Traversing Tasmania

06 Jul 2020

When was the last time you took a road trip around Tasmania? If you were already thinking of taking a holiday this year, now could be the right time to rediscover home turf.

The school holidays are here and are a great time for longer stays to those areas of Tasmania you have been wanting to visit or haven’t been to in a long time. Here is a comprehensive refresher in all things ‘Tassie’ to help get you inspired.

Driving along Tasmania’s northwest corner provides plenty of opportunity to stop at some of the state’s most loved family beaches, reserves and towns.

  • There’s nothing quite like a winter walk along a beach and there are plenty to explore along the northern coast. Take your pick of Port Sorell, Hawley Beach or Boat Harbour. All are a great place to have a picnic followed by a walk to discover what’s taking shelter in the rock pools. Spend a night or two to experience the brilliant sunsets.
  • In Burnie, immerse yourself in an exhibition at the Makers Workshop, or, drop into Penguin to take the kids to a 1960s space-inspired playground.
  • For those with time to spare, a trip to Stanley provides a chance to tap into Tasmania’s natural and historic heritage. Get your daily workout by climbing to the top of the Nut to embrace Tassie’s winds. After catching your breath, head to Highfield Historic Site to walk through the homestead and gardens of historic figure, Edward Curr, the chief agent of the Van Diemen’s Land Company. This farming corporation helped establish the future for the Circular Head community.
  • There’s also plenty of great stops inland. A short 15 minute drive from Devonport will take you to the small town of Eugenana and the Tasmanian Arboretum. Explore 66 hectares of landscaped tree planting and natural bushland. A relaxing stop off on your road trip, there are five walking trails to stretch your legs.
  • Nearby at Sheffield, marvel at the town’s famous outdoor murals that tell the story of the region and its local characters. Consider the 90-minute return walk to Kimberleys Lookout  for 360-degree views of Mount Roland, Cradle Mountain and the Great Western Tiers as well as the region’s rich agricultural land.

Head west to Strahan, Queenstown or Zeehan. If you’ve never been out west or it’s been awhile, it’s well worth checking out the raw and rugged landscapes and towns. The stories of this landscape span convict detention on Sarah Island, the toughness and determination of Tasmania’s miners, and the story of hydro. From the ‘moonscape’ around Queenstown, to the beauty of the South West Wilderness area – our west coast is incredibly diverse and wild.

The West Coast Tas website has all the details you need on accommodation, where to eat, places to visit and if you’re into mountain biking, where to ride.

In between exploring the heritage centres, museums and shops, make time to go beyond the main street and take in some scenic sights. Leave time for these outdoor thrills:

  • Hogarth Falls on the fringe of Strahan is one of Tasmania’s Great Short Walks.
  • Experience the joy of running down a steep sand dune at the impressive Henty Dunes.
  • In Queenstown, the 40 minute walk to Donaghys Hill Lookout will reward you with views of the Franklin River. Or, you can try having a kick of the footy at the infamous gravel oval in town. Quite possibly the most ‘famed and feared’ football field in Australia.
  • Zeehan’s Spray Tunnel Loop is a one-hour return walk that includes a 100m long abandoned railway tunnel carved through a hill and the relics of abandoned buildings.

Depending on travel dates, you might be able to get to the theatre and watch Australia’s longest running play, The Ship That Never Was. The play recounts a surprising story from Tasmania’s convict past. Take a trip via Gordon River Cruises, which will be operating from 10 July 2020.

Taking the East Coast Tasmania Drive will lead you to more spectacular beaches and iconic destinations.

  • Beat the usual tourist crowds and head to Wineglass Bay lookout. If you have the time and energy continue on to Wineglass Bay or Hazards Beach below.
  • At St Helens head to the Gulch and the Blowhole, and join a penguin tour. Head further north to Binalong Bay and Mt William National Park which takes in the beautiful Bay of Fires and Eddystone Point. Whether it’s a beach walk in solitude, a trail through the wilderness to view wildlife or just a great spot to read a book and listen to the waves, it’s a beautiful region.
  • Join the mountain biking revolution and tackle some trails at the Blue Tiers.
  • Visit one of the many great vineyards offering tastings and wine sales. Stop a while to meet the growers and makers and support these small local businesses.
  • The coastal villages of Orford, Swansea and Coles Bay are perfect base locations in the region making day trips a breeze and providing the opportunity to fall asleep to the song of the sea each evening.

To make the most of your holiday, head online or contact individual businesses directly first for the most up-to-date information on opening time and services.