A hiker looking at Cradle Mountain

How to Plan Your Tasmania Itinerary [2021 Road Trip Guide]

This post is designed to help you plan the perfect Tasmania itinerary for your 2021 road trip. Navigate this post with this clickable road map (pro tip: click the arrow in the corner to return to top).

Road Map of This Post

I have been traveling the world full-time since 2016. 70 countries and 6 continents later, Tasmania STILL is my favorite road trip destination in the entire world. I fell in love with Tasmania, hope this guide help YOU do the same.

Ok, ready to dive in?

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support my work by purchasing through the affiliate links on this page, which may earn a commission for this site. Thank you!

Self-Drive Tasmania Itinerary

In my opinion, 10 days is a solid amount of time to set aside for your Tasmania itinerary.

Have more or less time than 10 days? Extend this itinerary to 14 days by slowing down (there’s a lot to take in!), or skip a few stops to stay time. Ok, let’s dive in:

Day 1: Hobart

Boats in Hobart, the first stop on our Tasmania itinerary

Since Hobart is both the main airport for the island and the base for most campervan and car rentals, many people will start and end their Tasmania road trips here. But, as excited as you may be to get out into the wild, I would suggest to make sure to build in some time to take in this incredible city as well. Check out the pretty neighborhood Battery Point, take a stroll to browse fresh produce or grab some ice cream at the Salamanca Market, and be sure to spend an afternoon exploring the thought-provoking exhibits at the MONA (Museum of Old and New Art).

πŸš— Where to Find Rental Vehicles

πŸ›οΈ Where to Sleep

Day 2: Freycinet National Park

Views of Wineglass Bay in Tasmania
Yes, the view from Wineglass Bay Lookout really does look like this!

From Hobart, it’s about a 2.5 hour drive to Coles Bay, the launching point for exploring Freycinet National Park: a must-see spot for any Tasmania road trip. Spend at least on day here exploring the park, and taking in the famous vistas of Wineglass Bay.

πŸ‘‰ Tips

  • Don’t just stop at the viewpoint like many tourists! The quick hike down to the beach itself is worth it. Better, yet, spend a day doing a hiking loop through Freycinet National Park.
  • Watch out for wallabies on the beach!
  • Have an RV? Make sure you arrange ahead of time to snag a campsite within the park itself (info here).
  • Missed out on a campsite? Stay in Coles Bay or in the several private campgrounds outside the park.

πŸ›οΈ Where to Sleep

Day 3: Bay of Fires

Bay of Fires, a stop on your Tasmania Itinerary
The stunning Bay of Fires should be on every Tasmania Itinerary

From Freycinet, head north and make a quick stop to check out Diamond Island north of Bicheno (be prepared to wade through water, as the tide often covers the sandbar giving access to the island!). Next, continue north for a couple hours to Bay of Fires. Here you’ll be able to witness white sand butting up against stunning rock formations covered in a red moss that makes the scene look simply otherworldly.

πŸ‘‰ Tips

  • Make sure you get to Bay of Fires in time to see the (epic) sunset!
  • You can free camp in the park or overnight in nearby St. Helens or Binalong Bay.

πŸ›οΈ Where to Sleep

Day 4: Bridestowe Lavender Estate / Drive to Cradle Mountain

Lavender fields in Tasmania

Most of day 4 will be dedicated to the 4+ hour road trip to get to Cradle Mountain-Lake Saint Claire National Park. But along the way, detour for a short day trip to visit Launceston or to check out the stunning purple fields at the Bridestowe Lavendar Estate. These gorgeous fields are an Instagrammer’s paradise!

After that, complete the drive and get some rest before the big day on Cradle Mountain!

πŸ‘‰ Tips

  • Planning to camp? Helpful info is available on the Tasmania Parks & Wildlife website.
  • Prefer staying in a hotel? Be warned options are very limited here, so reserve asap.

πŸ›οΈ Where to Stay

Day 5: Cradle Mountain-Lake Saint Claire National Park

A hiker looking at Cradle Mountain

At 1,545 meters, Cradle Mountain may not be the highest mountain in Tasmania, but it’s jagged peaks make it by far the most imposing and famous. Scaling the peak involves a moderately challenging hike, with an especially challenging bit of bouldering at the top (wear shoes with a good grip!).

If you’re not up for that, no worries mate: there are dozens or gorgeous trails for all skill levels around the park and World Heritage-listed Dove Lake. You’ll want to set aside at least one full day of your Tasmania road trip to take it all in. In fact, if you have extra time, I suggest building in an extra day just to explore all the walking trails around Lake St Clair.

πŸ‘‰ Tips

  • Planning to scale Cradle Mountain? Be sure to start EARLY in the morning.
  • Tired of carrying plastic water bottles? Pack a water filtration bottle!

Day 6: Strahan

Boats in Strahan on your Tasmania Itinerary
Boats in Strahan/ (photo: Michael6882 / Depositphotos)

Your legs will probably be a bit tired at this point, so venture to West Coast of Tasmania to relax a bit in the fishing village of Strahan. This charming port town is the gateway to Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. Enjoy one of the many day cruises on offer to visit this incredible rain forest – yes, really, there’s a rain forest in Tasmania – or just spend the day soaking in the relaxed atmosphere of this remote settlement.

πŸ‘‰ Tips

πŸ›οΈ Where to Stay

Day 7: Mount Field National Park

Russell Falls, a stop on a Tasmania Road Trip
Russell Falls in Mt Field National Park Tasmania Itinerary (1)

It’s a long drive back to Hobart, so break it up by spending your last night camping at the wonderful Mount Field National Park (there’s some hotel offerings available below too if you don’t have a campervan or tent). Go for a few easy hikes to view the many beautiful waterfalls (the highlight of which is Russel Falls).

πŸ‘‰ Tips

  • Be sure to head back into the jungle after dark, when thousands of glowworms light up the night. A genuinely cool not-to-be-missed Tasmanian experience.

πŸ›οΈ Where to Stay

Day 8: Drive to Bruny Island

Steps to The Neck in Bruny Island Tasmania
“The Neck” on Bruny Island

Drive south, take a short car ferry, and spend your final two days exploring Bruny Island. More like two islands separated by a sandbar, South Bruny Island National Park offers up plenty of Instagram-worthy photo spots!

πŸ‘‰ Tips

πŸ›οΈ Where to Stay

Day 9: Bruny Island National Park

Lighthouse on Bruny Island

You’ll need a full day to take in the many things to do on Bruny Island. Go for a stroll along the gorgeous Cloudy Bay – or, better yet, grab a surfboard and ride some waves. And definitely don’t miss the penguin colony at Bruny Neck!

πŸ‘‰ Tips

  • If you can, fuel up your car before the ferry. The only place to do so on the island is at the Adventure Bay General Store, where prices can be higher.
  • There are no ATMs on South Bruny Island, bring cash with you!

Day 10: Return to Hobart

On the last day of your Tasmania Itinerary, head back to Hobart. If you didn’t get to hit it up at the start of your road trip, be sure to check out the Museum of Old and New Art before you wrap up your trip!

πŸ›οΈ Where to Sleep

Planning Your Tasmania Road Trip

Wineglass bay in Tasmania
Wineglass bay, Tasmania

How to Get Around Tasmania

Every road trip requires a great set of wheels. There are basically three options on the island:

Option 1 – Bring Your Own Car on the Ferry

The Spirit of Tasmania sails between Port Melbourne in Victoria and Devonport in Tasmania. The journey across the Bass Strait takes between 9 and 11 hours, and can be done via overnight or day sailings. Shared and private cabins are available, and pets are welcome onboard! Check out the official sailing calendar for exact times and fares.

2021 Update: to celebrate the opening of Tasmania, the Spirit of Tasmania announced they will let passengers bring their car for free from March to June 2021.

Option 2 – Rent a Car

Probably the simplest solution, and definitely the most popular, is to simply rent a car and either camp or stay in hotels or B&Bs along the route. Both Hobart International and Launceston Airport have loads of rental car companies to choose from, but you’ll want to be sure to reserve in advance because inventory on the island can run low during peak periods. I recommend using Discover Car Hire’s handy search engine to easily search and price compare car hire options from different companies.

Option 3 – Rent a Campervan or RV

My personal favorite way to road trip is in an RV or campervan! Sure, it costs a little more for the rental, but think of what you can save on accommodation! Campervans and RVs are very popular on the island, so there are many rental companies to choose from. Personally, I suggest using Motorhome Republic’s search engine to see what inventory is available for your dates.

Alternatively, if you’re bargain hunting, some readers have pointed out that a new company called Outdoorsy is operating peer-to-peer rentals now. Think of it like Airbnb, but for RVs!

Pro tip: stock up on your road trip essentials at any of the many super-center stores on Hobart’s outskirts before starting your Tasmania road trip.

Additional Stops for Your Tasmania Road Trip

There’s a lot to see in Tasmania, and your specific road trip itinerary will depend a lot on your starting and ending points. So feel free to mix up these itineraries and improvise a bit!

Here’s some other major Tasmanian points of interest to consider for your road trip itinerary:

  • Mount Wellington – You can take in incredible views of the city of Hobart from atop this mountain.
  • Port Arthur – This former penal settlement is now an open-air museum.
  • Richmond – A photogenic historic town just outside Hobart.
  • Maria Island – Check out the gorgeous painted cliffs on this beautiful island off the east coast of Tasmania.
  • Queenstown – A rugged town with a quaint main street on Tasmania’s western side.

Tasmania Road Trip FAQs

Tasmania Itinerary: The view on the hike up Cradle Mountain in Tasmania
The view on the hike up Cradle Mountain in Tasmania

Tasmania is such an excellent road trip destination because it is relatively compact, there are so many things to do, and it’s easily possible to create several loops that allow you to take in multiple sites without ever having to double back on territory you’ve already covered!

Here’s a quick guide to some of the practicalities of creating your own Tasmanian road trip itinerary:

How do I rent a car in Tasmania?

It’s fairly easy to rent a car in Tasmania.

I recommend shopping prices over at the Discover Cars search engine.

Unlike some other sites, they have no hidden costs, no booking fees, and free cancellation. Plus they have lots of inventory in Tasmania.

What do I need to know about driving in Tasmania?

Tasmania’s roads are modern, well-paved, and relatively easy for driving. Driving in Tasmania is done on the left. Most foreign drivers licenses will work just fine in Tasmania, but check this site to be sure you’re in the clear.

Additionally, be sure you have a plan for insurance for your road trip! If you need travel insurance, I suggest checking out World Nomads or comparing hundreds of providers at TravelInsurance.com.

How do I arrange an RV or Campervan hire in Tasmania?

It’s pretty easy to hire an RV or campervan for your Tassie road trip. Just note that you’ll definitely want to make your reservation in advance as the inventory on the island is limited (it IS an island after all)!

Personally, I recommend starting your search by checking prices at Motorhome Republic.

Why Motorhome Republic? It’s the largest motorhome rental company on Earth, and they have a TON of great inventory in Tasmania. Plus, their have by far the best search interface and easiest booking process of any of the site I’ve seen.

The great thing about Motorhome Republic is that it helps you search a variety of campervan rental companies across Tasmania, so you can always be sure you’re getting the best RV for your trip.

What about accessing the national parks?

You will need a National Parks Pass for entry into the various parks throughout the island. You can purchase a pass here on the official website, or many campervan rental agencies will sell them to you when you pick up your vehicle.

Where can I camp in Tasmania?

Whether you’re in an RV, campervan, or tent, Tasmania has an incredible offering of camping sites, including both free sites and paid campgrounds that often offer services like laundry, kitchens, showers, and more. Check out this map to see all of the campgrounds on offer in Tassie. But, be aware that some of the best campgrounds can book up early, so make reservations if you can!

Do I have to camp to enjoy a Tasmania road trip?

Absolutely not! No matter where you are in Tasmania, there’s sure to be plenty of incredible hotels and hostels on offer all along the way. Head on over to Booking.com to price out some accommodation near the locations you plan to visit.

What side of the road does Tasmania drive on?

Driving in Tasmania is on the left hand side of the road.

How do you get to Tasmania?

The best way to get to Tasmania is to fly into Hobart, which has lots of quick flight connections from Melbourne, Sydney, and elsewhere in Australia. If you’re bringing your own car or campervan to Tasmania, it might also make sense to take the Spirit of Tasmania ferry from Melbourne, which takes 9-11 hours.

When is the best time of year to visit Tasmania?

Peak season for travel to Tasmania is the summer months of December to February. This is when the weather is warmest and the island is generally most pleasant to explore.

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Have questions about your Tasmania road trip? Need a Tasmania itinerary for a different set of time? Or have any tips to offer fellow travelers? Scroll to the bottom and leave a comment!

And, if you loved this article, be sure to check out our awesome list of the 19 Things to do in Newcastle, Australia. It’s written by a local and loaded with tons of hidden-gems!

πŸš™ Love road trips? Check out our other road trip guides to awesome places like Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Tasmania, Ireland, Croatia, and Alberta!

4 Comments

  1. Hi,
    I’m travelling to Tasmania in July. Where do you recommend us to go? Is safe to drive a motorhome there in July or it’s dangerous due to the snow?
    Thanks in advance for your help.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Debora! I’ve never done a winter road trip in Tasmania my self, but I do know people who have done it and say that Tasmania is absolutely magical that way. With that said, I think you’re going to want to self-assess your comfort level and skill in terms of driving on ice.

  2. This is a great site! Thanks for the help in planning my trip. I used 80% of your information to travel Tasmania in December! Awesome Nate!

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