Tasmania, the island below mainland Australia is a backpacker’s paradise. How I wish I can go there someday. Tasmania is a wonderful place – [talk about] beautiful natural scenery, an array of wildlife, gorgeous coastlines, wineries, restaurants, culture…the list goes on and on.
One of the best ways to take it all in is by road – there are so many scenic routes that there’ll be plenty to see at every stop along the way. So head down there, rent a car, or borrow one from a friend – just make sure you have your own set of wheels to make the most of your trip to Tasmania.
Here are some must-sees along the way:
Strahan is a small town in western Tasmania, with a population of just 637. It used to be an important port for freight and passenger shipping, but now, its location on the north-western edge of the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park has made it a perfect base for planes, helicopters and ships travelling into the national park.
While in Strahan, hop on a cruise that will take you along the beautiful Gordon River, and soak in all the natural scenery. Going through the heart of the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, the area is largely uninhabited. You can also take it in from the sky on board one of the seaplane tours that are operated from Strahan.
After the cruise down Gordon River, drive north-east for four hours and you’ll find yourself in Launceston. Have a drive around town and let your eyes indulge in all the Victorian and Georgian buildings in the city built in the 19th century, or if you want to take a break from driving, have a walk around and select from the many restaurants and stalls on the street. If you’re into art, be sure to visit the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery.
Right outside Launceston is the Cataract Gorge, a beautiful natural reserve just a 10 minute drive from the Launceston city centre. On top of taking loads of pictures of the breath-taking scenery, have a dip in the natural swimming pool, take the chairlift that gives you a bird’s eye view of the gorge and the rapids, have a coffee in one of the two superb cafes, or simply lay down on one of the many open areas for a lazy afternoon.
From Launceston, drive north for about an hour and you’ll be in George Town. Famous for its rich-maritime history, pick between the Low Head Lighthouse and pilot station that gives you views across the Bass Strait, the Old Watch House Museum, or one of the vineyards along the Pipers River.
Leaving George Town, a 3-hour drive due south along the National Highway 1 brings you to the coastal town of Bicheno. Paddle yourself along the coastline on a kayak, go on a boat trip, or go for a walk to Wineglass Bay. Make sure you also meet up with the local fishermen when they bring in the daily catch.
St. Mary’s is a town just under an hour’s drive from Bicheno, or an hour and a half’s drive from Launceston. You can challenge yourself to a climb to the St. Patrick’s Head, or the South Sister’s Peak, or a relaxing drive in the Elephant Pass – all of which give spectacular views. In town, have a browse through all the craft galleries, bakeries and shops that this small town has to offer.
In terms of getting yourself a vehicle, scope out rental options, or if you’re going for an extended holiday, you can consider looking at second hand cars to buy. Cars should be reliable, safe and road worthy of course, so don’t buy something that’s run down just because it’s cheap.
Once you’ve got a set of wheels, it’s time to hit the road!
Need a map?