DESTINATIONS - TRAVEL DESTINATIONS
Kirsten and Angus are Outback Travel Australia team members and keen off-roaders, hikers and climbers. Here’s their well researched Tasmanian itinerary.
Tasmania Itinerary Day 1 – Melbourne to Devonport – Spirit of Tasmania
Disembarked Ferry after passing a thorough quarantine inspection including the removal of all leaves and mud from the Amarok (no fruits or veggies allowed!).
Drove to Stanley (1.5 hour drive) and camped at Stanley Caravan Park. Highight: watching the little penguin colony waddle up the beach just after dark on the boardwalk. (Take a headtorch that has a red light setting, so you don’t blind the little guys!)
Day 2 – Stanley to Nelsons Bay via Tarkine Drive
Climbed the Nut in Stanley (there is also a chairlift for those who prefer maximum views with minimum effort) . Sampled the Stanley bakery pies and some supplies from the Stanley general store. Then it was off to explore the Tarkine Drive and the Arthur River with 500 year-old trees, truly wild rainforest and sinkholes!
Finished off the day driving across the the North West coast to camp at Nelson Bay near ‘The End of the World’ (free camping). Nelson bay was by far our favourite campsite: right on the beach with no other campers, despite it being mid January, just a few local beach shacks.
Day 3 – Nelson Bay to Cradle Mountain via Arthur River – The Edge of the World Lookout – Table Cape lighthouse and Tulip Farm.
Windy 12-degree temperatures and poor visibility at Cradle Mountain had us nervous for the traverse attempt tomorrow. The weather in the alpine regions is so changeable! Camped at Cradle Mountain Holiday and Caravan Park.
Day 4 – Cradle Mountain
6:30am start from camp to attempt the Cradle Mountain Traverse Climb. Rain and blizzard conditions were unrelenting. We hiked Dove Lake, Hansen’s Peak and climbed Cradle Mountain proper instead.
The 2000 year old pine trees were incredible! Views from the top of Cradle Mountain were non-existent in white-out conditions. Some 20,000 steps later we were keen for a Spice Tailor curry (Kezzie from OTA HQ’s best camping meal hack) and an 8pm bedtime!
Day 5 – Dove Canyon (Cradle Mountain) to Lake St Clair via Franklin Gordon National Park
Went Canyoning with ‘Cradle Mountain Canyons’ in Dove Canyon – with very thick wetsuits. The tannins in the water from the tea tree didn’t deter us as we abseiled down into the canyon, splashing through a series of natural water slides and jumps. Highly recommend these guys as a guiding company!
Once we finished the Canyon we headed towards Lake St Clair via Franklin Gordon National Park. Walked a little off track and saw our first (of many) tiger snakes on the banks of the Franklin River. Finished up at Lake St Claire Lodge where we watched the sunset from the Lake St Clair jetty, dangling our legs above the water.
Day 6 – Lake St Clair to Cockle Creek (the southern most road in Australia) via the Huon Valley
A beautiful drive. Many apple orchids and fresh fruit to be had in the Huon Valley.
Day 7 – Cockle Creek to Cloudy Bay Corner (Bruny Island)
A morning walk out to Fisherman’s Point at Cockle Creek was worth the early start. Huonville boasts a good burger, so we stopped en route to the Bruny Island Ferry. After disembarking the Ferry we stopped at the Bruny Island Cheese Company and Berry Farm.
An easy beach drive (hard sand at the right time of day) saw us pulling up to a quiet, cloudy corner campground before sunset, for some wine and cheese sundowners.
Day 8 – Bruny Island to the Tasman Peninsula (Fortescue Bay Campsite)
A short drive along the beach to start the morning (with carefully timed tides) had us headed for Fluted Cape for a hike starting at Adventure Bay. Spectacular cliffs and rock pillars – a climbers paradise. Then back on the ferry with some Bruny Island cherries and headed for the Tasman Peninsula, to set up camp at Fortescue Bay
Day 9 – Exploring Fortescue Bay and hiking Cape Huay
We met a local fisherman at our campsite who spent the morning catching the biggest crayfish we have ever seen. The Cape Huay hike involves many stairs but some incredible sea stacks and rock pipes. We eyed off the Totem Pole from Cape Huay lookout one of Tasmania’s most infamous rock climbing routes. The day ended with a lightning storm in true Tasmanian style.
Day 10 – Fortescue bay to Air BnB near Bicheno (first non-camping night)
Snorkelling at Canoe Bay shipwreck. Highly recommend the Devil Unzoo on Tasman Peninsula. Lunch was fresh fish and chips at Dunnally!
Day 11 – Bicheno to Bay of Fires Via Freycinet
Climbed Mount Amos at Freycinet for an awesome view over Wineglass Bay (a lot of rock scrabbling involved in this hike). Then headed to the Bay of Fires to camp at a lovely private campsite at Swimcart Beach, with beautiful lichen covered rocks.
Day 12 – Swimcart Beach to Policemans Point
Priory Ridge Wines and their cellar dog Trevor is worth a visit.
Day 13 – Policeman’s Point to Narawintipu National Park (the Serengeti of Tasmania for wildlife) via Little Muswell Bay
Eddystone Lighthouse is worth a visit and there are some nice short 4×4 tracks to be found nearby.
Day 14 – Narawintipu to Wild Dog Creek (hike-in-only campsite in Walls of Jerusalem National Park)
We swapped to our hiking tent set up, bidding farewell to our comfy Blackwolf swag and headed into the Walls of Jerusalem National Park – an incredibly special park with beautiful alpine climates and no road access. The only way to expore the park is by hiking in and hiking out. Note: take care stowing gear in the car when doing multi-day hikes, because thieves target this area. Our two day hike took us past five tiger snakes to Wild Dog Creek camping platforms.
Day 15 – Wall of Jerusalam to Mole Creek
An Air BnB for the last night of the trip – to relax our sore backs after the multi-day hike. Then home on the Spirit of Tasmania.
Cockle Creek (for stunning beaches)
Walls of Jerusalem National Park (for hiking)
Cradle Mountain (for scenery)
The Wild North West (for quiet camping)
Best Campsites:Nelson Bay – North West
Wild Dog Creek (hike-in only)
Cloudy Corner (Bruny Island – 4×4 beach access only – check tides.