The Best Tasmania Self Drive Itineraries for New Zealanders

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The Best Tasmania Self Drive Itineraries for New Zealanders

Book your Trans Tasman bubble holiday with First Light Travel, made even easier now with direct flights between Auckland and Hobart. As certified Australian Specialists we have been sending New Zealanders to Australia since 2001. What are you waiting for?

Here at First Light Travel HQ we have dreamt up the best Tasmania self-drive itineraries for New Zealanders, to take the hassle out of planning your next trip. No matter the style of Tasmania self-drive holiday you are after, we have the itinerary for you! 

Read on to find out more about the best destinations, day tours and hotels, and how we have included them to curate five amazing customisable itineraries to match Air New Zealand’s new Auckland to Hobart direct flights.

Ready to start planning with us? Let’s go!


Where do I begin?

Air New Zealand is adding Hobart as their tenth Australian destination, with non-stop flights between Auckland and Hobart starting on April 22nd, 2021. Flights will be scheduled on Thursdays and Sundays to make the most of domestic connectivity, and provide the best long weekend options for travellers. 

Hobart is the perfect place to begin your Tasmania self-drive adventure. It is the state capital and largest city in Tasmania, offering all of the amenities of a big city and few of the hassles. Attractions range from rows of 19th century Georgian sandstone warehouses in Salamanca Place where every Saturday the famous Salamanca Market is held from 8.30am - 3pm. Salamanca is the nation's biggest, brightest and best outdoor market, with its craftwork and fresh local produce. In summer Salamanca Place is the heart of "café society" where all of Hobart [it seems] congregates to enjoy the delights of al fresco dining and drinking in the popular meeting place for locals and visitors alike. Autumn brings gorgeous scenery with the changing colour of the leaves, whilst winter heralds in cold bluebird days, festivals such as Dark Mofo and a chance to see the elusive Southern Lights. The city is not only an ideal base for southern Tasmanian journeys, but it is also a city full of friendly people, relaxed lifestyle, beautiful scenery and vibrant culture.

Hobart Markets

Itinerary 1: 8 Day Tasmania Escape Self Drive Itinerary

This is a showcase trip of the history, culture, tasty delights and natural wonders of the beautiful Apple Isle. Visit wineries, the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona), wander the historical ruins of Port Arthur and enjoy a scenic cruise of famous Wineglass Bay and the Tasman Peninsula. There is time to enjoy all that Hobart has to offer and to explore the East Coast, including Freycinet National Park with its pink granite mountains, white sands and crystal clear ocean.

Where will you go? Hobart > Coal Valley wine region > Freycinet National Park > Port Arthur > Tasman Peninsula > Richmond > Hobart 

Accommodation: unique hotels and lodges

What’s great about this itinerary? You get to visit the “must see” destinations of Tasmania at a relaxed pace, whilst staying in hand-picked luxury accommodations. 

  • The state capital of Hobart, a harbour town with fantastic architecture, a thriving bar and restaurant scene, and heritage charm. Experience Salamanca Market (Tasmania's most visited tourist attraction) and Mona - the Museum of Old and New Art. 
  • Join a small group tour to the Coal Valley wine region and enjoy sampling some of Tasmania’s best wine and cheese with a half-day tour to our favourite and highly recommended locations.
  • Experience the tranquility of Freycinet National Park on a cruise, with a delicious scenic lunch stop at Wineglass Bay. 
  • The Port Arthur Historic Site is a special place of vivid history. Take a Harbour Cruise around the Isle of the Dead and discover the grim and violent history of the early Australian Penal system with Port Arthur's expert guides. 
  • Visit Tasman Island and Tasman National Park on a cruise, where you will see some of Australia's highest sea cliffs and encounter marine wildlife and seabirds. 
  • Travel to the historic Richmond Village where you can walk across Australia’s oldest bridge still in use — a convict built, sand-stone bridge, reported to be haunted!

See the Full Itinerary Here: 8 Day Tasmania Escape Self Drive Itinerary

Wineglass Bay

Itinerary 2: 11 Day Tasmania Unearthed Tour

Tasmania packs a punch when it comes to time in the outdoors, this is a magical place where you can experience remarkable natural beauty, with brooding mountains, stunning beaches, and giant rivers, with incredible wildlife such as the endemic Tasmanian Devil. There is also time to relax in Hobart and Launceston, towns buzzing with art and nurturing exciting foodie scenes.

Where will you go? Hobart > Freycinet National Park > Launceston > Cradle Mountain National Park > Strahan > Hobart 

Accommodation: boutique hotels

What’s great about this itinerary? You get to see so much of the Apple Isle in only 11 days! You will visit:

  • Nestled amongst the foothills of Mt Wellington, Hobart is a harbour town with heritage charm and world class restaurants. Hobart has become one of Australia’s top gourmet hotspots, thanks to its amazing local produce.
  • Freycinet National Park - against a backdrop of pink granite mountains, you'll discover secluded bays, pristine waters, white sandy beaches, local wildlife, and incredible walking trails.
  • Launceston, known as the home of Cataract Gorge, a unique natural formation with panoramic views, and near to Tamar Valley wine country.
  • Cradle Mountain National Park, arguably one of the prettiest National Parks in Australia. With alpine wilderness, abundant native wildlife, and a huge variety of walking trails to choose from.
  • The beautiful Gordon River on a cruise that takes in Macquarie Harbour and two guided walks through the temperate rainforest on elevated boardwalks. 

The award-winning Salamanca Market is Tasmania's most visited tourist attraction and one of the largest outdoor markets in all of Australia. This iconic Saturday tradition brings Hobart's waterfront alive with a celebration of the senses.

See the Full Itinerary Here: 11 Day Tasmania Unearthed Tour

Cradle mountain

Itinerary 3: 12 Day Tasmania Encompassed Road Trip

A new take on an overseas journey, comforting familiarity, yet extraordinarily different. A place of wild beauty and World Heritage-listed National Parks, shaped by geology and refined by its weather. The culture and the heritage is on full display on this 12 day Tasmanian epic - a modern vibrant capital, Colonial history, the freshest Southern Ocean seafood, mischievous devils, shy penguins and adorable joeys. 

Where will you go? Hobart > Cradle Mountain National Park > Strahan > Hobart > Bicheno > Freycinet National Park > Tasman Peninsula > Port Arthur > Hobart

Accommodation: comfortable 4 star hotels

What’s great about this itinerary? Discover the pure beauty of Tasmania on this magnificent 12 day road trip showcasing the very best of Tasmania. This road trip truly encompasses it all. You will visit:

  • The state capital of Hobart, a harbour town with fantastic architecture, a thriving bar and restaurant scene and heritage charm. 
  • Cradle Mountain National Park, where you can go hiking, horse riding, canyoning, wildlife spotting or even take a scenic flight! A memorable experience for all ages is the included Joey Experience.
  • Witness the breathtaking scenery and tranquillity of the World Heritage-listed Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park on a premium Gordon River Cruise.
  • Make your way back to Hobart to enjoy experiences such as the historic Cascade Brewery, the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona), Salamanca Market, the Botanical Gardens and Mt Wellington, to name a few.
  • Freycinet National Park, renowned for incredible hikes, pristine waters, white sandy beaches and local wildlife. 
  • Tasman Peninsula freedom walk: Cape Hauy is the last leg of the newly opened Three Capes Track, jutting out into the Tasman Sea, the track concludes on the cliff's edge, 150m above the water.

See the Full Itinerary Here: 12 Day Tasmania Encompassed Road Trip


Itinerary 4: 15 Day Premier Tasmania Self Drive Tour

Starting and ending in Hobart, your journey circles Tasmania. Beginning with the heritage of Hobart and Port Arthur you then head to the clear waters of the eastern coast and the jewel that is the Freycinet National Park. Travel on to Launceston, before heading to the wilds of the Tarkine Wilderness region. Cradle Mountain is spectacular and with two nights to enjoy here and in the more remote Strahan area - your trip will be a feast for your senses.

Where will you go? Hobart > Port Arthur > Tasman Peninsula > Freycinet National Park > Launceston > Smithton > Cradle Mountain National Park > Strahan > Hobart 

Accommodation: comfortable hotels, cottages and scenic lodges

What’s great about this itinerary? This self-drive itinerary will give you the ultimate snapshot of Tasmania’s national parks, whilst also including gourmet produce, fabulous accommodations and the best of the best in Tasmania’s must-do activities. You will visit:

  • Hobart is a gorgeous place to wander and get lost in, from the bustling waterfront of Salamanca Place to the historic houses of quaint Battery Point.
  • Port Arthur Historic Site is a special place of vivid history. Full of powerful stories of hardship and loss, it's one of Tasmania's most rewarding travel experiences.
  • The Tasman Peninsula boasts some of Tasmania’s most remote and dramatic coastal scenery. Take to the waves on a Wilderness Cruise this morning and see the spectacular peninsula at its best.
  • Set sail across the turquoise waters of the Freycinet Peninsula; take in the sheer beauty of Wineglass Bay from the rarely seen perspective of the water, a shimmering crescent of white sand fringes spilling into glass turquoise waters. 
  • Charm-filled Launceston, a riverside town with Colonial and Victorian heritage buildings in abundance. 
  • The Tarkine Wilderness – a stunning forest reserve with World Heritage significance. A mixture of rainforest and eucalypt forest, wild rivers, mountains, cave systems, and extensive coastal heathlands await. 
  • Cradle Mountain National Park is one of the state's most special places, where ancient pines fringe glacial lakes and icy streams cascade down rugged mountains. 
  • The River and Rainforest half day tour from Strahan is a diesel journey that takes you from the shores of Macquarie Harbour into the ancient rainforest and mountains of Tasmania’s rugged west coast. 

Salamanca Market is Tasmania's most visited tourist attraction. Over 300 stallholders line the street from sunrise where locally crafted products include Tasmanian timber treasures and homewares, unique clothing and jewelry, fresh and seasonal produce, artwork, leather goods, soaps and skincare, artisan cheeses, breads and other tasty treats.

See the Full Itinerary Here: 15 Day Premier Tasmania Self Drive Tour

port arthur

Itinerary 5: 8 Day Lap of Luxury Tasmania Tour

This Tasmanian itinerary is about the luxury of experience with time to savour gourmet food, incredible bush walks, native wildlife and stunning beaches – oh and seriously luxe lodges. This itinerary has been prepared to enrich your stay and encourage you to experience everything Tasmania has to offer whether it’s romance, adventure, food and wine, pure relaxation or a mixture of them all. 

Where will you go? Hobart > Cradle Mountain National Park > Freycinet National Park > Hobart 

Accommodation: luxury lodges and boutique hotels

What’s great about this itinerary? The slower pace of this Tasmania self-drive itinerary will give you more time at each destination to really relax and soak up the scenery. Bliss! Unwind in comfort at outstanding luxury lodges and boutique hotels, hand-picked for their stunning scenery, with access to the following: 

  • At MACq01 Hotel the rooms are designed around five Tasmanian character traits, and the hotel invites you on a unique journey to explore and experience the stories of those who have shaped the Tasmanian landscape. The waterfront suites are the ultimate offerings in downtown Hobart lodgings with unmatched water views.
  • Enjoy an iconic wilderness experience with sensational local food and indulgent spa treatments at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge
  • Saffire Freycinet is Tasmania’s premier luxury lodge, providing an authentic and immersive connection to the magnificent Freycinet National Park and Wineglass Bay. 
  • With only eight rooms you will feel like royalty staying at the arty and modern Mona Pavilions in Hobart, overlooking the River Derwent. 

By the end of your 8 days in Tasmania you will have experienced breathtaking nature, five-star comfort, and the cultural hub of Hobart. Also included is a unique exclusive Tasmanian Devil experience at a conservation sanctuary, where you can get up close to one of Australia’s famous marsupials. With opportunities to add on activities such as a day trip to Bruny Island, hiking in the world-famous Cradle Mountain National Park, taking in the stunning sights of Freycinet National Park on foot or by kayak, and a trip to the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) in Hobart, you will never be at a loss for things to do. 

See the Full Itinerary Here: 8 Day Lap of Luxury Tasmania Tour


The sublime tranquility of this very special island is addictive: by the time your Tasmanian adventure ends, you'll already be planning your next visit. Ready to find out more? Talk to one of our friendly Travel Specialists about your holiday plans. At First Light Travel we specialise in customised self-drive holidays, and we are the experts at producing boutique Tasmanian itineraries for New Zealanders. Get in touch with the First Light Travel team and we will help you plan your next Tasmania adventure! We guarantee you it will be the experience of a lifetime.

New Zealander's Contact our Auckland Office on 09 281 4481

More Articles that may help you plan your Tasmanian Vacation

Elizabeth Marshall
Submitted by
Elizabeth Marshall
: 24 Apr 2021 (Last updated: 17 Jun 2021)

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