5 WEEKS IN TASMANIA
35 DAYS OF AMAZING CAMPSITES & ATTRACTIONS
By Trip In A Van - travelling Australia full-time
A DETAILED ITINERARY OF HOW TO SPEND 5 WEEKS EXPLORING TASSIE!!
THERE IS A LOT TO SEE IN TASMANIA !! WE MANAGED TO FIT MOST OF IT INTO 5 WEEKS AND NOW YOU CAN TO BY USING OUR TRIP AS A GUIDE TO PLAN YOUR HOLIDAY… You can read our First Timers Tips For Tassie article here....
Now you can use this Itinerary as a guide or you can follow it along exactly the same, either way you can be sure your 5 weeks in Tasmania will be a memorable experience as we have done the research behind it and completed the trip ourselves!
Our Map of Tassie
A good outline of our travel route around the apple isle.
TRAVEL BUDGET - HOW MUCH DOES IT COST ?
As with all trips, everyones budget is going to be different depending on their own circumstances. Tasmania is a bit different as it’s such a big cost to get over there that you don't mind spending a bit extra on activities and attractions as you don't want to miss out on anything.
WHAT DID IT COST US?
Our Trip Total Cost was $7040 for the 5 weeks. You can see a breakdown of costs in the table below.
You could definitely do the trip cheaper than what we did, but we enjoyed everything that was on offer, the local produce, great attractions, wines, ciders and beers. A real holiday!!!
A breakdown of our costs for the 5 weeks! WE HAD FUN!!!!!
A detailed listing of where to stay and what to do in each area for 35 DAYS.
DAY 1 - MELBOURNE - BIG4 COBURG
This park is a fantastic place to start your Adventure before heading over on the Spirit Of Tasmania. You will need to be at the loading dock at around 7am in the morning, so you will want a smooth run thats not to far away. The BIG4 at Coburg is only 25 minutes from the Spirit of Tasmania which makes it PERFECT!! The park itself has great facilities with Pool, Heated Spa, playgrounds, gym, and great caravan sites and cabins. There is a Woolworths just down the road as well, just don't stock up on too much fresh produce as you will lose it all when you go through quarantine at the docks.
DAY 2,3,4 - DEVONPORT & SURROUNDS
Lots to see and do around Devonport so you need to allow yourself a few days to explore. There is also a few choices for accommodation - the Abel tasman caravan park, The Discovery Parks Devonport and the Mersey Bluff caravan park. All great parks but our top pick would be Mersey Bluff, great location and amazing park managers.
THINGS TO DO
“The House Of Anvers”. Only 15 minutes away from Devonport you will find a Chocolate Factory and cafe. We head there for breakfast and indulge in the best waffles we have ever eaten!! A great setting with room for the kids to run around and you can also walk through the factory and read some history about chocolate making. Yummy!!!!
Turners Beach Berry Patch was a fantastic way to spend a few hours strolling through the vines, picking and eating berries. For only $5 you can fill a plastic container with strawberries, raspberries & blackberries. So many berries here, an absolutely delicious place to visit. To make it even better, there is a cafe onsite that serves delicious food, ice creams and coffee.
“Tasmazia" & the Village of Lower Crackpot was one of our favourite attractions on our tour of Tasmania. Fun for all ages, it’s a great way to spend the day. Navigate your way through the different mazes, have a laugh at the quirky signs and quotes and try not to lose the kids…. No need to pack a lunch either, a great cafe and gift shop on site will cater for all your needs.
Reliquaire - is a quirky gift shop located in Latrobe. With a huge range of gifts, toys & nick nacks all in a shopfront thats great fun to explore, it’s definitely worth a look.
The Tasmanian Arboretum - This is where we found our Platypus in the wild! The Arboretum is a Botanical Garden of trees set out on 66 hectares of land with plenty of wildlife and local bird species to see while your here. Founders lake is known as Tasmania’s most reliable place to see platypus in the wild and it didn't disappoint. Only a small donation on entry here, and you can walk around and enjoy at your own pace. A cafe and playground as well as heaps of room for the kids to run around makes this place a winner.
DAY 5 - PENGUIN & SULPHUR CREEK FREE CAMP
The town of Penguin is only 30km North West of the bustling Devonport. This picturesque seaside town has a gorgeous esplanade and scenic hiking trails. Penguin has a real sense of charm and don’t forgot to snap a picture with the ‘Big Penguin’. Just a short drive from the township is the wonderful free camp at Sulphur Creek.
WHAT A RIPPER FREE CAMP
Set on a large grassy area, its an excellent camp to stop in and admire the ocean views. You are required to be self contained and you can also get tv and phone reception. The BEST part…. The gorgeous little penguins that make their way up the beach to nest (between September and March). It really is very exciting to watch. If you’re after some groceries Penguin has an IGA.
THINGS TO DO
Penguins Minature Railway - The track runs alongside Johnson’s Beach and costs $1 a ride. Open every second and fourth Sundays from April to October.
A penguin tour and Penguin Point - Watch the penguins waddling up the beach towards their burrows after dark. Visitors can join the tour at Penguin Point for breeding season which happens between the months of September and March.
Penguin Statue and Playground - The ‘Big Penguin’ statue is fast becoming one of Tassie’s most photographed icons. Set on the esplanade, don’t forget to get a picture and enjoy the views. There is cafes (good one is called The Letterbox) and shops over the road and a great playground for the kids to enjoy!
DAY 6 & 7 - BOAT HARBOUR BEACH FREE CAMP
One of the most spectacular beaches in Australia and as you descend into the township you’ll be amazed at the colour of the water. The free camp located here is simply fantastic! If the first one is full, keep driving around to the next camp where you’ll find some more awesome spots to pull up. The Boat Harbour free camp has facilities with a toilet and shower, a playground for the kids and amazing crystal clear water.
THINGS TO DO
SUP - Be sure to take your Stand Up Paddleboard out or hire one to head out the the stunning rocky outcrops and take in the stunning farming land.
Rocky Cape National Park - Bushwalking, rock pools, wildflowers and walking trails to Aboriginal caves. Beautiful scenery and rugged cliffs.
Surfclub House - Just over from the free camp is the surf club who do some great food. While you enjoy a meal and a beer, the kids can play on the playground built in the sand. The cafe also does a great coffee.
DAY 8 & 9 - STANLEY AND THE NUT
Only 50km from Boat Harbour is the gorgeous coastal town of Stanley. Uninterrupted view of the long sandy beach, green hills and preserved colonial buildings. It has also provided a backdrop for a blockbuster movie! The Stanley Cabin and Caravan Park is $45 a night and it gives us a chance to do some washing, stock up at the IGA and head to the beach of a swim. There is also a low cost RV camp just dow the road so check that one out as well.
THINGS TO DO
The Nut - Straight up from the waters edge is a flat topped volcanic plug which stands 150 meters high! Due to its steep incline we decided to take the chairlift up which was $30 for a family. Walk the 2km circuit for more breathtaking views.
Tarkine Wilderness - A great nature experience where you’ll witness sinkholes, rainforest, sand dunes, aboriginal history and beautiful rugged coastline.
Highfield Historic Site - An 1830’s farm complex built by a convict. It interprets the conflict between the aboriginal people and the owner of the land.
DAY 10 - WARATAH - DIP FALLS - CRADLE MOUNTAIN
After leaving Stanley we head toward Burnie to take the tourist route towards Dip Falls. You can take your caravan in here to save you the day trip. When arriving at Dip Falls and wanting to park up your caravan, keep driving past the Falls towards the ‘Big Tree’. Up here is a track to park up your van and take the short stroll back down to Dip Falls. 100 steps down to a viewing platform and also another one at the top.
We then head for Waratah’s low cost camp, at $28 for power and $6 for unpowered (if you’re self contained). It’s a great base if you’re exploring Cradle Mountain which is a 45 minute drive to the base and information centre. There is a caravan park at Cradle Mountain, but it was fully booked out when we rang. We would recommend booking early if you want a site there.
To get into the Cradle Mountain National Park it costs $33 for a pass which also includes the shuttle bus up to the mountain. There are plenty of walks and hiking trails to do. Some three days and others 20 minutes. The Dove Lake Walk has 2 iconic sights along the way being the Boatshed and Glacier Rock. Both of these great walks for the kids. We head back and stay the night at Waratah before an early start the next morning.
DAY 11 & 12 - STRAHAN - LEFT OF FIELD CAMPGROUND - DERWENT BRIDGE
After leaving Waratah we head to the town of Strahan and have a look around. A harbour-side village which is rich in convict history, it’s set on the Tasmanian Widerness World Heritage Area.
A good spot to stay is the Strahan Beach Tourist Park. Great Location to check out the area.
THINGS TO DO
West Coast Wilderness Railway- Steam train tours of mountain scenery and historic sites along the railway.
Gordon RIver Cruise - The three hour cruise is a great insight into Australian history. They do offer meals and commentary on points of interest. Our mates from Caravanning with kids did the cruise and have a full review to check out right here....
Leaving Strahan headed for Left of Field, we stopped into Derwent Bridge for lunch and to check out ‘The Wall’. An incredibly carved sculpture that depicts the history and hardship of those who settled in the area. Truly phenomenal art work! $30 entry and there is a cafe onsite also. Unfortunately your not allowed to take photo's so i cant show you what it looks like.
Left of Field in the Mount Field National Park comes after a lot of curly steep roads. A serene bush camp run by a ripper bloke called Adrian. Power and water is available and the river the camp is set on has some great fishing. Be sure to have Adrian tell you about the outdoor bath, its epic! At $20 per night, it’s an excellent stop that you will LOVE!!
THINGS TO DO
Russell Falls - The beautiful walking trail into Russell Falls only takes about 10 minutes. Make sure you keep an eye out for Platypus as they are likely to make an appearance. You can also view glow worms here at night on one of the tours. Speak to the information centre at Russell Falls for more information.
Gordon Dam - Not only a dam but one of the worlds highest commercial abseils. Lake Pedder and Lake Gordon comprise the largest inland freshwater storage in Australia. Totalling 500 square kilometres
DAY 13 & 14 - SALMON PONDS & HUONVILLE CARAVAN PARK
We hit the road and drop into the Salmon Ponds for a coffee and a walk around. The kids love feeding the salmon and its only $22 for a family and $2 for fish food. You’re able to walk around the beautiful gardens and watch the salmon and trout feeding.
We pass through New Norfolk for some groceries as there is a Woolworths, we also need a stock up on some fishing tackle here. We then drive through Hobart, catch a glimpse of this pretty city and head south to Huonville (we’ll be back Hobart).
Huonville Caravan Park, is a very well run park with plenty of facilities and activities for children. At $45 per night plus $5 extra per child our total comes in at $60. The park is set on the banks of the river with large grassy sites. They put on a farm show which the kids absolutely loved as well as a Tassie Devil show, which is our first time seeing one! The kids loved feeding the chicken and watching the cows be milked. A Woolworths here in town so stock up and also great coffee at ‘The Local’.
Things to do
Willie Smith Appleshed and Cider - Delicious cider and an outdoor area for the kids to play. Beautiful setting with plenty of seating around the cider garden. $12 for a tasting paddle.
Tahune Air Walk - An elevated steel walkway 30 meters above the forest floor and 50 meters above the Huon River, with spectacular views and amazing walking trails. $60 for a family, Children under 5 are FREE. This was a great day out with the kids and we day tripped from Huonville Caravan Park. Check the local tourism brochures for discount vouchers for the air walk, we saved 20%!!
DAY 15 & 16 - COCKLE CREEK - BOLTONS GREEN CAMPSITE
About a 2 hour drive south and you hit the access road to Cockle Creek and the South West National Park. 19km of gravel track and you’re into the campgrounds. What a beautiful part of Tasmania with plenty of campground space and toilet facilities. There’s great fishing here, walk the beach flicking soft plastics and you should catch some flathead for dinner. The ocean is an amazing blue and the beaches are awesome with beautiful white sand. If you’re up for some adventure, the South Cape Track is a 4 hour return trek to the southern most point of Australia and an easy, 15km track.
Things to do
Find the bronze whale sculpture - A tribute to the whaling stations brutal history.
End of the road sign - Make sure you take an obligatory photo with the ‘end of the road’ sign.
South Cape Walk - 4 hours return/15km track to the southern most point of Australia and for unspoilt coastline.
DAY 17 - HOBART - DISCOVERY PARKS HOBART
When leaving Cockle Creek, we stop in at Ida Bay Railway for a coffee and to check out its iconic train. We make tracks for Hobart and are excited to hit the city and see what Hobart has to offer. We parked up at Discovery Parks Hobart for $35 a night and it had all the facilities we needed. Only a short drive from the city and some great attractions.
Things to do
Mount Wellington - Firstly, we headed up to Mount Wellington as it was a lovely day and no cloud cover, so days it can get very cold and visibility isn’t great. A steep, curly drive up the mountain to be hit with spectacular views over Hobart.
MONA - Museum of Old and New Art. Not everyones cup of tea but we absolutely loved it and think its well worth a look.
Salamanca Markets - A memorable and unique set of markets, its one of Australia’s vibrant and loved. An array of product and produce you simply cannot miss.
Richmond - Only 20km from our caravan park and loads to do. Wicked Cheese Company is not only great for adults, awesome for the kids to with play equipment on the grassed area.
Puddleduck Winery does a wine tasting for $15 and also has a playground! A very relaxing atmosphere and beautiful lake views.
DAY 18 - BRUNY ISLAND - CLOUDY BAY CAMPGROUND
To get to Bruny Island you need to catch the Bruny Island Ferry which is about 50 minutes drive from Hobart. It leaves every half an hour and cost $85 return for our family, car and caravan. We headed for Cloudy Bay Campground on South Bruny Island, but you just have to stop into ‘The Neck’ for a look. WOW, what a stunning view.
Cloudy Bay campground is accessed via a beach drive. Head along the sand for a few kilometres until you come across the access to the campground. 1 night here costs $10 for 2 adults and you’ll also need a parks pass as well. After an amazing day by the beach with our ute and awning set up, we settled in for the night, admired the wildlife and made some new friends with others in the campground.
DAY 19 - ADVENTURE BAY (BRUNY ISLAND) - CAPTAIN COOK HOLIDAY PARK
Fantastic location and a park with a great atmosphere. A powered site is $30 and you can have a campfire at the park, there is also a large playground! Directly opposite the caravan park is the stunning Adventure Bay where you can swim, Sup and try your luck fishing. The most amazing coffee up the road called the Penguin and Pardalote Coffee House serves up a mean brew.
The kids spend hours on the playground and pedal carts and then its time for a feed at Hotel Bruny. Try your luck at spotting a white wallaby! They’re often spotted at Adventure Bay. Additionally, try the several 4WD tracks located around the Island. Bruny Island Cruise or Pennicott Wilderness Journey is an excellent way to explore the rugged coastline and has won many awards for best tourist attraction.
DAY 20 & 21 - PORT ARTHUR - NRMA PORT ARTHUR HOLIDAY PARK
On your way back to the ferry and if you get a chance, park up at the loading dock and flick a squid jig off the jetty. The squid are thick and it's a good spot to get a feed before you head back to the mainland. Back through Hobart and on the way to Port Arthur you’ll stumble upon Sorell. A great township to stock up on groceries as there is a Coles and Woolworths here, also a chance to grab any other supplies. The NRMA Port Arthur Holiday Park is situated 5 minutes from the Port Arthur Historic Site. It's a lovely park with wildlife including, echinda’s, pademelmons and parrots. It also sports a Modular Pumptrack for the kids to burn round on their scooters and bikes, a big playground and fire pits at your sites.
Things to do
Teselated Pavement - A geological wonder and an interesting square rock formation.
Blowhole, Tasman Arch & Devil’s Kitchen - All very close in distance to one another. A natural bridge & a foaming fury where the swells of the ocean bash into cliffs.
Remarkable Cave - A stunning cave where you can see through to the ocean.
Port Arthur Historic Site - History gore and incredible stories, a must do activity!
Eaglehawk Lookout - Take the dirt, steep track up to the Lookout for spectacular views!
DAY 22 & 23 FREYCINET NP - BIG4 Iluka on Freycinet Holiday Park
Just before the turn off for Freycinet National Park is a cute little place called Pondering Frog which offers a campground, coffee and a kids playground. Lester, who runs the place is a wealth of information and the giver of map. So drop in here to say hi, grab a coffee and ask for some local info on where you can take your caravan.
First stop, Friendly Beaches and yet another stunning area, with a great campground. The weather was a bit wild on the beach so we continued on to the BIG4 Holiday park in Coles Bay. Freycinet is home to secluded bays, white sandy beaches, mountains and more! A stunning part of Tasmania in which you’ll need to allow a couple of days. The caravan park sits opposite Muirs Beach in Coles Bay and has all the facilities you need. Plus, it's only minute walk to the IGA and pub for a feed. Some delicious coffee at Geographe cafe in town. You can read our travel blog and review here......
Things to do
Wineglass Bay - There is several walks you can do, one of them being the big hike up to Mount Amos (not ideal with kids), or opt for the shorter one to Wineglass Bay Lookout. It’s a 3km return trek, good terrain and the kids will manage. Allow half an hour to 40 minutes to walk up. Take some snacks and enjoy the views.
Honeymoon Bay - It’s beauty will stop you in its tracks. Truly spectacular and it's compulsory to go here! Only a minute walk from the carpark down a beautiful bush track, keep your eyes peeled for wallabies.
Cape Tourville Lighthouse - An easy 15 minute walk with breathtaking views.
Richardson Beach - A pristine beach, ideal for kids and total relaxation mode!
DAY 24 & 25 - BICHENO, DOUGLAS ASPLEY, SWIMCART BEACH, BAY OF FIRES
Bicheno is a quaint town bustling with tourists. Stop in for a coffee and some lunch before heading to the amazing blowholes. Also, a chance to stock up on some groceries and fuel.
Douglas Aspley National Park - 7 kilometres of dirt track will get you to the car park for the Waterhole and Gorge. A well maintained track which will take you about 10 minutes to the swimming hole. Take a refreshing dip and enjoy nature.
St Helens is great township to grab anything you may need - groceries, alcohol, maintenance and supplies. They also have a great kids playground at the Marina.
Bay of Fires - The iconic Bay of Fires is one of the worlds hottest travel destinations. From the shore-hugging forests, orange coloured boulders and stretches of white sand, it's a must see location. Try your luck getting a camp spot at Swimcart Beach but be sure to arrive early to snag a spot overlooking the beach. If you’re unable to, Jeanerette Beach and Cosy Corner are also excellent and only a few minutes away. Swimcart has some toilet facilities, great tv and phone reception, dog friendly and an all round epic campground.
Things to do
Binalong Bay - Situated at the southern end of the Bay of Fires its very scenic due to its beautiful blue waters and white sand. The kids will love the big boulders to play on, great coffee and kid friendly beaches.
Sloop Reef - A campsite called Sloop Reef just north of Swimcart is another fantastic beach. If you head for a walk around the rocks you’ll stumble on some magnificent rock pools. See if you can find Mermaids Pool.
Pub in the Paddock - A pub in the middle of nowhere where you can feed a pub a beer. Pricilla the pig loves a drink and the pub also puts on a great meal.
DAY 26, 27, 28 - LITTLE BLUE LAKE & BRIDPORT SEASIDE CARAVAN PARK
Little Blue Lake is a picturesque place about half an hour off the main tourist route. This natural wonder is a result of the pioneering mining days and the lake reflects a stunning aqua blue colour. Swimming is not recommended due to the mineral content in the water, but its perfect for photo's!!
Bridport is a popular seaside holiday destination in northern Tasmania, well known for its alluring beaches and coastal bushland. It is also the place of one of the worlds best public golf courses, some great walking trails, fishing and foreshore playground.
The Bridport Seaside Caravan Park is a council run park on prime real estate with Ocean views, IGA, pubs and cafes (The Bunker Club) over the road, excellent foreshore walking track and a playground. The park stretches for 2km and there are plenty of private beaches.
Things to do
Pipers Brook Winery - Architecturally acclaimed winery building, ocean views and wine tastings.
Barnbougle Golf Club - A world renowned golf course set alongside a stunning beach. Head through the tunnel to ‘The Lost Farm Links’.
4WD track to Bellingham - An exceptional day trip from Bridport which takes about a 2.5 hours to cruise. Stop and swim at the charming beaches. There is some dune driving so make sure your well prepared with recovery gear. The track is well marked and it's relatively easy for all levels. Try and do it on low tide, so you have heaps more hard sand to drive on.
DAY 29, 30, 31, 32 - LAUNCESTON - OLD MACS FARM, LOW COST CAMP & BEAUTY POINT
Beauty Point is a small riverside town with several attractions. These include the Seahorse Museum, Platypus World and the Beaconsfield Mine. You can get a pass of all three, called the Tamar Triple Pass that costs $49 per person.
Launceston is a riverside city, recognised for the stunning Cataract Gorge, walking trails, gardens and museum.
Base yourself at Old Mac’s Farm which is a low cost camp, self sufficient for $10 per night. Very spacious, set on a lake, large grassy sites and an cafe onsite. Loads of farm animals and paddle boat rides to keep the kids entertained. Only 10 minutes drive into Launceston City.
Things to do
Launceston City Park - This place is awesome, a Monkey enclosure, large playground, train rides and beautiful gardens.
Penny Royal - To get in here is free and activities are a cost. Theres gold panning, cliff walks, zip lining and lots more!
Cataract Gorge - Located in central Launceston, a unique natural formation that has walking tracks, a suspended bridge, pool, cafe and native wildlife. Definitely worth a stop in and you may like to do the chairlift ride also.
Boags Brewery - James Boag Brewery offers tours, food and drink. It offers an insight into the history of Boags.
Liffey Falls - A tiered cascaded waterfall located 50 minutes inland from Launceston. A magical place and it even has a bush campground here if you wanted to stay a night. Beware of the log trucks.
DAY 33 - BAKERS BEACH CAMPGROUND
An hour north of Launceston is the Narawntapu National Park where we descend on Bakers Beach Campground. At $12 per night its a great spot with water views and we score a beachfront site to relax.
Facilities include drop toilets, dump point and bins. Great campsites close to the water, awesome for fishing, swimming and hanging out on the sand!! Keep an eye out for wombats as well, they cruise around the campground at sunset.
DAY 34 - MERSEY BLUFF CARAVAN PARK
Great caravan park in Devonport to stay before the sail back. Terraced sites overlooking the beach. Only a minute walk and you’re at a fantastic playground right next to a great cafe called ‘Drift’ and the Surf Life Saving Club. Shops are only minutes drive away if needed. The managers Luke and Carolyn are some of the friendliest we’ve ever met. Take a walk round the corner to find the Bluff headland and lighthouse or just let the kids run wild on the beach right out the front.
DAY 35 - SAIL HOME ON A NIGHT SAIL
If you’re able to, ask for a late checkout as it’s handy not having your van in tow while waiting to sail. For a 7:30pm sail set off from the Mersey Bluff Caravan Park around 530pm to get to the Spirit of Tasmania which is only 5 minutes drive away.
The night sail was so easy, the cabins have everything you need with bunk beds and an ensuite and we slept solid from 9pm - 5:30am. The food on board the Spirit of Tasmania is delicious so grab a meal to send you off to sleep in a food coma. A quick play at the playground to burn some last minute energy for the kids, then it's off to bed!
The Spirit of Tasmania leaves on time at 7:30pm and we are all in bed asleep by 9pm. Brekky is served from 5:30 so we get up to have some light breakfast and disembark the Spirit in Melbourne at 7am. Bloody perfect!