Are you looking to undertake a trip around Tasmania in a couple of weeks? Well, here’s my ultimate 14 day Tasmania itinerary to help inspire and plan your road trip holiday.
If connecting with nature and enjoying the great outdoors is your passion, Tasmania should be on your bucket list. With the opportunity to witness pristine beauty, World Heritage-listed natural wonders and fascinating history Tasmania allures more travellers each year.
Even though Tasmania’s the smallest state in Australia, there is a lot to discover, which is why choosing places to visit is often the most difficult part when planning a road trip.
Within this guide, you will find a suggested itinerary for Tasmania with places to stop, sights to see, activities you won’t want to miss and practical information. I have also included a FREE map to help plan your trip.
Throughout the post, you can find some additional suggestions on what to do and see in Tasmania if you have more time.
Continue reading to find my 2 week Tasmania itinerary below.
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Featured Image: Summit of Kunanyi / Mt Wellington © Luke Tscharke
- What to Expect on Road Trips in Tasmania
- Getting Around Tasmania – Campervan or Car
- Tasmania Self Drive Itinerary Times
- Tasmania Road Trip Map
- 14 day Tasmania Itinerary
What to Expect on Road Trips in Tasmania
Tasmania is a place of beauty and isolation, where the landscape is sculpted by nature. A road trip in Tasmania allows you to experience a diverse amount of scenery following pristine coastlines, driving through charming towns, pretty farmlands and exploring ancient World Heritage-listed wilderness and landmarks.
What amazed me and what makes this state appealing is the contrast from the east to the west coast. On a Tasmania driving holiday along the east coast, you’ll uncover striking orange rock formations, and white sandy beaches fringed with turquoise blue water. It’s an unapparelled difference on the west with tea-stained rivers and untamed subtropical rainforest.
Starting and finishing a road trip from Hobart is typically the ideal option for many travellers as this is where many people fly into Tasmania. In saying this, if you are flying into Launceston or travelling across the Bass Strait on the Spirit of Tasmania this guide is versatile in the way you can also use Launceston or any destination listed as your starting base.
A Tasmanian road trip can be broken up into two main trips – east coast and west coast. If you have time to enjoy travelling Tasmania at a slower pace you can easily spend two weeks exploring each coast, which is why I have added optional detours and additional destinations in this guide. For the benefit of travellers who only have 14 days to see as much of the state as possible, I have created a realistic itinerary with many of the popular places to visit for this time frame.
Note: There are traveller experiences in the cities and towns around Tasmania. To save you money and time I have included in this guide links to all the top-rated tours.
Getting Around Tasmania – Campervan or Car
Unless you are taking a form of transportation over on the Spirit of Tasmania you will need to hire a van, car or campervan for your trip. I recommend using a website like rentalcars.com to compare the prices of the leading car rental companies.
Download the Wikicamps Australia app if you are hiring a campervan, to find caravan parks and camping locations along the route.
Pro Tip: If you are hiring a car or travelling for an extended period,cover any unforeseen circumstances by taking out travel insurance with Cover-More before travelling.
Tasmania Self Drive Itinerary Times
As a practical guide, I have mapped out the times and distances between each of the recommended places I have mentioned below. Please be advised this is a guide as the road conditions can make the travel time longer than predicted on Google Maps.
- Hobart to Swansea: 135 km | 2 hr
- Swansea to Coles Bay: 59 km | 45 min
- Coles Bay to Bicheno: 38 km | 29 min
- Bicheno to Binalong Bay: 87 km | 1 hr 10 min
- Binalong Bay to Launceston: 177 km | 2 hr 13 min
- Launceston to Cradle Mountain: 150 km | 2 hr 11 min
- Cradle Mountain to Strahan: 146 km | 2 hr
- Strahan to Lake St Clair: 131 km | 2 hr
- Lake St Clair to Hobart: 179 km |2 hr 23 min
Tasmania Road Trip Map
Map out your adventure using the below resource that has been created if you are taking a driving holiday in Tasmania.
Click this link to download a quick road trip guide and interactive map. Included in the Google map are highlights of what not to miss at the destinations, along with optional detours and day trips along the way.
If you have the flexibility to travel at a slower pace, you may choose to add more destinations to the itinerary. If you are short on time and 14 days is the maximum time you have, add the others to your bucket list for a future trip. I guarantee once you have been to Tasmania you’ll want to return.
Tip: Always check the road conditions before embarking on your journey, particularly if you are travelling in winter where some roads can be closed due to snow and poor conditions.
14 day Tasmania Itinerary
Stop 1: Hobart (4 nights)
This legendary loop starts – and ends – in Hobart. Hobart is the second oldest capital city after Sydney, dating back to 1804. Start your day with a trip up Kunanyi / Mount Wellington. At 1270 metres the summit lookout provides stunning views over Hobart and the surrounding areas.
You are in luck if you’ve worked up an appetite as Hobart has earned a reputation for world-class food and wine. If you plan to be in Hobart on a Saturday, you’ll discover many of the local culinary delights at the Salamanca Markets with over 220 stalls selling not only fresh local produce, but gift ideas and handmade products. Afterwards, stroll around Battery Point – Hobart’s prettiest neighbourhood and along the picturesque Salamanca waterfront.
Practical Information: Hobart’s Salamanca Markets are held every Saturday from 8.30 am to 3 pm.
For culture and history buffs there is the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery with a range of interactive exhibits and a diversity of collections on display. A bold and somewhat theatrical collection of ancient, modern, and contemporary art can be found at MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) which is a private collection owned by David Walsh.
For garden enthusiasts, somewhere to throw down your picnic rug or to reconnect with nature is at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. The 14 hectares of gardens established in 1818 boats several unique collections including the world’s only Subantarctic Plant House.
The longest timeframe for your road trip has been allocated to Tasmania’s capital city – for good reason! Hobart is rich in activities and attractions and is also the perfect hub to explore the surrounding areas. Take your time exploring and make the days your own.
If you are wanting to know about the day trips from Hobart, see the list below.
Hobart to Bruny Island
Distance – 50 minutes
Hop on the ferry to Bruny Island, about 20 minutes offshore from Kettering. Sitting off the southeast coast of Tasmania, Bruny is two islands joined by a narrow isthmus known as The Neck, where you can marvel at the spectacular vistas from the top. There are many walking trails for all fitness levels making it a haven for those who love to explore on foot. Keep your eyes open as Bruny Island is teeming with wildlife both on and off-land. For a refreshing dip or beach walk, there are many quiet beaches dotted on South Bruny. With a thriving food and wine scene sample some of the local delicacies or stock up for your trip home.
Hobart to Port Arthur
Distance – 1 hr 26 min
Step back in time and immerse yourself in Tasmania’s colonial history. The World Heritage-listed Port Arthur site dates back to 1830 as a penal settlement and was known as the ‘inescapable prison’, housing over 12,500 convicts before it closed in 1877.
Over the 40-hectare site, there are more than 30 buildings, restored period homes and ruins. Visitors can spend their time exploring the grounds and listening to the local guides on the walking tour and harbour cruise who share detailed knowledge of life for the convicts in the settlement. Click here to buy entry tickets.
Hobart to Richmond
Distance – 25 min
Travel to the small town of Richmond where the streets are lined with Georgian buildings that have been perfectly restored into cafes, restaurants, and galleries. Drive over Richmond Bridge, which is known as the oldest existing stone arch bridge in Australia, opening in 1825.
Another piece of history in town is Richmond Gaol which predates the penal colony of Port Arthur and is the oldest intact gaol in Australia. Take a self-guided tour to learn about the stories of men and women who were imprisoned within the walls until it closed in 1928.
Continuing with the historic theme you can’t visit Richmond without a trip to Sweets and Treats “lolly shop.” Based on the old-fashioned style candy shops and milk bars, chances are you’ll find your favourite treat from your childhood behind their doors.
Stop 2: Maria Island (0vernight Swansea)
Today you will be parting ways with the city and meandering through farmlands until reaching Triabunna, the town sitting on the edge of Spring Bay on the East Coast of Tasmania.
It is here where you can take a short 30-minute ferry ride to spend a leisurely day exploring Maria Island.
Maria Island is a gem; it is rich in history and natural beauty. Even if you go in winter when the days are shorter, there’s still time to see its best attractions. Without a doubt, the cutest of these is the island’s wombats. They’re not hard to find, these adorable bundles of fur will shuffle past you soon after you leave the ferry.
A 45-minute walk along beautiful Hopground Beach takes you to the Painted Cliffs. The yellow, white and red striped rocks are an amazing sight, you’ll need to visit at low tide to get the best view. Kids will love also the Fossil Cliffs. The grey rock walls are packed with fossilised shells.
There are some great walks you can do in a day too. On your way back from the Painted cliffs take the Oast House track through the forest past historic buildings. The Fossil Cliffs Circuit has breathtaking clifftop views and you’ll walk through fields dotted with kangaroos, euros and wombats. Serious walkers can try the hike to the top of the Bishop and Clerk peak.
In a day you can see the Painted Cliffs, the Fossil Cliffs and do a couple of the shorter walks. There are also many historic buildings and ruins to look through in the islands only town Darlington. Whether you have a busy day walking or just relax at the beach amongst the wombats, Maria Island will be a highlight of your self drive Tasmania trip.
Thank you to Natalie from Curious Campers who contributed this information on Maria Island.
Stay: Your accommodation for the night is in the charming coastal town of Swansea 50 kilometres / 35 minutes away. Click here to find the best accommodation deals, including the popular Swansea Beach Chalets.
Stop 3: Coles Bay (Overnight Bicheno)
Continuing north up the East Coast of Tasmania your destination today is the beautiful Freycinet National Park.
Boasting powder-white beaches, turquoise waters, rugged coastline, and breathtaking scenery it is little surprise this location is one of the most visited within Tasmania.
With many walking tracks in the area, strap on your hiking shoes to witness the national park up close. Cape Tourville Lighthouse walk is an easy 600-metre circuit where you will be rewarded with coastal views of Freycinet National Park. It is, however, the aerial view of Wineglass Bay that many people seek when they are visiting Freycinet National Park. The steep 1.3 km climb up to the lookout is worth the effort for one of the most iconic views in Tasmania.
If time permits stop at Honeymoon Bay. The secluded beach is nestled between rocky headlands and the crystal-clear turquoise water is the perfect spot for a swim and snorkel.
Practical Information: You can buy a national park pass at the Freycinet National Park Centre with many options ranging from 1 day to 1-year passes.
If you have worked up an appetite and are searching for a seafood lunch before continuing on your way, then drop in at Freycinet Marine Farm, which serves up fresh seafood that can be eaten in an alfresco setting or taken with you.
Stay: Your accommodation for the two nights and a fabulous hub to explore the East Coast of Tasmania will be Bicheno. Click here to find the best places to stay in Bicheno.
If you fancy a close encounter with one of Tasmania’s cute locals – the fairy penguin, take a Bicheno Penguin Tour with an expert guide at dusk.
Stop 4: Binalong Bay (Overnight Binalong Bay or St Helens)
Continuing with the blue theme and another one of Tasmania’s social media stars is your next stop – the stunning Bay of Fires in North East Tasmania.
Home to giant orange lichen-masked boulders, sapphire-coloured waters and powder white sand this area has been named a trending travel destination to visit by Lonely Planet. Stretching for over 50 kilometres the Bay of Fires conservation area extends from Binalong Bay in the south to Eddystone Point in the north.
If you are in the area for one night, you can easily spend the day in the township of Binalong Bay which is where you’ll find the main beach perfect for some swimming, snorkelling or simply relaxing on the sand. For some land activities, there are scenic coastal walks and if you are an avid photographer seek out the views near Skeleton Bay Reserve.
Further north, take the short drive from Binalong Bay to the Gardens taking your time to stop at the secluded beaches and enjoy the picturesque views along the way, including from the lookout located at the end of Gardens Road.
Read More: Find More Beaches to Visit in Tasmania here.
Where to stay when visiting the Bay of Fires area
Camping – There are campsites located in the southern and northern sections of the Bay of Fires Conservation area.
Binalong Bay – Even though Binalong Bay is a small township you will find many comfortable holiday homes in the area. Click here to find all the accommodation options in Binalong Bay.
St Helens – Only 10 kilometres from Binalong Bay is the coastal town of St Helens. As the largest town on the northeast coast, there are many dining options along with ample accommodation here. Click here to find all the accommodation options in St Helens.
Stop 5: Launceston (2 nights)
In the morning head west with a choice of two different driving routes until you hit Launceston, the second-largest city in Tasmania.
Once you’re in Launceston, visit City Park where you can stroll around five hectares of beautifully manicured gardens, stopping at the Japanese macaque enclosure to visit the monkey’s and the John Hart Conservatory which is filled with a beautiful collection of seasonal blooms.
Within the city take a self-guided walking tour with a choice of three heritage trails where you can admire beautifully restored colonial and Victorian buildings and marvel at one of Australia’s most intact cityscapes.
A short drive north will see you exploring a unique ecosystem bursting with plant and animal life at the Tamar Island Wetlands. While another attraction not to be missed just outside of the city is Cataract Gorge, a natural formation home to walking trails, colourful gardens, a free outdoor swimming pool and the world’s longest single-span chairlift.
Have More Time?
If you have an extra night to spare, you can choose a detour before continuing to Cradle Mountain. Meander through farmlands and historic towns until you reach the town of Stanley, located on the northwest coast of Tasmania. Home to a striking volcanic plug called “The Nut” – think a giant geological feature that rises 150 metres out of the water dominating the skyline of the small town. The Nut is one of the biggest attractions for visitors with the summit being reached by either a steep walk or by taking the chairlift that soars 95 metres above the ground. Don’t forget your camera as once at the top take in the 360-degree views.
The drive from Launceston to Stanley will take approximately three hours, which is why I had marked it as an extra stop.
Read More About Stanley: Tasmania with Kids Guide
Stop 6: Cradle Mountain (2 nights)
You’re past the halfway point of your 14 day Tasmania road trip adventure and you’re about to say farewell to the vineyards and farmlands for a while as you enter the rugged untamed west coast. With a landscape bathed in green, the West Coast of Tasmania will steal your heart with its pristine beauty and leave you in awe with the history it holds.
Today you’ll journey into the mighty Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. There are ancient pines within emerald green forests, dramatic mountains, majestic lakes, and tumbling waterfalls to be discovered.
One of the jewels in the park, in the northern end, is Dove Lake – a stunning reflective glacial lake. Spend a few hours walking the popular circuit around the lake or spending the day tackling some of the mountain hikes.
Discover more picturesque walks around Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge and keep your eyes open for wombats and wallabies that are often found in this area.
Stay: I highly recommend Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge for accommodation. The location is a great starting point for lots of short walks in the area and a great location to Dove Lake.
Optional Detour – Montezuma Falls
If you love chasing waterfalls you won’t want to miss this one. Take a detour on your way to Strahan to see Montezuma Falls, Tasmania’s highest waterfall, plunging 104 metres into a rainforest oasis and creek below. The 3- 3.5 hour return walk is relatively easy (though wet weather shoes are suggested as the track can be muddy and wet) and will take you through a rainforest of myrtle, sassafras, leatherwood, and giant tree ferns. If you don’t mind heights there is a suspension bridge at the base of the falls that links either side of the creek to give expansive views of Montezuma Falls and the surrounding valley.
Stop 7: Strahan (2 nights)
Your ultimate destination for today is Strahan, a quaint harbour-side village set on the edge of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Strahan is the gateway to Franklin-Gordon Rivers National Park, which boasts ancient Huon Pines, dramatic mountain peaks, densely forested river banks and tannin-stained rivers. It is also here where you will learn the fascinating history of the convict and pioneer days with the park containing historic sites.
Two of the best ways to experience Strahan is by taking either (or both) the boat cruise or train ride which provides visitors with the opportunity to experience the dramatic and untamed landscapes up close whilst learning of its history.
Stop 8: Lake St Clair (1 night)
From Strahan, the road winds around dramatic mountains and through towns known for their rich mining history, cool temperatures, and attractive farmland.
Surrounded by an impressive mountain-scape is Queenstown, the largest town in Tasmania’s west and another departure point for the West Coast Wilderness Railway. Evidence of the mining era can be seen ten minutes past Queenstown at the incredible Iron Blow Lookout. Walk along the skywalk for a magnificent bird’s eye view of an open-cut mine. On a sunny day, this is particularly beautiful when the rays capture the colours in the pit’s walls.
Continuing on the Tasmanian road trip to Hobart the road leads through valleys and more mountains till you reach Lake St Clair, located at the southern end of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and Australia’s deepest natural freshwater lake (167 metres).
Break your journey with a self-guided walk around Lake St Clair: there are three varied short walks to give you a taste of the area. Another way to gain an appreciation for the beauty of this area is to take a ferry from Cynthia Bay.
Upon leaving Lake St Clair, drop into Derwent Bridge to visit The Wall in the Wilderness, a 100 metre Huon Pine art sculpture that pays homage to the history of the highlands. If you are feeling hungry by now, stop for a meal at the Derwent Bridge Wilderness Hotel, or the Hungry Wombat Café.
You can easily spend a full day driving from Strahan to Hobart with many places to stop and detours to take, which is why I have added a night near Derwent Bridge to break up the last leg of the road trip.
Where to stay at Lake St Clair
Pumphouse Point – If you are travelling without kids finish your road trip in style with a night at the Pumphouse Point – a boutique adults-only style accommodation.
An alternative option in the area is Lake St Clair Lodge.
Your great driving holiday in Tasmania is almost over! There’s only 175km left (unless you take the below detour) on this epic road trip as you make your way back towards where it all began, Hobart.
Optional Detour – Mount Field National Park
After leaving Lake St Clair, en route to Hobart you have the option of a detour to Mount Field National Park, or continuing to the city via the historic town of Hamilton on the A10.
Mount Field National Park is a haven for nature lovers with a range of walks suitable for all fitness levels, and some enchanting waterfalls to admire. It is here where you will find one of the prettiest and possibly most photographed waterfalls in Tasmania – Russell Falls. Given Russell Falls is accessible to all abilities (including wheelchairs) and only a 20-minute return walk through the scenic Tasmanian rainforest it is one of the highlights for all visitors.
Practical Information: The road conditions and the mountainous terrain can make travelling through some areas in Tasmania slow. This may be the case when driving from Strahan to Hobart, so allow plenty of time if you need to board a flight.
Do you have any questions about Tasmania? Let me know the places you plan to visit in the comments below.
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