Thanks to the breathtaking views and interesting places that you’ll see along the way, the drive from Hobart to Launceston is one of the most popular road trip routes in Australia. You can also choose which route to take — either by the ocean or through the mountains.
If time allows, there’s no need to do one road-trip or the other — you can do them both with little overlap. Regardless of which option you choose, to help you experience a memorable road trip, it is a good idea to book a reliable rental car through VroomVroomVroom.
With the coastal option, for much of the road-trip you’ll be hugging Tasmania’s east coast. Think historic sights, beautiful beaches and plenty of good eating along the way. This trip begins in Hobart then visits Port Arthur, Triabunna, and Bicheno before finishing up in Launceston.
Pick up your rental car in Hobart and tour the city before leaving for your road trip adventure. Some of the highlights of Hobart include Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Salamanca Place, Battery Point, and the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. If you’re feeling more active, what about a spot of kayaking?
The fastest route to Port Arthur is via Arthur Highway/A9 which takes around an hour and a half. When you get there, take a tour of the Port Arthur Historic Site which consists of 30 buildings including the Convict Church, Separate Prison and the Hospital. If you’re not scared of ghosts, join the After Dark tour for a chance to witness paranormal activities.
After getting your dose of history, drive your rental car along Arthur Highway/A9 and Wielangta Road to get to Triabunna. The travel time is approximately one hour and 45 minutes. The quaint fishing town has some interesting places to visit including St Mary’s Anglican Church on Franklin Street — there’s also wombats to spot! You can also go on a cruise to Maria Island or boating in Spring Bay. Make sure to try out some locally-caught fish and chips while you are there.
Just under one and a half hours from Triabunna is the picturesque town of Bicheno, which is famous for its sunny weather and sandy beaches. The fastest route to this jewel of Tasmania’s east coast is Tasman Highway/A3, and don’t miss the Bicheno Blowhole where you can see saltwater blast through a small hole.
Wrap up your road trip by driving to Launceston, which takes around two and a quarter hours via Lake Leake Highway/B34 and National Highway 1. The beautiful riverside city is known for the Cataract Gorge where you can enjoy panoramic views of the South Esk River. Other popular attractions include the Heritage Walks, City Park, and the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery.
While taking the coastal route between Hobart and Launceston will deliver you to some beautiful beaches, by taking the inland “mountain route” you’ll have the opportunity to experience Tasmania at its most spectacular. Starting in Hobart, first head south to Bruny Island, before backtracking north, then through the interior, with stops at Mount Field National Park and Cradle Mountain National Park before wrapping up at Launceston.
If you’re flying to Hobart, you can pick up your rental car at the airport, then commence your journey with a drive to Seven Mile Beach via Grueber Avenue. To savour the best view of Hobart, drive to the summit of Mount Wellington which takes approximately 45 minutes. Make sure to wear comfy shoes since you need to go hiking to reach the top — the view is worth it.
A popular day trip from Hobart is to Bruny Island, which takes around two hours to reach via B66. There is a ferry that can take you to the island and it only takes 20 minutes to cross the D’Entrecasteaux Channel to Bruny Island. Spot the fairy penguins at the Neck Game Reserve, enjoy the scenery at Truganini, go surfing in Cloudy Bay or take a selfie at the Cape Bruny Lighthouse.
After a fun day trip in Bruny Island, you can drive back along B66 to reach Mount Field National Park. The travel time is approximately three hours and 20 minutes, but the long drive is worth it. The park will welcome you with spectacular vistas, abundant wildlife and excellent walks. Mt. Field National Park is famous for waterfalls including Russell and Lady Barron falls.
Another park that’s worth visiting is Cradle Mountain-Lake St Claire National Park, which is a two hour-drive via Lyell Highway/A10. This park is famous for the majestic Cradle Mountain and Overland Track. You also have an option to go on shorter walks at Weindorfers Forest Walk and the Enchanted Walk.
After immersing yourself in nature, it’s time to finish up your journey in Launceston. The fastest route is via National Highway 1, which only takes around two hours but you can also take the Poatina Road/B51 or Highland Lakes Road/A5 routes. Enjoy a Tamar River Cruise, relax in Launceston City Park, or indulge in great food and wine by joining the Valleybrook Wine Tours.