10 Day Tasmania Itinerary: What to See & Do (1st Hand Guide)
Have you been looking for the best 10 day Tasmania itinerary? I’ve got you covered!
I’m an experienced traveller and meticulous planner, and am used to building itineraries to maximise our time in a destination. I’ve lived in Victoria for four years so have had the beautiful island of Tasmania right on our doorstep. This 10 day itinerary of Tasmania is an exact replica of a trip we took as a family, and I hope it helps you to build the perfect trip of your own.
Planning can be the most difficult part of a holiday, so this itnerary is designed to take away all the pain for you and make it super easy to find the best route around the island, hitting all the items on your Tasmania bucket list.
Make planning even easier by booking a 5-day tour. Combine with 5-days in Hobart for the complete itinerary & save on hire car costs.
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P.S. This itinerary assumes you are flying in to Tasmania mid-week and flying out on a Saturday, as Salamanca market only happens on a Saturday. You could do it slightly differently, flying in on a Saturday to enjoy the market before covering the rest of the island.
Day 1 of 10 Day Tasmania Itinerary: Drive to Strahan, Nelson Falls
Day one of the Tasmania Itinerary involves a big drive to the west coast, but there are some great stop for sightseeing built in.
Drive to Strahan
After touching down at Hobart, it’s time to head out west to the wonderful little seaside village of Strahan.
We got the 0840 flight out of Melbourne and landed at 0955.
This is a big day of driving at around 300km. On paper, it’s 4 hours and 23 minutes, but by the time we picked up the hire car, stopped to do some shopping, navigated the windy roads of Tasmania’s forested interior and stopped off at Nelson Falls we got to Strahan around 1700, so the whole of day one was lost to travel.
About 3/4 of the way between Hobart and Strahan you’ll find Nelson Falls, which is well worth a stop, especially if you’ve been driving as long as I had. It’s a short walk to the falls and will be your first experience of Tasmania’s moody temperate rainforest.
Iron Blow Lookout
You’ll find Iron Blow Lookout about an hour before Strahan, just before the small old mining town of Queenstown. Pull off to your right and it’s a few minutes from the road.
It’s a stop that will take less than ten minutes, with the car park being right beside the lookout over the remains of an old copper mine that was once the biggest in the world.
Opposite Iron Blow Lookout you’ll find Horsetail Falls. The falls themselves are pretty special, but the views down the valley towards are just as good, with motorbikes roaring up the dozens of switchbacks on the steep road from Queenstown.
If you got an earlier flight to Tasmania and want to make some more stops than the three suggest here, then Curious Campers have a great article listing sights between Hobart and Strahan.
Day 2 of 10 Day Tasmania Itinerary: Gordon River Cruise
Day two is one of the, if not the single biggest highlight of the trip, a Gordon River Cruise. Book in advance of arriving to make sure you can get a cruise on your chosen day.
Take a Gordon River Cruise
Taking a Gordon River Cruise was my main reason for coming to Tasmania, and I wasn’t disappointed. I am a UNESCO Heritage Site geek (Tasmania’s wilderness area is actually the most qualified UNESCO site in the world) and I can’t think of any better way to first experience it than exploring the rainforest by boat like an Amazon explorer.
I wrote an entire piece about my experience on the Gordon River, but the short story is it was magnificent, and you absolutely have to set a day aside in your Tasmania itinerary to do it.
Sunset at Ocean Beach
The cruise will be done about 2pm, so there’s still time left in the day to explore around Strahan, so we opted for a drive out to Ocean Beach lookout to take in the sunset.
Unfortunately, a huge storm swirled in, and we quickly doubled back to Strahan to avoid it, but even on a grey day it was still a beautiful beach, so hopefully you will be more lucky.
Day 3 of 10 Day Tasmania Itinerary: West Coast Wilderness Railway & Local Play
Day three you’ll take a train into the rainforest and see the longest running play in Australia.
Ride the West Coast Wilderness Railway
I pride myself on writing first-hand travel guides, but in this instance it’s not a first-hand recommendation, but not for a lack of trying. This post about what we did in Strahan explains exactly why our trip on the West Coast Wilderness Railway was cancelled, but either way it’s the second most popular tourist attraction in the area for a reason, and it receives a near perfect 5-star rating from over 1,500 reviews on TripAdvisor.
Watch The Ship That Never Was
There are always amateur drama productions on show in small towns, but believe me, you’ve never seen anything quite like this one. The Ship That Never Was tells the tale of convicts on Sarah Island who steal one of the final ships made there. They manage crowd involvement (including a huge water fight that left our daughter in giggles) and more laugh out loud moments than most sitcoms, all whilst gradually constructing a ship on stage. Book, it’s well worth it.
Day 4 of 10 Day Tasmania Itinerary: Hogarth Falls, Henty Dunes & Drive to Cradle Mountain
Ok, I’ll be honest, we got this day wrong on our trip. We didn’t realise quite how much there was to do around Cradle Mountain. We headed on from here to stay at Kelso Sands, but absolutely wish we’d stayed the night around Cradle Mountain, so we could have made more of the walking tracks.
If you can, it might be good to head to Hogarth Falls after the Wilderness Railway on day 3, which will give you some more time today.
The drive from Strahan to Cradle Mountain is about 150km and will take a couple of hours. If you decide to make the journey on to Beaconsfield (as we did!) that’s a further 140km.
It’s hard to believe this place is in Strahan as the second we got out of the car park it felt like being lost in the jungle.
You’ll need about half an hour for the walk to and from the falls, keep an eye out in the slow moving streams by the path for playtpus.
Henty Dunes are around 15 minutes outside Strahan and on the road to Cradle Mountain. A steep scramble up the dunes (the photo above is looking down to where we parked) once on top, the dunes run for over a dozen kilometres along the coast.
It’s possible to sandboard here, but the hire is back in Strahan, which isn’t convenient if you’re not heading back, so if you’re a thrillseeker, plan this for a different day.
Devils @ Cradle
Right beside the main parking for Cradle Mountain National Park you’ll find Devils @ Cradle a sanctuary and breeding program for Tasmanian Devils. We only took about half an hour here, but got some wonderful sights of these snarly little beasts. On the cuteness front, they were definitely upstaged by the quoll though, just look at that little guy!
🤩 Book a ‘Day Keeper Tour’ of Devils @ Cradle for less than $20
Cradle Mountain National Park
What can I say, Cradle Mountain is in the top five of every Tasmania must-visit list for a reason. Rugged views, kilometres of board walked hiking trails and wombats everywhere (literally, we must have seen two dozen) this was a very memorable place.
For someone who is meticulous on planning, I completely missed how much there is to do here, and it’s my biggest regret of the trip. We headed up to Dove Lake for the classic view to the mountain and then back to Ronny Creek where all the wombats were hanging out, but after that had to return to the car. Bear in mind that you can’t drive in to the park, you have to leave your car at the visitor centre and get a shuttle bus.
If we had our time again, we definitely would have stayed overnight nearby and spent as much of the day (and possible some of the following morning) exploring the hiking trails.
Day 5 of 10 Day Tasmania Itinerary: Exploring Beaconsfield & the Tamar Valley
Depending on whether you decide to overnight at Cradle Mountain or not, you will either get a full or half day around Beaconsfield and the Tamar Valley. Below are some suggestions of what to do in the area, you can mix up the plan depending on how much time you get.
Seahorse World & Platypus House
Seahorse World and Platypus house sit right beside each other on the pier at Beauty Point.
Seahorse World was interesting, but a little sad. We thought the seahorses were being bred to supplement the natural population, but in fact they are sold to the pet trade. This soured our view of the place a little, even though the tour and the tanks full of seahorses at various stages in their lifecycle was actually quite good.
Platypus World was definitely our favourite of the two, with some big platypus tanks and a separate area where we sat with their monotreme cousins, the echidna.
A strange fact about Tasmania is that there’s an entire Swiss alpine village just outside Launceston. The vision of ex-retailer Roelf Vos, it is now a fully-functioning resort town. We stopped in for an hour or so, grabbed a coffee, played in the arcades and pictured we were back in Europe.
We stayed just outside Beaconsfield and enjoyed this little mining town. The Mine and Heritage Centre is an interactive museum of mining that’s worth a visit and (perhaps more importantly!) next door is the Miner’s Gold brewery. Do yourself a favour and grab a red ale and a burger, you won’t regret it.
The Tamar Valley is a treasure trove for foodies and wine enthusiasts alike. A suggestion for your visit would be Josef Chromy Wines, a renowned winery that offers not only delicious wines but also a fantastic restaurant overlooking the picturesque vineyards. Also pen in some time at the Bridestowe Lavender Estate, where you can stroll through fields of fragrant lavender and treat yourself to lavender-infused goodies like ice cream and chocolates.
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Day 6 of 10 Day Tasmania Itinerary: Launceston & Cataract Gorge
Day six of the Tasmania Itinerary will take you to Launceston, the second oldest city in Tasmania and third oldest in Australia. Spend a morning enjoying the old city centre before heading out to Cataract Gorge in the afternoon to see another of Tasmania’s natural wonders.
Launceston is an industrial looking old city, it reminded me of being in northern England. I’ll be honest with you, we visited on a morning of grey, wet weather so did not make the most of the town city. City Park with its Japanese Snow Monkeys was beautiful, the architecture stunning but unfortunately the weather pushed us inside. Thankfully Launceston is a UNESCO city of gastronomy so we weren’t too hard done by, but next time we’re on the island we’ll head back and hopefully see it on a better day.
On nearly every top 10 things to do in Tasmania list alongside Wineglass Bay, Cradle Mountain and the Gordon River you’ll find Cataract Gorge. A Victorian playground it is 5km of forested reserve surrounding a deep gorge, threaded with walking tracks and crossed by the longest single-span chairlift in the world.
Day 7 of 10 Day Tasmania Itinerary: Wineglass Bay
We kept today fairly easy to make the most of Wineglass Bay and Freycinet National Park. Stop for the night was at Swansea, just around the bay from the national park. If you’ve stayed north of Launceston, you could visit Grindelwald on the way through today, freeing up some more time in the Tamar Valley
MONA is the most visited, Cradle Mountain the most famous but surely Wineglass Bay has to be the most photographed place in Tasmania? These sweeping shorelines have appeared in many travel agent’s window as a lure down south.
The classic walk from the Wineglass Bay car park took us just under an hour of rather steep hiking, but was well well worth it. I mean look at those views! There are other stop offs in the national park that you can get to by car, but the rest of Freycinet National Park needs you to don those hiking boots and head off further into the bush, something we didn’t have the urge to do with a 14kg toddler strapped to our back.
Either way, it kind of goes without saying that you’ve got to come here. A Tassie icon that lives up to its reputation and left my breathless in more way than one!
🥾 Take a 5-hour guided walking tour of Freycinet National Park
Devil’s Corner Winery
I haven’t included individual wineries elsewhere on this itinerary, but take one look at the photo above and you can see why I included Devil’s Corner. You’ll pass it on the road from Wineglass Bay to Swansea and (alongside some delicious wines) it has the most beautiful views back down the valley. Stop in for some lunch or dinner if you get the chance.
Day 8 of 10 Day Tasmania Itinerary: Port Arthur
Day eight of our 10 day Tasmania itinerary involves another big drive, but this will be the last one as you’ll be back in Hobart by sundown. Port Arthur has a lot to do, so set off early to make the most of it.
Tasman Arch, Devil’s Kitchen, Doo Town
There is much more to do on the Tasman Peninsula than just Port Arthur, but in a single day, it’s hard to fit everything in.
If you turn left just as you enter the national park, you’ll be able to see a few natural attractions and one very much manmade one in close proximity.
First up is Doo Town. The word quirky was thought up with places like Doo Town in mind. It started out with one man naming his shack ‘Doo I’ back in the 1930s, with others quickly getting in on the act. There are now places named ‘Make Doo’, ‘Scooby Doo’ and ‘Dr Doolittle’ to be found. Can I also put in a personal vouch for ‘Doo-Lishus’ the food van at Devil’s Kitchen which served the most delicious local scallop pies.
Doo Town Blowhole and Fossil Bay Lookout are just outside Doo Town. There is a very short walk to get to the lookout with the “blowhole” (the air quotes are because it did very little blowing when we were there, despite rough seas) right beside the car park.
A further five minutes by car you’ll find Devil’s Kitchen and the beautiful Tasman Arch.
🎫 Beat the queues and buy your Port Arthur entrance ticket in advance
Port Arthur was, for many years, the most visited place on Tasmania. It has a grisly history on two counts, firstly for the harsh penal colony that ran for most of the 1800s, and in 1996 as the site of the worst massacre in modern Australian history, where 35 people were killed and 23 injured by Martin Bryant.
Once again, we probably underestimated just how much time was needed at Port Arthur. In my head, I thought it was a town you could turn up to and walk around, but in reality it was more like visiting a theme park (a poor reference point given the history here, but the best I could do) where you pay an entrance fee. It was brilliantly done though, starting with an engaging, interactive museum (which I geeked out on, due to the UNESCO displays) and then full access to all the well-preserved building on site and a boat trip (which wasn’t that worth it to be honest) included in the price. There was also the option for other tours if you wanted to pay a bit extra.
I’d give yourself at least three hours here.
🎫 Beat the queues and buy your Port Arthur entrance ticket in advance
Sunset from Rosny Point
If you get back to Hobart in time and are all settled at your accommodation, do a Google search for Rosny Point and head up for sunset. I got the photo above from here, sweeping views over Hobart with the sun setting behind Mount Wellington.
Day 9 of 10 Day Tasmania Itinerary: Richmond, MONA & Hobart Botanic Gardens
Richmond is a small town about 20 minutes from Hobart. I wanted to visit to see Australia’s oldest bridge (yes, really, welcome to my poor wife’s world) but it turned out to be a lot more than this.
- The unusual but fun Pooseum (yep, it really is what you think it is)
- The model village of early Hobart
- A beautiful little gingerbread shop
Richmond gets included on a lot of tours from Hobart, or you can get the bus. If you’ve got a car it’s an easy drive, you’ll probably need a couple of hours. There are some great wineries nearby if you’re looking for a lunch stop too.
🚌 No hire car? Book a shuttle service from Hobart to Richmond
Museum of Old & New Art
I’m unlikely to write anything about MONA that hasn’t already been said. Voted in the top 20 places on earth by Lonely Planet’s ‘The 500 Best Places on the Planet… Ranked‘ it’s certainly not been short of plaudits. Founded be Tasmanian Millionaire David Walsh, it’s a museum-cum-gallery dug into a huge hole in the ground, and stuffed full of his collection. A poo machine, wall of vaginas and musician writing a new piece daily sit alongside books by Isaac Asimov, artefacts from ancient races and controversial movie posters.
The setting itself is worth the entrance fee, with views along the Derwent from the entrance and then the backdrop of the cut rock sitting behind the works on display.
You could spend all day here, with food stalls, a winery and concerts on site. We were here a few hours and felt like we’d had our fill, having a toddler in tow certainly sped up our exit.
🖼️ Combine a Hobart city sightseeing tour with a Derwent River cruise and visiting MONA
Hobart Royal Botanic Gardens
Botanic Gardens our rarely a let-down, and Hobart’s are no exception. The Japanese Garden was a highlight, the huge pumpkins the most memorable. If you’re here, walk the few hundred metres up the road to see the gates of the long-extinct Beaumaris Zoo, the place that the last known Tasmania Tiger (Thylacine) met the same end.
Day 10 of 10 Day Tasmania Itinerary: Salamanca Market & Exploring Hobart
If today is your last day, hopefully you’ve got a late flight out, as there are still a few things on the list. If you’re on an earlier flight, you may have to skip Richmond on day nine to fit in Mount Wellington and Cascade Brewery, which frees up a bit of time today.
Salamanca Market & Hobart Old Town
Visiting Salamanca Market only runs on a Saturday morning, so you’ll need to plan your itinerary to end up here. The market itself is crazy, 300 stalls and thousands of people shopping everything from handmade wooden toys to locally produced gin.
Once we escaped the crowds we were much happier and Hobart’s Old Town is a delight. Narrow laneways lead to crumbling squares filled with second-hand bookshops, artist’s studios and cool cafés. We spent a good few hours wandering, with the harbour and Battery Point the areas worth exploring.
I’m told the best views of Hobart are from Mount Wellington. Unfortunately, the weather gods weren’t on our side when we scaled the old mountain’s steep slopes, but even so, the odd glimpse we got through the mist was sesonational.
🚌 There is a great hop-on-hop off bus that covers Hobart’s sights and also goes all the way to the top of Mount Wellington
Oldest brewery in Australia? Count me in. The old brewery building looks more like a boarding school than a brewhouse, but it’s still running! Similar to most breweries, they have a paddle tasting board and a pub style menu.
Best Time to Visit Tasmania
The best time of year to visit Tasmania is during the summer months, specifically from December to February. This period offers ideal weather conditions, with temperatures ranging from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius, allowing you to comfortably explore the stunning landscapes and attractions of the island.
Where to Stay in Tasmania
We were trying to keep this trip as cheap as possible, so opted for BIG4 and Discovery Parks for most of our stay..
The full list of places we stayed was:
- Big4 Strahan Holiday Retreat
- Big4 Kelso Sand Holiday & Native Wildlife Park
- Swansea Beach Chalets (this place was our favourite, with modern chalets and beach access)
- Discovery Parks – Hobart
There are lots of accommodation options on Tasmania, try a search using the form below.
It you’ve found any of the content on this post useful it would be great if you could book your accommodation using one of the above links, as it means I get some money without it costing you any more.
Getting Around Tasmania
I think the only simple way to get around Tasmania is by hiring a car. It cost us just under $800 to rent a car for ten days, though I did have a discount thanks to a benefit I get with work.
It is possible to navigate to place such as Cradle Mountain, Launceston and Port Arthur from Hobart on tours, but getting out to the west of the island isn’t as commonly covered.
How many days in Tasmania?
I would say ten days to two weeks is ideal if you want to take in most of the island.
Here are some suggestions of itineraries by length:
- Weekend: You could probably do Hobart in a long weekend without much trouble.
- 5 Days: Hobart and Launceston or Hobart and Cradle Mountain could be done in five days or less.
- A Week: For a week you could fit in more of the east coast or add a trip to Strahan and back for the Gordon River Cruise
- 10-14 Days: I would say this is the sweet spot. 10 days still felt like a bit of a rush, if we’d had a full two weeks we would have added another day in Cradle Mountain and would also have headed to the Bay of Fires.
How much money do I need for 10 days in Tasmania?
Here were our top level costs in AUD for 10 days in Tasmania:
- Total: $4,486 for two adults and one toddler
- Flights: $1,099 for three return tickets
- Accomodation: $1,152
- Hire Car: $771 (with Budget)
- Other: $1,464 spent food, fuel and experiences, including the Gordon River Cruise
🚗 Book cheap rental cars with this link
Final Thoughts: Tasmania in 10 Days
This Tasmania adventure was a real whirlwind. We packed a lot into ten days, but felt we had to, to do this magnificent island justice. The highlights were nearly all natural ones, Cradle Mountain, the Gordon River, Wineglass Bay and Cataract Gorge, though honourable mentions have to go to Hobart’s Old Town and Port Arthur.
If we come back, we’ll definitely spend more time in the east of the island, to see the Bay of Fires and meet some of the little penguins.
I’d highly recommend a visit here as it feels unlike anywhere else in Australia and is the perfect place to escape the busy cities of the eastern seaboard.
The recent marketing campaign ‘Come Down For Air’ could not be more fitting. Visit Tasmania, keep your eyes open, your breath slow and leave lots of space for local food!
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