One thing that has always been high on my bucket list is a road trip around the small island of Tasmania, and I can’t think of anyone better to join me than my sister for a week of food and adventure. The diverse landscape of Tasmania has always appealed to me and I couldn’t have been more excited to jump on that 6am flight to start exploring this incredible place. Wine tastings, hiking, and cheese boards galore, there is so much to see, and more importantly eat, in Tasmania that it’s hard to know where to start. With only one week to try and fit in everything that this tiny part of Australia has to offer, we didn’t waste a minute before jumping in to the activities. Tunes pumping we hit the road for one great week of exploring, and if you are heading to Tasmania and are wanting to experience the best of this little island here is the ultimate road trip itinerary for a short but sweet trip.
After picking up our trusty rental, thanks to Hertz, we headed into Launceston for our first stop, breakfast (I mean, I did say our week was full of food, didn’t I?). Avocado toast from Aroma’s was the perfect pick me up after the early wake up, and supplied us with the fuel for our afternoon plans. Although it was still our first day, we couldn’t wait to try some of the world-famous Tasmanian wine, so we hopped on a tour to visit some of the best vineyards in the Tamar Valley. One of the most stunning regions in the state, driving through this area will leave you in awe, and with a glass of wine, or two, and the sun setting over the river, we were guaranteed a wonderful, and slightly tipsy, afternoon. The next morning we headed to the charming cafe M&B Bar, which has the best smoothie bowls in town (the peanut butter & jelly one is delicious).
Where to stay: Mantra Charles Hotel
Where to eat: The Prickly Cactus, Still Water, Charlie’s Dessert House, M&B Bar
What to do: Wine tasting, Cataract Gorge
All that we had planned for our second day was somehow ending up in Freycinet National Park, so with that we set off for our first official day of road tripping. The landscape of Tasmania was in full glory on this drive, and when we weren’t staring in amazement at the surrounding mountains and valleys, we were stopping every ten minutes at historic buildings and towns. We decided to take the plunge and drive on the iconic Elephant Pass and it was an adventure to say the least. One of the windiest roads that I have ever driven on, it passes through gorgeous scenery as twists and turns take you out of the mountains and closer to the coast. As the day came to a close we checked into Freycinet Lodge and had just enough time for a quick hike before settling in for a pastel sunset. After a quick breakfast at the Lodge, we started our day with an uphill climb to Wineglass Bay Lookout, with a view that was definitely worth the early morning hike, before heading on our way further south.
Where to stay: Freycinet Lodge
What to do: Wineglass Bay Hike, Scenic Flight over the Bay, Kayaking
Where to stop: Clarendon House, Mount Elephant Pancakes, Bicheno
One thing that I was incredibly excited for today was visiting the small town of Richmond. Most famous for having the oldest bridge in Australia, Richmond is a picture-perfect colonial village that definitely lived up to all of my expectations, and one of the best things about it, was its close proximity to the Wicked Cheese Company that has some seriously delicious products. Having spent a little more time than planned in Wineglass Bay, we unfortunately had to cut out Eagehawk Nest and Banjor Wine & Oyster Shed, which if you have the time you should definitely check out. On the positive, it did give us a little extra time in Hobart, to explore Battery Point and the Salamanca areas. Upon leaving the capital the next morning, we began driving through some of the most gorgeous landscapes that we had seen so far. Rolling hills as far as the eye can see with hundreds of sheep and cows grazing cover this area of Tasmania. Though, my favourite part of the day was Melita Honey Farm, with an abundance of different flavours of honey, and over 10 honey ice creams, from lavender to leatherwood.
Where to stay: Somerset on the Pier
Where to eat: Frank Restaurant, The Salamanca Whiskey Bar, Pigeon Hole Cafe
What to see: Salamanca Markets, Battery Point
Winding our way up the mountain later that day, we caught our first glimpse of snow falling over the greenery on the side of the road. Coming from sunny Sydney, snow is always an incredible sight, so we got just a tad overexcited upon seeing it. Settling into our cabin at Peppers Cradle Mountain, we defrosted by the fire and enjoyed a night of wine and board games. After filling up on the complimentary buffet breakfast (gotta take advantage of free food right?), we braved the cold to try and get in some hikes that surround the hotel. Although a lot of the smaller ones were closed due to ice, we were able to do the hike that I was most looking forward to. The walk to the Dove Lake Boatshed was a little tricky at first when trying to manoeuvre over the snow and ice, but we made it in no time at all (ok, ok, it took us a lot longer than suggested, but we were jus trying to be careful!).
Where to stay: Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge
What to do: Dove Lake Boatshed, Devils @ Cradle
Where to stop: Melita Honey Farm, Campbell Town, Mole Creek Caves
Later, with the tunes pumping of course, we headed back towards the coast for a short but sweet visit to Stanley, the cutest town right on the northern edge of the island.We began our final day in Tasmania the right way, with a biiiig breakfast, before jumping on the Nut Chairlift to get some amazing views of Stanley and the coast. At the top of the Nut there are numerous lookouts and trails to follow that all produce scenes as stunning as a postcard. For a little town, Stanley is incredibly beautiful and I couldn’t encourage everyone more to visit and see for yourself how wonderful it is.
What to do: The Nut, Highfield Historic Site
Leaving Stanley behind us, we got back into our car for a day full a lot of food. Today was probably my favourite day of the entire road trip because we drove along the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail, a driving route that goes to some of the best local food and drink stores in all of Tasmania. Going full circle and arriving back into Launceston, we got back in time to have a final dinner (I honestly do not know how we fit it in after all the cheese and chocolate we had during the day). But the night didn’t even end there. I couldn’t leave Launceston without going to Charlie’s Dessert House, the very one that Brooke from World of Wanderlust recently opened. Not only did we indulge in the best skillet cookies, I even got the chance to meet Brooke, which was the perfect end to our week of road tripping around Tasmania.
What to do: Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail
What to see: Penguin, Deloraine, Liffey Falls