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14 Day Tasmanian Itinerary

Itinerary

aɪtɪnərəri

noun a travel document recording a route or journey.


To Note:

  • To clarify, this is not the ultimate itinerary for Tassie, this is just the route we took. Our trip was amazing, but if we were to do it again, there are a couple of things we would change eg. Time spent in places, locations etc.

  • All of our travels were done in a 4WD Hilux.

  • Our camping set up consisted of one swag, one tent and all amenities in easy access sliding draws in the Hilux.

  • We left on the 7th of Feb and arrived home on the 20th of Feb, the end of the Summer season.

  • We went in a clockwise loop around the island, however, you could easily reverse the direction or chop and change.

  • To do Tassie properly, you genuinely need much more than two weeks, especially if you are camping.


Tasmania Itinerary (At A Glance):



Day1: Melbourne > Davenport

Day2: Davenport > Launceston > Bellingham

Day3: Bellingham > sloop reef (bay of fires)

Day4: Sloop Reef > st Helen’s > Swansea

Day5: Swansea > Hobart > Cambridge

Day6: Cambridge

Day7: Cambridge > South Bruny island

Day8: South Bruny island

Day9: South Bruny island > Rosebery

Day10: Rosebery

Day11: Rosebery > Riana

Day12: Riana

Day13: Riana > Devonport

Day14: Devonport > Melbourne



Tasmania Itinerary (In Detail):


Day1: Melbourne > Davenport

  • Taking off from the Geelong port for a day sail on the Spirit of Tasmania, this will take roughly 10 hours and cost is dependent on size/weight of vehicle + passengers.

  • On arrival in Davenport, the Mersey Caravan Park is a handy little location for the first night after a long day on the Spirit. We booked a cabin to avoid setting up camp late in the afternoon, found ourselves some dirty burritos, and enjoyed a beachside sunset.


Day2: Davenport > Launceston > Bellingham

  • An early morning saw us on the road to Launceston, just over an hour drive out of Davenport. One of my only notes for the day was finding great coffee at Mojo Eat & Drink in Brisbane Street Mall (This sounds like a plug - it’s not, just really appreciate a solid cup of coffee). Most of our morning was spent doing loops and mainys around Launceston in order to stock ourselves up for the following days.

  • Next, we ventured out to Cataract Gorge, where we jumped on the chairlift for $15 and wandered along the bridge walk. In hindsight, this would be a perfect place to pack a lunch and pull out a picnic blanket to enjoy some sunshine and views on the lawn.

  • Finally, we made our way to Bellingham, via Georgetown, where we set up camp for the night at Little Piper River Camp. Taking the 4WD along the beach we had our own little slice of paradise with the ocean as our backyard.


Day3: Bellingham > Sloop Reef (Bay of Fires)


  • Day three began with all the motivation in the world, an early morning pack up, a river crossing at low tide and then a solid hour of heart palpitations as *we* (see - father) navigated unsigned sand dunes. Can confirm; one of the best parts of the trip, even if we did somewhat underestimate the level of difficulty of the 4WD track.

  • Coming out alive on the other side in Bridport, we celebrated with a cup of coffee and had a solid chat with Phil in the visitor centre. Phil recommended St Columbas Falls and Halls Falls/Rockpools in Pyengana, so that is where we headed next.

  • If the Bay of Fires is not on your Tasmanian hit list, then go ahead and pop it on there, because this is by far the coolest spot we set up camp. There are numerous free camp grounds surrounding the Bay of Fires, some more caravan/camper trailer friendly, however, we made our way to Sloop Reef. With beach access and ocean views from the loo, I could have happily spent a week taking it all in.


Day4: Sloop Reef > Swansea

  • Our lazy morning quickly became an ‘oh shit’ moment as the dark storm clouds came in at an alarming rate. After scrambling to pack up the tents in record time (and just making it), we headed into St Helen’s to wait out the storm.

  • From here, we made a last minute decision to bypass our night planned at Wine Glass Bay on the Freycinet Peninsula, and instead went with the safer option of a cabin in Swansea. *** Obviously our decision was influenced by the weather; however, when planning a trip for the future, I would definitely consider staying more nights at Sloop Reef and on the Freycinet Peninsula!

Day5: Swansea > Hobart > Cambridge


  • Moving on quickly to Hobart, we went from encountering very few people, to an onslaught of human beings jam packed into the Harbour for a weekend full of festivals and markets. Here, we spent the day exploring the Salamanca Market, utilising the Hop-on Hop-off bus, and enjoying the sunshine.

  • The Barilla Holiday Park in Cambridge was home for the next two nights, the longest we had stayed in one place thus far, and a much needed reprieve from the quick turnaround of setting up and packing down, even if it was for one extra night.


Day6: Cambridge

  • Bring on Port Arthur! This was another memorable day where we drove down to the Tasman Peninsula to explore the historic former penal colony that has been wonderfully preserved. You’re going to want some walking shoes and a range of clothing options due to it’s rapidly changing weather.

  • Heading back up the peninsula, we hit Tasman bridge, Hell’s Kitchen and the Tessellated Pavement, where collecting pretty shells has never been more interesting.


Day7: Cambridge > South Bruny Island

  • Catching the ferry across to Bruny Island will set you back $48 return, but in my eyes, it is worth every penny. Broken into North and South Bruny, the island does not take much to get around, but we found that staying at The Neck Camp Ground ($10 p/n) was the best way to see everything in a couple of days. This central campsite is also just down the road from an incredible lookout, which you wouldn’t believe is also known as ‘The Neck’.

  • After setting up, we took a leisurely drive down to Cloudy Bay, where we had originally planned on camping via a beach track.


Day8: South Bruny Island

  • Day eight was jam (quite literally) packed, and when you let two big kids run loose on an island, this is the result!

  • Bruny Island Raspberry Farm in Adventure Bay was our first stop where we had a cheeky scone with raspberry jam and cream (would be rude not to), followed by a fairly moderate 4WD track. This led us down towards the Cape Bruny Lighthouse, which was quite popular.

  • Not too far south of the lighthouse is the Jetty Bay Walk. Opting for the shorter 2 hour loop, this is a must-do on the island! For future planning, I would even factor in a couple of nights at the Jetty Bay Camp Ground!

  • The trip would have been amiss if we didn’t take the opportunity to see an incredible sunset from The Neck Lookout.

  • And finally, upon my insistence, we waited to watch the penguins return to their burrows. And waited. And waited. And when we could no longer feel our fingers or see 5m in front of us, we gave up and went back to camp; one severely disappointed blonde in tow.



Day9: South Bruny island > Rosebery

  • Hitting a wall with the set up and pack down of the camping equipment, we thought we would be proactive and find a location that was fairly central in the North-West to be able to hit the bucket list items.

  • In high spirits and feeling pretty smug about our savvy plan for the next 4 nights, we hit the road for 6 hours up towards Rosebery.

  • What we learnt: 1. Rosebery is an old mining town. 2. There is not much happening in Rosebery. 3. Rosebery will not be on the next Tasmanian itinerary. (Apologies if you really love Rosebery).

*** Some great alternatives, especially if you have the time, would be Queenstown, Strahan and Corinna.


Day10: Rosebery

  • What Rosebery was ideal for, was its location to both Cradle Mountain and Montezuma Falls. With a Parks Tasmania pass, the choice of walks throughout Cradle Mountain were varied in length and diffulty. Despite the rain, this was well worth the views at the top of the mountain!


Day11: Rosebery > Riana

  • Prematurely rolling out of Rosebery to outrun another storm, we weren’t overly disappointed to be moving on. Making a stop at Montezuma Falls, this trail is an easy 3 hour round trip along an old trail line that can be walked or ridden.

  • Moving on through to Riana was a welcome surprise, as we stumbled across Pioneer Park, a great little camp ground that is run and maintained by the locals.


Day12: Riana

  • Stanley! What a cool little place this is. Driving an hour and 20 minutes along the North coast, we made our way into town for a coffee and stroll down the quaint Main Street, before hopping on to the chair lift ascending The Nut.

  • This is definitely a place worth stopping in at and staying the night at one of the many cottages/ B&B’s located around town.


Day13: Riana > Devonport

  • Back to Devonport at the Mersey Caravan Park, we completed our loop in 13 jam-packed days. 100% pooped, the afternoon was spent with a cheese platter on the deck of the cosy cabin. Again, this was a great option for a quick getaway in the morning to jump back on the Spirit of Tas the next day.


Day14: Devonport > Melbourne

  • Home time (but with recliners).


TIPS:

  • Give yourself leeway to explore. Much of Tasmania is weather dependant as there is so much to see and do outdoors. By only allowing a short timeframe to see/do something in particular, you can very easily be derailed by a change in weather.

  • Be prepared for all weather conditions - you never know what you are going to get.

  • The best time to snag a spot at free camp grounds (there are sooo many) is mid morning when everyone has packed up and moved on to their next location. Sometimes this is difficult but spots can go pretty quickly!

  • Get a Parks Tasmania Pass early to access National Parks. The Spirit of Tasmania sell them on-board if you don’t already have one.


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