Circle Tasmania road trip
From the peaceful beaches of Tasmania’s east to the dramatic mountains surrounding the west, this one week journey will leave you enthralled.
By Cole Latimer and Ellie Schneider
Circle Tasmania in one week, beginning and concluding your tour in the capital city of Hobart.
This stunning vacation takes in the unspoiled beaches along the east coast, the mountainous wilderness of the west and must-see destinations such Wineglass Bay, Cradle Mountain and the Bay of Fires.
What to anticipate
Wander along lonely beaches and through beautiful fern woods
Visit historic riverside towns
Try the freshest Tasmanian seafood\sFast facts
Time: 7 days
Distance: 1,158 km (720 miles) (720 miles)
Nearest major city: Hobart
DAY 1: HOBART TO FREYCINET NATIONAL PARK
Start your day with a walk amid the lovely 19th century sandstone warehouses of Sullivans Cove in Hobart along the waterfront to Salamanca Place.
Afterwards, get in the vehicle and travel two hours north — the views of Great Oyster Bay and Maria Island along the way are amazing.
Stop at Swansea for a taste of freshly produced jams at Kate’s Berry Farm and from here it’s a 45-minute drive to the coastal tourist resort of Coles Bay, a perfect base for visiting Freycinet National Park.
Enjoy a meal of fresh Tasmanian seafood at Freycinet Marine Farm (the oysters are renowned), before travelling into the national park.
Choose whichever trek suits you, ranging from the simple 10-minute stroll to Sleepy Bay to the strenuous three-hour (return) climb to the peak of Mount Amos in the series of granite mountains known as the Hazards.
Follow the Wineglass Bay observation hike (90 minutes back) for stunning views over the golden sandy arc and ice-blue sea of Wineglass Bay.
Camping at Freycinet National Park may be arranged via the Freycinet Visitor Centre, or alternatively, there is a fantastic selection of accommodation in Coles Bay, Bicheno or Swansea.
DAY 2: FREYCINET NATIONAL PARK TO BAY OF FIRES
From Freycinet, travel around one hour north to St Helens, where you may spend the morning swimming, surfing or munching on excellent seafood. Explore the region by foot along the one-hour return trek to the beautiful Peron Dunes.
From St Helens, it’s a short drive to Binalong Bay, the entry to the magnificent Bay of Fires. This is a magnificent stretch of sandy beaches bordered by orange lichen-covered granite rocks.
Witness the area’s splendor from a fresh viewpoint while traveling through the azure seas on the Sloop Rock Express or Bay of Fires Discovery boat excursion.
What better way to learn about the interesting history of this awe-inspiring region?
Enjoy a quiet evening among nature glamping at the Bay of Fires Bush Retreat. Come dinnertime, you’ll be given a delectable feast of Tasmania’s finest vegetables.
If you’re travelling in the winter, reserve the retreat’s King Room, or stay at neighboring Tidal Waters Resort.
DAY 3: BAY OF FIRES TO LAUNCESTON
This morning, go west to the little riverbank hamlet of Derby. Take either the 65-kilometre (40-mile) direct route or the picturesque 2.5-hour trip via the Mount Victoria Forest Reserve.
Derby is home to world-class mountain bike routes as well as charming vintage and artisan boutiques. Browse the town’s stores, stroll to the trails or take a revitalizing dive into Lake Derby at the Floating Sauna.
Continue down the road to Launceston, around 100 kilometres (62 miles) away, which is one of Australia’s oldest cities.
In town, you may visit art galleries and museums include the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery or the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania, while only a short walk from the city core is Cataract Gorge.
Cross a suspension bridge over the ocean or ride the world’s largest single span chairlift. Spend the night at one of Launceston’s many wonderful hotels.
If you have a day to spare, consider a day excursion north from Launceston. Golf fans will marvel at the superbly created Barnbougle Dunes Golf Links, situated approximately an hour from Launceston by driving.
Alternatively, for something more easygoing, travel to Tamar Valley, which located just north of Launceston along a tranquil estuary. Enjoy wines from over 20 vineyards that dot the coastlines of the valley.
DAY 4: LAUNCESTON TO STANLEY
From Launceston, it’s a 40-minute journey west to the old riverside village of Deloraine. Stop to peruse local galleries and craft businesses — the town holds one of Australia’s major working craft fairs each November – and have breakfast at a bakery.
Then travel north for another 40 minutes till you find Devonport, a lively seaside community noted for its beautiful beaches and walking and cycling routes. Stroll the shoreline, surf at the Bluff and row or sail the Mersey River.
See animals in Narawntapu National Park, where kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and pademelons graze peacefully — you may even glimpse a Tasmanian devil.
Head back down the coast for a leisurely hour-long drive past the coastal communities of Ulverstone, Burnie and tulip-filled Wynyard.
End the day an hour away at Stanley, a fishing community flanked by the volcanic outcrop known as The Nut. Ride The Nut Chairlift to explore the plateau; a two-kilometre (1.2-mile) stroll around the peak will reward you with amazing views.
If you’d want to raise your view point even higher, try a beautiful trip with Osborne Helitours. You’ll soar to the sky to look down at stunning coastline and off-shore islands.
There’s even a paddock to plate tour that combines the finest of Tasmania’s beauty and food.
After your feet are back on the ground, explore Stanley Village for boutique lodgings and a restaurant directly on the waterfront.
DAY 5: STANLEY TO CRADLE MOUNTAIN
From Stanley, drive two hours inland to the World Heritage-listed wilderness of Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park.
Climb Cradle Mountain or wander around the reflected waters of Dove Lake. Sit down to dine at the upmarket Highland Restaurant situated inside the luxurious Cradle Mountain Lodge.
To properly enjoy the splendor of the national park, take a scenic flight with Cradle Mountain Helicopters.
There are a variety of flights to select from, including journeys over Dove Lake, Fury Canyon – Australia’s deepest gorge – Mount Ossa, and of course, Cradle Mountain.
Alternatively, try fly fishing in the pristine mountain streams and Dove Lake between September and April, or identify wallabies, wombats and possums on a nocturnal wildlife trip.
Stay overnight at the family oriented Cradle Mountain Hotel or at the magnificent Pumphouse Point, a restored hydroelectric pumphouse perched above the river.
DAY 6: CRADLE MOUNTAIN TO STRAHAN
This morning you’ll continue the picturesque journey south along Anthony Road. This 100-kilometre (62-mile) route, which travels through woods and beautiful lakes, will direct you to Queenstown, which once hosted the world’s greatest gold and copper mine.
In Queenstown you may take an underground mine trip or hike amid the bush to picturesque lookouts. Enjoy lunch at The Empire, a majestic historic hotel, which hints at the grandeur of Queenstown’s past.
Just a 45-minute drive from Queenstown stands harbour-side Strahan, the entrance to Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed untamed west.
Spend the day kayaking on Macquarie Harbour or wander down windswept Ocean Beach, the longest beach in Tasmania. At the end of the day, eat on delicious Tasmanian seafood at View 42° Restaurant & Bar at Strahan Village Inn.
DAY 7: STRAHAN TO HOBART
Travel down the Lyell Highway, back into the heart of Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed wilderness. Stop at Tarraleah, a 2.5-hour drive from Strahan, which was home to Australia’s first hydro-electric system.
Many of the original 1930s-built homes in the highland town have undergone restoration, some in spectacular Art Deco design and don’t forget to visit little luxury hotel The Lodge.
If you have the time, take a 100-kilometre (62-mile) side drive to Mount Field National Park, where you may bushwalk through thick fern woods to the majestic Russell Falls, Horseshoe Falls and Lady Barron Falls, and take in amazing views from the Tarn Shelf.
Afterwards, check out the beautiful town square and speciality boutiques of New Norfolk, as well as the oldest salmon farms in the Southern Hemisphere.
As you approach the outskirts of Hobart stop at Mona (the Museum of Old and New Art) to marvel at Australia’s greatest privately held art collection. Enjoy a lunch at its onsite restaurant The Source, feasting on innovative sharing dishes while viewing the River Derwent.
Mona also provides luxurious pavilions, each named after a prominent Australian artist or architect, where you may spend the night.
Topic: Circle Tasmania road trip
I am arguably the most popular Australian writer of all time. I am from the town of Karrinyup in rural Western Australia. When I was young, I was fascinated by the unique landscape of Australia, and I decided to support himself by writing books about the Australian landscape.
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