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The Ultimate 5-day Tasmanian East Coast Road Trip

Updated: Jan 29

Embark on a transformative 5-day odyssey, traversing Tasmania's Great Eastern Drive in a fully-equipped campervan adorned with a kitchen, water supply, and electricity – the epitome of a road trip sanctuary! Brace yourself for a deeply personal and awe-inspiring exploration through Tasmania's pristine wilderness. Begin this soul-stirring expedition in Hobart and wind your way northward, weaving through mesmerizing national parks and ethereal coastlines, all converging in the breathtaking Bay of Fires.

campervan east coast camping tasmania
Credit: Stu Gibson

What to bring?

  • Pack light as our campervans comes fully equipped!

  • Essentials include personal items, comfortable clothing, sturdy shoes for exploring, toiletries.

  • Bring a camera for capturing memories, and an open heart to embrace the journey.

  • Make sure to get your inflatable stand up paddle or kayak (enquire us)

  • Your Tasmanian National Park Pass

What to Anticipate?

  • Anticipate a culinary delight with local treasures such as fresh berries, seafood, and wine.

  • Experience the enchantment of encountering Tasmania's wildlife, a spectacle like no other!

  • Embark on a soulful trek along Tasmania’s stunning coastline, lacing up your hiking boots for an unforgettable adventure.

Trip Details

  • Approx 850kms

  • Approx 2.5h driving per day

  • Approx $200 petrol*

DAY 1: Hobart to the Tasman Peninsula

tasman Peninsula
Credit: Tourism Australia

Embark on an exhilarating day trip from Hobart to the enchanting Tasman Peninsula, immersing yourself in stunning coastal landscapes and historical wonders. Witness the geological marvels at the Tasman Arch, then delve into Australia's convict past at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Port Arthur Historic Site. Opt for a thrilling cruise to Tasman Island, where towering sea cliffs and unique rock formations await. Enjoy a delightful lunch featuring fresh Tasmanian produce before exploring the remarkable Remarkable Cave with its breathtaking views of the Southern Ocean. As the day unfolds, relish the perfect blend of nature and history, making lasting memories on this captivating Tasman Peninsula adventure.

Coffee lovers! Make sure to stop by Cubed Espresso Bar for a hot drink, where you'll not only enjoy outstanding brews but also breathtaking views that add an extra layer of delight to your Tasmanian road trip.

Cubed espresso bar, tasmania east coast coffee
Credit: Sean Scott

For nature enthusiasts seeking an active adventure on the Tasman Peninsula, explore its scenic beauty through captivating hikes. Begin your day with the iconic Cape Hauy Track, a challenging but rewarding trail that leads to staggering coastal cliffs, offering panoramic views of the Tasman Sea. If you're up for a longer trek, tackle the Three Capes Track, a multi-day journey taking you through diverse landscapes, including lush forests and dramatic coastal scenery. For a more leisurely experience, the Waterfall Bay Track presents a picturesque walk with its cascading falls and coastal vistas. Each hike provides a unique perspective of the Tasman Peninsula's natural wonders, ensuring an unforgettable exploration of its rugged charm and pristine landscapes. Stay overnight at: Forestescue Bay or Lime Bay Campgrounds (bookings required, $13/van) Read all about the Tasman Peninsula here

DAY 2: Tasman Peninsula to Maria Island

Embark on an extraordinary extended day trip from the Tasman Peninsula, weaving through the scenic landscapes to include captivating stops at Marion Bay and Orford before reaching the enchanting Maria Island. Begin your journey with the mesmerizing views at Marion Bay, taking in the coastal charm and perhaps indulging in a beachside stroll. Follow this with a delightful stop at Bream Creek Vineyard, where you can savor the renowned Bream Creek Sauvignon Blanc, offering a perfect complement to the coastal beauty.

bream creek vineyard view

Board the ferry at Triabunna, and as you reach Maria Island, immerse yourself in the island's tranquility. Discover the vibrant Painted Cliffs, meander through the historic Darlington settlement, and explore the Fossil Cliffs for a glimpse into Tasmania's rich history and natural wonders. Enjoy a leisurely picnic on the island's shores before returning, concluding a day brimming with coastal beauty, historical exploration, and the untouched allure of Maria Island.

maria island painted cliffs

We recommend booking the Maria Island ferry in advance for either 10 am or 11:30 am departures, with the last ferry at 4:15 pm, priced a little abobve $50 per person; the national park pass you got yourselves for the campervan is valid for the island, ensuring no additional fees. Stay overnight at: Mayfield Bay Conservation Camping Area (free) Read all about Maria Island here

DAY 3: Maria Island to Freycinet National Park

Equip yourself with a camera and boundless energy for a day filled with outdoor thrills around the pristine contours of Wineglass Bay. Commence your journey at the renowned Wineglass Bay Lookout and embark on either the 3-kilometer or 11-kilometer Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach Circuit. This longer trail weaves around a portion of the Hazards mountain range, guiding you through beaches, coves, and marshlands before returning to the summit.

cruise freycinet, tasmania
Credit: Tourism Australia

For adventure seekers craving a thrilling challenge, we highly recommend the Mount Amos hike (4h return)—an exhilarating steep ascent that rewards with awe-inspiring views and an unforgettable sense of accomplishment. Dive into aquatic adventures such as kayaking, stand up paddling, snorkeling, or scuba diving around the bay or, on the opposite side of Freycinet Peninsula, enjoy a rejuvenating dip in the sheltered waters of Honeymoon Bay.

mount amos at sunrise
Credit: Jason Charles Hill

Stay overnight at: Swan River Campground (free) or drive up to Bicheno where you will get a chance to spot little penguins at night. Read all about Freycinet National Park here

DAY 4: Freycinet National Park to Bay of Fires

If not already there, embark on a 40-minute drive north to the family-friendly haven of Bicheno. Here, revel in encounters with some of the region’s most cherished wildlife at East Coast Natureworld, sprawled across 150 acres of natural parkland and lagoons, home to Tasmanian devils, quolls, koalas, snakes, and parrots. Continue northward, veering into Douglas-Apsley National Park, adorned with gorges, waterfalls, and bushwalks – don't miss a refreshing swim at Apsley River Waterhole.

Bicheno, tasmania east coast roadtrip
Credit: Tourism Australia

Recharge your energy reserves at Swim East Coast Coffee, renowned for being one of the best coffee stops on the entire Tasmanian East Coast. Spend the afternoon exploring the shops and galleries in the enchanting fishing village of St Helens.

Bay of fires, tasmania east coast
Credit: Stu Gibson

From there, embark on a stroll or drive to Peron Dunes, a prime spot for sandboarding. As the day unfolds, set your sights on the stunning Bay of Fires, where pristine white-sand beaches meet the turquoise waters of the Tasman Sea. Explore the iconic orange-hued granite boulders scattered along the shore, creating a breathtaking contrast against the vibrant landscape. A mesmerizing sunset over the Bay of Fires marks the perfect conclusion to a day rich in wildlife, natural wonders, and coastal charm.

Stay overnight at: Dora Point Camping Ground (free) Read all about Bay of Fires here

DAY 5: Bay of Fires back to Hobart

As you embark on the fifth and final day of your remarkable Tasmanian East Coast road trip, the return journey from the Bay of Fires to Hobart unfolds with two equally appealing options, each promising its own distinct charm, and depending on how much time you have.

whale diving on tasmania east coast
Credit: Tourism Tasmania

Option 1 - The Coastal Breeze

Coastal enthusiasts can opt for the scenic route down the coast, a four-hour drive that not only unveils Tasmania's rugged beauty but also offers the chance to spot majestic whales along the way, adding a touch of marine magic to your homeward journey. The coastal drive invites you to savor the pristine coastline, providing ample opportunities to pause, breathe in the sea air, and revel in the coastal vistas plus revisit whatever you didn't get time to do driving up.

Derby floating sauna romantic couple
Credit: Jason Charles Hill

Option 2 - The Inland Romance

On the other hand, for those yearning for a unique inland adventure, consider the five-hour drive via Derby. Along this picturesque route, you'll not only traverse Tasmania's hinterlands but also have the delightful opportunity to score a sneaky sauna, transforming your journey home into a rejuvenating experience. If you choose the inland route via Derby, indulge in the plethora of scenic delights with captivating short walks along the way, such as the enchanting Halls Falls and the picturesque Weldborough Pass Rainforest Walk, adding extra layers of natural beauty and exploration to your homeward journey.

Whichever path you choose—be it the coastal drive with its whale-watching allure or the inland route with a sauna detour—both options promise a memorable conclusion to your Tasmanian escapade, ensuring your return to Hobart is as extraordinary as the adventure itself.

To wrap it up

In a nutshell, our 5-day Tasmanian odyssey along the Great Eastern Drive is not just a road trip; it's a soulful exploration of nature's wonders and a gastronomic journey through local treasures. From the captivating landscapes of the Tasman Peninsula to the untamed beauty of Maria Island, the outdoor thrills of Freycinet National Park, the wildlife encounters at Bicheno, and the pristine shores of the Bay of Fires, each day unfolds a new chapter of awe-inspiring adventures. Whether you choose the coastal drive, catching glimpses of whales, or the inland route via Derby with its unique surprises, the journey back to Hobart promises to be as extraordinary as the adventure itself. As you reflect on the memories captured by your camera and the taste of Tasmania's finest on your palate, this road trip is not just a travel tale; it's a collection of moments that redefine the essence of exploration and discovery. Until your next expedition, may the echoes of Tasmania's beauty linger in your heart, urging you to embark on more remarkable journeys in the future.

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