Just to the south of Australia is the beautiful island of Tasmania and, as it is so compact, it makes the perfect place for a road trip. In a one week visit, you’ll feel like you’ve explored the whole island and, as there is so much to see, both scenery and culture wise, you will feel like you have been on the road for more like seven weeks! |
Tasmania in Seven Days
Leaving Melbourne on the Spirit of Tasmania, you can sit back and enjoy a relaxed crossing over to Davenport. The journey takes around ten hours but there is plenty to do onboard. Hire your car in Melbourne (remembering your car rental excess insurance) and you won’t have to worry about hiring one the other end.
Opting for the overnight ferry (which has cabins) gets you to Davenport in the morning, meaning you can get straight on to exploring Tasmania. Head first to Launceston and take a coffee break before visiting Cataract Gorge Reserve. Here you can hike, take the longest chairlift in the world, explore the Victorian Gardens and indulge in the breathtaking views. Launceston is the island’s second largest city and is a good place to spend the night.
Heading away from the city towards the northeast you arrive at Binalong Bay, the gateway to the Bay of Fires. This is the place where the Aboriginal fires were spotted from the sea by Captain Tobias Furneaux when he discovered Tasmania in the 1700s. The shoreline here is nothing short of stunning and the combination of white sand, iridescently blue waters and orange granite rock is picture-postcard.
Staying in St Helens is a good idea for this evening.
The Tasman Highway/A3 takes you south today to Freycinet National Park, where you can visit one of the most beautiful beaches in the world: Wineglass Bay. Here you can swim, relax, kayak or even book a four hour cruise to see the local wildlife, enjoy magical views and indulge in a delicious lunch.
From Freycinet, you can continue your trip along the coast on the east of the island and visit Triabunna. From this sleepy fishing village you can take a short boat trip to Maria Island. See wombats meandering at will, explore the ghost town of Darlington and visit the convict station before heading off to admire the Painted Cliffs at Hopground Beach.
Once back on the mainland, drive to Port Arthur on the C335 and Arthur Highway/A3 for the evening.
In Port Arthur there is so much to see and do but start by making a beeline for the Port Arthur Historic Site. This is a honeypot for tourists but there is a reason why. The ticket includes a guided tour, entrance to more than 30 historic buildings, a trip around the museum and a harbour cruise.
Only a 90 minute drive from Port Arthur, you reach the capital, Hobart. A highlight of this city is the David Walsh’s Museum of Old and New Art. This is the largest collection of art in Australia and the works span hundreds of years. If you are in the city on a Saturday, the Salamanca Market is worth a visit, with stalls offering everything from fresh produce to crafts.
Today you can stop off in Battery Point for coffee followed by a hike up Mount Wellington. Once you are back from your exhilarating hike to the top, head to Derwent Bridge and The Wall in the Wilderness. This wooden sculptural site created by Greg Duncan is well worth the stop. From here you can visit Lake St Clair and even stay the night if you like.
Your final adventure sees you exploring the region around Cradle Mountain. Hire a guide to get the most out of the experience because there is so much to do in this area, from horse-riding to fly fishing.
This brings you to the end of your trip and your ferry back to Port Melbourne, but by choosing to travel by car, you will have seen so much in just one week!
Before You Go
You are going to be so focussed on enjoying your trip that you won’t want anything to spoil it, so make sure you get car rental excess insurance before you go. Most hire companies offer some kind of insurance but their packages are nowhere near as comprehensive as car rental excess insurance offered by independent companies.
Discovering Tasmania by car is ideal. The compact size of the island makes it ideal for exploring independently, so use the itinerary above for inspiration and get your epic Tasmanian road trip off the ground!
Author Plate Sam Walker is a specialist insurance expert at LowerHire, a company that offers low-cost single trip and annual multi-trip car rental excess insurance policies. Travellers can rest easy knowing they will be fully protected against any hidden hire car costs and look forward to a stress-free rental experience.
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