Top five road trips in Tasmania
Explore the best attractions in Tasmania with these scenic self-drive routes.
1. Southern Coast
(Channel to Bruny Island to Huon)
The loop from Margate through the Channel to the Huon Valley is one of the prettiest coastal drives in Tasmania. There are plenty of places to stop along the way, including Snug Falls, Verona Sands, and the lookout over Eggs and Bacon Bay.
Coming back up the western side of the peninsula, stop at Cygnet for a bite at a local café, blow out some cobwebs on a jet boat, or drop a line in the Huon River. Jump on the ferry to Bruny Island for a day full of beaches, walks and loads of eateries.
2. Coast to Coast
(St Mary’s, Launceston, George Town and Low Head)
This is a long haul so take more than a day to explore and experience everything along the way. Exploring the Bay of Fires can take a day just by itself and then there’s the well-known mountain bike riding at Derby, golf at Bridport, the history of Low Head and loads of eateries along the way.
On your way back to Launceston, cross the Batman Bridge and take a detour north to Beaconsfield – one of Tasmania’s most famous locations where the gold mine stands eerily silent in the centre of town and explore its history and its modern-day battle against the elements.
3. East Coast
(Sorell to Bicheno)
The drive from Sorell to Orford can be a little boring, but it depends on the time of year. When driving through at dawn on a frosty winter morning the landscape is transformed – more like the North Pole than the east coast of Tasmania.
Take your time winding your way along the coast – not only to enjoy the white sandy beaches and views but being careful as some areas of this drive can be tricky for first time visitors. A visit to Freycinet National Park is a must – the pink granite of The Hazards Mountains is quite surreal and makes for some spectacular photos.
4. Cradle Mountain Drive
(Devonport to Deloraine via Cradle Mountain)
There are many ways to drive to Cradle Mountain but our favourite is from Devonport through the small townships of Paloona and Wilmot, where you can be entertained by the roadside creativity of the residents on the Novelty Letterbox Trail. Cradle Mountain is home to spectacular vistas, short and long hikes and the remains of Waldheim Chalet, built in 1902 by Austrian Gustav Weindorfer.
The drive down off the alpine plains back into farming country is equally as interesting, where you can visit The Village of Lower Crackpot (yes it’s called that – we kid you not), a town of murals and topiary.
5. North West Drive
(Wynyard, Boat Harbour, Stanley and Marrawah)
Much is said of The Nut at Stanley, but Table Cape at Wynyard is just as fascinating a geological feature. You can drive right to the top to take in the views from the lookout, walk to the lighthouse and tiptoe through the tulips.
The beautiful beaches of Boat Harbour and Sisters Beach are must-stops along this drive and you can stretch your legs through Rocky Cape National Park. For the truly adventurous, the final stretch through to Marrawah rewards you with some of the best windswept coastline and surf breaks you will ever see.