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Every state and territory in Australia has countless attractions to draw visitors. However, there’s something special about Tasmania. Maybe it’s because this southern state is an island and is unlike anywhere else in the country. Or maybe it’s the fact that you can drive around the state in a week and not miss huge parts along the way.
Either way, 7 days in Tasmania is the minimum amount of time you’ll want for a lap of the island. Having longer is better, but with a week in Tasmania you have a real shot at experiencing all the natural beauty and history that this underrated destination has to offer. This Tasmania itinerary will help to ensure you maximize your seven days there.
- 1 Best Time to Visit Tasmania
- 2 How to Get Around Tasmania
- 3 Accommodation in Tasmania
- 4 The Perfect 7-Day Tasmania Itinerary
- 5 Day 1: Hobart – Strahan
- 6 Day 2: Strahan – Cradle Mountain
- 7 Day 3: Cradle Mountain – Launceston
- 8 Day 4: Launceston – Bicheno
- 9 Day 5: Freycinet National Park – Hobart
- 10 Day 6: Bruny Island
- 11 Day 7: Port Arthur Historic Site
Best Time to Visit Tasmania
When planning a trip to Tasmania you’ll want to carefully consider the timing of your visit. As the southerly most part of Australia the island experiences the seasons differently to the rest of the country. The best time to visit Tasmania really depends on what you want to find when you get there.
High season in Tasmania, like the rest of the country, is the summer months of December to February. But don’t immediately rule the summer out, it’s quite a nice time to visit. The island doesn’t suffer the same sweltering heat as the mainland, and is far less busy, except around Christmas and New Years.
Autumn and spring are both great times to visit if you don’t mind slightly cooler weather. Tasmania can be quite pretty from March to May when the autumn leaves are on display, as well as between September and November when spring brings new life. Just be careful with the winter months of June through August when it gets quite cold and there is snow in the higher elevations.
How to Get Around Tasmania
One fact that you’ll learn while visiting Tasmania is that you don’t have much choice when it comes to getting around. The state is far more rural than you might expect, which really leaves driving as your only option for independent travel. Tasmania isn’t known for its public transport and trying to do this Tasmania itinerary by bus is nearly impossible.
Driving in Tasmania isn’t too stressful, so long as you obey the road rules. Stick to the left side of the road and make sure you have your home country’s driving license with you. Be aware that in rural places and certain national parks you may encounter dirt or gravel roads. If you have a rental car check the conditions when booking to make sure driving on these rural roads is allowed. Speaking of getting a rental car, we recommend checking RentalCars.com to compare car rental rates and find the best deal.
Really, your only other option to see this much of Tasmania is by going with a guided tour. This 7-day tour of Tasmania covers most of the places mentioned here and will help you see what this amazing island has to offer. For travelers who don’t have enough time for a full week in Tasmania, you may want to look at either a shorter 6 day tour or a 5 day tour instead.
Accommodation in Tasmania
One of the most important steps in planning any trip is figuring out where to stay. Travelling around Tasmania you may not always have many options, particularly in the more remote areas. It’s best to prioritize a convenient location, especially with national parks, as you don’t want to waste time driving around if possible.
The good news is that Tasmania is an emerging tourist destination and accommodation options are constantly increasing. This does mean that you’ll definitely want to book in advance when coming during the summer school holidays, at Christmas, or New Years. However, the upside is that you’ll find a greater variety of places to stay in the future.
The overwhelming majority of accommodation in Tasmania are hotels and holiday homes which you can find easily enough on Booking.com. Expect more options and hotels in Hobart and Launceston than elsewhere, but there are also plenty of holiday homes along the coast.
As for hostels and places for backpackers, you should look at Hostelworld which has slowly growing offerings. Alternatively, you’ll find loads of places on Airbnb which can offer a nice local experience. It can be even better value thanks to our $55 off coupon!
If you are renting a campervan, make sure to download the WikiCamps app for a list of free and paid campsites all over Tasmania.
Not in the mood to do research for hotels, hostels, and campsites? We’ve included recommendations for places to stay in each destination on this Tasmania itinerary below.
The Perfect 7-Day Tasmania Itinerary
Ultimately, the point of this guide to Tasmania is to ensure you have a great trip seeing the very best of Tasmania. To find all the best places to visit in Tasmania though, you’ll need to travel right around the island. Following this Tasmania itinerary will allow you to make the most of your limited time there, fitting in loads of cool places along the way. Not only will you get to see Tasmania’s two main cities, you’ll visit multiple major national parks, and plenty of unkempt wilderness.
However, before we get to our Tasmania itinerary, we just wanted to remind you to purchase travel insurance. You never know what will happen and, trust us, you do not want to get stuck with thousands of dollars in medical bills. As a wise man once said, “If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.” So don’t leave home without it.
We personally use and recommend SafetyWing. For only around $10 a week, it’s really a no-brainer. You can get a quick, non-binding quote below:
Even if you don’t get travel insurance with SafetyWing, please make sure to get travel insurance from somewhere. One popular alternative, for example, is World Nomads.
Ok, now let’s get back to our Tasmania travel itinerary, shall we? Inside you’ll have all the information you need for each day of your journey, showing you exactly what to do in Tasmania in 7 days.
Day 1: Hobart – Strahan
Begin your trip early by saying goodbye to Hobart and heading for the incredible untouched wilderness to the west. Hobart is a city with a relaxed atmosphere and quite a bit to do, but we’re going to save it for later on in the itinerary.
Leaving civilization behind, your first port of call is Mount Field National Park which is one of the best things to do in Tasmania. This national park is one of Tasmania’s oldest and is home to a great assortment of natural attractions and walks. The most well-known attraction in Mount Field National Park is Russell Falls, whose three-tiered waterfall is simply enchanting. But it’s not the only waterfall here, with Horseshoe Falls another beauty worth seeing. Complete your visit with a walk around the Tall Tree Circuit to see the park’s impressive giant swamp gum trees.
Heading north into the Central Highlands your next stop is Lake St. Clair. This is one of the many lakes scattered throughout this alpine region, but Lake St. Clair is actually the deepest freshwater lake in Australia, and is the source of the Derwent River. Take some to admire the views along the ever-changing shore, before pressing on.
You’re now reaching some of the most remote areas in Tasmania at Franklin-Gordon Wild River National Park. The national park is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area recognized by UNESCO and with its mountains, gorges, and rivers really is best described as wilderness. The best way to get a taste of this wilderness is to walk through the rainforest along the Franklin River Nature Trail to see the Franklin and Surprise rivers. Down the Nelson Falls Nature Trail you’ll find yet another picturesque waterfall.
Round out the day by seeing what happens when this nature isn’t protected by paying a visit to Iron Blow Lookout. From the lookout you can see into an open-cut copper mine, a testament to the dangers of over-mining.
From the lookout it is only a few more kms until you reach picturesque Strahan, where you will spend the night.
Best Places to Stay in Strahan:
Day 2: Strahan – Cradle Mountain
Setting out from the village of Stahan, it’s time to discover the riches of Tasmania’s wild West Coast. This is the kind of wilderness that you just can’t reach with a day tour from Hobart; you really need to be on a longer Tasmania tour with a guide. It’s remoteness makes this region even more special. There are two ways you can spend the day here.
Your first option is a road trip that will take you north into the wilderness, starting at the nearby Henty Dunes. These massive white sand dunes are only a short drive from Strahan, and are yet another unique landscape in Tasmania. Ever shifting, these dunes stretch several kilometers inland and reach heights of up to 30 meters. You can either walk through or try your hand at tobogganing down if you’re brave enough.
Following the dunes, head off into the lush Tarkine Rainforest to go chasing waterfalls. There’s one waterfall, specifically, you should be after – the Montezuma Falls. This towering horsetail waterfall is the highest waterfall in Tasmania, accessible by a gentle 1.5 hour walk through the rainforest. The track to the falls actually follows the former North East Dundas Tramway, with a narrow suspension bridge at the end providing quite a view.
Your other option for the day is a cruise down the Gordon River. With a Gordon River Cruise you’ll board a purpose-built boat and venture into more of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The cruise will take you through Macquarie Harbour and onto the Gordon River, where you can admire the forest, perfectly reflected in the river’s surface. You’re not just confined to the boat though. On the way there are stops at Sarah Island which has penal colony ruins, and Heritage Landing where you can walk through the forest and see the ancient Huon Pines.
The Gordon River Cruise can be booked online in advance here.
Whatever your choice, head afterwards to Cradle Mountain for a restful night among nature.
Best Places to Stay on Cradle Mountain:
Day 3: Cradle Mountain – Launceston
Having only seen it in the evening light, it’s time to properly explore Cradle Mountain, one of Tasmania’s most iconic attractions. As the most visited part of Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Clair National Park, this area is treasured for its distinctive mountain peaks and the many walking trails that help you see its alpine landscape.
How you choose to spend your time here is going to depend on how much walking you feel like doing as well as your fitness level. The most popular route for visitors to Cradle Mountain is the Dove Lake Circuit, as it’s not too strenuous and lets you take in views of the mountain from across the lake. A lap of the Dove Lake Circuit is 6.5km and should take you around 1.5 hours. The path alternates between made track, boardwalks, and some stairs.
For those looking for a bit more of a challenge, consider adding Marion’s Lookout to your walk. You’ll walk the first half of the Dove Lake Circuit before turning off onto a very steep trail with some scrambling over rocks. This route isn’t for the faint-hearted but the views from atop Marion’s Lookout are worth the effort. Going this way you’ll cover roughly 10km and need to allow around 4 hours.
Heading back towards the park’s visitor center, there are several shorter walks you can do if you like, all starting by the Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge. Following the Rainforest Walk you’ll be treated to a nice view of the Pencil Pine Falls, while the Dove Canyon Track is good for trying to spot wombats. Then there’s the gentle Enchanted Walk which follows the stream through a gentle mossy forest.
Heading off for Launceston, consider a stop at Sheffield, the “Town of Murals”. All around this small country town are colorful and creative murals from its annual street art festival. For more of a direct route to Launceston, stop in at the country town of Deloraine. There you can enjoy a pretty river or see its quirky collection of statues.
Best Places to Stay in Launceston:
Day 4: Launceston – Bicheno
After an evening in Launceston, it’s time to press on again, first to Cataract Gorge and then along the coast. Cataract Gorge Reserve is actually found out in the suburbs of Launceston, but you wouldn’t know by looking at it. There you’ll see the gorge’s rocky cliffs bordering the South Esk River, creating scenery you wouldn’t expect so close to the city. Take a walk across the suspension bridge to the gardens and lookouts, or go for a swim in the First Basin down below.
It’s then time to venture onto Tasmania’s east coast and the incredible Bay of Fires. This conservation reserve is best known for the way bright orange lichen covers boulders along its coast, earning the bay its colorful name. The conservation area stretches from Binalong Bay to Eddystone Point, with many places to stop along the way.
Chief among them is The Gardens, a scenic spot with plenty of boulders colored bright orange. Journeying south you’ll then reach Taylors Beach, the kind of beach you imagine when you think of Australia. Further down the coast make sure to stop at Cozy Corner, another great spot for admiring the orange-stained coastline. Saving the best for last is Binalong Bay, the main beach of the Bay of Fires, ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing.
The day’s not over though! You have one of Tasmania’s most scenic drives to look forward to as you head from the Bay of Fires to the town of Bicheno. What makes Bicheno such a great stop are the two wildlife experiences waiting for you there. The first is East Coast Natureworld where you can see lots of different Australian critters, including some seriously cute Tasmanian devils. Then in the evening you can head down to the shore to see the Bicheno’s colony of Little Penguins as they come up the beach.
Best Places to Stay in Bicheno:
Day 5: Freycinet National Park – Hobart
Today, continue your journey along Tasmania’s east coast, further exploring the wonders by heading for Freycinet National Park. This national park includes the zigzagging Freycinet Peninsula with sandy beaches, pink granite mountains, and phenomenal views.
The centerpiece of Freycinet National Park is Wineglass Bay and the iconic view that you get from Wineglass Bay Lookout which is accessible by a fairly steep trail from near the end of the road. Looking out from there you’ll see Wineglass Bay Beach and Hazards Beach on either side of the peninsula and the slight pink hue of the Hazards Mountains around you. If you’re a fit and avid hiker, consider doing the whole 12.8km Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach Circuit which passes through both beaches.
Having made your way back to your car, drive over to Honeymoon Bay to admire its crystal clear water and looming mountain backdrop. Another great place to stop at on the far side of the peninsula is Cape Tourville Lighthouse, with its scenic walkway and fantastic coastal views.
Depending on what time you return to Hobart, you might like to spend the rest of your day seeing what the city has going for it. Regardless of what you want to do, it’s best to make your way down to the city’s waterfront. There you can decide between visiting the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and its collections and exhibits on Tasmania, or find Salamanca Place with its quaint vibe, market, and slew of bars.
Best Places to Stay in Hobart:
Day 6: Bruny Island
Hobart makes for an excellent base as you discover nearby destinations. So, for your final two days, focus on some Hobart day trip destinations beginning with Mount Wellington and Bruny Island.
Watching over the city, Mount Wellington or Kunanyi when going by its indigenous name, is just as easy to spot as it is to reach. Add in the fact that you can get to some superb views of Hobart with good weather and it’s the perfect place to save for sunrise or sunset. You’ll find a viewpoint at the pinnacle observation shelter, as this is the highest peak of the Wellington mountain range. Keep in mind, it’s not uncommon for there to be snow on Mount Wellington, so dress accordingly.
However, for most of your day it’s off to Bruny Island, south of Hobart in Storm Bay. While it may look like two islands, there is a narrow isthmus that connects North and South Bruny called The Neck. Understandably, this unusual landscape is one of the more popular things to see. It’s best to find your way to Truganini Lookout so that you can look along the isthmus with the two coasts nearly touching in front of you.
Continuing south along the island you’ll reach South Bruny National Park, home to a great collection of places to visit. There you’ll find picturesque and secluded spots like Adventure Bay and Jetty Beach, and wild dramatic cliffs over at Fluted Cape. Then there’s Cape Bruny, home to picture-postcard Cape Bruny Lighthouse looking out over the endless South Pacific. To reward all this walking, driving, and sightseeing, treat yourself to some local oysters, cheese, and wine before heading back to Hobart.
Day 7: Port Arthur Historic Site
For your final day, it’s time to dive into Tasmania’s colonial history in the town of Richmond and Port Arthur. Start by driving just north of Hobart to historic Richmond to take a look at its colonial-era landmarks.
Richmond was settled in the 1820s and still has many buildings and structures that were built during the Georgian era. The town’s most famous landmark is the Richmond Bridge which is the oldest bridge in Australia still in use. Other notable landmarks include the oldest gaol – or jail, in the country and Australia’s oldest Catholic church.
After that pit stop, it’s time to head for the Port Arthur Historic Site to learn about the island’s convict history. Port Arthur, found on the Tasman Peninsula, is probably the most famous convict settlement in Australia. The town’s historic settlement is a World Heritage Site and has several restored buildings, ruins, and gardens from the former penal colony.
What’s really engaging about Port Arthur is being taken on a guided tour through the different sites and learning the rather ruthless lives led by prisoners there. Then there’s the Port Arthur Gallery, where interactive exhibits and displays help you discover more about the colony’s history. All of this is included in the 7 day guided Tasmania tour or in a standalone day tour from Hobart, as well as a relaxing harbor cruise which takes you near the graves on the Isle of the Dead.
And there you have it – the ultimate Tasmania itinerary with everything you need to know to comfortably explore Tasmania in 7 days.