“Go Behind the Scenery” and discover Tassie’s idyllic heritage sites, elaborate artwork and picturesque and historic towns. Fall in love with its coastal tours and seascapes and go on an adventurous road trip in its lively wildlife and nature preserves in your hotel-on-wheels.
Traverse the captivating beauty through self-drive trails all over the regions of Tasmania. Here’s your guide on what to pack, what to see and where to park when travelling in Tasmania.
Getting there and getting around
Before we begin to sift through the gems, there are some things you might want to know about getting to Tassie. Wherever you might want to start your adventure, there’s surely a flight that will suit your fancy. There are a number of flights you can choose to fly into.
The Apollo branch in Tasmania is located less than 2km from Hobart International Airport, which has domestic flights to and from mainland Australia. A perfect point to start your self-drive adventure.
What to pack for a road trip to Tasmania
In our previous blog post, we discussed which packing mistakes you might be doing. Tasmania’s climate has generally cool temperature with four seasons. The average maximum daily summer temperatures are between 17 and 23 degrees Celsius and winter daily temperatures sit between 3 and 11 degrees Celsius. But for those who are not aware, weather conditions don’t only change from season to season or even everyday, but every hour! Packing can be tricky for Tassie so here are some tips on the not-so-obvious things you need to include in your luggage:
- Warm clothes and walking shoes
In Tasmania, the old joke “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes” applies. Bring clothes that you can layer when it gets too cold for your liking and then you can easily remove when it’s humid again. Jackets, jumpers, long pants and even gloves may do just the trick. Try to bring an extra pair of walking shoes too, you’ll need them. Of course, be sure to pack appropriate clothes if you’re visiting coastal areas.
- Sun protection
Sunburn is common in Tasmania and you’ll need to protect yourself from possible skin cancer. Stock up on some SPF 30+ sunscreen and use it wisely. Sunscreen is meant to be applied at least twenty minutes before you go outdoors and every two hours after that (SunSmart, 2014). If wearing sunscreen is too sticky for your liking, don on a hat to protect your face, neck and ears or you can wear long-sleeved shirts and sunglasses to protect you from the sun’s glare.
- Paper maps
Yes, we have arrived in the digital age and I know that Google Maps and Apple Maps are readily available to get you going. But just in case your mobile phone runs out of battery or just does not want to cooperate when you most need it, a comprehensive paper map will be your lifesaver. Plus, it’ll have tips and tricks you can rely on. Get ahead of yourself and buy a map in Hobart Airport or in tourism centres.
(Download our new Apollo E-Book for a guide for what you should pack and how to enjoy your campervan holidays)
Drive in Tasmania
Once you have your packing list in check, it’s time to move over to your itinerary. It’s hard to think of a place to begin from as there are so many places that you’ll want to see. Even if you do go to one or two of the self-drive itineraries like the Convict trail or Huon trail, it will never be enough. But fret not, because there’s a solution.
By taking the Coast to Coast Itinerary provided by Discover Tasmania, you can see almost everything and go almost anywhere for by combining “the best of all touring routes” in Tasmania. So leave no stone unturned!
- Hobart to Port Arthur (1 hr 10 min / 95 km)
- A perfect to place to start, learn about Tasmania’s beginnings in Richmond driving from Hobart.
- Visit the vineyards and wineries of the Coal River Valley.
- See the extensive collection of convict artifacts at the Colonial and Convict Exhibition in Copping.
- Go to Eaglehawk Neck for the Pirate Bay, a beach with a picture-perfect coastline.
- Drive south and see the coastal rock formations of the Devils Kitchen, Tasman Arch, Blowhole and Remarkable Cave.
- Explore the World Heritage listed Port Arthur Historic Site.
- Port Arthur to Orford (1 hr 31 min / 121 km)
- In Orford, you can relax in its clean beaches like Raspins, Millingons, Spring and Rheban.
- You can camp or park your campervan in Raspins.
- Go on several walks including the Convict Trail, the cliff tops in East Shelly Beach and Spring Beach or the Thumbs Lookout in Wielangta Forest.
- Visit the Maria Island National Park where wildlife roam free. Get here by purchasing a ticket from the Visitor Centre.
- Return to mainland Tasmania by ferry.
- Orford to Coles Bay (1 hr 30 min / 115 km)
- Go north and enjoy the stunning views of Great Oyster Bay.
- On your way to Swansea, you can sample berries of sorts and have great ice cream.
- Have your lunch at Swansea. A few kilometres away are wineries and the Freycinet National Park and walk through different ideal locations.
- See one of the world’s most photographed beaches, Wineglass Bay.
- Or simply relax on the deck of Freycinet Lodge with great food and wine.
- If you have some more time, visit Bicheno! (Article: Exploring Bicheno: Tasmania’s Hidden Jewel)
- Coles Bay to St Helens (1 hr 31 min / 114 km)
- St Helens to Derby (1 hr 03 min / 66 km)
- Visit the St Helens History Room for the region’s tin mining industry and Chinese and Aboriginal heritage. Or go to Humbug Point Reserve, just north of St Helens.
- See the 90 metre St Columba Falls in the state reserve.
- Go through a walk in the Big Tree Walk and see stunning sassafras, fern glade, eucalyptus, musk, myrtle and mosses.
- Stunning coastlines and brightly coloured rock formations are found in Mt William National Park on your way to Derby.
- Derby to Bridport (49 min / 54 km)
- From the road going to Scottsdale, pause at the Red Bridge for significant Chinese mining heritage of the area.
- See the impressive Ralphs Falls in the Mt Victoria Forest Reserve.
- If you’re visiting from December to January, take a tour to Bridestowe Lavender Farm to see how lavender is harvested and processed for its fragrant oils.
- Discover the secrets of the region’s forest heritage at Forest Eco Centre.
- Go fishing at the coastal village of Bridport where you can rent some equipment.
- Bridport to Launceston (1 hr 10 min / 78 km)
- There are several coastal walks in Bridport that you can choose from.
- Play in Barnbougle Lost Farm, which is Australia’s No 1 public golf course.
- Visit Belle’s Tea Rooms, go on the NE Arts Trail, the George Town Heritage Trail and Lown Head, which is also in George Town.
- Enjoy great Tasmanian scallop pies at the Cafe
- Before you go to Launceston, stop at Mount George Lookout for some fantastic views of the valley and surrounding districts.
- In Launceston, troll along the picturesque Tamar Island and spot the birdlife along the way.
- Sample and buy Swiss chocolates in Grindelwald.
- Continue to Beaconsfield for its rich mining history where the Grubb Shaft Gold and Heritage Museum will show you how gold mining is done.
- North of Beauty Point is the Seahorse World and its neighbor, the Platypus house where you can watch Tasmanian platypuses.
If it so happens that you are in Hobart on a Saturday, don’t dare miss the Salamanca Market in Salamanca Place which is held from 8:30am to 3pm. As one of the most visited attractions in Tasmania, it attracts thousands of locals and visitors for more than 300 stalls of food, fresh fruits, crisp vegetables and even music. Highlighted in the market are handmade Tasmanian woodwork pieces, jewelry, fashion, glassware and ceramics.
If you’re planning to have a short getaway in Tassie, we’ve got your back! (Read more: Your 4-Day Self-Drive Itinerary In Hobart)
Tasmania is definitely worth a tour on a campervan. all the places and things you will be able to visit and see will surely last a lifetime.
Now that you have the information you need, you can start your adventurous road trip, anytime. The best thing about it? You’re in charge.
Don’t forget to download our brand new ApolloConnect App!
With access to campsites, vehicle ‘how-to’ & safety videos plus great deals on local attractions, ApolloConnect is your must-have travel companion.