Travel

4-7 Days Road Trip Itinerary for Tasmania: Your Natural State (2019-2020)

Tasmania Cover Image
14 min read

The most popular thing that we Singaporeans associate Tasmania with is probably the Tasmanian Devil or Taz from the Looney Tunes Cartoons. But of course, there is so much more to Tasmania than a carnivorous marsupial with a ravenous appetite. 

Taz Tasmanian Devil Travel Itinerary gif
That’s not all folks!

Here, we have come up with an action-packed 4-day itinerary in the south island of Australia, the holiday isle, Tasmania. This ULTRA short-travel itinerary will come with a lot of driving each day so feel free to lengthen your trip to up to 7 days if you need more time in this wonderful natural state.

Warning: We would also like to remind our readers that if you really like an in-depth discovery trip, we reckon you would need a good 3-5 weeks (maybe even years) to explore every nook and cranny of Tasmania but if you are unfortunately limited by time like us, make reference to this guide and you will make full use of your time there.

Who is Suited for this Tasmania Travel Itinerary?

This itinerary is suited for keen explorers who enjoy hikes, history, culture and sightseeing only. It is also meant for travellers who do not have the luxury of time to spend the trip of their lifetime in Tasmania. Because let’s be frank, how many Singaporeans can actually take a month off their work?

Sad to say, we did not cover any wineries in Tasmania. 

Sorry, wine-lovers!

Feel free to add in your own stops to this road trip to cater to your wine cravings.

What is so Good About this Itinerary?

There are lots of awesome road trip plans on Tasmania, but this one made by us, in particular, combines all major attractions in the area. This includes a mini-tour in the city,  the Cradle Mountain National Park, Freycinet National Park, Port Arthur and many more! No other 4-day itinerary has this wombo combo (that we know of)!

Here’s an overview of the itinerary through photos (click to enlarge):

However, as we managed to squeeze the Cradle Mountain hikes in, it also translates to longer driving times. Stay sharp!

This itinerary includes 2 national parks and entry fees apply for each park. It is recommended to get a holiday park pass that grants your vehicle entry to all national parks in Tasmania and it costs 60 AUD per vehicle (up to 8 passengers). It is more cost-effective when splitting within your party than purchasing an entry pass for each park individually. Remember to display your pass on your car’s dashboard upon entering the parks!

Renting a Car in Tasmania – Things You Should Know!

Well, if you are doing a free and easy tour yourself, get a car of course! You should have more than 1 competent driver.

We recommend renting a car from reputable brands since most providers in Tasmania do have relatively economical options. You do want a new car that wouldn’t break down midway as well. As a rough guide, a compact car that is on average, below one year and undergoes regular maintenance and service checks prior to each rental, only costs around 60 AUD per day.

There will be lots of bendy roads along the way and it will feel like an Initial D track at times. Roads can also merge and split very quickly, so do watch out for signs.

Next, you are also likely to meet large trucks and drivers who are familiar with these roads too. Don’t be afraid to make frequent stops at the road shoulders on the left whenever possible.

Wallaby with Joey Freycinet National Park

Last point, roadkill. Tasmania is, unfortunately, infamously known as the roadkill state of Australia and it is common to see a roadkill every few kilometres. So as to not contribute to the roadkill problem in Tasmania, drive even slower at night (most animals are more active), never assume an animal will move out of the way and if you can’t slow down in time, blasting your horn and a gentle tap on the breaks can give it a chance to escape. 

It would be wise not to swerve your car as it poses an even greater danger to everyone on the road. Swerving out of the animal’s way is in fact, one of the main causes of serious car accidents in many countries.

In the event of an accidental collision, always check the pouches of marsupials animals for joeys! Some of them could still be alive. Report roadkills on the Roadkill TAS app [Download for iOS | Android].

Whatever you do, do not speed, give way to others and never swerve!

A not so fun fact: If you see a car with bumper guards or ‘nudge’ bar, the car owner is trying to protect his or her vehicle front in the event of an accidental animal collision.

4 Days in Tasmania – Road Trip Route/Map

Day 1: Hobart – Mount Wellington – Cradle Mountain

Kickstart your trip early by visiting Hobart’s award-winning Salamanca Market – one of Australia’s largest and most vibrant outdoor markets.

Salamanca-Market

Opens every Saturday from 8.30 am to 3 pm, this market introduces you to tons of Tasmanian-made and designed products, fresh food produce as well as sumptuous ‘on-the-go’ food.

You’re definitely going to enjoy eating, shopping and the stunning backdrop – Mount Wellington. This view is something that we Singaporeans don’t get to enjoy while marketing in Singapore!

The Salamanca Market is a must-visit when in Tassie, so hopefully, you’re in Hobart on a Saturday.

If you’re not in Hobart on a Saturday, fret not! There are plenty of vintage and antique shops to explore around Hobart, being the 2nd oldest settlement after Sydney.

Before you leave Hobart, head down to the nearest Coles or Woolworths to stock up on some road trip snacks and groceries as you will surely get hungry during the long drives and there aren’t that many food options in the wilderness. 

The peak of Kunanyi (the Aboriginal name for Mount Wellington) is a relatively easy drive out of Hobart but do note that the road up is windy. Mount Wellington sits watching over the good folks of Hobart far below as they go about their days and provides a stunning backdrop for Hobart.

Your eyes will be treated to spectacular views of the complex Tasmanian coastline as well as the beautiful city of Hobart resting against the Derwent River. If it’s a clear day, the summit is a great place to spend half an hour or more.

Sitting at an elevation of 1,271m, it is a minimum of 10 degrees colder than in the city and very windy up there so do ensure that you are fully prepared! It can also be snowing up there, depending the season.

Fun fact: Charles Darwin climbed the mountain in 1836 when he visited Hobart on his round-the-world trip on the HMS Beagle. Do head down to the indoor observation deck to learn more about the history and facts about Mount Wellington.

Time for a long 4-hour drive to Cradle Mountain where you will stay for 1 night. Take regular stops during your drive as there will be many lookout points for you to turn into.

Basic accommodation in cabins, chalets and campgrounds are all available at Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair. There are dining options around Cradle Mountain but are limited so this is where your groceries come in handy. 

Do rest early for a full day of hiking around Cradle Mountain tomorrow.

General Driving Directions on Day 1:

October Exclusive:The Table Cape Tulip Farm comes alive with colour every late September to late October. Best viewing is normally from the end of the first week to the end of the second week in October. Do check the website for more details. You could stay around Wynyard like we did and head for the farm the next morning then drive down to Cradle Mountain.

Day 2: Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park – Launceston

This park is one of the state’s most extraordinary places, where ancient pines fringe glacial lakes and icy streams cascade down rugged mountains. 

If you’re up for the challenge, take the Dove Lake Circuit and Marion’s Lookout hike (10 km) and you will thank yourselves once at the top. From the Lookout, Dove Lake is right beneath you while Cradle Mountain is right in front of you.

The views are absolutely breathtaking on a good and clear day. 

The Dove Lake Circuit is very family-friendly and takes you one round around the lake. The hike up to Marion’s lookout comprises of some steepness but there are some chains installed to assist you.

If you spot square-shaped poop on the ground, it probably means that there is a wombat around the area! Stay till late afternoon where wombats are more active so you’ll be able to spot plenty. 

Do note that as you’re hiking, the weather can change very quickly so you might experience the sun, the rain, the wind and snow just in one hike. Give yourselves enough time so you can hike safely too! 

Note: If you wish to enter Dove Lake with your private vehicle, please start your day early. The restriction for private vehicles will generally occur between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm each day over winter (1 April to 30 September), and 8:00 am to 6:00 pm over summer (1 October to 31 March). 

Outside these timings, you would need to park near the Visitor Centre, obtain a shuttle bus ticket from the Visitor Centre and take a shuttle bus into Dove Lake. 

Time yourselves wisely while hiking and do not miss the last shuttle bus out or you would have to walk a good 2 hours out back to the Visitor Centre.

After the hike, we made a 2-hour drive to Launceston to rest for the night.

General Driving Directions for Day 2:

Day 3-4: Launceston – Bicheno – Freycinet – Hobart 

Start your day bright and early drive straight to Bicheno. If you don’t feel ready for the long drive ahead, split the drive over 2 days instead.

General Driving Directions on Day 3 to 4:

Here is where you can see the iconic Bicheno Blowhole – A magnificent natural attraction (along with the bright red lichen rimmed rocks).

Water rushes into the cave, hits the walls, swells with increasing pressure and erupts out of the hole in the ceiling. This creates a geyser effect for those standing on top of the sea cave. How cool is that! 

Tip: If you have more time, we recommend visiting the Bay of Fire as well! It is approximately a 1.5-hour drive from Bicheno.

Treat yourself to a fresh Tasmanian Southern Rock Lobster and some succulent oysters at Lobster Shack for lunch. It is a short drive away from Bicheno beach and you get to enjoy the pristine waters of the boat harbour while eating. The prices here are not the most budget-friendly but definitely well worth a try if you’re around the corner. 

Freycinet National Park is full of natural assets, including the pink granite peaks of the Hazards Range that dominate the Peninsula and the stunning Wineglass Bay. 

Time to sweat those calories from that hearty lobster meal!

The Wineglass bay is the most popular attraction in Freycinet National Park so it will probably be very crowded when you’re there. Take a short trek up to the Wineglass Bay lookout and if you have more time, continue down to the Wineglass beach.

Just a short 2 min drive down the road from Wineglass Bay carpark, you will reach Honeymoon Bay. The granite mountain backdrop contrasting against the turquoise water makes it a really unique landscape. Take a dip in the crystal clear water if you would like!

Sleepy Bay offers views of the Freycinet Peninsula as well. There you will be able to see some interesting granite rocks that reminded us of the Remarkable Rocks of Kangaroo Island of South Australia.

And, it’s time to head back to Hobart for dinner and a good night’s rest. 

Oh wait, you still have more energy to spare?!

Everyone’s heard of the Northern Lights but did you know you could see the Southern Light in Tasmania as well?

The Goat Bluff Lookout is one of the most popular places for the seeing Southern Lights and it is relatively near Hobart. Bring along a DSLR and it is a 30 mins drive away.

According to the Southern Light chasers, you can see the Southern Lights when it is dark, and there are no clouds in the sky. Because winter nights are long you will have a better chance of seeing an aurora if you visit between June and September.

Good luck and be careful as it will be pitch black (lots of wildlife activity) when you get there at night!

Day 4 or 5: Hobart – Eaglehawk Neck – Port Arthur – Airport

It’s day 4 now. That means less driving! Well, sort of.

General Driving Directions for Day 4/5:

Make a short stop at the Richmond Bridge, a heritage-listed arch bridge. It is the oldest stone span bridge. It is also built by convicts.

You could purchase special food at the local supermarket to feed the ducks under the bridge or rest on the grassy land beside the waters and take a breath of fresh air. Your choice.

Next stop, Eaglehawk Neck. Unfortunately for us, we were stopped by a large deadfall (a young eucalyptus tree we believe) and were unable to access the lookout point. Instead, we took a pitstop at Old Bicheno Road, where you got to admit, the view was stunning as heaven!

There is also another blowhole here if you are interested in checking it out. Alternatively, you can stop by at Eaglehawk Neck’s Tessellated Pavement.

Make another stop at the Tasman Arch/Devil’s Kitchen. What you are looking at is the result of the collapse of a cave roof. The arch on Tasman Arch will eventually collapse over time and another ‘Devil’s Kitchen’ will be created.

The 2nd last stop of the trip is the famous Port Arthur Historic Site. The entrance fee is 40 AUD and it will grant you access to the following:

  • access to more than 30 historic buildings, ruins, restored houses, heritage gardens and walking trails,
  • a 40-minute, guided Introductory Walking Tour,
  • 25-minute Harbour Cruise,
  • entry to the Port Arthur Gallery, which includes interactive exhibits and displays that tell the story of the Port Arthur Historic Site and its people.

Get your tickets from GetYourGuide below. We make a small percentage of your purchase at no extra cost to you. This helps with keeping the site alive!

Make one last stop at the Remarkable Caves before heading back to the airport. This is, however, still closed despite planned upgrading works from 1 May 2019 to 1 October 2019. Please contact the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service before embarking on this route.

As remarkable as it is, the caves are dangerous during high tides. Please proceed with caution and do not climb over the railings and go down to the sand even if you are an aspiring influencer!

Still contemplating it? Watch this remarkable footage.

This marks the end of the 4-day magical journey in Tasmania. Feel free to use this as your guide and make your itinerary suited to your travelling needs. Of course, there is much more to see in Tasmania, such as the West Coast, Bay of Fires, the Lavender Farm, Bruny Island and much more. We will definitely be back!

Melbourne, here we come!

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Last updated on November 13th, 2019.

This post is also available in: 简体中文 (Chinese (Simplified))

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