Tasmania, an island state off of Australia’s south coast, is known for its vast wilderness areas, kind people, and locally crafted goodies.
In cities like Hobart and Launceston there are music festivals, outdoor markets and delicious restaurants. In the countryside, there is an abundance of small producers of locally owned seafood, bakeries, cheeses, apple orchards, craft beers, and local wines.
A Tasmania road trip is what this island was made for.
It is one of the most picturesque and pure places I’ve visited. What is more, it is filled with important history, amazing hiking trails, relaxing beaches and spectacular outdoor activities.
My favorite activities always involve the outdoors, and Tassie luckily has tons many opportunities for it. Hiking trails range from short walks to a waterfall or a multi-day trek like the Overland Track in Cradle Mountain. You can explore the island’s rugged eastern coastline and rivers through kayaking, boating, or rafting.
No matter what you love, Tasmania has a special something for you.
Searching for the perfect itinerary? Here’s how to spend 5 days traveling in Tasmania. if you’re looking for general advice on the island, below are my top tips to get the most out of your Tasmania road trip adventure.
Rent A Car
First things first – one of the most important Tasmania road trip tips is to get around Tassie by car. The public transport is very under-developed in most parts of the island with expensive buses running infrequently. Buses can be used to get between larger cities but in order to really see all this place has to offer, a car is a must. This way you can have the freedom to go where you want to, when you want.
Shop For Groceries In Cities
Once you get outside of Hobart and Launceston, grocery stores are more expensive and have a much smaller selection. I recommend stopping at Woolworth’s or a larger supermarket before you hit the road to avoid getting hangry when you’re 2 hours from town!
Spend Time In Towns, Not Cities
The kindness of locals in Tasmania is unsurpassed. On our trip we stopped in St. Helens for a lazy morning and came across a local coffee shop / bookstore. It was a delightful experience to sit there and people watch. There were groups of locals chatting and laughing, having a slow morning sipping their lattes and reading the newspaper. The shop had the comforting smell of old books. It was an absolute delight, and a few kind faces gave us great recommendations when they saw us peering over our scrunched-up paper road map.
Watch The Sunsets
I don’t know if it’s because the nature here is so beautiful or so quiet, but the sunset’s in Tassie are truly one of a kind. No matter where you are, at nighttime, try to be outside to witness the sun go down. The colors are vibrant and unforgettable, especially at Binalong Bay on the east coast.
Get Off The Beaten Path
The best way to see true Tassie is to get off the touristy path. This can be hard to do, but when you visit national parks take the trail that isn’t the first one they recommend. In small towns, try asking the tourist information center for restaurants that they would recommend, or a place to eat with authentic Tasmanian foods. You will have a richer and more authentic experience by seeking out the road less traveled.
Be Wary Of The Weather
be sure to check the weather before any outdoor activities, but also be aware that it can change in an instant! Cradle Mountain is known to have 4 seasons in a single day. The east coast of Tasmania is typically very dry but the western areas have very variable weather. Always pack a raincoat, snacks, water and warm clothes when hiking.
Another note about Tassie’s weather: the forecast might say 23 degrees, but the wind is intense! The wind blows from Antarctica and because there are no land masses in between, it is blustery and can get pretty freaking cold. Pack an extra layer (or two!).
Talk To Locals
Get advice from locals whenever possible. And for the most part, don’t listen to mainland Australians for advice about Tasmania. Most of them know less about the island than you do!”
Tasmanians know all the best views, foods, and things to do. If you are unsure of where to head next, ask someone who looks like a regular at a local coffee shop or ask a waiter at a restaurant for things to do in the area. Chances are they will be genuinely happy that you’ve taken the time to explore their home and will be eager to give advice.
Pack A Real Physical Map
Taking an actual map with you instead of relying on your iPhone GPS will make your road trip much more seamless in areas with no reception. What is more, there are so many things to do, and having all the information in front of you makes it easier to make those decisions about where to go next. Mark your desired stops on the map to ensure you don’t miss any must-see locations.
Buy A Park Pass
The national parks in Tasmania aren’t free or cheap. If you are traveling with more than one person and want to visit multiple national parks, buy a pass for about 50$ that gives access to all the parks during the course of a few days. Cradle Mountain alone is 18$ entrance fee, so it is well worth the price!
Give Yourself Extra Time
The roads in Tassie are very winding and you will definitely want to stop and take photos along the road. Thinking that you will be consistently driving 100km/hr on an interstate is unlikely! Take your time, and leave time for pictures and simply taking in the gorgeous landscapes.
Plan Your Trip For Early Fall
I traveled Tasmania in early Map and this time of year was a bit cold for camping. Tasmania road trip advice #1 – ideal time to go is in March or April. These months aren’t peak summer tourist time, meaning less people at tourist attractions and free camp spots are almost empty. You get a much better experience when the nature is so quiet and beautiful like this.
These Tasmania road trip travel tips will surely elevate your adventures. Get out there!