DRIVES AND ROAD TRIPS

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The Ultimate Tasmania Road Trip

There’s no question about it…

The Apple Isle is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

And its voluminous jaw-dropping scenery is coupled with oodles of amazing experiences.

So, we’ve created the ultimate Tasmania travel itinerary to witness it all – or much of it – incorporating signature attractions and must-visit destinations along the way.

Prepare to be wowed.

Prepare to be wowed. Credit: Tourism Tasmania/Kelly Slater.

How Long Does it Take to Drive Around Tasmania?

Our suggested road trip around Tasmania is an approximately 1250km route with a driving time of approximately 17 hours.

The path begins and ends in Hobart, following an anti-clockwise direction.

However, this could just as easily be driven clockwise and/or adapted for those travelling via the Spirit of Tasmania ferry, which arrives and departs from Devonport.

See the map below for a visual reference.

Note: All distances referenced are approximate.

Hobart

Positioned on the River Derwent and shadowed by towering kunanyi/Mt Wellington, Hobart is intoxicating.

It’s historical yet contemporary, picturesque yet gritty, laidback yet vibrant. And there’s a hefty blend of attractions and activities to keep visitors engrossed.

Cultural, heritage, gastronomical, and scenic highlights are all in the mix, dotted in and around the lively Hobart waterfront. Better yet, the Tasmanian capital is a day-tripper’s delight. 

Hobart has it all. Pictured: kunanyi/Mt Wellington summit. Credit: Luke Tscharke.

Things to do in Hobart

Highlights of the city include:

  • Mona: Quirky and compelling modern museum, and much more. Warrants the hype.
  • kunanyi/Mt Wellington summit: Mesmerising views of the city and beyond.
  • Mawson's Hut Replica Museum: Underrated. Comprehensively retraces the Australasian Antarctic Expedition.
  • Cascade Brewery: Australia’s oldest-operating brewery. Tours tell the story.
  • Battery Point: Visiting this historical inner-city suburb is a time warp-like experience.
  • Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens: A feast for the eyes. The Sub Antarctic Plant House is among the highlights.
  • Coal River Valley Wine Region: Brilliant boutiques comfortably within reach of the city centre.
  • Salamanca Markets: A state icon each Saturday with 200-plus stalls.
  • Lark Distillery: Mecca for whisky lovers across multiple venues. 

Mona. More than a museum. Credit: Mona/Rémi Chauvin.

Hobart Accommodation

Convenience and comfort are hallmarks of BIG4 Hobart Airport Tourist Park. This popular accommodation option is just 2km to Hobart Airport and 15km from the CBD.

As can be expected when visiting a BIG4 park, there’s a variable assortment of cabin accommodation complemented by ample caravan and camping sites.

Here, a modern camp kitchen, BBQ area, and playground are key features. In good news for dog owners, BIG4 Hobart is pet-friendly.

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Convenience and comfort: BIG4 Hobart.

Port Arthur

Hobart to Port Arthur distance: 90km.

While there’s not much to this village, it earns ample footprints thanks to the presence of a former convict settlement.

However, Port Arthur Historic Site is not any old heritage attraction. It’s regarded as one of the best preserved convict sites on the planet, earning World Heritage status in the process.

Visiting the open-air attraction is an evocative experience. General admission tickets include entertaining and interesting introductory tours as well as a harbour cruise. Otherwise, roam the spacious grounds at your leisure.

Powerful: Port Arthur Historic Site. Credit: Alastair Bett.

Things to do in Port Arthur

Port Arthur and the wider Tasman Peninsula are brimming with treasure. Highlights include:

  • Port Arthur Lavender Farm: Purple prettiness in season complete with a lavender-inspired café menu.
  • Eaglehawk Neck: Bursting with quirky rock formations like the Tessellated Pavement, Tasmans Arch, and the Blowhole as well as the historical Dog Line.
  • Tasman Island boat cruise: Witness more of Mother Nature’s incredible work, including the southern hemisphere’s highest sea cliffs.
  • Tasmanian Devil Unzoo: Spy native wildlife in open surrounds. Just don’t call it a zoo.
  • Coal Mines Historic Site: More World Heritage-listed convict ruins to unearth.
  • Walking tracks: Seriously, the scenery does not get much better. The Cape Hauy Track is a half-day hero trail.

The scenery in these parts is sublime. Pictured: Cape Hauy. Credit: Jason Charles Hill.

Port Arthur Accommodation

NRMA Port Arthur Holiday Park has nabbed a prime piece of land, just north of the historic site, overlooking sparkling Stewarts Bay.

Its 15ha-plus of beautiful bushland create a tranquil haven to relax after a busy day exploring the peninsula’s many wonders.

Safari tents and a shared bunkhouse add variety to the expected accommodation offerings synonymous with holiday parks.

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Super setting: NRMA Port Arthur.

Port Arthur to Freycinet Peninsula Highlights

Distance (to Coles Bay): 200km.

Looking for a pitstop? Try the following…

It's a heavenly outlook at Devil's Corner. Credit: Pete Harmsen.

Freycinet Peninsula

Fabulous Freycinet is an absolute star of Tasmania’s east coast, dishing up breath-stealing scenery at every turn.

The peninsula is dominated by Freycinet National Park, noted for its brilliant beaches, extensive wildlife, astounding coastal views, and prominent peaks that form The Hazards mountain range.

Allow ample time to explore this epic area and its bucketload of treasure.

The Hazards are a clear focal point in these parts. Credit: Stu Gibson.

Things to do on Freycinet Peninsula

It’s all about the national park here. Highlights within it include:

  • Wineglass Bay: The headline act. Longer walks lead to it; shorter paths reveal its magnificence from up high. Or witness it with ease aboard a cruise.
  • Friendly Beaches: White sand and turquoise waters effortlessly accessed from a nearby car park.
  • Honeymoon Bay: Sparkling and secluded beach looking out to The Hazards.
  • Cape Tourville: Supreme outlooks from an elevated position. Home to a lighthouse.
  • Mt Amos track: Challenging, but oh those views. Wow.

Worth all the attention: Wineglass Bay. Credit: Jason Charles Hill.

Elsewhere on the peninsula, take note of:

  • Muirs Beach, Coles Bay: Wide and wonderful with commanding views of the ever-present Hazards.
  • Freycinet Marine Farm, Coles Bay: Fabulous, fresh seafood straight from the source.
  • Freycinet Golf Club, Coles Bay: Play among beauty.
  • Schouten Island: Pristine patch renowned as a snorkelling and canoeing hotspot. Reached via water taxi.

Muirs Beach is a super stretch of sand. 

Freycinet Peninsula Accommodation

When exploring this spectacular stretch, BIG4 Iluka on Freycinet Holiday Park is the ideal accommodation choice.

Located in the township of Coles Bay, the peaceful park incorporates a tavern, shop, and bakery and is a short stroll to Muirs Beach.

Adding to the convenience, it’s only 1.5km to the Freycinet National Park Visitor Centre, the gateway to a mountain of majestic scenery.

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Prime position: BIG4 Iluka.

Freycinet Peninsula to St Helens Highlights

Distance: 115km.

Among a string of sparkling beaches that tempt for a roadside stop, the following are excellent places to pull over…

Free entertainment: Bicheno Blowhole. Credit: Robert King Visuals.

St Helens

Sheltered by Georges Bay, this pleasant seaside town is ripe for an extended stay.

No matter the pace required, St Helens is up to the task. Exhilarating activities exist on and off the water, but the laidback nature of the town means it’s easy to unwind.

With so much splendour on its doorstep, St Helens is the perfect base to explore it all.

A splash hit: Bay of Fires. Credit: Stu Gibson.

Things to do in St Helens

Highlights of the town include:

  • St Helens mountain biking trails: World-class tracks of differing distances. Head inland to Blue Derby for more top trails.
  • Mainly Maritime: Literally thousands of items to spy in this fascinating museum.
  • St Helens Point Conservation Area: Dramatic beaches meet slews of sand dunes.
  • Fishing tours: Welcome to the state’s game-fishing capital.
  • Bay of Fires: Glittering beaches and orange-cloaked boulders stretching for kilometres, 10km north of St Helens.
  • St Columba Falls: A 90m-high cascading creation spotted among a sea of green, 30km west of St Helens.
  • Evercreech Forest Reserve: Home to the world's tallest white gums, 35km west of St Helens.

Your complete guide to St Helens and surrounds.

St Helens Mountain Bike Trails are world class. Credit: Stu Gibson.

St Helens Accommodation

There’s attraction for all ages at BIG4 St Helens Holiday Park, set just 300m from the waterfront.

Glamping tents and shared backpacker-style accommodation in the MTB bunkhouse room offer increased variety beyond the regular cabin, caravan, and camping options.

An outdoor communal area features a fire pit, wood-fired pizza oven, large outdoor kitchen, and an indoor camp kitchen.

For families, there’s an indoor play area with a toddlers’ section as well as an outdoor playground and a jumping pillow. Additionally, the park is pet friendly.

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BIG4 St Helens is the ideal place to stay.

Tasman Holiday Parks - St Helens has a range of accommodation to suit all needs, from Bay View Cabins to Bunkhouses and pet friendly Ensuite and Powered Sites. Reverse the caravan or pitch the tent and make full use of our superior facilities and beachfront location.

Enjoy all the activities the park has to offer including the Parkside Bar and Kitchen, a gourmet store, Jumping Pillow, kids’ playground, camp kitchen, BBQ area, indoor recreation room and much more.

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Absolute beachfront. Tasman Holiday Parks - St Helens.

St Helens to Launceston Highlights

Distance: 160km.

Note: Keen golfers should take the long way around, via Bridport, to play Barnbougle’s world-renowned courses.

On the most direct path, pay attention to the following…

  • St Marys: Picturesque heritage town with an eccentric museum.
  • Longford: Home to neighbouring World Heritage-listed estates: Woolmers and Brickendon (slight detour required).

Golf lovers should take the long road to Barnbougle. Credit: Caddie Magazine.

Launceston

Tasmania’s second-biggest city is full of vibrancy.

A riverside setting, myriad parks and gardens, and striking heritage buildings combine to create instant visual appeal.

The allure runs more than skin deep, though. Launceston erupts with attractions for all ages and tastes, ensuring extended stays should be on the cards. 

Instant visual appeal: Launceston. Credit: Rob Burnett.

Things to do in Launceston

Highlights of the city include:

There's eye candy galore at Cataract Gorge Reserve. Credit: iSky Aerial Photography.

Launceston Accommodation

Spacious, contemporary, and central: BIG4 Launceston Holiday Park is the place to stay when visiting this vibrant city.

Its elevated position provides commanding views of the CBD and its surrounds; best admired from the deck of a hilltop villa.

A camp kitchen and BBQs are excellent additions, while kids gravitate to the Jumping Pillow and playground. Conveniently, BIG4 Launceston is within walking distance of the city as well as Cataract Gorge.

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Accommodation sorted: BIG4 Launceston.

Tamar Valley

Launceston to Tamar Valley (Kelso) distance: 65km.

The Tamar Valley is Tasmania’s most recognised wine district. And while its vino is top notch, it would be a disservice to the region to concentrate only on that.

Centred either side of the Tamar River, which flows into Bass Strait at the top of the state, the area bursts with assorted attractions full of interest.

These parts keenly encourage outdoor exploration, too. Beautiful beaches are plentiful, joined by wetlands and nearby national parks. Walking tracks and bike trails are excellent ways to admire the valley’s versatile landscapes.

Get out and about in the Tamar Valley.

Things to do in the Tamar Valley

Highlights of the region include:

It's cuteness overload at Platypus House. Credit: Tourism Australia.

Tamar Valley Accommodation

BIG4 has two accommodation options in the Tamar Valley.

Firstly, BIG4 Kelso Sands Holiday and Native Wildlife Park occupies prime real estate.

The spacious site shares a border with the River Tamar and is a casual stroll to the beach.

As the name indicates, BIG4 Kelso Sands has an onsite wildlife park. This allows for up-close encounters with various creatures, including wombats and potoroos.

A swimming pool and a large play area supporting various leisure activities are among popular in-house features.

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Top spot: BIG4 Kelso Sands.

At the top of the Tamar Valley, Low Head Tourist Park also has an enticing positioning. It too overlooks the river while being close to the beach.

A camp kitchen, BBQs, and a playground are among the leading facilities.

And with a relaxing ambience, the park is a wonderful place to unwind and indulge in the region’s tasty food and wine.

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Solid choice: Low Head Tourist Park.

Tamar Valley to Ulverstone Highlights

Distance: 80km.

Looking to extend the journey? Note the following:

  • Narawntapu National Park: Strong variation of eye-catching landscapes. Loads of wildlife, too (slight diversion required).
  • Devonport: Busy city with a handful of first-rate attractions.
  • Lillico Beach: Home to a penguin colony.

The coastline in these parts is spectacular. Pictured: Back Beach, Devonport. Credit: S. Group.

Ulverstone

While small in stature, Ulverstone is a town big on appeal.

It starts with the location, perched on the banks of the Leven River where it greets Bass Strait. From here, it’s just 20km to the Spirit of Tasmania ferry terminal.

The north coast holiday spot is also within striking distance of many key attractions and towns, ensuring it’s a great base for day-tripping. 

Big on appeal: Ulverstone. Credit: S. Group.

Things to do in Ulverstone

Highlights of the town include:

  • Buttons Beach: Pretty stretch of golden sand, flanked by dunes.
  • Zigzag Garden: Beautiful spot with a lookout gifting magnificent views.
  • Fairway Park: Home to a ‘pump n jump’ bike track and dinosaur-themed playground.
  • Anzac Park: Relax riverside or let the kids go wild at the massive playground.
  • Buttons Brewing: Sip tasty craft beers from an inviting wharf location.
  • Ulverstone History Museum: Loads of local yarns to lap up. Refurbished in 2021.
  • Leven River cruises: Scenic and soothing. Assorted options available.

Want more? See the ultimate guide to Ulverstone and surrounds.

Anzac Park is among the town's popular play spaces.

Ulverstone Accommodation

Enjoy a seaside break at BIG4 Ulverstone Holiday Park. This enticing place is spotted directly across the road from Buttons Beach and is a stone’s throw to the town centre.

A Jumping Pillow and playground entertain younger players, and directly outside its back gate is Fairway Park (mentioned above).

Pet-friendly cabins and sites are included in the accommodation options.

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Park up at BIG4 Ulverstone.

Ulverstone to Stanley Highlights

Distance: 105km.

The top stops along the way from Devonport to Stanley (with short detours) are Spirit of Tasmania, Devonport Terminal, The Nut State Reserve, and Devils@Cradle, a sanctuary for Tasmanian devils.

The Nut @ Stanley.

Stanley

Stanley is a romantic town sitting on a slender sliver of land jutting out into the Bass Strait on Tasmania's northwest coast.

Stanley is remarkable for its incredibly well-preserved colonial buildings and its massive volcanic plug. The plug, known as 'The Nut' rises 150 metres out of the water and it dominates the small-town skyline.

Climb The Nut!

Things to do in Stanley

Highlights of this charming coastal town include:

  • The Nut: An extinct volcano you can climb to the top of and have a stroll around.
  • Main Street: Take a wander down the main street with its well=preserved colonial buildings.
  • Fairy Penguins: A small colony of these little delights call Stanley home.

Stanley is a perfect blend of natural wonders and cultural history. Image: Stanley's main street.

Stanley Accommodation

For a memorable family beachside vacation, BIG4 Stanley Tourist Park is an excellent choice. The park offers a range of accommodation options to suit various preferences and budgets. Situated right on the beach, there will be ample time for swimming and fishing.

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BIG4 Stanley Tourist Park.

Stanley to Strahan Highlights

Distance: 250km.

No Tasmanian road trip would be complete without a visit to iconic Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.

A diversion is required, but it’s well worth it. Factor in time to tackle one of the shorter strolls available among a network of famous, foot-slogging paths. 

Further along, a collection of old mining towns tempt for a pitstop. They include Tullah, Rosebery, and Zeehan. The latter is home to the West Coast Heritage Centre, which explores the area’s rich past.

Stunning: Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Credit: Luke Tscharke.

Strahan

Tasmania’s west coast reveals a whole new side to the state. It’s wild and isolated yet endearing and magical, and it’s filled with memorable experiences.

At its heart is Strahan, a charming village that overlooks mighty Macquarie Harbour, which offers protection from the rugged ocean that roars nearby.

This destination is dripping with visual treats, fascinating tales from its brutal convict days, and other attractions and activities that ensure it makes a convincing case to be added to any Tasmania travel itinerary.

Strahan is full of charm. Credit: Tourism Australia.

Things to do in Strahan

Highlights of the town include:

  • Gordon River cruises: The absolute must-do experience. Gripping history meets stunning scenery.
  • West Coast Wilderness Railway: Hop on board for more splendid sights on a snaking journey between Strahan and Queenstown.
  • The Ship That Never Was: Entertaining live theatre running continuously since 1994.
  • Ocean Beach: Wild and wondrous.
  • Hogarth Falls: Free-flowing beauty best reached on a visually rewarding path.
  • Henty Dunes: Mammoth sand dunes with ample appeal for photographers and tobogganers.

Your complete guide to Strahan and surrounds.

A Gordon River cruise is an essential experience. Credit: Tourism Australia.

Strahan Accommodation

BIG4 Strahan Holiday Retreat firmly lives up to its name. An expansive garden setting, platypus streams, and a relaxed ambience create an inviting haven for guests.

Yet, conveniently, the park is within walking distance to the esplanade and beach.

A café, shop, and bottle shop are all located on site, joined by a camp kitchen and games room. Bike and kayak hire is available, and there’s an adventure playground only 200m from the front gate.

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Holiday haven: BIG4 Strahan.

Back to Hobart

Distance: 300km.

The drive between Strahan and Hobart is loaded with more eye candy, confirming that the best way to see Tasmania is via road.

The moonscape-like landscape that reveals itself along the Lyell Highway in and around Queenstown creates a stunning sight – although it is a result of historical mining and mass logging.

Queenstown’s Galley Museum and the striking art deco Paragon Theatre are key attractions.

Like driving on the moon: Lyell Highway. Credit: Ollie Khedun/West Coast Council.

Further east is the popular trout fishing spot of Lake Burbury and then spectacular Nelson Falls, which can be reached with relative ease from the highway.

The tiny town of Derwent Bridge lies only a short distance to Lake St Clair. On the town’s eastern fringes is the incredibly intricate and impressive Wall In The Wilderness art project.

On the cusp of Hobart, the town of New Norfolk is filled with character and history and delivers sensational views from Pulpit Rock Lookout. 

Feast your eyes on Lake Burbury. Credit: Jess Bonde.

Spirit of Tasmania Discount

BIG4 Perks+ members are entitled to a discount on selected passenger fares when travelling between Victoria and Tasmania. See more here.

Save on Spirit sails with a BIG4 membership.

Accommodation in Tasmania

Planning a Tasmanian road trip begins with BIG4. Whether caravanning, camping, or enjoying a cabin stay, we have quality accommodation to suit right across the state.

See all BIG4 parks in Tasmania here.

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