Heading to Tasmania for 4 or 5 days and looking for the perfect itinerary?
Tasmania is a fabulous place to explore and while 4 or 5 days isn’t long, you can get a nice taste of a part of the state in this timeframe.
To ensure you have the best time possible, in this guide we give you not one, not two but three detailed options for either 4 days in Tasmania or 5 days in Tasmania.
These options are based on whether you start in Devonport or Hobart or whether you are flying down to Tasmania and don’t want to hire a car so want an option that doesn’t require one.
Simply keep reading and pick the Tasmania itinerary 5 days or 4 that fits your circumstance.
There’s also a section below if you are planning a Tasmania 3 days trip with advice on how you can modify our Tasmania 4 days itinerary to make it perfect for your situation.
Keep reading for your step-by-step Tasmania 4 days itinerary or Tasmania 5 day itinerary that you can simply follow day-by-day. This includes your stops, driving times and best places to stay. There are also maps to help you decide the best route for your 4 or 5 day tour Tasmania.
If you are starting from Launceston rather than Hobart or Devonport, note that distances in Tasmania are not huge and you can still do one of the Tasmania road trip itinerary in 5 days below simply by driving that bit further on arrival and at the end.
Note these itineraries are on the fast side. We assume you want to experience as much as possible and get a great taste of Tasmania on your trip. If you like to take things slower, I recommend you remove a destination or any stops that sound the least interesting to you.
This 4 or 5 day Tasmania itinerary is suitable for solo travellers, couples, friends and families.
Finally, if you have any questions, please let us know in the comments below.
To Drive Or Not To Drive?
Tasmania is best seen by car. This is because attractions are spaced apart and there is no easy way of getting between them except by road.
There are buses between major destinations, but these can be pricey and you’ll be limited by their schedule. It can be more cost effective to hire a car and drive between destinations yourself. There are taxis but they are expensive and only recommended for short distances.
However if you don’t want to drive you can get by without a car and still see some fantastic parts of the state, but note you’ll probably want to stick only to major attractions with easy bus access.
Tasmania Itinerary 5 Days – From Devonport
In this Tasmania road trip 5 days, you are going to love exploring the best of north west Tasmania, the Tamar Valley and also get to hike in Cradle Mountain National Park. You’ll love the variety in this trip!
This option of Tasmania tours 5 days assumes starting and finishing at the Spirit of Tasmania and that you have your own car or will hire one (find latest car hire prices here).
- Day 1 drive to Cradle Mountain once disembarking the Spirit and visit Dove Lake and surrounds
- Day 2 have some fun at Tasmazia, call in at Sheffield and then enjoy the beach at Boat Harbour
- Day 3 drive to the Edge of the World, consider an Arthur River Cruise or visit the Tarkine. Finish up in Stanley on the top of The Nut
- Day 4 explore historic Stanley before driving on the Tamar Valley visiting either Seahorse World or Platypus House and watching the penguins come in at Low Head
- Day 5 see more of the Tamar Valley before driving back to the Spirit of Tasmania
The highlights of this Tasmania itinerary are:
- Hiking absolutely gorgeous Dove Lake
- Laughing your head off at Tasmazia
- Experiencing the prettiest beach in Tasmania
- Exploring historic Stanley
- Seeing the rugged west coast
- Sipping wines in the Tamar Valley
…and much more!
The following map shows you the route this Tasmania east coast drive itinerary takes.
Day 1: Exploring Cradle Mountain National Park
Driving time from Devonport: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Today your Tasmania trip begins! You’ll arrive in Devonport early in the morning and will disembark the Spirit of Tasmania, heading for Cradle Mountain.
- Arrive in Devonport. Have breakfast in Devonport and then drive to Cradle Mountain
- Park at the Visitors Centre and take the shuttle bus to Dove Lake
- Take a walk (long or short) and enjoy the beauty and serenity of this area
- Check-in to your hotel
- Head to Devils @ Cradle for an after dark tour to see the Tasmanian devil
Where To Stay In Cradle Mountain
- BEST – Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge (Click here for more details)
- MIDRANGE – Cradle Mountain Highlanders (Click here for more details)
- BUDGET – Discovery Parks – Cradle Mountain (Dorm Rooms Available) (Click here for more details)
Your Tasmania trip begins with visiting one of the most popular and scenic spots in all of Tasmania – Cradle Mountain National Park. Visiting this stunning national park is a highlight of this itinerary, and its glacial lakes and alpine landscape result in an area quite unlike anywhere else.
Your visit will start at the visitors centre. There’s a large car park here and a modern building where you can purchase tickets for your visit (including your shuttle pass), get some advice from the guides and stop for a coffee or bite to eat at the cafe.
You’ll then make your way to the shuttle bus. Buses are frequent (arriving every 10 to 15 minutes whilst operating) and will take you to multiple stops along the way to Dove Lake.
There’s some fantastic walks you can do here. The Dove Lake circuit is a gentle 2-3 hour walk and highly recommended, but there are many other walks you can take (see a list here). I recommend having some idea of what you’d like to do, as you can always discuss this with the guides at the visitors centre.
If you’re visiting with a family and a long walk doesn’t suit you, I recommend visiting Dove Lake to take photos and then returning on the shuttle bus and doing a shorter walk like the Enchanted Walk. The Pencil Pine Falls and Rainforest walk is also a good option and only takes 10 minutes.
Devils @ Cradle
The endangered Tasmanian devil is only found here in Tasmania, so you’ll want to catch a glimpse while you can. The best way to do this is with an afterdark tour at Devils @ Cradle.
These exciting tours start at 5:30pm (with a later session at 8:30pm only if the earlier session sells out) where you’ll find the Tasmanian devils at their most active. The feeding tour is a rare chance to see these fascinating animals up close and active, and an informative guide gives information on the devils, their behaviour, habitat and more.
You can also see other rare animals here like the spotted-tail quoll and the eastern quoll, and as this is also a conservation sanctuary, you can feel that your visit is doing something good.
Day 2: Visit Tasmazia, Sheffield And Boat Harbour
Total driving time: 3 hours and 10 minutes
On day 2, you’ll leave Cradle Mountain for Boat Harbour, stopping at the interesting sites of Tasmazia and Sheffield along the way.
- Have breakfast at your hotel then head to Tasmazia
- Spend an hour or two exploring Tasmazia and The Village Of Lower Crackpot and have pancakes at the cafe
- Continue driving the short distance to Sheffield
- Check out the town of Sheffield, see the murals and visit Mount Roland Conservation Area
- Continue on to Boat Harbour, check-in to your accommodation and head to the beach for a walk or swim
Where To Stay In Boat Harbour
- BEST – Killynaught Spa Cottages (Click here for more details)
- MIDRANGE – Boat Harbour Garden Cottages (Click here for more details)
- BUDGET – Boat Harbour Beach Holiday Park (Click here for more details)
Driving time from Cradle Mountain: 1 hour and 40 minutes
For something unique to add to your Tasmania itinerary (especially if you’re visiting with kids), I recommend stopping at Tasmazia & The Village Of Lower Crackpot.
Visiting here, it seems the site has been designed for the sole purpose of providing happiness and fun for visitors. You’ll find several mazes (with varying levels of difficulty), villages with miniature houses, buildings and monuments, jokes (for both adults and kids) and a cafe serving huge pancakes.
We enjoyed strolling through the model embassies and seeing the funny (and sometimes politically incorrect) names of the buildings. The kids enjoyed finding their way out of the mazes.
This place is definitely worth a visit for a bit of easy going entertainment.
Driving time from Tasmazia: 15 minutes
A short drive from Tasmazia is the town of Sheffield, which is well worth a visit. It might surprise you that this small town can receive over 200,000 tourists annually.
Sheffield is known as The Town Of Murals, a tradition that started in the 80’s and thrives today. The town hosts some annual events where artists come to add their work to the town.
Worth visiting is Mural Park where you can stroll through over 140 murals. The murals aren’t restricted to here however – you’ll find them all over town. Other places to visit include Sheffield’s Mural House and Kentish Museum for some information on the past of this town.
There isn’t a lot happening in this small town, but you can find a couple of places for lunch, including a good burger restaurant.
Mount Roland, which can be seen in the distance, is also nearby where you can hike to the summit or do a bush walk, and Lake Barrington (with an international reputation for rowing) is also worth seeing.
Driving time from Sheffield: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Boat Harbour was rated one of the top 10 beaches in Australia, so it’s obvious why it’s featured here.
Even if you’re not visiting during warmer weather, I recommend stopping by this charming beach where you’ll find rock pools, white sand stretching along the coast and easy going waves. It’s not rare to spot marine life like dolphins and seals in the distance, and even the occasional whale.
There’s a small community here which adds to its charm, and it’s the perfect relaxing place to spend the night before heading on to your next destination.
Day 3: Explore The Rugged North-West Coast
Total driving time: 2 hours and 35 minutes (depending on what you do)
Today you’ll see even more of Tasmania’s wilderness, and make some decisions as to what you’d like to do!
Note that Arthur River Cruises only operate outside of winter. If you do opt for an Arthur River Cruise, you may need to leave visiting the Nut in Stanley to the next day.
- Leave Boat Harbour in the morning and head to Edge of the World
- Take an Arthur River Cruise, or
- Spend some time exploring the Tarkine on the Tarkine Drive and have a picnic lunch
- Continue on to Stanley and take the chairlift or walk to the top of the Nut
- Check in to your accommodation and head to Stanley Hotel Bistro for dinner
Where To Stay In Stanley
- BEST – Horizon Deluxe Apartments (Click here for more details)
- MIDRANGE – Stanley Village Waterfront Accommodation (Click here for more details)
- BUDGET – Stanley Cabin and Tourist Park (Click here for more details)
Edge of the World
Driving time from Boat Harbour: 1 hour and 25 minutes
For a feeling of standing at the edge of the world, there’s no better place than the aptly named Edge of the World.
This isolated spot at the mouth of the Arthur River features a lookout point where the next landmass in the distance is Africa. As such, it feels like quite a lonely place to be with the powerful wind (the roaring forties) and waves hitting you as you look out to the sea.
There’s some plaques here which give some information on the area, the indigenous history and you’ll find a famous poem “on the shore of Eternity.” It is a unique place to visit where one can appreciate the power and magnificence of nature.
Arthur River Cruise
From the small settlement at Arthur River one of the most interesting things to do is an Arthur River Cruise. These cruises let you enjoy the beauty of the Tarkine in a unique way – from the comfort of the boat.
The cruises take you through the lush temperate rainforest and abundant birds and wildlife waiting to be spotted.
There are two tiers of cruises – the deluxe and red boat.
The deluxe cruises depart at 10:15am and return at 4:45pm, and take you up to Arthur River with a stop at Warra Landing for an included lunch undercover in the rainforest, as well as a walk to the stunning Warra Waterfalls. One of the best parts of these cruises is the flybridge deck which offers 360 degrees of viewing.
The red boat is a more affordable option and departs daily, leaving at 10am and returning at 3pm and sails upstream and includes snacks and a BBQ lunch.
Both cruises are a fantastic way to see the Tarkine.
Note the cruise only operates outside of winter, and bookings are currently essential. Click here to learn more.
The Tarkine is Tasmania’s largest temperate rainforest and it’s worth spending some time exploring this area.
A great way to do this is simply by driving. The Tarkine Drive is a 60 kilometre sealed loop through the Tarkine which takes you to some of the best spots to stop, walk and explore.
Starting at Kanunnah Bridge Picnic Area, you’ll see tall eucalyptus trees and the river in the distance. Julius River Forest Reserve is an excellent spot to stop for a picnic, and there is a half hour walk you can do here in the rainforest.
You could also relax with a picnic lunch at Milkshakes Hills Forest Reserve and then head to The Trowutta Arch Rain Forest Walk which is well worth the effort.
When you’re finished exploring, you can simply continue driving to Stanley.
Driving time to Stanley: 45 minutes
If there’s one thing you must see while in Stanley, it’s the Nut. In fact, it’s difficult not to see it – this monument (which is the remains of an ancient volcanic plug) can be seen all around town and on the drive here.
But you can do more than just look at the Nut – you can walk on it!
At 143 metres tall, there are two ways to get to the top. You can climb a steep track or take the chairlift to the top. Climbing is free and the chairlift charges a fee (last time we were there it was $17 return for adults and $11 for kids). The chairlift is fun with great views but very steep!
Once you’re at the top, I recommend a 45 minute walk around the top of the Nut. There’s some great lookout points here over the town and the sea, and a surprising amount of natural diversity on top of the Nut.
However I do advise you to dress warm – it can get cold and VERY windy!
Day 4: Visit Stanley And The Tamar Valley
Total driving time: 3 hours and 45 minutes (depending on what exactly you do)
On day 4, you’ll wake up in Stanley and explore this small town, and then make your way to the beautiful Tamar Valley and then finish up in Low Head.
This will be a full day so get ready for some sightseeing!
- Start the morning with a visit to Highfield Historic House
- Continue on to the Tamar Valley and have lunch at a winery (we recommend Iron Pot Bay)
- Stop at Beauty Point and visit either Seahorse World or Platypus House (or both if you have time)
- Continue on to Low Head and check in to your accommodation and have dinner in George Town
- Take the Low Head Penguin Tour at sunset
Where To Stay In Low Head
- BEST – Low Head Pilot Station (Click here for more details)
- MIDRANGE – Low Head Tourist Park (Click here for more details)
Highfield Historic Site
Everything in the small town of Stanley is fairly close by, and Highfield Historic Site is just a 3 kilometre drive from the Nut.
This site features a restored early farm house which started construction in 1820, and the entire site is an interesting place to explore and understand how early Tasmanian farms operated.
You can spend some time wandering through the pretty gardens on the property and also enter the house to see the rooms and memorabilia. The property is intact and there’s some good information on the lives of the early European settlers in this region.
It only costs $12 to enter and is open from 9:30am daily.
Address: Highfield, 143 Green Hills Rd, Stanley TAS 7331
Driving Time from Stanley: 2 hours and 20 minutes
Upon entering Beauty Point you’ll see just how fitting the name is, and one of the most popular places to visit in this stunning location is Seahorse World.
This is the place to learn all about seahorses. Visits are conducted by a 45 minute tour where a guide takes you around the facility. We liked this method because you’re given plenty of interesting information and it’s the perfect amount of time to spend exploring the facility.
Expect to see a lot of seahorses (and some very small ones) as well as other marine life like starfish and some crabs. One of our favourite parts was the breeding centre where seahorses are separated by age.
Our kids loved it (and we did too). Tours run hourly but I recommend booking ahead to get your preferred time.
Address: 200 Flinders St, Beauty Point TAS 7270
Platypus House is another top destination in Beauty Point and the place to see platypus’ (and echidnas too!). This makes more sense when you learn that they are both Monotremes.
To enter you need to book a 45 minute tour (book ahead to get your preferred time) which runs every hour. There’s a good amount of information here and a few platypus’ to see. We had never seen them this close up before and we all loved it.
Surprisingly one of our best experiences at Platypus House was when we sat in a circle with echidnas feeding in the middle! It’s rare you see these animals so close.
This is an interesting site to visit and 45 minutes is the perfect amount of time to spend here.
Address: 200 Flinders St, Beauty Point TAS 7270
Low Head Penguin Tour
Driving Time from Platypus House: 46 minutes
Penguins are one of my favourite animals and one of the best things to do in Low Head is a Penguin Tour.
The Low Head Penguin Tour takes place at night on the Low Head Coast Reserve. By day, this beach can be accessed freely but by night you can only enter by tour. This is when the penguins come out and are most active.
A knowledgeable guide leads you through the beach/reserve and directs you to spots where you can spot the fairy penguins. When we visited we were split into smaller groups and given our own guide, and saw plenty of other animals like bandicoots and wallabies.
This is an enjoyable tour for both kids and adults and the best way to see these amazing animals in their natural habitat.
Address: 485 Low Head Rd, Low Head TAS 7253
Day 5: See More Of The Tamar Valley Before Departing
Total driving time: 2 hours and 15 minutes
On your final day, you’ll leave Low Head and spend some more time exploring the Tamar Valley before heading to Devenport for your ferry ride back to Melbourne.
- Start your day with a visit to the Low Head Maritime Museum
- Drive to the Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre and spend some time exploring
- Continue on to Tasmania Zoo and see some of the rare animals housed here
- Stop at Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm for some treats before heading to Devenport
Note your departure time for the Spirit and plan accordingly (the ship usually departs at 6:30pm or 7:30pm and check-in closes 45 minutes prior to departure).
Low Head Maritime Museum
Today, you’ll start at the Low Head Maritime Museum. This site is home to Australia’s oldest pilot station which is still in operation today, and sits right on the beautiful coast beside Lagoon beach.
Here you’ll find a museum which is a collection of convict built cottages known as Pilots Row. They have been combined to offer a charming museum of 13 rooms.
Entry is cheap (when we visited it was $5 for adults, $3 for kids) and each room has a different focus (like shipwrecks, whaling, telecommunication history etc), and you can find some historic pieces of equipment. There’s a lot to read if you’re interested and kids will like just seeing the range of equipment.
There’s many other buildings on this site but you can’t enter them. It’s a nice place to walk around.
Address: 399 Low Head Rd, Low Head TAS 7253
Beaconsfield Mine And Heritage Centre
Driving time to Beaconsfield: Approximately 35 minutes
Your next stop in the Tamar Valley is Beaconsfield. This old town is famous for its mining history and in particular an incident in 2006 when two of the miners here were stuck underground. This incident – and the history and significance of its mining – has resulted in this expansive and interesting heritage centre.
You enter through the shop where you can purchase tickets and then enter into the heritage centre. The centre is very expansive and there’s a lot to see with plenty of steam machinery from all different decades of history, as well as other relics.
There’s also plenty of coverage on the incident in 2006 which we enjoyed reading about. They cover the incident in day-by-day detail (they were trapped for 14 days in total) and there’s a tunnel which you can look through to get an idea of how this might have felt.
Outside, you can walk around the original mine and see the mine headframe as well as quite a bit of leftover equipment. We also enjoyed seeing the change rooms (for authenticity) and the native garden as well as the boiler house.
We highly recommend visiting this centre. There’s plenty of interactive activities too like animal hunts and gold panning to keep everyone interested!
Address: West St, Beaconsfield TAS 7270
Driving time from Beaconsfield: Approximately 30 minutes
If animals and wildlife interest you then you’ll want to pay a visit to Tasmania Zoo.
This isn’t a super well equipped zoo like those you find in major cities, but they do house over 100 species of animals with kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, snakes, a huge variety of birds, lions, tigers and more.
One of the interesting things to do here is walk through the Jurassic Swamp. This is a large garden with robotic dinosaurs, sound effects and information on dinosaurs (although be careful on warm days as they do say real snakes can be active).
There are also food machines where you can feed some of the more docile animals like wallabies, sheeps and goats, and they have a cafe open for lunch too.
Address: 1166 Ecclestone Rd, Riverside TAS 7250
Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm
Driving time from Tasmania Zoo: Approximately 35 minutes
The last stop on your Tasmania itinerary before heading to Devonport is Christmas Hills Raspberry farm. This cafe/farm offers you some of that famous Tasmanian produce to sample before you leave and is also great for some last minute souvenirs.
Located on a gorgeous property with lakes to walk by and alpacas and wallabies to see, the cafe is open daily from 7am to 5pm (and only closed Christmas and Good Friday).
This is a raspberry farm and you can find raspberry dishes year round (however fresh raspberries are seasonal). If you’d like to, you can stop for a 3 course meal or purchase some goodies from the shop.
This is a perfect place to end your Tasmania trip and get some fresh treats for the ferry ride back to Melbourne!
The cafe is open daily from 7am to 5pm.
Address: 9 Christmas Hills Rd, Elizabeth Town TAS 7304
Tasmania Itinerary 4 Days – From Devonport
With one less day, I recommend removing day 3 from the above itinerary – basically don’t visit the Arthur River and the Edge of the World. Instead, on day 2, finish the day in Stanley and on day 3, visit The Nut and wander around town before heading to the Tamar Valley as per the itinerary above.
- Day 1 drive to Cradle Mountain once disembarking the Spirit and visit Dove Lake and surrounds
- Day 2 have some fun at Tasmazia, call in at Sheffield and then enjoy the beach at Boat Harbour. Drive on to Stanley for the night
- Day 3 climb The Nut and explore historic Stanley before driving on the Tamar Valley visiting either Seahorse World or Platypus House and watching the penguins come in at Low Head
- Day 4 see more of the Tamar Valley before driving back to the Spirit of Tasmania.
Read the above for all the details of this 4 day Tasmania itinerary.
5 Days In Tasmania Itinerary – From Hobart
In this Tasmania 5 days self drive itinerary, you are going to love exploring the best of east coast Tasmania and Hobart while learning about Tasmania’s convict past at Port Arthur. You’ll enjoy the variety in this trip!
This itinerary assumes starting and finishing in Hobart and that you have your own car or will hire one (find latest car hire prices here).
- Days 1-2 discover Hobart
- Day 3 drive to Coles Bay with a stop at Maria Island on the way
- Day 4 walk to Wineglass Bay in the morning before driving on to Port Arthur in the afternoon. Consider a ghost tour at Port Arthur Historic Site
- Day 5 visit the Port Arthur Historic Site before driving back to Hobart
The highlights of this Tasmania 5 day self drive itinerary are:
- Taking your time to explore Hobart (from above and below)
- Venturing out of Hobart and visiting famous MONA and historic Richmond
- Exploring Maria Island and hiking the stunning Wineglass Bay
- Connecting with Tasmania’s convict history at Port Arthur
- Seeing some of Tasmania’s unique and beautiful geological formations
… and more!
The following map shows you the route this 5 day itinerary takes.
Day 1: Arriving In Hobart
Today, you begin your journey by exploring Tasmania’s capital, Hobart!
As this is the first day you arrive, it’s important to get acquainted with the city. This is why we start at Mount Wellington to see everything from above and then take an easy stroll through the attractions below!
If you arrive later in the day, you may need to adjust the itinerary to suit your schedule.
- Arrive in Hobart at Hobart Airport and pick up your car
- Make your way to the top of Mount Wellington and understand the layout of the town
- Have lunch (we recommend somewhere in North Hobart) and then make your way to your hotel
- After checking in, head to Battery Point for a walk on the heritage trail
- Make your way to Salamanca, explore Hobart’s Waterfront and enjoy a dinner at either of these spots
Where To Stay In Hobart
- BEST – MACq 01 Hotel (See latest prices here)
- MIDRANGE – Somerset On The Pier (See latest prices here)
- BUDGET – Central Hotel Hobart (See latest prices here)
People in Hobart know Mt Wellington simply as ‘the mountain’, and it’s clear why – it can be seen from all around town! Driving to the summit takes only 30 minutes and is a must do when you first visit Hobart.
The road is sealed, easy to drive on and takes you right to the summit of this 1,271 metre mountain. Along the way you’ll find multiple spots for stopping and checking out the view, as well as walking trails and a coffee van at the Springs.
At the summit, you’ll find an enclosed observation deck with a layout of the city to help you get orientated. The views from the top (in clear weather) really are stunning, and there are also observation decks outdoors.
It can be cold and windy here so most people don’t spend too long, but you could take a walk if the weather is right and you’re dressed appropriately.
Access to the mountain can be restricted at times due to bad weather (especially in winter), but it’s still worth seeing how far you can go. If this happens to you, taking a walk in nearby Fern Tree (like the short Silver Falls walk) is a good alternative to visiting the top of the mountain.
Battery Point stands out as one of the most pretty, historical and affluent suburbs in Hobart, and the best way to explore it is with a heritage walk which you can find here.
This compact suburb features sandstone buildings, cottages, parks, churches, cafes and restaurants and makes for a lovely way to spend an afternoon. The heritage trail will take you up Kelly’s Steps, through Arthur’s Circus and through the streets of this lovely suburb.
I recommend a visit to the charming Narryna Heritage Museum – an old town house with some relics like paintings and furniture from years past.
A stop at Hampden Road is a must for a smoothie or coffee, and then continue on to Princes Park to take a stroll and relax.
Salamanca Place and Hobart’s Waterfront
One of the main centres of Hobart’s bar and restaurant scene is Salamanca Place. This collection of sandstone warehouses is home to lively bars, restaurants, cafes, galleries and souvenir stores.
Salamanca Place changes depending on when you visit. During the day this area is pretty but unassuming. On Saturday’s it becomes a lively market, and by night the area is full of activity.
I recommend starting your visit at the fountain in the square and then taking your time to explore the buildings. You’ll find shops selling souvenirs Tasmania is known for like honey, woodwork and more. This is also a place to relax and there are many places to stop for a drink, with each venue offering its own atmosphere.
Hobart’s Waterfront is in front of Salamanca and this area has its own offerings to explore like the floating pontoon at Brooke Street Pier (which hosts a Twilight Market on Friday nights), the converted warehouses on Hunter Street, Mawsons Replica Hut (the Antartic Explorer), MAC01 and much more.
You’ll also find abundant seafood dining and this is obviously a great option for dinner. You can choose anything which interests you – from takeaway options on the wharf, to more fine dining venues back at Salamanca.
Day 2: Enjoying Hobart
On your second day in Hobart you’ll head outside the city centre exploring the famous art gallery of MONA and the historic town of Richmond.
- Have breakfast (we recommend Machine Cafe in Salamanca Place) then drive to MONA (Museum of Old and New Art)
- After MONA, continue driving on to Richmond
- Stop for lunch at a winery on the way (there are several near Cambridge/Richmond)
- Spend some time discovering the sites at Richmond before returning to Hobart
- Head to the Waterfront or Salamanca Place for dinner
Driving time from Hobart: Approximately 20 minutes
When it comes to museums/art galleries in Hobart, there is nothing quite like MONA. In fact, this museum stands out Australia wide for the unique and interesting artifacts and exhibits which draw visitors in everyday.
MONA is located just a 20 minute drive from Hobart and positioned by a winery. You need to pre-book your visit online, and you can also purchase a bus/cruise ticket at the same time (cruises leave from Brooke Street Pier). However I recommend driving so you can head straight to Richmond afterwards.
Outside of the museum is pretty but fairly low key with a trampoline which you can jump on and some interesting architecture as well as a big picnic and concert area, but inside and underground is a totally different story.
This museum is huge and fascinatingly impressive with lots to see. There are huge murals, paintings, rooms to walk through, restaurants and a bar.
Many exhibits change but some things are always on display. There appears to be a large focus on things people would rather not think about – death, the repulsiveness of the human body (think smelly poo machines and awkward photos) and lots of interesting, funny and creepy things at every turn.
Some of it really isn’t kid friendly but you can quickly walk past and see something else. There is also a map which can show you the places to avoid for families.
Outside, we found places to eat and another exhibit – House of Mirrors – which was a maze of mirrors. This was an extra $10 and very difficult to escape from, but loads of fun!
MONA simply can’t be missed when you’re in Hobart!
Driving time from MONA: Approximately 30 minutes
Richmond is just outside of Hobart and a pretty town in it’s own right. This small town has been drawing visitors (local, interstate and international) for many years and offers plenty of things for tourists to see and do.
One of the easiest ways to see the best of Richmond is simply to walk. Everything is close by in this pretty little town.
I recommend you park your car near Richmond Bridge (the oldest stone bridge in Australia) and cross the bridge and walk into the town from there.
You’ll pass cafes, restaurants, galleries and boutique shops. People are friendly and welcoming to tourists, and you can simply see what interests you.
If you’re visiting with kids check out the Pooseum (which is exactly what it sounds like – a museum of animal poo!).
Two must see spots are the Richmond Gaol and Old Hobart Town Model Village.
Tasmanian’s embrace their convict past perhaps a bit more than other states, and one of the top attractions in Richmond is the Richmond Gaol.
Richmond Gaol shows just how different conditions were just 200 years ago and offers you an authentic experience with a self guided tour through the complex. This is one of the places in Tasmania to understand the history of Tasmanian convicts.
As Australia’s oldest intact convict gaol, the gaol is impressively presented. It is a relatively small complex, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in authenticity. Here you’ll see the holding cells (in almost authentic condition), solitary confinement cells, an old kitchen, flogging yard and information boards (and sound effects) to add to your visit.
When we visited the cost was $10 for adults, $5 for children and just $25 for a family. We thought this was good value and the gaol can be explored in around an hour.
Old Hobart Town Model Village
Richmond is a town which embraces history and this is clear from the nostalgic Old Hobart Town Model Village.
This impressive and large model village, which took the builders several years to construct, is a representation of how Hobart looked 200 years ago in the 1820’s.
Not only is this an interesting model to walk around, but information boards let you understand how life was here just 200 years ago. You’ll notice how much the town has changed since then, but there are a couple buildings/sites which still exist.
This impressive model includes bonsai trees of native myrtle and amusing figurines in interesting situations, and they offer a game for kids to play to keep them interested.
Day 3: Discover Maria Island
Total driving time: 2 hours and 35 minutes
Today you’ll leave Hobart and explore the extraordinary Maria Island before making your way to Coles Bay.
- Stop somewhere for breakfast and then make your way to Triabunna (this is where the ferry leaves for Maria Island)
- Spend some time exploring Maria Island, the buildings and consider taking a walk
- Head back to Orford for lunch
- Continue driving to Coles Bay where you’ll spend the night (approx driving time 1 hour and 25 minutes)
Where To Stay At Coles Bay
- BEST – Freycinet Lodge (Click here for more details)
- MIDRANGE – BIG4 Iluka on Freycinet (Click here for more details)
- BUDGET – Swansea Backpacker Lodge (Click here for more details)
Driving time to Triabunna from Hobart: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Maria Island is one of two major islands that people explore in Tasmania (the other being Bruny Island).
However the major difference with Maria Island is that, unlike Bruny Island, Maria Island has no permanent inhabitants, no cars are allowed on the island, and of course it has its own unique history and sites. This makes it a fantastic place to explore.
Maria Island is connected to the Tasmanian mainland via a ferry. The ferry leaves from the wharf at Triabunna (you can read about the ferry here) and takes only 30 minutes. I recommend purchasing tickets before visiting (this can be done here).
The ferry arrives at Darlington, the only settlement here with an old penitentiary and a few historic buildings. It’s a fascinating place to explore with a very isolated feeling.
This island is a huge drawcard for nature lovers, and it’s abundant with wildlife like wombats, wallabies and Tasmanian devils (sent here to protect them from the facial tumour).
Getting around is easy by walking. The Reservoir Circuit is a short easy walk, or you can do something longer like visiting the Fossil Cliffs (read about this here or for a full list of walk click here). You can also hire a bike and explore the island at your own leisure.
A couple of hours is a good amount of time for exploring the island. My only real advice is to come prepared. There are no shops so you need to bring water and food with you.
Day 4: Hiking at Wineglass Bay
Total driving time: 2 hours and 50 minutes
One of the other most visited nature sites in all of Tasmania is Wineglass Bay, and today you’ll understand why. You’ll start the morning with a gentle hike to the lookout at Freycinet National Park over the stunning Wineglass Bay, and then make your way to Port Arthur after lunch.
This day is not to be missed!
- Start the morning at Freycinet National Park and hike to the lookout over Wineglass Bay
- Head to Freycinet Marine Farm for a delicious seafood lunch
- Leave Coles Bay heading for Port Arthur and then consider taking a ghost tour at night
Where To Stay At Port Arthur
- BEST – Port Arthur Villas (Click here for more details)
- MIDRANGE – NRMA Port Arthur (Click here for more details)
- BUDGET – Fox and Hounds Inn (Click here for more details)
Iconic Wineglass Bay located in Freycinet National Park is a postcard perfect destination. This site is featured in many travel blogs/sites/magazines, is ranked as one of the top beaches in the world and is one of the most visited spots in all of Tasmania.
Today, you’ll get to see it for yourself!
You have a few options when you arrive at Freycinet National Park. Parking at the car park, you’ll find a couple of options for your walk. You can opt to do the Hazards Beach Circuit (a more challenging 5 hour return hike which takes you through the beach and around the park) or just hike to the lookout up a 1.3 kilometre trail.
Most people simply go to the lookout. This is steep but you can take it as easy as you like (it takes most people around an hour return). There are spots to stop and things to read along the way, and at the top you are rewarded with a breathtakingly stunning view of the beach below.
You can also then decide if you’d like to make your way down to the beach. However this is another steep walk and takes about an hour return.
There are other walks you can do in Freycinet National Park like Sleepy Bay which is only 10 minutes return and takes you down some easy steps to the shoreline.
Spend as long as you like exploring this stunning area and work up an appetite for lunch!
Freycinet Marine Farm
Tasmania is a seafood lovers paradise and for some of the best seafood on offer, we recommend a lunch at Freycinet Marine Farm.
This is the place to sample some of the freshest mussels and oysters you’ll find as these are caught daily from their farm. We found these incredibly delicious! The farm even offers tours where you can catch and shuck your own oysters straight from the sea.
There are a few different buildings here and they offer sit down and takeaway options as well as other seafood which is sourced locally. I recommend sitting down for lunch and washing your meal down with a glass of Tasmanian wine.
There were plenty of places to sit when we visited, prices were not exorbitant and the kids were quite happy with their fish and chips (big praise!).
Address: 1784 Coles Bay Rd, Coles Bay TAS 7215
Day 5: Exploring Port Arthur And Eaglehawk Neck
Total driving time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Your final day in Tasmania will be spent exploring the Port Arthur Historic Site, seeing some of the geological wonders at Eaglehawk Neck and then making your way back to Hobart Airport for your flight.
- Explore the Port Arthur Historic Site with a walking tour then take a cruise on the waterfront (included in the entry price)
- Continue on the Eaglehawk Neck and see the funny names at Doo Town
- Stop at the Blow Hole and then walk on the Tessellated Pavement
- Head to Hobart Airport for your flight departing Hobart! (approx 55 minute drive to Hobart Airport from Eaglehawk Neck)
Port Arthur Historic Site
As previously stated Tasmanian’s embrace their convict history and in all of Tasmania there’s no better place to connect with this history than Port Arthur Historic Site.
This UNESCO listed site is famous for being one of the most brutal gaols in the colony. Now, however, this is a huge expansive museum with many buildings intact, some in ruins and some undergoing restoration.
You enter Port Arthur Historic Site via the visitors centre and your entry price includes a walking tour and harbour cruise. I highly recommend you pre-book so that you can select your preferred times for these.
Walking tours take 40 minutes. A large group then follows an interesting guide who takes you around the site and explains some of the history. Our tour didn’t enter into any buildings but after the tour we were free to explore. There’s a lot to see with the old gaol and holding cells, gardens and orchards, old houses, historical relics and much more.
After you’ve explored the site you can take your included cruise from the waterfront. This is a 25 minute guided harbour cruise which sails past Isle of the Dead (Port Arthur’s burial spot). You can visit this island for an extra fee if this interests you.
Finish your visit with a stop at the restaurant and gift shop.
By night, the scene changes and Port Arthur Historic Site hosts the extremely popular Port Arthur Ghost Tour. There’s been a lot of reported paranormal events over the years, and as this was the site of much misery and brutality, some of these stories are chilling to hear.
These entertaining tours guide you through the site at night over a 90 minute period and cover some of these paranormal events that have occurred over the years. Expect to see some activity and to judge for yourself!
Driving time to Eaglehawk Neck from Port Arthur: Approximately 15 minutes
For a bit of lighthearted entertainment after visiting Port Arthur, stop at Doo Town in Eaglehawk Neck.
Why is it named “Doo Town”? Because the majority of the buildings here are named in some way using the word Doo! Most of the residents are in on the fun, and you’ll find some funny places like the appropriately named Doo-Lishus cafe.
Not only is the town positioned in a pretty spot near the water, but a drive through is entertaining with all the funny names. It seems to get funnier the more names you see 🙂
Address: 301 C338, Eaglehawk Neck, TAS 7179
Blow Hole And Tessellated Pavement
Exploring more of Eaglehawk Neck, you’ll find the Blow Hole. This is just one of the couple of unique sites here where water spouts through an eroded cave to create a blow hole effect.
The blow hole is only a short 5 minute walk from the carpark and you can plan to spend around 15 minutes here. While the effect is only present at times of high tide, the view from above is very pretty and worth a visit any time of day.
Your final spot to visit in Eaglehawk Neck is the Tessellated Pavement – one of the most photographed spots in Tasmania!
You would be forgiven for thinking the tessellated pavement is manmade. The tiled rocks seem almost too perfect to be a natural phenomenon. You’ll find an information board above where this interesting geological process is explained.
You can walk right over the pavement and see tiny rock pools and interesting marine life, as well as continue walking to the beach in the distance. I recommend warm clothes and appropriate walking footwear.
This is the perfect way to end your Tasmania trip before heading off.
4 Days In Tasmania Itinerary – From Hobart
With one less day, I recommend removing Port Arthur so you’ll finish your itinerary after hiking to Wineglass Bay and return to Hobart then.
- Days 1-2 discover Hobart
- Day 3 drive to Coles Bay with a stop at Maria Island on the way
- Day 4 walk to Wineglass Bay in the morning before driving back to Hobart to finish your Tasmania itinerary 4 days
Read the above for all the details of this 4 day itinerary Tasmania.
Tasmania 5 Day Tour – From Hobart Without A Car
This five day itinerary is all about getting a great taste of southern Tasmania without needing your own wheels. It focuses on Hobart, Port Arthur and Bruny Island – all great places to explore!
- Days 1-2 discover Hobart
- Day 3 take a bus to historic Richmond and explore
- Day 4 visit Bruny Island on a day tour
- Day 5 visit the Port Arthur Historic Site on a day tour
The highlights of this Tasmania 5 day itinerary are:
- Exploring the best parts of Hobart and seeing it from the top of Mount Wellington
- Wandering through the historic nearby town of Richmond
- Enjoying both the rugged and refined parts of Bruny Island
- Stepping back in time with a visit to Port Arthur Historic Site
The following map shows you the route this 5 day itinerary takes.
Day 1: Arriving In Hobart
Today, you’ll begin your journey by exploring Tasmania’s capital, Hobart!
Without a car, one of the best ways to see the attractions around town is with a Red Decker City Loop Tour. This double decker bus takes you to the top attractions around town in 90 minutes.
This is a hop-on hop-off bus where you get 24-48 hours (depending on your ticket) of access. You can read about the stops to plan your visit and make a booking here.
Mount Wellington can be visited with the kunanyi / Mt Wellington Explorer Bus. This return trip takes 2 hours and you’ll get to spend 30 minutes at the summit. The benefit of this bus tour is that they have access to the summit even in times of bad weather.
Both tours start at the Travel Centre (corner of Davey and Elizabeth Street).
If you’re going to purchase a Red Decker bus tour, you can save money by purchasing a combined ticket with the explorer bus here.
I recommend you plan your own visit based on the attractions that interest you, but a simple itinerary is below.
- Take the SkyBus from Hobart Airport into the city
- Leave your bags at your hotel and then head to Point A and take the kunanyi / Mt Wellington Explorer Bus to Mount Wellington
- Return to Point A and start your City Loop Tour, stopping somewhere for lunch
- Return to your hotel and have dinner somewhere in North Hobart
Day 2: Enjoying More Of Hobart
Today you’ll make your way to MONA! I highly recommend you take the ferry to MONA.
This departs from Brooke Street Pier and only takes 25 minutes. You can purchase a drink or bite to eat on board, and it’s a comfortable and scenic way of getting to MONA.
You need to book in advance to visit MONA. You can do this and purchase ferry tickets here.
- Have breakfast near Hobart’s Waterfront and then head to Brooke Street Pier
- Take the ferry to MONA and spend some time exploring the Museum
- Have lunch and then head to Battery Point for a heritage walk
- Explore Salamanca and Hobart’s waterfront and pick somewhere for dinner
You can read more about these attractions in the itinerary above this one.
Day 3: Exploring Richmond
On day 3 you’ll explore Richmond!
Again, you’ll want to do this as part of a bus tour. A good half day tour is here which gives you nearly 3 hours to explore the attractions at your leisure.
These tours leave from the Travel Centre with some hotel pick ups available. You can make a booking here.
You can read about the attractions in Richmond in the itinerary above this one.
- Start the morning with breakfast in Battery Point
- Head to the Travel Centre (or get a hotel pick up) and take the bus to Richmond
- Explore the attractions in Richmond
Day 4: Bruny Island
Today you’ll explore the scenic and interesting Bruny Island with a day tour!
- Wake up early and head to the starting point for your tour (you can read about the best tours here)
Bruny Island is a fantastic place to spend the day exploring. This island sits just off the south east coast and offers plenty from everyone, with abundant wildlife, nature walks, local produce, beaches and a small settlement.
Some of the most iconic spots of this island are the Neck (a narrow strip which separates the North and South of the island), South Bruny National Park for its bush walks and beaches and the historic Cape Bruny Lighthouse.
You’ll also find many places selling some of the best Tasmanian produce like oysters, cheese, honey and chocolate and wine.
There are many day tours you can do, so you can find one that takes you to the places that interest you.
Day 5: Port Arthur Historic Site
On the last day of your trip to Tasmania, you’ll take a day tour to the Port Arthur Historic Site. You can find a day tour here.
Be mindful that these tours can take anywhere from 8-12 hours so keep in mind the time of your flight before booking one. You may be able to organise airport dropoff, as Hobart Airport is closer to Port Arthur than Hobart, but you’ll need to discuss this with the tour company directly.
You can read about this site in the itinerary above.
Tasmania 4 Days Itinerary – From Hobart Without A Car
With one less day, I recommend removing either the Richmond, Bruny Island or Port Arthur day trip. Whichever sounds the least interesting to you.
Read the above for all the details of this 4 day itinerary Tasmania.
Tasmania 3 Day Itinerary
If you’ve only got 3 days in Tasmania you can make some modifications to the itineraries above.
If you’re planning a Tasmania itinerary 3 days from Devonport, remove the final day exploring the Tamar Valley.
For a 3 day Tasmania itinerary from Hobart with a car, you may want to remove the visit to Wineglass Bay (as this is quite far) and replace this with Port Arthur or Bruny Island.
Planning a 3 days in Tasmania itinerary without a car may be more difficult. If you want to get out of Hobart, you may need to make some tough decisions.
I recommend that you include a Red Decker City Loop in your 3 day trip to Tasmania to see the best attractions in the city, as well as the kunanyi / Mt Wellington Explorer Bus.
You then need to decide if you want to see Richmond, Bruny Island or Port Arthur. If more than one of these interests you, maybe consider removing the trip to MONA.
Tasmania Weekend Trip
If you just need a weekend in Tasmania itinerary, I recommend you fly into Hobart and spend your time doing your favourite choice of activities from the itineraries above which don’t require a car. If you haven’t been to Hobart before, focus on that.
Tasmania offers so much to see that no matter how long you visit you’ll be left wanting more. Just try to fit in what you can.
The laid back nature of the state makes it easy to visit, and there will still be plenty of exciting and beautiful attractions waiting for when you return!
We hope you enjoy these suggestions for what to do in Tasmania for 4 or 5 days so that you can have your perfect trip. You can find more information to plan your perfect trip to Tasmania in our planning guides to Tasmania here or read our 7 day itinerary here, 10 day here or 14 day here.
Sharon grew up in Tasmania, moved away and then came back with her family twenty years later. She loves re-discovering her home state and sharing it with you here.