Discovering Tasmania’s Wonders – A Scenic Seven-Week Campervan Adventure
Discovering Tasmania’s Wonders: A Scenic Seven-Week Campervan Adventure
Embark on an unforgettable journey through Tasmania, Australia’s island state, brimming with awe-inspiring landscapes, rich history, and unique wildlife. Over the course of six weeks, this itinerary will guide you from the bustling markets of Hobart to the rugged wilderness of Cradle Mountain, the enchanting Bay of Fires, and the historic charm of Port Arthur. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or a culinary enthusiast, prepare to fall in love with Tasmania’s diverse offerings. Experience the freedom of the open road, the comfort of your campervan, and the hospitality of Tasmania’s free campsites as you traverse the land, making memories that will last a lifetime.
Start your journey in Hobart, the capital and largest city in Tasmania. Spend your time exploring local attractions such as the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, Battery Point, and the bustling Salamanca Market on Saturdays. Read more
From Hobart, make your way to Kettering and take the ferry over to Bruny Island. This island is famous for its wildlife, natural beauty, and gourmet food scene. Read more
Head back to the mainland and travel to Port Arthur, where you can learn about Australia’s convict history. Explore the rugged coastal beauty of the Tasman Peninsula. Read more
Move north up the coast to Freycinet National Park, where you can hike up to the Wineglass Bay Lookout. Continue north to the Bay of Fires, known for its beautiful beaches and orange lichen-covered granite boulders. Read more
Drive inland to Launceston, Tasmania’s second largest city. Visit the Cataract Gorge, City Park, and take a drive through the Tamar Valley, a premier wine region. Read more
Finally, head to the stunning Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park. Spend a few days exploring the area before heading to the west coast town of Strahan, where you can take a river cruise or visit the nearby Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. Read more
Conclude your Tasmanian adventure on the serene West Coast. Explore the charming town of Strahan, venture into the wilderness on the Gordon River Cruise, and step back in time with a journey on the West Coast Wilderness Railway. As your journey winds down, reflect on the unforgettable experiences Tasmania has offered. Read more
Week 1: Hobart’s Charm: A Fusion of Culture, History and Cuisine
Begin your Tasmanian adventure in Hobart, the state’s vibrant and eclectic capital city. Experience a blend of old and new as you explore Salamanca Market, hike Mount Wellington, and indulge in the region’s renowned cuisine. This week promises a great introduction to Tasmania’s unique charm.
Day 1-2: Exploring Hobart City
Arrive in Hobart and familiarize yourself with the city. Wander around the city center and visit Salamanca Place with its beautifully restored sandstone buildings, now home to galleries, theatres, craft shops, and restaurants. Don’t miss the Salamanca Market if you’re there on a Saturday, known for local produce, crafts, and food stalls.
Visit Battery Point, a historic district with narrow lanes and colonial-era houses. It’s a short walk from Salamanca Place, and you’ll find charming cafes and shops along the way.
Day 3: Mount Wellington and MONA
Spend the day visiting Mount Wellington for stunning views over Hobart and the surrounding waters. Take a drive or hike up to the top, depending on your preference.
In the afternoon, visit the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), known for its thought-provoking and often controversial exhibitions. It’s Australia’s largest privately owned museum and is definitely worth a visit.
Day 4-5: Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens and Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Take a leisurely stroll around the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. The gardens are home to a collection of Tasmanian plants and trees as well as plants from around the world.
Next, head over to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery to learn more about Tasmania’s natural and cultural history.
Day 6: Day Trip to Richmond
Take a day trip to the historic town of Richmond, which is about a 30-minute drive from Hobart. Richmond is home to Australia’s oldest bridge and oldest Catholic church. You can also visit the Richmond Gaol, which predates the more famous Port Arthur Historic Site.
Day 7: Explore the Local Cuisine
Spend your last day in Hobart trying out the local cuisine. Hobart has a growing food scene, with many restaurants and cafes focusing on locally sourced ingredients. You can also try the fresh seafood, like Tasmanian salmon, and locally produced wine and beer.
Campsite: Hobart Showground
This is a popular camping ground, especially for campervans. It has all the essential facilities and it’s conveniently located to access all of Hobart’s attractions. Remember to book in advance, as it can get busy, especially during peak travel periods.
Enjoy your time in Hobart! It’s a charming city with a lot to offer, and it’s a great introduction to the rest of Tasmania.
Week 2: Bruny Island Adventure: Wilderness, Wildlife, and Epicurean Delights
Pack your sense of adventure as you set sail for Bruny Island, a haven for food lovers and nature enthusiasts alike. From the breathtaking views at The Neck to the gourmet offerings of local producers, Bruny Island offers a blend of natural beauty and culinary delights.
Day 8-9: Ferry to Bruny Island and Northern Bruny Island
Take the ferry from Kettering to Bruny Island. The ferry ride is around 20 minutes. Once on the island, explore northern Bruny with attractions like the Bruny Island Cheese Company, where you can sample locally produced cheese, and Get Shucked, an oyster bar serving fresh local oysters.
Day 10: Bruny Island Neck and The Cape Bruny Lighthouse
Visit the Bruny Island Neck, a narrow isthmus connecting the northern and southern parts of the island. There’s a viewing platform at the top of a wooden stairway which offers panoramic views of the isthmus and the surrounding beaches.
Then drive down to the southern part of the island to visit the Cape Bruny Lighthouse, Australia’s second oldest lighthouse. The views are spectacular and it’s a great spot for photography.
Day 11-12: South Bruny National Park
Spend a couple of days exploring the South Bruny National Park. This includes beautiful beaches like Adventure Bay and Cloudy Bay, as well as walking trails such as the Fluted Cape Walk and the Labillardiere Peninsula Circuit.
Day 13: Food and Wildlife Tours
Consider spending a day on a gourmet food tour to sample some of Bruny Island’s famous food offerings, including cheese, oysters, chocolate, berries, and wine.
You could also do a wildlife tour – the island is home to seals, penguins, and a variety of bird species, and there are numerous tour operators that offer wildlife viewing experiences.
Day 14: Return to Mainland and Relax
On your last day, return to the mainland by ferry. Consider staying a night near Kettering or making your way to the next destination, Port Arthur and the Tasman Peninsula, to rest and prepare for the following week.
Campsite: The Neck Game Reserve Campground
This campsite is centrally located on Bruny Island, right at The Neck. The campground has basic facilities, including toilets and picnic tables, and it provides easy access to the island’s major attractions.
Remember, Bruny Island can get busy during peak travel periods, so it’s recommended to book your campsite and any tours in advance. Enjoy the natural beauty and gourmet delights of Bruny Island!
Week 3: Port Arthur & Tasman Peninsula: Journey Through Time and Nature’s Majesty
Journey through time as you explore the historical significance of Port Arthur and the stunning natural beauty of the Tasman Peninsula. Immerse yourself in the region’s history, marvel at its rugged coastal beauty, and experience local wildlife up close.
Day 15-16: Drive to Port Arthur
Begin your journey from Kettering to Port Arthur. The journey should take approximately 2 hours, but take your time and enjoy the scenic drive. Once you arrive in Port Arthur, you can visit the historic site, which is one of the best-preserved convict settlements in Australia and among the most significant heritage areas.
Day 17: Explore Tasman National Park
Spend the day exploring the rugged beauty of Tasman National Park. There are numerous walking trails and lookout points where you can enjoy the breathtaking sea cliffs and rock formations.
Highlights include the Tasman Arch, the Devils Kitchen, and the Blowhole. If you’re up for a more challenging hike, consider the Cape Hauy Track which offers incredible views of the dolerite cliffs and columns.
Day 18: Visit Remarkable Cave and Maingon Bay Lookout
Head towards Remarkable Cave, a deep and long tunnel that the sea has carved into the cliff. From the viewing platform, you’ll see the cave’s mouth, which resembles the shape of Tasmania.
Also, make sure to stop by the Maingon Bay Lookout for an excellent view of the bay and the cliffs.
Day 19: Wildlife and Adventure
Consider taking a Tasman Island Cruise, where you’ll get up close to the towering sea cliffs while looking out for seals, dolphins, and seabirds. For the more adventurous, there’s also sea kayaking.
Day 20-21: Explore More and Relax
Spend the rest of your time in the area at your own pace. You can return to any spots you particularly liked or discover new ones.
If you’re interested in local produce, visit the Federation Chocolate Factory or the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo, a unique animal and nature park that combines up-close animal encounters, a botanical garden, and art.
Campsite: Lime Bay State Reserve
The Lime Bay State Reserve offers a quiet and relaxing campsite located near the water’s edge. It’s a great spot to base yourself for the week as it’s a short drive to Port Arthur and many of the other attractions in the area.
Remember to check any access and/or camping restrictions and to adhere to the “Leave No Trace” principles to preserve the beauty of Tasmania for future generations. Enjoy your exploration of Tasmania’s history and rugged coastal beauty!
Week 4: Freycinet National Park & Bay of Fires: Pristine Beaches and Picturesque Landscapes
Welcome to the East Coast, where the crystal clear waters of the Bay of Fires and the striking beauty of Freycinet National Park await. Spend your days exploring stunning beaches, coastal walks, and enjoying the region’s fresh seafood.
Day 22-23: Travel to Freycinet National Park
After leaving the Tasman Peninsula, take a leisurely drive to the beautiful Freycinet National Park. This journey should take around 2.5 hours. Once you reach the park, take some time to settle in and explore the surroundings.
Day 24: Explore Freycinet National Park
Spend the day exploring the park, which is one of Tasmania’s most spectacular wilderness areas. Consider doing the hike to the Wineglass Bay Lookout or even down to the beach itself. The park also has other beautiful spots like Honeymoon Bay, Sleepy Bay and the Cape Tourville Lighthouse.
Day 25: Seafood and Beach Day
Visit the nearby town of Coles Bay for some of the best seafood in Tasmania. Spend the rest of the day relaxing on one of the park’s many stunning beaches.
Day 26: Travel to Bay of Fires
Depart Freycinet National Park and head towards the Bay of Fires, which is around a 2-hour drive. Take some time to settle in and explore your new surroundings.
Day 27-28: Explore Bay of Fires
Spend two days exploring the Bay of Fires, known for its white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and orange lichen-covered granite boulders. There are many activities you can do including bushwalking, bird watching, fishing, and beach activities.
Freycinet National Park campgrounds: Camping in the national park requires a small fee and you must have a valid parks pass. Spaces can fill up quickly, so it is recommended to arrive early.
Swimcart Beach Campground (Bay of Fires): This is a free campsite located right on the beach. It can also get quite busy, so aim to arrive early to secure a spot.
Please remember to adhere to the “Leave No Trace” principles and take note of any fire bans or restrictions. Enjoy your week of beach hopping and wilderness exploration!
Week 5: Launceston & Tamar Valley: Art, Wine and Historic Townships
Dive into the cultural heart of Tasmania as you explore Launceston and the picturesque Tamar Valley. Discover the city’s art scene, indulge in the region’s renowned wines, and soak up the historic charm of these northern destinations.
Day 29-30: Launceston
Start your week by making your way from the Bay of Fires to Launceston, which is about a 2.5-hour drive. Spend the first day exploring the city. Visit the Cataract Gorge, which offers a variety of activities such as hiking, swimming, and a chairlift with stunning views. Also, consider visiting the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery.
On the second day, you might want to visit the City Park. If you’re interested in monkeys, there’s a free monkey enclosure within the park. Or visit the Harvest Launceston Community Farmers’ Market if you’re in town on a Saturday.
Day 31: Tamar Valley Wine Route
Spend the day driving along the Tamar Valley Wine Route. This region is known for its exceptional wines, particularly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. There are more than 30 cellar doors in the area, and you can sample wines while enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Day 32: Beauty Point and Beaconsfield
Take a trip to Beauty Point and visit the Seahorse World and Platypus House. These are unique opportunities to see these fascinating creatures up close. On your way back, stop by the old gold mining town of Beaconsfield, and visit the Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre.
Day 33: Explore More of Tamar Valley
There’s plenty more to explore in the Tamar Valley. Visit the historic town of Evandale, known for its well-preserved Georgian and Victorian buildings. Or take a trip to the Lavender Farm if you’re visiting in summer when the fields are in full bloom.
Day 34-35: Leisure Days
Spend the last couple of days in the area at your leisure. Return to any places you particularly enjoyed, or take the time to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the region.
Campsite: Myrtle Park
Myrtle Park is a well-maintained campsite located between Launceston and the Tamar Valley. It’s set in a beautiful natural environment with the river running alongside it. There are good facilities including showers, toilets, and BBQ areas.
Remember to respect the local environment during your visit and adhere to the principles of “Leave No Trace”. Enjoy your time in the Launceston and Tamar Valley region!
Week 6: Cradle Mountain: Alpine Landscapes and Rugged Wilderness Awaits
Head to the highlands and delve into the wilderness of the iconic Cradle Mountain. Embark on alpine hikes, encounter unique Tasmanian wildlife, and bask in the tranquil beauty of Dove Lake.
Day 36-37: Drive to Cradle Mountain
Start your journey from Launceston to Cradle Mountain. This trip should take about 2.5 hours. Once you reach, take your time to settle down and orientate yourself. Spend the next day exploring the area, familiarize yourself with various tracks, and plan the hikes you want to take.
Day 38: Cradle Mountain Summit Hike
Prepare for a strenuous yet rewarding hike to the Cradle Mountain summit. This walk should take about 6-8 hours, so make sure you’re well-prepared with food, water, and suitable clothing. This climb is challenging, but reaching the top will reward you with fantastic views over the national park.
Day 39: Dove Lake Circuit
Recover from the previous day’s exertions with a much easier but equally scenic walk around Dove Lake. This 6km track offers spectacular views and passes through different types of vegetation.
Day 40: Explore more of the Park
Explore more of the park’s hiking trails. Try the Enchanted Walk, a beautiful 20-minute stroll along the river. Or perhaps the King Billy track, a 2km walk that will introduce you to some of Tasmania’s ancient vegetation, including 1,500-year-old King Billy pines.
Day 41: Waldheim Chalet and Weindorfers forest walk
Visit the Waldheim Chalet, the original home of Gustav and Kate Weindorfer. The Chalet tells the story of these pioneers whose vision established the national park. Follow this visit with the Weindorfers Forest Walk, a 20-minute circuit walk through a cool temperate rainforest.
Day 42: Rest and Leisure Day
Spend your last day in the park at leisure. You could go wildlife spotting (this area is known for its wombats), revisit your favorite spots, or relax and enjoy the natural beauty around you.
Campsite: Discovery Parks – Cradle Mountain
This campsite is the perfect base to explore the area. It offers campervan sites and has good facilities. It’s also just a few minutes drive from the national park’s visitor center.
Remember, all activities within the national park require a valid parks pass. Weather in Cradle Mountain can be unpredictable and can change rapidly, always carry warm and waterproof clothing, even on short walks. Enjoy your week exploring the stunning alpine landscapes of Cradle Mountain!
Week 7: Strahan & West Coast: A Voyage of Serenity and Raw Beauty
Conclude your Tasmanian adventure on the serene West Coast. Explore the charming town of Strahan, venture into the wilderness on the Gordon River Cruise, and step back in time with a journey on the West Coast Wilderness Railway. As your journey winds down, reflect on the unforgettable experiences Tasmania has offered.
Day 43-44: Drive to Strahan
Leave Cradle Mountain and drive to the town of Strahan, which will take about 2 hours. After settling into your new location, take the rest of the day to explore the town. Visit the local shops, cafes, and galleries, or take a walk along the waterfront.
Day 45: Gordon River Cruise
Take a cruise on the majestic Gordon River. This is one of the best ways to see the rugged beauty of Tasmania’s wilderness. The cruise includes a stop at Sarah Island, a former penal colony with a fascinating and brutal history.
Day 46: West Coast Wilderness Railway
Enjoy a day trip on the West Coast Wilderness Railway, a restored steam train that takes you on a journey through dense rainforest and beautiful wilderness. The railway is a testament to Tasmania’s pioneering spirit and rich mining history.
Day 47: Henty Dunes and Ocean Beach
Visit the Henty Dunes, an expansive system of sand dunes stretching along the West Coast. Adventure activities such as sandboarding are popular here. Afterwards, visit Ocean Beach, Tasmania’s longest beach, known for its raw, untamed beauty.
Day 48: Strahan Activities
Spend the day exploring more of Strahan and its surrounding areas. You could take a guided tour of the historic Teepookana Plateau, go sea kayaking, or relax and enjoy some of the local produce at a cafe or restaurant.
Day 49: Drive to Hobart
It’s time to return to Hobart. The drive from Strahan to Hobart takes about 4.5 hours. Take your time and enjoy the scenic drive back to the capital city.
Campsite: Strahan Holiday Park
This campsite is centrally located in Strahan and is well-equipped with all the necessary facilities. It’s an excellent base for exploring the West Coast.
Please remember to respect the local environment and adhere to any local rules or restrictions. Enjoy your final week in Tasmania, exploring the stunning West Coast!