Little Swanport on the shores of Great Oyster Bay

Must-do summer road trips in Tassie

Tasmania is different in every direction, with so many spectacular drives to take in just one lifetime. Fiona Stocker has been packing up her car and family for years. Here are her top picks.

East Coast

The call of the vineyard and beach is strong on Tasmania’s eastern seaboard. The Great Eastern Drive gives you more than 200km of ocean splendour so it’s hard to pick favourites.

Our family’s favourite road to the east is the Lake Leake Highway as it’s the one we take on holiday. Heading east from Campbell Town, we make a beeline for the Devil’s Corner cellar door. The viewing platform, a container up-ended by an architect, sees the sparkling coastal plains laid out before you. Once the sea breezes have blown the cobwebs away, we head to the deck for the start of our epicurean journey, with wine tastings, local oysters and pizza for lunch.

Then it’s a short drive to the seaside town of Bicheno for dolphins in the bay, and yoga at sunrise on those round rocks with the signature orange lichen that’s a sign of the world’s cleanest air.

Drive time from Campbell Town: Approx 1 hour.

Fish and chips on the beach in Bicheno

Credit: Stu Gibson

Devil's Corner cellar door

Credit: Lusy Productions

Bicheno inlet from above

Credit: UWPhotog

Tasman Peninsula

You don’t have to don your walking boots or take to the high seas to appreciate the Tasman Peninsula, as there are views and experiences around every bend in the road.

From Eaglehawk Neck, the isthmus from which convicts tried to make their escape, head due south to the Doo Town blowhole and award-winning food van. Keep hugging the coast to Devils Kitchen, where the sea has worn cliffs into arches and rushes in to seethe below the viewpoints.

Break your journey at Port Arthur or mosey on to explore the southern peninsula.

Quiet roads lead to magnificent places like the aptly named Remarkable Cave. A drive and short walk to Cape Raoul puts you atop the tallest sea cliffs in the southern hemisphere, 300m-high dolerite rock columns. Expect spectacular views of craggy rock islands and all the sea air you can breathe in. The circuit back through Nubeena and the sheltered western peninsula is sleepier, but jaw-dropping wilderness is never far away on the Tasman.

Drive time from Eaglehawk Neck: Approx 1 hour, add another for Cape Raoul.

Absorb the splendour of Cape Raoul, the tallest sea cliffs in the southern hemisphere

Credit: Viktor Posov


The Tarkine is the second-largest cool-temperate rainforest in the world. It’s a heady mix of the ancient country of the Palawa people, historic mining sites and stunning geological features buried in heritage-protected forest.

From Smithton, the meandering tarmac road echoes the Arthur River, with many scenic stops. Look out for the limestone Trowutta Arch and its flooded sinkhole, a silent place steeped in atmosphere. After the cool dim forest, the Sumac Lookout presents views high over the Arthur River that carves its way through the landscape.

Leave time to experience the raw and untamed west coast and stand in awe as the Indian Ocean crashes over jagged rocks erupting from land and sea. Look for stops at Couta Rocks, and Sundown Point State Reserve for ancient rock carvings. The natural climax of the drive is where the Arthur River surges into the ocean at the township called – aptly – Edge of the World.

Drive time from Smithton: Approx 2 hours return.

Hiking to Trowutta Arch

Credit: Off the Path

The rugged wilderness of Tasmania’s western coastline

Credit: Southern Lightscapes-Australia

Arriving at Trowutta Arch

Credit: Rob Burnett


The winding road from the entrance to Cradle Mountain National Park up to Dove Lake and views of the mountain is like travelling in a time capsule through an ancient landscape.

Button-grass plains, King Billy pines and glacial ravines roll out alongside you, with the boardwalk accessible at points if you feel like getting amongst it. At Ronny Creek, explore a replica of the chalet built by Gustaf and Kate Weindorfer, who campaigned for this landscape to be protected in the early 1900s. The valley below the chalet is rich wombat territory, with the boardwalk passing right by the burrows.

Reach the top by car or shuttle bus and you’ll find Dove Lake, with a brand-new viewing station hunkered into the landscape offering views of the mountain and shelter from the weather. To venture further on foot, try a stroll to the boat shed, a three-hour lake circuit, or the more challenging Marions Lookout. On foot or by road, the views are stupendous.

Drive time from the entrance: Approx 30 minutes.

Dove Lake, Cradle Mountain

Credit: Garry Moore

Gift shopping in Evandale Village

Credit: Philip Game / Alamy Stock Photo

The Clarendon Arms

Credit: alastair bett

South Launnie Loop

If you love a quiet sense of yesteryear, do a loop through the townships south of Launceston.

Start at Longford and call in to Lofty for gorgeous home décor. Head east through Perth and lunch at Feast among the crockery collectables. End up in Evandale where the village shop has its original timber counter, and the Clarendon Arms takes pub food and deer-park styling to a new level.

Drive time from Longford: Approx 30 minutes.

If history appeals, do the same loop a little further south and your path will cross Brickendon, plus Woolmers and Entally Estates, elegant reflections of early colonial life.

Drive time from Longford: Approx 1 hour 15 minutes.