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If you’re looking to retreat back to nature, this 21-day Tasmania drive itinerary includes lush rainforest walks, vast mountainside lakes, rushing waterfalls, pristine white beaches and an abundance of fresh air.

For those who enjoy history and culture, you can also learn about Tasmania’s gruesome convict past at sites such as Port Arthur and Sarah Island, as well as peruse galleries and museums in beautiful Hobart.

Check Tasmania’s latest Coronavirus travel restrictions and fill in your Tas e-Travel form before booking your trip, but with the Tassie borders opening to most Australian states now, it’s the perfect time to start planning your Tasmania road trip! Let’s go!

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Tasmania Drive Itinerary: Table of Contents

Scroll down to the next section to read information about planning your road trip in Tasmania first. Or, skip straight to a destination on this 21-day Tasmania itinerary by clicking on the links below. It begins and ends at Devonport, where the ferry from Melbourne arrives, but if you plan on flying in, begin your journey at Hobart.

Day 1: Devonport

Day 2: Deloraine

Day 3: Launceston

Day 4: Mount William National Park

Day 5: Bay of Fires

Days 6-7: Freycinet National Park

Day 8: Port Arthur

Days 9-12: Hobart

Day 13: Ross

Days 14-16: Bruny Island

Days 17-18: Lake St Clair-Cradle Mountain National Park

Day 19: Queenstown

Day 20: Strahan

Day 21: Devonport


Tasmania Road Trip Planning Information

Before planning your Tasmania drive itinerary or holiday, read through the following information to learn about the cost, distance and transport for a Tasmania road trip.

How much is a trip to Tasmania?

The cost of a trip to Tasmania will vary greatly, depending on your chosen accommodation type, expenditure on activities and whether you make your own meals.

The total cost of our 21-day Tasmania road trip by car for two people was AU$2,845. Our average daily costs were $21 per night on camping fees and $16.50 per day on food. Then there was petrol, activities and occasional meals out on top.

Note that we brought our own car and camping equipment over from Melbourne by ferry and tent camped in caravan parks most nights. Here is the exact breakdown of our Tasmania road trip costs for two people in Australian dollars.

Camping fees: $414

Petrol: $307

Supermarket food: $347

Restaurants & cafes: $394

Tours & activities: $548

Return ferry with car: $595

Other costs (e.g. laundry, parking, cinema): $240

The exact cost of a trip to Tasmania broken down into accommodation, petrol, food, activities and ferry ride.

How many days does it take to drive around Tasmania?

This drive itinerary around Tasmania is approximately 1,270km (or 1,510km including the detour up to Ross and back). I spent 3 weeks (21 days) on this Tasmania road trip, but you could do it in 14 days or even 7 days if you include less drive stops.

If you have the luxury of time, you could definitely spend longer than three weeks in Tasmania and add on the north-west corner and Maria Island.


What is the best month to go to Tasmania?

Tasmania has a mild temperate oceanic climate with four distinct seasons. To give you an idea of what that feels like, the average maximum temperature in Hobart is 21.7 degrees in January (the hottest month) and 11.7 degrees in July (the coldest month). There are pros and cons of visiting the state at different times of year.

Remember Tasmania’s a fair bit colder than mainland Australia, and it only has an average of 41 sunny days per year. Aim for summer (December to February) if you prefer warmer weather. Bear in mind the danger of bushfires in the summer though; there were about 80 burning when we travelled Tasmania in February time!

If you prefer cool to mild weather, try visiting in autumn or spring. It should also be cheaper than peak summer season. For crisp air and the chance of snow, visit during winter, when you could catch the Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest or the Dark Mofo arts festival, hosted by MONA.



Is it cheaper to fly or get the boat to Tasmania?

When I travelled to Tasmania (pre Covid-19), it was actually much cheaper (and obviously quicker) to fly into Hobart than get the Spirit of Tasmania ferry from Melbourne (since it costs a lot to take the car over).

But since we had all our own camping equipment, it worked out better for us to pay to take the car over by ferry and camp everywhere than fly and hire a car or campervan. You can check prices for flights to Tasmania on Skyscanner.

The Spirit of Tasmania ferry from Melbourne.
The ferry to Tasmania

How much does the Spirit of Tasmania ferry cost?

The Spirit of Tasmania ferry ride from Melbourne cost us $595 return. That was for two people and a car though. It would have been cheaper to go just as passengers.

You can either choose to travel by day like we did or pay extra for a bed if you take the night ferry.

There’s thankfully quite a lot to do on the ferry (it takes around 10 hours!). It’s huge with a restaurant, bar, lounges and even a cinema! There’s also outdoor decks, so you can get some fresh air.

Make sure you check the biosecurity rules for Tasmania before you go, as there are restrictions on bringing things like fruit and vegetables into the state due to the risk of diseases and pests. You’ll also be asked to hand over any fruit, veg or firearms before you drive onto the ferry!

If you have a gas canister for your camping stove, you’ll also need to hand it in when you embark then collect it at the other end.

Seating area on the ferry to Tasmania.
Seating area on the ferry to Tasmania

Tasmania Drive Itinerary

Here’s a more detailed overview of each area I visited, including campsites, what to see on the way and the incremental distance and driving times between stops to help you plan your journey.

Day 1. Devonport

If you’re reaching Tasmania by ferry from Melbourne, you’ll disembark in the city of Devonport. We only stayed one night here, but there’s a choice of lovely beaches and parks, a coastal walk and opportunities for fishing and kayaking along the Mersey River if you want to stay longer.

Bluff Beach in Devonport on a sunny day.
Pretty Bluff Beach in Devonport

DEVONPORT ACCOMMODATION:

Discovery Parks – Devonport: We camped at this holiday park on arrival in Tasmania. As you’d expect from the bigger holiday park chains, it has great facilities. You can choose from camping and caravan sites as well as cabins.

Mersey Bluff Caravan Park: We also stayed at this holiday park the night before leaving Tasmania, as Discovery Parks was full. It’s in a very picturesque setting, but weirdly we weren’t allowed to charge electricals!

Formby Hotel: This hotel is one of the cheapest options in Devonport and is conveniently located near the ferry terminal. Rooms have kitchenettes with fridges and kettles, and there’s also an on-site restaurant and bar.

The Grand on Macfie B&B: This beautiful B&B inside a heritage mansion is only 800m from the ferry terminal and has amazing ratings. There’s a garden and barbecues, and rooms come with flat-screen TVs and kettles. You can even book a room with a sea view!


Day 2. Deloraine

We stayed a night in this small town at the foot of the Great Western Tiers mountain range to visit the beautiful, multi-level Liffey Falls, but unfortunately they were closed due to bushfires.

It was still a quaint town to stop at, with cafes, bakeries and Georgian and Victorian buildings. You can also head down to the Great Lake, a natural freshwater lake and manmade reservoir.

Quamby Bluff, the rural area we camped in was gorgeous too. If you’re short on time though, I’d head straight to Launceston instead.

The Great Lake in Tasmania, viewed from a lookout point.
The Great Lake

DISTANCE:

Devonport to Deloraine: 40 min (54km)


DELORAINE ACCOMMODATION:

Quamby Corner: We camped at this cute caravan park just ten minutes from Deloraine. Set at the foot of Quamby Bluff, it’s a peaceful park with beautiful views. There are budget on-site caravans, powered and unpowered camping sites and twin-share huts with bunk beds.

The Empire Hotel: One of the cheaper hotels in Deloraine, the boutique Empire Hotel has Tasmanian timber decor as well as free Wi-Fi, a bar, shared kitchen and log fire.

The Chapel Deloraine: If you’re looking for self-contained accommodation, this 2-bedroom house in the Deloraine countryside has a garden and patio, equipped kitchen, washing machine and flat-screen TV.


Day 3. Launceston

Launceston, the second-most populated city in Tasmania, is one of Australia’s oldest cities, with well-preserved architecture. As well as museums and art galleries, beautiful Cataract Gorge is within walking distance of the city.

Here you can swim in the gorge or open-air pool, laze around in the gardens, refresh yourself at the cafe, stroll across the bridge or even get a bird’s-eye view from the chairlift!

There’s also a choice of nearby villages to visit in the surrounding area, as well as the Tamar River and wetland area.

DISTANCE:

Deloraine to Launceston: 40 min (53km)

A sunny day at Cataract Gorge in Launceston, Tasmania.
Cataract Gorge, Launceston

LAUNCESTON ACTIVITIES:

Launceston Batman Bridge Luncheon Cruise: Cruise into Cataract Gorge and along Tamar River to Batman Bridge on this 4-hour trip that includes commentary, morning tea and a light lunch.

Launceston Food and Beer Scenic Cycling Tour: Discover the history of Launceston on this scenic bike ride followed by lunch at award-winning Stillwater Restaurant. Finish the day by tasting famous ales at the Boag Centre for Beer Lovers.

Launceston Theme Park Entry: Combine outdoor adventure with history at Penny Royal Adventure Park, a theme park in Launceston designed to teach visitors about Tasmania’s colonial convict times.


LAUNCESTON ACCOMMODATION:

Arthouse Hostel: This backpacker hostel in a grand heritage mansion has dorms as well as budget single rooms, doubles and triples. There’s free Wi-Fi, a shared kitchen and it’s only a 23-minute walk to Cataract Gorge Reserve and City Park.

Pod Inn: If you’re looking for budget accommodation in Launceston but want more privacy than a dorm, this unique and futuristic accommodation offers rooms and dorms with private sleeping pods that wouldn’t look out of place on a spacecraft!

There’s a common area, laundry room and shared kitchenettes, and each pod has a reading light, mirror, USB port, fan and a locker. Some even have a small desk for your laptop!

A futuristic sleeping pod at Pod Inn, Launceston Tasmania. A great budget option for self-contained travel accommodation.
A private sleeping pod at Pod Inn, Tasmania

Leisure Inn Penny Royal Hotel & Apartments: This heritage property has large, modern hotel suites and self-contained apartments with 1GB free Wi-Fi and on-site bar and restaurant. It’s only a ten-minute walk to Launceston CBD too.


Day 4. Mount William National Park

Our next overnight stop was Mount William National Park, on the stunning far North-East coast of Tasmania. Just north of Bay of Fires, this peaceful area of beauty has pristine white beaches, turquoise water and amazing views from the summit of Mount William if you take on the 1-hour return walk.

To break up the drive from Launceston, stop in Scottsdale to admire historic buildings or the beautiful fields of Bridestowe Lavender Estate.


DISTANCE:

Launceston to Mount William National Park (Stumpys Bay): 2 hr 20 min (153km)

The view from Mount William in Tasmania on a cloudy day.
Climbing Mount William

MOUNT WILLIAM NATIONAL PARK ACCOMMODATION:

Stumpys Bay Campground: There are six designated campsites in William Bay National Park. They have pit toilets but no drinking water or power supply, so you’ll need to be self sufficient. We camped at Stumpys Bay Campground 2, and were surrounded by wallabies wanting to see what we were having for dinner!

Camping dinner with sea views at Stumpys Bay Campground in Tasmania.
Dinner with an ocean view at Stumpys Bay Campground!

Day 5. Bay of Fires Conservation Area

If you’ve ever seen the gorgeous Tasmanian pictures of coastal granite boulders patched with bright orange lichen, the Bay of Fires Conservation Area is where it’s at! I’m sure most of you will want to add this destination to your Tasmania drive itinerary.

Stretching from Binalong Bay down to Eddystone Point, Bay of Fires is made up of beautiful secluded beaches with clear water and rock-lined inlets. Unfortunately a long spell of heavy rain hit when we reached the area, but we did get a quick look before it started.

On the way there you can also detour to St Columba Falls for a rainforest hike and Pyengana to taste local cheeses!


DISTANCE:

Mount William National Park to Bay of Fires: 1 hr 20 min (70km)

Beautiful coastal scenery at Bay of Fires, a must see on your Tasmania drive itinerary.
Bay of Fires, with imminent rain looming above!

BAY OF FIRES ACCOMMODATION:

Cosy Corner Campground : There are eight free, beachside designated camping areas in Bay of Fires Conservation Area, and you can stay for up to four weeks! We stayed at Cosy Corner; it was amazing eating dinner overlooking the ocean!

Trails End Hostel :If you’re backpacking or on a low budget, this cute hostel in St Helens has private rooms and dorms with en-suite bathrooms.

Bay of Fires Eco Hut: This off-grid eco hut is only 600m from the beach and set on 4.5 acres of private bushland. It sleeps five people and has a private bathroom, living room, kitchenette and barbecue.


Days 6-7. Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park is one of my top recommendations for your Tasmania drive itinerary. The coastal views are absolutely stunning, and not just those at well-known Wineglass Bay.

My favourite place was actually Honeymoon Bay, where we camped; the scenery was really unique and almost otherworldly. The beach at nearby Richardson Bay was stunning too, with really white sand. If you enjoy beaches and hiking, pencil in a few days at Freycinet if you get the weather.


DISTANCE:

Bay of Fires to Freycinet National Park (Honeymoon Bay): 1 hr 50 min (130km)

Amazing rocky scenery at Honeymoon Bay in Freycinet National Park, a must-see attraction in Tasmania.
Honeymoon Bay in Freycinet National Park

FREYCINET NATIONAL PARK ACTIVITIES:

Wineglass Bay Scenic Flight: Enjoy views of spectacular Wineglass Bay and untouched beaches and mountains of Freycinet National Park from above on this 30-minute scenic flight on a small aircraft.

Wineglass Beach Hike: Day Trip from Hobart: If you prefer to visit Freycinet on an organised tour, this full-day trip includes pick-up from your Hobart hotel, visits to viewpoints, oyster tasting at Freycinet Marine Farm and a guided hike to famous Wineglass Beach.

4-Day Guided Freycinet National Park Walk: For the serious hiker, this all-inclusive walking tour covers the entire length of the Freycinet Peninsula and includes snorkelling, two boat trips, experienced guides, food, wine and 3 nights’ accommodation at secluded Friendly Beaches Lodge.


FREYCINET NATIONAL PARK ACCOMMODATION:

Honeymoon Bay Campground: There are three campsites in Freycinet National Park. We stayed at Honeymoon Bay, which was my favourite spot to camp on my whole Tasmania road trip! The sunset that evening blew me away, and the whole campsite flocked to see it, as the site’s right by the beach!

Stunning pink sunset at the camping ground in Honeymoon Bay, Freycinet National Park.
The amazing sunset at Honeymoon Bay, across from the camping site

BIG4 Illuka on Freycinet: If you prefer the facilities of a holiday park, this BIG4 in Coles Bay has caravan and camping sites as well as self-catering cabins. As you’d expect from a BIG4, there’s heaps of on-site facilities including a playground, laundry, barbecues, cafe, convenience store and ATM.

Mayson: This self-contained, two-bedroom house sleeps four people and has a well-equipped kitchen, TV, washing machine and air-con. With a double bed and twin beds, it’s ideal for families, couples or a group, and it’s conveniently located in Coles Bay.


Day 8. Port Arthur

I’ll admit I didn’t have much interest in Australia’s convict history until I visited Port Arthur. This UNESCO World-Heritage listed historic site began as a penal settlement back in 1830, and the real-life stories you get to read and hear walking around Port Arthur are absolutely fascinating.

A mixture of eerie ruins, immaculate gardens and the chilling, well-preserved Separate Prison, where masked and slippered convicts were made to live in complete silence, Port Arthur is certainly a place that moves you.

Eerie ruins from convict times underneath looming grey clouds at Port Arthur Historical Site.
Ruins at Port Arthur Historical Site

The site completely changed my understanding of what convicts endured in Australia. I’d thoroughly recommend adding it to your Tasmania itinerary.

You do need to pay for entry (see below), but it’s well worth the money. Be sure to stop at the coastal formations on the way too, such as the Tessellated Pavement at Eaglehawk Neck and Tasman’s Arch and Devil’s Kitchen just south of Pirates Bay.


DISTANCE:

Honeymoon Bay to Port Arthur: 3 hr (207km)


PORT ARTHUR ATTRACTIONS:

Port Arthur Historic Site Entry Ticket: This is the option we went with. The tickets include a brilliant guided walking tour of the historic site (the stories are amazing!), a harbour cruise and access to the ruins to explore at your own pace. You can use the ticket on two consecutive days if you want to return and spend longer there.

Port Arthur Day Trip from Hobart: If you prefer to join a group tour, this day trip from Hobart includes the same Port Arthur entrance, cruise and walking tour as above, but with return transport from Hobart plus a clifftop walk and visit to historic Richmond village.

Port Arthur Scenic Helicopter Ride: To marvel at Port Arthur and the rugged Tasman Peninsula from above, this 15 or 30-minute scenic helicopter ride passes over the historic site and includes live commentary through a headset.

The Tessellated Pavement near Port Arthur, a natural phenomenon on coastal rocks.
The Tessellated Pavement near Port Arthur

PORT ARTHUR ACCOMMODATION:

Lime Bay State Reserve Campground: We stayed at this basic campsite near the beach after a day trip to Port Arthur. It has views across Norfolk Bay as well as pump-flush toilets and camp fireplaces.

NRMA Port Arthur Holiday Park: This award-winning holiday park has dormitories, cabins and tents, all with water views. It’s less than a five-minute drive to the sites at Port Arthur and has great reviews.

Fox and Hounds Inn: Situated a one-minute drive from Port Arthur Historical Site, this waterfront inn has a restaurant and bar, and rooms have a/c, heating, fridges and facilities to make tea and coffee.

Ruby’s Cottage Farm Stay: If you’re a family or group wanting self-contained accommodation, this cute two-bedroom cottage 3km from Port Arthur offers air-con, a fully equipped kitchen, flat-screen TV and breakfast.


Day 9-12. Hobart

Hobart, the capital city of Tasmania, certainly exceeded my expectations! Sprawling along the banks of the Derwent River at the foot of Mount Wellington, the city is beautiful to look at, with plenty of history and culture too.

We visited the colourful botanic gardens, pretty Seven Mile Beach, vibrant Salamanca Markets and historic Battery Point. The highlight was driving up to the lookout at Mount Wellington though. Since we had a few days of rain to wait out, we also spent some time in the city’s great restaurants.

If you’re flying into Hobart but don’t want to hire a car, you can skip the taxi queue and save money with the Hobart Airport city express bus. To see the Hobart attractions, the double-decker hop-on hop-off Hobart city explorer bus takes you on a loop around the city, with multi-lingual commentary (ticket is valid for two days).

Bustling Salamanca Markets in Hobart.
Bustling Salamanca Markets in Hobart

DISTANCE:

Port Arthur to Hobart: 1 hr 30 mins (100km)


HOBART ACTIVITIES:

Hobart City, Mt Wellington & Richmond Full-Day Tour: Enjoy a scenic drive to Mt Wellington, visits to historical locations in Hobart and a wander around Richmond, a quaint Australian town from the 1820s.

Looking down on beautiful Hobart from Mount Wellington.
Looking down on beautiful Hobart from Mount Wellington

Hobart City Sightseeing Tour including MONA: This cultural and historical guided tour includes travel by coach tram, visits to Cascade Brewery, Cascade Gardens and Female Factory, entry to the famous Museum of Old & New Art (MONA) and a ferry ride back to the city.

Tasman Peninsula Full-Day Sea Kayak Adventure: Following a scenic drive to Fortescue Bay in Tasman National Park, enjoy a day of sea kayaking beneath 200m-high cliffs, keeping a look out for seals and dolphins along the way. You’ll stop for lunch at a secluded bay then paddle back past a semi-submerged shipwreck.


HOBART ACCOMMODATION:

There are plenty of accommodation options in Hobart to choose from, including holiday parks, hostels, B&Bs and hotels. Use the search box below to browse through. I’ve also picked out some great choices below.

Barilla Holiday Park: We spent a rainy few days camping at this leafy caravan park in Cambridge, a 15-minute drive from Hobart CBD. As well as camping and caravan sites, the park offers self-contained cabins sleeping up to six people and has a playground, hot pool, restaurant and mini-golf course.

Hobart Showground Campsite: We also camped at this huge, cheap camping ground for a night, which was only around $10!

Hobart Central YHA: I’m a big fan of YHA hostels, as the facilities and standards are usually great. This backpacker hostel, only one block from the waterfront and airport shuttle bus stop, has a selection of dorms and double, twin and family rooms.

Assemblage Boutique Art B&B: This gorgeous, Parisian-style B&B in a late-nineteenth century post office in New Town looks amazing! Not only does it have mountain views and a cafe, but creative workshops are organised by owner Tanya in the onsite art studio.

Alabama Hotel Hobart: If you prefer to stay in the CBD, this funky hotel in the city centre has a communal lounge, laundry and bar as well as free Wi-Fi.


Day 13. Ross

If you enjoy history and have the time, make the detour from Hobart up the Heritage Highway to visit the quaint village of Ross, built by convicts in the early 1800s.

With its pretty stone buildings, this area reminded me of the Cotswolds in England. As well as antique shops and a bakery, Ross also has a beautiful bridge and waterside area.


DISTANCE:

Hobart to Ross: 1 hr 30 mins (120km)

Quaint Ross Bridge in Tasmania.
Ross Bridge

ROSS ACCOMMODATION:

Oatlands Free Caravan Park: We stayed at this free camping ground in nearby Oatlands. It doesn’t have a website, but you’ll find it on the Esplanade along Lake Dulverton, next to Callington Park playground. There aren’t any showers, but there’s a public toilet block very nearby on the Esplanade. You can stay for up to three nights.

Lake Leake Inn: This simple, budget-friendly inn lies between Ross and Freycinet National Park. There’s an on-site bar and restaurant, shared bathrooms and free parking. According to the reviews, it’s a peaceful place with great food and very welcoming hosts.

Elm Trees Accommodation @ Ross: For groups or families preferring self-contained accommodation, this two-bedroom cottage in Ross sleeps four and has a fully equipped kitchen, mountain views and a log fire.


Days 14-16. Bruny Island

Bruny Island is one of the absolute highlights on this Tasmania drive itinerary. We only added it onto our trip after some locals recommended it, (we’d originally planned to visit Maria Island instead) and I was so pleased we did!

For some reason, I was expecting it to be more built up, but it’s actually a really pristine, unspoilt wilderness. We camped in Adventure Bay, the main “town” which basically had a small shop and miniscule petrol station!

The island is full of phenomenal beaches and beautiful bush walks, and the view from the Neck is amazing. There’s plenty of native wildlife too, so keep your eye out for white wallabies, fur seals and fairy penguins!


DISTANCE:

Hobart to Kettering: 35 min (33km)

Kettering to Bruny Island ferry: 30 min

Amazing view from the Neck on Bruny Island.
Amazing view from the Neck on Bruny Island

BRUNY ISLAND TOURS FROM HOBART:

Bruny Island Day Trip from Hobart: This full-day trip to Bruny Island from Hobart includes a rainforest walk, time for a swim, panoramic views from the Neck and lighthouse as well as local food and drink samples along the way.

Bruny Island Full-Day Food, Lighthouse & Sightseeing Tour from Hobart: Sample the best of Bruny Island with this guided tour including a lighthouse tour, local food tasting, stop offs at lookout points, short rainforest walks and lunch at Hotel Bruny.

Bruny Island Wilderness Eco Tour from Hobart: This 10-hour eco tour from Hobart includes morning tea and lunch at a local restaurant and a 3-hour, wildlife-spotting wilderness cruise beneath high cliffs and into deep sea caves.


BRUNY ISLAND ACCOMMODATION:

South Bruny Camping: If you’re self sufficient, you can camp at either Jetty Beach or Cloudy Bay in South Bruny National Park, as well as at The Neck Reserve. We stopped by Jetty Beach, and it was stunning! You’ll need your own water and stove, but there are pit toilets there.

Clear turquoise water at Jetty Beach on Bruny Island.
Jetty Beach on South Bruny Island; there’s a camping ground right behind here!

Captain Cook Holiday Park: We camped at this beachfront caravan park in Adventure Bay. The location opposite a beautiful beach was amazing, and it was useful to have the shop and petrol station nearby. The site has cabins, villas and a large kitchen and communal area for campers.

43 Degrees, Bruny Island: Each of these unique, domed-shape, timber apartments in Adventure Bay comes equipped with a patio, garden view, kitchen, flat-screen TV, air-con and private bathroom with a hot tub!


Days 17-18. Lake St Clair-Cradle Mountain National Park

Part of Tasmania’s UNESCO World Heritage site, Lake St Clair-Cradle Mountain National Park is another of my top recommended places to add to your Tasmania itinerary.

We chose to stay at Lake St Clair on the southern edge of the park, which is home to Australia’s deepest lake, carved out by ice over 2 million years. The scenery here was absolutely gorgeous, with lush pine forests, a mountainous backdrop and pink and silver reflections on the mirror-like water. We could also access a multitude of walking tracks from the visitor centre here, so it made an ideal base.

You could also stay at Cradle Mountain on the north side of the national park, and explore ancient rainforests and glacial lakes. Either way, it’s going to be beautiful. It’s also worth stopping at Mount Field on the way from Hobart to see some of the waterfalls too.


DISTANCE:

Kettering to Lake St Clair: 2 hr 54 min (212km)

Hobart to Lake St Clair: 2 hr 20 min (179km)

Phenomenal silver and pink reflections in Lake St Clair, Australia. A top spot to add to your Tasmania drive itinerary.
View of Lake St Clair from our accommodation at Lake St Clair Lodge

LAKE ST CLAIR & CRADLE MOUNTAIN TOURS & ACTIVITIES:

Lake St Clair & Western Wilderness Full-Day Tour from Hobart: This small-group tour from Hobart includes plenty of time to explore beautiful Lake Clair with the option of a choice of short walks as well as a short rainforest walk in Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park.

Dove Canyon: Full-Day Canyon Tour at Cradle Mountain: If you’re staying at Cradle Mountain and enjoy action-packed adventure, this tour begins with a brave abseil into Dove Canyon. After jumping seven metres into the pool below, you’ll continue past five waterfalls, including a natural waterslide! The day ends with a steep hike back up to dry land.

Cradle Mountain: Dove Lake Circuit Walk: From Cradle Mountain, join a small group on this guided walk to see ancient Glacier rock, majestic Ballroom rainforest and the western shore of Dove Lake.

Mossy green rainforest on the Narcissus Bay walk from Lake St Clair. This is a top destination on a Tasmania drive itinerary.
Narcissus Bay walk from Lake St Clair

LAKE ST CLAIR ACCOMMODATION:

Lake St Clair Lodge: We camped at this lovely lakeside resort just a one-minute drive from Derwent Bridge. The accommodation has lodges, studios and cottages as well as a bar and restaurant. It’s surrounded by nature, and you have immediate access to many walking tracks. I’d highly recommend it.

Derwent Bridge Chalets & Studios: These chalets and studios 5km from Lake St Clair have kitchenettes, en-suite bathrooms, TVs and a cafe next door.


CRADLE MOUNTAIN ACCOMMODATION:

Discovery Parks – Cradle Mountain: If you’re travelling on a budget, you can camp or stay in dorms at this holiday park, or choose from a range of cabins and villas. The site has free Wi-Fi and parking as well as a laundry and barbecues.

Cradle Mountain Hotel: Set in stunning alpine woodland, this 4-star hotel is a five-minute drive to the national park and has free Wi-Fi, heating and an on-site restaurant and bar.


Day 19. Queenstown

The next stop on this Tasmania drive itinerary is Queenstown, the largest town in the west of Tasmania (though still pretty small!). You can learn about Queenstown’s mining history in the local museum, visit lookouts, waterfalls and nearby Ironblow Lookout or have fun on the West Coast Wilderness Railway steam train ride like we did!


DISTANCE:

Lake St Clair to Queenstown: 1 hr 20 min – 91km

Pretty Queenstown shops with mountains in the background in Tasmania, Australia.
Queenstown

QUEENSTOWN ACTIVITIES:

Rack and gorge steam train ride: This was the highlight of Queenstown for us! This Harry Potter-like steam train chugs through lush mountainside rainforest to King River Gorge while the guide tells stories from the gold rush times. You even stop off for a rainforest walk and some gold panning!

Female backpacker on the rack and gorge West Coast wilderness steam train ride in Queenstown, Tasmania.
Me on the West Coast Wilderness rack and gorge steam train in Queenstown

QUEENSTOWN ACCOMMODATION:

Queenstown Cabin and Tourist Park: We camped at this basic tourist park, which has powered and unpowered sites, on-site vans and double and family cabins. Cheap and cheerful!

The Empire Hotel: This 2-star, budget hotel in a heritage building in Queenstown has a mixture of single, double, quadruple (with bunk beds) and family rooms, so it’s great for solo travellers or groups of friends. There’s free Wi-fi, an on-site restaurant and bar and free parking outside.

Comfort Inn Gold Rush: For a bit more comfort, this lovely 3-star motel is only 1km from the centre of Queenstown and has fantastic ratings. The spacious, heated rooms have free Wi-Fi, parking outside, a flat-screen TV, electric blankets and a kitchenette.


Day 20. Strahan

Lying on the shores of Macquarie Harbour, Strahan is a really interesting town to visit, with plenty of history, as well as arts and craft shops to peruse.

The main reason we stayed in Strahan was to join the beautiful World-Heritage Cruise on Gordon River (see below), but you can also stop at Montezuma Falls on the way back up to Devonport; it’s the highest waterfall in Tasmania!


DISTANCE:

Queenstown to Strahan: 45 min (42km)

Strahan to Devonport: 2 hrs 45 min (223km)

Glossy black water and atmospheric clouds on the Gordon River, Tasmania, a great addition to your Tasmania itinerary.
View from the Gordon River World Heritage Cruise

STRAHAN ACTIVITIES:

Gordon River World Heritage Cruise: We loved this relaxing catamaran cruise from Strahan, which includes a buffet lunch, rainforest walk and a guided tour of Sarah Island, Australia’s first penal settlement, where the guide will share lots of gruesome tales! The scenery along the tranquil, inky black Gordon River is absolutely stunning!


STRAHAN ACCOMMODATION:

Strahan Beach Tourist Park: This beachside tourist park is where we camped. The park has a range of cabins, playground , laundry and barbecues and is only a 15-minute walk into town.

Strahan Wilderness Lodge: You can choose a double, twin or queen-size room at this charming waterside lodge in Strahan. There’s free Wi-Fi, parking and a shared garden and lounge.

Strahan Village: This waterfront accommodation is right by Strahan centre, and has an on-site restaurant and bar. The rooms have heating, tea/coffee-making facilities, a fridge and TV.


I hope you found this Tasmania drive itinerary useful! For more ideas, check out my other road trip itineraries below. Happy travels!

Perth to Adelaide Drive Itinerary

Adelaide to Melbourne Drive Itinerary via the Great Ocean Road

Melbourne to Sydney Drive Itinerary

Sydney to Brisbane Drive Itinerary