Port Arthur to Terraleah (2hr 42min Drive)

Due to the timing of our trip, we were not able to spend a night in Hobart – so we knew we wanted to make the most of our day getting up early and hitting the road. Luckily, we lined up perfectly with the Salamanca Markets where we spent our morning browsing and sampling local Tasmania craft, food, and spirit vendors.

Salamanca Markets in Hobart Tasmanian durning Dark Mofo Festival

After a morning spent browsing the markets, began the drive to the top mount Wellington. If you have the time, make sure you plan as there is a large variety of hikes that can be done.

Crunched for time, we drove to the top and were quickly soaked in the fog. If you are in Hobart for a few days try to time your journey to the top on a clear day as the conditions can quickly change.

We could not leave Hobart without stopping at the nearly 200-year-old Cascade Brewery, it felt like we were in a movie, the sun was shining through the trees, a live jazz band was playing, people were dancing, it really felt like we were in our own little world. Even if you are not a beer drinker is still worth the stop. We now had a decent drive to Tarra Leah where we would spend the night before heading to Strahan. Would highly recommend doing this drive in the day, visiting Tassie in the winter meant our days were short-and this part of the drive is riddled with massive forests and some of the tallest trees Australia has to offer. The town of Tarraleah, really is not much of a town, more so a village that is really in the middle of nowhere, what isn’t in Tasmania though right? Filled with old homes from the early 1930’s surrounded by walking trails, heaps of wildlife, no cell service or Wi-Fi. Truly off the grid, a place we could have spent many more nights at.

Tarraleah to Strahan (2 Hour 41min)

We arrived in Tarraleah after the sun had gone down, we spent the morning exploring Tarraleah-to our surprise we came across some Scottish Highland Cows that live on the property among other wildlife throughout the scenic walking trails.

On our way to Strahan, we stopped at Lake St Clair, Mendelson Falls where we would enjoy lunch, walk through the dense, and lush forest of the wild west coast of Tasmania. Before reaching Strahan, we drove through Queenstown, a quietening town with loads of history. Here you can hop on the Historic Wilderness Railway or enjoy the views of the horsetail Falls and Crystal Blue Iron Blow Lookout. After a few long days of driving, we used our time in Strahan to slow down, enjoying an easy walk at Hogarth Falls, dinner at Hamer’s Bar & Bistro, and off to bed at the Strahan Beach Tourist Park before heading to Cradle Mountain for two big days of hiking.

The West Coast of Tasmania is far more remote than the East, we had heard this before coming but did not know what to expect. The roads are filled with a contrast of tight corners/dense forest, and long wide-open straights with breathtaking views creating an amazing driving experience.

Strahan to Cradle Mountain (1 Hour 52min)

Driving to Cradle Mountain we passed through a few other quiet mining towns (Zeehan & RoseBerry) make sure you stop in at Roseberry if you need any groceries or snacks before heading to the National Park – it’s your last chance to do so and will save you lots of money Upon arrival to the cradle make sure to stop at the visitor centre, everyone there is informative and makes planning your hiking a whole lot easier.

Tasmania Highway leaving Strahan and driving to Craddle Mountain

Be sure to pack for all seasons, the conditions at Cradle Mountain are known to change very quickly at any time of the year. We booked our accommodation at the Waldheim Cabins, the only option of accommodation that is in the National Park allowing us to park for a few days to enjoy the national park. The cabins were awesome, fully equipped with essentials, the hiking trails at your doorstep, and only a 15-minute drive from the visitor centre and restaurants. Before settling into our cabin, we went on the enchanted Forest and King Billy walk, a perfect warmup through the rainforest filled with some of Australia’s oldest trees and views of Cradle Mountain.

Cradle Mountain National Park Tasmania

Cradle Mountain

Hike with essentials, the hiking trails at your doorstep, and only a 15-minute drive from the visitor centre and restaurants. Before settling into our cabin, we went on the enchanted Forest and King Billy walk, a perfect warmup through the rainforest filled with some of Australia’s oldest trees and views of Cradle Mountain.

Two women walking through Cradle Mountain National Park in Tasmania

Staying at Waldheim Cabins was perfect as it meant we could hit the trails early in the morning avoiding waiting for a morning shuttle and beat the morning rush. Keep in mind that there are a variety of accessible trails for all levels of hikers-know your limit and hike within it. As the sun was rising, we started on the overland track aiming to be at Marion Lookout as the sun breached over the clouds.  Luckily, we timed things perfectly. The views at Marion were simply amazing, exhausted from the climb up we took time to enjoy the views of Dover Lake and Cradle Mountain. We continued up to the Face Track over to the Lake Rodway Track, and eventually to the Lake Lilla Track that would take us back to our Cabin. The grasslands along the Lake Lilla Track were filled with wombats, everywhere you looked you could see the furry little animal’s heads down munching on some grass. The perfect ending to a long 7 Hour Day of hiking through the National Park.

Wombat eating grass in Tasmania National Park

Cradle Mountain to Launceston (2 Hour 10min)

Heading back to Hobart airport, you will start to notice the landscape changing back to what it once was when you started your trip. Driving through the small town of Sheffield we stopped to grab a meat pie at Bossimis Bakeryin. Sore from a full day of hiking we enjoyed our pies from the comfort of car. After arriving back in Launceston, we spent our afternoon walking the CBD, enjoying a history lesson at James Boag Brewery (founded in 1881), stopping in at the cataract gorge, and enjoying some sweets at the Gouralay’s Sweet Shop.

With an early flight in the morning, we wanted to be close to the Launceston airport, staying at the Old Tudor Hotel allowed enjoys our last dinner on the water at Levee’s to cap off an amazing trip around Tasmania.

All in all, Tasmania exceeded all our expectations from the amazing coastline, seafood, and history on the East Coast to the vibrant city of Hobart, and the wild wilderness, adventure on the West. Tasmania really has a little bit of everything for everyone and is a trip no matter the length would recommend time and time again. A trip of this nature would not be possible without a Hobart airport car hire. #Therestartshere.

Mountain reflections on Dove lake.

Photographer and videographer Brandon Boot‘s take on Tasmania. This blog article was written in collaboration with Brandon and takes you through firsthand Brandon’s trip from our Launceston airport location doing a roundtrip to Hobart and back.