I’m just going to start by saying that seven days is not enough time to even scratch the surface of Tasmania.
This little island state just off the coast of Australia, this hardly visited, rarely talked about little island is hustling and bustling with things to do and beautiful places to see. And it’s really not as little as everyone thinks it is, and even for the size of Tassie there’s so much to see and do it would easily take you a couple of months to really experience the full island.
But I only had seven days.
And after chatting to a couple of people who’ve travelled around a Tassie quite a bit, and after staring absent mindedly at the map in front of me, I drew a route in sharpie that Vicky and I could take going up north towards the west coast, cutting across the top to the east coast, and then back south to Hobart, and we actually more or less stuck to it.
So below there are a couple things. First off, the itinerary of what we had planned to see in our week. Secondly, what we actually ended up doing. And thirdly is what we would have changed if we could redo our road trip, as well as the end price of our little getaway. I won’t go into too much detail about each place, that will come in other blog posts later, so this is more or less just a brief overview.
So here we go! Tasmania in 7 days!
Plan: I had to get to Hobart from Huonville for noon, meet Vicky at a to-be-determined location, and then run up town to pick up the rental car from AAA. After that we would go grocery shopping, buy a tent, and drive down into the Huon Valley, basically so I could show Vicky the farm I was working on and show her how beautiful the valley was, then make our way north-west towards Corinna as far as we possibly could before stopping for the night.
Reality: Vicky missed her flight from Melbourne to Hobart. Le Sigh. Luckily she grabbed another one that landed in Hobart at 4pm, so I picked up the car, bought the tent, and grocery shopped without her. We ended up leaving Hobart around 5:50, so we had to skip Huon Valley and go straight north, spending the night in Hamilton.
Plan: Finish the drive to Corinna, stopping at the Wall on the way, as well as stopping at Trial Harbour on the very western coast to see a true, untouched, rugged Tasmanian beach. Mostly a driving day, and then we would spend the night in Corinna.
Reality: The Wall was absolutely amazing so it took us well over an hour to get out of there, and then we stopped again to do an hour and half walk along Mt. St Claire and stopped again a little while later for a short 20 minute walk to see a beautiful waterfall. We ended up having to skip the beach due to lack of time, but we still missed the ferry to Corinna, so instead we spent the night in the car in the woods.
Plan: Spend the entire day in Corinna having fun hiking and kayaking, go to Rosebery to see Montezuma, Tasmania’s largest waterfall, and spend the night either there or Waratah, where there is also a beautiful waterfall.
Reality: Corinna was just as amazing as we had hopped! We did a 3 hour hike in the morning as well as a 4 hour kayak trip in the early afternoon up and down some of the rivers. We left exhausted and a little late, and made it to Rosebery really late at night (not safe in Australia due to animals) and just crashed in the car in a caravan park.
Plan: We would start our drive to Cradle Mountain to do a hike and then drive to the Wall of Jerusalem to do another hike, and camp for the night in Deloraine.
Reality: After learning that it was a 3 hour hike to Montezuma Falls, Tasmania’s largest waterfall, we decided to skip that and spend more time in Cradle Mountain. We stopped in Waratah really quickly on the way to see the cute little waterfall there, and then drove to Cradle Mountain where we ended up hiking for about 4 hours. Apparently Wall of Jerusalem is an overnight hike, so skipped that and drove more or less straight to Deloraine where ate at Subway, where we also got some fantastic information about the area, and we crashed in the car for the night.
Plan: We would leave Deloraine early to make it Wineglass Bay for the afternoon, where we would hike and hang out all day, and then spend the night there in a campsite.
Reality: We didn’t even leave Deloraine until about 3:30 pm, simply because there was so much to do! We had a coffee, charged my phone, visited a couple local shops (where I was the lucky first customer of a store that had its grand opening that day, so I bought a beautiful scarf and a bag), back tracked a little to Mole Creek where we visited Trowuna, a wildlife reserve for wounded Tassie wildlife and a Tasmanian Devil breeding facility all in one. We literally stayed there for over 2 hours, and there will be a blog post later about how awesome it was. After that we had lunch and boogied down to Wineglass Bay, where we had a wonderful glass of local Tasmanian white wine, and a lovely chat with some other travellers and -surpirse!- crashed in the car.
Plan: See what else there is to do in Wineglass Bay, and then make our way down the East Coast as close to Hobart as we can to return the car at noon the next day.
Reality: We actually got to sleep in a little! The weather was utter crap – there were huge gusts of wind and rain coming from Antarctica – so we had a long -expensive- coffee break at the local cafe in Cole’s Bay. We eventually made our way into the car to get to the National Park to do our Wineglass Bay hike. After the beginning hike up to the look out – about an hour hike – and was severely unimpressed, so we hiked down to the bay itself – in total a 3 and half hour return trip. There really wasn’t much left to do in Wineglass Bay that was even relatively cheap so we left early, stopping at The Pondering Frog for a delicious home-made ice cream on the way out. Spent the night in Triabunna where, you guessed it, we spent our last night in the car.
Plan: Drive the rest of the way to Hobart from where ever we were, drop off the car and keys to the rental company and I get the bus home to Huonville after a long good-bye to Vicky.
Reality: So the East Coast is really beautiful, so we stopped lots of times on the highway down the East Coast to take hundreds of photos, of Spiky Beach especially, and made it into Hobart for 10:30am. It was Good Friday, so it took forever to find a cafe where I could get some caffeine, and then we couldn’t find a gas station to fill up the car. We were half an hour late returning it, and then my bus home never appeared. I had to make the most out of the situation and spent the last night in Hobart with Vicky eating Pizza and wandering around Hobart in the evening.
What I Would Change About the Road Trip
Well, other than the obvious – spend a hell of a lot more time on the road trip – I would have skipped Wineglass Bay altogether and either gone to Bay of Fires instead or had spent an extra day in either Corinna or Cradle Mountain. I also wish we had had enough time to visit the caves in Mole Creek, and had enough time to visit Montezuma Falls. I still wish we could have gone down into the Huon, and Bruny Island is supposed to be beautiful too… All in all more time would have been amazing. Alas, seven days was all we had and it was an amazing trip none the less.
The Total Cost of the Road Trip
All in all I had hoped this trip would cost me no more than $600, so at about $100 a day, I figured it was feasible. Unfortunately I had to spend Friday night in Hobart, so the hostel and the food charges ended up ruining that plan.
So here is the total breakdown of what I spent on the trip. Remember that gas, the car rental, groceries and all National Park passes are actually split in two between me and Vicky.
Car Rental: $300
Eating Out: $44.20
Accommodation: $36 (hostel in Hobart)
National Park Passes: $40.50
Entry Fees: $31
Next Time I Come to Tassie
I learned about the Overland Track while we were hiking around Tasmania. It’s a 7 night hike over the stretch of 80 kilometres across the Tasmanian West Coast. While we had walked little bits of it, I would love to do the entire thing – so when Amy and I drop down to Tassie next year I’m going to try to do it, maybe even on my own. I guess we’ll see.
Obviously the next time I’m here it will be with Amy, and we’ll have our own camper van instead of a rental so dirt roads won’t be as much of a problem. Bruny Island is a must, Devonport, Bay of Fires, a couple more days at Cradle Mountain and Corinna, Montezuma Falls, Maria Island, all around the Huon Valley, and then I guess we’ll see from there! It depends on how much time we have, and if we’re stretched I’ll just do the Overland Track and call it a trip. We’ll have to wait and see.
Come to Tasmania.
I can’t stress this enough – Tasmania is wild, wonderful, natural, exciting and drop-dead gorgeous. It you are in Australia, come to Tassie. Hell, on your next two week vacay come to Tassie. It has so much to offer you if you’re willing to reach out and take it – it will stretch you to your limits both mentally and physically. And compared to other parts of Australia it’s actually quite cheap down here, just make sure you bring a swather (or four) if you come in the Autumn/Winter.
I hope Tassie gets to see you soon!
Have you been to Tasmania? How long did you spend down here? Are there any more amazing must-see places you recommend me going to? Let me know in the comments below!