ssshhhh….don’t tell anyone, but I think the beaches, wineries and seafood of Tassie’s sun-drenched eastern coastline are the best in Australia
The perfect way to experience this beautiful region? A Tasmania east coast road trip of course!
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There’s no other way to say it – the East Coast of Tasmania is simply stunning!
At every graceful curve in the road you’ll find pure white sands, sparkling blue waters, hidden waterholes and pristine islands.
And when you feel like a break there’s always an award-winning cool climate winery, the freshest seafood straight from the Tasman Sea, or a peaceful stretch of sand just waiting for you to spread the blanket and relax with a picnic.
The East Coast of Tasmania is a road trip paradise, and I know you’ll have the time of your life!
Keep reading to find out more, and how you can plan your Tasmania east coast road trip itinerary.
Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park is consistently ranked in the world’s Top 10 beaches! 🏖️
No cars. No shops. The only sounds are the wind in your hair, waves on golden sand, and the occasional hairy boulder (ie. wombat!) snuffling its way to its next feed – this is my favourite place in all of Tasmania – the marvelous Maria Island!
A weekend is ideal, but even a day trip to Maria Island is all you need to see the swirling colours of the Painted Cliffs, discover ancient fossils at Fossil Bay, and learn about Darlington’s fascinating history.
A lot of visitors like to take the ferry from Triabunna wharf and spend the day either by foot or on bike exploring its many trails and sights. But I think the best option is a tour with Maria Island Cruises!
Not only do you get to enjoy lunch on the island and the opportunity to explore by foot, but you also have the choice of either doing a full circumnavigation of the island by boat, or heading north and seeing the rainbow colours and gorgeous wildlife of Ile des Phoques.
Whichever way you choose to incorporate Maria Island into your East Coast itinerary, you are guaranteed to fall in love with this untouched corner of Tasmania.
Use my LAPOFTAS code when booking your day out with Maria Island Cruises, and receive a a generous 10% OFF the price of your cruise!
Valid for direct bookings only.
Tiny coves splashed with vibrant red and orange, sweeping beaches, tumbled down boulders and rolling dunes – the stretch of coast known as the ‘Bay of Fires‘ is one very special corner of the world.
There are plenty of accommodation options in and around Beaumaris Beach, St Helens and Binalong Bay itself from which to base yourself. For a great day out on your east coast Tasmania road trip I recommend slowly working your way up the coast from Binalong Bay, stopping into Swimcart Beach and The Gardens before continuing by foot through the dunes and along the water’s edge.
In recent years it has been very exciting to see St Helens evolve as one of Tasmania’s best mountain biking destinations. St Helens Mountain Biking Trails are some of the most scenic in the world – where else can you cycle from the mountains all the way down to the sea?!
Bicheno is one of Tasmania’s most popular holiday destinations for the locals, and it’s easy to see why.
When the swell is pumping the Bicheno Blowhole is the place to be. Remember to keep your distance though, or you might get very wet!
Penguin tours are a lot of fun for the whole family and surfers will have a blast at Redbill Beach. Apsley Gorge has a range of hiking trails – or you could simply take your swimming togs and float across the cool, turquoise waters of Apsley Waterhole.
You thought the Bay of Fires was beautiful? Just wait until you feel the squeaky clean sand of Wineglass Bay between your toes!
Freycinet National Park is one of Tasmania’s gems, and the fantastic thing is that you don’t need to be an ultrafit athlete to see its best bits.
Coles Bay is right on Freycinet’s doorstep and it’s a fun place to put your feet up. Just minutes away is Tasmania’s most popular short walk – Wineglass Bay Lookout – while the more adventurous can either catch a sunrise from Mt Amos, or walk all the way down to Wineglass Bay and back along Hazards Beach.
Our friends at Fork+Foot have a great description of this Wineglass Bay hike.
Want to see the perfection of Wineglass Bay from the skies – why not splash out on a scenic flight?
The East Coast food and wine options are so plentiful it’s hard to know where to start!
Around St Helens you’ll find excellent Pinot Noir wines at the cellar door of Priory Ridge wines – so good they are served at Bennelong restaurant at the Sydney Opera House! Fresh Pacific Oysters are available direct from the shed at Lease 65, while Lifebuoy Cafe makes the best breakfast in town.
Driving south to Bicheno you’ll see the signs to Iron House Brewery at Four Mile Creek. Stop by and taste one of four styles of beer, ranging from their aptly named East Coast Pale Ale to the unusual Sweet Milk Stout.
Bicheno is a town built on fishing, so why not pick up a seafood platter from the Lobster Shack and have a lazy day by the water? Or if you’re short on time you’ll appreciate the Farm Shed East Coast Wine Centre. They’ve got wine-tastings and sales covering not only all the East Coast wineries, but even some of the lesser known East Coast gin and whisky distilleries.
Cranbrook and Apslawn
It’s south of Bicheno that things really start to heat up! Cranbrook and Apslawn may be tiny, but between them you’ll find more than half a dozen wineries offering stunning views, clever wines and delicious meals for discerning foodies.
Devils Corner, Milton Vineyard and Gala Estate are three of the best. And as the weather starts to warm you can’t miss the delicious food from ‘Mel’s Kitchen’ at Spring Vale Winery!
Coles Bay may be famous for its natural attractions, but if you love your seafood then Freycinet Marine Farm is an essential pit stop on your road trip itinerary. Scallops, lobster, abalone…they’ve got the lot, and it’s all 100% local.
As you make your way south towards Swansea and beyond I recommend stopping at Kate’s Berry Farm where you can pick your own fruit and enjoy some delicious desserts. It’s guaranteed fun for both littl’uns and big’uns.
And that’s just scratching the surface of all the foodie options on Tasmania’s East Coast!
No one is quite sure of the reason behind Swansea’s famous ‘Spiky Bridge’ – maybe you can discover it’s secret?
From sea to vine, Bicheno is central to Tasmania’s East Coast food and wine scene and every November they celebrate with the exciting Bicheno Food and Wine Festival. Vineyard lunches, lobster and wine pairings, surf schools and music on the lawns – festival tickets often sell out, so don’t leave it too late!
What an unforgettable experience to see a whale’s huge fluke slapping the water, or the spray from its blow hole as it takes another deep breath. Tasmania’s East Coast is one of the best places in Australia to witness these majestic creatures as they slowly make their annual migrations north and south.
Showcasing fine local wines and spirits, and produce such as local shellfish, wallaby, lamb and bush foods, the East Coast Harvest Odyssey (ECHO) is a wonderful festival for lovers of food and the great outdoors – celebrating harvest through history.
It’s when the temperature drops that the East Coast arts scene heats up! Every June you can follow the arts trail from Binalong Bay to Four Mile Creek, enjoying live music, dance, exhibitions, cooking competitions and much, much more.
There are so many fantastic places to stay on the East Coast of Tasmania and I couldn’t possibly cover them all, but here are a few that really stand out and that I know you’ll love.
Bay of Fires
This might sound a little bit left-field, but when I visit the Bay of Fires I actually prefer to stay in Beaumaris Beach, just a few minutes south. It’s the perfect way to escape the tourists and snap up your own private stretch of sand for a picnic or dip in the water.
There are a number of quality options in the area, but the best by far is award-winning Beaumaris Beach Guest House – the ideal boutique bed and breakfast for your weekend escape!
Use my LAPOFTAS code when booking your beach escape at Beaumaris Beach Guest House and receive 5% OFF all room rates!
Valid for direct bookings only, and not available in combination with other offers.
Coles Bay and Freycinet
Coles Bay provides many accommodation options close to the hiking trails and beaches of the magnificent Freycinet National Park.
Freycinet Lodge is the only accommodation inside Freycinet National Park. Their ‘pavilion’ rooms are spectacular.
Experience stunning panoramas of the iconic ‘Hazards’ from Edge of the Bay Resort – or for the ultimate in luxury you could stay at multi-award winning Saffire Freycinet right next door.
Swansea is an excellent option if you want to be within driving distance of Freycinet, but need a more cost-effective place to stay. I know a lot of locals agree with me as well when I say that the views of The Hazards is even better from Swansea, than from Coles Bay!
Freycinet Waters is an absolutely wonderful little bed and breakfast that I recommend to everyone wanting a place to stay that represents incredible value for money. Located just metres away from the beach, nearly every room has water views and you are just a short walk from all the eateries and other attractions of this seaside escape.
Mention the Lap of Tasmania when booking your cosy seaside retreat at Freycinet Waters and receive:
Valid for direct bookings only.
Tasmanians have been escaping to the sunny sands and peaceful tranquility of Orford for years now, and you too can experience this wonderful little corner of the island – just a short drive from Hobart.
It would have to be one of Tasmania’s best little seaside towns – an absolute gem simply begging for you to stay a few nights, unwind and relax.
And the best place to put your feet up? Orford’s Sanda House bed and breakfast!
Campervanners receive a very warm welcome up and down the East of Tasmania. Close to the Bay of Fires is NRMA St Helens Waterfront Holiday Park.
In Bicheno I recommend Seaview Holiday Park, and in Coles Bay you’ll find everything you could possibly need at Big 4 Iluka on Freycinet – or there is free camping available at River and Rocks Camp Ground (facilities are limited).
If you’re travelling clockwise, your next destination is the beauty and history of Port Arthur and the Tasman Peninsula.
Travelling anti-clockwise, your next destination is Tasmania’s North East – home of the ‘Tin Dragon’.
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