This 7 days in Tasmania itinerary takes in the highlights of the beautiful island at the southern tip of Australia. It’s the perfect Tasmania itinerary for first-time visitors who are short of time. Visitors often overlook Tasmania because it’s not on mainland Australia, but it has a lot to offer with stunning scenery, unique wildlife and untouched wilderness areas that are unlike anywhere else on earth.
Tasmania has UNESCO World Heritage historical sites, National Parks to explore, and fresh local produce to enjoy along the way. It’s possible to spend a week in Tasmania and see many of the top attractions because the distances between destinations are manageable. It takes around 4 hours to drive the 350 kilometres across the island from north to south.
But this whirlwind itinerary moves quickly between the main sites and explores what can be done in a week, with the minimum amount of time needed to see the main attractions. It includes suggestions for the best things to do and for comfortable accommodations along the way.
I’ve had many great experiences solo travelling in Australia and can recommend Tasmania as one of the safest and most scenic destinations in the country for women travelling alone and for nature lovers.
How to get to Tasmania
Table of Contents
- How to get to Tasmania
- 7 Days in Tasmania Itinerary Overview
- Day 1. Hobart
- Where to Stay in Hobart
- Day 2 – Port Arthur via Richmond
- Where to Stay in Port Arthur
- Day 3 Wineglass Bay & the Freycinet Peninsula
- Where to Stay
- Day 4 St Helens & the Bay of Fires
- Where to stay in St Helens
- Day 5 Launceston
- Where to Stay in Launceston
- Day 6 Cradle Mountain
- Where to Stay
- Day 7. Hobart
- Other things to do in Tasmania
- Maria Island
- Bruny Island
- Mount Field National Park
- When to Go to Tasmania
- Tasmania travel tips
- Final Thoughts – 7 days in Tasmania itinerary
Flying is the quickest and cheapest way to get to Tasmania and there are regular domestic flights to Hobart and Launceston from Australia’s major cities. This road trip itinerary begins in Hobart and ends in either Launceston or Hobart. If you’re flying to Tasmania, you can hire a car at the airport.
Another option is to take the ferry from Geelong in Victoria to Devonport in Tasmania. The Spirit of Tasmania ferry takes cars and passengers across the Bass Strait. It usually takes 10 hours to make the journey and the crossing can be rough in high seas.
If you’re travelling by ferry, I suggest booking a night passage with a cabin and taking your car with you on board. The cabins cost extra but they’re comfortable and you can sleep through the trip. If you do take the ferry, you can start and end this itinerary in Devonport at the ferry port.
TIP: If you don’t want to drive you can base yourself in Hobart, and see many of the main attractions on day trips from Hobart.
7 Days in Tasmania Itinerary Overview
This 7 days in Tasmania itinerary is best done as a road trip that begins in the capital Hobart and ends in Hobart, Launceston or Devonport, where onward transport is available.
Day 1. Hobart
Day 2. Port Arthur via Richmond
Day 3. Wineglass Bay
Day 4. Bay of Fires
Day 5. Launceston
Day 6. Cradle Mountain
Day 7 Launceston (Devonport) or Hobart
Day 1. Hobart
On Day 1 of this 7 days in Tasmania itinerary, arrive in Hobart by air and pick up a hire car at the airport. Hobart is Australia’s smallest capital city and it’s a short distance to the city centre, where there are lots of great things to do.
The best place to start is at the Hobart Waterfront. It’s a scenic part of the city brimming with colonial history. Next to the waterfront, Salamanca Place is a colorful area with art galleries, coffee shops and heritage buildings, and if you’re there on a Saturday morning, the popular Salamanca Market takes over the street and it’s the perfect place to shop for gifts and souvenirs.
TIP: It’s a great idea to time your trip so that you don’t miss the Salamanca Market held every Saturday morning from 08:30 am to 3:00 pm.
From Salamanca Place climb the convict-built Kelly’s Stairs and continue up the hill to Battery Point, one of Hobart’s oldest suburbs. Stroll past the rows of pretty Georgian cottages in this well-preserved colonial area. On Hampden Road, there are cafes, gift and antique shops and an artisan bakery.
If you enjoy art galleries, catch the ferry up the Derwent River to MONA, the Museum of New Art to see the controversial exhibits at one of Australia’s most popular art galleries or call in at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG), located near the Hobart Waterfront.
Hobart’s convict history is a fascinating side of the city to explore at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Female factory and Cascade Brewery and, if time permits, drive up the steep winding road to the top of Mount Wellington to enjoy sweeping views over the city and coastline.
Where to Stay in Hobart
Or stay at the Moss Hotel, a quiet retreat in a superb location in busy Salamanca Place.
Day 2 – Port Arthur via Richmond
1.5 – 2 hours
On the second day of this 7 days in Tasmania itinerary, you’ll drive to Port Arthur, but the first stop is the pretty heritage town of Richmond, where the top attractions are the historic Richmond Gaol, the convict-built Richmond Bridge and the pretty Georgian cottages that line the main street. Many are now gift shops, galleries and coffee shops.
After morning tea, continue driving to the Tasman Peninsula and Port Arthur. On the way, stop off at the Tasman National Park to admire the impressive natural rock formations at the Tasman Arch, the Devil’s Kitchen, Blowhole, Tessellated Pavement and Eagle Hawk Neck.
Then continue on to Port Arthur, one of Australia’s most important convict settlements. UNESCO World heritage listed Port Arthur is where the worst of Australia’s convicts were sent, and it tells the stories of the people who lived and died there in the mid-19th century. The site is large, and the entry ticket includes a short harbour cruise.
After a few hours wandering the ruins at Port Arthur, drive to the Remarkable Cave on the rugged coastline. Enjoy the wild, coastal scenery and distant views of Cape Raoul. Watch the huge waves crashing against the majestic sea cliffs from Maingon Lookout.
If time permits stop off at the Port Arthur Lavender Farm, wander through the sweet-smelling lavender fields and stop again at the Unzoo to see Tasmanian Devils at feeding time.
Where to Stay in Port Arthur
The Fox & Hound Historic Hotel gets great reviews for its central location close to the Port Arthur historic site.
Stewarts Bay Lodge has gorgeous water views and offers self-contained chalets and villas with fully equipped kitchens a short distance from the Port Arthur Historic site.
Port Arthur Villas are just a short walk from the Port Arthur Historic Site. The villas offer comfortable accommodation with kitchen facilities for self-catering and a beautiful garden setting.
Or base yourself in Hobart and take a day trip to Port Arthur.
Day 3 Wineglass Bay & the Freycinet Peninsula
Today includes at least 3 hours of driving so make sure you get an early start for the scenic coastal drive from Port Arthur to the Freycinet Peninsula. Stop along the way to enjoy some wine tasting with stunning views at the Devil’s Corner Winery.
In the afternoon call in at the Freycinet National Park visitors centre to buy a national parks pass and head to the start of the Wineglass Bay Lookout walking trail. It’s one of the most popular walks in the National Park and at the lookout, there are stunning views of the perfect crescent of Wineglass Bay, one of the world’s most beautiful beaches.
Continue walking down the steep trail to Wineglass Bay Beach or return to the car park the same way you came. Nearby in the Freycinet National Park, there are more gorgeous coastal views from the Cape Tourville Lighthouse, and Honeymoon Bay but for panoramic views of Wineglass Bay, scramble up the steep trail to the top of Mount Amos.
Where to Stay
Freycinet Lodge is a great place to stay inside the Freycinet National Park, surrounded by native wildlife, close to the walking trails and lookouts with easy access to the beach.
Edge of the Bay Resort is located in a peaceful setting 5 minutes from the centre of Coles Bay with lovely views and wildlife on the doorstep.
The Freycinet Resort gets exceptional reviews for the private, well-appointed studio apartments with superb views.
Or base yourself in Hobart and visit the Freycinet Peninsula as a day trip.
Day 4 St Helens & the Bay of Fires
1.5 -2 hours
From the Freycinet Peninsula, drive along the stunning Great Eastern Drive enjoying the beautiful coastal scenery through the coastal towns of Bicheno and Swansea. If the weather is warm, stop for a swim at beautiful Redbill Beach in Bicheno then continue driving to St Helen’s, the Bay of Fires and Binalong Bay. The attraction here is the stunning coastal scenery with clear turquoise water, powder white sand and rocks covered in bright orange lichen.
If time permits drive into the National Park to the pristine Humbug Point and Dora Point to explore the stunning, secluded beaches.
Where to stay in St Helens
Stay at the Queechy Motel in St Helens and enjoy the exceptional location on the water with beautiful views and free parking.
Or book an entire apartment with a view at Sweetwater Villas in St Helens.
Day 5 Launceston
Day 5 of this 7 days in Tasmania itinerary takes you to Launceston, Tasmania’s second largest city. Take a boat trip or drive to the beautiful Cataract Gorge in the center of Launceston. Enjoy a picnic by the river, and a chairlift ride across the gorge. Bushwalk along the trails through the gorge and enjoy the fresh air and the stunning scenery.
If you enjoy art galleries, head to the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) for the free exhibits. Another highlight of Launceston is visiting Tasmania Zoo where you can view Tasmanian Devils and other unique Australian wildlife.
Then take a drive through the lovely Tamar Valley just outside Launceston and stop off for wine tasting at the Jose Chromy winery or another of the many wineries in the area with an open cellar door.
Summer in Tasmania is the lavender season from December through to February, and it’s the perfect time to visit the Bridestowe Lavender Farm to stroll through the photogenic lavender fields and stock up on lavender-themed gifts.
Where to Stay in Launceston
The Waratah on York Historic Hotel offers elegant, spacious rooms and a fabulous location.
The Art Hotel on York is a quirky boutique hotel with an excellent location.
Day 6 Cradle Mountain
On day 6 leave Launceston early and head to the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm for a delicious breakfast. Stock up on fresh berries and drive the winding mountain roads to Cradle Mountain. One of Tasmania’s best-known wilderness areas, Cradle Mountain is recognized by UNESCO for its exceptional natural beauty and glacier-carved landscapes.
Leave your car in the car park, register at the visitor’s centre and take the shuttle bus into the National Park. Spend the afternoon hiking the trails and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
The Dove Lake trail is a popular circuit path that winds its way around beautiful Dove Lake and takes around 2 hours to complete. Look out for wombats and other wildlife at Ronny Creek and walk by the river through a wonderland of green moss-covered trees to Knyvet Falls or hike up the steep mountain path to Marion’s Lookout for fantastic views of the crater lakes.
Choose a trail to suit your level of fitness and your time frame and visit the Devils@Cradle Wildlife Park to see Australia’s unique and endangered Tasmanian Devils and Quolls.
Where to Stay
Stay inside the National Park at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge close to the walking trails and wildlife.
Or base yourself in Launceston and visit Cradle Mountain as a day trip.
Day 7. Hobart
On the final day of this 7 days in Tasmania itinerary, drive down the mountain and back to Launceston (2.5 hours) to meet your flight home or to Devonport (1.5 hours) to meet the Spirit of Tasmania ferry back to mainland Australia.
Alternatively head back to Hobart. It’s a solid 4 – 5 hour drive to the capital where you can connect with your flight home.
Other things to do in Tasmania
Tasmania is full of fun, adventurous activities and scenic places to visit. Here are some more suggestions if you would like to extend this 7-day itinerary in Tasmania.
Explore the wild and dramatic scenery of the Tasman Peninsula on the epic Three Capes walk. Hike through the Tasmanian wilderness while staying in comfortable private lodges along the way. This multi-day hike through the stunning Tasman National Park begins at the Port Arthur Historic Site.
Visit Strahan on Tasmania’s west coast, a pretty coastal fishing village and a former port located on Macquarie Harbour. Strahan is a popular tourist destination and is the gateway for the wild temperate rainforests of the Franklin Gordon Wild Rivers National Reserve. A cruise on the pristine Gordon River is the best way to discover this untouched wilderness and one of the most popular things to do in Strahan.
The quaint heritage village of Stanley on Tasmania’s north coast is a delightful place to visit. Surrounded by beautiful beaches and nestled beneath a huge rocky outcrop called “The Nut” Stanley offers a variety of fun things to do from a chairlift ride to the top of The Nut, relaxing on the beach or watching the little Fairy Penguins waddling up the beach to their nests at dusk during the summer months.
Maria Island on Tasmania’s east coast is a wonderful place to visit on a day trip and can be accessed by ferry from the coastal town of Triabunna. Maria island has the remains of a convict settlement, beautiful coastal scenery with beaches and walking trails. It’s also known for the abundance of native wildlife such as wombats and kangaroos on the island.
Bruny Island lies off Tasmania’s south coast and is a popular day trip from Hobart. The short drive from Hobart to the ferry port at Kettering takes about half an hour. Bruny island has beautiful rugged coastal scenery and stunning beaches.
Look out for white kangaroos on the island, visit the lighthouse and try the local produce. Fresh oysters, seafood, chocolates, cheese honey and fresh berries are on the menu. Wildlife cruises are a popular way to discover the wildlife and the rugged coastal scenery of Bruny Island.
Mount Field National Park
Mount Field is another beautiful National Park in Tasmania that can be visited on a day trip from Hobart. Mount Field is known for its beautiful waterfalls at Russel Falls, Twin Falls and Horseshoe Falls which can be accessed via walking trails through tall trees and lush green forest.
The drive to Mount Field takes 1.5 hours from Hobart and along the way, you can stop off at Salmon Farm to feed the fish and buy fresh berries directly from the farm near the National Park entrance.
When to Go to Tasmania
The most popular time to visit Tasmania is during the summer from December to February when the weather is warm and sunny and the days are longer. In the shoulder season months of March and April, the weather is still warm. October to November are also good times to go and there are fewer tourists in these months.
Easter, Christmas and school holiday periods are very busy in Tasmania so book your accommodation in advance if you’re travelling during the summer months or in peak holiday periods.
Tasmania travel tips
- On a 7 day road trip itinerary in Tasmania you’ll be visiting many beautiful National Parks and it’s worth buying a Tasmanian National Parks Holiday Pass for convenience and cheaper entry to the many wilderness areas in Tasmania. The pass can be purchased online or at National Parks Visitors centres.
- Take care on the roads and try to avoid driving at night and at dusk and dawn, especially in rural areas. The wildlife is more active at these times, and finding wildlife on the road can be dangerous for unwary motorists and fatal for the native animals.
- Tasmania is one of the safest destinations in Australia for solo travellers but always take care of your personal safety and your belongings and be extra careful if you’re out alone at night.
- Take a paper map. Internet is not always reliable in the less built-up areas of Tasmania. So it’s unwise to rely entirely on online maps and satellite navigation. Expect Wi-Fi to be patchy or non-existent in wilderness areas and National Parks.
- Take the Skybus from Hobart airport into the city centre if you’re not driving or the shuttle bus from Launceston airport to the city centre.
Final Thoughts – 7 days in Tasmania itinerary
On a 7 days in Tasmania itinerary, you’ll spend a week on an epic road trip travelling by car visiting the top attractions, with opportunities to experience the island’s natural beauty, remote wilderness areas and unique wildlife. You’ll come across some of the most beautiful, rugged and untouched places in Australia, whilst staying in comfortable, luxury accommodation and enjoying great local food.
But there’s so much to see and do you’ll be spoilt for choice for activities and sights. With a week in Tasmania, you’ll only have time to scratch the surface. Allow an extra week or 2 if you have the time and you’ll be able to delve a bit deeper into the colonial history, spend some time hiking the National Park trails and relaxing on the stunning beaches.
Tasmania is one of my favourite places to visit in Australia and I think you’ll love it too.
This article was written by Linda from Muy Linda Travels
Linda is a travel blogger and teacher from Australia. She loves to travel solo and over the years she’s visited around 50 countries on 5 different continents. Linda’s recent trips include hiking the epic Three Capes Track in Tasmania, swimming with sea turtles on the stunning islands of the Great Barrier Reef and a jaunt to Java and Bali climbing volcanos, visiting ancient sacred places and zipping around on the back of a motorbike.
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