With regional travel now allowed across Australia, and interstate travel not too far off, staycations are becoming all the rage. So, to satisfy your travel cravings we’ve developed a short guide to help you plan the perfect staycation in Tasmania. Here’s our top picks for the best weekend stays, day trips and road trips you can do in Tasmania.
Derwent Valley and beyond
Starting in Hobart, this scenic drive will take you through beautiful rivers, rolling hills, giant forests and rugged mountain wilderness until you reach the to picturesque Lake St Clair. Take the road towards New Norfolk and explore the historic town that sits on the banks of the River Derwent. Then climb up Pulpit Rock for some panoramic views. The next day continue to Bothwell and Lake St Clair, stopping at the impressive Mt Field National Park along the way. Check out the suggested itinerary here.
Get a taste of Tasmania’s history with this iconic road trip that takes you through Richmond, Port Arthur and Hobart. This fascinating journey is rich in convict history and natural beauty. Along the way, you can explore the Tasman National Park, Eaglehawk Neck, Port Arthur Historic Site, Coal River Valley wine region and Old Hobart Town. See a suggested itinerary here.
Cradle Country itinerary
Indulge in Tasmania’s most spectacular scenery from the north coast’s patchwork agricultural hinterland to Cradle Mountain on the edge of the Tasmanian World Heritage Wilderness Area. This road trip will take you from Devonport through Sheffield, Cradle Moutain and Burnie. Must-see highlights include the Devonport Maritime Museum, Warrawee Forest Reserve for platypus spotting, Latrobe – the home competitive wood chopping and Elizabeth Town. For the full itinerary see here.
Maria Island Walk
The Maria Island Walk is not just a one-day walking track, it’s a cosy retreat at Australia’s only world-heritage-listed island national park. Book yourself in for a couple of nights and enjoy spectacular walks during the day, followed by delicious meals and wine pairing in the evening. You’ll be able to choose whether you’re up for the adventure walk or a casual stroll and in the afternoon you can wander to the stunning Painted Cliffs or Fossil Cliffs to watch the sunset. At night you’ll stay in the gorgeous Bernacchi House at Darlington, a rare, heritage-listed house dating back to 1880. With much of the logistics arranged for you, the Maria Island Walk getaway offers the perfect balance between relaxing and exploring. Find out more here.
Keep reading: 5 reasons to visit Tasmania this winter and take the Maria Island Walk
Cradle Mountain Lodge
At Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge you’re just a few steps away from the wild and ancient paradise found on the edge of the spectacular World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. It’s one of Tasmania’s premier wilderness regions, just 2 hours scenic drive from Launceston and 1.5 hours from Devonport, and it’s the perfect place for a staycation. The four-star property is as cosy as it is enticing, fitted with leather couches, an overflowing library, log-pile fireplaces, coffee tables strewn with game boards and piping teapots. Find out more here.
Keep reading: how to rock the Cradle in Tasmania
Henry Jones Art Hotel
Hobart’s oldest waterfront warehouses have been thoughtfully reimagined as Henry Jones Art Hotel – where history and art collide. The award-winning hotel is the perfect place to enjoy a weekend staycation in the heart of the city. Inside, the decor blends modern furnishings with its industrial bones giving the hotel a quirky charm. Not to mention, it is an art lover’s paradise with more than 500 artworks by Tasmanian artists – each piece is available for sale at the hotel or via the website. Find out more here.
Free Spirit Pods
If you’re looking for a weekend break that’s not too far from Hobart, the beautifully preserved Bruny Island is where you should set your sights on. Located about one hour south of the city and accessed by a 20-minute vehicular ferry from Kettering, Bruny Island offers a secluded getaway among an abundance of wildlife and stunning views – especially while crowds are at a minimum. The Free Spirit Pods – rated the best accomodation on the island – are situated on eight acres of bushland with waterfront views and direct access to Quarantine Bay. While you’re there, kayak along the scenic waters where you might be lucky enough to see dolphins playing beside you or experience the wonderful variety of wildlife and birds galore (more than 50 species) at the Quarantine Station National Park that lies next door. Embark on one of the island’s popular walking tracks including the Truganini Lookout, Fluted Cape and Cape Queen Elizabeth or taste your way around Bruny’s delicious local produce – for a fresh and authentic oyster experience you can’t go past Get Shucked.
Freycinet National Park
Spend a day exploring Freycinet National Park and you’ll realise why this is one of Tasmania’s favourite parks. Situated on Tasmania’s beautiful east coast, Freycinet National Park is home to crystal-clear waters, the stunning Wineglass Bay, dramatic pink granite peaks and abundant birdlife. If you’re driving from Hobart it will take you about two and a half hours but once you get there, the views and short walking routes that lead to secluded bays, clean beaches and bird-filled lagoons, are worth it. If you want a longer stay, check out some of their accommodation options here.
Just a half-hour drive from Hobart is the must-see Mount Wellington – Tasmania’s most famous and tallest mountain. Mount Wellington, also known as kunanyi, rises 1,271 meters above sea level and is one of the standout landmarks of Wellington Park. Spend your day exploring some of the park’s hiking trails and be sure to check out the incredible view from the summit that can be reached by a 22-kilometre long narrow-track road. Be aware that the mountain is often snow-capped and while it may look beautiful, it is well known for its biting cold winds. If you find the winds too strong to handle, you can take cover Pinnacle Observation Shelter. Find out more here.
If you want to experience hiking in Tasmania in just one day, Cape Raoul is the way to go. The newly refurbished track climbs through open forest to a cliff edge that will take your breath away. Starting at Tasman National Park, the hike will take five hours return. Along the way you’ll see stunning coastal seascapes including rock platforms, towering cliffs and columns, off-shore islands and swirling seas. It’s recommended you take your lunch and find a nice spot to sit and gaze in awe at the majestic views. Find out more here.
Top image: Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge by Paul Fleming