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Cockle Creek: A Campervan Road Trip in Tasmania's Southern Paradise

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

Tasmania, Australia's island state, is a haven for road trip enthusiasts seeking adventure, pristine natural beauty, and the freedom to explore at their own pace. One of the hidden gems of Tassie's road trip scene is Cockle Creek, a remote and enchanting destination located at the southernmost tip of the island. In this travel story, we'll guide you through an unforgettable road trip adventure to Cockle Creek, tailored specifically for road trip enthusiasts. Get ready for a journey filled with breathtaking landscapes, charming towns, and the thrill of the open road.

Cockle Creek cheeky swim in the bay
Credit: Liam Neal

Getting Started: Preparing for Your Road Trip

Before you hit the road, there are a few crucial steps to take:

  1. Renting a Van: Start by renting a campervan or a converted van equipped with basic facilities such as a bed, kitchenette, and storage.

  2. Plan Your Route: Plan your route from your starting point in Tasmania to Cockle Creek. Make sure to include stops at key attractions along the way.

  3. Packing Essentials: Pack essentials like warm clothing, camping gear, cooking equipment, and a good road map.

  4. Stock Up: Buy groceries and supplies in Hobart or Huonville before heading to the southernmost point you can by road and ensure you have everything you need.

The Road to Cockle Creek

Beautiful star green plant located on the South Cape Bay Track in Tasmania

Now, let's hit the road and explore the scenic route to Cockle Creek:

  1. Hobart to Huonville (Approx. 40 km): Start your journey in Hobart and head south to the picturesque town of Huonville. This is the last major town before you venture into the wilderness, so stock up on supplies here.

  2. Huonville to Dover (Approx. 60 km): Continue south to Dover, a charming coastal town known for its stunning landscapes and fresh seafood. Take a break here and savor a delicious meal.

  3. Dover to Southport (Approx. 30 km): From Dover, drive to Southport, another coastal gem. Explore its pristine beaches and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere.

  4. Southport to Cockle Creek (Approx. 20 km): Finally, drive to Cockle Creek, the southernmost point of Australia accessible by vehicle. The total journey will take you about 1h30.

Exploring Cockle Creek

Exploring Cockle Creek is an enchanting experience that immerses travelers in the pristine wilderness and natural beauty of Tasmania's southernmost tip. Located on the remote southern coast of Tasmania, Cockle Creek offers a range of activities and attractions that make it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts, hikers, campers, and anyone seeking tranquility and adventure in an unspoiled environment.

Great Short Walks - South Cape Bay Track with hikers looking at giant trees
Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Geoffrey Lea

Cockle Creek Beach serves as a welcoming introduction to the area. With its soft white sands and crystal-clear waters, it's a perfect spot for relaxing, picnicking, or taking a leisurely stroll along the shore. The peaceful ambiance and breathtaking coastal views set the stage for your Cockle Creek adventure. For those seeking a more active and immersive experience, the South Cape Bay Track is a highlight of Cockle Creek. This 13-kilometer (8-mile) return hike takes you through lush rainforests, offering opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife spotting. The trail leads to South Cape Bay, where you'll be rewarded with stunning vistas of rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, and the Southern Ocean.

Camping in Cockle Creek is an unforgettable experience.

The campground provides basic facilities, including toilets, picnic tables, and campfire areas. Camping here allows you to connect with nature on a deeper level, surrounded by the sounds of the Tasmanian bush and the gentle lapping of the ocean waves. It's a fantastic place to stargaze, share stories around a campfire, and fall asleep to the soothing sounds of the outdoors.

Rent a kayak with your van rental to enjoy tasmania summer on the water
Credit: Sean Scott

Renting a kayak is a fantastic way to explore the nearby waterways, including the pristine Recherche Bay. Paddling through these calm waters allows you to get up close to the marine life and appreciate the coastal beauty from a different perspective.

"You can rent a kayak or stand up paddle with your van for a much cheaper fare than a daily rental elsewhere"

Cockle Creek has historical significance as well. Explore the remnants of old whaling stations and the historic Adamsfield tramway, which harks back to the area's mining history. Interpretive signs provide insights into the region's past.

Green Rosella endemic parrot of Tasmania spotted in Cockle Creek on a branch
Green Rosella - Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, including wallabies, pademelons, echidnas and Tasmanian devils at night. Cockle Creek is a photographer's paradise, offering opportunities to capture stunning seascapes, and the natural beauty of Tasmania's southern coast. Birdwatchers will delight in the region's diverse bird species. Keep an eye out for Tasmanian endemics like the green rosella, as well as seabirds along the coastline.

Why Choose a Van for Your Tasmanian Road Trip

Choosing a van for your Tasmanian road trip is a decision that can significantly enhance your travel experience. Here are several compelling reasons why a van is the ideal mode of transportation for exploring this stunning island:

Flexibility and Freedom: When you travel in a van, you're not bound by strict schedules or fixed accommodations. You have the freedom to change your itinerary on a whim, exploring off-the-beaten-path locations and staying as long as you please in the places that captivate you.

Self-Contained Accommodation: Vans are equipped with essential amenities like a comfortable bed, water, electricity, a small kitchenette, and storage space. This means you have a cozy place to sleep, prepare meals, and store your belongings, providing a level of comfort that tents or traditional vehicles may not offer.

Tasmanian inside van with bed, kitchen, sink , fridge ready for next tassie adventure
kunanyi's memory foam bed offers great comfort

Cost-Effective Travel: Opting for a van combines transportation and accommodation costs into one, potentially saving you a considerable amount of money. You won't need to book separate hotels or worry about pricey accommodation options during peak travel seasons.

Closer Connection to Nature: Vans bring you closer to nature, allowing you to wake up to stunning landscapes, fall asleep to the sound of waves, and enjoy unfiltered views of the natural beauty around you. This immersive experience is something unique to van travel.

Free Camping spot in Cockle Creek, just before the entrance of the National Park
Free Camping spot in Cockle Creek

Access to Remote Locations: Tasmania is known for its remote and breathtakingly beautiful spots. With a van, you can reach places that might be inaccessible with other modes of transportation, giving you the chance to discover hidden gems and secret retreats. Having a van means you always have a comfortable base to retreat to, whether you encounter unexpected weather or simply want to take a break from your outdoor adventures.

Unique Social Experience: Traveling in a van fosters a unique social experience. Whether you're on a solo journey or traveling with a group, you have the opportunity to form deeper connections with your fellow travelers, sharing stories and experiences around the campfire.

"Our favorite van to travel around Cockle Creek is kunanyi"

Tasmania's Cockle Creek offers van enthusiasts the perfect opportunity to escape into nature, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and the freedom to explore at their own pace. Remember to respect the environment, follow Leave No Trace principles, and take only photographs, leaving this pristine corner of the world as you found it. So, pack your bags, hop into your van, and embark on the ultimate road trip adventure in Tasmania - Cockle Creek awaits!

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