
1. Sip and stroll up the Tamar Valley
On the banks of the Tamar River is Launceston, Tasmania’s second-largest metropolis and a unbelievable place to base your self in your first night time or two on the island.
Cataract Gorge is an actual spotlight and you might simply spend a half-day strolling the paths, absorbing the views from the world’s longest single-span chairlift, or just enjoyable on the plush lawns by the riverside.
A drive up the Tamar Valley is a should.
Tamar Valley Wine Route
Dozens of wineries dot the western financial institution between Launceston and Magnificence Level, and that is the place you may discover a few of Tassie’s finest cool-climate vino.
Wines for Joanie is among the prettiest choices, whereas at Holm Oak Vineyard after a sip or two you may say g’day to Pinot d’Pig!
Foodies will not go disillusioned, because the area has skilled an explosion in connoisseur choices in recent times.
Breakfast at Stillwater is an actual deal with, whereas Bryher has constructed a fierce repute as one of many area’s finest lunch choices.
2. Absorb the Colors of Bay of Fires
The Bay of Fires is a really particular nook of Tasmania, and you will always remember your first glimpse of its russet rocks, white sand, and turquoise water.
It is a kaleidoscope of colors – very Insta-friendly – and Binalong Bay is one of the best place to remain an evening and expertise this pure marvel.
Binalong Bay is a tiny city filled with vacation shacks, bobbing boats and pleasant faces.
The quick coastal drive to The Gardens is fantastic, and you’ll both proceed via the dunes by foot to search out your individual secluded paradise or do a ship tour with Bay of Fires Eco Excursions.
Sizzling tip – Stroll all the way down to the Binalong Bay foreshore at dawn to see its iconic ‘Lone Tree’!
3. Chill out on world-class seashores at Freycinet Nationwide Park
You might simply spend per week slowly cruising down the beautiful East Coast of Tasmania in your solution to Coles Bay and Freycinet Nationwide Park.
A seafood lunch on the seaside city of Bicheno is really helpful, earlier than scrambling throughout the rocks to see its well-known blowhole.
Coles Bay is not a lot additional down the coast, and after a scrumptious oyster or two from Freycinet Marine Farm you might both settle in at your lodging or seize a number of images of the long-lasting ‘Hazards’ silhouetted towards the sundown sky.
If there’s one stroll you have to do in Tasmania it is the hike to Wineglass Bay.
This seaside inside Freycinet Nationwide Park has been voted among the many world’s Prime 10, and while you emerge from the eucalypt-scented forest you may see why. It’s merely beautiful, with its pure, white sand curving completely in direction of the horizon.
If you happen to’re not up for a 2-3hr return hike you may be happy to know you too can cease half approach on the Wineglass Bay lookout and get some unbelievable images.
4. Find out about convict historical past at Port Arthur (and see a Tassie Satan)
Port Arthur on the rugged Tasman Peninsula is one in all Tasmania’s hottest locations, and whereas it’s stunning there are vital classes to be discovered as you wander the jumbled ruins and impeccably manicured lawns of this unbelievable UNESCO World Heritage web site.
Solely 200 years in the past Tasmania was one of many British Empire’s harshest, most brutal penal colonies. It did not take a lot to be deported to ‘Van Dieman’s Land’, because it was recognized then, and Port Arthur was the place the worst of the worst offenders would usually see out their days.
It is a thought-provoking expertise, so we advocate permitting not less than a half-day at Port Arthur.
Loads of different sights are scattered throughout the Tasman Peninsula, comparable to Outstanding Cave, the Tessellated Pavement, the scrumptious treats of Federation Chcocolate, and the long-lasting Three Capes mountaineering path.
The Three Capes observe additionally among the finest locations on the island to stand up shut and private with a Tasmanian Satan!
5. Immerse your self in Hobart’s thrilling festivals
With the icy waters of the Derwent River lapping at its toes, and the hovering cliffs of Mt Wellington for its pillow, Hobart is among the prettiest cities in Australia.
Its repute as a sleepy backwater has properly and actually been blown away in recent times. Town has undergone an incredible transformation and is now one in all Australia’s hottest competition locations.
Things to do in Tasmania in Winter
Visiting Tasmania in winter? That is when things actually warmth up!
Tasmania is known for its contemporary meals and scrumptious wines, and one of the best place to strive it multi function place is the annual Style of Tasmania foodie competition held between Christmas and New Years Day.
With a glass of bubbles and a tasting plate in hand, there is not any higher place to look at the end of the Sydney-to-Hobart crusing race or to have a good time New Yr’s Eve.
Darkish MOFO competition is a loopy mixture of weird artwork, wacky theatre, and extra nice foods and drinks. You’ll be able to even be part of 20,000+ different loonies in a winter solstice swim!
Regardless of these extremely thrilling festivals, Hobart is a quiet place for a lot of the yr and it is the proper place to base your self for a number of days, taking day journeys to the Huon Valley, Bruny Island, and the Coal River Valley.
6. Expertise the holy duo – Mount Wellington and MONA
Ask a neighborhood concerning the two things they advocate that each customer ought to expertise in Hobart and we assure Mt Wellington and MONA shall be on the prime of the record.
Mt Wellington is inconceivable to disregard, rising excessive above the town with its alpine cap, fluted columns and luxurious, rainforest-clad slopes.
A drive to the 1,200m summit is straightforward in your individual automobile or with a guided tour, or if you happen to’re actually eager you may hike one of many many trails from its base all the best way to the highest.
On reaching the summit your jaw will hit the ground. It is bought to be among the finest views in Australia – particularly at dawn – sweeping up the picturesque Derwent Valley, throughout Hobart and the Tasman Bridge, and down the d’Entrecasteaux Channel to Bruny Island and past.
Hobart – MONA
On returning to Hobart and a fast lunch at both Dandy Lane or Tom McHugos, jump over to Brooke Road Pier and catch the quirky ferry to the Museum of Outdated and New Artwork – extra generally referred to as MONA.
This eclectic museum put Hobart and Tasmania on the map when it opened in 2011.
The exhibitions are world-class and downright weird. Thought-provoking, humorous, smelly at instances, artistically difficult, and really, very grownup!
Sizzling tip – For a little bit further, improve to a ‘Posh Pit’ ferry ticket for complimentary drinks and canapes of their unique lounge as you cruise up the Derwent River!
7. See a platypus and discover the waterfalls of the Derwent Valley
As a lot as we love experiencing the most well-liked sights all over the world, there’s one thing particular about taking the highway less-traveled and discovering the native gems that fly below the radar.
The Derwent Valley is commonly handled as an afterthought for highway trippers heading to the West Coast Wilds, however we advocate spending not less than a few days on this lush valley, on the doorstep to the nice South West Wilderness.
Within the decrease valley is the pioneering city of New Norfolk – simply 30 minutes from Hobart – the place you may take pleasure in a cheeky drink at Australia’s oldest pub at The Bush Inn.
And as you slowly wind your approach north alongside the broad banks of the Derwent there’s hop fields, pick-your-own raspberry farms, and even an exquisite salmon pond the place you may go platypus recognizing!
Russell Falls, on the foot of Mount Subject Nationwide Park, is no doubt the most important attraction within the space, and the quick stroll to this swish waterfall is definitely accessible it doesn’t matter what your stage of health or mobility.
Maintain an eye fixed out for the multi-coloured mushrooms throughout fall.
Tarraleah and Tungatinah
Then, persevering with north there are the hydro cities of Tarraleah and Tungatinah, shrouded within the ethereal mists of the Tassie highlands.
The Wall within the Wilderness is a must-see – greater than 100m of hand carved panels of Tasmanian timber telling tales of Tasmania’s colonial previous – earlier than reaching the glacial waters and magic mountaineering trails of Lake St Clair.
Sizzling tip – For a room with a view, keep the night time at Pumphouse Level and you will really feel such as you’re floating on the lake!
8. Embrace your wild facet on Tasmania’s West Coast
If you wish to escape the rat race and expertise nature at its most uncooked, you then’ll love Tasmania’s wild West Coast.
Chilly streams race and leap their approach down craggy, misty ranges to be swallowed by dank, lush rainforests and mirror-still harbours.
Pioneering railways eke their approach up via the gorges, whispering of fortunes constructed on gold, tin and copper in one in all earth’s hardest, most brutal landscapes conceivable.
Descend from Derwent Bridge all the way down to the lunar panorama of Queenstown.
As you drive alongside the winding highway to harbour-side Strahan it is exhausting to think about how troublesome it will need to have been for the early settlers to forge a pathway via this historical land. They not solely survived, however finally flourished.
The mining hey-day is over and tourism is now the primary attraction. An in a single day keep in Strahan is a well-liked choice, however to profit from the area we advise staying not less than two nights.
Tassie’s West Coast is wild alright, so do not forget your rain jacket!
Things to do close to Strahan
A cruise on Macquarie Harbour to the Gordon River is a should.
This unbelievable tour will present you a lot that continues to be hidden from the highway, like Sarah Island penitentiary, the fury of Hell’s Gates, and the pristine waterways and historical Huon pines of the Gordon River.
The opposite choice we strongly advocate is both a half-day or full-day tour on the West Coast Wilderness Railway, departing from each Queenstown and Strahan.
This gorgeously restored steam practice is plenty of enjoyable, taking you deep into the rainforest the place you may be taught extra concerning the trials and tribulations of the hardy pioneers that settled the area.
9. See iconic Cradle Mountain
Most likely the pure attraction for which Tasmania is most well-known is Cradle Mountain.
Situated on the northern finish of the UNESCO Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Space is Cradle Mountain.
The jewel of the north and solely a few hours drive from Strahan or Launceston, or a 5-hour drive from Hobart.
Its distinctive profile is immediately recognisable, and if the circumstances are proper you may even see it with the southern lights dancing within the background!
Cradle Mountain is a lot greater than only a mountain although, with loads of things to do for not less than a few days.
Things to do at Cradle Mountain
Adrenaline junkies may have a blast abseiling down its canyons and floating alongside its cool streams in summer season.Nature lovers may spend hours wandering the various trails that criss-cross the park – the Dove Lake circuit is straightforward however rewarding – spying furry wombats or Tasmanian devils after darkish.The well-known multi-night Overland Observe begins close by (you are able to do it in luxurious if you happen to like!)If you happen to love the humanities you may relax with a few of the world’s finest quick movies on the annual Cradle Mountain Journey Movie Pageant.You too can take pleasure in a special perspective on Tasmania’s outback via the lens of Tasmania’s finest panorama photographers on the Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery.
Lodging choices are plentiful in close by Cradle Mountain Village, or for a decrease fee you might keep within the fairly ‘Mural City’ of Sheffield.
Sizzling tip – Remember to purchase a Tasmanian Parks Go on-line or from the Customer Centre.
If you happen to plan on visiting a number of parks throughout your Tasmania highway journey (eg. Freycinet, Mt Subject or Cradle Mountain) then the ‘Vacation Go’ is one of the best worth.
10. Climb ‘The Nut’ and wander the Tarkine Rainforest
Talking to different travellers, it appears many individuals drive straight via to Launceston after their go to to Cradle Mountain.
What they do not realise is that they’re lacking out on two of Tasmania’s finest pure sights
the ‘Nut’ at Stanley,and the close by Tarkine Drive.
As you drive into the gorgeous village of Stanley it is inconceivable to not discover the big volcanic ‘plug’ of rock on which it sits.
There is a thigh-busting path you may take to the highest, however for one of the best 360-degree views you may take the chairlift as a substitute.
After a light-weight lunch in one in all Stanley’s cafes you may be fueled up and prepared in your half-day mini highway journey via the Tarkine – dwelling to the world’s second-largest cool temperate rainforest.
The Tarkine Drive takes you on a 70km loop from the swish rock arch of Trowutta, via the tall bushes of the Milkshake Hills.
You may go the cool temperate rainforest of the Julius River Forest Reserve, and go as much as the sweeping views from Sumac Lookout.
There are many strolling trails scattered alongside the route, offering unbelievable alternatives to get near the Myrtle forests and flooded sinkholes of this historical relic of Gondwanaland.
11. Style Tasmania’s connoisseur delights alongside the Cradle Coast
Tasmania’s north is lush and inexperienced, with many calling it the breadbasket of Australia.
If you happen to’re a foodie you may be in heaven as you drive from Stanley again to Launceston.
There are such a lot of locations to cease and have a nibble that they’ve even created a highway journey route known as the Cradle to Coast Tasting Path.
Prime Foodie Picks
If we needed to slim it all the way down to our favorite eats, it might be:
The connoisseur candies from Home of Anvers (close to Latrobe),The cheese from Ashgrove CheeseAnd one thing candy from Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm.Cease for lunch at Tuckshop at Barringwood can be a fantastic choice.
And for a scrumptious wine or two you may love Barrington Winery and Ghost Rock Winery – however do not forget to appoint a chosen driver for the day.
Whether or not you are catching the ferry again to the mainland from Devonport or flying out from Launceston, a lazy day of gazing on the Cradle Coast is the proper solution to end up your good Tasmania highway journey.
Attending to Tasmania
Flights depart from Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane to Hobart and Launceston.
You’ll be able to hire a automotive in Tasmania upon arrival. You’ll be able to seek for automotive leases in Hobart and Launceston, search for rental automotive comparisons right here.
You too can take a ferry from Melbourne to Devonport. The Spirit of Tasmania is a automotive ferry from the mainland beginning at $99 AUD.
Are you planning a highway journey to Tasmania? Save this to Pinterest for future journey planning.
Collectively along with his spouse he enjoys exploring Tasmania by highway – consuming all of the pies – whereas serving to others plan and luxuriate in their very own Lap of Tasmania highway journey.
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Cradle Mountain Photograph Credit score by pen_ash from Pixabay