Once in a Life Time: A Tasmanian Road Trip

Brooke Saward Stanley Nut Tasmania
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Tasmanian roadtrip

Being on the road full time, I’m often asked “Where are you from?”. Well, here’s your extended answer and what could be considered an open love letter to my home state back in Australia…

Tasmania may be sparsely populated, but it is rich in wildlife, wilderness reserves, and a strong sense of community long forgotten by the more traditionally celebrated tourism hotspots on the mainland of Australia. While many locals look beyond the shoreline for adventures of their own, outsiders seek the very isolation, calm and laidback lifestyle the island possesses. This is undeniably one of Australia’s premier tourism destinations – an unsung hero, if you will.

If you have a keen sense of adventure, Tasmania is renowned for its’ pristine wilderness reserves, wildlife, dramatic coastline and tasty fresh produce. But to have the best Tassie experience, you need to be in the know. You won’t find the information you need in a guidebook beyond a few mediocre restaurant recommendations and ‘tourist hot spots’. So here’s my open love letter to Tasmania, an encouraging guide to send you on your way for your very own Tasmanian Road Trip…

Did you Know?

  • Tasmania has the world’s cleanest air
  • Over 45% of Tasmania is protected in National Parks
  • Although it looks small on a map, Tasmania is comparable in size to Ireland
  • Most of Tasmania’s population reside in the South East and North coasts
  • Tasmania is the most mountainous state of Australia
  • The saying “four seasons in a day” is very true here

Spirit of Tasmania

Getting There

If you’re travelling from “the mainland” of Australia, bring your vehicle or motorhome across the Bass Straight by booking a ticket on the Spirit of Tasmania. The crossing can be a little rough at times, but it’s all part of the experience.

If you prefer to arrive by air, there are flights in and out of Launceston, Hobart, Burnie and Devonport from Melbourne. Sydney and Brisbane also fly into Launceston, with Canberra and the Gold Coast additionally available for flights into Hobart.

Getting Around

There really is no better way to experience and explore Tasmania than by car. There are no passenger trains in Tasmania, buses are slow and limited, and internal flights are only available by private charter making them impossible expensive.

World of Wanderlust in Tasmania

The 10-Day Tasmanian Road Trip Loop

Day 1 – Arrive Devonport to Launceston

Arrive in the morning after an overnight ferry crossing on the Spirit of Tasmania. Jump straight in the car and head to Launceston, Tasmania’s second largest city filled with stunning architecture, local boutiques and a great coffee culture. Be sure to visit Josef Chromy’s vineyard to sample some of Tassie’s top wines, explore the Cataract Gorge, and have a delicious seafood evening meal at Hallams Waterfront. Be sure to reserve a table, they’re often booked well in advance! If seafood is not your style, check out the other 9 of the top 10 restaurants in Launceston.

Overnight: Launceston

Day 2 – Launceston to Freycinet

Arrive in Freycinet in the late morning to begin a short hike in the Freycinet National Park on the east coast of Tassie. Here you will see the famed Wineglass Bay. Afterwards head to Swansea to spend the night. If you have more time, be sure to include the Bay of Fires and Bridestowe Lavender Estate – another two Tasmanian favourites.

Overnight: Swansea

Day 3 – Swansea to Port Arthur

Be sure to visit the Port Arthur Historic Site ( for a look at Tasmania’s darker history as you learn of the convict era and the 1996 massacre. From there you can enjoy the nearby Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park in Taranna, followed by ocean kayaking for the more adventurous types (

Overnight: Port Arthur

Day 4 – Hobart

If you time it right, you’ll arrive in Hobart on a Saturday morning to attend the famed Salamanca Market to enjoy some local fresh produce and trinkets galore. While in town be sure to tour the Cascade Brewery (, drive to the top of Mt Wellington (, and visit MONA (

Overnight: Hobart

Day 5 – South-East Coast

Down in the South-East Coast be sure not to miss the Hastings Caves and Tahune Air Walk. After a day of exploring, spend your night in the small town of Dover and enjoy some true Tasmanian hospitality.

Overnight: Dover

Day 6 – Strahan

Strahan is renowned for being home to some of the best Tasmanian wilderness. Be sure to take your time here at a slow pace and book yourself a seat on the Gordon River Cruise.

Overnight: Strahan

Day 7 – Strahan

After all that driving, you’re bound to want a break. take an extra day in Strahan, Cradle Mountain, or Stanley – all great options to take a day to enjoy the scenery.

Overnight: Strahan

Day 8 – Cradle Mountain

Did you know you’re standing in a National Park home to one of the world’s most renowned hiking trails? You’ve come all this way so make it worthwhile. Spend a second full day hiking around the trails in Cradle Mountain.

Overnight: Cradle Mountain

Day 9 – Stanley

Often overlooked, the seaside town of Stanley is a quaint little place to visit and spend your last day relaxing in Tasmania. If you’re still feeling adventurous, take the steep hike up the Stanley Nut instead of opting for the chairlift.

Overnight: Stanley

10 – Reluctantly head home

Tasmania, or simply Tassie to locals, is one of the world’s most underrated destinations. Since Hobart was dubbed the Lonely Planet city of the year (worldwide) in 2013, tourism has been on the increase. Be sure to arrive here before the rest of the world does – it’s just a matter of time.


Bridestowe Lavender Estate

What Not To Miss

  • Bay of Fires
  • Bridestowe Lavender Estate
  • Cataract Gorge
  • Cradle Mountain
  • Freycinet Peninsula & Wineglass Bay
  • Gordon River (by day Cruise)
  • Hastings Caves
  • Mole Creek Karst
  • MONA – museum of Old & New Art
  • Port Arthur
  • Salamanca Place (Market on Saturdays only)
  • Stanley Nut
  • Tahune Forest Airwalk
  • Mt Wellington
Views over Stanley from "The Nut"

Views over Stanley from “The Nut”

Top 10 Activities

  • The Overland Track
  • Flying Fox at Hollybank Treetops Adventures
  • Hang Gliding
  • Kayaking
  • Bicycle Touring
  • Scuba Diving
  • Wild Life Watching
  • Surfing
  • Trout Fishing
  • Vineyard Hopping

Top 5 Foods you Must Try

  • Seafood – oysters, abalone and ocean trout
  • Christmas Hills Raspberries
  • Dairy – cheeses, milk and yogurt
  • Fruit & Vegetables
  • Anvers Chocolates & Fudge

Tasmania Road Trip

When To Go

Summer is the obvious preferred season to visit with the state coming to life with many events to suit all tastes. The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in late December is incredibly popular, also coinciding with the Taste Festival – a 7-day celebration of Tasmania’s produce and culinary talent.

Launceston’s premier event is Festivale – held in February each year and offering a sample of Tasmania’s best produce and artistic talents.

Summer is also the best chance to tackle Tasmania’s best walks – the Overland Track and South Coast Track.

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    April 25, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    […] Once in a Lifetime: A Tasmanian Road Trip >> […]

    Ron Mitchell
    March 20, 2016 at 8:38 am

    We enjoyed the drive and fresh oysters on Bruny Island as well. You are right, hiring a car is the only way to go. Loved it.

    March 19, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    A very well-written guide !

    love road trips around Australia! and when will be going to Tasmania, definitely will refer to these tips <3
    Inna from

    Ron Mitchell
    February 25, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Thank you for this great information. We’re flying to Hobart tomorrow, and will rent a car after a few days in the city. Never thought about raspberries!

    October 7, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    I like life time road trip must be desire on the websites just on Tasmania in the website.

    September 10, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Love this post! I’m from the South Coast NSW and I’m planning a solo road trip around Tasmania in the near future. Do you have any tips? This will be my first solo trip and I don’t even know where to start planning!!
    Emma xx

    August 26, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Tasmania just came into my mind, when I was thinking about what to do whit my two week leave in November. Maybe I will do exactly this tour (as it is recommended by a local). It also sounds like a perfect getaway from busy Singapore!
    Thank you!

  • How to Visit Cradle Mountain National Park, Tasmania | WORLD OF WANDERLUSTWORLD OF WANDERLUST
    July 8, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    […] see” attraction in the whole state of Tasmania. While there is plenty more to see and do (or you could do all of it), this is by far one of the most pristine, serene, and completely surreal experiences to have in […]

    mapa europa
    June 12, 2015 at 2:14 am

    Right ! I wish ! could be there…. In the meantime, I am just pinning the pictures …

    April 21, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    This is a great blog and Tassie is such a beautiful state and lovely place.

    April 21, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    nice post…thanks for sharing such a wonderful post…..

    April 17, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    This is a great blog and Tassie is such a beautiful state and lovely place. Our tour started out really well organized. I went on the Port Arthur and Tasman Peninsula tour with a stop at the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park.

    April 15, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Tasmania looking amazing place…in Tasmania such a nice and beautiful place….

    April 3, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    nice post…thanks for sharing..

    April 2, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    very exciting blog….thanks for sharing this blog…..

    April 1, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    such a lovely blog..thanks for sharing and making this beautiful blog…..

    April 1, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    nice post..thanks for sharing this lovely post……

    March 19, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    such a lovely place for visiting tour…. looking in this place new thing and wonderful seeing….

    March 17, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    Tassie – my island home. You’ve summed it up wonderfully Brooke, well done! Freycinet and Coles Bay would have to be one of my most favourite places in the whole world. Amazing, whatever the weather happens to be!

    Julia Narracott
    January 28, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    Had a little freak when I saw this, 1; a well known blogger writing about 2; my bloody home-state. You literally summed up all of Tasmania in one post, I enjoyed it a lot 🙂 x

    January 28, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Impressive, definitely great material. This blog is absolutely awesome.

    January 8, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    This blog is very well written and I appreciate your efforts.. Keep up the good work wow! Tasmanian Road Trip it is rally great fun and entertainment.:)

    swetalana mohanty
    December 22, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Swansea is a nice palce to visit with family and friends with Swansea tour guide.

    Rekha Chauhan
    December 20, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    its nice

    Judi Abbott
    October 12, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    I love Tassie and was fortunate enough to spend several weeks in their summer getting away from our winter from 1995 to 2004. My friend owned Heritage Tours of Tasmania so I saw most of the island. Favorites were Hawley House at Hawley Beach and Bicheno and Bruny Island.

    Love your blog.

    September 19, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Oh we just love Tasmania. We have spent six weeks on a Roadtrip through Tasmania beginning of this year. It was awesome. We really enjoyed the hiking in Cradle Mountain NP and so many other things as well. We have done most of the things you mentioned in your great blog post.
    If you like to see what our 10 favorite things have been…
    Thanks for the great post.

    Carly @ Let Us Wanderlust
    September 14, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    I really love this post! I’m a Queensland girl but two years ago, I spent a month road tripping and camping around Tasmania. It was one of the best and most rewarding experiences of my life!

    Carly xo

    Kate @ Nonstop from JFK
    September 14, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    I hope one day I get to travel the whole world and end up in places like Tasmania. And by that I mean places that are not on my top 10 list just because there are wayyyyy too many places to visit, yet places that I so desperately want to see. One day. 🙂

    September 12, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Looks gorgeous!! I am going to Australia and New Zealand next year (after europe and southeast asia!) and am definitely adding this to my list. Thanks for sharing!


    Best holiday destinations
    September 12, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    An amazing place with such natural delights. I will surely plan my upcoming vacation to this place. thanks for posting nice views.

    September 12, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    I have now added Tasmania to one of the places I want to travel too!

    September 12, 2014 at 7:25 am

    Hey Brooke!
    Tasmania seems to be a very beautiful place. Thank you for your ideas! If I visit Australia one day (and I’m sure I will) I won’t miss Tasmania. 🙂

    I love travelling and I often get asked where I am from. That is one of the hardest things to explain because nobody knows Liechtenstein, my home country.


    September 12, 2014 at 4:38 am

    My two week roadtrip through Tasmania is one of my fondest memories of traveling Australia. Along with the above mentioned places I’d also like to point out that Mount Hartz and Friendly Beaches are also very worth the visit.

    September 12, 2014 at 4:19 am

    Yay Tasmania!

    I can’t remember if you’ve ever had the good fortune to travel to Alaska but I can only imagine the air in Tasmania must be similar to getting off the plane in Alaska. The air is so pure and clean. It feels like you’re breathing pure oxygen.

    Love that feeling.


    September 11, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    Heading over to Tassie at Xmas for my 3rd visit! Both other times I have done the east coast so staying near Cradle Miuntain this time & doing the west. Really looking forward to it. Let’s hope we have great weather!

    Clipping Path Outsource
    September 11, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    Wow! Great information! Lot of thanks…….

    September 11, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    I have heard from friends that Tassie is a great place to visit. I have friends living in Hobart, and they love it to pieces 🙂 It’s definitely on my travel bucket list when I go back to Australia.

    September 11, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Wow, thanks for that! I would love to visit Tasmania sometime soon as it seems to be a wonderful place.

    Madeline Fedmont
    September 11, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Such an awesome place 🙂

    September 11, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    I am so going to do this. I am going to Tasmania next year, there is so much to see and do

    Best holiday destinations
    September 11, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Nice blog. thanks for posting nice views.

    September 11, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    I remember going a Tasmania trip around Christmas time some years ago with my parents! We were always on a look out for a Tasmanian devil… I would love to do it all over again, following your itinerary!

    September 11, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    This looks absolutely amazing! I love road trips and this looks like the perfect one. Thanks for the tips and guide. Probably would have been lost if I tried to map it out myself!

    September 11, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    I was lucky enough to travel with my family back in October 2011 starting from Hobart and ending in Devonport. I absolutely adored it. It has such amazing landscape and it was the first time I had seen snow falling. I am looking forward to going back and travelling along the east coast.

    September 11, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Thank you for these fantastic tips! Tasmania is definitely on my bucket list.

    September 11, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    I may have to enlist my road trip buddy in Melbourne to do this trip with me! Sounds like such an adventure.

    Danielle @ Chits and Chats and Chocolate
    September 11, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    You have me ready to go pack my bags and head off to Tasmania! That place looks awesome!

    Michelle | Lights Camera Travel
    September 11, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I did this loop with my family in December 2013. Tasmania is truly an unsung hero of Australia – so much to see and do.

    Lucy @ Skeeter and Scout
    September 11, 2014 at 11:43 am

    I bloody love Tasmania. I have wanted to visit the Lavendar farm after it appearing on your Insty… one day I will!

    L x