Tasmania Road Trip Itinerary

I spent two weeks in Tasmania over the winter period. I was a little bit worried as I had heard of the bitter cold, the road closures due to heavy snow and how much better Tasmania is in the summer. However, there was really nothing to worry about! Whilst it was cold at night, the days tended to be sunny and crisp especially on the east coast. I also experienced no road closures and enjoyed seeing the mountains capped with snow. Whilst I am sure Tasmania is beautiful in summer, it was equally as stunning in winter and so take advantage of those cheap winter flights – just be prepared!

Below you will find the route I took over 2 weeks and it led to a thoroughly enjoyable getaway in Australia’s smallest state! To get to Tasmania there are two options – either fly or take the Spirit of Tasmania. If you have your own car, you might as well take it with you across the Bass Strait and get the ferry. However if you are hiring a car it makes more sense to fly to Hobart as it is a very convenient place to pick up a hire car (I used Apex and have no complaints!)

Fly into Hobart International Airport

Making Hobart your first stop allows you to familiarise yourself with the beauty of Tasmania! First head straight up Mount Wellington and admire the view. In winter it is likely to be covered in snow which is makes for a remarkable experience! The road up to the top is windy and narrow but perfectly doable. Just take it slow! If you are in Hobart on a Saturday make sure you visit the Salamanca Markets.


Start making your way up the East Coast of Tasmania and enjoy a stop off in Richmond. This beautiful and quaint village has wonderful shops (my favourite was Sweets and Treats), heritage buildings, art galleries and a famous convict built bridge.

Eaglehawk Neck

Head towards Port Arthur, passing through the Eaglehawk Neck. Here you can enjoy many of the Tasman Peninsulas rock formations including the Tasman Arch, Devils Kitchen, Tessellated Pavement and the Remarkable Cave.

Port Arthur

Port Arthur is home to one of Tasmania’s most famous attractions, the World Heritage listed Port Arthur Historic Site. You can either go during the day and witness one of Australia’s best preserved convict sites in daylight or go on a nighttime Ghost Tour and enjoy the creepy experience! I did the Ghost Tour and it was thoroughly enjoyable. Walking around the grounds at night and entering prison cells and underground lairs in the dark was an experience not to be missed!

Tasman National Park

A short drive from Port Arthur you will find the Tasman National Park. This park is home to the famous Three Capes Trek a 4 day/3 night walk that covers 46km of pure natural beauty. If you are short on time you can do just one of the capes. I would recommend Cape Huay – there are a lot of steps and it is quite strenuous but totally worth it at the end! The views along the way are breathtaking and at the end you get to witness the famous Totem Pole!

Triabunna and Maria Island

Head further up the East Coast and stop off at Triabunna to catch the ferry over to Maria Island. The ferry is free in winter and costs $37 AUD (£21) return in summer – so you’re getting yourself a bargain in winter! The ferry staff are lovely and very informative. Maria Island itself is home to the famous Painted Cliffs and Fossil Cliffs and is also a great place to spot wild Tasmanian Devils if you are camping overnight.

Freycinet National Park

Back onto mainland Tasmania head towards Coles Bay, the entrance to Freycinet National Park. As you’re driving look out for the Spikey Bridge, it’s convict built and pretty cool. It is just before Swansea. Once at Coles Bay you will find the entrance to Freycinet National Park, home to many spectacular walks. The most famous of all is the walk to Wineglass Bay, one of the worlds best beaches. Other walks I would recommend include a visit to Friendly Beaches where you will find crystal clear water and pristine, white sand and the Cape Tourville Lighthouse boardwalk which offers spectacular views of Tasmania’s coastline.


Make sure you stop off at the little seaside town of Bicheno and enjoy their wonderful Foreshore Walk. The Bicheno blowhole is one of the best in Tasmania, with water rocketing up to the sky regularly. If you are here during whale season there is a good chance you could see whales breaching extremely close to the foreshore so keep an eye out for a spectacular view!

Douglas Apsley National Park

Just outside of Bicheno you will find the Douglas Apsley National Park, home to a stunning waterhole and gorge. I visited in winter so it was a little too cold for a dip but it was still beautiful and I can imagine the fun you could have in the summer sun!

Bay of Fires

Drive through St Helens (and maybe go up into the mountains to pay St Marys a visit too) and you will reach Binalong Bay, the start of the Bay of Fires conservation area. The Bay of Fires is a long stretch of coastline where you will find beautiful white beaches, sparkling water, refreshing lagoons and stunning orange granite rocks. To fully appreciate the Bay of Fires make sure you drive all the way to The Gardens as this is where I found the most spectacular crystal clear water.

Drive to Launceston

Head in the direction of Launceston, but make sure you stop off at St Columba Falls. It is one of Tasmania’s highest waterfalls and is extremely easy to access. It was one of my favourite waterfalls! Not too far away as well is The Big Tree Walk where you can gasp at The Blue Tier Giant, Australia’s widest living tree.


When you reach Launceston you will be greeted with Tasmania’s only inland city. Launceston is home to The University of Tasmania, so it has that student city feel, and to Boags Brewery, a very popular beer in Australia. The main tourist attraction is Cataract Gorge which is near the city centre. Here you will find the longest single span chairlift in the world, beautiful gardens and a pretty cool swing bridge.

Drive to Devonport

Take a detour on the way to Devonport by making your way towards the unmissable stops of Liffey Falls and Pine Lake. A series of beautiful waterfalls make up the very photogenic Liffey Falls. To get to the waterfall it is a very easy walk through picturesque rainforest. Also nearby is Pine Lake, a beautiful boardwalk around a highland lake surrounded by rare Pencil Pines.


Devonport is a coastal city put on the map by the Spirit of Tasmania which is the ferry service that links Tasmania to mainland Australia. Seeing the huge ferry ‘parked’ up is quite a sight to see. There’s not much to do in Devonport, a part from maybe pay the Mersey Bluff Lighthouse a visit. However there are a lot of beautiful attractions and natural places just a short drive away from the city.

Drive the North West Coast

Head off along the scenic Bass Highway on the North West coast of Tasmania stopping along the way in some interesting towns. First stop is the wonderful Penguin, famous for its little penguins – make sure to get a photo with the giant penguin! Further along is Burnie, a surprisingly large and busy city, with many amenities and more penguin tours! Next up you have Table Cape and the Rocky Cape National Park which are worth a quick visit. Finally, end in Stanley.


Stanley is home to The Nut, a major tourist attraction in Tasmania. Make your way to the top by walking or by chairlift (only operates in summer) and enjoy beautiful coastal views.

Edge of the World

Head to the west coast of Tasmania and you will find the interesting ‘Edge of the World’ in Arthur River. This is a little out of the way, so perhaps not plausible if you are short on time. I drove here from Stanley and then drove back again in the same day, before heading onwards to Cradle Mountain. It took a few hours but the Edge of the World was completely different to what I was expecting! It is called this as from the point in Arthur River, looking west, there is nothing but uninterrupted ocean all the way to Argentina. That’s just pure ocean currents travelling halfway across the Earth connecting Australia to South America. Crazzzyy!!

Drive to Cradle Mountain

The next major destination is Cradle Mountain and to get here it does involve a bit of going back on yourself. I recommend driving back along the North West coast (you can stop at anything you missed!) to Ulverstone. From here, head in land and make sure you stop off at Leven Canyon. This was one of the most breathtaking places I saw in Tasmania. It is a little bit of a detour, but totally worth it! Make sure you go to Cruikshanks Lookout first to avoid going up a load of stairs!

Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain is perhaps the most famous attraction in Tasmania, and so it was very important for me to get here. I was a little worried about icy and snow covered roads, but there was hardly any in sight! There are many walks to do in Cradle Mountain, I would recommend Crater Lake (join it with a visit to Marion’s Lookout) for fantastic views of Cradle Mountain and its surrounding lakes. It was not only a breathtaking walk, but also a lot of fun! I would also recommend a visit to Devils@Cradle to witness some Tasmanian Devils up close at a great price.

Explore the mining towns on the West Coast

After Cradle Mountain its time to visit the West Coast mining towns of Zeehan, Strahan and Queenstown (and there are a few others along the way!) Make sure you stop off at Montezuma Falls on the way, it is Tasmania’s highest waterfall! Attractions in these towns include the West Coast Heritage Centre in Zeehan, a Gordon River cruise in Strahan (expensive!) and the West Coast Wilderness Railway in Queenstown. Out of all three my favourite was Queenstown, as the town had a cool, western vibe to it and it was a little busier than the other two.

Enjoy the winding road from Queenstown to Derwent Bridge

The winding road that leaves Queenstown is not for the faint hearted. It is a narrow road with many twists and turns – but really not as bad as people made it out to be! There are some cool stops along this stretch of the journey. I would recommend the Iron Blow Lookout, a walk up Donaghys Hill and a visit to Nelson Falls.

Lake St Clair

Lake St Clair is Australia’s deepest natural freshwater lake and also the other end of the Overland Track. The lake is surrounded by a lot of wildlife and there are a few okay walks in the area, but they are nothing special. Perhaps take a boat on the lake to really enjoy it as the walks do not, in my opinion, provide outstanding views.

Drive back to Hobart

From Lake St Clair it’s an easy drive back to Hobart. Make sure you stop off at the Lady Barron Circuit to see your last of Tasmania’s fantastic waterfalls. The circuit links a handful of great attractions together including Russell Falls, Lady Barron Falls and the Tall Trees walk.

Bruny Island

Finish your trip by driving south of Hobart, to a town called Kettering where you can catch the ferry across to Bruny Island – another must visit island off of mainland Tasmania. Here you will find white wallabies, great cheese and beautiful coastal views! It is a great place to finish off your epic Tasmania road trip!


Overall, I had an amazing adventure around the often overlooked Tasmania! A road trip around Tasmania will be an unforgettable getaway as Tasmania has the perfect mix of amazing beaches, spectacular scenery, breath-taking walks and great nature. This list is no way exhaustive and there is probably so much more to do! This is just an itinerary of what I did. So book your trip to Tasmania right away and start exploring this beautiful little slice of Australia.


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