Take your time as you experience our southernmost state’s natural beauty, history, culture, shopping and art, its renowned food, wine and produce, and let your mainland worries fade away.
There's so much to see and do in Tasmania. This loop of the island takes in many of its biggest natural and cultural attractions as it meanders through lush farmland, ancient forests, awe inspiring mountain and lake scenery and rugged coast land in six easy gulps, stopping off at charming villages, serene coastal towns and Australia’s coolest city along the way.
Day 1: Devonport to Cradle Mountain
1 hr 35min | 97km
Today’s drive is short, but there’s much to see. Just five minutes south of Devonport is Latrobe, with its eclectic shops, cafes and House of Anvers chocolate factory. A few minutes further south comes Railton, the Town of Topiary. Then the murals, galleries and other curiosities of Sheffield, where Blacksmith’s Gallery Cafe and food options ensure you won’t go hungry.
The run into Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park is breathtaking as it winds through alpine forests, grasslands and jagged mountain peaks. Take one of the several walks on offer at this spectacular destination, gaze at Dove Lake or just kick back with local food and wine at Altitude Restaurant + Lounge Bar or one of the area’s other dining establishments.
Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge provides the closest accommodation to the spectacular Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Set in the wilderness are 86 private timber cabins, from contemporary Pencil Pine Cabins through to luxurious King Billy Suites, and family cabins. Cabins feature gas fireplaces, mini bars and day beds to cozy up on, while suites include spa baths and balconies for extra relaxation.
NRMA Members can save up to 20% on the best available room rate at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge with late check out, as well as 10% off food and beverage*. Simply use the promo code: 'NRMA' when booking. *T&C's apply.
Day 2: Cradle Mountain to Strahan
2hr | 147km
Finally, take the short run south to the harbour village of Strahan and explore this area on the edge of the World Heritage listed Franklin Gordon Wild Rivers National Park with an afternoon river/harbour cruise from Gordon River Cruises or other local operators. End the day dining on fine local cuisine at Bushman’s Bar & Cafe or another of the town’s many eateries.
Day 3: Strahan to Derwent Bridge
2hr | 126km
Take the short run east to the surreal mining scarred landscapes of Queenstown, where you can take an underground mine tour or just soak up the atmosphere while eating a Tasmanian delicacy – the curried scallop pie – from Cafe Serenade.
Then head east on twisting roads and marvel at the ever more stunning mountain and lake vistas as you close in on Derwent Bridge. Here you can set off on walks around Lake St Clair – Australia’s deepest freshwater lake – or take a lake cruise to really appreciate its untouched beauty. Then head off for a drink and high class pub grub at the Derwent Bridge Wilderness Hotel.
Pumphouse Point serves up minimalist modern luxury in a converted hydroelectric pump station on Lake St Clair. Derwent Bridge Chalets & Studios offers cosy bush cabin accommodation for tighter budgets.
Day 4: Derwent Bridge to Hobart
2hr 25min | 175km
Today, drive out of the wilderness to the highland resort town of Tarraleah with its stunning Art Deco accommodation, friendly pub, day spas and outdoor activities. Further south in New Norfolk, brush up on your history and see Australia’s oldest Anglican church and one of the county’s oldest pubs, visit antique stores or satisfy your food lust at the Agrarian Kitchen Eatery & Store. But don’t hang around too long or you won’t do justice to Hobart.
Take in the thought provoking art of MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), experience astounding views of the city from Mount Wellington, visit the famed Salamanca Market or bliss out on the abundance on trend eating, drinking and shopping possibilities. If you can stay a couple of days, day trips to the Huon Valley and historic Port Arthur are musts.
Travelodge Hotel Hobart serves up comfortable, affordable accommodation in the centre of Hobart. RACV/RACT Hobart Apartment Hotel offers a range of accommodation types including deluxe apartments with balconies and interconnecting family rooms. For art filled luxury in historic surrounds, try The Henry Jones Art Hotel.
Day 5: Hobart to Coles Bay
2hr 30min | 185km
Point the compass north and head for Orford, blessed with secluded beaches, coastal walks and refuelling spots such as Gateway Cafe. Then onto to Triabunna and Swansea, where the granite peaks of the Freycinet Peninsula, home to Freycinet National Park, come into view.
Coles Bay – located between sheer pink granite mountains and picturesque Oyster Bay – is the gateway to Freycinet National Park.
Take the walk up to the Wineglass Bay Lookout, or down to the beach if you’ve got a few hours up your sleeve, then dine in front of breathtaking views at The Edge Restaurant.
Saffire Freycinet is an upscale scenic resort in the Coles Bay Conservation Area.
Day 6: Coles Bay to Devonport
3hr | 247km
Start your journey with a detour north to Bicheno, another fetching seaside location with lots to see, do and places to fuel up, such as Pasini’s Cafe * Wine Bar * Deli. Then head onto Campbell Town, the main stop off point between Launceston and Hobart, and the classic Georgian village of Westbury, where you can lose yourself in the beautiful 170 year old garden and hedge maze of Westbury Maze and Cafe.
If time permits, explore historic towns such as Evandale and Deloraine. From Deloraine it’s a short run back to Devonport, where you can fill up at Valentino’s or one of the town’s other many eating options before resting up for your trip back to the mainland.