Mention Tasmania, and you’ll more than likely receive a comical double take from those around you: “You’re going where?” Can’t blame them – after all, the only exposure to anything remotely Tasmanian that people get is usually this fella:
To be honest, we didn’t know much about Tasmania initially either. We chanced upon an amazing photo taken in Tasmania while researching on places to visit in Australia one fine day, and were utterly captured by it.
Immediately, we decided that we just had to visit the remote but oh-so-beautiful island. And so it began.
Planning the route
The first thing we realized about Tasmania is that it is surprisingly big for an island. It spans roughly 68,401 km2 in land area. To put things into perspective, that’s almost as big as Ireland.
Also, close to half of Tasmania is comprised of national parks:
The implication of this is that it would be all but impossible to travel around Tasmania without a car. The thought of navigating our way through long, narrow, and winding mountain roads seemed slightly daunting. We would also be lugging 100kg worth of luggage (accumulated over 4 months in Melbourne), most of which would remain in the car!
Not to mention that it would be winter in May, meaning the weather in Tasmania would be freezing cold, meaning that the roads would be icy and slippery – or so we thought.
But it would turn out to be fairly straightforward. We ended up clocking a record-breaking (to us, anyway) 1000km conquering the east coast of Tasmania, which was both exhilarating and tiring. More on that later.
Pro tip: if you’re planning to embark on a trip similar to yours, you’ll want to get a Tasmanian National Park Holiday Pass. Since a valid park entry permit is required to enter Tasmania’s national parks – and chances are that you’ll visit some of them – the Holiday Pass will allow you 8 weeks worth of access to all the parks for one vehicle (excluding Cradle Mountain, and up to 8 passengers) for just A$60. The alternative is to purchase a daily pass at A$24 each.
With just 10 days to squeeze in as many sights and sounds as possible, we decided to focus our efforts on the Tasmanian east coast, from Hobart to Launceston (Tasmania’s two major cities). This is the itinerary we ended up with:
For your convenience, I’ve also included a map of Tasmania, with all the places we visited marked out here:
Ready? Click on any of the links above to get started on our journey! See you on the other side.