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Self Drive Holiday in Tasmania

Self Drive Holiday in Tasmania

Tasmania is an island state of Australia. It is located on the south-eastern side of Australia, below the coast of Victoria. It has a population of approximately half a million people with the main industries being services such as financial, insurance, media, information, telecommunications, scientific & technical, tourism, and to a lesser extent mining, forestry & agriculture.

Wineglass Bay image by LoneWombatMedia @

Wineglass Bay image by LoneWombatMedia @

Getting there

As Tasmania is an island, there are only two options for getting there:  by sea or air.

The major Australian domestic airlines, Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia & Tiger Airways have regular flights to Hobart and all except Tiger Airways operate flights to Launceston. Planning ahead and being flexible with travel dates & times could mean fantastic deals in terms of airfares.

Alternatively, the Spirit of Tasmania ferry operates between Melbourne on the mainland and Devonport in Tasmania. The overnight ferry takes a little less than 12 hours and offers both cabins and recliners depending upon your budget. The ferry also operates a daytime journey during particular months. As with flying, planning ahead and being flexible with travel dates & times could mean great deals in terms of fares. The ferry also offers the option of taking your own car!

If time & budget permit, an interesting option would be to fly one way and catch the ferry the other.

Best Time to Go

October to May

Getting Around

The best way to see Tasmania is by road. Options include  self drive, organised tour, or a combination of both.

Self Drive

Hire a car or campervan, or drive your own vehicle, and explore all Tasmania has to offer. Most car rental companies are represented in Tasmania.  Prices can vary depending on the season.

Self Drive Holiday Packages

Packages are available that include car hire, accommodation, national parks pass, maps and suggested itineraries.


Organised tours, including luxury coach, outback safari tour bus, air & cruise tours are available to help you enjoy your stay.  As an example, enjoy a 10-day organised air-conditioned coach tour taking in Hobart, Mt. Field National Park, Russell Falls, Gordon River cruise, Cradle Mountain National Park, Cataract Gorge, Launceston, Bicheno, Freycinet National Park, Port Arthur and historic Richmond.

Suggested 10-day itinerary (self-drive)

Below is a map of the suggested route for this itinerary derived from Google Maps:

This itinerary lists suggested things to do & places to see.  It is by no means a definitive list and the amount of time you need to spend at each place will depend upon your interests. It is worth researching these suggestions so that you can determine how long you need to allow on your journey.

Day 1 – Arrive Hobart

  • Mt Wellington
  • Salamanca markets (Sat only)
  • Battery Point
  • Constitution Dock
  • Royal Botanical Gardens
  • MONA

Day 2 – Hobart to Port Arthur – 95kms, approx. 1.5hrs

  • Richmond
  • Tessellated Pavement
  • Remarkable Cave
  • Tasman Arch
  • The Blowhole
  • Devils Kitchen
  • Port Arthur night tour

Day 3 – Port Arthur to Coles Bay – 236kms approx. 3hrs

  • 3hr Tasman Island Wilderness Cruise
  • Swansea Berry Farms

Day 4 – Coles Bay to St Helens – 114kms approx. 1.5hrs

  • Wineglass Bay / Freycinet National Park

Day 5 – St Helens to Launceston – 170kms approx. 2.5hrs

  • Historic township of Derby
  • Award-winning cheeses Pyengana, picnic at St Columba Falls
  • The Gardens and the Bay of Fires Coastal Reserves near Binalong Bay

Day 6 – Launceston

  • Cataract Gorge
    • walking and hiking trails
    • the world's longest single span chairlift
    • a swimming pool
    • restaurant & kiosk  
    • wildlife
    • gardens
    • suspension bridge
  • Tamar Valley - from Launceston to Bass Strait, nearly 60km through vineyards, orchards, scenic pastures and forests.

Day 7 – Launceston to Cradle Mountain – 125kms approx. 1hr 40mins

Day 8 – Cradle Mountain to Strahan – 150kms approx. 2hrs 10mins

  • Gordon River Highlights cruise departs 3:30pm (peak season only).

Day 9 – Strahan to Hobart – 300kms approx. 4hrs

  • Queenstown – Acid rain from smelters left most of the hills stripped bare of vegetation
  • Derwent Bridge
  • The Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park – short walks to waterfalls, lookouts, rainforests, e.g. Nelson Falls (20min walk) -

Day 10 – Hobart

  • If time permits: Huonville & Geeveston, including the Tahune Forest Air Walk
  • Take a helicopter ride with Rotor-Lift Aviation to Frogmore Creek Winery to sample their wines.

Where to stay along the way

There are a number of Bed & Breakfasts, Hotel Chains, Motels, Caravan Parks, & Farm Stays to choose from.

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