Are you planning your Australia trip currently? And is Tasmania on your bucket list? No? You don’t even know where Tasmania is?! It’s definitely time to change that!
It’s two years now that I went on an amazing Tasmania roadtrip and there’s hardly any day where I don’t think about Tassie’s perfect nature. Tasmania left me with this unexplainable travel feeling and made me find a place that’s now on my imaginable ‘one of the most beautiful places in the world’ list (just to make clear how special this list is: I’ve been to 34 countries and several places within a country but there are only three places on my list).
But when I started planning this trip, I was a bit desperated. Everywhere I saw only tours that cost a fortune and whose itinerary wasn’t really what I was imagining. So I made a decision: why not go on a Tassie roadtrip on my own?!
I’m a huge lover of roadtrips so the moment I had this idea I couldn’t really get rid of it. There was just one little problem: I didn’t want to go alone. Not only because I’m a terrible driver (not exactly but I much more prefer to drive with a companion who can calm me down at some points – especially when I have to park) but also to share the costs. Thankfully, we all have facebook and facebook provided me two sweet companions to share food, fun and fuel with. My roadtrip could start! There was just a bit more to plan which I will explain to you now.
Book your flights
Yeah, that’s obvious, right? As Tasmania is an island you only have two options: fly or go by ferry. The ferry takes quite long and, as a passenger, is much more expensive than flying so the only reason to consider the ferry is when you have your own car. As I didn’t have my car I booked a flight. You can either fly from Melbourne or from Sydney into Hobart (Tasmania’s capital) or Launceston (which is in the south). I decided for Hobart. Getting to the city centre from the airport is pretty easy but also pretty expensive. Private little buses (and there’s no other option except cabs) run regularly from the airport to the city centre for 18$ or 32$ return. Getting away from the airport is not really a big deal as there are plenty of buses but getting to the airport might be a bit tricky sometimes so make sure to make a reservation for your return journey to get your seat guaranteed! You just need to call the agency (or go there) and that’s it (and it will save you a lot of troubles).
Book you home with four wheels
Ok, you got your transport to Tasmania, now you need transport to get around Tasmania. Luckily, I was already 21 when I travelled to Tasmania which made it much easier to rent a car. I did a lot of research to find the best deal and found the cheapest campervan at Bargain car rentals who offered a campervan for just 60$ a day (so 20$ per person per night for a car and a home!). Although many people told us that this car would be crap cause it’s too cheap to be true it wasn’t. Everything went absolutely fine, the car was absolutely okay and we were even able to bring back the car after their opening hours (the only agency that let me ever do that!).
Prepare for the climate
Okay, you got a flight, you got a car, you can relax untill your roadtrip finally starts. But now you need to pack and I can tell you bring enough warm clothes!!! I went to Tassie in autumn and it was truly freezing cold (especially if you’ve been to the Outback before and ‘enjoyed’ 42 degrees). In my first night sleeping in the car I couldn’t sleep at all because it was so cold! Just simply be prepared…
Live the camping life
Now that you have your camper van you have incredible freedom. That’s a great thing on the one hand, but on the other hand this means you have to find a place to stay for the night, you will need a shower someday (hopefully…). This, to be honest, was the point I was most afraid of but now I can say that it was super easy to find a space for the night. We just downloaded wikicamps and campermate, free apps that show you all the camping spots around, and always found a nice and cozy place (except for the one time we were in the Cradle Mountain National Park). And if you need a shower: almost every caravan park allows guests to have a shower for around 2$!
Buy your National Park Card
Yes, you have to pay entry fees to the National Park to keep this peace of beauty as beautiful as it is. Have a look at their website and the prices first: often it will be cheaper to buy a combo ticket which is valid for all national parks and for a longer period of time. You can save a lot of bucks this way! And you can easily buy this ticket at every national park. So set your itinerary and then see what card is best for you.
Set an itinerary
Probably this will be the hardest task of your roadtrip. Even though I stated in the beginning of this post that this will be the guide for the perfect Tassie roadtrip let me put something straight here: there is not such a thing as the perfect Tassie roadtrip. You will never have enough time to explore this beautiful island and you will always have to limit yourself and skip places you would’ve liked to visit (if not, congratulations, I really do envy you now!). I had a total of seven days in Tasmania with a arrival and a departure day which limited my roadtrip-time to five days. Even though Tasmania might seem tiny (especially in contrast to Australia), it gets huge when it comes to planning. There’s so much to see, but some places are hard to reach, some places can only be reached by overnight-hikes that need to be prepared well and in the end I decided for the ‘Tasmania beginner route’ and visited their most prominent and easy accessible places that were mostly located on the East Coast. My itinerary looked as followed:
Day one: Bruny Island
Day two: Maria Island
Day three: Freycinet National Park
Day four: Binalong Bay and Cradle Mountains
Day five: Mount Field National Park and Mount Wellington
What to expect on these 1092km:
You can easily and quickly reach Bruny Island from Hobart; it’s just a 30 minute drive to Kettering and a quick ferry ride from there to Bruny Island. Taking your car is no problem here and as you don’t pay per person but per car take as many travellers with you as possible to minimize costs. Ferries are also running regularly so you don’t need to keep times (too much) in mind and can easily do a day trip to minimize costs, too.
When you arrive on Bruny Island your first stop will probably be “the neck” – Bruny Island’s most prominent landmark. But be sure to not miss the beautiful landscape on your way to the neck! Even I as driver had difficulties to keep my eyes from the amazing scenery (I didn’t have any accident by the way). After we had enjoyed the view over the island’s isthmus and walked around the white sand beach at the islands neck we continued our journey further south. Admittedly, we did not plan anything about our island trip and thus did not make the best of our time here. We continued our journey along the paved road till Lunawanna, stopped at all the nice little beaches and then took a wrong decision: we took one of the unpaved roads with our huge campervan. This was probably the worst decision I ever took in a rental car as the ways here were super duper pebbly, steep, dirty, uneven and narrow. When we realised it was too late as there was no possibility to turn anymore. Eyes shut and go for it – we were adventurers! At least we got a little reward when we reached the viewpoint we were after and had a much better view over the neck and the whole island. If you go to Bruny Island I would highly recommend you parking your car somewhere and start hiking. There’s truly a lot that Bruny Island has to offer (and that I missed).
This tiny island (which was found before the whole continent of Australia was found) is the place of my heart. It’s like I always dreamed of exactly this place but didn’t know untill I got there. If you want to get there, too, what I would highly recommend, then go to Triabunna and book your ferry in advance! There’s just one little boat that goes from Triabunna to the island and it can fill up quite quickly.
When we arrived on the island our first stop was the tourist information centre. I very soon found out that this basically is the best way to start your trips within Tassie, the staff here is super friendly and basically knows everything – especially what’s the best walk for you. Well they maybe overrated me and my companions when they suggested us the Bishop and Clerk walk but anyways they gave us lots of useful information.
Our itinerary for our island day looked as followed: First climbing up Bishop and Clerk and then doing the Painted Cliffs walk in the afternoon (the cliffs can be visited best in the afternoon as you can expect low tide then).
On our way along the Bishop and Clerk walk we crossed beautiful coastline and beautiful meadows and walked for quite a while until we reached the “harder part” of the walk. Well, the “harder part” is not harder but rather hard af. We were told that even groups of primary school kids do that walk what makes it even more embarrassing to us. When we got to the point where there’s no real track anymore but you have to climb up boulders on the probably steepest part of the mountain we were out. We picnicked on the boulders but didn’t dare to climb any further but went back instead (which I totally regret now).
Then it was time for the Painted cliffs. On the way to them we spotted lots of wombats (you probably have the best chances in all of Tasmania to find wombats on Maria Island!) and crossed amazing beaches! This didn’t look like Tassie anymore; I could’ve been in the Caribbean as well.