One of the best things about Tasmania is its size; you can drive around the whole island in less than 24 hours which makes it the ideal location for a road trip. Although you can easily spend months exploring every nook and cranny of the ‘apple isle’, a two week Tasmania road trip will allow you to see most of the major attractions without having to rush. For arguments sake we will start our itinerary in Hobart although if you are driving your own car from the mainland you will be arriving at Devonport and starting the trip from there.
Day 1 – Hobart
Day one can be spent exploring Hobart. There are plenty of things to do depending on your interests. If you can time your trip to be in Hobart on a Saturday then take some time to walk around the waterfront to Salamanca Place which hosts markets every Saturday. Continue on to Battery Point with its restaurants, arts and craft shops and Georgian cottages. Another highlight of Hobart is the 20 minute drive to the top of Mount Wellington to see the breathtaking panoramic views over Hobart and the Derwent River. To finish off the day, a tour of the wineries followed by dinner on the waterfront and you’ll be ready for bed.
Stay the night at Choice Hotels’ Quality Hotel Hobart Midcity
Day 2 – Hobart
A day trip along the Huon Trail and Hartz Mountain National Park is a memorable one, with beautiful scenery along the way.
Day 3 – Hobart to Port Arthur
Start the day with a short drive to Tasmania’s historic Port Arthur and take a guided walking tour around the site. Take a harbour tour around the Isle of the Dead and do the Point Puer tour. Finish the day with dinner at one of the Port Arthur restaurants or cafes followed by a ghost tour if you’re game.
Day 4 – Port Arthur to Coles Bay
Before you leave the Port Arthur area take some time to see the Remarkable Cave and Tasman National Park then en-route to Coles Bay visit the stunning Tasman peninsula, in particular the Tessellated Pavement, Devil’s Kitchen, Tasman Arch and Blow Hall all at Eagle Hawk Neck. Take the scenic drive South past the convict built Spikey Bridge and stop at Swansea for a luscious home-made ice cream from Kate’s Berry Farm.
Day 5 – Coles Bay
The stunning Wineglass Bay Lookout is top of your list of things to visit today. Use the morning to explore the sheltered bays and beaches of the Freycinet National Park, and then spend the afternoon on a wildlife cruise or a guided tour of the Freycinet Marine Farm. A penguin tour at Bicheno, viewing the little penguins in their natural environment is the perfect end to the day.
Day 6 – Coles Bay to St Helens
A one hour drive takes you to St Helens and the Bay of Fires – Lonely Planet’s top destination in the world! It’s easy to spend a day here exploring the 30 kilometres of wild beaches and scenic walks the area is famous for.
Day 5 – St Helens to Launceston
Launceston is a cultural hub with a myriad of things to do and see. Walk the cliff path to the magnificent Cataract Gorge, ride the world’s longest single span chairlift, have a flutter at the casino or catch a show at the Princess Theatre. Dining options are vast and a visit to Ashgrove Cheese Farm or Anvers Chocolate Factory is a must for foodies.
Choice Hotels have a range of four great Launceston hotels to choose from.
Day 6 – Launceston to George Town
The drive along the pretty Tamar Valley Wine Route stopping along the way to explore the many wineries and sample their wares will easily take up a full day. The Wine Route meanders along the picturesque Tamar River and boasts ample opportunities to stop and enjoy the scenery.
Stay the night at Choice Hotels’ Comfort Inn The Pier.
Day 7 – George Town to Devonport
If you’re arriving in Tasmania by ferry, Devonport will be your first stop as this is where the Spirit of Australia car ferry terminal is located. Take a drive to the light-house topped Mersey Bluff, visit Tiagarra and learn about Tasmania’s aboriginal heritage, do a cruise on the Mersey River or ride on a diesel train at the Don River Railway. Devonport also has a vibrant nightlife and a good range of restaurants and cafes.
Stay the night in one of Choice Hotels’ Devonport hotels.
Day 8 – Devonport to Stanley
Stanley is a beautiful fishing town worthy of a visit. Take a walk to the top of The Nut or if you’re feeling lazy you can catch the chair lift, visit Table Cape Lighthouse and Tulip Farm or take one of the Stanley Seal Cruises to see the local colonies of Australian Fur Seals. Boat Harbour near Burnie and Sisters Beach close to Wynyard are great places to stop en-route. Cheese lovers won’t be able to go past Lactos Cheese Factory in Burnie which offers tastings of its locally produced cheeses to visitors.
Stay the night at Choice Hotels’ comfortable Burnie accommodation – Comfort Hotel Burnie
Day 9 – Stanley to Cradle Mountain
Tasmania’s World Heritage Listed Cradle Mountain is best explored on foot, and has short walks taking you to spectacular natural features including King Solomon Cave, Devils Gullet, Liffey Falls and Marakoopa Cave. A day here is one you’ll remember forever.
Day 10 – Cradle Mountain to Strahan
There’s time this morning to spend a bit more time exploring the many walking trails of Cradle Mountain before heading off on the next part of the tour. The drive from Cradle Mountain to the relaxed town of Strahan takes you through spectacular rugged scenery and stunning rainforests. Take the detour to Zeehan to the fascinating West Coast Pioneer Memorial Museum and get an insight into the rich mining history of the area.
Day 11 – Strahan
A day to explore Strahan will be easily filled with an abundance of things to see and do. Cruise the Macquarie Harbour and the mighty Gordon River, relax at the waterside cafes or travel the West Coast Wilderness Railway.
Day 12 – Queenstown
Only 30 minutes from Strahan is the mining town of Queenstown. Once the world’s richest mining town visitors can tour an underground mine, visit the Eric Thomas Gallery Museum, walk through forests littered with disused tramlines and abandoned mine shafts. Nelson Falls are only a short detour from Queenstown and the 20 minute walk in and out takes you through tranquil forest laden with native wild life.
Choice Hotels’ Comfort Inn Gold Rush offers excellent, affordable Queenstown accommodation.
Day 13 – Queenstown to Hobart
The drive back to Hobart (like most drives in Tasmania) is beautiful. Stop en-route at Lake St Clair, Australia’s deepest freshwater lake, and do one or more of the short walks around the lake or take a cruise and sit back and relax. Further along the road is the Mt Field National Park which has a diverse range of natural features and vegetation from tall swamp gums and huge tree ferns at the base of the mountain to areas of rainforest and even alpine vegetation at the mountain’s peak.
Day 14 – Hobart
A spare day to either spend at one of the locations along the way that you fell in love with, or another day to explore Hobart.