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Coast to Coast
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Stage 1: 577 kmStage 2: 408 kmStage 3: 448 km

Coast to Coast

This route combines the best of all our touring routes in a touring holiday you'll never forget. For those starting in Devonport or Launceston, pick up the route at your current location and simply complete the circuit.

Start: Hobart

Duration: 14-21 days

Print: Coast to Coast [PDF 675KB]

National Parks on this route:

Hobart - Port Arthur

  • From Hobart, drive to Richmond, with its village atmosphere, heritage buildings, antique shops, art and craft galleries, restaurants and tea rooms.
  • Richmond is a perfect place to learn about Tasmania's rich heritage and is home to Australia's oldest bridge, built by convict labour between 1823 and 1825, and Australia's oldest gaol, built in 1825.
  • Close by are the vineyards and wineries of the Coal River Valley, part of the Southern Tasmanian Wine Region.
  • Return to Sorell then on to Port Arthur.
  • On the way stop at the Colonial and Convict Exhibition in Copping, with its extensive collection of interesting convict artifacts.
  • Continue to Eaglehawk Neck and the many attractions of the Tasman Peninsula including Port Arthur Historic Site. In colonial times, the isthmus that is Eaglehawk Neck was guarded by ferocious dogs intended to ensure no convicts escaped the Port Arthur penal settlement.
  • At Eaglehawk Neck, stop at the lookout over Pirates Bay - a magnificent beach bounded by dramatic coastline. Once down on the neck itself, walk the 'dog line' near the Officers' Quarters. The Officers' Quarters has been restored as a museum interpreting the history and life at Eaglehawk Neck. Built in 1832, it's reputed to be the oldest wooden military building remaining in Australia.
  • A short drive south are the impressive coastal rock formations of the Devils Kitchen, Tasman Arch, the Blowhole and Remarkable Cave, a cave-like opening that leads out to sea. From here you can walk to Crescent Bay, a secluded curve of striking beauty backed by huge sand dunes.

Day 2

  • Allow a day to explore the World Heritage listed Port Arthur Historic Site, Australia's most intact and evocative convict site. The site has more than 30 buildings, ruins and restored period homes, dating from the prison's establishment in 1830 until its closure in 1877. Today, the 30 convict-built structures that make up the site sit in 40 hectares of landscaped grounds, and you need to allow plenty of time to fully experience all it has to offer.
  • Afterwards, allow time to drive to the convict ruins at Probation Station and the World Heritage listed Convict Salt Mines at Saltwater River.
  • In the evening take a ghost tour of the Port Arthur Historic Site and experience the site by night. Port Arthur will seem a very different place after sunset.

Port Arthur - Orford

  • Depart Port Arthur for Orford, first established as a mainland port for the convict settlement on Maria Island. Orford has clean, picturesque beaches including Raspins, Millingons, Spring and Rheban - with a popular campsite at Raspins Beach.
  • At Orford there are several walks including the Convict Trail along the Prosser River, the coastal walk along the cliff tops between East Shelly Beach and Spring Beach, and the scenic Thumbs Lookout in the nearby Wielangta Forest, with a spectacular view of the region.
  • Continue on to the Visitor Centre in Triabunna to purchase a ticket for the 30-minute passenger ferry ride to Maria Island National Park where native animals roam free in this wildlife paradise.
  • Near the ferry terminal on Maria Island, visit the remains of the Darlington convict settlement dating back to 1825 and wander among the ruins of the mess room, miller's cottage, barn, hop kiln, chapel, prison cells and religious instructor's house.
  • While here, take a short walk to view the spectacular Painted Cliffs and Fossil Cliffs.
  • Return to mainland Tasmania by ferry.

Orford - Coles Bay

  • Drive north from Orford towards the Freycinet Peninsula, one of Australia's best stretches of coastal scenery. Enjoy the stunning view across the long curve of Great Oyster Bay, encompassing Maria Island and the rugged Freycinet Peninsula, tipped by remote Schouten Island.
  • Before Swansea, look out for the convict-built Spikey Bridge (1841), known for its unusual construction.
  • Also approaching Swansea is the entrance to Kate's Berry Farm where you can sample strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and youngberries, not to mention truly great ice-cream.
  • Stop at the seaside town of Swansea, an ideal place for lunch and take a look at the Bark Mill and Tavern and Bakery - Australia's only restored black wattle bark mill.
  • Within a few kilometres of Swansea you can also sample award-winning cool-climate wines at the cellar doors of wineries such as Spring Vale, Freycinet, Milton, Apsley Gorge, Coombend and others.Continue on the main highway, then take the well-signed turn-off to Coles Bay and Freycinet National Park - a spectacular coastal region.
  • Take an on-shore tour and sample oysters at the Freycinet Marine Farm, 10 minutes from Coles Bay (bookings essential).
  • At Freycinet National Park (park fees apply), walk to a choice of magnificent locations.
  • Climb the trail to the Wineglass Bay Lookout, with its picture-postcard view of Wineglass Bay, one of the world's most photographed beaches or climb over the top of the Hazards (mountains) to Hazards Beach itself (2.5 hours return).
  • Great drives in the vicinity of the national park include Sleepy Bay on the eastern side of the Peninsula, Cape Tourville Lighthouse (breathtaking view), Bluestone Bay (4WD only) and Friendly Beaches (always beautiful).
  • Alternatively, Freycinet Air provides a range of magic scenic flights
  • You can also enjoy the unspoiled coastline in a kayak with Freycinet Adventures, take a four-day guided walk with Freycinet Experience, explore the coastline by all-terrain vehicle with All-4 Adventures or head out to sea with Freycinet Sea Cruises.
  • If this is all too hectic, simply relax on the deck of Freycinet Lodge and enjoy the great food and wine of the region - another great way to experience this beautiful part of the world.
  • Alternatively overnight at nearby Swanick or Bicheno

Coles Bay – St Helens

  • Back on the main highway, drive north to Bicheno and explore the Gulch and the Blowhole or take a ride in a glass-bottomed boat for a dolphin's eye view of protected marine life.
  • Just north of Bicheno (8km) is East Coast Natureworld, a great place to see Tasmanian devils, wombats, snakes, and birdlife.
  • Also just out of Bicheno is the Douglas Apsley National Park – a great place to stop in summer for a refreshing dip in the Apsley River Waterhole, or just an enjoyable walk in the national park all year round.
  • Continue along the coast to the beachside townships of Scamander or Beaumaris and walk on pristine white sand before reaching St Helens, a pretty fishing village located on the shores of Georges Bay inlet and a base for serious game fishing. Charters are available. Family fishing is also popular in the sheltered estuaries, bays and rivers, and boats are available for hire.

St Helens - Derby

  • In St Helens, the St Helens History Room showcases the region's tin mining history and Aboriginal and Chinese heritage. Just north of St Helens, take the short (12km) detour to Binalong Bay and Humbug Point Reserve, with its exceptional views, walks, white beaches, swimming, fishing, diving and estuarine bird watching.
  • Take time to explore the famous Bay of Fires Conservation Area, stretching from Binalong Bay to Eddystone Point in the north with its brilliant white beaches, emerald coloured waters, lagoons, wildflowers and lichen-covered granite rocks.
  • Continue on to the settlement of Pyengana and the Pyengana Cheese Factory, well known for its full-flavoured clothbound cheddar - produced continuously since 1895.
  • After lunch continue on to St Columba Falls State Reserve and the magnificent 90 metre St Columba Falls. The walk to the falls is one of Tasmania's 60 great short walks. The reserve also bears evidence of the region's tin mining legacy. On Australia Hill explore the remains of boilers and jockey wheels and explore the ruins of what was once a mountain mining village.
  • About 10 minutes before Weldborough, turn-off to the Blue Tier Nature Recreational Area and a range of walks from 15 minutes to five hours duration.
  • The Big Tree Walk (one hour return or 90 minutes loop walk) passes through a stunning sassafras and fern glade, descending through huge eucalypts, musk, myrtle, mosses and ferns to the Blue Tier Giant tree with its massive 19.4-metre girth.
  • Back on the touring route continue to Weldborough and the Weldborough Pass Scenic Reserve. Just off this road is an enchanting 10 minute rainforest walk with tall myrtles.
  • From Weldborough continue to Derby, but before Derby, enjoy a side trip via Herrick and Gladstone to Mt William National Park with its stunning coastline and brightly coloured rock formations. Wildlife is everywhere and close encounters with local wallabies, wombats and Forester kangaroos are frequent.
  • Also worth a visit is Eddystone Point Lighthouse (circa 1889) at the southern end of the park. The three houses at the lighthouse station are the oldest surviving lighthouse keepers' quarters in Tasmania.
  • Back on to Derby, once a thriving mining town in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and today a pretty place to stop. You can learn about the history of the area at the Tin Mine Centre and Shanty Town.

Derby - Scottsdale - Bridport

  • From Derby drive to Scottsdale, but before Scottsdale at Branxholm, pause at the Red Bridge - a celebration of the significant Chinese mining heritage of the area.
  • Just past Branxholm, turn off to Ringarooma and follow the signs to the impressive Ralphs Falls in the Mt Victoria Forest Reserve.
  • Back on the main road, drive on to Scottsdale and the nearby Bridestowe Lavender Farm - the largest commercial lavender farm in the southern hemisphere - for coffee or lunch in Bridestowe's café, then take a tour (December and January) to see how lavender is harvested and processed for its fragrant oils.
  • Back in Scottsdale discover the secrets of the region's forest heritage at the contemporary Forest Eco Centre.
  • On from Scottsdale is the coastal village of Bridport – a picturesque town and a favourite for salt water fishing. Equipment can be hired in town.

Bridport – Launceston

  • In Bridport, choose one of several coastal walks. The Wildflower Reserve is particularly pleasant and is spectacular in spring with views out over Anderson Bay .
  • From the centre of Bridport, there's also a pleasant 1km foreshore walk along a series of small beaches to the popular Old Pier swimming beach.
  • East of Bridport is Barnbougle Lost Farm, a challenging 18-hole championship links course and Australia's No 1 public course. Barnbougle Lost Farm also has a club house with dining and bar facilities and accommodation.
  • From Bridport, drive for 50 minutes (56km) to George Town, Australia's third-oldest town, settled in 1804.
  • On the edge of town, visit the Information Centre where you can book tours and accommodation to suit your needs.
  • Well known as being one of the first Australian settlements, George Town is home to the old gaol, Model Village and display of the Womens Factory at the Watch House.
  • Visit the home of the Norfolk at the Bass & Flinders Centre and learn all the stories of this fabulous vessel.
  • Cross the road to enjoy all things special at Belle's Tea Rooms for a great cuppa located near the famous Eddie Freeman carving at Windmill Point near Paterson's monument.
  • And of course, if you're an art enthusiast, visit the many locations of the NE Arts Trail.
  • In George Town, take a self-guided tour along the George Town Heritage Trail, highlighting the historical sites and buildings found here and at nearby Low Head. Of particular note is The Grove, a splendid Georgian home dated around 1830.
  • Just five minutes north of George Town is Low Head, where you'll find Australia's oldest continuously operated pilot station (circa1805), a maritime museum and Low Head Lighthouse (1888). If visiting on a Sunday, be at the lighthouse at noon to hear Australia's only regularly sounding fog horn (audible over 30 km away).
  • Enjoy great Tasmanian scallop pies at the Cafe whilst overlooking the beautiful waters at the pier.
  • Back through George Town and south towards Launceston make a stop at Mount George Lookout, an historic semaphore site, where you'll get a great view of the valley and surrounding districts

Day 2: Launceston

  • Spend a day in Launceston or take a 10-minute drive along the West Tamar Highway out of Launceston to the Tamar Islands Wetlands Centre. Stroll along the boardwalk to picturesque Tamar Island and spot the birdlife along the way.
  • Continue to just north of Legana and visit Chancellor Resort Grindelwald (day visitors welcome). Grindelwald has a Swiss-style shopping square with nine specialty shops offering Swiss chocolates, bakery items, crafts, souvenirs and more.
  • Back on the road, look out for the signs indicating the Tamar Valley Wine Route. Between Legana and Beauty Point are several vineyards, some with outstanding river views and because they are small and family-owned, the growers themselves will often greet you and explain just how the wine is made.
  • Before Beauty Point however, turn left (Frankford Main Road) off the highway at Exeter and visit the enchanting Notley Fern Gorge, a 10-hectare sanctuary for wildlife that includes a relatively easy one-hour walk through dense rainforest.
  • Alternatively, just a few minutes farther along Frankford Main Road is Glengarry Bush Maze and Tearooms in a beautiful natural setting with puzzles and fun activities for children.
  • Continue on to Beaconsfield with its rich mining history. The Grubb Shaft Gold and Heritage Museum shows the workings of the old mine, recalling the boom days of gold mining.
  • Five minutes further north is Beauty Point, where families in particular will enjoy visiting the award winning Seahorse World and the Platypus House next door - the only place in Australia where visitors can watch Tasmanian platypuses up close.

Launceston – Deloraine

  • Driving west from Launceston, visit the historic towns of Carrick, Hadspen and Hagley.
  • At Hadspen, wander through Entally House, one of Tasmania's oldest National Trust properties.
  • Travel on to Westbury, renowned for its English country character with wonderful colonial architecture.
  • Opposite the 'White House' is the town's original Village Green, complete with maypole and stocks.
  • The legacy of Westbury's 19th century rural and town settlement is also evident in an extensive array of vintage machinery at Pern's Steam World and the Vintage Tractor Museum.
  • Near Westbury is Liffey Falls, a series of picturesque waterfalls in a beautiful rainforest setting, with easy walking tracks and good picnic facilities.
  • From Liffey Falls, travel on to Deloraine, a classified historic town on the pretty Meander River, located in the foothills of the Great Western Tiers.
  • Deloraine is well known for its classic Tasmanian crafts, artwork and quality designs in fabric, glass, stoneware and jewellery, all available at local galleries.
  • Look out for the sculpture that forms the start of the Sculpture Trail comprising 15 unique artworks in Deloraine, Mole Creek and the surrounding areas.
  • As an afternoon treat, sample raspberries and cheeses at the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm and Ashgrove Cheese on the main highway via Elizabeth Town.
  • There are various accommodation options in Deloraine, Westbury, Mole Creek and the surrounding areas, and a number of friendly restaurants, cafés and hotels.

Deloraine - Devonport

  • From Deloraine head towards Mole Creek and on the way drop into the Honey Farm in Chudleigh (closed Saturdays) and taste some of its 50 delicious honey varieties.
  • Around Mole Creek, between Chudleigh and Mole Creek, is the Alum Cliffs State Reserve, where you can take a quiet country stroll to a forest lookout perched high above the Mersey River.
  • Next, be amazed by the Mole Creek Caves in the Mole Creek Karst National Park. Marakoopa and King Solomon's caves both contain age-old formations – a visit to one or both is a must.
  • Marakoopa Cave is an extensive lime wet-stone cave featuring underground streams, glow worms, a rim pool and stone formations. King Solomon's is a dry cave featuring spectacular shawls, stalactites and stalagmites. Guided tours of the caves take about 45 minutes each.
  • Above ground, take another beautiful short walk to Devils Gullet. Even the 14km drive along the Marakoopa Caves, Mole Creek Karst National Park unsealed road to the start of the walk is picturesque, with stunning views over cliffs to the Fisher River valley.
  • From the lookout at the end of the walk, an amazing 180-degree panorama spreads out before you, extending all the way to the famous peaks of the Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National Park. The walk is approximately 40 minutes return.
  • Depart Mole Creek for Devonport but on the way stop at Sheffield –the town of murals with looming Mt Roland as a backdrop.

Devonport - Stanley

  • Just east of Devonport, is Narawntapau National Park where Forester kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and pademelons graze unconcerned by your presence. Narawntapau is a great location but so much better at dusk.
  • Across the Rubicon estuary from the park is Port Sorell, with its distinctive, attractive beach and laid- back lifestyle. Join the locals on a relaxed walk along the foreshore after a meal of local food and wine.
  • For something more sedate, perhaps wander among the 1,900 trees and shrubs of the Tasmanian Arboretum at Eugenana. Identify native species and see first-hand how exotic plants adjust to Tasmanian conditions.
  • Continue to Burnie. The original highway between Devonport and Burnie is a scenic coastal drive that passes through the fascinating small towns of Ulverstone and Penguin. As the name of the latter suggests, evening penguin tours are a great favourite with visitors.

Burnie

  • The Sunday Penguin School Market is popular with people en route to destinations farther west. You may not see a shy little penguin during your visit, but you can have your photo taken with the 'Big Penguin' on the foreshore. Penguin also has a great range of café's and dining options if you choose to stay a little longer.
  • The 'Caves and Canyon' detour inland from Ulverstone or Penguin is diverse and rewarding. The road takes you first through Gunns Plains, the idyllic setting for Gunns Plains Caves.
  • Meet local artisans, try a paper-making tour, grab a coffee, taste some local produce, and browse locally made gifts or mementoes at the Makers Workshop.
  • Burnie also has its very own Whisky Distillery, Regional Art Gallery, Little Penguin Observation Centre and free guided penguin tours by local volunteers around sunset from September to March.
  • Farther inland the reveals the spectacular Leven Canyon and Black Bluff, with walking tracks.
  • Back on the coast, a host of wildlife has colonised urban areas of the industrial port town of Burnie. Take an evening guided or self-guided tour to view penguins and platypuses.
  • On the town's doorstep is Fern Glade, the habitat of several platypus families you can readily see most days. Early mornings and evenings are the best viewing times.
  • Farther west is Wynyard, famous for its Bloomin' Tulips festival celebrating the October flowering of the tulips that are grown commercially in the area.

Wynyard

  • Wynyard's defining landmark is the massive Table Cape, a cliff top patchwork of rich soils and colourful crops high above Bass Strait.
  • While visiting the town, wander along the Inglis River or search for fossils at Fossil Bluff.
  • Check out some of Wynyard's markets – the Foreshore, Railway Hall, and Farmers Market (check council website).
  • Also in Wynyard is the Wonders of Wynyard Gallery, and Veteran Car Display including the equal oldest (1903) Ford vehicle in the world on public display.
  • Nearby Boat Harbour and Sisters Beach are picture-postcard locations and popular local swimming, boating and fishing spots, the latter providing access to Rocky Cape National Park, where you can take great walks to view Aboriginal sites, caves unique flora and the unusual geology of the area or snorkel in secluded crystal clear bays.
  • From Wynyard it's a short drive to Stanley a historic fishing village dominated by an unusual landform known as the 'Nut'.

Stanley

  • Stanley, a historic fishing village dominated by an unusual landform known as the 'Nut', is the destination for most people travelling along the Great Nature Trail.
  • Relive the past with a guided walking tour of the village or a visit to Highfield House, the imposing former residence of the General Manager of the Van Diemens Land Company. Evening ghost tours recount the stories and hardships of the families who lived and worked on the property.
  • During your stay, take a short cruise to a local Australian fur seal colony, visit platypuses at twilight by four wheel drive, or take an evening tour to little penguin and short tailed shearwater rookeries.
  • West of Stanley is Tarkine Forest Adventures a natural Blackwood forest sinkhole, believed to be the only one in the world. The 40-metre deep sinkhole is a unique forest habitat supporting a range of plant and animal species. Take an exhilarating slide or walk down to the forest floor or relax in the interpretive centre and dine on local produce.
  • The coast farther west near the settlement of Arthur River is known as the 'Edge of the World' because from here the open ocean extends 40 000 km all the way to Argentina.
  • On the Arthur River itself, rainforest reflections rival those of the famed Gordon River, and during a cruise you are almost certain to catch sight of sea eagles soaring overhead.
  • If you're feeling adventurous, hire a canoe or rowing boat and drift quietly along the river keeping an eye out for platypuses and other wildlife.
  • On your way back to Stanley, consider taking the roads through the Tarkine via Julius River, Milkshake Hills reserve and Lake Chisolm.

Stanley - Cradle Mountain

  • Return to Wynyard then turn off to Cradle Mountain for the quicker route or return via the coast to Ulverstone then head inland to Cradle Mountain.
  • Although there's no township in Cradle Valley, the area has a range of accommodation that allows you to explore its attractions at leisure.
  • Take the opportunity to explore another of Cradle Mountain's many magical walks or take a trail ride or four-wheel-drive motorcycle tour just outside the park boundaries.
  • Take an interpretive tour of Dove Lake in the World Heritage Area – walk the Dove Lake Circuit and explore the original Waldheim homestead.
  • After dinner discover the haunts and habits of our fascinating native animals on a wildlife spotlighting tour.
  • You can also see some world class photography at The Wilderness Gallery.

Cradle Mountain - Strahan

  • After enjoying the Cradle Mountain experience make your next stop Tullah, a town with a chequered history of mining and hydro development that now caters for visitors.
  • Stop for refreshments at Tullah Lakeside Lodge or maybe a bit of fishing on Lake Rosebery.
  • The town of Rosebery, a short drive farther southwest, is a working mine township proud of its environmental management. Tour the mine’s surface infrastructure and see a 10,000-year-old Huon Pine located on the mining lease.
  • Nearby is a three-hour return walk to Tasmania’s tallest waterfall, Montezuma Falls.
  • Continue on to Zeehan, once Tasmania’s third-largest town with gold and silver mines, numerous hotels and more than 10,000 residents. Now it’s at the centre of the west coast's mining heritage, with the West Coast Heritage Centre, the unusual Spray Tunnel and the Grand Hotel and Gaiety Theatre.
  • Overnight Zeehan or continue on to Strahan.

Day 2: Strahan

  • In Strahan, take a cruise up the Gordon River into the Wild Rivers National Park.
  • Along the way, step back in time on Sarah Island, the infamous penal settlement that was once the colony’s largest ship-building centre. The dark and silent Gordon River will hypnotise you with its mirror-still reflections and afterwards there's still time to enjoy a fishing excursion on the harbour, a scenic floatplane trip up the Gordon or an exhilarating jet boat ride on the King River.
  • On the other hand, a leisurely stroll around the foreshore walking track and a cup of coffee may be more your style. At the Visitor Centre watch a performance of The Ship That Never Was – the longest running theatre show in Australia, telling the story of convicts who stole a small boat and sailed it halfway around the world.
Queenstown
  • From Strahan drive on to Queenstown where the starkly beautiful, barren hills that encircle Queenstown and the verandas that line its main street, give the town a wild west atmosphere. The smelting and mining practices of the early 1900s that caused the deforestation of the slopes ceased long ago and plants are slowly recolonising the slopes.
  • Take a ride on the West Coast Wilderness Railway from Queenstown and take a trip along river gorges, across bridges and over 35km of mountain ranges on a unique Abt rail system, rebuilt after 40 years.
  • In Queenstown, talk to the local tour guides, tour the Mt Jukes Rd to Bird River, or descend 1.5 km underground and explore more than 7km of drives and workings of the Mt Lyell copper mine, still operating after more than 100 years.
  • The West Coast produces world-class furniture and craft timber – the famed Huon pine, sassafras, blackwood and myrtle – most of which can be viewed and purchased at sawmills in Queenstown and Strahan. If you’re not a craftsperson yourself, select beautifully crafted finished products from local outlets.
  • The Galley Museum displays a photographic collection, Minerals Collection, and Local memorabilia. The Galley Museum is housed in the original Imperial Hotel, built in 1897. The building operated as one of Queenstown's leading hotels for twenty years, and was also used as a Hospital for a time, as well as a Single Men’s Quarters for the Mt Lyell Mine. Since the 1970's the Eric Thomas photographic collection made its home there.
  • The historic Empire Hotel features a National Trust listed staircase carved from locally cut blackwood, made in England and returned to Queenstown for assembly in 1904.
  • Overnight Strahan or Queenstown

Strahan - Lake St Clair

  • Depart Queenstown or Strahan via Tasmania’s newest hydro dam and trout fishery, Lake Burbury, then cross 60 km of the World Heritage Area through the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, on the way to Lake St Clair.
  • Around 50 km from Queenstown, on the left side of the highway look out for a sign to Donaghy's Lookout. The 40-minute return walk from the Lyell Highway climbs a small hill at an easy grade to a sheltered, rocky viewpoint with stunning views of the mountain ranges of Tasmania's South West Wilderness.
  • Another 9 km further on along the highway is the Franklin River Nature Trail. This short, easy walk along the banks of the Franklin through cool temperate rainforest will give you an idea of the beauty that lies within the heart of this wild river wilderness.
  • Drive on to Lake St Clair
  • Lake St. Clair is at the southern end of the famous Overland Track in the Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park. The lake is Australia’s deepest natural freshwater lake, stretching more than 17km in the heart of the World Heritage Area.
  • Take a cruise on the lake or take one of several short walks around the lake – or cruise up the lake one-way and walk back through pristine wilderness.
  • Local wildlife abounds.

Lake St Clair - New Norfolk

  • Depart for the classified historic township of Hamilton, where the streetscape contains many Georgian buildings still intact and in use today as accommodation, craft galleries or restaurants.
  • At Hamilton, visit the luxuriant garden at the heritage-listed Prospect Villa with its mixture of English and Italianate styles protected by 170-year-old stone walls and clipped hedges.
  • A half-hour drive north from Hamilton is the classified historic town of Bothwell, settled in the 1820s and still retaining its early 19th century ambience with wide streets and 53 buildings, most built by convicts, classified by the National Trust.
  • Also at Bothwell is Ratho, Australia's oldest golf course. The Australasian Museum of Golf at Ratho is a significant private collection of golf memorabilia reputed be the most interesting outside of St Andrews in Scotland.
  • Revisit Hamilton and continue on south to New Norfolk.
  • Explore New Norfolk, a small town picturesquely situated on the banks of the Derwent River with its historic buildings. Wander along the river's banks and around the town's historic centre, Arthur Square, on a self-guided walking tour of some of Australia's oldest hotels and churches.
  • At New Norfolk you can also try a thrilling white water jet boat ride on the river – it has its quieter moments too, or climb Pulpit Rock for a breathtaking panorama of this bustling town.
  • Nearby at Plenty, don't miss the Salmon Ponds, where the first brown trout in Australia were hatched after surviving the rigours of the sea journey from Great Britain in 1864. The hatchery still contains trout and salmon in six large display ponds set in beautiful grounds amongst century-old trees. The site also has an interesting Museum of Trout Fishing.

Day 2: New Norfolk

  • From New Norfolk, drive through the tiny hamlets of Bushy Park, Plenty and Westerway up into the mountains to Mt Field National Park, and beyond to rugged Maydena and the Styx Valley of the South West. Decide how far west you want to go, according to your interests and time available.
  • Mt Field National Park is one of the State's oldest and best-loved national parks, with easy access to some of Tasmania's wild beauty. The Tyenna River en route to Mt Field is home to trophy-sized trout.
  • In the park, take a short walk through the ferns and rainforest to the much-photographed spectacular Russell Falls and Lady Barron Falls or stride along the Tall Trees Walk and be awed by some of the forest giants.
  • If time permits, drive up the mountain to Lake Dobson and the striking Pandani Grove Walk with its exotic, prehistoric looking vegetation.
  • Alternatively, head further on past Mt Field to Maydena and the Styx Valley and marvel at the tallest hardwood trees in the world, found in a tiny reserve – the Big Tree Reserve – in the Styx Valley nearby.
  • Rainforests flourish in the Florentine Valley - said to be the last haunt of the now extinct (maybe) Tasmanian Tiger - and other nearby valleys.
  • Before you leave, take in the unforgettable scenery of Lake Pedder and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
  • Return to Hobart via New Norfolk. The road from New Norfolk to Hobart follows the beautiful Derwent River and on the way look out for the distinctive architecture of the old oast houses, once used for storage and processing of hops, a staple ingredient in beer and a major export of the area.
LegTime / Distance
Hobart to Port Arthur1 hr 10 min / 95 km
Port Arthur to Orford1 hr 31 min / 121 km
Orford to Coles Bay1 hr 30 min / 115 km
Coles Bay to St Helens1 hr 31 min / 114 km
St Helens to Derby1 hr 03 min / 66 km
Derby to Bridport49 min / 54 km
Bridport to Launceston1 hr 10 min / 78 km
Launceston to Deloraine36 min / 51 km
Deloraine to Devonport39 min / 51 km
Devonport to Stanley1 hr 33 min / 125 km
Stanley to Cradle Mountain2 hr 34 min / 181 km
Cradle Mountain to Strahan2 hr 11 min / 147 km
Strahan to Lake St Clair  (Derwent Bridge)1 hr 34 min / 126 km
Lake St Clair to New Norfolk1 hr 56 min / 140 km
New Norfolk to Hobart32 min / 35 km