From Freycinet to Cradle Mountain, these are the must-see destinations for the ultimate Tassie road trip.
When I first told friends and family that I was going on a road trip across Tasmania, I was met with the same tired old joke about Tasmanians. While I won’t say what the joke was, I am sure you can read between the lines.
But upon arriving in Tasmania, I quickly found the joke was on my friends and family who have yet to visit Tasmania, as it is truly something special. From the moment I stepped off the plane, the charm and allure of Tassie hit me (almost as quickly as the cool temperature) and throughout my road trip it quickly became my favourite Australian destination.
Here is a list of must-see destinations for your next Tassie road trip.
Launceston tends to be an afterthought for many visiting Tasmania, who base themselves in Hobart. It shouldn’t be, as the riverside city has plenty to offer from Cataract Gorge to the vineyards of Tamar Valley. Cataract Gorge is worth the trip alone with a plethora of hiking trails, landscaped gardens, a chair lift for those who like a view or have mobility issues and plenty of wildlife, including peacocks. For the wine drinkers out there, the vineyards of Tamar Valley are to die for and wines are shipped Australia-wide, so you can take a little piece of Tassie home with you.
Freycinet is so reminiscent of towns in Europe that you will need to check your GPS just to make sure you didn’t accidently travel to Switzerland. Views are plentiful, from the towering pink granite mountains to the secluded white beaches and azure bays. Make sure you set aside a day or two and explore Freycinet National Park and its stunning landscapes, nature treks and beaches. For the foodies out there, The Long Lunch Wine Tour is a must. The all-day tour will transport you to the region’s best vineyards and restaurants for a day of gluttony.
Renowned for its past as a convict settlement and the site of Australia’s worst mass shooting, Port Arthur is bursting at the seams with history. You will lose yourself for hours, potentially even days, exploring the historic site which was formerly a 19th-century penal settlement and is now an open-air museum. There is a garden and monument dedicated to the 35 people who lost their lives in the Port Arthur massacre, for those wanting to pay their respects. Check out accommodation options around Carnarvon Bay, which offers beautiful and secluded beach front stays.
No trip to Tasmania would be complete without a trip to its capital. From the fashion to the architecture, Hobart is truly special and is most comparable to Melbourne, but without the crowds. You can shop up a storm at the Salamanca Markets, Tasmania’s most-visited tourist attraction. Held every Saturday since 1972, the markets offer everything from fruit and veg to food vendors and crafts. The other drawcard is the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). Check your hang-ups at the door, as the largest privately-funded museum in the Southern Hemisphere is noted for its themes of sex and death and has been described as a “subversive adult Disneyland”.
The reason this small town on the west coast of Tasmania makes the list is simple – adventure! Queenstown is perfect for a white-water rafting adventure on the King River Gorge rapids, passing through remote rainforests lined with ancient Huon Pine trees. Afterwards, you can catch a ride back on the West Coast Wilderness Railway, a historic steam train journey offering scenic mountain and river views.
Continuing the theme of adventure, no Tassie holiday would be complete without a trip to Cradle Mountain. Forming the northern end of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Cradle Mountain is one of Australia’s most iconic wilderness experiences. There are several walks available for every fitness level, with short walks (under two hours return) to overnight walks and the revered Overland Track. The Overland Track is not for the faint-hearted, stretching 65kms to Lake St Clair. The six-day walk requires a high degree of physical fitness and preparation. Walkers on any track can enjoy pristine views and countless native species including wallabies, wombats, birds and reptiles.
Planning your next holiday? Try RACQ Travel.With so much to see and do, Tasmania will awaken your senses through its rich cultural history, along with industries such as craft, food and wine, combining to make it an experience like no other. Visit RACQ Travel to browse a range of packages, or contact one of our friendly travel consultants on 1300 096 166.