Right before leaving Australia my last adventure was to head across to Tasmania and go on one final road trip. I’d wanted to visit for so long, and even tried to find farm work in the area, but time flew by and before I knew it I was only a few weeks away from my flight home to Scotland. So I finished up work a few weeks early, booked a flight, hired a car and off I went!
Day one – Hobart and Surrounds
After landing in Hobart at 7am, my first pit stop was Pilgrim coffee. I ordered their black pudding, and while nothing like the Scottish stuff, it was a satisfying start to the day and I’d recommend this independent cafe as a great breakfast spot. The rest of the day was dedicated to exploring the nature around the city; walking through the beautiful botanic gardens, driving up Mt. Wellington to check out the stunning views, to Russell Falls because I’m a sucker for waterfalls, then to the outskirts of the city to catch the sunset. I fell in love with Tasmania in my first day, and I was so lucky with the cool, crisp weather conditions that the scenery looked even more stunning than I could have imagined. That evening I spent in The Nook Backpackers, which was a pretty decent hostel in the city with secure parking.
Day two – Hobart, MONA and Port Arthur
Day two, I went for a walk around the Battery Point area and learnt a bit about the history of the area. After having breakfast at a hipster cafe called Machine Laundry (which was only okay, the staff weren’t the most welcoming), I then headed to the famous Museum of Old and New Art (Mona). While you can get the boat in and many reviews say that’s part of the experience, I just didn’t have the time to do it, so I drove on up and spent about an hour and half checking it out. The art was really cool and it’s certainly worth a visit, however it was much smaller than I’d expected.
Museum done, I then headed out of the city towards Eaglehawk Neck and Port Arthur region. This area is full of stunning natural geographical formations, and I spent the afternoon checking out the Tessellated pavement (pictured at the start of this post), Tazman arch, Remarkable Caves and a Blowhole lookout. After checking into Bluegum hostel, which was essentially just a little self contained lodge in someone’s back garden, I ended my day by heading along to Port Arthur for their historic ghost tour. I love learning about Australia’s convict history but I didn’t have time for one of the daytime tours so opted for the creepy evening one instead. It was fun and genuinely a bit jumpy at times, with a mix of supernatural and historic stories.
Day three – Freycinet and Bicherno
Up bright and early for day three, I had a quick stop to take a look at the rocky hills convict bridge before heading along to Devil’s Corner cellar door. It was a stunning day and the location is just incredible, with lookout points and a few little food vendors to choose from to go with your wine tasting. I only had a small taste of course but I thoroughly enjoyed this stop! Next up was Freycinet National Park. I hiked up the famous wineglass bay to the lookout point, before checking out honeymoon bay, the lighthouse and sandy bay. Freycinet is beautiful and you could absolutely spend a day or even two just relaxing and going on the stunning hikes in the area. But, I had big ambitions for this trip so kept on going and headed to Bicherno late in the afternoon. Here I went and checked out the most impressive blowhole I’d seen in all my time in Australia, as well as watching the sunset over diamond island.
Day four – Bay of Fires and Launceston
The next morning I mostly spent driving, and I wish I hadn’t. I decided to go the long drive to Binalong Bay (also known as the Bay of Fires) to check out the views as I’d heard it was beautiful. While I could see the beauty in the landscape, it just wasn’t worth the extra driving time it took me compared to driving direct to Launceston (2 hrs vs 4.5hrs), especially considering I was doing this trip alone so had no one to share the drive with. However, I did enjoy my wee wander around the area, and also was able to head to St Columba Falls and take in the beautiful falls there en route to Launceston. However, if I was repeating this trip or recommending to someone else, I’d skip this day out and have the extra day on Bruny Island, which is one of the areas I chose to bypass due to time.
Arriving in Launceston for 1:30pm (remember I was rising at the crack of dawn everyday!), I grabbed a delicious burger from Burgers Got Soul, before spending the afternoon wandering around the free Queen Victoria Museum and the City Park. This was a nice wee afternoon, and my hostel here, The Arthouse, was a beautiful old building with parking right outside as well.
Day five – Launceston and Tasmazia
First thing I did was head back to the City Park to look at the sweet little macaques in the park and have another wee walk around. They live in an enclosure here but head inside at 4pm everyday so I’d just missed them the night before. Heading back to the hostel having decided to extend my stay, I then drove on over to Cataract Gorge, which is right at the edge of the city. There are plenty of walks around the area, lots of wildlife roaming around to see and you can also take a ride in the world’s longest single chairlift (which I did). It was absolutely beautiful up there and I thoroughly enjoyed my morning just taking it all in. That afternoon, I then drove out of the city to Tasmazia Village. This was a bit out of the way to drive to, but SO worth it. It’s a series of hedge mazes, with a few smaller ones (all of which were really difficult and some made me dizzy!), and then one huge full size maze. I spent a good few hours here and had great fun getting lost and trying to find all the checkpoints.
Day six – Cradle Mountain and Launceston
To finish up my trip I headed to the iconic Cradle Mountain. This national park area is host to a huge variety of walks to chose from, including the overland track if you’re after a multi-day adventure. I opted for the Dove Lake Circuit, which takes you right around the lake offering beautiful views all around. Unfortunately this was the only day of my trip with awful weather, and after completing my first walk and grabbing lunch, the heavens opened. I did set off to try a second walk but within a few minutes I was freezing and miserable, so called it off and headed back to the city. I’d love to come back and spend more time in the area, and perhaps even do the overland track next time. To finish up my trip I had a little explore around the city of Launceston again, grabbed dinner from a tiny selection of market stalls before getting an early night ready for my 6am flight home in the morning.
To sum up
Tasmania is pretty tiny as far as Australia goes, and you can get from the North to the South of the island in just a few hours, but the week I spent there absolutely wasn’t enough time and I do hope to go back one day. I think you could easily dedicate two weeks to exploring this beautiful island, though it’s definitely for those who enjoy the great outdoors and not a city break.
This was also my first totally solo trip, and I honestly really enjoyed myself. I spent my evenings striking up conversation in the hostels so never felt lonely, and loved the freedom of doing what I wanted when I wanted everyday. I still love sharing travel adventures with other people, but it’s absolutely given me the confidence to just go out and do it myself too!