The tiny Australian island, separated from the mainland by the Bass Strait, and absolutely brimming with beautiful landscapes, friendly wildlife and more open space than you could image.
Affectionately called Tassie by locals, it’s popularity has had a giant spike in recent years, with more and more tourists both from the mainland states as well as international visitors flocking to the island each year. It’s definitely cemented it’s status as a must-see Australian destination.
I spent the Easter long weekend road tripping around Tassie with my family and boy did we cover a lot of ground in only a few days.
In our short 4 day trip we flew into Hobart, hitting up Bruny Island, Freycinet National Park, the Bay of Fires before we flew out of Launceston at the other end of the island. We definitely could have used some extra time to explore, but we will definitely be back to spend longer in Tasmania.
There’s no doubt about it, planning a self drive Tasmania holiday is definitely the best way to explore this little island. Whether you bring your own car across with you on the Spirit of Tasmania, or you rent one when you arrive, the freedom that having your own car gives you can not be beaten.
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Renting a car in Tasmania
Planning your own self drive Tasmania holiday is relatively easy. The roads are quiet, there’s not much traffic, and it’s super easy to get around the island.
Both of the major airports on Tasmania – Hobart and Launceston – have a huge range of rental car suppliers and different car options available when you arrive. If you’re visiting Tasmania during the school holidays, summer time or on a public holiday weekend it’s a good idea to book your rental car in advance, as they can book out in advance during busy times.
Car rental on Tasmania can start from as little as $30 AUD per day for a small economy car.
Once you’re out on the open road you have the freedom to stop anywhere you like! And Tasmania has heaps of cute road side stops that are definitely worth checking out, but that you might not have heard of before.
Here are some of our favourite stops along the East Coast to check out while you’re planning your own self drive Tasmania holiday.
Devils Corner Cellar Door and Lookout
With signature wood fire pizza, award winning local wines, seafood caught right from the water surrounding Tasmania and an outstanding view over Great Oyster Bay, there’s really no reason not to stop at the Devils Corner Cellar Door.
It’s the perfect place to stop if you’re travelling between Hobart and Freycinet National Park, found pretty close to the Freycinet turn off. From Hobart it’s about a two hour drive to Devils Corner, or 1.5 hours from Launceston.
Devils Corner Tasmania || 1 Sherbourne Road, Apslawn || Ph: (03) 6257 8881
Pondering Frog Tearoom and Ice-Creamery
With a sunflower patch out the front, home made ice-cream and overnight RV and caravan parking out the front, Pondering Frog is a great place to stop for a snack during the day, or even for an overnight stay.
Open from 8am until 5pm in the winter and until 8pm in the summer, they are definitely more than just an ice-cream stop.
Pondering Frog || 16494 Tasman Hwy, Bicheno || Ph: 0412 631 299
East Coast Nature World
Maybe our favourite stop along the East Coast of Tasmania, we hadn’t heard about East Coast Nature World until we were right in front of it.
This wildlife sanctuary is about 30 minutes out of Freycinet National Park and when you visit you can get up close and personal with Tasmanian Devils, hand feed kangaroos and wallabies, walk through the open emu pen, and meet some of the most beautiful and active wombats we have ever seen!
Open from 9am until 5pm each day (closed on Christmas day), you can also make an appointment for a special night tour during the peak season to see some of the most active hours of their nocturnal residents.
Nature World is just 5 minutes north of Becheno on the main Tasman Highway.
East Coast Nature World || 18356 Tasman Highway, Bicheno || Ph: (03) 6375 1311
This tiny bay is the perfect secluded spot for a recovery swim and picnic lunch after your hike up to the Wineglass Bay lookout.
Fringed with a eucalyptus forest and located between two rocky headlands, Honeymoon Bay offers stunning views over the dramatic Hazards mountains.
It’s just a short walk from the Freycinet Visitors Centre, but feels like a completely private bay, a mile away from the rest of Tasmania.
About 25 minutes north of Hobart, Richmond is a little heritage city that makes you feel like you’re back in the olden days!
The Richmond Bridge is the oldest bridge still in use in Australia, built in 1823. If you have time, stop in at the old school lolly shop around the corner for all the hard candies you can eat, as well as a huge range of modern candy and different kinds of snacks.
Richmond Bridge || Bridge Street, Richmond
Cape Tourville Lighthouse
Automatic, unmanned and totally in the middle of nowhere, the Cape Tourville Lighthouse offers stunning views over the bay and across the East Coast of Tasmania.
A very easy, 20 minute walk will take you from the car park, to the lighthouse and back. You can even see a different angle of Freycinet National Park from here.
The lighthouse at Cape Tourville was built in 1971 to replace the awkwardly inaccessible Cape Forestier Lighthouse, that stopped working in the same year.
The Tasmanian Countryside
You just can’t beat it, everywhere you turn is just beautiful!
Tasmania is only a short one hour flight from Melbourne and two hours from Sydney, with domestic airports at both Hobart and Launceston.
You can find regular flights from all the major and low-cost airlines, with prices often hitting as low as $35 AUD each way from Melbourne. Honestly, that’s cheaper than a taxi ride to the airport in Melbourne!
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