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Tasmania 5-day Itinerary

Last December, I was lucky to head back to Tasmania / lutruwita with my family for a family holiday. This is my second visit to the home of the Tasmanian Devil and since I was the only family member who had visited before, I was given full authority to plan the trip. My goal was to make an itinerary with a nice balance of places none of us had visited before and places that I really enjoyed on my last trip to Tasmania, while also showcasing some of the best the island has to offer. If you're looking for inspiration on where to go in Tasmania, continue reading this guide for an in-depth breakdown of our trip.


Day 1: Hobart


We flew into Hobart International Airport from Adelaide and hired a car for the duration of our trip. I chose East Coast Car Rentals due to its affordability and also permission to drive the car onto smaller islands off the Tasmanian coast (make sure to read the fine print when hiring a car as some car rental companies have restrictions on where you can and cannot drive and if you get stuck needing roadside assistance you may not be able to get help or be left with a massive fee). However, I failed to realise that the collection zone for the car was off site from the airport and we had to wait for a pick up bus. While the process was relatively easy, I wouldn’t recommend this option when travelling with a child or in large groups as there are other car rental options available for collection at the airport terminal.


As our flight into Hobart arrived later in the day, we arrived around dinner time and, after checking into our hotel Mantra Hobart on Collins, spent our evening strolling around Salamanca Place and the pier. For dinner we went to Harbour Lights Cafe, a cafe where I had visited on my last trip and ate the best breakfast pancakes. Luckily for us they were serving food up until 10:00 pm, so in addition to my fondness of the breakfast pancakes, the cafe scored additional points for being able to feed us so late and the rest of the menu being just as delicious as breakfast.


Recommendations: 

  • Book car rental with collection at the terminal: Hertz, Sixt, Bargain Car Rentals 

  • Stay: Mantra Hobart, Collins Street

  • Eat: Harbour Lights Cafe 

  • See: Salamanca Place and the piers




Day 2: Hobart/MONA


Today started with an early morning as I wanted to try and pack in as much into the day as possible. After breakfast, we ventured over to the Salamanca Market which is every Saturday morning from 8:30 am - 3:00 pm and spent a couple hours browsing the stalls - which there are plenty of! If you love seafood this is a great place to try fresh Tasmanian lobster, scallops and salmon and pick up locally made Tasmanian souvenirs.


Afterwards we took the ferry over to MONA at the dock only a short walk from the market. MONA is possibly one of Hobart and Tasmania’s most well-known attractions and it's truly worth going. I highly recommend including the ferry ride in your visit as it’s conveniently located in the centre of the city and you also get to see Hobart from the harbour so it just elevates your experience. There is also a lot more than just art at MONA which I didn't expect. The precinct boasts multiple restaurants, a children’s play space and grounds to sit on and soak up the sun. I was very impressed by the expansiveness of the place and enjoyed bouncing on the adult-sized trampoline. You will need to download an app on your smartphone prior to entering the museum in order to interact and read about the artworks. Adult ticket prices start at $38 (if you’re not from Tasmania, if you are then it’s free) and the ferry costs $28 for a return ticket. Allow at least half a day for the trip as you’ll want to make the most of your time there.


For dinner we ended up at another pub in Salamanca Place. Whilst it was fine, it’s not the pub that I would recommend. Instead, have dinner at the Whaler where they serve up delicious lobster rolls and Australia’s best chicken parmy (in my humble opinion). Afterwards, head for a drink at The Den Salamanca, a stylish pub decked out with fire pits, making for a cosy and intimate experience. 


Recommendations: 

  • See: Salamanca Market (open 8:30 am - 3:00 pm on Saturdays)

  • See: MONA + ferry ride 

  • Eat: The Whaler Pub for a lobster roll or chicken parmy

  • Drink: The Den Salamanca for world class gin, wine and more, and a cosy, intimate vibe


Day 3: Hobart/Bruny Island


Day 3 started with breakfast at a highly recommended bakery called Pigeon Whole Bakers. Good for coffee and croissants with everything baked fresh daily. I felt it was a little piece of Melbourne in Hobart with its alternative vibe.


We set aside this day specially to go to Bruny Island so we wasted no time in driving there after breakfast. The island is about an hour and 45 minutes from Hobart but I would allow two to two-and-a-half hours to get there to allow for stops along the way and the ferry. The ferry was very quick and affordable, with the cost for a whole car including passengers being about $50, but you do need to book in advance through SeaLink. Once we disembarked on Bruny Island, we drove to the southern tip of the island to see the Bruny Island lighthouse, once Australia’s most southern operational lighthouse. The scenery was beautiful and rugged so I would recommend making the trip. You can also go on a guided tour of the lighthouse but be sure to check timings in advance. Afterwards we made the journey back up the island and stopped into the Hotel Bruny for lunch. This place is just a pub, but I think it offers one of the most beautiful views in Australia with a pristine, white sandy beach literally across the road. We indulged in seafood platters here and it was simply divine. There is plenty to do on Bruny, with many local producers on the island including locally made honey, oyster farms, coffee shops and more. Whilst we only spent the day, it’s worthwhile staying overnight with different accommodation and epic camping spots available. 


Recommendations: 

  • See: Bruny Island Lighthouse

  • Eat: Hotel Bruny




Day 4: Bicheno/Freycinet National Park


Day 4 marked the second part of our Tasmanian getaway with a road trip two-and-a-half hours north along the east coast up to a small beachside town called Bicheno, 45 minutes from the world-famous Wineglass Bay and Freycinet National Park. I chose to stay in Bicheno because last time I was in Tassie I made a pitstop by chance in the town and absolutely fell in love. Bicheno has a lot to offer - including penguins! It's very picturesque and more affordable compared to Coles Bay so if you have a car, it’s a great alternative.


We started driving 45 minutes north from Hobart and stopped in a historic town called Richmond, famous for well-preserved buildings from the 1800s. While we didn’t stay long, we called into a store called Sweets and Treats and bought some snacks for our road trip, including locally made ice cream and toffee. It was delicious and worth the stop. We then continued northeast and passed through some lovely towns including Sorell and Swansea before arriving at our Airbnb in Bicheno. However, we didn’t have much time to spare because we had a dinner reservation at Freycinet Lodge for my mum’s birthday so we quickly got dressed and beelined to Freycinet National Park. This dinner was one of the most impressive dining experiences I have had, it was simply superb. The Lodge has sweeping views of Coles Bay and at sunset this was absolutely stunning. The region is known for the firey red colours that reflect off the pink granite found in the area so at the end of the day these colours become very prominent. We had an amazing three course meal, using all locally sourced ingredients including locally sourced seafood. I truly couldn’t fault the food nor the service and give The Bay Restaurant five out of five stars. After dinner we made the journey home cautiously as there is a lot of wildlife active at night, especially leaving Coles Bay and the Freycinet region so if you find yourself driving at that time be sure to be extremely cautious.


Recommendations: 

  • See: Richmond township

  • See: Bicheno 

  • See: Coles Bay

  • See: Freycinet National Park

  • Eat: Richmond lolly shop

  • Eat: The Bay Restuarant at Freycinet Lodge

  • Drink: Hazards Bar and Lounge at Freycinet Lodge


Day 5: Bicheno / Freycinet National Park


Today everyone was a bit exhausted from our packed schedule over the past few days so we took the day at a much slower pace. We started with breakfast at the local bakery in Bicheno and honestly, the bakery of any small country town is a must-do. It was on the main street and had lovely views of the town and coastline so it was nice to just sit there and chill. My mum and I then hopped in the car and headed back to Freycinet National Park to do the world-famous Wineglass Bay hike. The drive is about 45 minutes from Bicheno to Coles Bay and it’s pretty straight forward. When entering the national park you need to purchase a visitors permit, either online or at the Visitor’s Centre. You can get them for individuals if you’re entering without a car, or for a car which costs about $47 for 24 hours. You can also purchase multi-day passes and long-term passes if you are going to be staying for longer, just be sure to check the National Park website for more information before your arrival. We then legged it up the mountain in about 30 minutes for the famous view of Wineglass Bay. This is my second time doing the hike and the view was still just as breathtaking. We even encountered a young wallaby on our hike which was a highlight and I got to take some awesome up-close photos of him. I’m sure most people know this, but be sure to not touch or feed the local wildlife as this can be quite problematic for them, we admired the young wallaby from a safe distance. We then headed back down the mountain and my mum was feening for a cold pint of beer, so we stopped in at Iluka Tavern, which was just a plain old country pub and you can’t go wrong with a plain old country pub. It was directly across the road from the shoreline so we sat outside and enjoyed the sunshine and pretty views before heading back to Bicheno for dinner. Everyone had raved to us about the Lobster Shack, so we made it our dinner destination for the evening and it was packed. Everyone who was in town seemed to venture down there for dinner. It was nice and worth the visit but we were a bit underwhelmed with the quality of the seafood, it wasn’t as good other places we had eaten on the trip. However, it makes for a good casual meal overlooking the beach. They do close reasonably early, around 8:00 pm for dinner service so be sure to plan accordingly. After dinner we attempted to find the town’s smallest residents, the penguins but to no avail. However I was told this is another unmissable highlight of the town so perhaps we’ll have to go back to try and find them again!


That pretty much rounds up my most recent trip to Tasmania. The most southern state never fails to amaze me and it’s truly one of Australia’s most underrated destinations with so much to do and see. To plan your next trip to Tasmania and beyond, see more with The Departure Desk and start planning your next adventure.







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