Tasmania - the Wild Island State

Tour highlights

  • Colonial Hobart
  • Port Arthur and the Tasman National Park
  • Freycinet National Park
  • St Helens and Georges Bay
  • Launceston – The Garden City
  • Cradle Mountain – Lake St Claire National Park
  • Strahan – Gateway to the South West World Heritage National Park
  • The West Coast Wilderness Railway
  • Gordon River Cruise

Days 1 - 8: Hobart to Port Arthur

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Day 1 - 5: UK to Hobart

Fly from the UK to Hobart. Landing on day three you will be met and welcomed at Hobart Airport and transferred to the Rydges Hotel Hobart for a 3 night stay.

Hobart is the smallest of Australia's capitals and is situated on the Derwent River. It has one of the deepest harbours in the world. The city centre, with its wealth of old colonial buildings, wraps around Sullivans Cove and is backed by the wooded slopes of Mount Wellington. A morning city tour of Hobart is included, where you can get a comprehensive commentary of Hobart's history, its features and attractions, and a view of the Tasmanian lifestyle.

Days 6 – 8: Port Arthur

Distance: approx 100 km / 62 miles (around 1 hour 30 minutes)

On day six you'll collect your motorhome from the Maui depot, then drive to nearby Sorrell to pickup supplies before continuing on to the Tasman Peninsula. You might like to head to Port Arthur via the stunning coastal scenery and walks of the Tasman National Park, or take a detour via historic Richmond which is arguably Tasmania's premier historic town.

Port Arthur is located on the Tasman Peninsula and is a symbol of Australia's 19th century convict system. The settlement operated from 1830 to 1877 as a timber producing sawing station, and later as an industrial prison. After the closure, most of the land and buildings were auctioned off, with new residents renaming it Carnarvon Township. Following bushfires in 1895, the old settlement has now been restored and today is a must-see historic site.

Places to visit include the Bush Mill Pioneer Park, the Tasmanian Devil Park as well as natural attractions on the Tasman Peninsula such as the Blow Hole, Tasman's Arch and the Devil's Kitchen. In the evening, you can take a 'ghost tour' where you walk around the settlement with a guide who tells of all the ghosts who still 'live' in the area!

Days 9 - 13: Freycinet to St Helens

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Days 9 - 11: Freycinet

Distance: approx 214 km / 133 miles (around 3 hours 15 minutes)

The east coast of Tasmania has stunning scenery ranging from expansive coastline to wooded forest areas. Take your time travelling through this picturesque part of the world making as many stops as you can along the way. Perhaps make a stop at Marion Bay for a walk on a deserted beach; visit the Copping Colonial and Convict Exhibition or make a stop at the Freycinet Marine Farm for fresh seafood.

Freycinet National Park is one of Tasmania's main natural highlights with its abundant bird and animal life, excellent beaches and superb scenery. The pretty resort and fishing town of Coles Bay is the gateway to the National Park and from here you can walk to the white sands and azure waters of lovely Wineglass Bay, or visit one of the park's many other quiet beaches.

The tiny town of Coles Bay nestles beside the world-famous Freycinet National Park where spectacular red granite boulders plunge deep into the ocean. The park itself is a flora and fauna reserve, covering 11,000 hectares and boasts a variety of vegetation including wattles, Oyster Bay pines and banksias. Bushwalking is the main activity here and there are a number of excellent walks to choose from as well as secluded swimming areas that can be found on the east coast of the park such as Wineglass Bay with its spectacular sandy beaches.

Days 12 - 13: St Helens

Distance: approx 112 km / 70 miles (around 1 hour 30 minutes)

On leaving Freycinet, you'll drive through the towns of Bicheno, Four Mile Creek, Scamander and Beaumaris to arrive at St Helens.

Bicheno is 43 km north of Swansea and is a popular place to stop. The beaches are covered in an incredibly soft silver sand that is unique to the area, and off the main beach is Diamond Island, which can be reached at low tide and is home to fairy penguins. Bicheno was once a whaling station but is now popular for fishing and boating plus there’s a sea life centre as well as bird and animal parks nearby. 

St Helens is protected by Georges Bay and is the easternmost town in Tasmania, it has many reserves and parks and the area is ideal for walking. St Helens Point State Recreation Area is a great place to start, with coastal views and impressive sand dunes. Other walks in the area can be found at Humbug Point reserve, Bay of Fires Coastal Reserve and Goblin Forest Walk.

Days 14 - 18: Launceston to Cradle Mountain

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Days 14 – 16: Launceston

Distance: approx 164 km / 102 miles (around 2 hours 15 minutes)

Today you’ll drive through the towns of Pyengana, Weldborough, Moorina, Derby, Scottsdale and Nunamara on your way to Launceston.

Launceston is nestled in a wide river valley amid lush green countryside and is known as the 'garden city' because of its abundance of well-established beautiful public and private gardens. Visit the Penny Royal Gunpowder Mill, an imaginative man-made development that depicts the early nineteenth century with streams and waterfalls. Cataract Gorge is also worth a visit and is just a few minutes’ drive from the city.  There’s a 1.6km walk along the face of the cliff which ends in the Cataract Cliff Grounds Reserve, where you can then take a chairlift across the gorge. 

Days 17 – 18: Cradle Mountain

Distance: approx 141 km / 88 miles (around 2 hours)

On leaving Launceston, drive through the towns of Deloraine, Elizabeth Town, Moltema, Sheffield, Gowrie Park and Daisy Dell on your way to Cradle Mountain.

Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and vehicle access is only possible to Cradle Valley in the north of the park and Lake St. Clair in the south. There’s plenty of wildlife to be seen here and the most common include wallabies, potoroos, parrots, birds of prey and numerous smaller bush birds. 

Days 19 - 24: Strahan to Hobart

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Days 19 - 21: Strahan

Distance: approx 340 km / 23 miles (around 2 hours)

Depart Cradle Mountain and drive towards Strahan passing the towns of Tullah, Rosebery and Zeehan.

Strahan is located on Tasmania’s west coast and is the gateway to the South West World Heritage National Park, one of the world's most beautiful cool-temperate rainforests. The town itself is situated on the Macquarie Harbour which was a penal colony until 1833 when the convicts were moved to Port Arthur. Macquarie Harbour is also the departure point for cruises along the magnificent Gordon River. If you're hoping to get out on the river, we recommend prebooking your cruise as it does tend to get booked up.

We suggest joining the West Coast Wilderness Railway on day 20 for a full day steam rail journey which stops at all the stations along the line. Experience the King River Gorge, the surrounding magnificent rainforest scenery and the highlight: the loco being turned on the manual turntable at Dubbil Barril. There’s also stop in Queenstown allows which allows you to explore the historic mining town and to discover the region's rich history.

On day 21, it's time to board your Gordon River Cruises vessel for a full day cruise. Travel to Hells Gates, the entrance to Macquarie Harbour, before continuing alongside the salmon and ocean trout farms where you can experience feeding time.The cruise passes through some of the largest areas of World Heritage wilderness on earth and by cruising at a slow speed you will be able to view the mirrored reflections and take some great photos. There will be a stop at the Heritage Landing where you can take a guided rainforest walk on the boardwalk and have your guide explain the unique flora and fauna of the area. Once back on board, enjoy lunch while cruising to Sarah Island where you can disembark for a guided tour and walk amongst the ruins to learn about the convicts and their way of life.

Days 22: Hobart

Distance: approx 300 km / 186 miles (around 4 hours 30 minutes)

Depart Strahan and travel via the towns of Queenstown, Derwent Bridge, Lawrenny, New Norfolk and Granton en route to Hobart. Return your motorhome to the Maui Depot before transferring back to the Rydges Hotel in Hobart.

Day 23: Hobart - UK

Check-out, settle any extras and enjoy some last minute shopping before being transferred to Hobart International Airport for your journey home. 

Day 24: Arrive back in the UK

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