Reconnect with nature, wildlife and your taste buds on a road trip up Tasmania’s beautiful east coast.
If you’re looking for a diverse holiday that provides incredible dining experiences, untouched crystal beaches and the wilderness all in one, Tasmania is the ideal destination. Take a short 2-hour flight from Sydney to Hobart and pick up a hire car or camper van, or load your four-wheel drive onto the Spirit Of Tasmania and get ready to explore. The east coast provides one of Australia’s greatest road trips and after our recent visit, we thought we’d share the most impressive restaurants, wineries, national parks and beaches that are on offer!
Bruny is located just over an hour south of Hobart with a short ferry ride. It’s perfect for a day trip with the island spanning just 50km, or there are plenty of campsites on the coast if you need a weekend to explore. With untouched national parks and pristine beaches, as well as small eateries and wineries showcasing the best of local produce and artisans, it’s no surprise Bruny brings tourism in all seasons. Arrive for lunchtime and make a pit-stop at Get Shucked for a round of Bruny’s famous oysters. As a second course, walk next door to Bruny Island Cheese (image above) for craft cheeses, beer and wood-fired bread.
After lunch, make your way down the east coast and check out Adventure Bay where you’ll be greeted by locals including white wallabies, kangaroos and fairy penguins. There’s a holiday park nearby if you plan to stay or keep driving down to South Bruny National Park (image above) which provides the ultimate Tasmanian wilderness experience. Take your pick from a bunch of coastal walks and if you have a four-wheel drive, drive along the beach to Cloudy Corner which has a beachside campsite. As you head back up the west coast, keep an eye out for a white fridge with an honesty box system for fresh artisanal sourdough. And because no day is complete in Tasmanian without a winery visit, perch up at Bruny Wines before catching the ferry back to Kettering.
With its captivating history, picturesque waterways, rugged mountains and gourmet experiences, Tasmania’s capital city has something to offer everyone. For a wholesome breakfast, perch up in a sunlit corner at Sunbear and enjoy a coffee with a bite from their seasonal small plates menu. If you’re after something sweeter or a mid-morning snack, line up a Pigeon Whole Bakers (image above) and take your pick from a bar of pastries made fresh in-house. Occupy your morning with a drive up to Mount Wellington where you’ll be astonished by sweeping views of Hobart. On your way back down the mountain, keep an eye out for a cafe called Lost Freight which pours Single Origin coffee.
For lunch, we’d head straight to Tom McHugo’s pub which offers an incredible selection of local wines and beers alongside seasonally-inspired share plates. The menu changes every day championing local farmers and you can view it on their Instagram before the doors open. Another lunch choice just out of Hobart in New Northfolk is The Agrarian Kitchen (image above). The restaurant offers a set menu experience where the chefs dish out a degustation of local produce. The focus is sustainability and most of the ingredients are produced on-site.
If you’re looking for a nearby winery, Frogmore Creek (image above) in Cambridge has a cellar door and restaurant amongst a beautiful green landscape. Sip your way through their award-winning wines at a tasting experience before lunch, then enjoy dishes of local cuisine including Sear Scallops, Beef Carpaccio, Moroccan Spiced Lamb Backstrap, Mushroom and Truffle Arancini and Matcha Cheesecake. Pooley Wines in Richmond is also a great choice in the heart of Coal River Valley.
There’s a bunch of incredible restaurants to choose from for dinner including Peppina where Massimo Mele puts on a spread of Italian cuisine, Peacock & Jones where Masterchef’s Ben Milbourne curates the finest Tasmanian produce and Sonny (image above) which is somewhere between a wine bar, club and restaurant. Watch the chefs cook from a 5-dish menu written on the wall while bartenders dance to Prince and ABBA.
Landscape Restaurant & Grill (image above) offers an incredible experience on Hobart’s Hunter Street waterfront precinct. The restaurant pays homage to the artworks of John Glover which are scattered on the walls for viewing. He painted the beautiful Tasmanian landscape which inspired the menu to highlight the best local produce. The Asado Grill is fired up daily with a selection of bourbon or port casks which gives the dishes a unique smoky flavour. This is the best meat we’ve ever eaten with options including Scotch Fillet from Cape Grim, Eye Fillet from Great Southern Pinnacle or Blue Eyed Trevella.
There’s a selection of bustling bars to choose from including Lucinda Wine Bar which is a prodigy of the owners of Sonny and Institute Pollair (image above) where you’ll sip cocktails in a beautiful setting boasting marble tables, concrete floors and white walls.
Salamanca Markets are on every weekend where you can score artisanal gins and handmade cheese boards, plus there’s a selection of food trucks to get breakfast or lunch. The biggest must in Hobart is Mona (image above), the art museum by David Walsh with dark themes of death and sex. It’s confronting, interesting and wonderful, and there are plenty of on-site dining options which allow you to stay the day.
Freycinet National Park
Tasmania has an abundance of breathtaking national parks to explore but Freycinet is in a league of its own. Make your way up the east coast and stop in at Piermont (image above) in Swansea for breakfast or lunch, a beautiful retreat overlooking the Freycinet Peninsula. After you’ve driven about 3-hours, you’ll start to discover the land of crystal clear waters, curvaceous white sand beaches and Tasmania’s most Insta famous views.
The park is best known for the beauty of Wineglass Bay (image above) which can be viewed from a lookout, or you can make the 3-hour return walk down to the beach for a swim. If you’re a game hiker, take the rough terrain up Mount Amos and score panoramic views on a clear day. Coles Bay is another pristine beach to visit with its own holiday park, pub and bakery close by.
After you’ve spent a few days exploring the beautiful coastal landscape, make your way out of Freycinet and head to Devil’s Corner (image above) in Apslawn for lunch where you can enjoy beautiful views of mountains beyond the vineyards, woodfired pizza and local wines.
This coastal town is a must-visit under an hour’s drive from Freycinet National Park. The beaches are crystal clear making them perfect for swimming and snorkeling if you arrive on a hot day.
Perch up in the morning at Little Bay Patisserie, a quaint cafe serving coffee and pastries. For lunch, make your way to the famous Lobster Shack (image above) which overlooks the majestic Gulch. From here you can enjoy fresh fish and chips, lobster rolls and gelato from Van Diemens Land Creamery.
On your way out, take a drive to nearby Douglas Apsley National Park to see native forests, waterfalls and swim in the waterhole.
Bay Of Fires
As you make your way up the coast, you’ll come to Bay Of Fires which is known for its extraordinary clear blue seas, white beaches and striking orange lichen-cloaked rocks. The coastline stretches for 50km which ensures there are plenty of beaches for you to swim at from Binalong Bay in the south to Eddystone Point in the north. There are plenty of campsites with truly incredible views in St Helens or Binalong Bay so you spread your exploration across a few days.
As you make your way out of Bay Of Fires, make sure to stop at Halls Falls near Pyengana for a hike. There’s a beautiful waterfall and lots of holes that are perfect for swimming.
There are so many incredible restaurants, wineries, national parks and beaches to visit on the east coast of Tasmania but these were just some of our favourites! Find out more travel details here.