Hobart – Freycinet National Park – Launceston – Stanley – Cradle Mountain – Strahan – Hobart
6 days drive
Soak up Hobart’s convict history before heading to Freycinet National Park and the perfect curve of Wineglass Bay. Swim in St Helens and do the Bay of Fires Walk in Mount William National Park. Look over Launceston from Cataract Gorge and cycle along Devonport’s waterfront. Soothe your soul in the World Heritage-listed wilderness of Cradle Mountain - Lake St. Clair National Park. Stay in Strahan and cruise the Gordon River or white water raft the furious Franklin. Walk from waterfalls and fern forests to ski fields in Mount Field National Park. From the tranquil beaches of Tasmania’s east to the rugged mountains flanking the west, this circle will leave you spellbound.
Cruise or kayak Hobart’s Derwent river, wander the bustling Salamanca Markets on a Saturday morning and wander past the 19th century sandstone warehouses of Sullivan’s Cove. Traveling north, take in breathtaking views of Great Oyster Bay and Maria Island before stopping near Swansea for freshly made jams. Then head to Freycinet National Park, where you can do a short walk or challenging hike to the top of Mount Amos for breathtaking views of Wineglass Bay, Mount Freycinet and Mount Graham. Cruise past birds, whales and dolphins and sea kayak under the red granite cliffs of the Hazards Ranges. Camp here or spend the night in nearby Coles Bay, Bicheno or Swansea.
Stop off at St Helens to swim, surf and indulge in fresh seafood. Then head to rugged Mount William National Park, where the Bay of Fires Walk winds you past boulder-covered beaches, unique plants, native animals and ancient Aboriginal middens. Pass through the tin-mining town of Derby and contented cows of Scottsdale before reaching Launceston. Take in panoramic views of the city from Cataract Gorge, where you can cross a suspension bridge above raging waters or ride on the world’s longest single span chairlifts. Afterwards, taste cool climate wines on a tour of the Tamar Valley and pamper yourself at the local spa.
Browse art and craft galleries in historic Deloraine, murals in Sheffield and antique shops in Latrobe. Arrive in Devonport, where the Spirit of Tasmania ships are almost landmarks. Walk or cycle along the waterfront, surf at The Bluff and row or sail the Mersey River. Don’t miss Narawntapu National Park, where kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and pademelons graze peacefully on the grass. Meander through the coastal gems of Ulverstone, Burnie and tulip-filled Wynyard. Stop in Stanley, a fishing village framed by the volcanic outcrop known as ‘The Nut’. See seal and fairy penguins around the port and walk or take the chairlift to the top of the headland for sweeping coastal views.
Soothe your soul in the World Heritage-listed wilderness of Cradle Mountain - Lake St. Clair National Park. Climb Cradle Mountain, walk around the mirrored waters of Dove Lake or trek the famous 65-kilometre Overland Track all the way to Lake St Clair. Soar over the park on a scenic flight, go fly fishing and feed wallabies, wombats and possums on a nocturnal wildlife tour. Stay overnight in simple cabins, or just outside the park in mountain lodges.
Follow the road than 90 bends down into Queenstown, once the world's richest gold and copper mine, or arrive on a scenic rack-and-pinion railway. Explore the former sliver mining town of Zeehan before looping back to Strahan, the gateway to Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed wild west. Cruise down the majestic Gordon River or white water raft the Franklin River in Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. Back in Strahan, you can kayak on Macquarie Harbour, walk windswept Ocean Beach and explore pine and myrtle forests by four wheel drive. Soar over ancient Huon forests in a sea plane or relax and indulge in great food and wine.
Travel along the Lyell Highway, back through the heart of Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed wilderness. Stop in Tarraleah, an old hydro-electric town where platypus, quolls, wallabies, wombats, Tasmanian devils and echidnas wander the streets. Take a side trip to Mount Field National Park, where you can bushwalk through lush fern forests to the spectacular Russell Falls and Lady Barron Falls. You can cross-country ski past windswept snow gums on the highland plateaus. Before you reach Hobart, check out classic village square and antique stores of New Norfolk.