Tasmania (or Tassie, as it is know by locals) is a place full of untouched wilderness, fresh produce, protected wildlife and booming culture. It is no secret, Inspired Adventures plan some amazing and inspiring adventures including treks to Tasmania. So when I saw countless photos from our participants on the beauty of Tasmania, I was INSPIRED! I had to see it for myself.
Over the Australia Day break I convinced my friends to take some time off, buy a ticket to Launceston, hire a Winnebago for 6 days to explore the vast beauty Tassie has to offer. You will note that we drove North, East, South then West but instead, I recommend that you start North, West, East and South. Buy a ticket into Launceston and out of Hobart. It costs the same and saves you time on the commute. Here is my experience of Tassie in 6 days.
Fly into Launceston and make your way to Sweetbrew for the best mushroom toast and coffee in town. Don’t be fooled, it may look tiny outside, but once you venture through the doors, you will find a couple secret rooms nicely furnished out back. Once you’ve filled your stomach, make your way to Cataract Gorge for a quick dip or a chairlift over the thriving bushland in the middle of the city. If you are up for a little drive you can make your way to Bridestowe Lavender Estate to see acres of lavender fields while indulging on lavender ice cream.
End the night by dining at the Cataract Pub for a reasonably priced seafood platter for two.
Prepare for an early morning start for a 1h 50 min drive to the Freycinet Park on the East Coast to see Wineglass Bay. If possible, I recommend trying to make your way to Wineglass Bay for sunrise. The view is spectacular, and worth the early morning rise. You can see Wineglass Bay from the Wineglass Bay lookout, or if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, I recommend making the 1.5 hour ascent up Mount Amos for some amateur rock climbing and trekking. The view is well worth the effort!
Don’t be sad to leave the turquoise water and white sand, because you will see rows of white sand and blue shores during the east coast drive. It will be so inviting that you can’t help but stop at every opportunity, and soon you will find that a 2.5 hr drive to Hobart will turn into 5 hours. If you didn’t get a chance to see Bay of Fires, you will be able to catch some red rocks along the east coastline.
So you have arrived in the main city of Hobart. I suggest spending two days here to give you time to explore all the city has to offer from the MONA, to Mount Wellington and Salamanca Square. Make sure to arrive in Hobart on a Saturday to catch the Salamanca Markets which has been a popular Saturday morning activity for locals and tourists since 1972. Buy some mementos to bring home and try the fresh Oysters straight from Bruny Island.
Spend the day enjoying the noise, the food and culture. Grab lunch from the array of food vendors and have a picnic at the park with friends, or with a book you just bought from one of the second-hand book stalls.
After you are done eating and scavenging your way through the Salamanca Markets, make your way to the top of Mount Wellington for an amazing sunset over the city. The drive up is so high, it made me sweat a little. If you are feeling more adventurous and have a spare few hours, you can also trek or cycle your way to the top.
That night, go to a pub in Salamanca Square for dinner and grab a drink or two.
Make your way to the Museum of Old & New Art (MONA) by car or ferry for a more scenic route, to add a unique cultural experience to your adventure. The MONA has fixed features including the Cloaca ‘pooing machine’ (it is fed food, to represent the digestive system) but also has changing exhibitions on the bottom floor. Once you arrive, you will be advised to start from the bottom up for the maximum experience. You will then be given an iPhone and headphones that will give you some background on each artwork.
Spend a couple hours enjoying the wacky and controversial works of art scattered throughout the MONA, then have lunch overlooking the river at the MONA café (the croissants were amazing) or make your way back to the city for lunch by the port.
After lunch, get back on the road and make your way to Cradle Mountain National Park.
You will have to drive back up to Launceston, so stop at Zeps for their well known ice cream to help you feel better about the 4 hour drive.
If you are camping or driving around in a motorhome and want to stay at a power site, the closest powered site is Gowrie Park. Gowrie Park is only 40 minutes from Cradle Mountain National Park. If you would like something a little more comfortable, you can stay on the Cradle Mountain Lodge.
Start the day with some early morning canyoning through Cradle Mountain, a dip in the water will quickly wake you up or drive to the famous Dove Lake. Shuttles are also available which start at the information centre which start at 8am and end at 7pm. Make sure to visit the information centre to buy your pass for the day. Please note: some vehicles, including motorhomes and buses are not allowed in Cradle Mountain National Park. If you are found inside, you will cop a hefty fine. Trust me, we asked!
Once you get to Dove Lake, there are no shortage of treks through breathtaking terrains. Cradle Mountain is a popular trek but make sure you give yourself enough time to make the ascent, and take in the amazing scenery at the top. You can also trek the Dove Lake circuit or make your way back to the Information Centre on foot where you will be met with numerous friendly four-crawling locals.
If you have some time, trek through the consecutive day trek, The Overland Track.
Day six marks the last day of the adventure, and time to make your way back home. If you are like me and need to end your adventure with a view of the coastline, make your way up the coast to Greens Beach and Beauty Point. This adds an extra hour to the drive, but for me, it is well worth the effort. Make sure to stop at the fudge café in Shefield for some milkshakes and sundae candles.
Once you return to Launceston, enjoy your last meal at one of their amazing bar and grills before boarding the plane. Cataract on Paterson, Penny Royal and Jailhouse Grill, which building was built in the mid-1800’s using handmade convict bricks from the local brickfields, were all recommended to us by locals.
Tasmania is such a beautiful island and despite being the smallest state in Australia, this is a place not to be underestimated. I was only able to scratch the surface, but Tassie has so much to offer. So keep on exploring, make your own memories and get travelling!
Photography by Nepthelo Janiola