Discover Beautiful Tasmania
A Campervan Tour Through The Wonders Of The Apple Isle
Tasmania is an incredible natural treasure and one that holds many hidden gems of both scenic and cultural value. From the hustle and bustle of its emerging port towns to the untouched wilderness of the wild west coast, the state is prime for a self-driven holiday adventure with enough attractions and activities for anyone to enjoy.
The island's natural geography and subsequent civil layout make for the perfect touring circuit; starting in Hobart, Launceston or Devonport and following the coastline, visitors can complete the 1433km round trip in a comfortable 2 week drive that encompasses the best Tasmania has to offer.
Best time to visit: December to February or June to August
- Freycinet National Park
- Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park
- Port Arthur
- Coles Bay
- Overland Track
Vehicle Hire & Costs: For best access, visitors should consider starting their journey in Hobart or Launceston where you can rent a suitable vehicle (subject to availability). (subject to availability). A campervan is the best option for this journey as a lack of internal transport options and often expensive local accommodation can stretch a budget before the holiday has even begun. Available vehicles come equipped with camping equipment and facilities necessary to make your adventure complete.
Port Arthur is the ancestral home of Australia's convict history with the oldest penal settlement and still-in-tact colonial bridge in the country. The settlement contains more than 30 buildings featuring restored homes and facilities from the colonial establishment period of 1830 through to 1877.
The town is a short drive from Hobart via Richmond on the Arthur highway and is the first stop on your way around the lower Tasmanian region. Take a day to explore the historic town and its surrounding attractions, including the World Heritage-Listed historic site, Probation Station and Convict Salt Mines.
If time permits head further south to visit the Tasman Arch, Remarkable Cave and Devils Kitchen and the other rock formations that dot the coastline of the Eaglehawk Neck. Stay the night at one of the various campervan sites in town.
North from Port Arthur through the town of Orford lies the Freycinet Peninsula, one of Australia's most beautiful stretches of coastline and the region that is home to some of Tasmania's most renowned natural attractions and diverse wildlife.
This area is largely encompassed by Freycinet National Park , which serves as both a sanctuary for local wildlife and a popular destination for outdoor adventures such as hiking, camping and kayaking.
There are various locations and walks in the area, but Wine Glass Bay and The Hazard mountains around Hazard's Beach are unmissable. The beautiful blue stretch of beach that makes up Wine Glass Bay can be viewed from Wine Glass Lookout, or up close accessible by trail walk through the park. Continue a few minutes further on to conquer the 'Hazards' and be rewarded with an equally stunning view of Hazard's Beach.
When you've had your fill of physical activity, visit the Freycinet Marine Farm, just a short drive outside of Coles Bay to sample some of the most highly prized seafood cuisine in the southern hemisphere. The menu includes a range of fine wines and shellfish - including abalone, fished straight from the bay.
If time permits continue on to Sleepy Bay and visit the Cap Tourville Lighthouse, Friendly Beaches and Bluestone Bay for an afternoon of relaxation and even more stunning views.
This location is ideal to spend 1 - 2 days exploring the local area. The various campervan parks in the area all offer reasonable overnight rates and are equipped with necessary amenities.
Bicheno & St Helens
The next stop on your journey is Bicheno, further north along the highway towards St Helens. Bicheno is famous for its fishing, seafood and the annual arrival of colonies of Fairy Penguins that visit the shores during their breeding season of October to April.
Tours run regularly at this time and are recommended as the cost goes towards supporting local business as well as the preservation of the penguin's natural habitats.
Take your time to explore the town as you discover Tasmanian devils, wombats and snakes at East Coast Nature World and get blown away by the 'Blowhole' and other natural formations at the nearby Gulch.
When you get hungry, visit one of the many local seaside restaurants or take a picnic and relax amongst nature in Douglas Aspley National Park just a 5 minute drive outside of town.
Continue further north to where you will reach the beach side fishing town of St Helens. Cast against the shores of George's Bay, this tiny inlet town is famous for its game fishing, which can be taken via a recreational or chartered outing with various estuaries, rivers and secluded bays to explore in the area. The region's tin mining and Aboriginal/Chinese heritage can be explored at the St Helens History Room for those wanting to discover more about the region.
Spend the night at one of the well equipped campervan parks in the area.
Binalong & The Bay of Fires
Heading further north from St Helens, your next stop is Binalong Bay which acts as a secluded beach retreat and the beginning of the famous stretch of coastal inlets known as 'The Bay of Fires'.
The Bay of Fires gets its efficacious name from Captain Tobias Furneaux who discovered the bay in 1773. It is said that on arrival the Captain saw the many fires of the indigenous Aboriginal people spread across the beaches, and named it after them.
Today the unique orange-coloured moss that grows over the rock formations in the region keeps the legend alive, giving the bay a long washed fire-like effect when viewed at a distance. This area is without a doubt one of the most remarkable sites you can visit on a journey through Tasmania and can be enjoyed at a glance or up close if you want to stay for a few days.
The many white sand beaches, flowing estuaries and pristine inlets of the area make for great swimming and fishing locations and the famous Giant Kelp Forests off humbug point have all the makings of a diver's paradise.
Take the time to explore the area along with its many interesting and unique local attractions. Visit the Pyengana Cheese Factory (established 1895) and sample some of the finest clothbound cheddar this side of the Bass Strait, then take a walk out to St Columba Falls accessible via The Big Tree Walk.
The Eddystone Lighthouse and Weldborough Pass Scenic Reserve are also must see locations with various campsites available in the area.
Stay a day or two (or longer) and enjoy the relaxing beauty of this region.
Launceston is one of Australia's oldest cities and is covered in beautiful colonial architecture reminiscent of the various European cultures who have called it home since the early 1800's. The town is small in size but boasts a budding food and wine scene in conjunction with a wealth of natural and historical attractions including Cataract Gorge, The National Automobile Museum and the Tamar Valley - just to name a few.
The Tamar Valley Wine Route (just outside of town, stretching between Legana and Beauty Point) is the best way to experience some of the finest wine produce Tasmania has to offer. Many of the vineyards along the route are family owned and are open to visitors year round, with wine making demonstrations and classes on offer at certain times.
Just off the highway, the small town of Exeter plays host to a 10 hectare wildlife sanctuary known as the Notley Fern Gorge. Enjoy a leisurely walk through the rain forest enclosure as you spy some local fauna and flora along the nature trail.
Further along the highway is the Glengary Bush Maze and Seahorse World which are both worthwhile attractions to regardless of age. The Maze features a fully furnished tea room to sample local brews and snacks whilst Seahorse world features a Platypus terrarium which is the only location in the country visitors can get up close with Tasmanian platypuses.
Cradle Mountain & Lake St Clair
Leaving Launceston, head towards the town of Wynyard and take the turn off towards Cradle Mountain.
Located in Lake St Clair National Park and traversing part of the Tasmania World Heritage Area, Cradle Mountain one of the state's most treasured natural locations that visitors from all around the world flock to see every year.
Home to the Overland Track, this region is known for Its natural landscape ranging from towering alpine glaciers to lush ancient rain forests that play host to some of Australia's most iconic wildlife. There is an abundance of activities available in the area ranging from skiing to mountain climbing and day trips to ancient indigenous cultural sites.
At the southern end of the Overland Track lies Lake St Clair which is Australia's deepest freshwater body of water. Accessible by car or by completing the Overland Track, the lake is the best way to access the Franklin River Nature Trail which is the more leisurely way to see the beauty of Tasmania's forests.
The park is fully equipped with camping grounds both at Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair with full amenities and wood available for purchase so visitors can make the most out of their stay.
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