An often-forgotten state on the backpackers route of Australia, Tasmania is fast growing in popularity and it’s no surprise to see why. Everybody who has been raves about the unspoilt countryside and friendly locals so we decided to take a 10 day Tasmanian road trip to check it out.
How to get to Tasmania
Flights to Tasmania are incredibly cheap from Sydney and Melbourne – you’ll often find tickets for $30 – $50 one way so this can often be the cheapest and fastest way to reach the island.
Although there is a public bus system in Tasmania, the easiest way by far is to drive. Hiring a car isn’t too expensive and allows you far more freedom to head off the beaten track – literally in our case but more on that another time. We rented a vivid orange Honda from Budget for £130 ($221).
Want to take your own car? The Spirit of Tasmania ferry offers morning and night cruises to Devonport from $59.
Planning a route for your Tasmania road trip
Planning our route around Tasmania was a little harder than expected. With it being the summer season, lots of budget accommodation was booked up and typically we had left it until the last minute to plan.
Luckily however, it’s pretty easy to drive a circular loop of the island! Within a few hours we had a top notch itinerary planned for our road trip around Tasmania.
Due to the scarcity of accommodation and also to avoid moving each day, we decided to base ourselves in four places:
Day 1: Hobart. We flew in and out from Tasmania’s capital. Points of interest – Port Arthur, Mount Wellington, MONA.
Days 2 – 5: Swansea. Points of interest – Freycinet National Park, Binalong Bay, Bay of Fires.
In hindsight, it’s extremely quiet in Swansea so don’t stay for more than one night. A suggested historic tour of the town actually includes the General Store. I kid you not. We ended up spending (too many) hours at the wifi hotspot planning the rest of our travels. The same goes for Coles Bay where the town centre consists of a Bistro and a convenience store.
My personal recommendation is to stay in nearby Bicheno. There’s a little more going on here including an adorable baby penguin that lives under a rock!
Day 6: Devonport. An additional overnight stop to avoid the long drive from Swansea to Strahan. Points of Interest – drive here via Liffey Falls, Launceston.
Days 7 – 8: Strahan. Points of interest – Cradle Mountain National Park, Lake Gordon.
Days 9 – 10: Hobart
Did we stick to the plan?
No, no we did not. After a lovely message from a friend, we scrapped Devonport and Strahan for this beautiful St Helens beach house…
Unfortunately, this did mean that we missed Cradle Mountain from our trip which I’d absolutely love to go back and see one day. Instead, we enjoyed some much needed relaxation after a hectic few weeks.
Although we did change our plans, our original itinerary will work really well if you are looking to do a circular loop of the island. With a mix of white sand beaches, rolling hills and clear lakes, the Tasmanian road trip is all about outdoorsy, relaxed fun.
One last thing – if you’re surgically attached to your phone, prepare yourself. Telstra is about the only network that has reliable coverage in the more rural areas so bring a good book!
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