Plan Your Self-Drive Holiday in Tasmania: A Detailed Guide

Self Drive Holiday in Tasmania

Whether you’re a self-drive aficionado or an avid traveller looking to explore this beautiful Australian gem at your own pace, rest assured that this article has everything you need to plan a self-drive holiday in Tasmania. 

Nestled below mainland Australia, Tasmania boasts long, pristine coastlines, rugged wilderness, breathtaking landscapes, and charming colonial towns. If you’re a self-drive enthusiast, Tasmania is a dream destination. 

There are hidden gems to explore at every turn while winding through roads, passing through lush green ancient forests, and skirting dramatic cliffs. 

For many, the self-drive holiday is the best way to explore Tasmania, and rightly so. Imagine cruising along the famous Bass Highway, enjoying the sunrise on Wineglass Bay, or navigating your way through the Tarkine wilderness. 

When you’re behind the wheel, the horizon of experiences you can take back home increases manifold. From stopping by to enjoy plump cherries in the Tamar Valley or spotting a waddling wombat near Cradle Mountain, you go back home with memories to cherish forever. 

If you’re planning for Tasmania holidays self-drive, this article will be your co-pilot all the way. 

It is meticulously crafted for adventurous spirits like you, ensuring you’ve everything you need to plan a perfect holiday while experiencing the finest of what Tasmania has to offer. 

How To Plan a Self-Drive Holiday in Tasmania?

As a traveller, you must already know how important planning is when going on a Tasmania holiday self-drive. Having a simple and practical plan ensures there are no disappointments or hassles during your holiday.

And for that, the first thing you need to decide on is the time of year you’ll be visiting Tasmania. 

The time of the year will help you decide your itinerary and the places to visit during your road trip. As the weather in Tasmania can be a bit unpredictable, it’s recommended to pack accordingly. 

Once you’ve zeroed in on the timing, the next thing you need to do is plan the route of your road trip across Tasmania. Make sure to consider and calculate the distances between the destinations you’re planning to visit, the driving conditions on the way, and the pit stops you shouldn’t miss. 

Also, remember to check out the availability of accommodation on your route, opening hours of destinations and hotels, etc. This is even more important if you’re planning your Tasmania holiday self-drive during peak season. However, there are ample budget and luxury accommodation options across Tasmania, so finding accommodation shouldn’t be an issue. But it’s always suggested that you book in advance, especially if you’re planning your road trip during peak season. 

Make sure to arrange and book your car rental in advance to avoid disappointment at the last minute, as the demand can be high during peak season. 

Also, remember to familiarise yourself with the local driving and road rules and regulations for a safe, hassle-free and enjoyable journey. Don’t forget to buy travel insurance when on a Tasmania self-drive holiday. 

Planning a road trip across Tasmania does need a bit of research and time. However, the effort and time you spend during planning allow you the freedom to explore Tasmania’s beautiful landscape and destinations at your own pace, ensuring an incredible and memorable experience. 

Creating The Perfect Itinerary For Your Tasmanian Self-Drive Adventure

When you’re planning the itinerary for your road trip across Tasmania, start by listing the best places to visit in Tasmania. Depending on the duration of the journey, you need to carefully plan by shortlisting the must-visit places and those that are not the topmost priority. 

While it is possible to cover the entire Tasmania comprehensively in around two weeks, road trips can always be unpredictable. So, you must keep some buffer time, as not only are there numerous places to visit, but there are tonnes of activities you can engage in. 

Activities such as exploring coastlines, hiking through national parks, and visiting museums and places of historical significance can be time-consuming. 

And while it may be a road trip, you cannot discount time for leisure and relaxation when in Tasmania. Plan your itinerary to ensure must-visit and popular tourist destinations are covered, the accommodation and car rental are taken care of, and there’s ample buffer time left you can use on the go whenever and wherever you please. 

Such planning with a keen eye for detail will ensure your Tasmanian Holidays self-drive adventure becomes an unforgettable experience. 

How Long Does it Take To Cover Tasmania by Road?

The total route around Tasmania is 1,500 km, so it should ideally take 7 to 10 days, depending on your travelling style. As the stretch around this tiny island is short, many people even cover the entire coast of Tasmania in as little as 3 to 4 days on their self-drive holiday. 

However, covering Tasmania in 3-4 days as part of a self drive holiday in Tasmania isn’t recommended as it is sure to wear you out. Moreover, in such a short span, you won’t be able to enjoy the breathtaking landscapes and other activities this beautiful island state has to offer. 

It is suggested you allot some additional time to your Tasmania self drive holiday package, as you’ll encounter mountainous terrain on the way, slowing you down. 

What Are The Best Tasmania Road Trips For A Self Drive Holiday?

There are many different ways you can approach the Tasmania Holiday Self-Drive tour, depending on your preferences. For example, if you want to experience the urban side of Tasmania and want to explore its beachside towns, drive down the East Coast. 

Remember to add Swansea, St. Helens and Orford to your route. Once you’ve covered these, you can continue your road trip towards Freycinet National Park.

If you’re more interested in exploring the farmlands of Tasmania, go on a two-hour picturesque drive from Launceston to Cradle Mountain. 

Which Is The Most Breathtaking Tasmania Route For A Self Drive Holiday?

When it comes to the most scenic Tasmania road trips, the route from Launceston to Hobart tops the list. This drive is approximately over two hours long and allows you to experience iconic destinations on the way. 

This route allows you to travel up the Midland Highway, passing the scenic and beautiful towns of Ross and Oatlands, Longford, and Campbell Town. 

You can take a detour on this Tasmania Holiday Self Drive route towards Bothwell or the Highland Lakes Road, getting you straight to Central Plateau and allowing you to experience the Great Lake on the way. 

Top Places To Visit On Your Tasmania Holidays Self-Drive Adventure 

Over 1.3 to 1.4 million people visit Tasmania each year, and a good portion of these tourists are interested in self-drive tours across this beautiful island. You can take a Tassie tour through travel companies or choose to explore on your own after doing a bit of research and planning. 

With so many things to do, places to visit and explore, and much more, it’s always recommended to plan and book tours, tickets, activities, and accommodations in advance, especially if you’re travelling in the peak season between October and April. 

Tasmania packs a punch for the tourists with its gorgeous beaches, gourmet produce, ancient forests, quirky native wildlife, friendly locals, heritage architecture, culturally rich history, and more. 

To make sure you don’t miss out on anything interesting on your Tasmania Holiday Self Drive tour, let us go through the list of famous places in Tasmania you can’t miss out on!

Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park

This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with towering peaks like Cradle Mountain, glacial lakes, and breathtaking landscapes. 

You can take a scenic gondola ride while here or go for a hike on one of Australia’s Great Walks, the Overland Tracks. 

The region is blessed with unparalleled scenic beauty and diverse flora and fauna, allowing you to experience nature at its finest. 

Wineglass Bay 

It is a crescent-shaped beach located right in the heart of Freycinet National Park. If you’re an adventurous soul, you can choose to hike over the Hazards Mountain or enjoy the stunning sea views by taking a boat tour to Wineglass Bay. 

Port Arthur 

This place gives you a deep insight into Australia’s penal history as it’s a former convict settlement. 

You can explore the ruins of historic prison buildings, learn more about its history, take a scenic boat tour around the harbour, go for a stroll around the harbour town, etc. You can also choose to visit the Point Puer Boys reformatory while here!


This is a coastal town on the east coast of Tasmania, famous among tourists for their cute penguin parade. At dusk every day, penguins waddle back to their home from the sea. 

Along with penguins, you can also spot whales, dolphins, and wallabies. There are specialized whale and dolphin-watching and sightseeing tours organized for anyone who wants to experience the island’s beauty.

If you want customized experience, you can book the Tasmania self drive holiday package online or from local vendors to experience the best of Tasmania comfortably.

The Great Eastern Drive 

This is a route you cannot miss on your Tasmania holiday self-drive tour, thanks to its dramatic cliffs, virgin beaches, and stunning landscapes along the Tasman Peninsula. 

Stop over at charming little towns along the way, such as Coles Bay and Swansea. You can also choose to visit Sleepy Hollow Wildlife Sanctuary en route or stop at Tasman Arch for a beautiful ocean view. 

Tamar Valley 

It is one of the most fertile regions in the whole of Tasmania, famous for its gourmet food producers, cider houses and vineyards. You can book wine-tasting tours here or stop by to sample local wines, Tasmanian whiskey, and local cheeses. 

Visit and experience the local village lifestyle at Evandale or go on a fascinating hot air balloon ride over the expansive vineyards. 


It is the second-largest city in Tasmania, with a vibrant cultural scene and modern attractions for urban tourists. The town is lined with art galleries, museums, and other heritage buildings you can explore throughout the day. 

Remember to visit the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery or take a walk in the lap of nature at Cataract Gorge. If you’re a foodie at heart, you’ll love feasting at a coterie of cafes and restaurants in the city and aroud the island, offering a world-class dining experience. 


Hobart, Tasmania’s capital, offers a diverse social and cultural experience that’s encapsulated in the beauty of Tasmania during a self-drive holiday. The city boasts a mix of colonial architecture, quirky shops, waterfront bars, museums, local markets, and more. 

You can take a ferry to visit the Museum of Old and New Art for a unique artistic experience, climb the famous Mount Wellington for panoramic views, and visit Salamanca Market to shop for locally produced handicrafts.

Tarkine Wilderness 

If you’re a nature lover, you must include this in your Tasmania Holiday Self Drive itinerary. 

This vast rainforest is home to unique wildlife, scenic rivers, and ancient trees. You can choose to hike the Tarkine Track or take a 4WD tour. If you’re an adventurous soul, you can even go for white-water rafting on the Franklin River. 

Bruny Island 

It is a small island situated southeast of Tasmania, and it’s famous among tourists for its pristine beaches, gourmet food culture, diverse wildlife, sumptuous seafood, and more. 

You can spend the day exploring the island or wildlife spotting or take a boat tour to see the Cape Bruny Lighthouse. 

Bay of Fires (Tasmania East Coast)

If you’re a beach person, you must visit the beautiful Bay of Fires region situated on the island’s east coast. 

With its signature orange lichen-cloaked boulders, white sand beaches, and crystal blue seas, the Bay of Fires is known globally for its breathtaking views. 

The coastline of the Bay of Fires stretches for over 50 km from Binalong Bay to Eddystone Point. There are many lovely beaches you can choose to spend time on, including the famous Jeanneret, Swimcart, Cosy Corner, and Gardens. 

Bay of Fires is approximately a four-hour drive from Hobart and around an hour less from Launceston. You can take the Great Eastern Drive to St. Helens, and then there are ample signs to guide you to the Bay of Fires. 

If you’re unsure of where to start, you can create a rad trip itinerary by going through Tasmanian vacation packages offered by various travel companies. 

Alternatively, you can also book Tasmanian self drive holiday that includes popular places mentioned above, including Tasmanian devils, Port Arthur historic site, food and wine tours, wildlife tours, and aligns with your date of travel and style of accommodation. 

Factors to Consider for Car Hire

Tasmania is dotted with car rental services for your self drive holiday in Tasmania, and you shouldn’t have a problem finding a car that meets your preferences and requirements. 

Whether you’re looking for budget options, luxury car rentals, or anything else, rest assured there’s car rental available to suit your needs and budget. 

Some factors to consider when selecting car rental services are –

Pickup & Drop-Off Locations 

Make sure to choose a company that’s flexible in terms of car pickup and drop-off locations. The drop-off location it caters to should align with your itinerary, or else you’ll lose valuable time in the process. 

Insurance Options 

Thoroughly read the insurance options and terms and conditions included in your car rental package before signing on the dotted line. Consider adding additional coverage if needed. 

Vehicle Size & Features

When you’re on a Tasmania Holiday Self Drive adventure, make sure to rent a car that’s comfortable and has sufficient features to make your ride a memorable one. Compromising too much on the car’s features, safety, size, and type may negatively influence your self drive holiday. 

Customer Reviews

It’s always suggested that you check out the online reviews of the car rental services you’re considering using. This will help you understand if the car rental service for your Tasmania self drive holiday offers the high quality service you’re looking for and if there are any red flags you should watch out for. 

Whether you’re on a 7 day Tasmanian tour or a 3-day tour, it’s always a good idea to have your car rental sorted before you take a flight to Tasmania or jump off your cruise on Port of Devonport.

You can also choose to book tour of Tasmania through travel agencies. There are many self drive Tasmania packages offered for different durations, and when you book tasmanian vacations on twin share basis, the cost comes down considerably. 

Final Thoughts 

Tasmania is a beautiful island state you can explore on your own at your own pace on a self-drive vacation.

From marvelling at the astounding scenic beauty of Freycinet National Park to soaking in the views of World Heritage-listed Gordon Wild Rivers National Park in Strahan and more, Tasmania has a lot to offer and explore. 

Whether you’re planning a trip with your family and friends or a romantic escapade, rest assured, Tasmania Holiday Self Drive is a great idea. 

So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get set to explore the tantalising Tasmania!

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