For my second part of my guide to road-tripping down the East Coast of Tasmania, we head down to the south towards Hobart. Whilst we visited each location along the way, stopping at numerous small towns to stay the night before moving towards the next, you can also easily base yourself in Hobart to explore each of these locations. When we visited Freycinet National Park, the place most furthest from Hobart, we came across many people who had been driving from Hobart to come visit as well, so it is doable if you prefer to stay in one place to visit all the below sights!
Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park
For those who love doing walks and hikes, Freycinet National Park is a perfect spot for you. If you are driving from Hobart, this would be the longest drive for you taking just over 2 hours. If you want to stay locally like us, you can choose to stay at any of the small towns near by. Coles Bay is a popular place to stay and is right at the entrance of the National Park. It is pricier and books out fast due to its accessibility and so for us, we chose to stay at Bicheno and drive down. One of the main attractions at Freycinet National Park is Wineglass Bay which is a stunning perfectly curved bay – it’s one of Tasmania’s most popular views so definitely make a visit here. To view Wineglass Bay from above, you can either do the easier walk to Wineglass Bay Lookout which mainly comprises of a walking track with some steps. Alternatively, you can climb Mount Amos, which is the more challenging option and takes you to a higher elevation. Both of these start at the same carpark and a word of warning for that carpark – if it is peak season, do try to get there earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon because it is really small and gets completely packed! For us, we chose to visit the Wineglass Bay Lookout – I’d love to have done the Mt Amos climb too but we didn’t have time to schedule it in. The bay is quite a beautiful sight and you can easily make a whole day out of Freycinet National Park, visiting Honeymoon Bay, the Lighthouse and a few other viewpoints along the way. I don’t think there’s any food options available in the park so best to bring a picnic lunch.
Tasman National Park
We took the most fabulous boat tour with Wild Ocean Tasmania at Tasman National Park. Leaving from Pirate Bay, Damo from Wild Ocean Tasmania took us on an adventure on water visiting some of the famous sights along the coast. Sightseeing from the water was a completely different experience to if we were to visit these places on land and viewed them from above as you can really get to see everything in its entirety and marvel at just how big some of these cave and cliff formations are. We visited Tasman’s Arch, The Candlestick and Totem Pole and got really in and amongst some of the caves and waves. Along the way, we spotted heaps of dolphins, seals and albatross as well! Such an experience to be sharing the sea with these wondrous creatures. The boat tours they run are on small adventure style boats and are really great for thrill seekers and those who love to have a more hands-on feel to their tour. They provide warm waterproof jackets as well as it can get really cold in the water.
To visit Tasman National Park, we stayed in Primrose Sands and drove down but you can easily also stay at Hobart if you want to base yourself there. If you have time, a visit to Port Arthur would also be extremely interesting but unfortunately we were unable to fit it into our schedule.
I’m all about natural landscapes when travelling so one of my favourite things about Hobart was visiting Mount Wellington. Mount Wellington is huge and can always been seen towering in the background from Hobart city. It’s literally about 20 minutes from the city so is extremely accessible and a popular tourist destination. The drive up the mountain is quite crazy as you are so high up and the Pinnacle (the top lookout point) on Mount Wellington provides stunning panoramic views of Hobart City. Top tip for visiting Mount Wellington is to make sure you check the weather forecast before heading up (I heard there’s a camera on the website that shows you whether there is visibility or not) because sometimes you can drive all the way up the mountain to find that you can’t see anything and whilst that can be a lovely sight too, if you’re hoping to see Hobart city you will be disappointed. We had a period of that right before we left where all you can see is cloud. Also, it is super duper cold up top so pack some warm clothes!
In Hobart we also wanted to visit MONA but the annual MONA FOMA (MOFO) festival was on so MONA was closed during that time. It’s definitely on my list for next time though, as I heard it’s like having the Louvre in Australia! Lastly, Salamanca market was also on our list but sadly the weather changed our plans and we couldn’t make it anymore.
A popular day trip from Hobart is to Bruny Island. I completely loved this place and will put together a separate post with a guide to Bruny Island next but as a basic guide – definitely put aside one day to visit Bruny Island. If you are hiring a car, take it with you because you can! The ferry there is a car friendly ferry and you totally need it to get around the island. Stay tuned on more Bruny soon :)
Photography: Connie Cao & Rowena Cao