With Dark Mofo lighting up Hobart this month, now is the time to head south and explore the beauty of our little island state. Whether you are an adventurer, eager to scope out the beautiful scenery, rugged terrain and abounding national parks, or a fierce foodie with a taste for the finer things in life, a weekend of exploring Tassie is an absolute must. Though with so much to do and so little time, it can be hard to plan your trip so, lucky for you dear friend, Smudge has done the heavy lifting and sorted out a nifty little road trip that will tick the bucket list of best places to visit around the state.
Begin your adventure sailing away on Australia’s favourite ferry, The Spirit of Tasmania. An overnight or day-long cruise will get you in the mood for the adventure, and allow you to bring the car and all the clothes you need.
After disembarking in Devonport, drive straight to Launceston, Tassie’s second largest city. Go for a walk along the Tamar River or explore Cataract Gorge by boat. By dinner, you are sure to be eager to feast on some of that famed Tassie produce. An evening at Black Cow Bistro for some grass-fed, free-range, dry-aged, premium Tassy beef or at Stillwater for a stunning meal of contemporary Tasmanian cuisine, and you will know you have landed in a bountiful state.
If you are keen to kick on afterwards, head over to Saint John Craft Beer Bar, an oasis for craft beer lovers.
Wake up with a coffee from Provenance Coffee Co., and if you have scheduled your stay to be in town on a Saturday, head down to the Harvest Launceston Community Farmers’ Market. You can stock up on supplies for the rest of your adventure across to the Great Eastern Drive to see all that the east coast has to offer.
Beginning in St Helens, your leisurely day of driving must include stops at Wineglass Bay, Coles Bay or Freycinet. The beaches here are some of the country’s most spectacular and the crystal-clear water will tempt you even in the Tassie chill. Top the day off with a meal and a few glasses of pinot noir at Spring Vale Wines in Cranbrook and you’re Tassie experience could not be more authentic.
Take the next day at a relaxed pace driving along the coastline. Meander your way to Orford, stop in to stock up your wine supply at Darlington Vineyard and then we recommend you park the car and hop on a ferry to Maria Island. Maria Island not only has its fair share of beautiful east coast beaches but it is also home to some incredible walking tracks, including the award-winning Maria Island walk, one of the eight Great Walks of Australia.
Heading off from Orford, it is time to leave the beautiful East Coast behind you towards the big city lights of Hobart. Make sure you stop by Richmond and Cambridge on the way, a lunch at Frogmore Creek certainly wouldn’t go astray either.
Once you get to Hobart you are really spoilt for choice with activities. This town is full of history, beautiful buildings and some very impressive scenery. Active folk will be quick to head to Mount Wellington for a walk, but we know our foodie friends will be chewing at the bit to get themselves to one of the city’s finest restaurants. So, the real decision will be where to head for dinner, with the likes of Franklin, Aløft and A Tiny Place to choose, we know your choice will not be an easy one.
If you aren’t rising early to jet back to work, there is still so much to do and see. If you have time, we really recommend you stay a few days. A visit to MONA is an obvious must, and on Saturday, you can explore the Salamanca Market with over 300 stallholders selling fresh produce as well as arts and crafts from across Tasmania, or take a little drive off the beaten track towards some delicious surprises.
Perhaps a cooking class with the amazing Rodney and Séverine Dunn at The Agrarian Kitchen Cooking School tickles your fancy? Or alternatively lunch at their award-winning restaurant The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery & Store.