Best of Tasmania in 5 days – Road trip Itinerary

Tasmania is separated from mainland Australia and is relatively less explored land. Although it looks small on a map you can compare it to the size of Srilanka! To cover an entire island state in one trip isn’t easy. Unless you choose to spend at least two weeks in the place. Tassie, as Australians would love to call it, is very different from the rest of Australia. My five days Tasmania itinerary will help you get a taste of its pristine wilderness, gorgeous beaches, one of the most beautiful scenic drives one can be on. And get a sense of Tasmania’s hospitality, local history and culture. 

Along with three friends I embarked on a 4-day road trip to Tasmania and it was a pretty ambitious one! This meant I didn’t spend too much time in one place and it was very objective. But, I definitely got to spend enough time to get a taste of each place I visited. You can make tweaks to your plan just to make sure that’s not the case if you like it to be more relaxed. My itinerary will have you take 40 mins long flight out of Melbourne to Hobart. Then, rent a car to explore and truly experience the Tasmanian escape. I highly recommend hiring a car to explore Tasmania. Because only then can you truly experience the stunning coastal drives and scenery, this island has to offer.

Cradle Mountain - Travel Itinerary
Boatshed built in 1940s at Dove Lake, Cradle Mountain

Although my trip was 3 nights, and 4 days in Tasmania, I have added an extra day in this itinerary. This is to help you spread out the plan for the last two days and make it a little more relaxed. 

Here’s my 4 nights and 5 days travel Itinerary for Tasmania days

Please keep in mind all the expenses mentioned here are in Australian Dollars (AUD) and also the prices may vary now.

Day 1: Hobart, Tasmania

Tasman Bridge, Tasmania, Travel Itinerary
The Tasman Bridge
Hobart, Tasmania - Travel Itinerary
Bird's view of Hobart from the Summit

Fly to Hobart, Tasmania on a Friday afternoon or evening and pick up the rental car from the airport. We hired a brand new Volkswagen Golf Polo GTi2017edi and covered 1700 – 1800 kms over the stretch of the entire trip. We choose to spend the night in a motel for a throwaway price of $80 for the four of us. To be honest, it wasn’t so bad, motels in Hobart are really clean and come with great quality. Alternatively, you can find your accommodation through Airbnb or Hotelplanner.com.

Local transportation: we hired our car from Rentforless which is now Drive Car Hire and paid about $200 AUD for the entire trip. Which when split among the four of us was pretty cheap!

Travel expense to Tasmania as a round trip: Flight from Melbourne to Hobart and back to Melbourne From Launceston / Hobart (as a round trip) can cost you approximately around $ 150 – $ 200 (AUD) 

Things we did in Hobart: No trip to Tasmania is complete if you don’t spend a day or an evening in Hobart, the harbor capital. We spent the evening driving through the pretty laneways. Visited squares of iconic Salamanca (if you’re here on a Saturday you will get to experience the Saturday markets, heaven for food lovers) and drove to the top of Mount Wellington where you get a breathtaking view of the city and sunset. You can get here head towards “Pinnacle road” and drive towards the summit to see spectacular views of the city. Then we headed back to Tavern 42 degrees south to dine with the sea views. We enjoyed a calm and blissful moonlight walk around the harbor. Then we went to our motel to fall asleep dreaming of what awaits the next day.  

Things you can do in Hobart during the day:

Take a short walk to the award-winning Pennicott Wilderness journeys and catch an afternoon Derwent River cruise. It’s less than 3 hours sightseeing cruise which will allow you to take in Australia’s second oldest lighthouse, and see Betsy Island.  This place is home to seabirds and you get to wave at their resident little penguins. If you have time, then you must visit the world’s most controversial museum – The Museum of Old & New Art

Day 2: Great eastern dramatic drive to Coles Bay / Freycinet Peninsular from Hobart

Wineglass Bay, Tasmania, travel itinerary
Wineglass Bay

After driving around the city’s narrow laneways early in the morning and taking in the harbor view, the local culture and sweeping views of sunrise across the sea with Mount Wellington in the backdrop, we settled in for a leisurely breakfast with a cuppa (coffee) and homemade pancakes at Jam-packed café. Then we embarked on our 3 hours’ drive to Freycinet Peninsula.

A piece of advice and something that we followed religiously while we were on the road is downloading our google map route before exiting Hobart. Because unless you’re on the Telstra network, you’re likely not going to find any reception. Or you may find it in intervals once you leave Hobart.

When you start your journey, about 30 mins from Hobart is a small beautiful town called Richmond. You can make a pit stop for an hour here and explore the area. You will find a glimpse of what life was for people living during Tasmania’s Colonial era. Here you will see a beautiful famous bridge and experience the lovely countryside. From here the drive to Coles Bay will be 2 hours long.

Freycinet National Park 

Take the coastal route, Tasman highway A3 from Richmond to Freycinet National Park, Coles Bay. This drive is just amazing, I tell you! It is called Australia’s most dramatic drive for a reason! You will find many secluded scenic white sand beaches along the way. And you can pull up to a few of them if you feel like stretching your legs. A few of the places that we stopped at were Kombi beach and Covet Corner.

It is world-renowned and rich in Tasmanian natural beauty. It’s home to wineglass bay, one among the world’s top 10 beaches!  Parked our car at nearby Coles Bay and tackled the two-hour walk. This began with a steep ascent to the Pink Granite Mountains. The hike was up to the lookout point in the circuit walk of the Peninsula to get a bird’s eye view of the beach, it was worth it!

We visited Wineglass Bay, Honeymoon Bay, and Mt Amos. You can choose to hike at Mt Amos to get the best view of the Wineglass Bay. Or, you can just get a view of various lookout points close by.

A 20 mins walk towards the south end will give you a view of the stunning pink granite mountains of the hazards and crystal-clear waters of Oyster Bay.

Tasmania travel Itinerary

Places to stay if you plan to stop for the night: Freycinet Lodge, which is a luxury accommodation in a natural setting. Alternatively, you can find plenty of cheap accommodation including Airbnbs in Coles Bay.

Next Stop – Tamar Valley

My friends and I chose to drive to Tamar village instead, which is 2.5 hours’ drive from Freycinet National Park. We had a chance to take in the Swiss-style village setup while leisurely strolling around the area in the evening. Dined at a small café with a glass of Australian made wine before heading to our Airbnb villa for the night. The Airbnb was priced at a total of $150 per night.

Tasmania travel itinerary

Day 3: Tamar Valley, Launceston, and Cradle Mountain

The drive from Tamar Valley to Launceston is one of my top 5 best scenic drives I have ever been on. It’s a good 2.5 hours’ drive with views of exotic natural beauty and dramatic roads. As you arrive at Launceston you will notice that the most prominent natural beauty nearby is the stunning Cradle Mountain. You need to follow the C132 Cradle mountain road and it will lead you straight to the national park area. It is part of the World Heritage Listed Wilderness

We visited the place at a time when it had recently stopped snowing, but the mountain peaks were still covered with snow. This picturesque place is home to spectacular scenery with glacial lakes like the Crater Lake and the Dove Lake, St Claire national park and some amazing cascading waterfalls surrounded by lush green rainforest. There is plenty of Australian wildlife here, including the platypus and echidna. There are wide ranges of walks at the Cradle Mountain, I would suggest doing one because the experience is breathtaking! We did a circuit of nearly 2.5 hours, including our stops at various points to take pictures.

Tasmania Travel Itinerary

Another place in Launceston that stands out to me is Mole Creek & Caves at The Mole Creek Karst National Park. Here you will find guided tours for the Marakoopa and King Solomon’s Caves for a small fee.

After a day well spent in Launceston, we dined in a small hole in the wall café and drove 2 hours straight to Strahan where we had our beautiful Airbnb villa overseeing the mountains and a lake awaiting us for the night.

Day 4: Strahan, Gordon River Cruise, and Sarah Island

After a quick breakfast, and an early morning stroll nearby to our Airbnb (the place was simply beautiful) we took the famous award-winning Gordon River Cruise from Strahan which started at 8:30am and lasted for 5.5 hours. This relaxing cruise takes you through Macquarie Harbour to Hells Gates and then on to the Gordon River. It includes two walking tours which are Heritage Landing and Sarah Island. Although this cruise is a bit pricey, the cruise and the walking tours are worth exploring to learn about the unique, and exotic Flora and Fauna and the remarkable history of Tasmania. You can book the cruise with the Spirit of the Wild. You have an open bar and lip-smacking food available on the cruise.

While you’re in Strahan, you can spend the rest of the evening leisurely strolling around the town and the harbor or take the West Coast Wilderness Railway tour to see the changing landscape of scenic views of the tugged away rainforests, historic bridges, and rivers. Or take a 30mins walk to Hogarth Falls where you can spot a platypus.

You can dine at one of the seas facing restaurants in town before calling it a night. 

Day 5: Strahan to Hobart

tasmania - travel itinerary

After Checking out and finishing our breakfast we drove back to Hobart, stopping at multiple secluded scenic spots, making our drive back nearly 4 hours long. Once we were back in Hobart, we had hoped to spot Aurora Australis or the Southern lights of Tasmania, but we missed it because we had our flight back to Melbourne and couldn’t stay back much longer and wait.

 If you’re keen to see this then what you need to know is that Southern lights are visible only on a dark, clear night sky so you will need to stay up longer on summer nights. This means the chances of you getting to see this in Tasmania is higher between June to August. There are plenty of places you can spot Aurora Australis from and the best places to see it in Hobart are Seven Mile Beach, Rosny Hill, Howrah Beach, and Taroona Beach. I suggest you follow the Aurora Australis Facebook page to get instant updates on it.

Some Important Travel Tips:

1) Flights to Hobart from Melbourne or Sydney: You have both Virgin Australia and Qantas that can fly you directly to Hobart. Virgin Australia is relatively cheaper and even the more cheap when air tickets are bought during their “Happy Hour”

2) Your Itinerary will need you to drive across the state which means you need a car with GPS and also have downloaded GPS routes on your phone.

3) Tasmania can get unpredictably cold, on top of the mountains the temperature can drop below 8 degree Celsius, make sure to pack your warm clothes!

4) You will have to pay a small entry fee or parking fees at National Parks.

This completes my Tasmania Itinerary for 4 or 5 days depending on how you like it spread out. Don’t forget to tell me how much you enjoyed your trip to Tassie!!

 Leave a comment if you would like to add any more information or recommendations.

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Best of Tasmania in 5 days - Road trip Itinerary
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Looking for the perfect itinerary to plan your Tasmania trip? Here's what you need to know about everything you can do in 5 days in Tasmania, Australia.
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Backpacker Shru
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