This is the 12 Night Circle Tasmania Tour, one of our most popular itineraries. Experience all of Tasmania’s charms in a convenient circle tour, exploring every corner of the state. The itinerary is based on 12 nights and 13 days touring Tasmania and fits in with our 10+ Night Package accommodation. It assumes commencement in Launceston, however can be tailored to begin at any location.
From Hobart, Launceston Airport and the Spirit of Tasmania routes, travel along the A1 north into the Launceston city.
Your first stop in Launceston should be the stunning Cataract Gorge. The Cataract Gorge is a beautiful nature reserve and unique feature of Launceston, with many picturesque walks, the famous suspension bridge, a café and restaurant, and the longest single-span chairlift in the southern hemisphere.
Close by, the Penny Royal Adventures offers further dining options, the Matthew Brady Dark Ride, gold fossicking, kids play area and a trip on the newly restored Brig Tamar. For the more adventurous, try the cliff walk, rock climbing, zipline and quick drop.
Other exciting activities to enjoy around Launceston are:
Tamar River Cruises
Launceston City Ghost Tour
City Park and the Macaque Monkey enclosure
Boag’s Brewery Centre
Royal Automobile Museum
Queen Victoria Museum
Prestige Leisure Tours – wine and food tours
Hollybank Treetops Adventure
Travel north of Launceston on the A7, stopping at the Tamar Island Wetlands Walk and Grindelwald Swiss Village. Further afield is Beaconsfield, known for the local mining and the Beaconsfield Mining and Heritage Centre. Further north is Beauty Point (home to Seahorse World and Platypus House) and the nearby Narawntapu National Park.
Complete your first day by heading back to Launceston on the A7 and dining at one of the city’s wonderful restaurants, both in the city centre and the Seaport.
Head north on the B81 to the Hollybank Treetops Adventure, for an exciting zipline ride or the more gentle Segway Tour to experience the native forest. Further along the B81 is the charming Lilydale Falls.
Travel on the B81 towards Scottsdale. From here, you can detour on Gillespies Road to the Bridestowe Lavender Estate – best visit in the summer months and continue north on the Bridport Back Road, turning right on the B82 to famous Barnbougle Dunes and Gold Course. From here, head south on the B84 to Scottsdale.
From Scottsdale, detour onto Cuckoo Rd to visit the Cuckoo Falls. Head back on the A3 to visit Derby and the Trail of the Tin Dragon. A detour on the B82 will take to you the picturesque Little Blue Lake at Mt Cameron. Back on the A3 and heading towards St Helens, also stop in at the Pyengana Cheese Factory, Pub in the Paddock and St Columba Falls.
Once in St Helens, travel north on the C850 to Binnalong Bay and the world-famous Bay of Fires. This stunning beach and surrounding area offers amazing photo opportunities as well as bird watching, fishing, swimming and surfing.
Today, head south on the A3 to Bicheno. Bicheno is home to Eastcoast Natureworld, the Sea Life Centre, which offers 180 degree views of the ocean. While in Bicheno, visit the Rocking Rock and the blowhole and try an All4Adventure all-terrain tour and Bicheno Penguin Tour.
Continue south on the A3 to Freycinet National Park, via Coles Bay Road. Freycinet is the east coast’s most popular location, with the famous pink Hazards, wonderful bushwalks and Wineglass Bay, all found on the peninsula. The popular Wineglass Bay Cruises is a great way to explore the Wineglass Bay – only alternatively accessible by a 3 kilometre bushwalk. A National Parks Pass is needed for entry into the Freycinet National Park.
Follow the A3 south to Swansea, one of the oldest towns on the east coast. Just outside Swansea, visit the convict-built Spikey Bridge, built in 1843. Further south is Kate’s Berry Farm, Devil’s Corner Cellar Door and the Douglas Apsley National Park.
Travel on the A3 to Triabunna, the departure point of the ferry to Maria Island. Maria Island has something for everyone – historic ruins, sweeping bays, rugged cliffs and mountains and remarkable wildlife. The ferry departs morning and afternoon, with plenty to keep you occupied in between. Once on the island you will discover a place where there are no motor vehicles, no shops and no worries.
Continue south on the A3 to Orford. Orford boasts many picturesque beaches – including Raspins, Millingons, Spring and Rheban beaches.
You may want to head inland at this point to Campbell Town, known as the heart of Tasmania. There are many cafés and the park area is a great place for a picnic. Among the attractions is one of Australia’s oldest bridges – the Original Bridge (1822), and the Elizabeth Campbell Wetlands area. Lining the streets of Campbell Town is the Convict Brick Trail. Engraved in each brick are authentic profiles of convicts transported to Australia, their crime and sentence.
South of Campbell Town is the historic town of Ross. Worth a visit are the Female Convict Station, Ross Bakery and the Tasmanian Wool Centre.
Further south on the A1 is Oatlands, which contains Australia’s largest collection of Georgian sandstone architecture, many of which are now craft shops and galleries. Visit the Callington Flour Mill and the convict-built courthouse.
The most notable of these charming Midlands towns is Richmond, accessed by travelling south on the A1, then east on the B31. Richmond, is one of Tasmania’s must-see towns, notable for its historic significance to Australia. Stop at Richmond Bridge, which was completed in 1825 and is Australia’s oldest known large stone arch bridge. Also in Richmond visit Australia’s oldest gaol and the oldest remaining Catholic Church. The Richmond Maze & Tearooms have exciting mazes for the children to enjoy, and Zoodoo Wildlife Park is an exciting hands-on wildlife park.
Travel east from Richmond on the C351, connecting to the A3, and then head south in to Sorell. From Sorell, turn east on the A9 to the Tasman Peninsula.
Visit the unique wonders of this corner of the state, making sure not to miss seeing the Remarkable Cave, Devil’s Kitchen, the Blowhole and the Tessellated Pavement. For the adventure-seeker, the Totem Pole, off the coast of Fortescue Bay is a climber’s best challenge.
Visit Port Arthur and allow yourself the remainder of the day to visit the iconic Port Arthur Historic Site, Australia’s largest convict heritage site. In the evening, try the Port Arthur Ghost Tour, one of Tasmania’s best ghost tour experiences.
Travel north on the A9 back to Sorell and then head along the A3 west into Hobart.
Hobart is Tasmania’s capital city and the second oldest city in Australia. Start your morning by looking around Hobart’s popular Salamanca Place, where you will find studios and shops displaying a great variety of Tasmanian art and crafts, and the magical Faerie Shop children will love. The famous Salamanca Markets is a must do on a Saturday morning.
Explore the city of Hobart, perhaps experiencing one of the following activities:
St David’s Park and Cathedral
TMAG – Tasmanian Museum and Art Galley
Maritime Museum of Hobart
Cascade Female Factory Historic Site
MONA (Museum of Old & New Art)
Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens
There are many cruising options in and around Hobart that allow you to explore the region in ease – the Peppermint Bay, Bruny Island, Tasman Island and Iron Pot cruises all depart from the Hobart wharf.
A short drive from the city centre on the A6 and B68 is Australia’s first Shot Tower, one of only three Shot Towers still existing in Australia. A half hours’ drive from the city via the B64 and C616 is the summit of Mount Wellington, with stunning panoramic views of the city.
Take the A1 north, then turn west on the A10 through New Norfolk. Continue west on the B62, stopping in at the Salmon Ponds, before continuing on to Bushy Park. Bushy Park is a quaint town full of old houses, deciduous trees and hop fields. The Text Kiln is worth a look, with quotations inscribed on its walls dating back to 1867. Visit the waterwheel at Oust House, which used to generate electricity to dry the hops.
From Bushy Park, head west along the B61 to the Mt Field National Park. Mt Field National Park is accessed by one of two visitor sections. The first is at Westerway – north of Bushy Park on the B62, and includes the famous Russell Falls and stunning walks through the majestic fern forests. The second visitor section is at Lake Dobson and includes day walks and skiing areas.
Continue on the B61 to Maydena, which has the Maydena Adventure Hub, for great day trekking tours around the south west. Just past Maydena, towards Lake Pedder, are the Florentine Valley and the Styxz Valley tall tree reserves, where some of the tallest hardwood trees on earth can be found.
Further west on the B61 is Strathgordon, the furthest point to drive in the south west wilderness area, where Lake Gordon and Lake Pedder draw visitors with giant trout fishing and boating. Near Strathgordon is the Visitor Centre at the Gordon Dam, the site of Australia’s longest vertical abseil. Try the Creepy Crawly walk, along Scott’s Peak Rd, a wonderful rainforest walk.
Follow the A6 south past Kingston to begin your day tour of the Huon Valley region. The Huon Valley has a splendid array of fruitful orchards, quaint towns and wild landscapes.
In Huonville, start with a thrilling Huon Jet Boat Ride, and then visit some examples of great Tasmanian products at the Huon Valley Apple Museum, Huon Valley Mushrooms, Homehill Vineyard and Pelican Point Paca Products. The Taste of the Huon (March) is one of the state’s most popular regional events. Continuing down the A6 to Franklin, and visit the Panorama Vineyard and the Wooden Boat Centre.
South in Geeveston, experience the Tahune Forest Airwalk and the picturesque Arve Forest Drive – both excellent opportunities to view the stunning Huon pine forests. Stop in at Dover, where you can try glow-worm and adventure caving and hang gliding.
Further south on the A6, make a turn right on Hastings Caves Road. Visit the popular Thermal Springs in the area before taking a tour down to the spectacular Hastings Caves. In this area, you will also find the Hastings Forest Drive picnic area and the Ida Bay Railway – Australia’s southern-most railway.
On the other side of the Huon Valley, visit the Margate Train on the B68, for look around the unique train carriage shops, and Kettering – the departure point for Bruny Island. If choosing to visit Bruny Island, ferry across and visit Bruny Island Vineyards, Australia’s southern-most vineyard, the Cape Bruny Lighthouse and Bligh Museum of Pacific Exploration.
Return to Kettering and continue south on the B68. Along this route, visit Grandvewe Cheeses, Pepperberries Garden Cafe and Art Farm – that produces Australia’s native pepper crop, Tassie Blue Blueberries and Tru-Blu Berries.
Head north on the A10 to New Norfolk. This picturesque rural town has many historical buildings to visit, including the Willow Court Historic Site, built in 1830 and the oldest mental hospital in Australia on its original site and St Matthews Church, built in 1823. Only 3 kilometres away in Magra is the gravestone of Betty King, the first white woman to set foot on Australian soil. Continuing north, stop in at Hamilton, Ouse and Gretna to view charming pastoral landscapes. Hamilton’s St Mary’s Church was built in 1848 has headstones dating back to early settlement.
Further north on the A10 are the towns of Tarraleah, Bronte Park and Derwent Bridge, all gateways to the Central Highland’s and noted for their fishing and bushwalking. In Bronte Park, visit the General Store and three examples of historic single men’s huts for a great example of the harsh living conditions of the past. Derwent Bridge is also home to the popular Wall in the Wilderness, with amazing woodcarvings depicting the history of the area.
Lake St Clair, off the A10 on Lake St Clair Road, lies at the south end of the Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair National Parks and is part of Tasmania’s World Heritage Area. This lake is surrounded by protected forests with the beauty of snow-capped peaks. There are a variety of walks in the area, trout fishing, and a cruise of Lake St Clair.
Return to the A10 highway, through Queenstown, and on to B24 to Strahan.
Take a walk down the main street of Strahan and explore the number of boutique shops and craft centres, including the Cove Gallery and Wilderness Woodworks. Enjoy a live performance of ‘The Ship That Never Was’ – the fun, true story of the Great Escape from Sarah Island, or head down to the Strahan Wharf where you can opt for a World Heritage or Gordon River Cruise. You can also opt for a breathtaking journey aboard the Wilderness West Coast Railway to explore the rugged wilderness of the World Heritage Area. Nearby, take an easy 50 minute walk out to Hogarth Falls, and visit the Teepookana Plateau for a brilliant view of the Huon pines.
From Strahan, journey 40 minutes inland on the B24 to Queenstown. The town is known for its unique landscape, transformed by the mining and logging of the past. Visit Eric Thomas Galley Museum, Evans Old Corner Store and the underground tour of Mt Lyell Mine. For spectacular views of the surrounding areas, visit the Donaghy’s Hill Lookout for 360 degree views of the Franklin River Valley,the Iron’s Blow Lookout (between Queenstown and Gormanston) for views of the old copper mine and the Spion Kop Lookout at Mt Owen for views of the stunning Lake Burbury.
Continue north on to the A10. Head north through Rosebery and Yolla. At Yolla, take a left on the B26 and continue north to Wynyard.
North of Wynyard on the C234 is the spectacular Table Cape National Park, its lighthouse and tulip farm.
Head west on the A2 past Smithton to the Tarkine Forest Adventures where you can enjoy the exciting slide down to the forest floor and the many walks through the beautiful Forest Reserve.
Continue west on the A2 and turn left onto the C214 to Arthur River. Arthur River is coined as ‘the edge of the world, and with its pristine coastline, and refreshing winds from the Roaring Forties, the remoteness of this beautiful area really will make you believe it.
Today, make your way to Cradle Mountain, accessed by making your way to the A2, turning south on the C109 and then C108. Continue south, taking the B18, then turn onto the A10. Turn east on the C132 and continue southwards into Cradle Mountain National Park.
Stop at the Cradle Mountain Information Centre to pick up your entrance pass (if you have not already purchased a Tasmanian National Parks Holiday Pass). From here, you can drive your car or take the shuttle bus to the entrance point for Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain, where you can begin one of many scenic walks that cater to all levels of fitness or try kayaking around Dove Lake.
Travel north on C132, turning right onto the C136 into Sheffield. If travelling with children, turn left from the C136 onto C140 and take the time to stop in at Promised Land to visit the largest maze complex in the world at Tasmazia. From here, continue north to Sheffield. Sheffield is known as ‘the town of murals’ and is a quaint town rich with antique and craft shops.
Take the B14 east from Sheffield and stop in Railton to see its various displays of topiary sculptures along the main road.
Head north on the B13 to Latrobe, the home of the Axeman’s Hall of Fame, the Cherry Shed and the Platypus Interpretation Centre. Visit Reliquare, a fun shop for all ages. The Court House Museum tells the story of Latrobe, and Sherwood Hall is believed to be the oldest house in Latrobe, built in 1848. Just outside of Latrobe is the Anvers Fudge Factory, a must-visit for sweet lovers.
Nearby, the Warrawee Forest Reserve and Myrtle Hole sit on the banks of the Mersey River. Here, there is a 5 kilometre walking track and two parkland areas with barbeque facilities and ponds stocked with trout. The area is rich with history with the power generation site (first of its kind in the area), the old shale works and mine shafts, remnants of the shale bridge across the Mersey River, and the town’s old pump station.
Travel south from Latrobe on the A1 towards Launceston. Stop in at the Ashgrove Cheesefarm for a sample of fine Tasmanian cheese, before heading into Elizabeth Town. At Elizabeth Town, you are spoilt for choice for a lunch stop – either at the popular ETC Bakery or the delicious Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm & Restaurant.
Continue south to Deloraine, a quaint little town that holds the popular Deloraine Craft Fair each November. Detour west of Deloraine on the B12 to Mole Creek. Take a tour of the Marakoopa or King Solomon Caves where you can observe the underground rivers, great cathedrals and glow worms. Here are also the Trowunna Wildlife Park, the Chudleigh Honey Farm and Tasmanian Truffles.
Return to Deloraine, then continue on the A1 through Westbury and on in to Launceston.
For your final day, explore the areas of Launceston missed on your first day, prior to your departure.