North East Tasmania
Highlights | Accommodation | Road Trip Essentials
© Brian Dullaghan
North East Tasmania flies under the radar, but take the time to explore this quiet corner and you’ll discover a region jam-packed full of gorgeous landscapes, tree-top adventures, and world-class mountain biking. Add North East Tasmania to your self-drive Tasmanian road trip itinerary today!
Its vibrant lavender fields, gourmet cheeses, intriguing links-style golf courses and adrenaline pumping mountain biking may be the initial attraction to Tasmania’s north east corner, but stay a little longer and you’ll learn how this friendly community was built on the backs of pioneers from around the world.
As the Victorian gold rush dwindled, many crossed Bass Strait seeking riches in Van Diemen’s Land. A vibrant Chinese community arose in the 1800s, and the ‘Tin Dragon‘ legacy lives on today in the tiny towns of Weldborough, Branxholm and Derby.
Barnbougle Dunes golf course is ranked #2 in Australia – and Barnbougle Lost Farm at #5!
Don’t forget to take plenty of spare balls…you’ll need them! ⛳😃
Flying through the treetops with the wind in your hair and a grin from ear to ear – that’s the feeling you get on one of the many zipline tours offered by Hollybank Tree Tops Adventure – just 20 minutes outside Launceston.
Is it possible to have too much purple in your life?
Its sweet and soothing bouquet drifting on the summer breeze, one visit to Bridestowe Lavender Farm is all it takes to realise the answer is, “Definitely not!”.
Only a 45 minute drive from Launceston, 1 hr from Low Head, or 20 minutes from Bridport, Bridestowe is one of Tasmania’s most vibrant and Instagrammable attractions. Farm tours are always popular, and your very own ‘Bobbie Bear’ is the perfect souvenir from your Tasmanian road trip.
Where the surging waters of Bass Strait meet the rolling dunes of north east Tasmania lie two very special golf courses. Carved from the rugged landscape and subject to the vagaries of Tasmania’s ever-changing weather, Barnbougle Dunes and Barnbougle Lost Farm courses offer a unique opportunity to test your golfing mettle. Low scores are rare, but the experience lasts forever!
Only minutes from the seaside town of Bridport, Barnbougle offers not only great golfing but unique accommodation and quality dining amid the links.
It began with tin mining, but it’s the thrills and spills of downhill mountain biking that now attract riders from all over the world to the tiny town of Derby.
A regular host for the Enduro World Series – the next one is in 2019 – Blue Derby’s network of trails are ridiculously good. The sweeping views, dolerite slabs and green forests make for exciting riding no matter what your level of ability.
Bridestowe Lavender Farm is the largest in the southern hemisphere!
It’s also Insta-selfie heaven 😃
The lush fields of North East Tasmania aren’t just easy on the eye, they’re renowned for producing some of Tasmania’s best sparkling wines, heritage cheeses and ice cold beers.
A light meal or tasting platter from Leaning Church Vineyard, near the pretty village of Lilydale, is a great place to start. Cottage Bakery in Scottsdale is famous for its award-winning pies and pastries, while Little Rivers Brewing Co. are making big waves on the Aussie craft beer scene.
Before descending to St Helens and the East Coast, make sure you drop by Pyengana Dairy and taste their delicious range of single-origin cheeses. Or for something more substantial you could always pull into the Pub in the Paddock for a hearty meal – don’t forget to say g’day to Priscilla Pig ‘Princess of the Paddock’!
Tasmania’s forests are full of bush tucker if you know where to look. Pepper Bush Adventures know the region intimately and offer a range of half and full day foodie tours from their base in Scottsdale. Book one in today!
Mt William National Park is home to Tasmania’s only native kangaroo, the Great Forester Kangaroo 🦘
Hop along and see for yourself!
Tasmania’s hand-crafted trails blew the international MTB scene away when they hosted the Enduro World Series back in 2017 for the first time – and it’s returning in 2019 even bigger and better!
Every January international and local polo players descend on picturesque Barnbougle to compete at the highest level. But it’s not all about the sport – bring your best frock or suit, grab a glass of sparkling and enjoy the bubbling social scene.
The white water and chattering rapids of the Ringarooma River are home to the North East Rivers Festival. For more than 40 years spectators have lined the banks, watching ‘Derby River Derby’ participants take to the water for a day full of thrills and spills. Come along, join in, and see what it’s all about!
It’s a quiet pace of life in North East Tasmania, and we’ve found some lovely accommodation options where you can relax and use as a base to explore all the attractions in the region.
Travelling to Scottsdale you won’t find any better than Anabel’s of Scottsdale. The National Trust classified gardens are simply stunning and you’ll love looking across the wisteria-draped verandah from your cosy bedroom. Willowlodge is another well regarded hotel in Scottsdale, with excellent feedback.
Many road trippers like to divert from the Lap of Tasmania route to see the gorgeous village of Lilydale (make sure you walk to Lilydale Falls!). For an exceptional experience we recommend The Trig at Mt Arthur, or the sprawling comfort of Plover’s Ridge Country Retreat.
If you’re looking for a campground with a fantastic view, then we recommend Bridport Seaside Caravan Park. Or for free camping near the attractions of Lilydale, why not stay at Lilydale Falls Reserve?
North East Tasmania experiences a cool temperate climate throughout the year, with four distinct seasons. It’s lovely for much of the year and doesn’t experience as many extremes in temperature as some other regions in Tasmania.
Summer temperatures typically range from 12°C at night up to 21°C during the day.
In winter you can expect temperatures to range from 5°C up to 11°C.
Read More: Detailed Guide to Driving Times in Tasmania
Low Head ⇌ Bridport: 60km / 45mins (1hr for campervans)
Bridport ⇌ Derby: 55km / 50mins (1hr for campervans)
Derby ⇌ St Helens: 65km / 1hr 10mins (1hr 30mins for campervans)
Petrol Stations: Bridport, Scottsdale, Derby, Lilydale
EV Battery Charging Stations: None
A list of Tasmania’s national parks can be found here: Parks and Wildlife
A valid permit is needed before you can drive into these parks. For more information on the which pass you should buy, click here.
Permits can be purchased online here, from National Park Visitor Centres, Accredited Tasmanian Travel Information Centres, the Spirit of Tasmania, Service Tasmania shops, or by mail/email following these instructions.
Discounts are available for Seniors.
For Tasmania Police emergency road closure alerts click here.
Watch out for ice on the roads in the early morning
Snow is rare in North East Tasmania.
If you’re travelling clockwise, your next destination is the sunny beaches and blazing red rocks of East Coast Tasmania.
Travelling anti-clockwise, you’ll be enjoying the festivals and stunning wines of Launceston and the Tamar Valley.
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