Devonport and the
Cradle Coast

Highlights | Accommodation | Road Trip Essentials

Cradle Mountain is the jewel of the Cradle Coast, but look beyond and you will also find a region overflowing with gourmet food, stunning coasts and a vibrant arts scene. 

Experience all this and more when you include the Cradle Coast in your Tasmanian road trip itinerary!

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For those travelling on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry, the Cradle Coast is your first mouth-watering taste of Tasmania. Stretching from Devonport in the east to Stanley in the west it’s the perfect place to slow down, unwind and relax.

The iconic Cradle Mountain is a must for any Tasmanian road trip itinerary, and further afield you’ll find quirky letterbox trails, towns colourfully draped in murals, spectacular volcanic ‘plugs’, and the largest working craft fair in the southern hemisphere.

Oh, and did I mention the food? 

All the food! Luxurious chocolate truffles, award-winning cheeses, the smoothest whiskies, the coldest artisanal beers – it’s a foodie paradise!

Read: Complete Guide to the ‘Spirit of Tasmania’ Ferry

Aerial view of Crater Lake and Cradle Mountain on your Lap of Tasmania road trip
Crater Lake and Cradle Mountain | 📷: Jason Charles Hill

Highlights of the Cradle Coast

Cradle Mountain

Nestled high in the alpine reaches of the UNESCO Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, Cradle Mountain has to be seen to be believed!

Snow on Cradle Mountain
Snow on Cradle Mountain | 📷: Pierre Destribats

Getting close to nature is what it’s all about, and there are many walking trails near Cradle Mountain catering to every type of traveller. On your doorstep you’ll find immersive short walks through ancient rainforest – keep your eyes open for the occasional furry wombat! And Dove Lake circuit is one of Tasmania’s most popular walks, providing stunning views of Cradle Mountain.

And when the weather closes in? In the heart of the village is the impressive Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery where film, photography and art installations from both local and international artists showcase the region and its rich history.

Whether you stay a day or a week, Cradle Mountain is a guaranteed highlight of your Tasmanian road trip!

Read More: 12 Must-Pack Items for Your Tasmania Holiday

Table Cape Tulips

Table Cape Tulip Farm on your Lap of Tasmania road trip
Table Cape Tulip Farm | 📷: Tourism Tasmania & Tony Crehan

The views from Table Cape lighthouse up and down Tasmania’s north coast are spectacular year-round, but spring (Sep-Oct) is the perfect time to visit Table Cape.

Why? It’s tulip season!

With the bright white lighthouse and steel-blue waters of Bass Strait a fierce backdrop, the sweeping rows of vibrant purple, pink, red and yellow tulips are an Instagrammer’s dream 📷

Read More: Tulips in Tasmania – Everything you need to know

Stanley and the 'Nut'

Looking across at The Nut on your Lap of Tasmania road trip
'The Nut' at Stanley | 📷: Emilie Ristevski

With the wild and woolly Roaring 40s in your hair and feet dangling high above the village of Stanley, you’ll understand why a chairlift is the best way to explore the ‘Nut’.

An ancient volcanic plug, the ‘Nut’ can be seen for miles around with its flat table-top sitting high above the shores of Bass Strait like a giant Lego brick.

See Highfield House on your Lap of Tasmania road trip
Highfield House | 📷:

Back at sea level, Highfield House is one of Tasmania’s earliest and most beautifully restored European settlements. Take a self-guided walking tour to discover all its secrets before returning to Stanley for a delicious hot meal at one of its quality cafes or restaurants.

If you’ve got the time, extend your road trip to the wild beaches of Arthur River and spend a day exploring the mysterious Tarkine – Australia’s largest remaining expanse of cool temperate rainforest.

🤔 Did you know…?

Take a deeeep breath, because measurements at Cape Grim show Tasmania’s north west coast has the cleanest air in the world! 💨💨💨

Leven River Cruises

One of Tasmania’s true hidden gems, the Leven River is an absolute paradise for birdwatchers and anyone else who loves to get close to nature.

Leven River Cruises Tasmania
Enjoy a day out on the water with Leven River Cruises

Just 20 minutes from Devonport, or 25 minutes from Burnie, a tour with Leven River Cruises is the best and most relaxing way of seeing this unique tidal waterway. 

Sightings of sea eagles, azure king fishers, goshawks and brown hawks are possible on every tour, and spectacular views are guaranteed from every seat. If you’re lucky you might even spot a Tassie platypus!

Kim and the team get some amazing feedback from their many happy customers, and they are regular winners of the ‘People’s Choice Award’ for Tasmanian tourism.

⭐ Special Offer!

Leven River Cruises are a proud ‘Friend’ of the Lap of Tasmania, and are offering Lap of Tasmania readers – that’s you! – with a very special offer…

Receive 10% OFF adult tickets when you use our LAPOFTAS code online, or mention the Lap of Tasmania when booking over the phone.

Click here to see their tours and check prices.

Sheffield - Tasmania's Town of Murals

Close to Devonport and at the foot of Mt Roland is the tiny town of Sheffield. It might be small, but it packs creative punch!

Visit Tasmazia and the Village of Lower Crackpot in your Lap of Tasmania road trip
Tasmazia and the Village of Lower Crackpot | 📷: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

You could spend hours walking its streets admiring the colourful artistic masterpieces adorning the walls – they don’t call it the ‘Town of Murals’ for nothing.

Nearby, quaintly named ‘Promised Land’ is home to Tasmazia and the Village of Lower Crackpot. The kids will have a ball exploring one of the world’s largest hedge mazes and walking the funny little streets of Lower Crackpot.

Still looking for things to do in Sheffield? Take the drive between Wilmot and Cradle Mountain to see one of Tasmania’s strangest sights – the Wilmot Novelty Letterbox Trail!

Cradle Coast Wilderness and Adventure

Would you like to explore ancient and untouched rainforest wilderness? Are you an adrenaline junkie? Or maybe you want to get up close and personal with some of Tasmania’s unique wildlife? The Cradle Coast is the place to be!

Experience the thrills of Cradle Mountain Canyons on your Lap of Tasmania road trip
Cradle Mountain Canyons | Photo: Tourism Tasmania and Rob Burnett

Combining cool rivers and plunging waterfalls with abseiling and natural water slides, Cradle Mountain Canyons offers an exciting range of half-day and full-day tours for all adventure lovers – just minutes from Cradle Mountain Village.

Or perhaps you’d prefer to get your grunt on, exploring Mt Roland’s ‘Devil Country’ by quad-bike? Forests, farmland, rocks, mud and hill climbs – these tours by Quad Bikes Tasmania have got the lot.

Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary is not only where you can say “G’day” to a Tasmanian Devil or spotted quoll, but it’s also one of Tasmania’s leading centres for the conservation of its native flora and fauna. The kids will love it!

Where to Eat and Drink on the Cradle Coast

Is there anyone else in the world where you can still find fresh produce and an ‘honour box’ by the side of the road? 

The scenery is spectacular, but if you’re a foodie you’ll find it impossible to take your eyes off all the delicious food found throughout the Cradle Coast.

Taste the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm Cafe on your Lap of Tasmania road trip
Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm Cafe | 📷: Danielle Prowse

Stanley

If you love old-fashioned friendly service combined with Tasmania’s freshest seafood and other seasonal produce then you’ll be in heaven at Touchwood in Stanley (their arts and crafts are also a must-see).

Truffle hunting isn’t something you come across every day. The tasting room at The Truffledore is open to the public for tastings and café style truffle lunches year round (except May and September), but from June to August you can unearth your own piece of ‘black gold’ on one of their famous truffle hunts!

Between Sheffield and Deloraine keep your eyes peeled for Ashgrove Cheese, Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm and Van Diemens Land Creamery. And a little closer to Launceston is the wonderful Hazelbrae Hazelnut Farm and their exceptional lazy lunches. All are conveniently located within 20 minutes of each other – food crawl anyone?

Visit Hellyers Road Distillery on your Lap of Tasmania road trip
Hellyers Road Distillery | 📷: Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman

If you enjoy the odd tipple then you must visit Hellyers Road Distillery near Burnie, Western Tiers Distillery in historic Westerway, or Southern Wild Distillery in Devonport. Hellyers has a magnificent range of whiskies, while Southern Wild create truly innovative gins using 100% Tasmanian grown ingredients like saffron and pepperberry. Western Tiers Distillery cover both gin and whisky, offering a real point of difference with their ultra-pure water, sourced direct from the Tasmanian highlands.

Beer lovers will find it hard to leave the hoppy heaven that is Seven Sheds Brewery in Railton, or the cute and quirky Buttons Brew Pub in Ulverstone (great for meals as well!).

For fresh and locally grown fruit and vegetables and a chance to meet the makers, visit the Burnie Farmer’s Market on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month.

🤔 Did you know…?

In 1886 Waratah was a booming mining town and it was the first place in Australia to receive electric street lights 💡

Cradle Coast Events

Tasmanian Craft Fair

See the Artwork Next to the Meander River on your Lap of Tasmania road trip
Artwork Next to the Meander River | 📷: Chris Crerar

Held every year in the heritage town of Deloraine, the Tasmanian Craft Fair is the largest working craft fair in the southern hemisphere. Held over 4 days, this festival celebrates artisans from all backgrounds and from all over the world.

International Mural Fest

See the Sheffield Murals on your Lap of Tasmania road trip
Sheffield Murals | 📷: Tourism Tasmania, Diane & Lindsay Stockbridge

The tiny town of Sheffield is covered in more than 60 murals year-round, but it really comes alive at Easter when it hosts the International Mural Fest. A competition for aspiring artists, and a festival for the public, Mural Fest showcases the very best in Australian artistic ‘street’ talent.

Chocolate Winter Fest

‘Wickedly delicious’ is the perfect way to describe this paradise for sweet-tooths. Tastings are plentiful, but best of all is the opportunity to join in one of the many chocolate-themed events. The ‘Chocolate Mousse Mayhem’ is a riot – think blindfolds and fast-feeding – and you’ll be intrigued by the ‘Wearable Chocolate’ competition.

Cradle Mountain Film Festival

Cradle Mountain is one of the best places where to see snow in Tasmania on your Lap of Tasmania road trip
Winter magic | 📷: Paul Fleming

Unearthing new film-making talent while celebrating the breadth and quality of Tasmanian adventure travel options, the Cradle Mountain Film Festival is a festival like no other. The films are short and plentiful, the location is picture perfect, and you’ll walk away full of inspiration for your own Tasmanian road trip adventures!

Cradle Coast Accommodation

There are a multitude of accommodation options throughout the Cradle Coast, catering to all budgets and styles of road trip.

Stay at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge on your Lap of Tasmania road trip
Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge | 📷: Jason Charles Hill

Cradle Mountain

Near Cradle Mountain you’ll find Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village to be a comfortable base from which to explore the region – the spa bath is huge! My wife and I stayed here to celebrate her birthday recently and could not fault the entire experience – the dinner at Hellyers Restaurant was exceptional 😊

Guests staying at Cradle Mountain Hotel receive complimentary access to the inspiring Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery. 

Or for something truly unique, book the King Billy Suite at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge and indulge in your own private outdoor hot tub.

The Ark Stanley Bed and Breakfast
The Ark Stanley Bed and Breakfast

Stanley

Stanley has a lovely mix of heritage and modern accommodation options. The Ark Stanley would have to be one of Tasmania’s most beautiful B&Bs, nestled at the foot of ‘The Nut’ – perfect for a couple of nights at least!

🥂 Special Offer!

Mention the Lap of Tasmania when booking your relaxing stay at The Ark Stanley and receive:

  • FREE cooked breakfast for direct bookings 🍳
  • Complimentary bottle of wine for stays of two or more nights 🍾
  • Late checkout to noon!
Valid for direct bookings only.
 

Check prices and availability

Stay at Coastal Pods Wynyard on your Lap of Tasmania road trip
Coastal Pods Wynyard | 📷: Kevin O'Daly

Wynyard

Why not use Wynyard’s excellent location for exploring the coast between Devonport and Stanley? We recommend staying at the quirky Coastal Pods Wynyard – transport containers with a difference!

The Grand on Macfie
The Grand on Macfie - Devonport

Devonport

Too many travellers disembark from the Spirit of Tasmania ferry in Devonport and then promptly head off into the sunset.

Big mistake!

Surrounded by water on three sides, Devonport is a sensational little city with plenty to see and do, and I love the heritage B&B experience on offer at The Grand on Macfie.

🎉 Special Offer!

Use my LAPOFTAS10 code online, or mention the Lap of Tasmania on the phone when booking your sumptuous king or queen suite at The Grand on Macfie and receive:

  • a generous 10% OFF room rates; and
  • FREE cooked breakfast 🍳

Click to check rates

Sheffield

In Sheffield you’ll be delighted by the charms of either The Station House or Grace Cottage. Both receive exceptional feedback from fellow road trippers and offer very reasonable rates.

Looking down from The Nut Chairlift on your Lap of Tasmania road trip
Looking Down at Stanley | 📷: Wai Nang Poon

Caravan Parks

Campervanners and caravanners are spoiled for choice on the Cradle Coast. Discovery Parks Cradle Mountain would have to be one of Australia’s most beautiful holiday parks, offering cabins, powered and unpowered sites.

At the foot of the ‘Nut’ in Stanley you’ll find the award-winning Stanley Cabin and Tourist Park.

In Devonport the best place to base yourself is at Discovery Parks Devonport – perfect for your first night in Tasmania after arriving on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry!

🏡 SAVE 20% at Discovery Parks Tasmania

Discovery Parks and the Lap of Tasmania are excited to offer you 20% OFF all rates!

Promo Code: LAPOFTAS

Bookable from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. Valid for site or cabin stays until 30 June 2022 at all five Discovery Parks in Tasmania.

Cradle Coast Weather

On the Cradle Coast you’ll experience two climates, with coastal cities enjoying cool and mild temperatures year-round, and alpine towns such as Cradle Mountain Village experiencing much colder temperatures.

Read More: The Best Time to Visit Tasmania

On the coast you will experience typical summer temperatures from 12°C to 20°C, while winter sees a drop to between 7°C and 12°C. At Cradle Mountain Village you can expect summer to be between 6°C and 17°C, while winters see temperatures dropping to between 0°C and 6°C. The Cradle Coast can get windy at times, particularly in the far north west where the ‘Roaring 40s’ often make their presence felt.

Cradle Coast Road Trip Essentials

Next destination on your Lap of Tasmania?

If you’re travelling clockwise, your next destination is Launceston and the Tamar Valley – we hope you love your wine!

Travelling anti-clockwise, your next destination is the beauty and fury of the West Coast wilds.

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