Skip to main content

The Great Eastern Drive is Tasmania's sunny side up.

Hemmed on either side by beaches and forest, it's also flavoured with fresh fish, oysters and cool-climate wines.

Eat great seafood

The seafood source is never closer than along the Great Eastern Drive. Find oysters plucked straight from the leases at Melshell Oysters and Freycinet Marine Farm. Oyster Bay Tours offers a detailed look at the marine farm's briny life, with tastings and instruction in the art of oyster-shucking. In Bicheno, the Lobster Shack and its waterfront dining deck are just steps from the fishing fleet.

 

Discover unique cellar doors

The vineyards hugging the East Coast Wine Trail are blessed with ideal growing conditions. The main cluster of vines and cellar doors is around the town of Cranbrook, featuring Spring Vale Vineyard and its cellar door in a stable built by convicts in 1842. Rustic Gala Estate has been owned by the same family since 1821 and is recognised as the state's second-oldest family business, while Freycinet Vineyard is one of the coast's pioneering wineries, having first planted in 1979.

 

Cassy Melrose smiling at the camera and holding a large platter of fresh oysters with lemon wedges.
Melshell Oyster Shack
Rob Burnett
Couple sitting outside, enjoying oysters at Melshell Oysters Farm Gate.
Melshell Oyster Shack
Rob Burnett

Spot wildlife

You won't have stepped ashore long on Maria Island before you spy its resident wombats, wallabies, Cape Barren geese and even Tasmanian devils wandering casually around the Darlington lawns. Join Bicheno Penguin Tours to watch little penguins shuffle ashore and into Bicheno, while East Coast Natureworld, on Bicheno's outskirts, introduces some of the state's cutest fur babies, rescued as orphans from the road.

 

Wander pristine beaches

The flawless arc of Wineglass Bay steals hearts, but the Great Eastern Drive is fringed by stunning beaches you might well have to yourself. Wander the wide expanse of Spring Beach in the south, or pick a perfect colour from among the white sand, orange boulders and blue seas lining the Bay of Fires in the north. Nearby Beerbarrel Beach is as colourful as its name.

Couple watching a wombat from a distance with the wombat closer to the foreground.
Wombat, Maria Island
Stu Gibson
Aerial image of couple walking along the incredible Friendly Beaches, with clear, blue water and pristine white sand.
Friendly Beaches, Freycinet National Park
Stu Gibson

Explore national parks

The Great Eastern Drive passes four of the state's 19 national parks. Freycinet is the state's oldest national park, with postcard beaches draped across the toes of bare granite peaks. Douglas-Apsley National Park flies under the radar, but its dry hills are creased and folded into spectacular gorges ideal for hiking and swimming. In Mount William National Park, wander empty white beaches by day and observe crowds of wildlife after dark. On Maria Island, find a window into the past at World Heritage-listed Darlington Probation Station and wander convict-era ruins.

 

Find family fun

Kids love the Great Eastern Drive for its beaches, wildlife and family-friendly activities. Get them spinning on St Helens Mountain Bike Trails, which offer everything from easy loops to barrelling descents. Cruise Freycinet tracks on All4Adventure's quad bikes. Or find a protected beach to while away the hours combing for treasures and building sand castles.

 

Float away

Water is life along the Great Eastern Drive. Park the car and take to the waterways in a kayak with Secret River Tours, paddling the likes of Georges Bay, Scamander River and, yes, shhh, a secret river. St Helens is famed for its game fishing, and Keen Angler Charters chases the big stuff. Prefer a more leisurely pace? Wineglass Bay Cruises delivers the rarest of views - from the water - of the island's most photogenic beach.

 

Stunning aerial image of Wineglass Bay on a clear, sunny day with crystal clear, blue water. Wineglass Bay Cruise boat is docked within the Bay.
Wineglass Bay Cruises
Supplied Courtesy of Wineglass Bay Cruises
Two young kids mountain bike riding along a track as the Dad follows in the distance, within the St Helens Mountain Bike Trails.
St Helens Mountain Bike Trails
Stu Gibson

By creating an account on Discover Tasmania, you agree to the terms of use outlined in our Privacy Statement


Success! You are now logged in.

Add to trip