East Coast Tasmania Road Trip | Your Ultimate Adventure Itinerary Curated By Locals

If you’re searching for a slow-paced Tasmanian coastal road trip, with loads of free camping and almost deserted beaches, then you’ve come to the right place. But what many don’t know is that an East Coast Tasmania Road Trip offers so much more than just incredibly white-sanded beaches and turquoise bays.

We have called the east coast of Tasmania home for over 3 years and spent countless days exploring up and down the beautiful coastline, finding hidden waterfalls and breathtaking hikes that take in the stunning coastal scene. So who better to help you plan your East Coast Tasmania Road Trip than adventurous locals like us!?

We know that many of you will have various lengths of time you can spend exploring Tasmania’s east coast, so we’ve loosely created a 10-day Itinerary that can be easily curated to suit your holiday – without missing the best adventures!

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know for your East Coast Tasmania Road Trip, including the best places to eat, where to stay and other handy tips to help you plan your adventure.

Dora Point Campsite on the East Coast of Tasmania

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Things You Need To Know For Your East Coast Tasmania Road Trip

Getting To Tasmania

The first thing that you need to decide for your East Coast Tasmania road trip is how you’ll get to Tasmania. The little island state lies to the south of Victoria, separated from the mainland by the Bass Strait. There are two options for getting to Tasmania – to fly or to take the ferry across the Bass Strait.

The Spirit of Tasmania Ferry

Beautiful sunset on the Spirit Of Tasmania Ferry

If you already have your own camping set-up or live close to Geelong, then it makes the most sense to take the ferry. This will save you money on accommodation and car hire and if you book in advance, you can often get a good deal for the Spirit of Tasmania ferry.

However, it’s important to remember that taking the ferry will add an extra day on either side of your road trip. Plus, you’ll also have to factor in the 3.5-hour drive from Hobart back to Devonport at the end of your East Coast Tasmania road trip.

The Spirit of Tasmania ferry departs from Geelong, 1 hour west of Melbourne, and arrives in Devonport on the north coast – roughly 1 hour and 10 minutes northwest of Launceston. The ferry crossing takes 9 – 12 hours, with overnight options every day and day options for the busiest period.

The pricing varies considerably depending on the time of year and demand, making it imperative to book as far in advance as possible. For up-to-date pricing and cancellation details, check out the Spirit of Tasmania website.

Flying To Tasmania

Plane flying over Tasmania

Tasmania has two airports, located in Hobart and Launceston. Both airports offer daily flights from Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane, but flights from the remaining capital cities in Australia are less frequent. There is no significant advantage in choosing one airport over the other, however, if you’re planning to spend extra time in either city then we highly recommend Hobart over Launceston.

If you can find a good deal on one-way flights (which are often more expensive than return flights), we recommend flying into one airport and out of the other to prevent any backtracking and maximise your time!

Hiring A Vehicle In Tasmania

Tasmania is seriously lacking in the public transport department, making renting a car or campervan essential for your East Coast Tasmania road trip. Due to the incredible amount of free campsites on Tasmania’s east coast, we highly recommend renting a campervan for your road trip.

If you’d rather hire a car and utilise the many quaint accommodation options that line the East Coast, then check out Discover Cars to find the best deals on car hire from reputable brands such as Avis, Hertz and Europcar.


Tasmania’s east coast is packed full of various accommodation options to suit all travellers. You’ll find free camping, cute glamping tents, quaint Airbnb’s and luxury hotels boasting stellar seaside views.

Our favourite booking platform to use for our travels is Booking.com. They generally have the best deals – even for those beautiful homes you’ll find on Airbnb – and provide a seamless app that allows you to easily plan and organise your bookings in one location.

How Many Days Should I Spend On My East Coast Tasmania Road Trip?

Swimcart Beach camping ground, one of the best stops on your east coast Tasmania Road Trip

The truth is, you could spend weeks road tripping down the East Coast of Tasmania and still have plenty of things to tick off your bucket list. But we know that most of you have time limits that are much shorter than a month so here is a guide on what you can expect to fit into the most common travel time frames.

  • 5 days – This is the absolute minimum time we would suggest for your road trip. You will need to skip two destinations on our itinerary and spend just one night in each location.
  • 7 days – A week-long trip will allow you to stop at each destination on our itinerary, but you may need to cut out some activities as you’ll only be spending one night in each location.
  • 10 days – This is the length of time we recommend (although 14 days would be even better). 10 days will allow you to follow our itinerary below, spending more than one night in the main destinations.
  • 14 days – Two weeks is the ultimate time for an East Coast Tasmania road trip, allowing you to add the extra activities we’ve listed in each destination – or slow down and enjoy a more relaxed pace of travelling.

If you’re looking for an adventurous full lap of Tasmania, check out our Tasmania 7-Day Itinerary and for those with a tight time limit our action-packed guide to spending 5 days in Tasmania.

Ocean at Remarkable Caves while road tripping the east coast of Tasmania

East Coast Tasmania Tour Options

There are several multi-day tour options for Tasmania if you’d rather leave the planning up to someone else. However, you won’t find many that stick to the east coast only. Most do a fast-paced lap of Tasmania – stopping at each of the major destinations throughout the state.

Here is a list of the best tour options for your Tasmanian Holiday.

Quick Tips For Your East Coast Tasmania Road Trip

  • Plan your trip in summer for longer daylight hours – to fit all the activities in this itinerary into 10 days, we recommend visiting in summer to utilise the longer daylight hours – and ensure you get the best weather!
  • Grab a 2-month Tasmania Parks Pass – you’ll need a national parks pass for Freycinet National Park, Maria Island and Tasman National Park. Single-day passes are expensive, so purchasing a 2-month pass provides the best value for money.
  • Don’t rely solely on Google Maps – Google will take you on a wild goose chase for some of the activities we’ve listed below. Use our directions to avoid getting lost.
  • Phone reception is fickle between towns – there is barely any phone service outside of the main towns in Tasmania and some destinations will only have Telstra – such as Derby. Make sure you plan your day before leaving each day.
  • Stock up on groceries in the main cities – you’ll only find major supermarkets in Deloraine, Hobart and Launceston. Every other destination on this East Coast Tasmania itinerary is only equipped with a smaller grocery store that generally has limited items and higher costs.
  • Watch out for wildlife while driving at night – Tasmania is jam-packed with nocturnal animals that run rampant on the roads at night. It’s best to avoid driving at night whenever possible to avoid hitting one of our furry friends.
  • Travel insurance – If you need travel insurance, Cover More is our go-to for travel in Australia. They offer competitive prices and are very easy to deal with.

The Ultimate East Coast Tasmania Road Trip 10-Day Itinerary For Outdoor Adventurers

Now that we have all the necessary information sorted, let’s dive into the best 10-day Itinerary for your East Coast Tasmania road trip. We have designed this itinerary to be easily customisable to meet your requirements. It starts in Launceston to accommodate those using the Spirit of Tasmania ferry, but you can also begin in Hobart without any hassle.

Furthermore, we’ve included additional activities and guides we’ve written for each destination for those who are lucky enough to have extra time in each location.

Day 1: Launceston/Devonport To Derby

Mountain biking in Blue Derby on our Tasmania East Coast Road Trip

Grabbing the earliest flight possible – or the overnight ferry, head straight out of Launceston and begin your drive towards Ben Lomond National Park for your first adventure of the road trip.

Take the thrilling drive up Jacob’s Ladder to Ben Lomond Alpine Village, where you can wander around Tasmania’s main ‘ski resort’ or hike to Legges Tor – the second tallest mountain in Tasmania.

Once you’ve finished exploring Ben Lomond National Park, continue your journey to Derby to check into your accommodation and enjoy a relaxing evening.

Experience The Thrill Of Driving Jacob’s Ladder

looking out over the valley from the top of Jacobs Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder is a nail-biting gravel road that zigzags dramatically up the steep mountainside beneath Ben Lomond’s vast plateau, weaving between enormous dolerite cliffs. If you’re not comfortable driving on gravel roads, then this is definitely a fair-weather activity! But the views you’ll receive as you drive along the steep ascent are well worth the hair-raising detour.

Hike To Legges Tor

Old Huts at the summit of Legges Tor in Ben Lomond National Park

Once you’ve conquered Jacob’s Ladder, you’ll have a pleasant drive along the plateau to Ben Lomond Alpine Village. This cute village is quite deserted in summer, only coming alive in the height of winter.

But the main reason to visit is to hike to the rocky peak of Legges Tor, Tasmania’s second tallest mountain. The track from the village is a 3.5 km return walk that takes roughly 1 – 1.5 hours to complete. 

If you’re looking for more adventure, you can start the hike at the Carr Villa Car Park, 3 km past the Ben Lomond Campsite. This will lead you onto the Carr Villa Track, an 8 km return walk that takes you to the peak of Legges Tor.

Driving Times

Launceston Airport – Ben Lomond Alpine Village (via Jacob’s Ladder): 1 hr 6 minutes
Jacobs Ladder – Derby: 1 hr 53 minutes
Launceston Airport – Derby (direct): 1 hr 30 minutes

Click here for directions

Where To Stay In Derby

Pilgrim blue accommodation in Derby, Tasmania
Pilgrim Blue Loft

Until recently, you could camp at the Derby Park for free and use the showers ($4 for 4 minutes) and toilet block. Unfortunately, you are now required to pay $20 per site, per night. There is one free option, but you’ll need to walk roughly 200 metres to the toilet block.

  • Derby Park Campground – Equipped with barbeques, a toilet and shower block, this is the most popular place to camp in Derby. However, you are now required to pay a hefty $20 per site, per night.
  • Derby Esplanade Campsite – This is a free camping spot next to the river, just behind Lot 40. There is a toilet and shower block roughly 200 metres away, where you’ll pay a cheaper $3 for 4 minutes for the showers.
  • Branxholm Park Campground – Located a 5-minute drive west of Derby, Branxholm Park offers free camping with toilet, shower and laundry facilities.
  • Pilgrim Blue – The historic Derby Church Hall has been renovated into two affordable and beautifully designed self-contained apartments that are perfect for couples.
  • Explore Derby – A spacious 4-bedroom house boasting an outdoor bath and beautiful views from the sheltered deck.

Where To Eat

The Hub Pizza in Blue Derby Tasmania
The Hub

Derby is a small rural town with limited restaurants and cafes. That said, you’ll find delicious pizza at The Hub and tasty burgers at Main Street Derby. For the coffee addicts, the best coffee is found at The Hub, but sadly they don’t open until midday. The second-best coffee can be found at the Derby Pitt Stop.

Due to the limited options for dinner in Derby, we recommend making a reservation in advance in the summer to avoid missing out. If you do miss out, there is a small grocery store in Branxholm, a 5-minute drive west of Derby.

Day 2: Spend The Day In Derby

Derby is the mountain biking mecca of Australia, with epic trails to suit every rider – from beginner to advanced. This is the main reason to visit Derby and we highly recommend spending the day exploring the trails. But if mountain biking isn’t your thing, then we’ve got the perfect alternative day for you.

Ride Blue Derby

Mountain Biking in Blue Derby on Derby Bike Shop Hire Bikes

Blue Derby is an epic mountain bike park that branches from the town, making it super easy to find your way around. There are shuttle options that will take you from the car park to the mid-section of the trail network as well as cross-country trails that link the downhill runs.

For your day riding Blue Derby, we recommend grabbing a bike from the Derby Bike Shop if you need a rental and shuttling to Black Stump – the local network. If you’re a beginner or would like a local to guide you through the best tracks, you can book a session with Caleb from Pilgrim Blue.

Alternative: Mt Paris Dam & Floating Sauna Lake Derby

The Floating Sauna on Derby Lake during sunrise

If you’re not so keen on mountain biking, then we have the perfect alternative day for you. First, start the morning with a beautiful drive out to Mt Paris Dam, a historic dam wall that offers a stunning walk along the creek. After returning, head on down to Lake Derby and indulge in the ultimate relaxation at the Floating Sauna.

The Floating Sauna is extremely popular so you’ll need to book as far in advance as possible to avoid missing out – especially during the summer and autumn months.

Day 3: Derby To St Helens

Enjoy a relaxed morning in Derby – and maybe one last ride – before beginning the short but incredibly stunning journey to St Helens on the East Coast. On the way, you’ll find some beautiful waterfalls and some of the tastiest cheese in Tasmania – though nothing can beat King Island’s smoked cheddar!

Once you arrive in St Helens, check into your accommodation or find a spot at one of the many free campsites in the area. Once you’re settled, enjoy a stunning sunset at Beerbarrel Beach, our favourite beach in St Helens!

Explore St Columba Falls

St Columba Falls with low lying cloud hanging in the valley

The first stop on your drive from Derby to St Helens is St Columba Falls. A short 20-minute return walk will lead you down to the mighty waterfall that cascades over giant dark grey boulders. St Columba Falls is especially impressive after heavy rainfall, but the easy walk is worth the detour in any weather.

Taste Delicious Cheese At The Pyengana Dairy

Pyengana dairy, a great stop on your East Coast Tasmania Road Trip

Stop in at the Pyengana Dairy for lunch and a taste of their delicious cheese. This cute cafe looks out at the cows that have provided you with the amazing cheese and offers a wide selection of local wines to sip on while you eat.

Visit Halls Falls

Halls Falls in North East Tasmania, a great stop on your East Coast Road Trip

The final stop on your drive from Derby to St Helens is Halls Falls. This waterfall requires a slightly longer walk – roughly 40 – 60 minutes return – but once you reach the viewing platform above the Groom River, you have three unique locations to explore. Off to the right, you can wander down to the main waterfall and the left trail will take you to the historic 19th-century weir and a collection of rock pools.

Driving Times

Derby – St Columba Falls: 55 minutes
St Columba Falls – Pyengana Dairy: 13 minutes
Pyengana Dairy – Halls Falls: 6 minutes
Halls Fall – St Helens: 23 minutes

Click here for directions

Where To Stay In St Helens

Cooking dinner in the Bay Of Fires Bush Retreat Communal Kitchen
Bay Of Fires Bush Retreat Communal Kitchen

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to free camping near St Helens, with 10 free campsites located along the Bay of Fires and several others to the south. Our top recommended place to camp is Dora Point Campground, which is located just before the Bay of Fires, closest to St Helens.

  • Cosy Corner North Campground – Our favourite free campsite in the Bay of Fires
  • Swimcart Beach Campground – This free campsite offers the absolute best view from your campervan
  • Diana’s Basin Campground – Just south of St Helens, this is a stunning free campsite that is often much quieter than the ones in the Bay of Fires
  • Big 4 Holiday Park – If you’re in need of more facilities such as a shower and laundry, then the Big 4 Holiday Park offers the best rates for St Helens Holiday Parks
  • Bay of Fires Bush Retreat – A beautiful glamping experience surrounded by native bush just outside of St Helens
  • Scandi at Stieglitz – Located near the surf beaches at St Helens Point, this accommodation is ultra cosy and stylish
  • Georges Bay Apartments – Located in town, an easy walk to all the shops, this is an affordable option for couples and families

Check out our detailed guide on the best places to stay in St Helens for more suggestions and tips on which area will suit you best.

Where To Eat

The Social in St Helens, a great stop on your east coast Tasmania Road Trip

For the best coffee in town, you can’t go past Coffee Away – a small hole-in-the-wall coffee shop near the main supermarket. Our favourite place for a good atmosphere and afternoon beers is The Social – which is only open during the summer period – but offers tasty street food and local craft beers.

The Wharf Bar and Kitchen is the best place in St Helens for dinner, with a wide selection of seafood. For lunch, we recommend driving out to Binalong Bay (which is Day 4’s plan) and enjoying a mouthwatering pizza from Meresta Eatery.

Day 4: Explore The Bay Of Fires

Start the day off with a sunrise walk along the beach, or the bay if you’re staying in St Helens, before setting off for the iconic Bay of Fires. This mesmerising stretch of coastline is famous for its vibrant orange lichen boulders that strike a beautiful contrast against the white sand and turquoise bays.

There are countless beaches to explore and things to do in the Bay of Fires. Our top suggestion is to rent a kayak from Poppa’s Boat Hire and paddle along the coastline, where you can explore the many secluded bays.

But if kayaking isn’t your thing, then below are some additional suggestions for your day at the Bay of Fires

Visit Eddystone Point

Eddystone Point in Ansons Bay, a great stop on your east Coast Tasmania Road Trip

Located roughly an hour north of St Helens, Eddystone Point Lighthouse is perched at the edge of a rugged headland that offers some of the best surfing on the coastline (when the conditions are working) and plenty of exploration opportunities along the rock shoreline.

Find The Secluded Mermaid Pool At Sloop Reef

Mermaid Pools at Sunset on Tasmania's East Coast

There are hundreds of swimming holes scattered along the Bay of Fires coastline, but our favourite is the hidden Mermaid Pool located between Sloop Reef and Seatons Cove. To find the secluded swimming hole, drive to the end of Seatons Rd and look out for the worn track that will lead you through the coastal bush to the swimming hole. 

Driving Times

St Helens – Bay Of Fires: roughly 40 – 60 minutes return depending on where you stop

Click here for directions

Day 5: St Helens To Coles Bay

Wake up with a final delicious coffee from Coffee Away before beginning the breathtaking coastal drive to Coles Bay, on the Freycinet Peninsula. Along the drive, take a detour to the Apsley Waterhole for a quick dip before stopping at Bicheno for lunch and a wander around the cute coastal town.

Wandering on the white sands of Bicheno Beach on Tasmania's East Coast
Wandering secluded beaches in Bicheno

Once you reach Coles Bay and get settled in, enjoy the late afternoon light from Richardsons Beach or watch the sunset with a glass of local wine at the Hazards Bar & Lounge at the Freycinet Lodge.

Visit The Apsley Waterhole

The Apsley Gorge and Waterhole are located just 17 minutes northwest of Bicheno, along Rosedale Rd. The easy 7 km detour from the Tasman Hwy will lead you to a forested car park where you’ll begin the short 2 km return walk to the Apsley Waterhole.

This stunning inland waterhole is the perfect place to cool down on a hot summer’s day, but if you’d rather chuck on some hiking shoes and explore further, you can complete the 2 – 3 hour circuit that leads you along Apsley Gorge and through native black gum forests.

Get Soaked At Bicheno’s Blowhole

Bicheno Blowhole on an overcast day while road tripping Tasmania's East Coast

Hidden beneath the giant granite slabs that line the coastline, there is an underwater cave with a small hole in its roof. The ocean swell surges into the cave and the building pressure erupts out of the blowhole, sending seawater soaring!

While the Bicheno Blowhole is most impressive when there is a big easterly swell, the blowhole is worth visiting no matter the swell. You can easily find the Bicheno Blowhole just past the car park at the end of Waubs Esplanade.

If you plan to stay in Bicheno for longer, check out our post on the 21 Best Things To Do In Bicheno.

Driving Times

St Helens – Apsley Waterhole: 1 hr 6 minutes
Apsley Waterhole – Bicheno: 16 minutes
Bicheno – Coles Bay: 30 minutes

Click here for directions

Where To Stay In Coles Bay

Done shot of Freycinet Resort, Cabin style accommodation in Coles Bay
Image sourced from Booking.com

Again, you have plenty of options for accommodation in Freycinet and many different campsites in Freycinet National Park, some of which are free. Our favourite place to camp is Friendly Beaches, however, this is a little out of the way and will require extra driving time.

  • Richardsons Beach Campground – The closest campsite to the walks in the Freycinet National Park, with stellar beachfront views. A site for two is $13 per night, but during the summer holidays and Easter, you’ll need to enter a ballot for your chance to secure a site.
  • River & Rocks Campsite – Located 10 minutes north of Coles Bay, this free campsite is situated on the shady shores of Swanwick Bay.
  • Numie – Freycinet Peninsula Glamping – Another stunning glamping opportunity that looks out upon Pelican Bay.
  • Freycinet Lodge – The lodge has a wide range of accommodation options to suit your budget, plus it boasts some of the best views on the Freycinet Peninsula.
  • The Summer Shack – A centrally located holiday home that is within walking distance to the shops in Coles Bay.

Where To Eat In Coles Bay

Drinking at the Hazards Bar & Kitchen during sunset
Hazards Bar & Kitchen

The popular coastal town of Coles Bay offers a great range of options for tasty places to eat. For breakfast and coffee, we recommend Granite Freycinet. For delicious pizza and a stunning view, check out Geographe Restaurant for lunch or dinner. Another of our favourite dinner options is at the Hazards Bar & Lounge at the Freycinet Lodge.

Day 6: Explore The Walking Trails In Freycinet National Park

Get up bright and early to make the most of the daylight hours and the many great walks in Freycinet National Park. Our favourite hike is Mt Amos, which offers a thrilling ascent up the smooth dolerite rock slabs that make up the Hazards mountain range.

If you’re not interested in spending the whole day exploring the walking trails that weave through the rugged coastline, then check out our guide to the best things to do in Freycinet National Park for more options.

Hike Mt Amos

Steep climb up to Mt Amos at sunrise
Standing on the summit of Mt Amos overlooking Wineglass Bay in Freycinet

For the ultimate walking experience, take on the epic 4 km return hike to the bouldered peak of Mt Amos. The 2 – 4 hour hike is certainly not for the faint of heart, leading you up almost vertical exposed rock slabs that look out over the vibrant bay.

But the effort is 1,000 times worth the incredible view of Wineglass Bay that you’ll receive once you reach the peak. We recommend starting this walk early to avoid the crowds and ascend before the hottest part of the day.

Wineglass Bay Lookout Track

Walking along Wineglass Bay Lookout, one of the best stops on your East Coast Tasmania Road Trip

It would be sacrilege to visit Freycinet National Park without enjoying the family-friendly Wineglass Bay Lookout circuit that loops through lush coastal forests before leading you to the iconic viewpoint of Wineglass Bay.

The easy 2.9 km walk is a great way to warm up before tackling the Mt Amos hike or to finish with so you can compare both viewpoints of Wineglass Bay.

Alternative: Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach Circuit

Secluded beach located right next to Hazards Beach in Wineglass Bay, perfect for a private swim in Freycinet National Park

If Mt Amos sounds a little too hectic but you’re still keen on a day hike that shows off the magic that is the Freycinet Peninsula, then the Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach Circuit is our second best recommendation.

The 11.6 km circuit takes roughly 3 – 5 hours to complete. The walk leads you to secluded coves, onto the coarse yellow sand of Hazards Beach and allows you to wander along the fine white sand of Wineglass Bay Beach – where you might even spot some wallabies. You’ll also have the chance to add the short detour to Wineglass Bay Lookout along this circuit.

Driving Times

Coles Bay – Freycinet National Park Walks: 8 minutes

Click here for directions

Day 7: Coles Bay To Tasman Peninsula Via Maria Island

Get ready for a jam-packed day! You’ll say goodbye to Coles Bay and continue your journey south to Triabunna Wharf where the ferry departs for Maria Island. Spend the day exploring the historic buildings in Darlington, hiking up to the top of Bishop and Clerk for incredible views of the small island, before returning to Triabunna and continuing your drive to the Tasman Peninsula.

Pro Tip: To make the most of your time on Maria Island, take your bike or rent one on the island. This will allow you to fit in more of the attractions, which are quite spread out.

Hike Up Bishop And Clerk

Standing at the peak of Bishop and Clerk after making the incredible hike to the best vantage point on Maria Island Tasmania

Our favourite thing to do on Maria Island is climb the dolerite peak of Bishop and Clerk. The trail begins with a pleasant walk through grassy hills and open forests before delivering you to a messy dolerite boulder field. After navigating the boulder garden, you’ll scramble over the final few pillars to stand at the summit.

The views from the pillared peak are breathtaking to say the least, providing 360-degree panoramas of the verdant island and the surrounding bays. Bishop and Clerk is a 12 km return hike with an elevation gain of 665 m. You can ride your bike from Darlington to the end of the treeline (where you’ll find a ‘no bikes’ sign), which cuts off a total of 8 km of walking. 

Visit The Painted Cliffs

Walking through the spectacular Painted Cliffs on Maria Island Tasmania while the surf was small and low tide

Check the tides and try to line up a visit to the Painted Cliffs at low tide. These cliffs provide a stunning display of swirling colours that have soaked into the sandstone from the groundwater above.

The Painted Cliffs are located 2 km southwest of Darlington and can be accessed by walking or biking along the easy gravel road.

Driving Times

Coles Bay – Triabunna: 1 hr 25 minutes
Triabunna – Eaglehawk Neck (Tasman Peninsula): 1 hr 10 minutes
Eaglehawk Neck – Fortescue Bay Campground: 30 minutes

Click here for directions

Where To Stay In Tasman Peninsula

Fortescue Bay glowing in the morning sunrise
View over Fortescue Bay from the Cape Hauy Track

Unfortunately, there are no free campsites on the Tasman Peninsula. But thankfully, there are some options that cost under $20. Our top recommendation is the Fortescue Bay Campground, which is located right by the trailhead for the Cape Hauy Walk.

  • Fortescue Bay Campground – This campsite is suitable for both campervans and tents and costs $13 per couple, per night. The campground is situated on the edge of Fortescue Bay, with beautiful views of the ocean.
  • Eaglehawk Dive Centre – Along with a lodge and private rooms, the Dive Centre provides powered sites for $15 per person, per night.

Where To Eat

For Maria Island, you’ll need to pack a lunch to take with you as there are no shops on the island that sell any food.

The best place for dinner on the Tasman Peninsula is at Port Arthur where you’ll find the On The Bay Restaurant and the Fox and Hound Pub. On The Bay offers delicious fresh seafood with waterfront views and the Fox and Hound provides traditional pub-style meals.

For breakfast, we recommend driving into Nubeena to visit The Pickers Pantry where you can also pick up a wrap to take with you for lunch. However, the best coffee award goes to Cubed Espresso Bar, which sits at the top of the hill overlooking Pirates Bay.

Day 8: Tasman Peninsula

Another early start is recommended for your first morning on the Tasman Peninsula so you can avoid the majority of the crowds that will inevitably flock to Cape Hauy and many of the other unmissable hikes in the Tasman Peninsula. After your breathtaking morning hike, you can either visit the Port Arthur Historic Site or if you’re game – or crazy, drive across the peninsula to hike to Cape Raoul as well.

Cape Hauy

Cape Hauy on the Tasman Peninsula

Cape Hauy is arguably the most popular hike on the Tasman Peninsula and for good reason. The trail begins at Fortescue Bay and ascends through native coastal woodland toward a rugged headland dominated by colossal dolerite sea cliffs.

This 4 hour return walk will test your head for heights and your stamina as you tackle the endless steps and walk out along the precipitous headland to view the impressive ‘Totem Pole’ – a seemingly impossible rock-climbing route that scales a solitary dolerite column that’s surrounded by crashing waves.

Port Arthur Historic Site

Port Arthur Historic Prison on the Tasman Peninsula

If you’re something of a history buff or simply enjoy learning more about the early days of a destination, then we can recommend a visit to the Port Arthur Historic Site.

While it is quite expensive to enter, your ticket provides entry to all the buildings and gives you access to a free introductory tour and a quick cruise around the harbour. We surprised ourselves with how much we got out of our visit to Port Arthur, the grounds have been kept in impeccable condition and if you ask the right questions you can learn a lot about the convicts’ past.

Alternative: Cape Raoul

looking at the dolerite stacks and the ocean on the Cape Raoul hike in the Tasman Peninsula

If history isn’t your thing and you’d like to test your legs, then make the drive over to the southwestern corner of the Tasman Peninsula to explore the cliffs of Cape Raoul. Honestly, we found the walk to Cape Raoul slightly more exciting than Cape Hauy and there are far fewer crowds.

The only reason we suggest Cape Hauy over Cape Raoul is due to the ease of location as it begins from the campground. But if you have time on your hands and you’d like to escape the crowds and stand at the edge of some mighty dolerite cliffs, then we highly recommend making the trip out to Cape Raoul.

Pro Tip: Check the surf report and if the conditions are right for Shipsterns Bluff, then it’s well worth adding a stop at the world-class surf break to see it pumping from the coastline. This is one of the world’s gnarliest waves and that would be incredible to witness!

Driving Times

Fortescue Bay Campground – Port Arthur: 25 minutes
Fortescue Bay Campground – Cape Raoul: 43 minutes
Port Arthur – Cape Raoul: 22 minutes

Click here for directions

Day 9: Tasman Peninsula To Hobart

For your final full day on your East Coast Tasmania road trip, start with a delicious coffee from Cubed Espresso Bar before exploring the unique rock formations near Eaglehawk Neck.

Then it’s time to say goodbye to the Tasman Peninsula and make your way south to Hobart. After checking into your accommodation, head to Battery Point near the harbour – where the Sunday Salamanca Market is held. Battery Point and the harbour are our favourite places to wander around and have many bars and restaurants to choose from.

Explore The Unique Rock Formations

Wandering on the Tessellated Pavement on our East Coast Tasmania Road Trip
Tessellated Pavement

Located along the rugged coastline just south of Eaglehawk Neck, you’ll discover two captivating rock formations – the Devil’s Kitchen and the Tasman Arch. These magnificent structures have been intricately carved by the untamed Tasman Sea. A brief walk connects these two attractions, allowing you to approach the cliff’s edge and fully appreciate the remarkable craftsmanship of wind and water.

But the most impressive rock formation is the Tessellated Pavement. Best visited at low tide, the Tessellated Pavement is a rare phenomenon formed by natural erosion. The result is a flat rock bed that has taken on the resemblance of mosaic tiles. Take the time to wander across the pavement, searching for sea life in the many rock pools.

Driving Times

Fortescue Bay – Eaglehawk Neck (rock formations): 30 minutes
Eaglehawk Neck – Hobart:
1 hour

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Where To Stay In Hobart

Riding an electric scooter through Salamanca in Hobart

As you would expect, there are no free camping options in Hobart. There are several private campgrounds scattered around the coastline near Hobart, but they are almost as expensive as the holiday parks – which offer more amenities.

  • Hobart Discovery Parks – This is the cheapest holiday park for a powered site – from $45 per site, per night – and is located a 15 minute drive north of the city.
  • Barilla Holiday Park – Located the same distance from town as the Discovery Park, Barilla is the most expensive at $60 per site, per night.
  • Big4 Hobart Airport Tourist Park – The Big4 is again, 15 minutes from the city but it is the closest option to the airport. The average price for a powered site is $55 per night.
  • Customs House Hotel – Very centrally located hotel with breakfast included
  • Million Dollar View – As the name suggests, this beautifully decorated house has insane views of the city and the harbour
  • Quest Savoy – These self-contained apartments are perfect if you’d rather cook dinner

Where To Eat In Hobart

Eating at Bar Wa Izakaya in Hobart
Bar Wa Izakaya
Bar Wa Izakaya food
Bar Wa Izakaya

Hobart has been described as a mini Melbourne on many occasions and this is partly due to the incredible food scene. No matter where you wander, you’ll find amazing places to eat and some of the best coffee in Tasmania.

Our all-time favourite place for dinner in Hobart is Bar Wa Izakaya – a Japanese restaurant that we are yet to find an equal for. For the best coffee, you must visit Pilgrim Coffee on Liverpool Street. And for breakfast, check out Criterion Street Cafe.

Day 10: Hobart

If you’ve booked yourself an afternoon flight out of Hobart, we highly recommend starting your day with an early morning drive up to kunanyi/Mt Wellington to catch the sunrise over Hobart’s stunning city. Then stick around to explore some of the beautiful walking trails that wind through the lush forests of kunanyi.

Create Your Own Walking Circuit From The Springs

Hiking on Mt Wellington near the rock climbing walls

There are countless walks that begin halfway down kunanyi/Mt Wellington at The Springs car park. Check out the map here and make your own circuit depending on how long you wish to walk.

When we visited kunanyi/Mt Wellington, we made a loop that included O’Grady’s Falls, the Octopus Tree and Sphinx Rock. This loop took us roughly 1.5 – 2 hours to complete. If you have extra time, we have been highly recommended to complete the Organ Pipes and Pinnacle Track.

Alternative: The MONA

The Huma Digestive syste show at the MONA in Hobart
The Huma Digestive System Show

If you’ve had enough hiking then visiting The MONA is the next best thing.

The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is famous for its modern and sometimes controversial artworks that make you think. And let’s not forget about the awesome architecture of the museum, with its underground tunnels and cleverly designed spaces. It’s a must-visit for art enthusiasts!

Driving Times

Hobart CBD – kunanyi/Mt Wellington: 25 minutes
kunanyi/Mt Wellington – The Springs: 6 minutes
The Springs – Hobart Airport: 35 minutes

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Final Thoughts

Now that is an epic East Coast Tasmania road trip if we do say so ourselves! Writing this guide brought back so many amazing memories of road tripping down the stunning east coast and we truly hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Remember that this itinerary is just a guide and we have included links to our additional guides for extra things to do on Tasmania’s East Coast if you’d rather have more options. We hope that this road trip outline has helped you plan your trip. If you need any extra advice or help, please feel free to leave a comment below or reach out to us via Instagram.

Happy Road Tripping 🙂