Tasmania is Australia’s beautiful southern island state home to majestic waterfalls, gorgeous beaches and glacial lakes. In addition to its picture-perfect natural wonders, The Apple Isle offers a wide variety of wildlife, small-town charm and gourmet food and wine scene. Due to its compact size, a Tasmania road trip means you won’t have to travel hundreds of kilometres per day to access its beautiful coastal and mountainous regions.
With over 400 million annual visitors to HotelsCombined, we’ve created an epic Tasmania road trip itinerary that includes its most iconic spots the island has to offer. We’ve highlighted the must-see pit stops, the best experiences in each destination and where to stay.
How Much Time Do You Need for a Tasmania Road Trip?
While you can certainly spend a lifetime exploring Tasmania and still not see everything, this is only possible if you move there. If you want to get a good taste of the region and see its most popular highlights we recommend around 10 days, plus or minus two days.
When is the Best Time to Visit Tasmania?
The best time of year to visit Tasmania is between December and March, which is Australia’s summer season. The pleasant temperatures are ideal for exploring its abundant outdoor attractions. For off-season prices, consider visiting in late spring (October and November) or early fall (March and April), while June, July and August offer chilly temps and snowy landscapes.
Save Money with Parks & Wildlife Entry
Most of Tasmania is a protected area, which means you’ll need a parks pass to enter. Instead of purchasing individual passes, save money by purchasing a holiday pass valid for two months. This way you can have the freedom to visit any park on your Tasmania road trip. You can purchase a pass at National Park visitor centres, or on the Parks & Wildlife website in the Parks Passes section.
The Ultimate Tasmania Road Trip Itinerary
Start your Tasmania road trip in the capital city Hobart, which is an exciting destination in Australia home to picturesque pastel streets and leafy parks. See the historic houses in Battery Point neighbourhood, then wander down to the waterfront for a seafood dinner or explore the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. Visit art galleries, theatres and cafes at Salamanca Place or come on Saturday to see Salamanca market come alive with food stalls and live music.
Top Experiences in Hobart
- Make the 30-minute drive to Mount Wellington for beautiful sunrise or sunset views.
- Take a ferry to the Museum of Old and New Art, located within the Moorilla Winery.
- Spot the famed Pink House in Battery Point, then browse nearby boutique shops.
Where to Stay in Hobart
Australia’s first dedicated art hotel, The Henry Jones Art Hotel blends modernity with its industrial past seamlessly. Former blackwood-lined boardrooms are now spacious suites that feature original art, spa baths and beautiful harbour views.
Sign up for an Art & History tour, then unwind with a cocktail at IXL Long Bar sample local Tasmanian specialties at Peacock and Jones. Alternatively, opt for sear-aged Wagyu beef and tender local lamb at Landscape Restaurant and Grill.
Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 154 – USD 258
Guest Rating: 9.4
Address: 25 Hunter Street, Hobart, TAS 7000, Australia
Tasman National Park
After Hobart, head east to Tasman National Park, which is famous for its Heritage-listed Port Arthur Historic Site, soaring sea cliffs, caves and arches. Animal lovers will enjoy this part of your Tasmania road trip, with a chance to see Australian fur seals, penguins, dolphins and migrating whales in their natural habitat. Don’t miss seeing some of Tasmania’s most visited natural attractions, including Tasman Arch and The Blowhole.
Top Experiences in Tasman National Park
- Follow coastal walks for spectacular cliff views at Cape Hauy and Cape Raoul.
- Join a guided tour of Port Arthur Historic Site, a former convict settlement from the mid-1800s.
- Admire the cliffs from below on a boat tour or watch surfers ride giant waves at Shipstern Bluff.
Where to Stay near Tasman National Park
Set on the shores of Stewarts Bay at Port Arthur, Stewarts Bay Lodge offers a variety of self-contained cabin and chalet accommodation options. You’re guaranteed a room with a view, as each of the log cabins and deluxe spa chalets has open-forest or sea views.
A highlight of your stay, the on-site restaurant On The Bay offers fresh local seafood, local Tasmanian wines and outdoor seating to soak up the scenery. Best of all, the property is surrounded by a white-sand beach with crystal-clear ocean waters.
Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 143 – USD 314
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: 6955 Arthur Hwy, Port Arthur TAS 7182, Australia
Coles Bay & Freycinet National Park
Coles Bay is a seaside village set on the outskirts of Freycinet National Park, which is a must-see on any memorable Tasmania road trip. It offers the perfect home base for exploring the region’s natural wonders, including the famous Wineglass Bay with its award-winning beaches and photo-worthy lookouts. The rugged Freycinet National Park is a dream for outdoor lovers, home to secluded bays, diverse birdlife and pink granite peaks of the Hazards Range.
Top Experiences Near Coles Bay/Freycinet National Park
- Choose one of the short walks in Freycinet National Park that lead to white sand beaches, bird-filled lagoons and picturesque bays.
- Visit one of the beaches for a day of swimming, kayaking, snorkeling or sunbathing.
- Awake early to enjoy a spectacular sunrise from Wineglass Bay, then follow the trail down to the perfectly curved beach.
Where to Stay Near Coles Bay/Freycinet National Park
One of Australia’s top-rated hotels, the award-winning Saffire Freycinet is a lavish resort with luxury suites, a posh day spa and gourmet dining. Private Pavilions boast a plunge pool and a dinner-in-suite option with a private chef, while Signature Suites have deck lounges with Great Oyster Bay Views.
Are you a foodie at heart? Palate Restaurant is one of the most exclusive restaurants in Tasmania. Guests have access to a long list of complimentary experiences, including the chance to visit an oyster farm and various nature walks.
Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 1,460 – USD 1,669
Guest Rating: 9.3
Address: 2352 Coles Bay Road, Coles Bay, TAS 7215, Australia
Bay of Fires
After Freycinet, continue your Tasmania road trip up the east coast to the Bay of Fires. No, it’s not on fire – it refers to the striking orange boulders that stand prominently against the white sand beaches and turquoise waters. Located at the southern tip of Bay of Fires, Binalong Bay is the area’s main beach and a prime spot for soaking up the sunshine, swimming or surfing. Take in the gorgeous scenery with a coastal stroll or kick back and watch the sky illuminate at sunset while digging your toes in the sugary-white sand.
Top Experiences in Bay of Fires
- Visit Binalong Bay and snorkel the crystal-clear waters for a chance to see abundant marine life.
- Go kayaking in Ansons Bay Lagoon, then explore the quaint holiday hamlet of Ansons Bay.
- Enjoy bushwalking and bird-watching at Humbug Point heathlands, where it’s possible to spot yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos, Wattlebirds and Honeyeaters.
Where to Stay in Bay of Fires
In a prime position for exploring the Bay of Fires, Pelican Point Sanctuary is a 35-hectare property with self-contained accommodation. It’s a perfect spot for recharging on your Tasmania road trip.
From one-bedroom cottages to luxury three-bedroom villas, you’ll have everything you need for a comfortable stay, including flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi and outdoor decks for taking in the natural scenery. Local wildlife can often be spotted along the various nature walks, including the elusive platypus, while it’s also home to two resident cows, Chocolate and Milo.
Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 104 – USD 335
Guest Rating: 9.7
Address: 170 Binalong Bay Road, St Helens, Tasmania, Australia
Before you reach Launceston, make a detour to visit the gorgeous Bridestowe Lavender Estate (best seen in December and January) to see its endless landscape of purple fields and sample lavender ice cream. Make your way to Launceston, one of Australia’s oldest cities, to experience its Colonial and Victorian-era charm, gourmet restaurants and well-tended parks and public squares. If you’re a history buff, admire some of the city’s most beloved architectural gems on one of the self-guided heritage walks.
Top Experiences in Launceston
- Enjoy scenic views along the trails at Cataract Gorge, and don’t leave without crossing the famous suspension bridge.
- Brush up on local history and admire local and international artwork at Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery.
- Drive 25 minutes out of the city to sample some of the country’s best wines in the picturesque vineyards of Tamar Valley.
Where to Stay in Launceston
Less than a 15-minute drive from Launceston Airport, Mantra Charles Hotel boasts stylish rooms with flat-screen TVs, air conditioning and balconies. Couples can stay in a romantic 1 Bedroom Spa Apartment, which comes with a spa bath and panoramic views of Tamar Valley.
For families and larger groups, the 2 Bedroom Family room is more suitable with two king-size beds, a kitchenette and extra space to stretch out. Feeling peckish? Fuel up with Tasmanian cuisine at The Charles Restaurant before hitting the road.
Star Rating: 4.5*
Price: USD 94 – USD 255
Guest Rating: 9
Address: 287 Charles Street, Launceston CBD, Launceston, Australia
Cradle Mountain National Park
Lace up your boots because the next stop, Cradle Mountain National Park, is made for hiking. This outdoor lover’s paradise boasts ancient rainforests, river gorges, glacial lakes and snow-covered mountain peaks along its various trails that range from short walks to multi-day treks. Gorgeous in all seasons, you’ll find it hard to resist the allure of its stunning landscapes, which are a dream for photographers (particularly at the photogenic Dove Lake). Out on the trails, you might spot some of Australia’s most adorable creatures, including echidna, pademelons, wallabies and wombats.
Top Experiences in Cradle Mountain National Park
- Start with a hike on the Dove Lake Circuit, a perfect introductory hike featuring a famous boat shed popular with photographers.
- Observe wombats in their natural habitat along Marion’s Lookout trail, which is around 2-3 hours round trip.
- Catch spectacular sunset views toward Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake at Hansons Peak.
Where to Stay in Cradle Mountain National Park
After a day of exploring the pristine Tasmanian wilderness, retreat to Cradle Mountain Hotel nestled within the alpine forest. Stay in an entry-level Standard Room or romantic Deluxe Spa Room, or upgrade to a luxury Split Level King Room for a king-size bed, sunken lounge and private Juliet balcony.
Afterwards, turn up the heat with hot rock dining at Altitude Restaurant & Lounge Bar, where you can expect your full-flavoured meal delivered on volcanic stones. Alternatively, opt to explore the hotel’s art-filled Wilderness Gallery.
Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 153 – USD 257
Guest Rating: 8.4
Address: 3718 Cradle Mountain Rd, Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia
Mount Field National Park
Tasmania’s first national park and popular with nature lovers for over a century, Mount Field National Park is a wonderland of waterfalls and stunning vistas. The three-tiered Russell Falls is the star attraction in this national park, as it’s a short (and wheelchair accessible) journey from the visitors centre to this natural wonder. Along the way, you’ll pass enormous fern forests and some of the world’s tallest trees. Follow the Pandani Grove walk around Lake Dobson to spot a platypus, or visit in winter to try downhill skiing and snowboarding.
Top Experiences in Mount Field National Park
- Snap a photo of some of the park’s most famous waterfalls, including Russell Falls, Lady Barron Falls and Horseshoe Falls.
- In autumn, admire the hillsides of the Tarn Shelf that have transformed into an array of reds, yellows and oranges.
- Drive to Lake Dobson to access longer walks within the park and explore the green oasis of Pandani Grove.
Where to Stay in Mount Field National Park
You can enjoy a taste of life on a real working sheep farm at Curringa Farm, with your hosts 6th generation Tasmanian farmers. Stay overnight at the 300-hectare farm to see over 3,000 sheep on a tour of the property, meet farm dogs and fluffy chickens and enjoy scenic forest walks.
When it’s time to retire, the deluxe farmstay cottages offer split king-size beds, freestanding baths and gas barbecues on spacious decks. It’s hard to beat the view, which spans across the farm and to the lake and mountains. Upgrade to a studio for a kitchenette or two-bedroom cottage for more space.
Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 136 – USD 165
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: 5831 Lyell Highway, Hamilton, Tasmania, Australia
The last part of your epic Tasmania road trip takes you to Bruny Island, one of Tasmania’s southernmost islands (which is actually two islands connected by a small stretch of road). Located off the coast of Hobart, visitors have the chance to join eco-cruises to seal colonies, get their adrenaline pumping on clifftop trails and explore rocky coastlines and beaches. In addition to its pristine swimming, surfing and fishing beaches, the beautiful island is also popular for its flourishing food and wine scene that highlights its tasty oysters, pungent cheeses and sweet berries.
Top Experiences in Bruny Island
Where to Stay in Bruny Island
With an almost perfect rating on HotelsCombined, visitors love Adventure Bay Retreat and its self-contained accommodation. It’s the ultimate Tasmanian island escape, with four luxurious properties ideal for couples, families and friends.
Accommodating up to eight guests, The Lodge has a wood fire and fully-equipped kitchen, while the three-bedroom Lair has an outdoor area with a hot tub. Alternatively, opt for a cosy Studio with a freestanding copper bath. Elevate your stay by choosing a Gourmet Experience Package that includes a gourmet breakfast basket, private chef, cheese tasting and three-hour cruise.
Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 150 – USD 629
Guest Rating: 9.8
Address: 49 Hayes Road, Adventure Bay, Australia
Pack Your Bags for an Adventure-Filled Tasmania Road Trip
Whether you’re an Aussie local or a first-time visitor, a Tasmania road trip offers access to some of Australia’s best natural beauty. Use our comprehensive guide to access some of the best parts of the island, including white-sand beaches, gorgeous mountain views and endless photo opportunities. Afterwards, rest and recharge in one of the top hotels nearby.
Which destinations do you plan to visit on your Tasmania road trip? Let us know in the comments below.