Tasmania Road Trip Guide : 5 Days Around the Island’s Highlights
Tasmania is located 300 km from the mainland of Australia. This isolation has left a legacy of unique flora and fauna, fresh air and relaxed lifestyle. Despite its small size, Tasmania has remarkably diverse landscape that contains glacial mountains, dense forests and green hills, as well as the huge open spaces, since around 40% of Tasmanians live in the capital, Hobart. This small, compact island is an ideal place for a road trip. Within 5 days you can travel all around and see most of Tasmanian’s highlight. However, be prepared: it’s natural beauty is so captivating you might change your plans and stay in this tranquil surroundings for much longer. In this guide, we will take your through an example road trip itinerary around Tasmania. Follow our steps and fall in love with Tasmania and wombats, just as we did!
- Lavender Fields and Bay of Fires
- Freycinet National Park
- Bruny Island
- Cradle Mountain National Park
- Hike in Cradle Mountain
- Practical Infos
Day 1 – Lavender Fields and Bay of Fires
Land early in the morning in Launceston. It’s the second biggest city of Tasmania located on the north. Pick up your rental car and start your Tasmania road trip with our 1st destination in this guide: the beautiful Bridestowe Lavender Estate. Walk around those incredible lavender fields and don’t forget to take few memorable shots.
↬ Note : Lavender fields bloom from mid December to mid February
Hit the road again and continue all the way to the eastern coast. The next stop on your route is beautiful Bay of Fires. This conservation area is famous for crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches and most-of-all: the granite boulders covered in orange lichen.
Drive south to your accommodation. If you travel on a budget we recommend staying in a cute little town of Bicheno. Alternatively look for a hotel closer to Freycinet National Park.
Day 2 – Freycinet National Park
Start your day early by driving to Freycinet National Park. This is one of Tasmania’s most spectacular natural areas with the world famous Wineglass Bay.
It also has some of the best hiking trails in the state. If you are a hiker, go for a nice 11 km return trail: Hazards Beach – Wineglass Bay Circuit. Alternatively, go for the most popular but less challenging Wineglass Bay Lookout walk.
↬ TIP : On the way out of the park, pass by Cape Tourville. A 10 min walk to a beautiful lighthouse.
Stop for a well deserved lunch at the Geographe Restaurant and Espresso Bar, before hitting the road again. Drive 2h south all the way to Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, where you’ll spend the night.
Day 3 – Bruny Island
After an early breakfast drive all the way to the top of Mount Wellington. Enjoy the spectacular views over the city and surrounding area.
↬ TIP : Wake up with the sun and instead of driving all the way to the top, stop at the Pinnacle Road and hike to the top of Mount Wellington from there.
Drive 45 min south to Kettering where you will board a ferry to Bruny Island.
↬ TIP : The ferry depart every 30 min and you must board one departing at 11.30AM or 12PM the latest.
At 2PM, join the Bruny Island Cruises for an excursion around the southern part of the island. Pass by an awesome blow hole, spot some cute seals and lookout for dolphins that like to play around the speeding boat.
As you will be spending the night on the island, after dusk head to The Neck and quietly wait for the Little Penguins to come back from their daily fishing trip. ?
Day 4 – Drive to Cradle Mountain National Park
Start your 4th day of this Tasmania road trip guide early. Get back on the road asap, as there is a long drive ahead of you today: 6 hours to reach the beautiful Cradle Mountain National Park.
We highly recommend Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge for your stay. Relax at The Waldheim Alpine Spa, discover the beautiful Enchanted Walk and look for wombats, Tasmania’s native animal (incredibly cute one).
Day 5 – Hiking Cradle Mountain NP and departure
Wake up early and hop on the bus that will take you to the Dove Lake. Spend most of the day hiking Cradle Mountain NP.
Around 4PM take the bus back to the Visitors Centre and finish your Tasmania road trip guide driving back to Launceston.
Take the evening flight out.
Getting to Tasmania
Tasmania is an island located on the south of Australia. There are 2 airports in Tasmania: Launceston on the north and Hobart on the south. Flights from most of Australian cities arrive few times a day. From Sydney the flight takes 1.5h and from Melbourne 1h.
You can arrive at either of the cities and adjust the itinerary according to your travel plans.
↬ TIP : Usually the flights to Launceston are a bit cheaper as it’s a less popular destination than Hobart.
Getting around Tasmania
Tasmania is relatively small. Buses operate in between most towns, however we highly recommend hiring a car for this trip. This Tasmania Road Trip Guide will take you to great places, but the scenery on the way is as impressive as the destinations. There are many car rental companies located right at the airports. We rented a small SUV for 5 days and payed 230 AUD (140 EUR) including the basic insurance.
Alternatively, Tasmania road trip can be done also in a camper van. It might cost you more in fuel, but will save you money on accommodations and restaurants.
There are not many petrol stations in the remote areas of Tasmania. As much as you won’t have problem finding them in the area of Hobart and Launceston, there is only one on the east coast (close to Binalong Bay) and none in the central part of the island. Make sure your tank in full before leaving to Cradle Mountains as it’s the longest drive.
Entry fees to National Parks
A valid park pass is required for entry to ALL of Tasmania’s national parks.
There are two types of pases we reccommend:
Daily Pass – valid for up to 24 hours (excludes Cradle Mountain) costs 24 AUD per vehicle (up to 8 people) or 12 AUD per person.
Holiday Pass – valid for up to 8 weeks, includes Cradle Mountain and costs 60 AUD per vehicle (up to 8 people) or 30 AUD per person.
Kids under 5 years old can enter for free.
If you follow our Tasmania Road Trip Guide we recommend you to get the Holiday Pass. You can get it at one of the visitors center in any park, or online here.
Food in Tasmania
You can find all kind of food in Tasmania. Specially Hobart, the capital, has a great selection of restaurants. We recommend to try the fresh seafood and fish. Tasmanian salmon is one of the best in the world.
Tasmania is also famous for its wine. Visiting a vineyard for wine tasting is a popular attraction during Tasmania Road Trip. We skipped this activity to have more time for the hikes and natural beauty. However adding a stop at one of the vineyards might make a nice addition to your trip.
There is a big variety of hotels in Tasmania. In the more remote areas like around the Bay of Fires, you can find simple accommodations (a motel) for less than 50 EUR per night. The only place that is more expensive and that we highly recommend is the Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge: it’s a stunning hotel located at the entrance to the Cradle Mountain National Park. Staying there is worth every cent.