Discover Tasmania’s Wonders in a 5-Week Wheel Adventure
Embark on a captivating journey that unfolds Tasmania’s quintessence, from its soaring peaks and wilderness heart to its convict relics and charming coastal villages. In this 5-week campervan adventure, you will navigate Tasmania’s scenic routes, indulge in the local culture, and savour the pristine landscapes that this awe-inspiring island state has to offer.
Starting from the Spirit of Tasmania’s dock in Devonport, your odyssey will traverse through the iconic Cradle Mountain, the wilderness frontier of Strahan, the cultural pulse of Hobart, the hauntingly beautiful Port Arthur, and finally culminate in the vibrant city of Launceston.
Your home on wheels will lead you to some of the most stunning caravan parks and free camps, allowing you to immerse yourself in Tasmania’s raw beauty. This comprehensive itinerary captures the allure of Tasmania, promising an unforgettable journey into Australia’s most unique state. Get ready to stow away the ordinary and unlock an extraordinary exploration, painting your vanlife dream into a 5-week reality.
5-Week Campervan Itinerary Around Tasmania
Day 1: Arrive in Devonport. Visit Mersey Bluff Lighthouse and Tiagarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre. Free camp at the Mersey Bluff Caravan Park.
Day 2-3: Head to Sheffield, known for its colourful murals. Visit Mural House. Overnight at Sheffield RV Park.
Day 4-7: Venture to Cradle Mountain. Explore Dove Lake Circuit, Cradle Mountain summit, and Waldheim Chalet. Camp at Discovery Parks – Cradle Mountain.
Day 8-9: Travel to Rosebery, explore Montezuma Falls. Overnight at Stitt River RV Park.
Day 10-14: Reach Strahan. Visit Gordon River, Sarah Island, Hogarth Falls, and West Coast Wilderness Railway. Camp at Strahan Beach Tourist Park.
Day 15-16: Head to Mt Field National Park. Explore Russell Falls and Tall Trees Track. Camp at Mt Field National Park Campground.
Day 17-21: Arrive in Hobart. Visit Salamanca Market, MONA, Mt Wellington, and Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. Stay at Hobart Showgrounds.
Day 22-23: Travel to Richmond. Visit Richmond Bridge, Old Richmond Gaol. Free camp at Richmond Park Boat Ramp.
Day 24-28: Continue to Port Arthur. Explore Port Arthur Historic Site, Tasman National Park. Free camp at Lime Bay State Reserve.
Day 29-31: Journey to Freycinet National Park. Visit Wineglass Bay, Cape Tourville Lighthouse. Camp at Richardsons Beach Campground.
Day 32-33: Stop at Bicheno. Visit Bicheno Penguin Tour, Glass Bottom Boat. Free camp at Douglas-Apsley National Park.
Day 34-35: Head to Launceston. Visit Cataract Gorge, City Park, James Boag’s Brewery. Free camp at Heritage Forest.
This itinerary is designed to showcase Tasmania’s unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture.
With a comfortable pace and a diverse range of free camps and caravan parks, it provides a comprehensive exploration of Tasmania’s most popular attractions.
Week 1: Devonport to Cradle Mountain – The Gateway to Tasmania’s Wilderness Heart
Day 1: Arrival at Devonport
As you disembark from the Spirit of Tasmania in Devonport, the charm of the coastal city welcomes you to the island state. Start your journey by visiting the Mersey Bluff Lighthouse. Set on an elevated headland, the iconic candy-striped lighthouse offers panoramic views of Bass Strait.
A short drive away is the Tiagarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre, where you can gain insights into the region’s indigenous culture and history. End your day by setting up camp at the Mersey Bluff Caravan Park, which offers stunning ocean views, ready for the following day’s journey to Sheffield. Avg $40 a night for a powered site.
Day 2-3: Sheffield – The Town of Murals
A mere hour’s drive from Devonport, the picturesque town of Sheffield awaits you. Known as the ‘Town of Murals,’ Sheffield’s vibrant murals, each telling a unique story, grace the town’s walls. Make sure to visit Mural House, where every room is a work of art depicting Tasmanian history and wilderness. You can also explore the Sheffield Town Hall, which houses the Kentish Visitor Information Centre and offers a mural audio tour. For overnight stay, the Sheffield RV Park, situated right in the heart of town, provides basic amenities for camper vans. A $10 per night charge is payable on site.
Day 4-7: Cradle Mountain – Into the Wilderness
Leaving the ‘Town of Murals’ behind, head towards the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Your first stop should be the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre to grab a map, understand the various walking trails, and take the shuttle bus service into the park.
Embark on the Dove Lake Circuit, a relatively flat and easy 6km walk providing stunning views of Cradle Mountain and the Ballroom Forest. If you’re up for a challenge, tackle the Cradle Mountain summit track – a strenuous 6-hour return trip rewarding you with panoramic views of the park. Also visit Waldheim Chalet, the rustic home of Gustav and Kate Weindorfer, the pioneering couple who promoted the area’s preservation as a national park.
Your camp for these few days will be at Discovery Parks – Cradle Mountain, located just outside the national park’s entrance. Besides basic facilities, this park offers easy access to shuttle buses that will transport you into the heart of the national park. Powered $45, unpowered $20.
From the bustling coastal city of Devonport to the tranquil rural landscapes of Sheffield and the awe-inspiring wilderness of Cradle Mountain, your first week in Tasmania is packed with breathtaking sights and heartwarming experiences. As the week concludes, the campervan journey continues to unravel the fascinating tale of Tasmania’s rich heritage, natural beauty, and inviting charm.
Week 2: Cradle Mountain to Strahan – Venturing into Tasmania’s Wild West Coast
Day 8-9: Rosebery – Mining Heritage Amid Wilderness
Bidding farewell to Cradle Mountain, your journey heads west towards the small mining town of Rosebery. Nestled among mountains and rainforests, Rosebery’s charm lies in its stark contrast between the human-made and the natural world.
Spend your day exploring Montezuma Falls, Tasmania’s highest waterfall. The track to the falls, following an old tramway, is a scenic 3-hour return walk through cool temperate rainforest. Along the way, you’ll pass remnants of the region’s mining heritage, offering a glimpse into the area’s past.
For your overnight stay, the Stitt River RV Park on the outskirts of Rosebery is a serene spot. Surrounded by wilderness, it’s a quiet place to rest before your journey continues to the historic town of Strahan.
Day 10-14: Strahan – Where Wilderness Meets Convict History
Welcome to Strahan, a picturesque harbour-side village with a dark and captivating convict past. On the edge of the vast and unspoiled wilderness of the West Coast, Strahan serves as your gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Tasmanian Wilderness.
Start with a cruise on the serene Gordon River, a perfect way to witness the pristine temperate rainforests, mirrored waterways, and ancient Huon pines. Visit Sarah Island, a former penal settlement from the 1820s, offering a sobering look into Tasmania’s brutal convict history. Prices start from $160 per person.
Don’t miss the West Coast Wilderness Railway, a remarkable heritage experience that follows an old steam railway route, crossing through dense rainforests, wild rivers, and steep gorges. This journey provides insights into the tough living conditions and the triumph of human spirit during the pioneering mining days. $50-80 per person.
For nature lovers, the short walk to Hogarth Falls, hidden amidst People’s Park rainforest, is a must. Look out for the elusive platypus in the Botanical Creek along the way.
Set up camp at Strahan Beach Tourist Park, offering a mix of the comforts of modern facilities and the tranquillity of a beach-side setting. Its central location makes it the ideal base for your explorations around Strahan. Powered sites from $25 a night.
As the second week of your journey concludes, you’ve journeyed from the awe-inspiring wilderness of Cradle Mountain to the mining heritage of Rosebery and the intriguing mix of natural beauty and human history of Strahan. Your campervan odyssey through Tasmania’s vast landscapes continues to offer memorable experiences, highlighting the diverse nature of this unique island. Next, prepare to head south-east towards the mesmerising waterfalls and tall trees of Mt Field National Park.
Week 3: Strahan to Hobart – From Majestic Waterfalls to Cultural Encounters
Day 15-16: Mount Field National Park – In the Company of Giants
As you depart Strahan, head southeast towards Mount Field National Park, one of Tasmania’s oldest and most diverse national parks. Here, you’ll encounter a stunning variety of landscapes, from verdant rainforests to alpine moors.
Your first stop should be Russell Falls, arguably the most impressive waterfall in Tasmania. Easily accessible, the short walk to Russell Falls takes you through an enchanting rainforest, and the sight of the three-tiered waterfall is truly a spectacle.
Venture next to the Tall Trees Track. Marvel at the towering swamp gums, some of the tallest trees worldwide, as you amble along this easy, yet breathtaking track.
For your overnight stay, the Mount Field National Park Campground offers basic amenities surrounded by serene wilderness. The nocturnal wildlife might even provide some entertainment as you rest under the Tasmanian night sky.
Day 17-21: Hobart – The Heartbeat of Tasmania
Leaving the national park, drive towards Hobart, Tasmania’s capital city brimming with culture, history, and a burgeoning food scene.
Your first stop should be Salamanca Market, held on Saturdays. Explore the bustling street market, where local vendors sell everything from fresh produce to artisan crafts. Afterward, head to the historic waterfront, a lively area filled with restaurants and cafés offering the freshest Tasmanian produce.
Art lovers shouldn’t miss a trip to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) $30 entry fee. This unique museum, with its eccentric and provocative exhibits, has redefined the city’s cultural scene. Take the ferry to MONA, a fun journey providing splendid views of the Derwent River ($25 return).
No trip to Hobart is complete without a drive to the summit of Mount Wellington. Witness panoramic views of the city, the Derwent River, and beyond. For those interested in botany, the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens offer a peaceful retreat with an impressive collection of Tasmanian plants.
Settle your campervan at the Hobart Showgrounds for the remainder of the week. Centrally located, it provides convenient access to Hobart’s major attractions. (From $25 a night)
As your third week concludes, you’ve journeyed from the captivating wilderness of Mount Field National Park to the vibrant and diverse city of Hobart. This week brought a blend of natural beauty and cultural exploration, demonstrating the diverse charm Tasmania offers its visitors. Prepare to continue your journey next week to the historical town of Richmond and the hauntingly beautiful Port Arthur.
Week 4: Hobart to Port Arthur – Bridging History and Haunting Landscapes
Day 22-23: Richmond – Stepping Back in Time
Leave Hobart behind as you drive northeast to the historical town of Richmond. Known for its well-preserved colonial buildings and the iconic Richmond Bridge, the oldest surviving large stone arch bridge in Australia, the town serves as a portal into Tasmania’s past.
Pay a visit to the Old Richmond Gaol. As the oldest gaol in Australia, it offers a peek into convict life in the early 19th century. Follow this with a leisurely stroll around the town, taking in St. John’s Catholic Church, Australia’s oldest Catholic church, and the numerous art galleries and craft shops.
Rest for the night at Richmond Cabin and Tourist Park. The peaceful setting, along with modern amenities, makes for a comfortable stay. (from $45 a night)
Day 24-25: Tasman National Park – A Spectacle of Sea and Stone
Your journey continues southeast to the Tasman Peninsula, home to the Tasman National Park. The park is known for its spectacular coastal landscapes, including the towering sea cliffs of Cape Pillar, the highest vertical sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere.
Take a cruise along the coast to truly appreciate these natural wonders. The dramatic sea cliffs, deep-sea caves, and unique rock formations, coupled with the potential to spot seals, dolphins, and migrating whales, make this an unforgettable experience.
The park offers several walking trails, like the Cape Hauy Track, leading to the end of the cape with breath-taking views of the dolerite columns known as the Totem Pole and the Candlestick.
For your overnight stay, Lime Bay State Reserve offers a basic, but quiet campsite with easy access to the beach.
Day 26-28: Port Arthur – Echoes of the Past
Arrive in Port Arthur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offering a poignant look at Australia’s convict past. Spend at least a day exploring the well-preserved buildings and ruins. A guided tour offers insights into the harsh realities of convict life. Don’t miss the Isle of the Dead Cemetery Tour, adding depth to the stories of the people who lived and died here.
For those seeking a thrill, join the evening ghost tour. The chilling stories are a reminder of Port Arthur’s grim past.
Rest for the night at the Port Arthur Holiday Park, a well-equipped site offering a comfortable base for your explorations. (From $24 a night)
As week four of your journey concludes, you’ve stepped back in time in the historic town of Richmond, marveled at the natural wonders of the Tasman National Park, and delved into the poignant history of Port Arthur. Your travels continue to blend history, natural beauty, and adventure, offering a diverse exploration of Tasmania. As you prepare to journey north towards Freycinet National Park, expect more stunning landscapes and unforgettable experiences.
Week 5: Port Arthur to Launceston – From Sparkling Bays to Verdant Valleys
Day 29-31: Freycinet National Park – A Paradise of Pink Granite Peaks
Heading north from Port Arthur, your journey leads you to the mesmerising beauty of Freycinet National Park, a haven of pink granite mountains, azure bays, and abundant wildlife.
Take the trek to the Wineglass Bay lookout for an unforgettable view of one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. If you’re feeling energetic, continue down to the beach itself for a close encounter with its white sands and clear waters.
Discover the Sleepy Bay and Honeymoon Bay, perfect spots for a relaxing swim. Don’t miss the Cape Tourville Lighthouse, offering panoramic views of the park and the surrounding ocean.
For your nights’ stay, the Iluka Campground in Coles Bay makes a convenient base with basic facilities, surrounded by stunning natural beauty. (From $45 a night)
Day 32-33: Bicheno – Wildlife Encounters and Coastal Gems
Next, make your way north to the coastal town of Bicheno. The town is famed for its wildlife, particularly the Little Penguins. Join a nightly tour to watch these adorable creatures waddling ashore to their burrows.
For daytime activities, visit the East Coast Natureworld, home to a range of Tasmanian wildlife. Or, experience Bicheno’s Blowhole, a sea cave that forcefully expels water when waves rush in, resulting in a spectacular sight.
Overnight, stay at the Bicheno East Coast Holiday Park, a well-equipped site offering panoramic ocean views. (From $33 a Night)
Day 34-35: Launceston – Where Heritage Meets the Wilderness
Your journey concludes in Tasmania’s second major city, Launceston. Famed for its well-preserved Victorian and Georgian architecture, Launceston also offers a touch of wilderness right in the city’s heart – the Cataract Gorge.
Start by exploring the city’s architecture. A leisurely walk around the city reveals well-preserved colonial buildings, while a visit to the Queen Victoria Museum provides a deeper understanding of Tasmania’s history.
Next, head to the Cataract Gorge, a unique natural formation just minutes from the city centre. Take the chairlift for panoramic views, or enjoy a leisurely walk along the gorge’s pathways.
For your final night’s stay, the Launceston Holiday Park offers a comfortable site with excellent facilities.(from $30 a night)
As the fifth and final week of your journey comes to an end, you have explored the pristine beauty of Freycinet National Park, encountered wildlife in Bicheno, and delved into the cultural heritage of Launceston. This road trip has shown you the diverse facets of Tasmania – its stunning landscapes, its rich history, and its unique wildlife. With your return to Devonport, your Tasmanian adventure concludes, leaving you with memories of an island that’s as diverse as it is captivating.