Photo credit: Stefano Lubiana Wines
From the offbeat scenery of the Outback to the surfer’s paradise of the Great Ocean Road, Australia is well known for its epic road trips. Yet if you’re in the mood for stunning vistas without the tourists, you might want to consider hopping a ferry and hitting the road in Tasmania. Many think of Tasmania as just a mini-Australia, but it features its own unique culture and a range of diverse landscapes from beaches to mountains.
Planning your Trip
There are several ways to arrive in Tasmania and get behind the wheel. One option is to fly into the major cities of Hobart or Launceston and hire a car there. If you’ve already been road-tripping around Australia, you can take your car on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry overnight to the smaller port town of Devonport and begin your journey there. The best type of car for your journey will depend on whether you plan to stick to the major sights or take part in off-roading in the mountains. Generally, roads are well tended in Tasmania, but it’s helpful to compare cars online with Motoring to find a suitable option to match your itinerary first. Although there’s no shortage of hostels, B&B’s, and campsites along the motorways, a campervan can be a good option if you want to take care of transport and accommodation in one fell swoop.
Both Launceston and Hobart are worth a visit on your journey. Launceston serves as a popular gateway to outdoor activities like trekking or cycling through the Cataract Gorge, and also is a stopping point on the popular Tamar Valley wine route. While Launceston features many green spaces and a laid-back atmosphere, Hobart is more energetic. At the base of Mount Wellington, it boasts Georgian architecture and a rich colonial history, along with a range of museums, art galleries, and buzzing cafes alongside the harbour. Don’t miss the street market on Saturdays to enjoy the city’s bohemian vibe.
Although its cities have much to offer, from chic bars to the ruins of old prisons, most visitors will want to set off into the wilderness to make the most of a Tasmanian road trip. Don’t miss the massive Montezuma Falls, or a walk around the placid waters of Dove Lake. One of the most memorable areas is the Bay of Fires, which you can enjoy from the enchanting coastal route. The Heritage Highway leads north of Richmond, passing through perfectly preserved historic towns such as Campbell and Ross, where you can learn more about Tasmania’s colonial past.
Road Tripping Tips
Compared to the rest of Australia, distances in Tasmania are relatively short. However, you’ll still want to give yourself plenty of time. Many of Tasmania’s major motorways hug the windy coastline or take you through narrow mountain passes, so you’ll need time to slow down in these areas. The speed limit is 110 km/h in Tasmania, but you may find yourself travelling at a much slower pace for some stretches of the journey.
Tasmania is fairly easy to navigate, with clear markings and signposts to designate tourist destinations. It’s still helpful to bring along a working GPS system along with an old-fashioned paper map if you don’t get enough reception for your Sat-Nav. By planning ahead and taking your time to enjoy the ride, you can have an unforgettable journey on this wild and distinctive Australian island.
Editor’s note: Natalia Alaminos has generously provided this article and compensation in order to help continue spreading the voice of women around the world. We are proud of the content we publish and stand by it! Click here to read our full disclosure statement.