Decided on a Tasmania driving holiday and now want to work out your Tasmania itinerary?
In this guide, we give you not one, but two detailed options for a 7 days in Tasmania itinerary. You simply need to decide if you would prefer to concentrate on Hobart and wilderness or Launceston, convicts and coast lines.
Tasmania may be Australia’s smallest state, but it’s one that’s full of national treasures. Its small size and population make it ideal for a road trip, and there’s certainly no shortage of things to see and do.
Tasmania is a state of small towns, historical sites, World Heritage listed national park land, several UNESCO-listed sites, esteemed wine and produce and much more.
There really is no shortage of things to see in a 7 day tour Tasmania, and when it comes to what to see in Tasmania in 7 days, we’ve given you two options. Each offers a great (but different) taste of the state.
Driving yourself is the best way to get around and explore Tasmania whether you hire a car or bring your own. It’s an easy place to explore on four wheels as distances are not great, and there is a lot to do in a small space. A Tasmania 7 day self drive itinerary will allow you to get out there and experience a lot.
To help you come up with your perfect Tasmania itinerary 7 days, below we give you exactly this! We give you two options to choose from. While it’s designed so you can see Tasmania in a week, there are also options for a Tasmania itinerary 6 days and Tasmania itinerary 8 days at the bottom so you can extend or shorten these itineraries depending on how long you have.
Keep reading for your step-by-step 1 week in Tasmania itinerary that you can simply follow day-by-day. This includes your stops, driving times and best places to stay. There are also maps to help you decide the best route for your one week in Tasmania itinerary.
Note these 7 day itinerary Tasmania options are on the fast side. We assume you want to experience as much as possible and get a great taste of a big part of Tasmania on your trip. If you like to take things slower, I recommend you remove a destination or remove some of the stops between places. Take out the ones that sound the least interesting to you.
This Tasmania 7 day itinerary is suitable for solo travellers, couples, friends and families. If you are a family with younger kids, I recommend removing the occasional stop to make it easier however.
Finally, if you have any questions about these self drive Tasmania 7 days itineraries, please let us know in the comments below.
Tasmania Driving Holiday Options
Tasmania may be a small state but it’s still not possible to see everything in one week. This is why we’ve included two itineraries – an east coast Tasmania itinerary and another itinerary Tasmania 7 days away from civilisation exploring the wilderness.
Note that option one, the east coast Tasmania road trip, is constructed to start at Devonport or Launceston whereas option two, the west coast Tasmania road trip 7 days, starts at Hobart.
However, Tasmania is a small place and you can start either of these itineraries in any place. Just remember you will need to allow time to drive from your starting point to start the itinerary. There are some tips given below about how you might modify the 7 day Tasmania itinerary to start at these other places.
Tasmania Itinerary 7 Days – Tasmania East Coast Road Trip
Remember, this is a full 1 week Tasmania itinerary. If you have fewer days, simply pick the days that most appeal – there are tips for less or more days below. For a longer trip, read our itinerary here.
- Day 1 drive to St Helens/Binalong Bay stopping at Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm and St Marys along the way if you are coming from Devonport. From Hobart, stop at Ross and St Marys
- Day 2 enjoy Bay of Fires
- Day 3 drive to Freycinet National Park and hike to famous Wineglass Bay
- Day 4 visit Maria Island on the way to Port Arthur
- Day 5 visit the Port Arthur Historic Site
- Day 6 drive to Launceston stopping at Doo Town, the Blow Hole and Ross on the way
- Day 7 enjoy the Tamar Valley region
The highlights of this Tasmania east coast itinerary are:
- Exploring interesting towns like Ross, St Mary’s and Eaglehawk Neck
- Spending a day discovering the beautiful beaches at Bay Of Fires
- Hiking in Freycinet National Park and seeing the world famous Wineglass Bay
- Understanding Tasmania’s convict history by visiting Maria Island and Port Arthur Historic Site
- Spending a day seeing all the incredible sites of the Tamar Valley
…and much more!
This one of our Tasmania tours 7 days is designed especially for people looking for a Tasmania self drive 7 day itinerary from Devonport or Launceston but it can work just as well from Hobart.
You will still drive to St Helens on day 1 and then I recommend that instead of driving to Launceston on day 6, you drive back to Hobart and choose some activities to complete from the Hobart days in the west coast itinerary below.
Tasmania Driving Map: Tasmania East Coast Drive
The following map shows you the route this Tasmania east coast drive itinerary takes.
Day 1: Driving To St Helens/Binalong Bay
Today, you arrive in Tasmania. The start of this 1 week itinerary is a trip to St Helens on the east coast.
- Arrive in Devonport. Drive straight off the boat and on to Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm for a delicious breakfast (approx driving time 32 minutes)
- OR Arrive in Hobart or Launceston Airport. I recommend you pick up your car hire at the airport so you are all set to go
- Head to the historic town of Ross if you are coming from Hobart and stop and explore
- Next, head on to St Marys and explore
- Drive on to St Helens/Binalong Bay depending on where you are staying and check in to your hotel
Where To Stay In St Helens/Binalong Bay
- BEST – Pelican Point Sanctuary (Click here for more details)
- MIDRANGE – NRMA St Helens (Click here for more details)
- BUDGET – BIG4 St Helens Holiday Park (Click here for more details)
If you’re starting your road trip in Hobart you’ll be lucky enough to drive past the small town of Ross. I highly recommend stopping here.
This historic town was established in 1812 and is a charming place to visit. It’s home to a collection of colonial style homes and buildings. It’s certainly one of the prettiest towns in Tasmania and one of our personal favourites.
Ross is small and easy to explore. One of the most popular tourist attractions here is the Ross Female Factory, which is one of only a handful of places to house female convicts in Australia.
Entry is free, and the centre describes how life was for the women and children that lived here. Little remains above ground, but excavations and information boards help you imagine what it was like.
We also recommend a visit to the Ross Bridge – one of the oldest in Australia and with an interesting history of its own.
Historically Ross was the centre of Tasmania’s wool industry so it’s only fitting to visit the Wool Centre – a small site with a museum and a shop.
There’s also several churches, pubs and some bakeries in town, as well as some lovely picnic settings. It’s a charming place to spend an hour or two.
St Marys is a very small town with fewer than 1000 people calling it home. This is another pretty town surrounded by mountains and lush valleys.
One of the most popular things to do here is bushwalking, and the walk from St Mary Pass to the Gray Mares Tail waterfall is an easy and popular track, taking only 5-10 minutes through the forest to the tall waterfall.
More challenging tracks include St Patricks Head, but note this is not the best track for beginners, but rewarding nonetheless. You can also simply drive to the South Sister Mountain Lookout to get a stunning view.
The town itself has a personality of its own. There are several B&Bs in town, and quirky museums and galleries, such as the old Saint Mary’s Historic Railway Station, as well as several shops and cafes.
Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm
If you’re a fan of raspberries, a visit to the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm is a must.
This is a working farm where raspberries are grown onsite, and it’s a beautiful spot to stop for breakfast or lunch and to sample some of Tasmania’s fine cuisine for yourself.
Raspberry dishes are available year round from the cafe. The menu offers simple food but has plenty of variety and is reasonably priced. You can opt to have a sweet treat or something more substantial and compliment it with a glass of strawberry wine or a cup of coffee.
There is also a shop offering some tasty and interesting souvenirs. The setting is beautiful, with walking tracks by a small lake. In the cooler months, there’s also an open fire.
Address: 9 Christmas Hills Rd, Elizabeth Town TAS 7304
Day 2: Bay Of Fires
Today you’ll explore the beaches and the conservation area, Bay Of Fires, at your leisure.
- Explore Bay of Fires
Even if you’re visiting Tasmania in winter, I would keep this day. It’s an interesting and pretty place to see and explore.
Bay Of Fires
Take a 30 minute drive north from St Helens and you’ll reach Bay Of Fires. This conservation area is one of the most unique spots on your Tasmania travel itinerary 7 days, and a must see.
The conservation area stretches over 50km from Binalong Bay to Eddystone Point, and the stunning beauty will introduce you to just one of Tasmania’s unspoilt natural treasures.
Binalong Bay is an entry point to Bay Of Fires with several places to stay, a cafe and surrounding camping spots.
Bay Of Fires is best explored by a leisurely drive, with frequent stops to appreciate the many sights. You’ll see white sand beaches, untamed bushland and striking orange boulders.
You would be forgiven for thinking the name ‘Bay Of Fires’ comes from the orange lichens on the boulders, but it’s believed to derive from the sighting of fires in this area by European explorers.
A popular place to stop and take a short walk and photos is The Gardens. The Gardens is located about half the distance between Ansons Bay and Binalong Bay and has a boardwalk and some information boards. Note that it can get super windy!
If you’re interested in driving the whole distance, you can follow a dirt road to Eddystone Point where you’ll reach a car park. From here, you can walk a short distance to the Eddystone Point Lighthouse.
There’s plenty more to see at Bay Of Fires. It really is a special spot. Of course, it’s also an amazing place to go swimming in warmer months, but at any time of year it’s worth witnessing it’s unique beauty for yourself.
If you are looking for more to do while you’re in this area, read my full guide to St Helens here.
Day 3: Freycinet National Park
Driving Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Next on the Tasmania self drive itinerary 7 days is a visit to Freycinet National Park. From here, you’ll take the track to Wineglass Bay.
- Make your way to Freycinet National Park. We recommend having lunch at Freycinet Marine Farm
- Hike the track to Wineglass Bay
Where To Stay At Coles Bay
Coles Bay is the best place to stay for access to Freycinet National Park.
- BEST – Freycinet Lodge (Click here for more details)
- MIDRANGE – BIG4 Iluka on Freycinet (Click here for more details)
- BUDGET – Swansea Backpacker Lodge (Click here for more details)
Freycinet Marine Farm
If you’re a fan of seafood then we highly recommend stopping at Freycinet Marine Farm for lunch.
The site itself consists of a few buildings offering plenty of seating to sit and have lunch. This is a working farm where much of what you eat is fresh from the sea. This includes the mussels and oysters, which we thought were some of the most delicious we’ve ever had.
They also sell other seafood, chips and drinks to compliment your meal.
Another cool thing about this place is that they offer tours where you can catch your own oysters. As oyster lovers, this is definitely something we would have done had we not visited with kids.
Having lunch here isn’t budget breaking but it’s not super cheap either. It’s highly recommended for seafood lovers.
Address: 1784 Coles Bay Rd, Coles Bay TAS 7215
A trip to this part of the world would be incomplete without a visit to Wineglass Bay. This iconic area is one of the most visited spots in Tasmania and the beach below is often featured among the best beaches in the world.
Hiking to the Wineglass Bay Lookout from the car park below lets you see the beauty from above. The walk to the lookout follows a steep 1.3km track, and takes most people anywhere between 30 to 60 minutes one way.
There are several spots to stop and catch your breath along the way, and the track itself is well paved and trafficked by people of all ages.
You’re rewarded when reaching the top by the stunning view. It really is a special place. You’ll find a viewing platform to take photos from all angles and the beach below. You can hike to the beach from here. Most people don’t hike to the beach, but if you have the time and energy, we highly recommend it.
Longer, more challenging tracks include the Hazards Beach Circuit which you can do from the car park. This takes you over the length of the beach and back and can take around 5 hours to complete.
Whatever you choose to do, you’re sure to be rewarded with stunning sights and the tranquility of the surrounding area.
Day 4: Maria Island
Driving Time: 2 hours 50 minutes (plus two ferry rides)
On day 4, it’s time to drive down the east coast all the way to Port Arthur with a stop for a day trip to amazing Maria Island on the way. This is the perfect place to learn more history of Tasmania and see wildlife.
- Leave early and drive directly to the Maria Island ferry terminal in Triabunna (approx driving time 1.25 hours)
- Take the ferry to Maria Island. Read more about taking this ferry here
- Explore Darlington and take a hike on Maria Island looking out for wildlife
- Take the ferry back and drive on to Port Arthur (approx driving time 1 hour 35 minutes)
Maria Island is located about 4km from the coast of Tasmania, and is a very special place which can only be reached by ferry. No vehicles are allowed on the island, giving it a very unique and isolated feeling.
The ferry ride departs from Triabunna and takes about 30 minutes. You can purchase tickets here. Ferries come fairly regularly, arriving and departing approximately every 1.5 to 2 hours (find more information here).
When you arrive, you’ll walk into Darlington. This is the only town on Maria Island, and it has no permanent inhabitants. What it does have are relics from the past with remnants of what was once an old convict settlement. Maria Island once had an active penitentiary and there are several historical buildings you can explore.
Another thing which makes the island special is that it’s home to an abundance of native wildlife like wallabies, pademelons and Tasmanian devils.
The island is a pleasure to explore on foot and there are several walks you can do. The Reservoir Circuit is one which is short and it’s easy to see the local wildlife. Popular longer walks include the Bishop and Clerk trail. You can also hire a bike when booking your ferry ride. You can see a full list of walks here or read about visiting the Fossil Cliffs here.
There’s also a large Marine Nature Reserve which is ideal for diving and snorkelling and you can often see dolphins and seals.
You can spend as long or as little time as you’d like here, but we’d recommend a good few hours. However, note there are no shops on the island, so bring everything you’ll need with you – including water.
Where To Stay At Port Arthur
- BEST – Port Arthur Villas (Click here for more details)
- MIDRANGE – NRMA Port Arthur (Click here for more details)
- BUDGET – Fox and Hounds Inn (Click here for more details)
Day 5: Port Arthur
Wake up ready to explore Port Arthur Historic Site which is the perfect place to learn about Tasmania’s convict past.
- Explore Port Arthur Historic Site. With your entry ticket you get included walking and boat tours. Make sure you take them.
- In the evening, it’s time to return to the site for the ghost tour
Port Arthur Historic Site
One of the most interesting and extensive historical sites in Tasmania is the UNESCO listed Port Arthur Historic Site, and it’s yet another must see place on our suggested itinerary Tasmania 7 days.
Port Arthur was an important convict goal for some of the worst offenders in the colony, but what makes it so impressive is the vast array of buildings and monuments which remain, waiting to be explored.
A ticket to Port Arthur includes entry to the site, a 40 minute guided walking tour and a 25 minute cruise of the harbour making it an excellent place to spend the day exploring. You select the time of your walking tour and cruise when booking, so I highly recommend pre-booking online.
Wandering the site alone you’ll explore the prison, houses, barns, gardens, both the old and new penitentiary and many other sites. It is very easy to explore with something different at every turn. Information boards are scattered around and you can enter some buildings and see the relics on display. Others are closed or in ruins. We had a lot of fun exploring the site.
The relaxing 25 minute cruise takes you around the harbour past Isle of the Dead, a burial spot which you can explore by tour for an additional fee. The ferry is very comfortable and you’re free to go outside in front of the ferry or sit and relax. There is a small shop onboard for snacks.
Back on land, you’ll find an excellent gift shop and a large cafeteria/restaurant onsite where you entered. You are free to take a break for lunch or coffee and continue exploring the site.
At night, Port Arthur hosts its famous ghost tours. These extremely popular tours cover some of the creepier aspects of the site, complete with stories from the past and visits to supposedly haunted areas of the site where you’re asked to judge for yourself. Entertaining and highly recommended!
Address: Historic Site, Visitor Centre, Port Arthur TAS 7182
Day 6: Drive To Launceston
Driving Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
After some fun and interesting stops on the Tasman Peninsula, drive back up north to Launceston ready for more fun!
- Drive to Doo Town, one of the most original towns in Australia to check out the house names (approx driving time 30 minutes)
- Check out the Blow Hole and Tessellated Pavement
- Stop at historic Ross on your way to Launceston (approx driving time 1 hour 50 minutes)
- Visit Cataract Gorge (approx driving time 1 hour)
- Check into your hotel in Launceston
Note, if you started this trip in Hobart and need to return there, return to Hobart today and look at days 1-2 in the itinerary below for activities for day 6 and 7.
There’s more information on Ross in day 1 above.
Driving through Eaglehawk Neck on Pirates Bay, you’ll come across a small quirky community known as Doo Town.
This small town has become an attraction in its own right because it offers something different – nearly every house is named using the word ‘doo’. This is a tradition that started over 90 years ago and continues today.
You’ll find Dr Doolittle, Doo-Drop-Inn and the Doo-Lishus cafe among many other names. Our kids had a great time pointing out funny names, and it’s worth a visit for some easy entertainment.
Address: 301 C338, Eaglehawk Neck, TAS 7179
Blow Hole and Tessellated Pavement
One of the most visited spots in Eaglehawk Neck is the Blow Hole, named due to the spurting of water at high tide due to the remnants of an old cave system.
From the car park, the Blow Hole is a short walk. The area is quite pretty, overlooking the ocean and you can see the power of the water from below. The full blow hole effect only occurs at high tide. Therefore if you want to see this, it’s best to time your visit with high tide. However, it’s still an interesting and pretty place to see at any time.
A short distance down the road is another natural phenomenon, although you wouldn’t think so just by looking at it. The Tessellated Pavement is an area of tiled rock which looks anything but natural, but amazingly it is. This is a rare phenomenon which is explained on an information board as you walk towards it.
It takes less than 5 minutes to reach the pavement from the car park, and you can walk over it and take photos. There are many cool rock pools and marine life to spot, and the pavement itself is very impressive. Note the tide can come in!
You can easily walk to the beach from the Tessellated Pavement and spend some time stretching your legs before you head off.
Address: Eaglehawk Neck, TAS 7179
Your first stop after arriving in Launceston is Cataract Gorge. This is a beautiful spot to stretch your legs, take a walk and relax.
Entry is free and there are several things you can do here. Starting from the First Basin, one of the most popular things to do is take a ride on the chairlift, which takes you around the site and back again. This is relatively affordable and family tickets are available.
There are two main stations from First Station to the Cliff Grounds, and you’ll see everything this expansive area has to offer from above.
There are plenty of walks you can do. If you do just one, we recommend the suspension bridge which doesn’t take long, and follows a track which is complete with information boards on how the indigenous population once lived.
You’ll also find a swimming pool, cafe and restaurant, wildlife and the Inclinator, which is a self operated transporter which takes you from the base of the gorge to the top.
The Gorge is open year round and it really is a beautiful spot with a relaxing vibe.
Address: 69 Basin Road, Launceston, TAS 7250
Where To Stay In Launceston
- BEST – Peppers Silo (See latest prices here)
- MIDRANGE – Best Western Plus Launceston (See latest prices here)
- BUDGET – Village Family Motor Inn (See latest prices here)
Find our guide to all the best hotels in Launceston here.
Day 7: Tamar Valley
Driving Time: 25 minutes
Hopefully, you have the full day available to explore the Tamar Valley. If so, you can do the following. Otherwise, cut out what you need to get to your flight or the Spirit of Tasmania on time.
- Have breakfast in Launceston then head to Tasmania Zoo (approx driving time 25 minutes)
- Continue on to Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre (approx driving time 35 minutes)
- Head to a winery for lunch. We enjoyed Iron Pot Bay Vineyard (approx driving time 15 minutes)
- Drive on to Beauty Point and visit Seahorse World and Platypus House (approx driving time 20 minutes)
- Continue on to Devonport for the Spirit or Launceston Airport for your flight (approx driving time to Devonport 1 hour 10 mins, approx driving time to Launceston Airport 50 mins)
Note this day is quite busy so you may want to cut out whichever attraction sounds the least interesting to you.
Read our full guide to the Tamar Valley here.
Located just outside of Launceston is Tasmania Zoo, your first stop in the Tamar Valley. This zoo actually hosts an impressive variety of animals with over 100 unique species with both native animals and rare species from around the world.
The zoo feels more like a wildlife sanctuary and, while there is a lot to see. it’s very easy to explore and see it all in around an hour. Some of the most interesting animals to see are the wide variety of pretty birds, Tasmanian Devils, Tigers, Lions, emus and so many varieties of monkeys!
There’s also a Jurassic walk you can do with dinosaur sounds and moving dinosaur models which is great for kids.
The zoo also has food machines where you can buy a small cup of food to feed some of the animals (such as goats, sheep and kangaroos), and we found the animals coming up asking for food before we even had any.
They also have a cafe, shop and places to sit. It’s not a super well equipped zoo but there are plenty of animals to see and a visit here is a nice way to spend a morning.
Address: 1166 Ecclestone Rd, Riverside TAS 7250
Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre
The Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre is actually quite an impressive place to visit. The heritage centre is built on the site of a defunct mine, and you can walk around exploring the site.
There’s lots of information here, particularly on mining in Beaconsfield and the incident in 2006 when two miners became trapped underground for 14 days. Reading through this, you start to get a sense of what being trapped for 14 days one kilometre underground must have been like and how difficult and complex the rescue mission was.
There’s also a lot of interactive pieces making it extra fun to visit with kids. For example, just pressing a button operated a huge water turbine.
There is a big collection of relics from mining/farming in the past (and a few other random pieces) and lots of information on mining making it a really interesting place to visit.
Address: West St, Beaconsfield TAS 7270
Beauty Point is a gorgeous spot, and perched on the water you’ll find Seahorse World – the place to see and learn all about seahorses.
A visit to Seahorse World is conducted by tour, so I recommend booking ahead to get your preferred time. The tour takes about 45 minutes and you’re taken around the facility by an informative guide.
The site is very cool, with tiny seahorses as well as a breeding centre with seahorses of all ages, as well as other marine life like crabs and starfish. Seahorses are very interesting and the guides give lots of information on them.
Address: 200 Flinders St, Beauty Point TAS 7270
Similar to Seahorse World and positioned just next door is Platypus House – the place to see and learn about platypuses. However, it isn’t all about platypuses as you’ll see and learn about echidnas too!
Visiting Platypus House is similar to Seahorse World and is run by guided tours which take about 45 minutes. We quite liked this as you do learn a great deal about them.
We learned that both platypuses and echidnas are Monotremes, hence them being in the same site. We found it fascinating to see platypuses up close, and we sat in a room with echidnas feeding in the centre of it.
It is a really unique experience to see these interesting animals up close and highly recommended.
Address: 200 Flinders St, Beauty Point TAS 7270
Tasmania Self Drive 7 Day Itinerary – Tasmania West Coast Itinerary
Get ready to explore Tasmania’s capital and Tasmania’s vast wilderness.
- Days 1-2 discover Hobart
- Day 3 drive to Strahan with a stop at the Lake St Clair part of the Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park on the way
- Day 4 explore the west coast
- Days 5-6 drive to Cradle Mountain and explore
- Day 7 head back to Hobart stopping at Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm and Ross on the way
The highlights of this 7 day Tasmania road trip are:
- Exploring Tasmania’s wilderness in the World Heritage Wilderness areas at Strahan, Lake St Clair and Cradle Mountain
- Seeing the Gordan River up close on a cruise
- Learning about the west coast’s mining past
- Discovering convict history at Ross
- Enjoying picturesque Hobart and having the unique experience of visiting MONA.
This Tasmania one week itinerary is designed to start and finish in Hobart, but you can start and finish from any point.
If you are starting at the Spirit of Tasmania in Devonport, I recommend you drive straight to Hobart when disembarking to start the tour. On day 7, you can drive from Cradle Mountain back to Devonport stopping at Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm on the way. You can do the same thing if you are starting and finishing in Launceston.
Tasmania 1 Week Itinerary Map: West Coast Tasmania Itinerary
The following map shows you the route this 7 day driving tour Tasmania takes.
Day 1: Arriving In Hobart
Today you begin your journey by exploring Tasmania’s capital, Hobart!
This first day is all about getting acquainted with Hobart, and we assume you want to take it relatively easy. However, depending on when you arrive, you may want to add an attraction from the second day to this day.
- Arrive in Hobart either driving from Devonport or flying into Hobart Airport. You can hire a car from one of the many companies at the airport
- Drive to the summit of Mount Wellington and see Hobart from above from the observation deck
- Have lunch in North Hobart and then check-in to your hotel
- Head on to Battery Point and take a heritage walk
- Explore Salamanca Place and Hobart’s Waterfront and pick a place for dinner
Where To Stay In Hobart
- BEST – MACq 01 Hotel (See latest prices here)
- MIDRANGE – Somerset On The Pier (See latest prices here)
- BUDGET – Central Hotel Hobart (See latest prices here)
At over 1200 metres, Mt Wellington can be seen from all around Hobart, and the first thing you should do when you reach Hobart is drive to the top and see the city from above.
Driving to the top of Mt Wellington is easy and takes about 30 minutes. There are several walking tracks and scenic spots along the way. A particularly popular spot to stop is the Springs, with a big car park, coffee van, toilets and walking tracks in the forest.
Of course the main event is the Pinnacle – the top of the mountain with a sheltered observation deck and signs to familiarise yourself with the city’s layout. You’ll also find a few outdoor observation areas and walks.
Whilst this is a beautiful spot it can be very cold and windy at the top of the mountain. Warm clothes are essential in any season.
In the colder months, there is often snow and as such the road to the top can be shut. However you can still usually drive as far up as the Springs.
Battery Point is a historic and affluent inner city suburb of Hobart, and exploring its pretty streets is a great way to spend an afternoon.
One of the best ways to see Battery Point is with a heritage walk which you can follow here. This will take you to the most iconic spots of the suburb. I recommend you park at Salamanca Place and make your way up Kelly’s Steps to start your walk (you’ll return here afterwards).
Battery Point is filled with pretty buildings and cottages. Arthurs Circus is a must see which is a collection of cottages built for the garrison officers.
Hampden Road is lined with shops, cafes and restaurants and a stroll along this is a must. You’ll also find the Narryna Heritage Museum which is a well preserved historic townhouse open for viewing.
Other points of interest are the pretty St George’s Anglican Church and Princes Park for a relaxing stroll as you make your way back to Salamanca Place.
Salamanca Place and Hobart’s Waterfront
A trip to Hobart would be incomplete without a visit to the converted sandstone warehouses at Salamanca Place. This trendy area has everything from fine dining to dessert cafes, museums and galleries, shops and souvenir stores and a large open square complete with a fountain.
This is a lovely spot to spend some time getting lost exploring the different sites. It’s also a particularly nice spot to stop and have a drink. There are many trendy bars here each with their own flair.
If you’re visiting on a Saturday you will be lucky enough to see the streets come alive for the Salamanca Market. This large open air market sells everything Tasmania is famed for, with fudge, honey, flowers, produce, food vans and much, much more.
Salamanca Place is positioned just a stone’s throw away from Hobart’s waterfront. From Salamanca Place you can pass through Parliament House Gardens (and see Parliament House) and then cross the road and explore the waterfront.
The waterfront has many offerings itself. This is a pretty place to walk and see the many boats and yachts docked, as well as see the gift and souvenir stores and restaurants.
We recommend visiting the floating pontoon Brooke Street Pier, Mawson’s Hut and the converted warehouses on Hunter Street. The MAC01 complex also has several bars and restaurants, and is a nice place to walk by.
When it comes to dinner, it’s obvious that seafood is a massively popular option. There are options to suit every budget.
For fine dining, I recommend either MAC01 or one of the restaurants at Salamanca Place. For a more budget friendly option, you can choose one of the many popular seafood restaurants like Mures or Fish Frenzy or one of the floating takeaway shops.
Day 2: Enjoying Hobart
On day 2 of your itinerary, you’ll delve into Hobart’s art scene and explore the nearby town of Richmond.
- After breakfast, head to MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) and explore this fascinating museum. You get there by ferry from Hobart or car (approx 20 minute drive)
- After MONA, drive on to Richmond, stopping at one of the many wineries for lunch on the way – there are several in the Richmond/Cambridge area (approx 25 minute driving time)
- Explore the attractions at Richmond then return to Hobart (approx 30 minute driving time)
- Have dinner in Salamanca Place
MONA is a world renowned unique, captivating and interesting art museum, and it’s a must see place while you’re in Hobart. This museum is unlike any other we’ve been to, and there’s a lot to see (and a lot you may not want to see).
There are several ways to get to MONA. You can take a bus decked out like a prisoner bus, a cruise on the MONA Roma or drive. If you’re heading to Richmond afterwards, it’s best to drive and make your way from there.
Currently due to COVID, you must pre-book online before you go.
MONA is mostly underground which makes it an impressive site to see, and the exhibits range from murals on the wall, paintings and rooms featuring strange and interesting things like a bunch of people singing to Madonna (oddly creepy).
This is an interesting place unlike any other where you’ll find vending machines with beer and something different at every turn. We saw a room with computer codes all around and TV shows with strange figures and events.
Exhibits do change but I quite liked seeing the egyptian sarcophagus and other artifacts from the past. The kids liked seeing the poo machine (which was more about smell than sight).
Address: 655 Main Rd, Berriedale TAS 7011
About a 30 minute drive from Hobart is Richmond, a pretty historic town with plenty to see and do. Richmond is visited year round by tourists and locals due to its impressive collection of historic architecture and a variety of things to do.
Richmond is small and can easily be explored on foot. We recommend parking by the Richmond Bridge (Australia’s oldest stone stand bridge), walking across and making your way into the town from here.
Everything is close together and you’ll find a variety of shops, cafes, galleries, museums and churches so I recommend taking a stroll and visiting the sites that interest you. A visit to the Pooseum – a surprisingly informative museum featuring animal dung – is recommended if you’re traveling with kids!
Two of the most popular attractions are the Richmond Gaol and the Old Hobart Town Model Village.
One of the most authentic and interesting places to see in Richmond is the Richmond Gaol – Australia’s oldest convict gaol still standing.
Entry is affordable ($10 for adults and $5 for kids) and you visit by self guided tour. There are plenty of information boards (complete with sound effects) to guide you through your visit and understand how life was life here.
Cells are almost the same today as they were back in the 1800’s, and seeing the variety of rooms – including the main gaol, holding cells and solitary confinement, women’s quarters, kitchen and flogging yard – make this is a very complete and unique site.
This gaol is relatively small and you can see it all in under an hour. The historic buildings are impressively kept and this is certainly one of the most interesting places to see in Richmond.
Address: 37 Bathurst St, Richmond TAS 7025
Old Hobart Town Model Village
If you’re interested in how Hobart looked 200 years ago, a visit to the Old Hobart Town Model Village is a must. This impressively large model village took several years to construct and is based on trusted sources and records to replicate how Hobart Town looked in the 1820’s.
The model is exceptionally well presented with information boards and street names giving a description of buildings and life during this early period of Hobart’s history. Few of the buildings in the model exist today, and it’s very interesting to see just how much the city has changed and evolved.
The designers clearly have a sense of humour too, as you’ll find human figures in amusing situations (such as fighting off wildlife or stumbling out of the pub drunk). There’s plenty to see and it’s fun to see what you can spot!
Address: 21a Bridge St, Richmond TAS 7025
Day 3: Lake St Clair And Strahan
Driving Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Today on your 7 day road trip you’ll be heading out of Hobart and onto Strahan, stopping to explore the beautiful Lake St Clair area on the way!
- After breakfast, continue your road trip to Lake St Clair Visitor Centre (approx driving time 2 hours and 20 minutes)
- Have lunch at the restaurant near the Visitor Centre and then go for a walk. I suggest the Watersmeet Walk and then heading to Platypus Bay to potentially see a platypus (this is a 4.7km track and takes about an hour and a half)
- Continue on to Strahan (approx driving time 2 hours)
- Stop at the West Coast Visitor Centre and pay a visit to the West Coast Reflections museum (note it closes at 4pm)
- Eat dinner in Strahan (we recommend Bushman’s Bar and Cafe). It’s best to book ahead
Where To Stay In Strahan
- BEST – Aloft Boutique Accommodation (See latest prices here)
- MIDRANGE – Big4 Strahan Holiday Retreat (See latest prices here)
- BUDGET – Motel Strahan (See latest prices here)
Find our guide to all the best hotels in Strahan here.
Lake St Clair
After a nearly 2 and a half hour drive, you’ll reach the stunning Lake St Clair, and you’ll be lucky enough to stretch your legs by taking a walk by this beautiful lake.
From the car park, you’ll first enter the Lake St Clair Visitor Centre which has a bit of information on the area and native wildlife. This is the first spot where you will need a national park pass to visit. You can purchase it at the visitor centre or pre-purchase online, and you can purchase one pass for your entire trip.
You’ll also find toilets and a large restaurant/cafe for lunch (although they stopped serving lunch at 1:30pm when we arrived).
After lunch, take your time exploring this stunning area by taking a walk. You’ll start at Cynthia Bay and quickly realise there are many walks you can do – some taking several hours. I recommend the shorter Watersmeet Walk and continuing on to Platypus Bay if you have the stamina and time. The full figure-eight circuit can take between 1.5 to 2 hours.
Along the way look out for the Waratah which grows in abundance here, and walk back to the visitor centre by the lake to appreciate this calm, tranquil spot.
West Coast Reflections
Inside the West Coast Visitor Information Centre is the West Coast Reflections Museum. Entry is only $2 ($1 for kids) and it’s worth seeing to get some information on the places you’re about to visit.
This small double floor museum has a lot of info on the West Coast, particularly around Sarah Island and early colonial and indigenous life, as well as the climate and political controversies (like the proposed damming of the Franklin River) and historical events in the area.
For a small museum it is well set out and cheap to see. The visitor centre also has a good shop, and you can purchase tickets to see the play here ‘The Ship That Never Was’ – Australia’s longest running play and based on a true event. This is worth seeing if you’re looking for something to do at night.
The museum does close at 4pm, so if you miss out, you can always add this to day 4 after your cruise or train ride. It’s not a must see museum, but cheap and interesting nonetheless.
Address: The Esplanade, TAS, 7468
Day 4: Strahan
Today, you have a tough decision – whether to take a Gordon River Cruise or journey on the West Coast Wilderness Railway! Unfortunately, there isn’t time for both, so read through each below and see which one appeals more to you.
- Cruise the stunning Gordon River on a Gordon River Cruise; OR
- Have an adventure on the West Coast Wilderness Railway
Gordon River Cruise
Part of Tasmania’s famed World Heritage Area, the Gordon River is a stunning place and the best way to appreciate it is by taking a Gordon River Cruise.
You have two companies to choose from for your cruise – Gordon River Cruises and World Heritage Cruises.
Both cruises take you to the iconic spots of the area such as Hells Gates (the narrow and complex entryway to the Gordon River), Sarah Island (a small and infamous penal settlement) and a cruise down the Gordon River with a stop at Heritage Landing where you can take a walk through the forest.
We took a cruise with Gordon River Cruises which was extremely comfortable. The boat, Spirit of the Wild, was virtually silent while cruising the river which made it extra relaxing, and we were served a good buffet lunch. The cruise stopped at both Heritage Landing and Sarah Island and there were guided tours at both.
Our cruise took 6 hours and we enjoyed every second of it and found it a relaxing and scenic way to spend a day.
West Coast Wilderness Railway
A journey on the West Coast Wilderness Railway is simply one of the best ways to appreciate the west coast of Tasmania.
This railway, which was originally used to carry mined material from Queenstown to the port at Strahan, now operates as a tourist attraction on an original old steam train.
There are several different tours you can do, both half day and full day, depending on whether you leave from Strahan or Queenstown (Queenstown is about a 30 minute drive from Strahan). Each tour stops at different stations along the way. There are two carriage classes – Heritage (with snacks available for purchase) and Wilderness (fully catered and with an open balcony).
From Strahan, I recommend taking The Queenstown Explorer. This excellent tour departs from Regatta Point Station in Strahan and takes you to Queenstown and back, stopping at several stations such as Dubbil Barril and Lynchford on the way.
The stations have their own attractions such as a walking track and gold mining, and the return trip takes about 9 hours.
The trip itself is simply stunning with scenery that needs to be seen to be appreciated. This is one of the best ways to see the rugged west of Tasmania.
Address: 62 Esplanade, Strahan TAS 7468
If you are looking for more activities in Strahan, read our full guide here.
Day 5: Drive to Cradle Mountain
Today you’ll leave Strahan and head to Cradle Mountain.
- Have breakfast in Strahan and then drive to Zeehan (approx driving time 30 minutes)
- See the West Coast Heritage Centre and Spray Tunnel
- Continue driving to Cradle Mountain and check-in to your hotel (approx driving time 1 hour 30 minutes)
- At night visit [email protected] and see the Tasmanian Devils feeding
You could also switch the stop at Zeehan with doing whatever you missed of the Gordan River Cruise and West Coast Wilderness Railway.
Where To Stay At Cradle Mountain
- BEST – Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge (Click here for more details)
- MIDRANGE – Cradle Mountain Highlanders (Click here for more details)
- BUDGET – Discovery Parks – Cradle Mountain (Dorm Rooms Available) (Click here for more details)
On your way to Cradle Mountain it’s worth stopping by the small town of Zeehan.
There’s not a whole lot to see here, but there are some worthwhile attractions such as the West Coast Heritage Centre.
This museum has quite an impressive collection of things on display like mined minerals, machinery, locomotives, access to the court house, an underground mine experience and much more. One of the main offerings here is access to Gaiety Theatre – a grand theatre once considered to be one of the best in the country.
A 5 minute drive from the museum is the Spray Tunnel. This is an abandoned railway tunnel from the days of silver mining which you can walk through and take an easy 1 hour return walk. This is a unique walk with ruins and relics that you can spot along the track.
Back in the town centre there is a shop and a couple of cafes if you’d like to relax before heading onwards.
Address (West Coast Heritage Centre): 114 Main St, Zeehan TAS 7469
Address (Spray Tunnel): Fowler Street, Zeehan TAS 7321
Read more about visiting Zeehan in our full guide here.
If there’s one animal most people are interested to see when visiting Tasmania, it’s the Tasmanian devil.
Tasmanian devils are nocturnal, and as such, the best way to see these iconic and interesting animals is with an after dark tour. You can do this at [email protected]
[email protected] is a wildlife sanctuary helping to conserve native wildlife. You can visit outside of tours, but to see the Tasmanian devils feeding, you need to book one of their after dark tours.
I highly recommend this. It’s the best way to see the Tasmanian Devil alert and in action and it’s a highly sensory experience with an interesting guide.
The tours take a bit over an hour and run from 5:30pm to 8:30pm, and the facility has other native wildlife, such as the spotted-tailed and eastern quolls, as well as joey devils.
Address: 3950 Cradle Mountain Rd, Cradle Mountain TAS 7306
Day 6: Cradle Mountain
On day 6 you’ll spend some time exploring the beautiful Cradle Mountain. You can take as little or as long as you’d like exploring this area.
This is an easy going day for you to spend in nature after a full on journey.
- Have breakfast at your hotel and then pack a lunch
- Head to the visitors centre and take the shuttle bus to Dove Lake
- Take the Dove Lake walk (approx 1.5 – 2 hours)
- Take the bus to other stops exploring Cradle Mountain, stopping somewhere to eat your lunch
The stunning Cradle Mountain is the result of an eroded glacier, and by visiting you’ll understand just how magnificent this area is.
Your visit will start at the visitor centre where you’ll pick up your ticket for the shuttle bus (this is included in your national park pass fee) and get some information on the park. There’s a good cafe here if you’d like to have something to eat before exploring (or to stock up on water).
You’ll then make your way to the bus stop. The shuttle buses arrive frequently – usually 10 to 15 minutes between each – however the hours they run depends on when you’re visiting (usually between 9am – 5pm in winter and 8am – 6pm in summer).
The shuttle bus stops at various points along the way, and you can get a map and ask for information at the visitors centre.
I recommend taking the bus to Dove Lake and doing the Dove Lake walk, which is a beautiful walk around the lake. It’s fairly flat and much of it is on a boardwalk, and you’ll get some stunning views of the lake and mountain and will get to walk through the forest.
If you’re after something short and easy, The Rainforest Walk is a good option and is entirely on a boardwalk.
There is a list of the walks you can do here.
The area is a wealth of rainforests, rivers, wildlife and bushland and you can spend as long as you’d like soaking up the natural beauty. This is a day to take it easy in nature and to feel unrushed and relaxed in a stunning setting.
Day 7: Returning To Hobart
Driving Time: 4 hours
It’s time to finish your 7 day Tasmania adventure with a drive back to Hobart (note if you are leaving from somewhere else, you would drive there today). On the way, have a delicious breakfast at Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm and explore historic Ross.
- Leave early and head to Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm for breakfast (approx driving time 1.25 hours)
- Drive on to historic Ross and explore (approx driving time 1.25 hours)
- Head back to Hobart ready to fly out (approx driving time 1.5 hours)
There is more information about Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm and Ross on day 1 of the east coast itinerary.
Tasmania 6 Day Itinerary
If you’ve only got 6 days in Tasmania you can make some modifications to the itineraries above. If you’re looking for an east coast 6 day itinerary Tasmania, you could just cut off the last day. Otherwise, Eaglehawk Neck is only 25 minutes from Port Arthur, so you could combine some attractions from day 6 with day 5 and squeeze in some attractions in the Tamar Valley on day 6.
If you’re looking at what to see in Tasmania in 6 days on the West Coast, I recommend you leave early for Cradle Mountain on day 5, remove Zeehan from your Tasmania self drive 6 day itinerary and see Cradle Mountain and [email protected] on day 5. You can then head back to Hobart on day 6.
8 Days Tasmania Itinerary
If you’re lucky enough to have time for a Tasmania self drive 8 day itinerary, you have a couple of options. For an east coast Tasmania 8 day self drive itinerary, I recommend you add some attractions from day 7 to day 8 so that you can spend longer exploring the Tamar Valley region, and so that your final day isn’t so rushed.
For a west coast Tasmania self drive itinerary of 8 days, after visiting Cradle Mountain you could add a visit to Wynyard, Boat Harbour and Stanley on day 6/7, and head to back to Hobart from there. You can read about the attractions in these spots here.
Final Words About Your Tasmania Driving Holiday
Tasmania really is an exceptional place for a road trip, and both the east and west coast are vastly different from each other – in both climate and attractions.
Whatever you choose to do, remember you can always return again for another Tasmania road trip. We will be here to help you discover the best attractions Tasmania offers!
We hope you enjoy these suggestions for what to do in Tasmania for a week so that you can have your perfect trip. You can find more information to plan your perfect trip to Tasmania in our planning guides to Tasmania here.
Sharon grew up in Tasmania, moved away and then came back with her family twenty years later. She loves re-discovering her home state and sharing it with you here.