Hobart - Strahan - Cradle Mountain - Freycinet National Park - Hobart
The island state of Tasmania is a place of wild beauty. There are rainforests, mountain peaks, alpine lakes, wild rivers, rugged coastline, and scenic farmland.
At a glance:
- Hobart – Strahan (4.5 hours)
- Strahan – Cradle Mountain (2.25 hours)
- Cradle Mountain – Coles Bay/Freycinet National Park (3.5 hours)
- Freycinet National Park – Hobart (2.5 hours)
Tasmania’s state capital is Hobart. It’s a cosy, attractive town set on the Derwent River.
Head first to Salamanca Place, here you’ll find historic sandstone buildings featuring a range of art and craft stores, galleries, cafes and bars.
Each Saturday, Salamanca Place hosts the bustling weekly market, where stallholders sell locally grown produce, and handmade crafts.
From here it’s a short stroll to Battery Point, an area of pretty colonial cottages and historic buildings. Stop in at the Maritime Museum of Tasmania and learn about early explorers, the local whaling history, shipwrecks, and Aboriginal bark canoes.
After a wander around the yacht-filled waterfront make your way to Mount Wellington, which stands on Hobart’s doorstep. On a clear day you can see one third of the island from its summit.
- Browse the shops and galleries in Salamanca Place.
- Sample fresh local produce at Salamanca Markets (Saturday mornings).
- Learn about the aboriginal and shipping history of the area at the Maritime Museum of Tasmania.
- Take in views of Hobart and across Tasmania from Mount Wellington.
From Hobart travel inland to Mount Field National Park for a short walk through a temperate rainforest to the scenic Russell Falls. Look out for beautiful tree ferns and towering swamp gums, the tallest flowering plant on Earth.
Head slowly across country to the picturesque fishing village of Strahan, on the island’s far west coast. Along the way is the mining town of Queenstown, which is surrounded by colourful, moon-like hills.
- Take a short walk from the visitor centre through temperate rainforest to Russell falls in Mount Field National Park.
- Join an underground mine tour in Queenstown.
- Hire a kayak and absorb the serenity of Gordon River.
You can get an idea of the size and beauty of the World Heritage-listed wilderness around here by flying over it in a seaplane. You can immerse yourself in the beauty and peacefulness of the pristine Gordon River by exploring by kayak. You can take a boat cruise into the wilderness too.
- Join a cruise on the Gordon River through World Heritage wilderness.
- Hear about the notorious convict prison on Sarah Island.
- Get a bird’s eye view as you fly over the World-Heritage listed wilderness in a seaplane.
Next stop is Cradle Mountain, where you could stay the night in a first class lodge. This spectacular area consists of button grass plains, alpine forests and dozens of lakes. Take a stroll around Dove Lake, formed by glaciation in this region over 10,000 years ago.
In the evening, go on a guided wildlife tour to see nocturnal animals, including Tasmanian devils, wombats, wallabies, and marsupial ‘cats’ called quolls.
- Take one of the walking trails on offer in Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National park they range in difficulty.
- Join an evening wildlife spotting tour to see some of the more elusive nocturnal animals.
- Stroll around Dove lake formed over 10,000 years ago.
You won’t be in a hurry to leave the natural world of beautiful of Cradle Mountain, and if you had around six more days to spare you could hike Australia’s best-known walking trail, the Overland Track.
Still, you can trek to the summit of Cradle Mountain, and get close to Tasmanian Devils at Devils @ Cradle. This sanctuary is working hard to help conserve this iconic meat-eating marsupial through a breeding program.
- Visit a Tasmanian Devil sanctuary.
- For the more adventurous, join a canyoning or abseiling adventure.
- Follow one of the many walking trails through the national park and admire the spectacular scenery while you breathe in the pure fresh air.
Start early today and drive to the other side of the island. Pass through the historic city of Launceston, and head towards Coles Bay gateway to Freycinet National Park. This stunning area features craggy pink peaks, coastal dunes, heathland and chalk-white beaches.
In the afternoon you could take a dolphin cruise, enjoy local delicacies at an oyster farm, or paddle a sea kayak along the sheltered coastline.
- Visit one of Australia’s oldest cities, Launceston with its elegant colonial and Victorian architecture.
- Explore Cataract Gorge, just a short walk from Launceston centre.
- For those with more time follow the Tamar River Valley north through Tasmania’s premium wine growing region.
- Join a cruise on the Freycinet Peninsula.
Start off with a short uphill walk to the Wineglass Bay Lookout for breathtaking views. You can continue hiking for hours if you wish, along beaches and past shell middens – seashell refuse heaps. These grew up over thousands of years ago, thanks to the local Aborigines.
A pleasant drive along the east coast eventually brings you back to Hobart, just in time for a seafood meal overlooking the harbour.
- Visit Wineglass Bay lookout for views over one of the top 10 beaches in the world.
- Hire a sea kayak and explore Great Oyster Bay.
- Game Fishing enthusiasts can join a trip from Coles Bay where giant blue fin tuna run in autumn.
- Rock climbers can choose from a number of granite climbing areas.
- Follow one of the many walking trails through Freycinet National Park.