Sparsely populated and offering a surprise around every corner, Tasmania brims with stunning scenery, often wild and untamed, with large tracts officially recognised as having World Heritage importance. It has a colourful history too, from its Aboriginal heritage to an often brutal colonial past, easily imagined in places like Hobart’s character pubs and older quarters. In addition there are superb art galleries, quaint towns and picturesque villages and sensational gastronomy with cool climate wines, craft beer, wonderful cheeses, seafood and artisan bakeries.
Strahan – Gateway to the South West World Heritage National Park
The West Coast Wilderness Railway
Gordon River Cruise
International flights from London to Australia
Airport transfers on arrival and departure
Transfers to and from the motorhome depot
4 nights in a 4-star hotel in central Hobart, including breakfast
16 nights pre-booked campsites, with electricity
Hobart City Tour
A trip on the West Coast Wilderness Railway
Macquarie Harbour Cruise
17 days Maui Ultima 2 berth motorhome rental including:
Unlimited mileage, GST, admin fee and all additional drivers included
Kitchen equipment, liknen and bedding plus a linen change during the tour
GPS & wifi, including 1 GB data
Liability Reduction Option (liability reduced to nil) plus Single vehicle rollover cover
Picnic table and chairs
Portable fan heater (on request)
Days 1 - 5: UK to Hobart
On arrival at Hobart you’ll be greeted and taken to the Rydges Hotel for a three night stay and a chance to unwind and acclimatise.
Set on the Derwent River, Hobart is famed for its deep harbour (one of the deepest in the world) and its well preserved colonial buildings. Stroll among the picturesque Victorian warehouses of Sullivan’s Cove, along the waterfront to Salamanca Place and perhaps the Saturday market. Mount Wellington, sometimes white-tipped with snow, looms in the distance.
Being the smallest of the state capitals, Hobart is easily navigated. To help you on your way, a morning city tour is included in your itinerary. Widely acclaimed as one of the best tours of its type, this will bring the city to life, explaining the history behind the making of the city and providing a glimpse of the way of life in times past.
You’ll be transferred to the Maui motorhome depot to collect your vehicle and for a familiarisation. It’s worth heading to Sorrell nearby for some initial provisions before hitting the road towards the Tasmanian Peninsula. History buffs like to travel via Richmond, one of the loveliest historic gems of Tasmania, while others prefer taking the coast route and experiencing the pristine scenery of the Tasman National Park.
Port Arthur is a relic of the original convict system. The prisoners of this ‘inescapable prison’ are long gone but the austere shell of the building remains, nestled incongruously among rolling wooded hills in a lush, peaceful setting. It is Tasmania’s main site of historic interest, having been established in 1830 as a timber sawing station and later an industrial prison. It’s certainly atmospheric, with guided tours and suitably chilling ghost stories too.
Other points of interest include the Bush Mill Pioneer Park or the Tasmanian Devil Park. And natural highlights of the peninsula are the contorted rock formations of Blow Hole, Tasman’s Arch, Remarkable Cave and Devil’s Kitchen.
Days 9 - 11: Freycinet
The east coast offers sublime scenery, with sensational beaches and towering cliffs backed by wooded hills. Pause at Marion Bay for a stroll on an empty beach – the only footprints might well be yours. Visit the Copping Colonial and Convict Exhibition for a fascinating insight into the harsh lives of convicts over a century ago, or pick up some super-fresh seafood from the Freycinet Marine Farm.
The Freycinet National Park is very special, with pink granite cliffs and secluded bays home to amazing birdlife. Recognised as an important natural reserve since 1916, it offers numerous walks, mostly very easy going and on straightforward terrain. The Hazards Range glows pink at sunset and the sublime Moulting Lagoon is home to black swans, eagles and all kinds of migratory birds.
The quaint little resort of Coles Bay sits just on the edge of the National Park and you can enjoy the pure sands and clear waters of the iconic Wineglass Bay. Here you can snap some of the most photographed views in Tasmania.
Days 12 - 13: St Helens
From Freycinet you’ll head north, pass through Bicheno, Four Mile Creek, Scamander and Beaumaris before coming to St Helens. Bicheno is delightful, with soft silvery beaches and, at low tide, the charms of Diamond Island inhabited by fairy penguins. The penguins’ antics can be mesmerising so keep an eye on the tide! Nearby there are also a sealife centre and animal park.
Sheltered by George’s Bay, St Helens has a number of nature reserves and lovely parks for strolling amid gorgeous scenery. Prime spots to try are Humbug Point Reserve with its amazing views and Bay of Fires Coastal Reserve stretching from Binalong Bay to Eddystone Point with its fine white sand beaches, turquoise waters and lagoons.
Days 14 - 16: Launceston
Leaving St Helens behind, you’ll pass the towns of Pyengana, Weldborough, Moorina, Derby, Scottsdale and Nunamara on your way to Launceston. Launceston is tucked away in a verdant river valley renowned for its plentiful and beautiful gardens. The Penny Royal Gunpowder Mill portrays 19th century life in an attractive way with little streams and waterfalls.
A short walk from the town centre is Cataract Gorge, a natural valley with encircling cliffs, native bushland and lovely garden-like setting. You’ll find scenic walking trails with great views, plenty of indigenous wildlife, peacocks and a formal Victorian garden. There’s even the world’s longest single span chairlift across the 308 metre stretch of water of the South Esk River.
Days 17 - 18: Cradle Mountain
From Launceston head out on the open road and pass the towns of Deloraine, Elizabeth Town, Moltema, Sheffield, Gowrie Park and Daisy Dell en route to Cradle Mount.
The world famous Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park forms part of the important Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and will be a highlight of your trip. The Aboriginal people called the lake Leeawuleena, or ‘sleeping water’, and you can see why. At 167 metres, it is the deepest freshwater lake in Australia, carved out by glaciers over 2 million years and the surface waters seem completely still and with a mirror surface.
There’s a huge choice of trails to suit all levels, from short strolls to all-day hikes and the internationally famous Overland Track. Along the way, look out for the wildlife: wallabies, potoroos, parrots and birds of prey in particular.
Days 19 - 21: Strahan
Leaving Cradle Mountain behind, the route takes you westwards on towards Strahan, via the towns of Tullah, Rosebery and Zeehan. The discovery of silver and lead in 1882 brought prosperity and rapid development to Zeehan. Today many original buildings still remain along the main street and there’s an excellent mining museum, the West Coast Pioneers Memorial Museum.
Set on the west coast, Strahan is adjacent to the South West World Heritage National Park, recognised as one of the most spectacular cool climate rainforests in the world. The town is alongside the lovely Macquarie Harbour and was originally a penal colony until 1833 when all prisoners were transferred to Port Arthur on the east coast. The harbour is also the departure point for the cruises along the majestic Gordon River.
On Day 20 we have included in your itinerary a full day excursion on the West Coast Wilderness Railway. Take the steam train along the King River Gorge, stopping along the way at stations and passing through the lush rainforest. A stopover at Queenstown allows you to discover the history of this old mining town (an optional guided tour is included) before returning to Strahan.
The next day, Day 21, there is another included excursion. Step aboard the Gordon River cruise ship on the Esplanade and settle down for a full day. You’ll be taken to Hell’s Gates at the mouth of the harbour, past the fish farms at feeding time and then along the Gordon River amid some of the greatest expanses of World Heritage wilderness in the world. You’ll stop at Heritage Point to disembark for a walk through the rainforest with a guide pointing out interesting flora and fauna. Enjoy lunch back on board while approaching Sarah Island, before enjoying a guided tour around the ruins of the convict colony dating from 1821.
Days 22 - 23: Hobart to UK
From Strahan you’ll take the road passing Queenstown, Derwent Bridge, Lawrenny, New Norfolk and Granton en route to Hobart. After dropping off the keys to your motorhome at the Maui Depot you’ll transfer back to the Rydges Hotel in Hobart.
A chance for a last glimpse of Hobart before heading to the airport ready to fly home with a few souvenirs and plenty of incredible memories to last a lifetime.
Price per person is based on two people sharing, prices for solo travellers are available on request.