15+ Unmissable Things To In East Coast Tasmania

The east coast of Tasmania is unlike any other coastline in Australia and it’s fast becoming one of the most popular places to visit, for good reason! The breathtaking coastline is an explorer’s dream, where you can pack your days with hiking, surfing, swimming and indulging in delicious wine and local produce – plus so much more.

We’ve spent the last two years traipsing up and down Tasmania’s east coast and fancy ourselves to be quite the experts on this topic. So if you’re looking for a local’s insight into the best things to do on your east coast Tasmania road trip, look no further. 

In this post, we’ll share our absolute favourite places along the east coast of Tasmania, including a bonus list of extra adventures and locations that didn’t quite make the cut. And to help you plan your road trip, we’ve listed the best things to do on Tasmania’s east coast in order from north to south.

Sunrise from the peak of Mt Freycinet while hiking the Freycinet Peninsula Circuit

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase of a product we recommend through one of our links, we may make a small commission at no extra cost to you! This helps to support our blog and enables us to continue providing you with helpful tips and exciting adventures, so thank you 🙂

15 Best Things To Do On Your East Coast Tasmania Road Trip

1. Visit Eddystone Point Lighthouse

Eddystone Point Lighthouse at golden hour

Marking the northern end of the iconic Bay of Fires, Eddystone Point is a stunning coastal oasis where you’ll likely find peace and quiet as you explore the Eddystone Point Lighthouse and wander around the orange-hued coastline.

The 35-metre-tall pink granite tower was built in 1889 and is still in action to this day. For this reason, entry into the lighthouse is prohibited, however, a visit is still worthwhile to wander the grounds and experience the breathtaking vistas.

In addition to being a stunning sightseeing location, the crystal clear waters surrounding Eddystone Point are one of our favourite spots to swim, snorkel or surf when the conditions are favourable. And if you choose to stay at Deep Creek Campground for a night or two, we suggest driving out to Mt William to summit the coastal peak – ideally for sunrise.

Eddystone Point is slightly isolated from the rest of the Bay of Fires, which adds to its charm. The point can only be reached by leaving the coast at Binalong Bay and driving north on the unsealed Ansons Bay Road.

2. Spend A While At Binalong Bay

Sunrise at Binalong Bay Point in the Bay of Fires

While there are loads of things to do in the Bay of Fires and many beaches to choose from, if you only have one day to explore the region, we suggest making a beeline for Binalong Bay. The reason being, Binalong Bay provides easy access to a number of walking trails that begin around the point and it provides a great starting point to explore the surrounding bays.

Plus, lunch at Meresta is the perfect way to break up a day of swimming, walking and sightseeing. Here, you can dine on fresh seafood or the best pizza we’ve tasted on the northeast coast and sip on delicious Tasmanian wines.

If you’re planning more than one day to explore the Bay of Fires, you’ll find many wonderful places to stay near Binalong Bay – including some of the best free campsites in Australia! 

3. Pop Into The Pyengana Valley To Chase Some Waterfalls

Standing below the double tiered waterfall, Halls Falls, near St Helens  on the east coast of Tasmania

Although Pyengana doesn’t technically count as something to do on the coast, it’s well worth the quick detour from St Helens to spend the afternoon chasing waterfalls. Within the Pyengana Valley, approximately 30 minutes west of St Helens, you’ll find two stunning waterfalls hidden within dense temperate rainforests.

Halls Falls and St Columba Falls are located on either side of the Tasman Hwy, within 10 minutes of each other and both allow an easy walk to reach the waterfalls. We recommend beginning with Halls Falls, then visiting St Columba Falls and stopping in at the Pyengana Dairy for a cheese tasting before returning to St Helens.

4. Send It At The St Helens Mountain Bike Park

Whipping over gap jump on Icarus in St Helens MTB Trails on the east coast of Tasmania

Swap your swimmers for your MTB helmet and spend the day shredding the epic downhill and cross-country trails at St Helens Mountain Bike Park. Located just south of town, this is our local MTB park and while it’s no Blue Derby, you’ll still find some of the best free trails in Australia at St Helens.

Our favourite downhill runs within the St Helens MTB park are Mac 10 and Icarus, which are best suited for intermediate to advanced riders. If you’re newer to mountain biking, try out Rock Lobster for some fun descents mixed with a little pedalling.

If mountain bikes didn’t make the packing list for your east coast Tasmania road trip, you can hire bikes from the Big4 holiday park, VertigoMTB or Gravity Isle who also provides a shuttle service for the downhill tracks.

5. Surf At Scamander

Surfing perfect waves at Shelly Beach, one of the best things to do on the east coast of Tasmania

While the majority of famous surf beaches are located on the south or west coast of Tasmania, the east coast can still produce some fun waves for all levels. And the best place to find these waves is in Scamander, 15 minutes south of St Helens.

Scamander and the neighbouring town of Beaumaris boast a number of surf breaks, with the most popular being Dark Hollow and Shelly Point. You’ll often find these car parks packed full of keen surfers throughout the weekend but if you get in the water early, there’s a strong chance you’ll have the waves to yourself!

6. Hike To St Patricks Head

Admiring the view of a cloud inversion at St Patricks Head on the east coast of Tasmania

St Patricks Head is one of our favourite coastal hikes, which allows you to gaze out over the entire northeast coast of Tasmania from atop its pointed peak. While you’ll have to venture inland slightly, St Patricks Head is well worth the detour into St Marys and will reward you with a short 1 hr climb through dense eucalypt forests before delivering you to the bouldered summit.

If you’re confident hiking in the dark, this is an excellent trail to do for a sunrise or sunset mission. The almost perfectly symmetrical shape of St Patricks Head casts a triangular shadow over the sea at sunset and stretches out to the southern ranges of Ben Lomond National Park at sunrise.

7. Explore Apsley Gorge And Waterhole

For another inland adventure, turn off the Tasman Hwy right before Bicheno and spend the day wandering through Apsley Gorge. The Apsley Waterhole, found only 1 km from the car park, is the best place to shelter from the heat on a rare hot summer’s day.

But even in mild weather, you won’t regret exploring Apsley Gorge and the crystal-clear turquoise waterhole. The car park for Apsley Gorge is just 7 km from the highway and to complete the full circuit, allow approximately 2 – 3 hours of walking.

8. Go Snorkelling At Bicheno

Waubs Bay, the best place to snorkel on the east coast of Tasmania

The predominantly calm Tasman sea allows for sensational snorkelling all the way down the east coast of Tasmania, and one of the favourite places for this is Bicheno. Waubs Bay, located just east of the centre of town, provides the perfect spot to chuck on some flippers and explore what’s beneath the crystal blue water.

And if you’ve arrived in Bicheno when the town is buzzing with like-minded tourists, you can beat the crowds by walking south from the Bicheno Blowhole to the secluded Rice Pebble Beach, another magical spot to snorkel.

There are many other spots we would also recommend for snorkelling, such as Friendly Beaches – one of the best beaches on the east coast of Tasmania, found a short 15 minutes south of Bicheno. However, the reason we picked Bicheno is that the town itself is worth a mention and provides the perfect base for multiple adventures as you drive between St Helens and Freycinet National Park.

9. Summit Mount Amos

Standing on the Summit of Mt Amos, one of the best hikes on the east coast of Tasmania

If you’re searching for a healthy mix of challenge, excitement and mind-blowing views then look no further than Mount Amos. Part of The Hazards – a pink granite mountain range rising from the Freycinet Peninsula – Mount Amos is the best hike in Freycinet National Park for the adventurous.

The 4 km return walk will test your fear of heights as you scramble up almost vertical pink granite slabs on your way to the summit. But once you arrive at the bouldered peak, you’re rewarded with the absolute best view of the famous Wineglass Bay below.

Due to its technical nature, allow 3 – 4 hours to complete the Mount Amos hike – plus a little more to truly absorb the coastal vistas from multiple vantage points on the summit.

10. Walk To The Iconic Wineglass Bay

Wineglass Bay at sunrise from the summit of Mt Freycinet

The Freycinet National Park is most famously known for the stunning Wineglass Bay and once you set your eyes upon the perfectly curved bay flanked by pink granite mountains, you’ll understand why.

With translucent turquoise water rolling onto fine white sand, backed by one of the most alluring mountain ranges on the east coast of Tasmania, you’ll have a hard time leaving once you reach the shoreline.

There are three walks that include a stop at Wineglass Bay which range in duration and difficulty. In addition, you can simply walk to the Wineglass Bay Lookout and gaze over the magnificent bay. Here’s a little information on each walking option:

  • Wineglass Bay Lookout: This 2.9 km return walk predominantly follows a wide-groomed path to a lookout platform with beautiful views of Wineglass Bay and takes approximately 1 – 2 hours to complete.
  • Wineglass Bay Walk: To reach the pure white sands of Wineglass Bay, you’ll continue past the lookout and descend a long set of stairs to the sandy shore. This is a 6 km return walk that takes on average 2 – 3 hours.
  • Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach Circuit: Our favourite day hike in Freycinet National Park, this circuit includes both sides of the isthmus and provides a beautiful display of contrast between both beaches. The circuit is 11.6 km and takes roughly 3 – 5 hours.
  • Freycinet Peninsula Circuit: This 2 – 3 day hike is the ultimate way to experience all that the Freycinet Peninsula has to offer as it allows you to cross Wineglass Bay, summit Mt Graham and Mt Freycinet on the southern side of the isthmus and return via Hazards Beach.

11. Ride Around Maria Island

Walking through the spectacular Painted Cliffs on Maria Island on the east coast of Tasmania

Many question whether it’s worth taking the trip to Maria Island, which can only be accessed by boat, but there should be no doubt. Maria Island holds incredible beauty within its history-rich landscape and provides endless things to do for a day or two exploring the island.

Ideally, you would spend two days on the island, camping at near Darlington or sleeping in the old penitentiary building. This allows you to truly experience all that Maria Island has to offer – and gives you the chance to see a Tasmanian Devil in the wild!

But even if you have only a single day to spare, grab your bike (or hire one on the island) and ride around the myriad of attractions found on Maria Island. Our top two spots not to miss are the Painted Cliffs and the summit of Bishop and Clerk.

Visit Encounter Maria Island’s website for up-to-date information on bike hire, ferry times and prices.

12. Wander Along The Monstrous Sea Cliffs At Cape Hauy 

Hiking the snaking trail on the final stretch of the Cape Hauy Walk in the Tasman Peninsula

The Tasman Peninsula is home to the tallest sea cliffs in the southern hemisphere and they’re a mighty sight to behold. The dark grey dolerite columns contrast impressively against the wild blue ocean and the dense eucalypt forest that creeps close to the cliff edge.

Out of all three capes, Cape Hauy is the easiest to get to and it takes approximately 3 to 4 hours to complete the 9.5 km return track. But being the easiest sure doesn’t take away from the immense beauty you’ll witness as you emerge from the foliage onto the dolerite cape.

In addition to Cape Hauy, you’ll find various other hikes in the Tasman Peninsula including the popular Three Capes Track and our favourite – Cape Raoul.

13. Learn A Little About The Convicts At Port Arthur

The Penitentiary and recreational oval at Port Arthur on Tasmania's east coast

I’ll be honest, Port Arthur won’t be everyone’s cup of tea – especially due to the ticket price. However, if you’re interested in history and want to learn more about the convict era in Tasmania, then Port Arthur is well worth your time.

We surprised ourselves with how much we gained from visiting Port Arthur and we’re glad we chose to visit. The grounds are kept in impeccable condition with a few buildings left in ruins and others restored to allow you to experience what life would have been like behind bars.

14. Admire The Unique Rock Formations On The Tasman Peninsula

Standing over the Tessellated Pavement on the Tasman Peninsula in Tasmania

Along with the spectacular hiking trails found on the Tasman Peninsula, you’ll also experience some of the most unique rock formations in Tasmania – all within a short distance from your car.

These rock formations include the Remarkable Cave, Tasman Arch, Devil’s Kitchen, Tesselated Pavement and the Tasman Blowhole. Take the afternoon to drive from one phenomenon to another, stopping in at the Lavender Farm for lunch and a lavender ice cream.

Remember to check the tide to ensure you arrive at the Tesselated Pavement and Remarkable Cave at low tide. And if you run out of time to visit every rock formation, we suggest skipping the Tasman Blowhole and the Devil’s Kitchen. 

728*90

15. Search For Albino Wallabies On Bruny Island

Found just south of Hobart, Bruny Island is a destination for all the senses with dramatic landscapes and delicious produce. Requiring a ferry to cross the channel, Bruny Island is a great destination to spend a couple of days.

While on the island, you’ll have the opportunity to explore a number of coastal walking trails – the Fluted Cape being the best – and visit one of the oldest lighthouses in Australia. And once you’ve finished exploring, indulge in delicious local honey, cheese, beer and whiskey. 

But perhaps the main reason tourists flock to Bruny Island is the chance to lay eyes upon the elusive albino wallabies that roam freely on the island. Unfortunately, we weren’t lucky enough to spot a white wallaby on our last visit to Bruny Island but there is always next time!

Other Things To Do On Your East Coast Tasmania Road Trip

the extremely turquoise blue lake due to high aluminium levels known as the little blue lake in north east tasmania

Below is a list of things to do on the east coast of Tasmania that deserve an honourable mention and should be included if you have more time to spare or are looking for some tasty restaurant, cafe and winery suggestions.

Final Thoughts

You could honestly spend two weeks travelling down the east coast of Tasmania and still run out of time to experience all that there is to see and do. But after exploring the east coast countless times, these are our favourite things to do that we strongly suggest you include in your east coast Tasmania road trip.

What are your favourite things to do on the east coast of Tasmania? We’d love to hear your suggestions below and as always, please feel free to ask us any questions you may have in the comment section.

Happy Exploring 🙂