10 day roadtrip around Tasmania

Nature
The wow factor for nature - does it show nature at its best? Doesn't need to be the wilder-beast migration or diving with hundreds of hammerheads. Rather make you pause as you realise just how awesome the natural world can be
9
Culture
How much does this experience showcase some of the better and finer things that us humans can offer? Sure, it can be ancient ruins and renaissance churches, but it can also be festivals or soaking up some of the great modern cities of the world
6
Fun factor/activity
Very simple - was it fun? This is usually linked in with doing some kind of activity - i mean, walking along some cliffs is nice, but paragliding from them, now that is fun. Its a vastly underrated factor in a truly great experience
7
Avoid the crowds
Big tour groups and being surrounded by loud fellow tourists can sap the life out of even the greatest of travel experiences. This score is to reflect just how much you can avoid this. But. . . The score also takes into account if the crowds actually add to the experience, such as with a party town or a bustling food market
8
World famous
How world famous is the experience?
6
unique
How hard is it to have a similar experience in other places round the world?
7
Overall Score
The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
77 *What the scores mean and where do they come from
continent
Oceania
country
Australia
Length of time
Around a week
Rough cost
Obviously people have different tastes, so this will depend on those tastes, but this is a rough idea of price of the whole experience based on 2 people able to split the accommodation costs and excluding travel there and back
$ 1,000
Time of year visited
January
Primary Tags
Click on any of the tags to see all travel experiences with the same tag
RANKING
How this travel experience ranks compared to all the other experiences on this site
52nd/334 This travel experience's ranking compared to all the other experiences on this site
Top 20% SUMMARY RATING: World Class

Summary

Tasmania is one of the jewels of Australia for its rugged remoteness, world-class natural landscapes, unique history and fewer tourist numbers compared to some of the other famous sites.  It also has the added benefit of being far smaller than some of the other parts of Australia, which makes it ideal for a week-10day road trip.  The itinerary below gives you the highlights of this wonderful little island

 

3 high level tips:

  1. Could do in a week?  You could do this itinerary in a week by shaving off Port Arthur and the Tamar Valley, but it will feel a little rushed.  10 days far better . . . and don’t make the error most people make which is dropping the west coast – it is the highlight of Tasmania
  2. UNESCO rate Tasmania – the high scores give an idea for just how impressive Tasmania is, and in particular the West Coast.  But don’t only take my word for it.   UNESCO have 10 potential criteria for a site to be designated World Heritage, with only one of the criteria needed to be met.  The Tasmanian Wilderness Area in the south west part of Tasmania meets 7 of the 10 criteria which, alongside Tai Shan in China, places it at the top of all sites in the world.  Really is quite a remarkable place to visit
  3. Tasmania or South Island New Zealand?  The two are often compared as they’re relatively close and similar sizes which, considering the world-class natural landscapers of the South Island, gives you an idea of the quality on offer in Tasmania.  Broadly, I’d say that the South Island just nudges it from a natural sites point of view based on its snow capped mountains, glaciers and fjords, but Tasmania clearly wins from a cultural significance point of view and might just shade it based on its more compact size for a roadtrip and its lower fellow tourist numbers

highlights

#1 Heading off for a tour of Macquarie Harbour and its surrounding islands in style on the premier upper deck of one of the cruise boats

#2 Driving through the interior of Tasmania with its magnificent wilderness and hardly anyone else around

#3 Heading into the West Coast rainforests to see some of famous Huon Pines, some of the tallest trees in the world and used by the British Royal Navy for their tallest ship's masts

#4 Keeping an eye out for wildlife unique to Tasmania. In particular the famous Tasmanian Devil

#5 Taking the steam train West Coast Wilderness Railway to explore some of the abandoned old logging stations and villages hidden away in the rainforest

#6 Seeing, and swimming in, the gorgeously coloured tannin-infused waters that come rushing into the harbour from the many rivers of the area. If not to your taste, don't worry, its crystal clear in many places as well

#7 Wineglass Bay and views over one of the world's most famous beaches

#8 Staying in the very cute and friendly village of Strahan, which is the place to base yourself for all adventure around the harbour

#9 Views over Hobart from nearby Mount Wellington

#10 The world-class beaches and their magnificent west-facing sunsets

#11 Walking up the steep, but thankfully short, slopes of "The Nut" - an extinct volcano with great views of Stanley and the landscape around

#12 Getting lost in the quirky and fun Tasmazia, formerly the world's largest maze, and with the glorious backdrop of Cradle Mountain

#13 Lying on the white sand beaches of the Bay of Fires

#14 A half day visit to Port Arthur to see what it could have been like to be sent to the British Empire's more infamous prison

#15 Crossing the cute gorge bridges of the pretty Tamar Valley

The route

Rough itinerary

Day 1 – Hobart.  Give yourself a day to wander the picturesque streets of Hobart, sample the world-class food and maybe drive up to the top of nearby Mount Wellington for views over the city and its gorgeous setting

Day 2 – drive from Hobart to Strahan.  The 4 hour drive won’t feel like a chore as you cross the Tasmanian interior and look out across some of the most stunning wilderness in the world

Day 3-5 – Macquarie Harbour.  Make sure to spend 3 days in this highlight of Tasmania and the joint highest rated site in the world according to UNESCO’s 10 criteria.  Take the boat trip round the harbour and islands, the train up to the abandoned logging sites, hike the nearby mountains and fish at Hell’s Gates entrance to the second largest harbour in the southern hemisphere.  For more tips see – Macquarie Harbour in Tasmania – fishing, sailing, trains and hiking

Day 6 – Stanley and Tasmazia.  Drive up to Stanley to climb The Nut headland and then make your way to Tasmazia for a bit of fun and gorgeous views of Cradle Mountain

Day 7 – Tamar Valley.  Spend a day in the very picturesque Tamar Valley with its changing between steep gorge sides and flatter pretty vineyards

Day 8 – Bay of Fires and Wineglass Bay.  Give yourself the day to travel down the east coast with its Bay of Fires beaches and the world-famous Wineglass bay.  Be sure to walk the 2.5 hours to Wineglass Bay itself as well as the closer lookout

Day 9 – Port Arthur and return to Hobart.  Drive down to see the infamous penal colony where the British empire send its most hardened criminals.  Return back to Hobart

Travel Tips

For the google maps link for the route, see here – 10 Day Tasmania Route Google Maps

Experiences nearby

The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences

Score Detail

Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"?  That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others.  That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score

This overall experience score is calculated by:  take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10).  Then convert into a score out of 100

Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique".  Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides.  So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique".  But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience).  So, both of these scores are standalone