Road Tripping - The Highlights of Tasmania

Tasmania is regarded as "a world apart, not a world away" and this is exactly what makes it such a special place for a holiday.

Tasmania is an Australian island and state and is positioned 240 kilometres away from the mainland, at the southern end of the Bass Strait. Boasting a large and practically untouched natural environment, Tasmania is the perfect destination for a driving holiday, offering endless road tripping options that expose visitors to Tasmania's most impressive and awe inspiring scenery.

The best place to start your Tasmanian adventure is in the capital city of Hobart. From here, travel north along the glorious East Coast where you will experience long, sweeping, white sand beaches and gorgeous aqua-coloured waters.

Freycinet National Park is a destination you simply cannot miss along the way. Freycinet and Coles Bay is one of Tasmania's most popular holiday destinations, boasting dramatic granite outcrops, stunning bays and gorgeous hidden beaches.

Continue your adventure until you reach the small township of St Mary's. This charming town is positioned beneath St Patrick's Head and is close to some of the East Coast's major attractions. Venture into the Douglas Aspley National Park or check out the spectacular forests and coastal views of the Rocky Hills.

St Mary's itself offers a great range of accommodation, a fabulous craft gallery and a suitable range of shops and supermarkets. It may be small, but it is definitely charming.

Your adventure in Tasmania will continue as you head inland to the city of Launceston. Stop in the towns of St Helens and Scottsdale along the way, before spending some time exploring the city of Launceston and its surrounds.

This stylish city is home to some of Australia's top restaurants and is perfect for relaxing and soaking up a vibrant cultural atmosphere. The Tamar Valley is located just nearby and boasts a colourful collection of vineyards and wineries that offer some of Tasmania's most impressive wines.

The nearby historic towns of Evandale and Longford are also great places to visit, as they have preserved their 19th Century architecture and will intrigue history buffs from far and wide.

If history is something you are interested in, the city of Devonport is also sure to please. Devonport is Tasmania's third largest city and is home to attractions such as The Bluff, the Mersey River, while also being the home of the Spirit of Tasmania.

The North West Coast of Tasmania truly is a magnificent place to visit. The drive along the Bass Strait will take you to fascinating places like Penguin, Burnie, Wynyard and Stanley, while also allowing you to discover untouched beaches and glorious hinterland.

Heading into the Western Wilderness will take you within a close proximity to Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and the mighty Franklin and Gordon Rivers. This is an area rich in convict history and wilderness adventures in these parts is a must.

Once you arrive in the town of Queenstown you will almost literally be entering an entirely different world. Queenstown is the largest settlement on the West Coast and is best known for its copper mines and smelters. Take a journey on the West Coast Wilderness Railway and discover what this area is really all about.

Your journey will come to a close as you venture south back to your starting point in Hobart. There is so much to see and do along the way you will need to set aside at least two weeks minimum to explore it all.

Tasmania is a land of brilliant contrasts and is a must for any true Australian traveler.

Christine Barton

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