Planning a Tasmanian road trip

A treasure not known to many tourists, Tasmania has some of the most beautiful landscapes in Australia. With more mountains than anywhere else on the mainland, beaches on all coasts, and 45 percent of the land covered with national parks, Tasmania has much to offer for those looking to get off the beaten track on a road trip.


As the smallest state in Australia, Tasmania is in fact best covered by car. There are no mammoth motorways here, so roads are all easily-navigable and scenic two-lanes, winding the two to three hour distance between cities. Bus transport is infrequent, and there are few domestic flights, so planning a road trip across the state is the best way to take in all the beautiful sites.


If you’re coming from the Australian mainland, the Spirit of Australia is a ferry that runs daily. Otherwise, flights are available from various Australian cities into Launceston, Hobart, Burnie, or Devonport. There is so much to do in Tasmania that it’s worthy of a holiday of its own, so try to plan at least six days to allow you to see everything it has to offer.


The southeast of Tasmania includes the capital and most populous city, Hobart. Be sure to check out Salamanca Place, the waterfront heart of the city. Visit on a Saturday to catch the fantastic Salamanca Market, or take a trip to the Museum of Old and New Art, a fantastic gallery on the cove. For outdoors enthusiasts, Mount Wellington offers fun hikes and breathtaking views.


On your way out of the area, check out the beautiful sea cliffs and surf beaches that dot the southeast and eastern coast of Tasmania. Once you hit the east coast, make sure to stop at Freycinet National Park, home of the Hazards mountain range and the world-class beach of Wineglass Bay.


The northeast holds the fantastic Bay of Fires coast, one of the most beautiful areas in Australia. Take a stop at Launceston, Tasmania’s other large city, a showcase of different architectural styles.


Moving on over to the other coast, Devonport is a charming seaside city, and the gateway to the northwest. The Cradle Mountains are just the beginning of the fantastic wilderness the state has to offer. Further down the west coast, Strahan is a small, former convict village that now serves as a tourism hub for the area.


Check out the Macquarie Harbour on the west coast, and then move into the southwest to see Franklin Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, a kayaking and rafting destination for thrill-seekers to top off your trip in style.