10-Day Tasmania Road Trip Itinerary

Your 'Essential' Self-Drive Tasmania Holiday

This self drive Tasmania 10-days itinerary is what I like to call the ‘Essential’ Tasmania road trip.

Cradle Mountain, Bay of Fires, Freycinet…it covers Tassie’s best natural attractions in less than two weeks. So if 10 days in Tasmania is all you have, this is your perfect road trip itinerary!

Last Updated – February 2022

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A Tasmania road trip is full of sweeping bends
A Tasmania road trip is full of sweeping bends | 📷: Pete Harmsen

Self-drive Tasmania Itinerary (10 days)

Don’t worry if you have less than two weeks for your Tasmania itinerary. 10 days is plenty of time to see its iconic attractions, and a road trip is the best way to get around the island.

But there are so many things to see and do in Tasmania that you might be wondering where to start? How long to take? What are the ‘must see’ attractions in Tasmania?

To keep things simple I’ve created this easy-to-follow 10-day Tasmania itinerary for the best road trip.

It doesn’t matter if you’re travelling solo, as a couple, or with your family of five – this itinerary has you covered. A range of budgets is included as well, so you can choose your accommodation to fit your preferred style of travel. 

With this self-drive Tasmania (10 days) itinerary there is something for everyone, no matter whether this is your first ever road trip, or your fiftieth!

The itinerary can be shortened to 7-days, or lengthened to 14-days or more – and I also include alternative route options to reduce your driving time and maximise sight-seeing opportunities.

Read more: Tasmania Car Hire Comparison
Read more: Tasmania Campervan Rental Comparison

Best of all?

As with all the road trip planning information on the Lap of Tasmania website, it’s completely free!

Day 1: Hobart to Strahan (via Mt Field)

Enjoy the still water of the Salmon Ponds on your Derwent Valley Road Trip in Tasmania
Spy platypus at the Salmon Ponds | 📷: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

🏁  360 km

🕓  5hr 15mins + Stops

📌  Derwent Valley + West Coast

Note: This is one of the longer days on the road, so I recommend starting as early as possible.

🍴 Breakfast – Bear With Me (Hobart)

🚘 Morning

  • Explore New Norfolk – St Matthews church, Bush Inn and Drill Hall Emporium
  • Salmon Ponds
  • Russell Falls (Mt Field)

🍴 Lunch – Waterfalls Cafe and Gallery (souvenirs as well!)

🚘 Afternoon

  • Wall in the Wilderness – OR – Lake St Clair
  • Drive the ’99 Bends’ between Derwent Bridge and Queenstown
  • Franklin River Nature Trail – OR – Nelson Falls Nature trail
  • Iron Blow Lookout (Queenstown)

🍴 Dinner – View 42 (Strahan) – OR – Risby Cove (Strahan)

🏠 Accommodation

🥂 Special Offer!

Book the ‘Bed, Breakfast & Boat’ package with Harrison House B&B, and when you mention the Lap of Tasmania you will also receive your choice of either:

  • FREE bottle of 9th Island Pinot Noir 🍷 – OR –
  • FREE glass of sparkling wine 🥂 and a ‘Button Grass Brewery’ craft beer 🍺

Valid for direct bookings only.

⚠️ Important

Strahan is a small town with limited late night dining options – especially on a Sunday.

View 42 (all week), Hamers Bar & Bistro (all week), and Risby Cove (Wed-Sun) are your three best options, but make sure you arrive before 8:30pm. Regatta Point Tavern is also a good option, however they are only open from 6-8pm for dinner (all week).

For other venues around town try to arrive before 6:30pm.

Day 2: Strahan

Lap of Tasmania road trip
Strahan at Sunset | 📷: Tourism Tasmania and Rob Burnett

🏁  Free Day

🕓  Free Day

📌  West Coast

🍴 Breakfast – Your accommodation – OR – The Coffee Shack (Strahan)

🚘 Morning

🍴 Lunch – Included in your cruise

🚘 Afternoon

🍴 Dinner – Risby Cove (Strahan)

🏠 Accommodation

🗺️ Want more time on the West Coast? Queenstown is fantastic!

Queenstown is one of the most fascinating towns you will find anywhere in Australia.

Stay an extra night or two on your way to/from Strahan and discover its emerging arts scene and stark landscapes with a couple of nights at historic Penghana B&B (read my review). 

Many road trippers tell me that the West Coast Wilderness Railway is at its best when you start from the Queenstown end as well! 

Day 3: Strahan to Cradle Mountain

Lap of Tasmania road trip
Rugged beauty on the West Coast Wilderness Railway | 📷: Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne

🏁  140 km

🕓  2 hours + Stops

📌  West Coast + Cradle Coast

🍴 Breakfast – Your accommodation – OR – The Coffee Shack (Strahan)

🚘 Morning

🍴 Lunch – On the train (included in the ‘Wilderness Carriage’ carriage upgrade) – OR – Risby Cove after the tour (if you select the ‘Heritage Carriage’)

🚘 Afternoon

  • Zeehan – Spray Tunnel (if time allows)
  • Vale of Belvoir Lookout
  • Cradle Mountain Village – Explore short walks around the interpretation centre

🍴 Dinner – Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge (Tavern Bar and Bistro – OR – Highland Restaurant)

🏠 Accommodation

Day 4: Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain is where to see the Southern Lights in Tasmania on your Tasmania Road trip
Southern Lights dancing at Cradle Mountain in Tasmania | 📷: Pierre Destribats

🏁  Free Day

🕓  Free Day

📌  Cradle Coast

🍴 Breakfast – Your accommodation – OR – Cradle Mountain Hotel (non-guests are allowed)

🚘 Morning

🍴 Lunch – Picnic hamper (if staying at Peppers Lodge) – OR – Tavern Bar and Bistro (at Peppers Lodge)

🚘 Afternoon

  • Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery
  • Waldheim Alpine Spa – Spa Treatment
  • Peppers Lodge – Wine and cheese tasting
  • Peppers Lodge – Native animal spotlight tour

🍴 Dinner – Hellyers Restaurant (Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village)

🏠 Accommodation

Day 5: Cradle Mountain to Launceston (via Stanley and Sheffield)

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

🏁  410 km

🕓  5hr 40mins + Stops

📌  Cradle Coast

Note: This is a big, fun-filled day, so try to hit the road as early as possible.

🍴 Breakfast – Your accommodation – OR – Cradle Mountain Hotel (non-guests are allowed)

🚘 Morning

  • Hellyer Gorge scenic drive
  • The ‘Nut’ – Chairlift to the top of the ‘Nut and explore

🍴 Lunch – Touchwood (Stanley)

🚘 Afternoon

  • Coastal drive through Burnie, Penguin and Devonport
  • Anvers Chocolates (Latrobe)
  • See the murals at Sheffield (if time permits)
  • Ashgrove Cheese / Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm / Van Diemens Land Creamery
  • Hagley – Hazelbrae Hazelnuts (they have a fantastic cafe for light meals as well)
  • Drive through the historic towns of Deloraine, Westbury and Hadspen

🍴 Dinner – Stelo at Pierres (Launceston) – OR – Pachinko (Launceston)

🏠 Accommodation

Read More: Best Places to Stay in Launceston

👍 More time on the road? Less time on the road?

If you have time on your hands, an extra night in Stanley is a ‘must! The Ark Stanley is the best B&B in the region, and your wonderful host, Rhonda, is offering some special perks for Lap of Tasmania members! (read my review here)

Do you want to spend less time on the road, and more time enjoying the foodie options? 

Skip Stanley by driving from Cradle Mountain to Sheffield, and you’ll have an extra half-day to eat ALL the cheese, chocolates, icecream, berries and hazelnuts that you can handle 😂

Day 6: Launceston to Bay of Fires (via the Tamar Valley)

Cool waters of Bay of Fires are a must on your Lap of Tasmania road trip
A rainbow of colour at the Bay of Fires | 📷: Sean Scott

🏁  240 km

🕓  3hr 15mins + Stops

📌  Tamar Valley + North East

🍴 Breakfast – Your accommodation – OR – Stillwater (Launceston)

🚘 Morning

  • Cataract Gorge (Launceston) – OR – Tamar Wetlands Walk
  • Tamar Valley Wineries – Moores Hill, Wines for Joanie

🍴 Lunch – Pipers Brook Vineyard Cafe (Pipers Brook)

🚘 Afternoon

  • Bridestowe Lavender Farm (allow an extra 40mins drive time)
  • ‘Tin Dragon’ Trail – See the historic towns of Branxholm, Derby and Weldborough
  • Pyengana – Tastings or afternoon tea at Pyengana Dairy Farm Gate Cafe or the Pub in the Paddock – OR – St Columba Falls
  • Mountain bikers will want at least half a day to ride the world-class trails of ‘Blue Derby’

🍴 Dinner – Meresta Eatery (Binalong Bay) – OR – Raida (St Helens) – OR – Naturaliste (St Helens)

🏠 Accommodation

🎉 Special Offer!

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.

Day 7: Bay of Fires to Coles Bay (Freycinet)

An aerial view of Freycinet National Park on your Lap of Tasmania road trip
Freycinet and the Hazards | 📷: Luke Tscharke

🏁  115 km

🕓  1hr 40mins + Stops

📌  East Coast

🍴 Breakfast – Your accommodation – OR – Lifebuoy Cafe (St Helens)

🚘 Morning

  • Explore the Bay of Fires beaches, dunes and coves north of Binalong Bay
  • Tastings at Ironhouse Brewery (Four Mile Creek) – OR – Walk to Apsley River Waterhole (Bicheno)
  • See the Bicheno blowhole (Bicheno)

🍴 Lunch – The Lobster Shack (Bicheno)

🚘 Afternoon

  • Freycinet Marine Farm (near Coles Bay)
  • Friendly Beaches (near Coles Bay)
  • Cape Tourville Lighthouse

🍴 Dinner – The Bay Restaurant (Freycinet Lodge – Coles Bay)

🏠 Accommodation

🎁 Special Offer!

Mention the Lap of Tasmania when booking your cosy seaside retreat at Freycinet Waters and receive:

  • a FREE cooked breakfast 🍳
  • and early check-in 🛎️

Valid for direct bookings only.

Day 8: Coles Bay (Freycinet) to Port Arthur

See Tasmanian devils at Unzoo on your Lap of Tasmania road trip
Tasmanian Devil at Unzoo | 📷: Rob Burnett

🏁  240 km

🕓  3hrs + Stops

📌  East Coast + Tasman Peninsula

🍴 Breakfast – Your accommodation – OR – Geographe Restaurant (Coles Bay)

🚘 Morning

  • East Coast Wineries – Devil’s Corner, Spring Vale and Milton vineyards
  • See the bizarre Spiky Bridge (Swansea)

🍴 Lunch – Bangor Vineyard (Dunalley)

🚘 Afternoon

  • Pirate’s Bay Lookout
  • Tessellated Pavement – OR – Officer’s Quarters Museum (Eaglehawk Neck)
  • Tasman Arch
  • Devil’s Kitchen
  • Remarkable Cave
  • Port Arthur Ghost Tour

🍴 Dinner – 1830 Restaurant and Bar (Port Arthur)

🏠 Accommodation

🎁 Special Offer!

Mention the Lap of Tasmania when booking your relaxing escape at Storm Bay B&B on the beautiful Tasman Peninsula and receive:

  • a FREE cooked breakfast 🍳
  • and early check-in from 2pm 🛎️

Valid for direct bookings only.

 🌞 Day Trip to Maria Island

For something truly special, if you have an extra day available why not consider a day trip to Maria Island?

This island is pure magic, getting you close to nature without the crowds. Wombats are everywhere, the walks are stunning, and there is plenty of history as well.

You will need to allow a full day, as you can’t drive onto the island. The ferry takes 30 minutes each way from Triabunna Wharf. Don’t forget to take a packed lunch as well, as there are no shops on the island either.

Hot Tip – Hire a bike to make the most of your time on the island! For photos and more information about Maria Island click here.

Day 9: Port Arthur to Hobart (via Richmond)

Explore historic Richmond on your Lap of Tasmania road trip
Explore historic Richmond Village | 📷: Tourism Tasmania & Brian Dullaghan

🏁  100 km

🕓  1hr 30mins + Stops

📌  Tasman Peninsula + Coal River Valley

🍴 Breakfast – Your accommodation – OR – Port Arthur General Store

🚘 Morning

🍴 Lunch – On the Bay (Port Arthur) – OR – Doo-Lishus (Eaglehawk Neck)

🚘 Afternoon

  • Richmond Village – See St John Church, Richmond Bridge, Main Street, Richmond Gaol, and the Richmond Wine Wall
  • Wicked Cheese
  • Pooley Wines – OR – Coal River Farm

🍴 Dinner – Landscape Restaurant and Grill (Hobart)

🏠 Accommodation

Read More: Best Places to Stay in Hobart

🎉 Special Offer!

Use my LAPOFTAS code when booking your relaxing stay at Oceana B&B on Hobart’s sunny eastern shore and receive 5% OFF your booking!

Valid for direct bookings only.

Day 10: Hobart

Enjoy the Taste of Tasmania on your Lap of Tasmania road trip
Festivities on the Hobart waterfront | 📷: City of Hobart and Alastair Bett

🏁  Free Day

🕓  Free Day

📌  Hobart

🍴 Breakfast – Pigeon Hole Cafe (Hobart)

🚘 Morning

  • Mt Wellington Summit
  • Salamanca Market (Saturday) – OR – Farm Gate Market (Sunday)
  • Hobart Waterfront – Salamanca, Brooke Street Pier
  • Lark Distillery
  • Kelly’s Steps
  • Walk to Battery Point and explore
  • Alternative Option – Hobart’s Hop-on Hop-off Bus

🍴 Lunch – Templo (Hobart) – OR – New Sydney Hotel (hobart)

🚘 Afternoon

  • MONA Ferry – Splurge and get a ‘Posh Pit’ ticket!
  • Museum of Old and New Art (MONA)
  • Sunset drinks at The Glass House

🍴 Dinner – Aloft (Hobart)

🏠 Accommodation

Read More: Best Places to Stay in Hobart

🎁 Special Offer!

Mention the Lap of Tasmania when booking your delightful Hobart getaway at Waterview Gardens B&B and receive:

  • 10% OFF your booking; and
  • FREE bottle of bubbles 🍾 – OR – cheese platter 🧀 upon arrival!

Valid for direct bookings only.

Plan your self-drive Tasmania road trip

I hope you have found my self-drive Tasmania (10 days) road trip itinerary useful in planning your holiday!

To put it all together just takes 5 simple steps…

  1. Learn more about the Lap of Tasmania, the best time to visit and places to see
  2. Plan your road trip itinerary (right here!)
  3. Book your flight or ferry to Tasmania
  4. Book your hire car or campervan
  5. Book your accommodation

It’s that easy! 👍

Happy travels,

ps. If this is your first time visiting Tasmania, or you are a bit nervous about planning your road trip, then you will love my eBook – “How to Plan Your Tasmania Road Trip“. It  takes you through the whole process in easy-to-follow steps and also includes a free Holiday Planner that you can use for Tasmania and any other holiday you take in the future!

Travel planning resources

Tasmania’s remote location means there are internet ‘black spots’ across the island. 

A hard copy travel guide or map is the perfect backup, and I love the range from Lonely Planet.

Andrew Strikis

Andrew Strikis

Andrew is an award-winning travel writer and photographer from Tasmania. Over the last 10 years he has been an advocate for Tasmanian tourism, working with and supporting many of Tasmania's prominent organisations such as Tourism Northern Tasmania, Hobart and Beyond, and MONA. Together with his wife he enjoys exploring Tasmania by road, and he looks forward to helping others plan and enjoy their own Lap of Tasmania road trip.

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Dog and bear in suitcase - Lap of Tasmania Road trip