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Welcome to Tasmania
If there’s one destination in Australia that’s got it all (there’s not, there’s plenty!), it’d have to be Tasmania. An incomparable Wilderness World Heritage Area, abundant national parks, towering mountains, sparkling sandy beaches, a huge sense of history, and bountiful fresh produce and world-class wine. What’s not to love? And all of this is contained within a package of land which accounts for just 0.9% of Australia’s total area.
The Apple Isle, as it’s colloquially known, is the ideal spot to explore by campervan. It’s small enough that you can discover a huge range of landscapes and experiences within a reasonably short period of time. And, best of all, it’s all within a short drive of the historic capital, Hobart.
While there are literally dozens of routes you could take out of Hobart on your campervan journey, we’ve picked three of the best camper routes to give you a true Tasmanian experience.
Route 1: The Southern Trail
This 2-4 day, 270km journey south of Hobart is a perfect long weekend campervan trip. It will lead you to discover waterways and wilderness, forests and fishing boats, orchards and arts. Rich in pioneer history, the region is well-known for its huge variety of landscapes from the still waters of the tranquil Huon River to the magnificent forests of the Hartz Mountains National Park.
Day One will take you from Hobart to Geeveston, a 60km drive via the charming towns of Huonville and Franklin. With such a short distance to drive, you can spend time exploring the apple orchards, wineries and boat rides at Huonville and discover Tassie’s wooden boat-building history in Franklin. Once you hit Geeveston, the Tahune Forest AirWalk is an unmissable experience. There are plenty of options along the route or in Geeveston itself to park up the campervan overnight.
Day Two is a short, 20km trip to Dover, via the Hartz Mountains National Park. From Hartz Peak (1255m), you can see east to the ocean and west into the heart of Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. And, past Dover, discover some of the world’s oldest caves and spectacular outdoor thermal springs.
Day Three will see you head back to Huonville and set sail for Bruny Island aboard the ferry. You’ll enjoy a scenic drive through hilly farmland, orchards and vineyards along the way to Kettering, where you can pick up the car ferry across to Bruny Island. Here, you’ll discover the island’s fabulous produce such as cheese, oysters, wine and berries. You can overnight on the island at Adventure Bay - an idyllic location to enjoy campervan life.
After exploring Bruny Island, jump back on the ferry and make the short, 70km drive back to Hobart.
Route 2: Derwent Valley
Discover the Derwent Valley, and beyond, in this 3-4 day / 393km camper trip around the heart of the Tasmania’s Derwent Valley with tranquil rivers, rolling hills, tall forests and the rugged wilderness of Lake St Clair.
Day One takes you from Hobart to New Norfolk (35km). Pickup your campervan and follow the Derwent River to New Norfolk, a picturesque small town with historic buildings. Wander along the river's banks and around the town's historic centre, Arthur Square, on a self-guided walking tour of some of Australia's oldest hotels and churches.
The next day, you’ll drive the 65km from New Norfolk to Bothwell through the tiny hamlets of Bushy Park, Plenty and Westerway up into the mountains to Mt Field National Park and beyond to rugged Maydena and the Styx Valley of Tasmania's south-west. Camp overnight at one of the pretty hamlets in the area like Maydena, Bushy Park, or Hamilton before setting off on your third day to Lake St Clair, 120km away.
Lake St Clair is at the southern end of the famous Overland Track in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. The lake is Australia's deepest natural freshwater lake, stretching more than 17km in the heart of the World Heritage Area and surrounded by a magnificent mountain range. Take a cruise on the lake or take one of several short walks along the edge of the lake – or cruise up the lake one-way and walk back through pristine wilderness.
And finally, make the 174km trip back from Lake St Clair to Hobart.
Route 3: The Convict Trail
Explore the rich history penal history in this 2-3 day campervan trip.
Richmond is 27km from Hobart and is the perfect place to camp after a late afternoon pickup. In Richmond, you can learn about Tasmania's rich colonial heritage and take in Australia's oldest bridge, oldest still-standing Catholic Church and oldest gaol. Richmond is also home to Old Hobart Town, a carefully constructed outdoor model of Hobart as it was in 1820.
Spend the morning of day 2 exploring Richmond before making the 90km drive to your Port Arthur. Tasmania is well-known for its convict history, with Port Arthur the site of Australia’s first penal colony. It's worth spending a few hours soaking up the Port Arthur historic site and taking a tour before settling into an overnight location at the beauty of staying overnight at the Port Arthur Holiday Park or Fortesque Bay Camping Ground.
Day 3 it's time to revel in the natural beauty of the Tasman Peninsula - a place of breathtaking seascapes, some of the tallest sea cliffs in the world and wild ocean views. Take a few hours to explore Eaglehawk Neck, the Tessellated Pavement, along with the local blowholes, caves, bays and beaches. Finish off with the 1.5 hour (100km) drive back to Hobart.
Ready to explore Tasmania by campervan?
Convinced that Tasmania is the perfect destination for your next family holiday? Of course you are! Pack your bags and book an adventure of a lifetime with Britz.