Touring Tasmania: Wildlife, Wilderness and Wonders
|This itinerary takes you from Tasmania's south coast, up the beautiful East Coast past the Freycinet Peninsula, through to Devonport, exploring the beautiful Cradle Mountain and concluding at the historic pioneer town of Strahan. This trip allows you to take in some of Tasmania's most impressive natural beauty and rich colonial history. Photo courtesy Tourism Tasmania and Geoffrey Lea.
"The way life should be"
Located on the mouth of the Derwent River, Hobart boasts a plethora of historiacal, cultural and gastronomic delights that will satisfy everyone.
One of the best ways to sample Hobart is to peruse the Salamanca Markets (Hobart's premier tourist attraction), open every Saturday. Stalls line Salamanca Place together with Elm trees and historic sandstone buildings.
In late December/ early January it is also the home of the Hobart Summer Festival which celebrates Tasmanian food, wine and produce. Salamanca Place and the Summer Festival converge with the waterfront where, at Constitution Dock, you can welcome the crews of the infamous Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
20 minutes up the road from Hobart on the Banks of the Coal River you will be impressed with the charming cobbles, handmade bricks and mellow stones that make up the historic town of Richmond. Offering over fifty 19th
Century buildings including Australia's oldest bridge, post office and Gaol. Richmond offeres numerous galleries and craft shops, as well as cafes to help you relax and take in the streetscapes of early colonial history.
90 minutes' drive south of Hobart you will find Hastings Caves and Thermal Springs. Witness spectacular stalacites, stagagmites, columns and even helicites in Australia's largest tourist cave, formed over 40 million years ago, from Dolomite. Near the Caves is the Thermal Pool. This beautiful spot is surrounded by forest, ferns and has a large picnic area equipped with change rooms, showers and toilets for those wanting to take a dip in the thermal spring water that sits at a comfortable 28 degrees celcius all year round.
For an uplifting experience, how about the Tahune Forest Airwalk? You can take in Tasmania's World Heritage Area which includes walking over rivers, King Billy Pine, Sassafras and flowering Leatherwood trees.
And if the thought of all that is making you hungry & thirsty; Hobart is the home of Australia's oldest Brewery - Cascade Brewery. Or for those with a sweet tooth, stop by the Cadbury factory for a bit of a taste test.
Hobart to COLES BAY - 191km
Moving away from Hobart and up the East Coast past Port Arthur and along the Freycinet Peninsula - one of Australia's best stretches of coastal scenery, to Coles Bay.
In Coles Bay experience the natural coastal beauty of Freycinet National Park which contains the dramatic peaks of the Hazards, Granite Mountains, azure bays and white sand beaches. There are several walks to choose from, several which head to internationally renowned Wineglass Bay.
Coles Bay offers charter boats for fishing, diving or for simply touring the coastline. You will also find Freycinet Oyster Farm, which offers the best oyster experience in the state. Take a boat tour and sample the freshest oysters in the raw!
Coles Bay to BICHENO - 37km
Bicheno is a fishing town with great beaches and is famous for its diving. Explore The Gulch, walk along the foreshore to the blowhole or visit the Rocking Rock - an 80 tonne piece of Granite that rocks with the movement of the tide. At low tide - take a walk from the mainland to Diamond Island Nature Reserve, home to a large colony of Fairy Penguins.
Why not visit some of Tasmania's wildlife, including the elusive Tasmanian Devil, at the East Coast Birdlife and Animal Park. Or explore the contrasts of deep river gorges, waterfalls and dorerite capped plateaus to dry eucalypt forests and colourful heath lands of Douglas - Aspley National Park.
And don't forget to sample some of Tasmania's cool climate wines from the vineyards in the area.
Bicheno to ST HELENS - 76km
St Helens is nestled in the corner of the picturesque Georges Bay. It was once known as Kunnara Kunna meaning 'easy walking place'. St Helens offers good beaches for swimming and surfing and is the home of game fishing in Tasmania (particularly for Tuna and Marlin). Take a little day trip to the north of the town where you will find beautiful white sand beaches of the Bay of Fires.
If you are looking for a quieter activity, the St Helens History Room is worth investigating. It houses a large collection of historical photos, videos and artifacts from the area, a feature of the collection is a 1:24 working model of the famous Anchor Mine water wheel.
St. Helens to HADSPEN (Launceston) - 166km
Launceston is Tasmania’s second largest city and has redefined itself as a cultural hub with vibrant cafes, museums and open parkland. This small compact city is easy to explore. You can walk the elegant streetscapes and through century-old parks, which sit beside revitalised areas such as Launceston Seaport, with its waterfront eateries. A boardwalk links the Seaport to Inveresk, where you can visit one of Australia's best regional galleries, the Queen Victoria Museum at Inveresk.
While in this vibrant city, you can also visit many of the popular attractions close by such as Boag’s Brewery, Franklin House, or take a trip to mystical Seahorse World.
Hadspen (Launceston) to TAMAR VALLEY - 70km
Located on the West Head of the Tamar River, Kelso is a great spot for Fishing or for perusing the many Tamar Valley attractions and wineries. Visit the nearby Narawntapu National Park; lean about seahorses at Seahorse World or discover the many uses of Tasmanian Lavendar.
Kelso is a great venue for bird watching, look out Cape Barron Geese, Black Swan and Masked Owls - just to name a few. Take a walk along the river beach or catch a ferry across to Low Head and visit some historical sites.
Tamar Valley to DEVONPORT- 60km
Devonport sits on the banks of the Mersey River and is Tasmania’s third largest city, home to the Spirit of Tasmania ferries. The Spirit of Tasmania car and passenger ships are almost landmarks in this city. As they negotiate a U-turn in the Mersey River, they seem to be sailing right up the main street. There's so much maritime history in the town that a visit to the Maritime Museum is essential.
Head along to the Don River Railway and take a ride on a steam train to Coles Beach. Devonport's Imaginarium is Tasmania's only science discovery centre and is full of hands-on activities. Visit the Devonport Regional Gallery, a converted church with some excellent works of regional artists.
Near Devonport, Ulverstone is a tranquil seaside resort, situated centrally on the North West coast of Tasmania, where you can enjoy safe beaches, playground and fishing. With numerous attractions in the area, it is an ideal base for visiting Leven Canyon, Gunns Plains caves, Lake Barrington and Cradle Mountain.
Devonport to CRADLE MOUNTAIN - 78km
Cradle Mountain, the start of the 65-kilometre Overland Track, is the magnificent feature of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Tasmania's highest mountain, 1,617-metre Mt Ossa, is in this park, just off the Overland Track, while another beautiful national park, the Walls of Jerusalem, abuts its eastern boundary. A haven for avid hikers, you can take one of the many short walks through the ever-changing vegetation of the shores and mountainside to gain a full appreciation of the magic of this area.
A range of tours are offered from Cradle Valley, just outside the park boundary, including horseback trail rides, and helicopter flights over the region's rugged mountains.
With thanks to...
Tourism Tasmania and the Hobart City Council for their assistance in developing this itinerary.
|Stay at BIG4 Holiday Parks