Tasmania is that ‘little’ island off the southeast coast of the Australian mainland. I went there in January of 2011 and spent two weeks driving around the island, visiting as many place as I could on the way, without rushing it. I feel that it is of massive importance to take your time when travelling. I say: don’t run from one place to another, but rather spend a couple of days hanging out in the same place.
Australian Road Trip to Tassie
It is surprising how many people skip Tassie when they are visiting Australia. I don’t get that. It is easily one of the most beautiful corners of the entire country, as I found on my Australian road trip around Tasmania. Maybe the very fact that it’s less touristy has something to do with that? That’s definitely food for thought.
I arrived in Devonport on a Sunday evening, after spending the day crossing the Bass Straight on the Spirit of Tasmania. The following Monday and Tuesday were spent exploring the northeastern part of Tasmania. That included a visit to Launceston, Cataract Gorge and the Tamar Valley. On the way to the coast I had a short stop to go and see the St Columba Falls. On Tuesday night I camped near a beach in the gorgeous – but this time rainy – Bay of Fires.
Hobart and Port Arthur
On Wednesday I wanted to go south and visit Freycinet National Park, but the weather forecast didn’t sound promising. Instead I drove down to the state’s capital Hobart and spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday exploring this large fishing city. I went to historic Port Arthur, learned about Tassie’s violent history, drank goon with other backpackers in my hostel and visited Salamanca Market on Saturday morning. In the afternoon it was finally time to drive back up the east coast. The weather had completely cleared up by then.
Freycinet National Park
I hiked up the Hazards and down to Wineglass Bay and arrived on what must be one of the most beautiful beaches on the entire planet. I walked to the basic camp ground at the far end of the beach and cooked some spaghetti. The weather was perfect and I didn’t even pitch my tent, but slept on a mat in the open air. It was brilliant. A possum woke me up in the middle of the night when it walked over my legs. In the morning I rolled out a towel on the beach – which by the way was totally empty – and soaked up some sun and went for a swim in the crystal clear water. A couple of dolphins swam by. Shortly after lunch I strapped on my hiking boots and went for a five-hour hike through in Freycinet National Park. The next night I slept on the beach and spent about an hour just watching the stars.
Mount Field National Park
On Monday morning I reluctantly hiked back up the Hazards and down to my rental car. It was time to go explore the western part of the island. I arrived in Mount Field National Park in the late afternoon and spent the night in my car. The next day was filled with a couple of hikes through the park, which has some of the tallest trees in the world. Those massive eucalypt trees are in fact the tallest flowering plants on earth. They make you feel very small, let me tell you.
Lake St Clair, Cradle Mountain and the North West
The following days can be summarized as follows: fantastic long hikes through Lake St Clair – Cradle Mountain National Park, barbecues in parks and a magnificent sunset on the west coast.
I spent my last day in Tasmania driving along the northwest coast and visiting Fossil Bluff, the Nut and Table Cape. I concluded my two weeks on this amazing island with fish and chips on the beach.