Skip to main content

The state of Tasmania is home to some incredibly diverse landscapes and jaw dropping natural landmarks all packed into one island. From epic mountain ranges to spectacular beaches and unique wildlife, each drive will reward you with a different kind of scenery.

We have created this ultimate 10 day Tasmania itinerary to showcase the wonders that Tasmania has to offer. We made sure to include all of the must-see highlights as well as some lesser known gems to ensure your Tasmania road trip is just as epic as ours was.

Tasmania is simply made for road trips! It’s the only place in Australia where you’ll see so many amazing sights without having to drive for hundreds of kms per day.

After recently completing a Tasmania road trip on our lap around Australia, it’s safe to say that it was a stand out highlight of the entire journey. We hope that our comprehensive 10 day Tasmania itinerary helps you to plan your very own adventure in this special little corner of Australia!

10-Day Tasmania Road Trip Itinerary

10 Day Tasmania Itinerary – Overview

Recommended Stops

  • Hobart / Richmond
  • Port Arthur
  • Maria Island
  • Bay of Fires
  • Launceston / Tamar Valley
  • Stanley / Boat Harbour Beach
  • Cradle Mountain
  • Queenstown / Strahan
  • Lake St Clair / Mt Field
  • Hobart

10 Day Tasmania Road Trip Summary

Day 1 – Head straight out of Hobart and check out the small town of Richmond. Continue on to Port Arthur and explore the surrounding area/ Don’t worry, you’ll have time in Hobart at the end!

Night 1 – Port Arthur

Day 2 – Head to Triabunna and catch the ferry to Maria Island. Spend the day meeting super cute wombats and seeing the painted cliffs

Night 2 – Triabunna

Day 3 – A short drive up the coast to Freycinet National Park and the famous Wineglass Bay

Night 3 – Freycinet / Coles Bay

Day 4 – Continue heading north to the Bay of Fires. Spend the day enjoying the beautiful beaches and rock formations

Night 4 – Binalong Bay (Bay of Fires)

Day 5 – Launceston with optional detours to waterfalls, wineries and the Platypus House

Night 5 – Launceston

Day 6 – Spend the morning in Launceston then head to the cute little town of Stanley via Burnie and Boat Harbour Beach

Night 6 – Stanley

Day 7 Explore the beautiful surrounds of Cradle Mountain and climb to the summit if you dare!

Night 7 – Cradle Mountain

Day 8 – Head to Queenstown and explore the awesome wilderness railway as well as the coastal town of Strahan

Night 8 – Strahan

Day 9 – Drive the amazingly scenic road back to Hobart via Mt Field National Park

Night 9 – Hobart

Day 10 – Finish your trip with a casual stroll around the attractions of Hobart and perhaps an eclectic ferry ride to MONA

Total Driving Time

~20 hours with optional detours included

Longest Stretch of Driving

4hr 42min (323km) – Strahan to Hobart via Mt Field NP

Total KM Covered

~1,515 km

10 Day Tasmania Itinerary Highlights

  • Dramatic coastal rock formations around Port Arthur
  • Spotting super cute wombats and seeing the Painted Cliffs on Maria Island
  • The view of Wineglass Bay in the morning/evening light
  • Seeing the elusive platypus up close at Platypus House
  • Taking a dip at the beautiful Boat Harbour Beach
  • Exploring the stunning Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park
  • The West Coast Wilderness Railway in Queenstown
  • Beautiful waterfalls in Mt Field National Park
The Perfect 10 Day Tasmania Road Trip Itinerary

Spectacular scenery to be seen on this Tasmania road trip

Can You Complete This 10 Day Tasmania Itinerary From Devonport?

Absolutely. A lot of people bring their own car/camper/caravan on the ferry. Just start the itinerary from Day 6 (minus the morning in Launceston). We have included an aside in this section to show how best to modify the itinerary in this case.

Accommodation for this Tasmania Road Trip

There are plenty of accommodation options available throughout this trip. If you have an RV or caravan then there are some great camp sites and caravan parks too. In each section we list our recommended accommodation and the best areas to stay.

Best Time of Year To Visit Tasmania

The weather is unfortunately very unpredictable in Tasmania! Being a very southerly landmass the temperatures are quite cool compared to most of Australia.

Summer is going to be the most reliable time to visit. December to March will have the best temperatures and lowest chance of rain. Don’t be afraid to travel in the bumper months, just bring some warmer clothing! We visited in April and had mostly good weather.

Wombats on Maria Island, Tasmania

Come face to face with the sweetest wombats on Maria Island

Tasmania Road Trip Tips

  • Buy a Parks Pass: You will need a pass for the national parks. The best option is the holiday pass that will cover one vehicle and everyone in it for 2 months. You can buy this when booking the Maria Island ferry on day 2.
  • Don’t drive at night: Always plan your drives during daylight hours. There is a lot of wildlife along Tasmanian roads.
  • Book ahead for popular stops: Tasmania has amazing small town vibes everywhere but this does mean limited accommodation and tickets. Make sure to plan ahead, especially for Wineglass Bay, Cradle Mountain and the Wilderness Railway.
  • Be prepared for 4 seasons: Tasmania has some wild weather fluctuations. If hiking or out for the day, make sure to pack for all conditions.

►Check out our list of all of the best Australian road trip tips you must know before hitting the road!

The Best Travel Insurance for Road Trips

If you are travelling to Australia from overseas then make sure you have good travel insurance before hitting the road. We use Heymondo when we travel as it’s perfect for adventures such as hiking, surfing, road tripping etc.

For peace of mind while abroad, Heymondo is one of the most reputable travel insurance companies that will provide you with simple and flexible coverage. Whether you are into adventurous activities or simply looking for trip cancellation and basic medical insurance, Heymondo has you covered.

As a reader of The Road Is Life, you get 5% off your Heymondo travel insurance by using the link below!

►Get 5% off your Heymondo travel insurance◄

Hiring a Car

Check out the best prices for hire cars in Hobart using the form below. We always use Rental Cars to find the best price between various operators. They have an option to include full insurance with no excess, which is highly recommended.

Boat Harbour Beach, Tasmania

Explore the beautiful Boat Harbour Beach

10 Day Tasmania Itinerary – A Bucket List Road Trip

Day 1 – Hobart to Port Arthur

Tasmania may be a small state but it is packed full of great sights and experiences. To fit as much as possibly into a 10 day Tasmania itinerary, you’ll want to hit the ground running.

The easiest place to hire a car is right at the airport when you fly in. Depending on your arrival time you may be able to hit the road right away. If you have a late arrival you’ll at least be ready to go first thing the next morning.

Don’t worry about missing out on Hobart, you’ll have a full day at the end of the itinerary to explore the city. If you are coming across on the ferry to Devonport then skip ahead to day 5. We have included a section on how to easily modify the itinerary to fit.

Richmond, Tasmania

The historic Richmond Bridge

Optional detour via Richmond

Depending on time you might consider taking the scenic route to Port Arthur, via the historical town of Richmond. This will only add 15km or about 10 minutes to your travel time so is well worth it.

Richmond was founded in the early colonial days and has amazingly preserved historical buildings. The Richmond Bridge, built in 1823, is the oldest bridge still in use in the whole of Australia. They also have the oldest Anglican church in the country.

There are many sandstone buildings in the Georgian style that make for a lovely stroll around town. You will definitely want to check out the bridge as well as St Johns church and the old gaol.

Time permitting the following attractions also make great stops:

  • Old Hobart Town – A model village displaying life in the early settlement of Hobart.
  • Wicked Cheese Co – A selection of delicious cheeses made on site with fresh Tasmanian milk.
  • Every Man and His Dog Vineyard – A great little boutique cellar door. The perfect place to pick up something local for your first night.
  • Drink Tasmania Tasting House – A great little bar showcasing the best of Southern Tasmania’s wine and spirits producers.
  • ZooDoo Zoo – A super comprehensive and quality zoo that feels more like a sanctuary. See Tasmanian natives plus a lot more.
Port Arthur, Tasmania

Cape Raoul in Port Arthur

Port Arthur

Jump back in the car and head for Port Arthur. It’s only a 1 hour drive from Richmond so you should have plenty of time to see the sights. Keep in mind that the ferry to Maria Island tomorrow is either at 10am or 11:30am so you won’t be able to see much tomorrow morning.

The main attraction here is of course the extensive Port Arthur Historic Site. This is the best example of a convict built settlement in the whole of Australia. Those interested in Australia’s convict history will want to head straight here and take one of the fantastic tours.

This is a popular attraction so if you want to hit the ground running then consider booking your tickets in advance.

Another option is to take the evening ghost tour. This will free up plenty of time to check out some of the great natural attractions on the peninsula. See below for a list of some of the best spots.

Tasmania Road Trip Itinerary

Devil’s Kitchen, Port Arthur

Natural attractions near Port Arthur:

  • Remakable Cave and Maingon Bay Lookout – Only a short drive from Port Arthur, this spot offers a great view of the dramatic coastal cliffs.
  • Tasmans Arch and Devils Kitchen Lookout – Located near Eaglehawk Neck, these sites can alternatively be visited when heading into or out of Port Arthur.
  • Tessellated Pavement – Again right near Eaglehawk Neck, this is a great photo spot at sunrise and sunset.
  • Cape Raoul Lookout – This spot is a little harder to reach than the others and involves a hike but is well worth it. You’ll be rewarded with amazing coastal views from your perch on top of a giant rock-face.

Where to Stay in Port Arthur

NRMA Port Arthur Holiday Park – This is the one stop shop for accommodation in Port Arthur! This beautiful park has a whole variety of cabins, safari tents and sites. The grounds are beautifully treed and full of birds and wallabies.

Day 2 – Maria Island

Pre-Departure Information

You’ll have to get a fairly early start this morning to make the most of your day trip to Maria Island. The town of Triabunna is where the ferry service departs and is 1.5hrs drive from Port Arthur. You ideally want to aim for one of the early departures as there is plenty to do on the island.

The ferry service is operated by Encounter Maria Island and costs $47 return at the time of writing. The schedule changes based on the time of year so make sure to check the link provided. It’s advisable to book tickets in advance, which can also be done through this link.

You will also need to buy a national parks pass if you don’t have one already. This can be booked at the same time as your ferry ticket. This will cover you for all national parks on the trip including Cradle Mountain. The $80 holiday pass is the best value and will cover up to 8 people.

Painted Cliffs, Maria Island - Tasmania

Painted Cliffs, Maria Island

A brilliant alternative to the ferry and bike plan is the award winning tour below. Perfect for those who aren’t able to cycle or just plain dislike it!

Maria Island Cruise and Guided Walk Day Tour with Lunch and Drinks – The boat visits beautiful coves and small beaches that very few people get to see. Spot all sorts of wildlife such as seals and wombats as well as the famous painted cliffs. You will also get some time on the island to explore the convict station and lunch/drinks can be enjoyed on-board. Find tour prices and availability here.

Things to do on Maria Island

Taking a day trip to Maria Island was an absolute highlight of our Tasmania road trip. While including this stop does make your time in Port Arthur a little rushed, it is well worth the extra effort.

The island is blissfully free of vehicles aside from those used by the rangers. The best way to get around is to hire a bike when booking your ferry. This will set you back $33 per person but will allow you to explore further afield. It is possible to walk to the painted cliffs if this is your only goal.

The best place to start your day is at the great little info centre and museum near where the ferry docks. This will give you a good idea of where you are in relation to all the attractions.

Wombat on Maria Island, Tasmania

Free roaming wombats on Maria Island

Following the coastal road will take you to the main highlights of the island. First stop are the beautiful sandstone “Painted Cliffs”, which have eroded away in an amazingly artistic manner. Access is tide dependent so if you can’t reach them when you first arrive then come back later.

The equal biggest highlight here are the incredibly cute wombats that thrive on the island. We rode all the way to French’s Farm as this was a great place to see them however it turned out not to be necessary!

Being nocturnal, there aren’t many wombats around during the day. Never fear because the last hour or so before the return ferry they start coming out of the woodwork. There were many to be seen beside the road from the Painted Cliffs to the jetty.

If you hire a bike we also highly recommend checking out Four Mile Beach. This is a really nice white sand beach and the perfect place to cool off after a long cycle.

Four Mile Beach, Maria Island - Tasmania

Four Mile Beach, Maria Island

Where to Stay in Triabunna

After a whole day cycling/walking around Maria Island, you’re not going to want to drive far! Luckily there are some great accommodation options in Triabunna.

Hotel/Guesthouse: Triabunna Barracks – This beautiful accommodation is the perfect place to unwind after a long day. The historic buildings have been perfectly renovated and are an attraction in themselves. It is walking distance from the ferry.

Caravan/Camping: Spring Bay Hotel – The pub in town has a large grassy area where you can stay for free (no tents). All they ask is that you enjoy a drink or meal at the pub, who can say no to that?

Day 3 – Freycinet National Park (Wineglass Bay)

Leaving Triabunna in the morning, it’s only a little over an hour to reach Coles Bay. Along the way however is the fantastic Devils Corner Cellar Door. They open at 10am so you may have to time your arrival accordingly. Even if you don’t fancy a glass they have a viewing tower with a great panorama over the vineyards.

The spectacular Freycinet National Park covers an entire peninsula extending out from the middle of the east coast. It is accessed via the small town of Coles Bay where you can find shops and several accommodation options.

The highlight here is of course the picture perfect Wineglass Bay. The gentle curve of white sand and turquoise water is made even more spectacular by the backdrop of mountains and forest.

The Freycinet visitor centre is located just on the outskirts of Coles Bay at the entrance to the national park. This is the access point to reach the carparks for the viewpoint hikes, camp grounds and other bays.

10 Day Tasmania Itinerary

Spectacular view over Wineglass Bay from the Mt Amos summit

The most famous view of Wineglass Bay is actually found on the Mt Amos hike rather than the official viewpoint hike. This is quite a serious hike, with very challenging terrain including some almost vertical climbs up rocks. The views on the hike and especially from the top are well worth the effort. The hike will take around 3 hours return but this doesn’t include a solid hour or so of taking in the view!

The Wineglass Bay lookout hike still offers a fantastic view of the bay. It is about 2.6km return and will take around 1.5 hours. It is still a moderate hike but should be do-able by almost all levels of hiker.

On the way back to town you can make a quick stop to check out Honeymoon Bay. This pretty little cove is especially nice at sunset as it faces roughly west. You might also be lucky enough to spot some cute little rock wallabies.

Check out more popular options for seeing Wineglass Bay:

Freycinet National Park Scenic Flight – For those who don’t like hiking but still want that amazing top down view of the bay, consider a 30 minute scenic flight. This will give you the best view of all and will be a truly memorable part of your trip. Find tour prices and availability here.

Wineglass Bay Cruise with Lunch To get a unique perspective on this bay, you might consider seeing it from the water. This cruise with lunch will take you from Coles Bay around the beautiful coastal scenery of Freycinet Peninsula. You’ll enjoy lunch with amazing views of Wineglass Bay from up close. Find tour prices and availability here.

Tasmania Road Trip Itinerary

Hiking Mt Amos is a challenge but the views make it worthwhile!

Where to Stay in Freycinet National Park

There are a couple of accommodation options actually within the national park as well as a great campground on Richardsons Beach. Coles Bay also has several options and is an easy base from which to explore the park.

Hotel/Guesthouse: BIG4 Iluka on Freycinet – This park offers cabins as well as the traditional sites. It’s right in town and has a bar and restaurant attached.

Freycinet Lodge – This is a bit of a splurge but the location and sunset views are just superb. The classy restaurant and lounge bar are the perfect place to relax after a day of exploring the national park.

Caravan/Camping: BIG4 Iluka on Freycinet – Traditional caravan park offering sites for a reasonable price. It is on quite a hill so the sites are fairly small so keep this in mind if you have a big rig.

Freycinet National Park Campground – Camp right on the beach within the national park. This is a fantastic campsite offering powered and unpowered sites for vehicles and tents.

Day 4 – Bay of Fires

It’s only about a 2 hour drive to reach the furthest point of the Bay of Fires today. There is a great nature park along the route this morning where you can get up close with Tasmanian Devils and watch a feeding.

East Coast Natureworld is going to be your most convenient option to see Tasmanian Devils on this itinerary. They have feedings at specific times so check the website for details and try to fit it in. Seeing these completely unique creatures is a must-do on your 10 day Tasmania itinerary.

Watching the Tasmanian devil feeding at Eastcoast Nature World

Watch the Tasmanian Devil feeding at East Coast Nature World

The evocatively named Bay of Fires takes it’s inspiration from the many rocks covered in orange lichens. This gives a fantastic fiery appearance, especially when juxtaposed against the cool aqua hues of the surrounding waters.

This area is not actually one particular bay but rather a whole string of them along this stretch of coast. The furthest point along the road, ending at a dead end/carpark is called ‘The Gardens’. This seemed to be the most popular spot to see the iconic orange rocks however we much preferred Suicide Beach.

The unfortunately named Suicide Beach is only 2 minutes back down the road but is an incredibly beautiful spot. This is where we spent the day as there is a nice white sand beach as well as rock pools amongst the orange rocks. A good tip is to walk the full length of the beach where you will find a little hidden bay that offers amazing photo ops!

Bay of Fires - Tasmania

The drone possibilities are endless at the Bay of Fires!

The road back to the main town of Binalong Bay is a really nice drive. A stretch of it hugs the beautiful long expanse of Taylors Beach and you will pass several great campsites. These sites are really popular so make sure to book ahead if you are planning on camping.

Binalong Bay itself is a lovely town and the beaches are perfectly fine to spend a day on. If you are staying here this might be the most convenient place to hang out. Skeleton Bay Reserve in the far corner of town offers great views of the orange rocks from several small bays and lookouts.

Make sure to pop in for a bite at Meresta Eatery. This restaurant offers unbeatable ocean views and the food is delicious. If you want to have a sunset meal here then make sure to book ahead as it is super popular.

Bay of Fires Sunset

Pastel skies over the Bay of Fires

Where to Stay in the Bay of Fires

Most of the accommodation options here are holiday homes and therefore easily book out. Click here to browse all accommodation in Binalong Bay.

Hotel/Guesthouse: Bay of Fires Bush Retreat – This beautiful rustic styled accommodation offers glamping as well as other options. It is just outside town but in beautiful forest surrounds.

Caravan/Camping: There are a number of great free campsites on the stretch of coast between town and Taylors Beach. Check the website for the types of stay allowed at each and the available facilities. These can’t be booked so it’s first in best dressed.

Day 5 – Launceston

There are a couple of options when travelling from Binalong Bay to Launceston. The fastest route will be 175km and about 2 hours driving time. If you are really excited to see the sights in Launceston then this will give you the maximum time there.

The second option is the scenic route and that is what is covered on this 10 day Tasmania itinerary. This will be around 250km and about 3.5hrs driving time. This isn’t a huge amount of difference for the amazing sights you’ll get to see along the way.

If you take all of the optional detours then this will be quite a big day. Make sure to get plenty of rest the night before so you can get a nice early start.


Don’t miss the chance to see a platypus up close!

Optional Stops/Detours:

Pub in the Paddock / St Columba Falls / Pyengana Dairy Company – St Columba Falls is about 50km from Binalong Bay and is a great first stop to kick off this full day of sightseeing. There is a moderate walk to the base of the falls but it isn’t too strenuous.

On the way back to the main road you’ll pass by the Pub in the Paddock. If it’s not too early for you then pop in for a quick drink, it’s certainly one of the most scenic beer gardens I’ve ever been in!

Located just past this is the Pyengana Dairy Company. Their farm door offers delicious fresh produce and the cheeses are not to be missed. Tasmanian dairy products are the best I’ve ever tried and I’m convinced it’s due to the large, lush fields that the cows get to enjoy!

Bridestowe Lavender Estate – Jump back in the car for a solid 116km stretch to Bridestowe Lavender Estate. This is a favourite stop for photographers and those who love a good Instagram shot. Keep in mind that the lavender is only in bloom from December to early February. Even if it isn’t blooming, there is a shop offering many lavender products and a café.

Jansz and Pipers Brook Wineries – There are many beautiful vineyards along the Tamar River Valley that runs from the Bass Straight to Launceston. These two wineries are some of the most famous and delicious in Tasmania. They are located right near each other and are only about 25mins from Bridestowe.

Platypus House – This next stop is a little inconvenient, adding around 45mins extra driving time. However, if you want to see a platypus up close then this is definitely the best spot to do it in all of Tasmania.

They have several large tanks with a number of platypus and you will get to see them feed and learn all about their lives and behaviour. An added bonus is the echidna room, where you can sit down and have several of the animals walking between you and getting up close.

10 Day Tasmania Itinerary

Exploring Cataract Gorge in Launceston

Arriving in Launceston:

If you’ve managed to tick off all the amazing detours then you might be pretty knackered at this stage! Don’t stress as you’ll have some time tomorrow morning to take a look around Launceston. If you have kids then have a look at Penny Royal Adventures for the evening. This super cool theme park has some great activities for them and a really nice restaurant and bar area for you.

Day 6 – Launceston to Stanley

In the morning you should plan to see a couple of the sights that most interest you around Launceston. Our recommendation is to head to the Cataract Gorge Reserve and Alexandra Suspension Bridge. Spend a bit of time walking around the beautiful grounds and down the gorge trail.

Another great spot to visit in the city is the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania. They have a fantastic collection of cars from many different eras and the place is really well presented. It’s cool to see the history and development of automobiles whilst enjoying a Tasmania road trip in one!

If cars aren’t your thing then you might prefer one of the other attractions in Launceston:

things to do in stanley - the nut

The Nut seen from the Highfield Lookout

From Launceston you’ll be driving to the small coastal town of Stanley, far in the north-west of the state. There are a couple of great detours along the way; the town of Sheffield and the picturesque Boat Harbour Beach.

The first stretch to Sheffield will take around one hour, so it will be the perfect place to grab some morning tea. This town is known for it’s fantastic murals and artworks on the walls of the buildings. Spend a short time wandering around and checking them out before hitting the road again.

The next stop is the surprise of the trip at Boat Harbour Beach. It’s another 1hr 20min of driving and if you time your day right you can enjoy a fantastic fish and chip lunch. You might not associate a Tasmania road trip with beaches, but this one could easily compete for one of the best in Australia.

If you’re lucky enough to get some sunshine then make sure to head up the hill near the public toilets. There are a couple of unofficial lookout points that provide amazing views of the bay and town.

The next stretch to Stanley is only 40 minutes but you’ll want to push straight through town to the Highfield Historic Site and Highfield Lookout. The house is a colonial era building, built by convicts and now housing a small museum on the history of the area. The lookout point provides the best view of ‘The Nut’, which is the unmissable volcanic formation that is the icon of Stanley.

things to do in stanley - the nut

Taking the chairlift up ‘The Nut’ is a great experience

Stanley is a really nice little town with a main street of well presented heritage buildings. The main attraction is taking the cable car up to the top of ‘The Nut’. There is also a steep walking trail if you want to stretch your legs after the drive. This is a great place to spend a night as you will be able to enjoy the beautiful Stanley Hotel or the fantastic little Stanley Wine Bar across the road.

Note on tomorrow’s activities: The Cradle Mountain Summit Hike is a long and difficult trail that requires a full day. There are many other trails to choose from but if you are intent on the summit then you will have to skip Stanley. Staying at or near Cradle Mountain tonight will allow you to enter the park as soon as it opens and give you enough time to reach the summit and also enjoy the lakeside trail.

Where to Stay in Stanley

Hotel/Guesthouse: Touchwood Cottages – To make the most of your time in Stanley you should stay right in town. These delightful cottages are on the main street and a very short walk from the pub! They also have a small gallery and a café that does great coffee.

Caravan/Camping: Stanley Cabins and Tourist Park – This is a highly rated and well priced caravan park. If you are fully self-contained there are also cheap unpowered sites at the recreation park.

Starting the Itinerary From Devonport/Ferry

If you are coming across on the ferry and following this itinerary then you will pick up the trip here. You will need to modify the plan slightly as you will not be spending the morning in Launceston. Launceston will end up as your final stop before heading back to Devonport and catching the ferry.

Head for Boat Harbour Beach and pick up the itinerary from there. You will have plenty of time to see Stanley and might choose to push on to Cradle Mountain for the night. This will mean you can get a bright and early start and make the summit if you wish.

Be sure to include Boat Harbour Beach on your Tasmania Itinerary

The stunning Boat Harbour Beach

Day 7 – Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park

On day 7 of your Tasmania itinerary, start the day with an early wake up and begin the 2.5-hour drive from Stanley to Cradle Mountain. There is so much to see and do in Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park, it’s best to arrive early so you can make the most of your day.

With spectacular natural scenery and plenty of opportunities for up-close wildlife encounters, Cradle Mountain is sure to be the highlight of your Tasmania road trip. It is, after all, the most well-known natural landmark in the entire state!

The best way to spend your day in Cradle Mountain is to choose from one of the many scenic walking trails in the national park. Whether you’re seeking an easy stroll or a challenging summit hike, there are trails to suit all abilities and preferences.

See below for some of the most popular Cradle Mountain walks and be sure to read our Cradle Mountain hiking guide for more detailed information.

Getting Around Cradle Mountain 

Once you receive your Tasmania Parks Pass, you will be able to get a free shuttle bus around the national park. When you arrive at the Visitor Centre, show your parks pass and you will be given a free voucher to ride the shuttle bus.

Car numbers are limited in the national park so you must leave your vehicle at the Visitor Centre on arrival. The shuttle bus departs from there every 10 – 15 minutes and takes you to the start of your chosen hike.

It runs every day from 8:30am – 4:30pm, don’t miss the last bus which departs Dove Lake at 5:30pm!

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania

Lovely views of Cradle Mountain from the Dove Lake Circuit

Best Cradle Mountain Walking and Hiking Trails

Enchanted Walk – An easy stroll along this 1.1km path provides a great intro to Cradle Mountain. The walk only takes 20 minutes and passes through some stunning landscapes.

Enjoy the scenery as you follow the trail through a moss covered rainforest, alongside a pretty creek. It’s one of the shorter walks in the National Park but definitely shouldn’t be missed!

Dove Lake Circuit – If you’re seeking a longer walk with epic views of Cradle Mountain as the backdrop, don’t miss the Dove Lake Circuit. This is the most popular walking trail in the National Park and perfect for day trippers.

The trail loops around Dove Lake for 6.4km and can be completed in 3 hours. This is classified as an easy hike with plenty of boardwalks and flat terrain making it suitable for everyone. The views are pretty hard to beat on this hike!

Cradle Valley Boardwalk – Another great option if you’re wanting a relaxing walk surrounded by beautiful views and a variety of landscapes. The trail begins at the Interpretation Centre and follows a 5.5km boardwalk that takes you to Dove Lake.

This easy walk is suitable for all fitness levels and the ideal option for families. It takes around 3 hours to complete and shows you the very best of the National Park.

Marion's Lookout, Cradle Mountain

Marion’s Lookout, Cradle Mountain

Marion’s Lookout – Beginning at Dove Lake, this scenic hike offers spectacular views over the lake and Cradle Mountain. It is slightly more challenging than the trails mentioned above, which means a moderate level of fitness is required. The scenery is worth the challenge as it offers one of the best views in the entire park!

Marion’s Lookout is a 3 hour return trail that begins at Dove Lake and gradually leads you upward passed Lake Lilla, Wombat Pool and Crater Lake. This is the longer but easier way to get there, following a gentle incline.

You could also choose to take a very steep trail that extends from the Dove Lake Circuit which brings you directly to the lookout. This trail is more challenging but provides a quicker and more direct route.

Cradle Mountain Summit Hike – If you are an experienced hiker looking for an adventure filled day, the Cradle Mountain Summit hike is not to be missed! The trail starts off easy and slowly becomes more challenging as you get closer to the summit.

The final section of the hike requires scrambling over large boulders with plenty of steep cliff drops to avoid. If you have a fear of heights, you may want to pick a different hike! Once you reach the top however, the incredible views will reward your efforts.

The summit hike is a 13km return track that will take up most of your day so it’s best to start early in the morning. It should only be attempted if the weather allows for it. Climbing over slippery rocks is a recipe for disaster!

Cradle Mountain Summit Hike

The views from Cradle Mountain summit do not disappoint!

Where to Stay in Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park

Hotel/Guesthouse: Cradle Mountain Highlanders – Is there anywhere better to stay in the mountains than a wooden cabin replete with wood-fire and hot tub? No, the answer is no.

Caravan/Camping: Discovery Parks Cradle Mountain – A popular holiday park conveniently located right near the Visitor Centre.

Cradle Mountain Fishery and Camping – A fantastic but basic camping ground in the large backyard of the host. Suitable for tents, campervans and small caravans/RVs. About 15mins drive from the visitor centre.

Day 8 – Queenstown and Strahan

These two towns are very popular stops for two main reasons. First and foremost is the awesome West Coast Wilderness Railway. Each town hosts a station and you can either travel between the two or take shorter return journeys from either one. The second reason are the wilderness boat cruises departing from Strahan. These cruise down the beautiful Gordon River and take in some of the pristine south-west wilderness.

These are both fairly expensive activities and it might be a little rushed to fit into one day. If you are really keen on both then you can take the earliest train and you should have enough time to make the evening cruise. Alternatively you could cruise tomorrow morning, however you will likely have to skip tomorrow’s stops.

The Ultimate Tasmania Road Trip - west coast wilderness railway

One of the many stunning vistas along the railway journey (Credit: @westcoastwildernessrailway)

The West Coast Wilderness Railway (Queenstown):

This fantastic glimpse into history begins at the beautiful Queenstown station. Here you’ll find a small museum detailing the history of the railroad and a café that does a mean eggs benedict. The rolling stock used for your trip are actually the original steam trains imported for the railway!

Booking a morning trip from Queenstown is recommended as this stretch of railway is the most rewarding. Seeing the museum before the ride also provides some great insights. You can then spend a relaxed afternoon travelling to and exploring Strahan.

*You can view the advance timetable for the railway through this link.


This pretty seaside town is a really nice and relaxed spot to spend an evening. This will give you a chance to see ‘The Ship That Never Was’. This is a play that is performed daily at 5:30pm and claims the title of Australia’s longest running play.

Strahan is a perfect jumping off point for exploring the wilderness of Tasmania’s south-west. There are two cruise companies here that will take you on a tour down the stunning Gordon River. As mentioned above you may have to pack in a lot today or modify the itinerary tomorrow if you also want to cruise.

World Heritage Cruise on Gordon River with Lunch – This relaxed and luxurious cruise is a 6 hour experience that will take you from Strahan and into the wilderness. Enjoy a lunch of Tasmanian produce and stops to visit Sarah Island (which ties in well with the play) and to walk in the rainforest.

Afternoon Gordon River Dinner Cruise – This is also a 6 hour experience taking in much the same sights as above. You will get a buffet dinner with the added bonus of (hopefully) a beautiful sunset. The check in time is 2:30pm for a 3pm departure, so you may be able to squeeze it in after the railway.

Things to do in Strahan, Tasmania

The pretty town of Strahan

Where to Stay in Strahan

Hotel/Guesthouse: Castaway Holiday Apartments – This property is right near the centre of town and walking distance to all the attractions. The best part is the kitchen so you can save money cooking your own meals (Strahan has limited restaurant options and they can book out).

Caravan/Camping: Strahan Beach Tourist Park – This park is a little dated but in a great location.

Day 9 – Hobart via Mt Field National Park

There is quite a bit of driving to be done today (360km) but it is down some of Tasmania’s most spectacular roads. You will be following the Lyell Hwy for much of the route and there are plenty of great stops to break up the day.

As you leave Queenstown you will rapidly gain elevation via a series of steep corners called the “99 Bends Road”. There are a few places to pull over and admire the view; one of the best is at the ‘Queenstown Steel Road Sign’ (you can enter this into Google Maps).

One spot you shouldn’t miss is the Horsetail Falls walking trail. The falls were quite far away and only flow well in the wetter seasons however the walking trail itself was fantastic. This boardwalk hugs the steep edge of the mountain and offers panoramic views over the surrounding country.

Another popular stop just outside Queenstown is the ‘Iron Blow Lookout’. This looks over an old mine that is now filled with water as well the strangely hued and sparse landscape. There are interpretive signs that detail the history of the area and the mining operations that caused this environmental damage.

99 Bends Road in Queenstown, Tasmania

Driving the epic 99 Bends Road near Queenstown

The next stop along this amazing road is Nelson Falls. To get here you will cross Lake Burbury via a couple of really scenic bridges. Make sure to stop after crossing the lake and admire the beautiful view. Nelson Falls is a really nice waterfall surrounded by picturesque forest. The moss covered rock-wall behind the falls creates a beautiful photography opportunity.

Once jumping back on the highway you’ll next be passing by the access road to Lake St Clair. This is a popular spot in Tasmania but if you aren’t hiking then there isn’t much to see around the visitor centre. If you really want to see the lake then you can make a stop here, there is a café where you can grab a coffee.

Back on the main road, only a short distance away, is an art installation called ‘The Wall’. There is an entry fee however we thought it was well worth it for this completely unique and beautiful artwork. The Wall is a 100m long wooden panel with scenes from Tasmania carved in high relief. This was a phenomenal undertaking by the sculptor and took over 15 years to complete.

Russell Falls - Mount Field National Park, Tasmania

Russell Falls, Mount Field National Park

Driving onwards through a nice mixture of farmland and forest, you will reach Mt Field National Park. It’s a little over an hour more driving to reach Hobart from here, so time your visit accordingly. There is a parking lot at the visitor centre and from here you can access the short walking trails to Horseshoe Falls and Russell Falls. These beautiful waterfalls are well worth the visit.

If you have time you can also complete the ‘Tall Trees’ walk. This has its only parking lot and is only a short trail so you should be able to fit it in. If you are caravanning/camping then you have the option to stay in the national park overnight, continuing to Hobart in the morning. This campground has powered and unpowered sites and even boasts hot showers. It was probably the best we stayed in on our Tasmania road trip

There’s only one last stretch of driving to power through and then you can relax and have a well earned drink! Check-in to your Hobart accommodation and make a plan for tomorrow’s sightseeing around the city. There are a bunch of great places to grab dinner along Hunter St on Victoria Dock. My personal favourite spot however was the Hope and Anchor Tavern; this is Australia’s oldest pub and has fantastic décor/memorabilia.

Where to Stay in Hobart

Hotel/Guesthouse: Customs House Hotel – Housed in a beautiful building dating from 1846, this hotel features classy rooms and a superb free breakfast. Located in the ideal spot, right near the bustling waterfront and many of the top tourist spots.

Caravan/Camping: Hobart unfortunately has no caravan parks right in the city. We recommend Barilla Holiday Park which is only a short drive outside the city. There is also a cheap scouts camp  on the other side of the city.

Day 10 – Hobart

On the final day of your epic 10 day Tasmania itinerary, enjoy a full day of sightseeing in Tasmania’s capital city. The most southern city in Australia may be small but it certainly isn’t lacking in activities.

With plenty of great things to do in Hobart, you could easily spend longer than a day here exploring the city and its surrounds. I’ve included some of the must-see highlights below along with some optional extras to include if your schedule allows for it.

If you have more time to spend, take a look at these day trips from Hobart to get inspired to explore outside of the city.

MONA - Hobart

Exploring the unique and quirky MONA in Hobart

Historic City Tour including MONA Ticket

Familiarize yourself with Hobart by taking a guided tour of the city and learning the history from a local guide. This fun city tour will take you to Hobart’s main attractions on a “coach tram” stopping at the Cascade Brewery, Cascade Gardens, Female Factory and many more highlights.

The tour also includes a ferry ride and tickets to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), which is a must-see! If you’re pressed for time, this is an excellent way to tick off the main sights of Hobart in a single day. Find more info about tour prices and availability here.

Salamanca Market 

If you happen to be visiting Hobart on a Saturday, don’t miss out on taking a stroll around the famous Salamanca Market. Operating for more than 50 years, this popular market features over 230 stalls ranging from fresh produce to handmade products. You’ll find a little bit of everything here!

The Salamanca Market is open every Saturday from 8:30am – 3:00pm.

Cascade Brewery

Having lunch at the Cascade Brewery is an experience you simply can’t miss in Hobart. Nestled in the foothills of Mount Wellington is Australia’s oldest operating brewery. The Cascade Brewery has been producing some of Tasmania’s finest beers since it’s opening date in 1824.

Taking a brewery tour is a great way to learn more about this historic brewery and gain some insight into the brewing process. If this interests you I would recommend booking ahead, as the tours tend to fill up quickly. Alternatively, you can enjoy a tasting paddle and some lunch in the beautiful gardens on their property.

When we had lunch at the Cascade Brewery, it was very busy so it is a good idea to reserve your table online in advance to avoid disappointment!

Opening Hours: Sun – Tues: 11am – 5:30pm, Wed – Sat: 11am – 8:30pm

Cascade Brewery in Hobart, Tasmania

Stopping for lunch at the Cascade Brewery

Mount Wellington 

If you’re seeking the best view over Hobart and surrounding landscapes, make your way up to Mount Wellington. To get there, it’s a steep 30 minute drive west of the CBD. You can also catch the Mount Wellington Explorer Bus which runs between the city and the summit.

Mount Wellington is located at 1271 metres above sea level and offers an unbeatable view over the city from various lookouts. There are plenty of outdoor activities here such as walking trails, mountain biking tracks, 4WD excursions and even horse riding opportunities. Plan your visit and discover all the things to do on Mount Wellington using the official website.

Depending on the time of year, you will need to check the weather conditions before driving up to the summit. During winter (and sometimes even summer) Pinnacle Road closures occur due to snowy/icy conditions, be sure to check the road status in advance.

Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery

On your explorations around the city, pop into the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery to browse their unique collections of artwork and historic artefacts. Located in a beautiful heritage building on Hobart’s waterfront, this is Australia’s second oldest museum, dating back to 1843!

Find more info about upcoming exhibits and plan your visit to the museum here.

Opening Hours: 10am – 4pm

Tickets: Free

Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens 

A 20 minute walk from Hobart’s CBD will bring you to the impressive Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. Set on the edge of the Derwent River, this beautiful set of gardens have been welcoming visitors for more than 200 years!

Featuring perfectly manicured gardens and rare plants from all over the world, this is an ideal place to come for a peaceful stroll surrounded by nature. The Japanese Garden was our personal favourite and offers some great photo opportunities.

It’s easy to lose track of time and spend a few hours exploring the many sections of the park. While you’re there, stop in at the Visitor Centre which is home to a lovely restaurant/café, shop and a gallery featuring exhibits by local artists.

Opening Hours: 8:00 am – 5:30 pm

Tickets: Free

Tasmania Road Trip Itinerary

Taking in the serene atmosphere of the Botanical Gardens

Cascades Female Factory

Dive into Hobart’s convict history by visiting the Female Factory which is located near the Cascade Brewery. This building was originally used to house female convicts in the early 1800’s. Take a tour of this World Heritage Listed site to hear the fascinating stories about 19th century convict life.

Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm

Tickets: Visit the official site for prices and bookings

Day Trip to Bruny Island

If you have some extra time to spare in Hobart, consider taking a day trip to Bruny Island. Known for its rugged landscapes, fascinating history and delicious food, exploring Bruny Island will make for an exciting day of adventures.

This popular tour picks you up from your Hobart accommodation in the morning and departs for the Bruny Island ferry. An experienced local guide will take you to all of the island’s highlights and scenic lookouts. You’ll get to spot some native wildlife and taste the island’s famous cuisine such as locally caught fish, fresh cheeses and oysters.

The tour includes hotel pick up and drop off, return ferry fare, morning tea, lunch, food tastings and historic lighthouse tour. Find more info about tour prices and availability here.

More Tasmania Travel Guides

Enjoy This 10 Day Tasmania Itinerary? Pin It For Later!

Tasmania Itinerary - 10-Day Road Trip The Ultimate 10-Day Tasmania Itinerary

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission on purchases made through these links. By making any purchase, you are directly supporting The Road Is Life Travel Blog which allows us to continue providing you with free high-quality travel guides. We only recommend products/services we have tried/love! 

Leave a Reply