08 January, 2021
Last updated on 13 November, 2021
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Posted by Spaceships Crew
Tazzy is wild. Over 51% of Tasmania is protected with 19 national parks consuming more than 1,468,000 hectares of land. It's all there for you to discover in a Spaceships campervan after taking a ferry to Tasmania. This travel guide will help you to get the most out of your trip to Tasmania.
The island state is surrounded by 334 smaller islands that extend all the way down to the Antarctic. Nearly 8% of Tasmania's pristine waters fall under national park, refuge or reserve protections. It's a pristine landscape skittering with playful Tasmanian devils, wallabies, wombats, platypus, bandicoots, right and humpback whales, dolphins, echidnas and the smallest penguins on earth.
Taking the ferry to Tasmania
You might be wondering: can I take my Spaceships campervan on the ferry to Tasmania? Yes, you can! Just book the ferry and select 'motor vehicle: car, 4WD, trailer or caravan'. And then select Toyota as the brand and Estima as the model.
The Spirit of Tasmania loads up in Melbourne, sails overnight through the Bass Strait and drops you off in Devonport. Security staff will direct your campervan onto the vessel where you'll have a room waiting. Have a good sleep then wake up to drive your campervan off the ferry to Tasmania on the island's north coast. You just have to pick which direction -- clockwise or counterclockwise -- to explore the Apple Isle.
The North Coast of Tasmania
The Tamar River Valley is home to some of the world's best hard cider makers and cool climate wineries. The river valley reaches all the way down to the jaw-dropping Cataract Gorge in Tazzy's second-largest city of Launceston. Narawntapu National Park is the Serengeti of Tasmania with abundant wildlife emerging at dusk. And a drive along the northwestern coast brings you to Penguin, Burnie and Stanley where you'll find the world's smallest penguins, a community of artists and a 143-meter volcanic plug called "The Nut."
North Coast of Tasmania: Moriarty | photo: Steven Penton (Flickr)
Conquer the Wild West
Southwest, Savage Rivers and parts of the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Parks are inaccessible by vehicle, but that doesn't mean you should skip out on the wild west coast. Queenstown is a manmade catastrophic beauty. The 19th Century mining boom stripped the town's surrounding hills of trees and topsoil while copper smelting stained the exposed land. Now the valley is an ethereal moonscape that is a haunting reminder of man's greed.
The Apple Valley and the South Coast
You'll find the Huon River Valley, Bruny Island and Hartz Mountains National Park south of Hobart. The river valley hides scores of fruit orchards in rolling green hills where prolific agriculture has earned Tasmania the nickname "The Apple Isle." Bruny Island is accessible via a short ferry ride that takes you to the towering dolerite cliffs of South Bruny National Park where you can spot the world's smallest penguins, dolphins, migrating right whales, and endangered and endemic birds. And Hartz Mountains National Park is a towering alpine heathland with views of it all.
Hobart and the Tasman Peninsula
Tasmania's largest city sits in the southeast with a deep harbour for Antarctic ships. Here you can enjoy farm-to-table restaurants that benefit from the bounty of the Huon River Valley. After touring the MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), Mawson's Huts Replica Museum and the Royal Botanical Gardens head southeast to the Tasman Peninsula. Attached by a sliver of 100-meter-wide sand called Eaglehawk's Neck, the Tasman Peninsula is home to stunning geographical formations like the Tasman Arch, the Blowhole and the Tesselated Pavement.
White sand beaches of the East
You'll find a warm and welcoming Tasmanian holiday hut towns along the beaches of the east coast. Ferry to the uninhabited Maria Island from the summer town of Orford, or head up to Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park. The isthmus is home to some of the most stunning landscapes in all of Australia where azure blue waters and white sand beaches meet dolerite and limestone rock formations. Fish for bream in Scamander, charter a boat in Binalong Bay and drink in the beauty of the Bay of Fires.
Tasmania's Towering Interior
Cradle Mountain-Lake Saint Clair National Park sits right in the middle of the island. Tour around the towering dolerite peaks of the north before heading around to the south to experience the alpine waterways of Lake Saint Clair. And no campervan visit to Tasmania is complete without a ride through Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park on the Lyell Highway. You'll be treated to vistas, hiking trails, waterfalls and picnic areas along the way.
Tasmania is a walker's paradise
If you like to be an explorer on foot but you don't want to go for multi-day hikes, then Tasmania is the place to be for you. There are 60 Great Short Walks that can be done on the island. Most of these tracks can be accessed from the major roads. They range from a gentle walk (in the park) to a more physical challenge. The views are amazing, no matter the route you take. It ranges from awesome oceanviews to a mountain vista.
One of the Great Short Walks on Tasmania: Friendly Beaches | photo: Steven Penton (Flickr)
Take a ferry to Tasmania and enhance your road trip
Tasmania may look small compared to the rest of Australia, there is heaps to do and see. And don't be fooled, Tasmania is bigger than you might think. Take your time to explore the island. You don't want to miss out on the Tasmanian fun.