Even though it was not on my list of must-sees fellow travelers highly recommended me to do a road trip in Tasmania. I was told it is a whole lot different from the mainland of Australia in a sense that it is more green and mountainous like New Zealand. After I heard all that the decision was easily made. After posting my itinerary on social media searching for more travel buddies I flew to Hobart to make a 10-day round trip with the best crew (Miriam and Kayra from Holland).
My first impressions were exactly how people presented Tasmania to me. Green with a lot of water and beautiful untouched nature and the most beautiful free camp spots everywhere. When driving from West to East you’ll pass by such diverse landscapes; from rain forest to high mountains to kettle fields and wineries. In this article I will give you my highlights of my road trip down in ”Tassie”.
Tasman National Park
Only a one and a half hour drive from Hobart lays Tasman National Park. Famous for its hikes and cliffs such as Cape Huey. First thing you’ll pass is Eaglehawk Neck. It’s a small town and a small strip of land which is the gateway towards the Tasman Peninsula. The small strip is about 400 metres long and 30 metres wide at one point. It was once guarded by a line of dogs chained together to prevent convicts to escape from the notorious prison settlement at nearby Port Arthur. On the eastside of this strip you’ll also find the beautiful beach of Pirates Bay. The neck has striking rock formations like the Tesselated Pavement, Tasman’s arch, Blowhole and devil’s kitchen.
Lime bay camping
If you’re looking for a campground on this southeast Tasmanian Peninsula with grassy plots shaded by eucalyptus trees and next to a beach, don’t overlook Lime Bay State Reserve Campground. This off-the-beaten-path campground is a gem with wallabies and possums coming out around diner time to accompany you while you’re enjoying your food.
Cape Raoul Hike
There are a lot of hikes and sights to see in Tasmania but almost nothing compares to Cape Raoul. This moderate 14 km round trip hike itself is not as fascinating as a hike to the summit of Cradle Mountain for example but when you reach the cape your jaw will drop to the ground. You’ll end up overviewing one of the tallest sea cliffs in Australia; 200-meter tall cliffs of dole rite columns with the grand ocean views.
Mayfield Bay campground and beach
This free but rather small campground in Rocky Hill is perfect for an overnight stay and a visit to the beautiful beach in front of it. Waking up with the sunrise in your windscreen or tent and the Freycinet National Park in the far distance, who wouldn’t like that?!
Freycinet National Park
Freycinet National Park is home to dramatic pink granite peaks, secluded azure bays, big white sandy beaches and abundant wildlife. Situated on Tasmania’s east coast, the park is loaded with natural assets and home to the famous Wineglass Bay. There is a shorter (1h return) and a longer (3-4h return) hike to two different lookouts on this incredible bay. You can also make your way down to the beach via a long staircase.
Other must see’s in this National Park are for sure Honeymoon Bay where you can go for a nice swim, Sleepy Bay and Cape Tourville lookout. On the same road towards this National park you’ll pass by Coles Bay which is also worth a stop or for an overnight sleep on the free campground next to the beach.
Between Feycinet National Park in the Southeast and Binalong Bay are several hidden surfbeaches which are visable when driving on the main road. Park your car hop out for a little stop to see both the incredible beaches as well as the surfers conquering the waves.
Bay of Fires
This beautiful part of Tasmania’s east coast has been named by Lonely Planet as the hottest travel destination in the world! It is widely accepted as one of the most beautiful places of Australia with sugar white sandy beaches covered by red boulders and an ocean full of wildlife. A slice of coastal heaven that stretches 50 km along the coast.
You can explore it from your base in one of the small towns such as Binalong Bay or St Helens or choose to sleep at one of the stunning campgrounds right next to the beach.
Cradle Mountain National Park
Put your hiking boots on for exploring a little piece of New Zealand in Tasmania. There are several walks to choose from with different difficulties and distances. There’s an easy walk around Dove’s lake with a few lookouts. Try to spot wombats in the Wombat Pool or if you’re in a decent shape climb the summit of Cradle Mountain.
This last hike is 13 kilometres long and a grade 3 difficulty until you get to the top where it changes to grade 5. Around the top you will have to climb big boulders with a 1000 metre drop right next to you which is not suitable for people that are afraid of heights! Once on the top you will feel like you’re the king of the world with majestic lookouts on the green and rugged terrain of this part of Tasmania.
Bethune Park Camping Area
When you’re planning to go visit the waterfalls of Mount Field National Park or just came from Franklin Gordon River National Park i would really recommend you to sleep over at Bethune Park Camping Area found in the Campermate app. This campground lays along a really calm lake very suitable for birdwatchers and naturelovers.
Mount Field National Park (waterfalls)
Mount Field National Park is Tasmania’s first national park with great views and walks, abundant wildlife, a rainforest and waterfalls. Just a short walk from the visitor’s centre through a very Jurassic Park kind of rainforest will bring you to Russell Falls which is one of the main attractions of the National Park. From there there is a short hike to the top of this waterfall and you’ll be able to spot Horseshoe Falls.
It is also home to some of the tallest and biggest trees in the world. The park offers an array of natural wonders and incredible plant diversity. Furthermore because of the many lakes and creeks there is a possibility to spot a platypus!
Hobart is the capital, second oldest and most popular city of the Australian Island state of Tasmania. However it is the least populated and second smallest Australian capital city but nonetheless there are plenty things to do. For example on saturday there is the Salamanca Markets with local craftmenship and yummie street food. It is supposed to have the reputation to be one of the best markets of Australia.
If you’re into art and galleries there is MONA, the museum of old and new art which has been billed as one of the main attractions of Hobart. Also, like in every big city, you have the very green and relaxing Botanical Gardens. Very suitable for having a rest after a roadtrip or walk around the city.