Suggested Itinerary for your Holiday
Melbourne is a comfortable day's drive from Sydney or Adelaide, or two days from Brisbane via Parkes. You could book at the Hume Villa Motor Inn - 1324 Sydney Rd, Faulkner 1800 063990. From there it costs very little extra to take your own car across on one of the "Spirit of Tasmania" ferries which depart daily at 9.00am and 9.00pm and take about nine hours for the trip to Devonport. Phone 132010 to book.
DAY 1: Take the day trip on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry and book that night at the Argosy Motel in East Devonport (03 64278872) . Note that you cannot take fruit or vegetables into Tasmania and your car will be inspected twice.
DAY 2: Follow the signs to Cradle Mountain. Then, on returning, turn right at Moina to the Mt Claude Lookout and perhaps visit the King Solomon or Marakoopa Cave. If you have time you may wish to view Great Lake before driving to Launceston where you could book at Parklane Motel (9 Brisbane St 1800 803503)
DAY 3: Make an early start and take the West Tamar Highway at least as far as Brady's Lookout or go on to the Barman Bridge and return via the East Tamar Highway. Explore Launceston (including the Cataract Gorge) and drive to Longford where Woolmers is well worth a visit. Note that the last tour is at 3.30pm each day. If you like historic buildings and bridges you may have the time to get down to Campbell Town and Ross.
DAY 4: Drive via Lilydale to see the Bridestowe Lavender Farm and then on via Scottsdale, Derby and Gladstone to the Mount William National Park and perhaps Eddystone Point. Alternatively, take the slow road through Ringarooma to Mt Victoria and Pyengana to St Helens. Stay the night at Bicheno where there are plenty of rooms at the Beachfront Motel (03 63751111)
DAY 5: Explore the Freycinet Peninsula, especially the lookout at Cape Tourville, Honeymoon Bay and the Wineglass Bay lookout. You could book that night at the Tandara Motel at Triabunna (03 62573333)
DAY 6: Make an early start and drive up to the Thumbs Lookout at Orford. Then take the short cut going straight ahead at Orford (past a service station where the main road turns sharp right) to Cropping, but take the time to do the short rain forest walk on that road. On the way to Port Arthur don't miss the Tessellated Pavement, the Devil's Kitchen and the Tasman Arch and Blowhole. There's a short walk from the Blowhole to a lookout over Pirates Bay and another lookout near the Arch. Check in for morning tea in your room at the Fox and Hounds (03 62502217) just before the Port Arthur turn off. However, go on to the Remarkable Cave before returning to Port Arthur where you should expect to spend at least four or five hours in the afternoon and possibly the evening.
DAY 7: Travel to Hobart via Richmond where you'll see the oldest bridge in Australia and, if interested in old sandstone buildings, you may wish to go up to Oatlands. If you have time in Hobart you could drive at least to the lookout half way up Mt Wellington, but it will take much longer to the top. You could book for two nights at the Argyle Motor Lodge about five minutes out of town (corner Argyle and Lewis Sts, North Hobart - 03 62342488)
DAY 8: Travel via Kingston, Huonville and Geeveston to the tree top Air Walk at Tahune Forest Reserve. Return via Cygnet taking the road across to Woodbridge and back to Hobart via Snug and Taroona, being sure to visit the lookout near there from which I took the first photo.
DAY 9: Travel via New Norfolk to the Russell Falls. On the return trip take the shortcut from Westerway via Ellendale to the Lyell Highway. Visit Lake St Clair and don't miss the Nelson Falls on the way to Strahan via Queenstown. You should book two nights perhaps at Strahan Cabin Park on the way out of town towards Zeehan (corner of Jones & Innes St, 03 64717442) or Sailor's Rest (14 Harvey St, 1800 188810).. Be sure to book well in advance at Strahan.
DAY 10: Take a cruise on Macquarie Harbour which includes a visit to the ruins of the penal settlement at Sarah Island - established before Port Arthur. Enjoy a buffet lunch with Gordon River Cruises. It may be best to book in advance on 03 64717187.
DAY 11: Take the Zeehan road and don't miss the one-way scenic drive near Renison Bell and the Montezuma Falls at the end of the Williamsford road just before Rosebery - that is, if you're fit enough for the three hour walk! Be careful to stay on the Murchison Highway, heading towards Somerset, where you could stay that night at the Murchison Lodge Motor Inn (9 Murchison Hwy, 03 64351106). If you have time you may wish to visit the lighthouse and lookout at Wynyard to save time the next day.
DAY 12: Drive to Stanley and take the tourist drive to inspect Highfield before walking or taking the chairlift to the top of The Nut. Inspect Joseph Lyons Cottage and then Rocky Cape and the Wynyard lookout on the return trip. Take the Riana turnoff at Penguin to see the beautiful Gunns Plains then Ulverstone and back to the Argosy at Devonport.
DAY 13: Return to Port Melbourne on the 9.00am Spirit of Tasmania.