After sharing a lot of my pics and stories on Insta of our family holiday in Tasmania, I received many requests to share where we went and where we stayed etc. and so I'm putting it all in a blog for anyone wanting to some travelling of Tassie themselves.
We are a family of mum, dad and two kids aged 6 and 8 so I have put as many family and kid tips in as I could remember. I've also decided to blog it in two parts as there is just too much for just one blog!
We went in January (middle of Summer here in Australia) and were extremely blessed with the weather. Tassie weather is renowned for changing very quickly with many extremes including snowfall in Summer but we were there in a rare heat wave and had perfect mid twenties weather and blue skies every day with some days reaching as high as 29 and 30 degrees.
So a lot of my photos are looking pretty picture perfect and please keep in mind that not all places we went will be as pleasant to visit in the colder months!
And as we had a car, we fit a lot in every day and managed to see a lot of the state. Even though we drove quite a bit each day, nothing was that far from anywhere so the longest we ever drove between each place was about 2-3 hours.
We arrived in Tassie by ferry which is called the Spirit of Tasmania. We decided to go by ferry so we could take our car, partly because car hire in Tassie over January was insanely expensive and partly because we had already planned to drive to my in-laws for Christmas and as they are in Victoria, we may as well just drive a bit further and go via ferry!
So the ferry leaves from the Port of Melbourne and arrives into Devonport, Tasmania. It's a long trip (around 10 hours) so we opted to go via the night ferry and sleep the time away! This does mean you are better off getting a cabin and we got the tip to ask for an inner vessel cabin so there was much less rock and roll compared to the outside meaning we went all rolling around in our bunks as much!
We got the day ferry back to Victoria at the end of our holiday and while it was a long day of travel, we made sure we got a cabin then as well so as to have somewhere to lie down and rest if needed. The ferry also has two cinemas (book in early as soon as you get on ferry to not miss out!), video games room, reading room, live music, bars, cafes and eateries etc.
We decided to stay in AirBNB's for most of our nights in Tassie (seventeen nights all up), apart from the national park stays in Lake St Clair and Cradle Mountain which I will get to later. AirBNB's just give us more space and will often have beautiful personal touches like a bowl of chocolates and breakfast ingredients left for us, books to read and even toys for the kids in some paces! We love staying in AirBNB's as it's like staying a friend's houses without them actually being there...lol!
Our first two nights were in Launceston and we had a beautiful little Terrace house right in the thick of things in Charles St. Must-do's while in Launceston are Cataract Gorge (highly recommend the chairlift and walks around this beautiful reserve) and we also loved seeing the monkeys in the City Park (free!)
From Launceston, we also did the Tamar Valley loop which is a beautiful drive that takes in many amazing spots including:
- Wineries and Berry Farms
- Beaconsfield Mine
- Platypus House
- Seahorse World
Platypus House and Seahorse World (both are in Beauty Point) aren't cheap for a family of four, but I thought it was well worth the visits and the kids adored seeing so many platypus and echidnas in Platypus World and Seahorse World has breeding tanks so you can see lots of little seahorse as well as touch and hold some in the tanks.
There's a great fish and chip shop in Beauty Point where you can get some yummy lunch and eat it on the water as well.
We did this Tamar Valley Loop drive over one day but missed the wineries as we had packed too much in ,but we weren't disheartened as we knew we could do those the next day on the way to St Helens!
Getting to St Helens
On the way to St Helens we detoured past a couple of places I was dying to visit - the wineries I had missed out on the previous day and Bridestowe Lavender Farm.
You can tour the lavender fields, visit the distillery, see the oil being pressed and even eat lavender ice cream! Well worth a visit.
This was our base to see Bay of Fires and Binnalong Bay. Another lovely AirBNB house in the suburb of Stieglitz called 'Jack's Shack' which was about 5 mins drive from St Helens.
The 30 min drive up to Binnalong Bay and the Bay of Fires from St Helens offers stunning scenery, amazing rock climbing and just soaking up the nature on the north east coast.
We had our first swim in St Helens and ate at an incredible food van/outdoor bar called The Social for dinner one night which I can also highly recommend for foodie families!
Bay of Fires
We drove through Bicheno on our way to Swansea and LOVED it. There was crystal blue waters, so we went swimming again (the water was 17 degrees but very swimmable as it was a warm day).
Ee also visited the famous Bicheno Blowhole and had lunch at the Lobster Shack! Specialising in lobster rolls (which hubby loved), while I had oysters kilpatrick and shared fish and chips with the kids.
There is a lovely view of the water as the Lobster Shack is perched up on a hill. Bicheno also has a great little place called The Farm Shed where you can do tastings of Tassie's east coast wines, gins and whiskeys.
View from the Lobster Shack
This was our stop to visit Freycinet National Park and even though it was a good thirty minute drive away, we were still glad to experience Swansea!
Mainly for the fact that our AirBNB was an incredible country house with our own apple trees in the garden! Swansea was very lovely and I can highly recommend the Bark Mill Tavern for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
One of the highlights of Freycinet National Park is the iconic Wineglass Bay. We made it a bit easier on ourselves and didn't make the kids do the steep climb to the look out and then down to the beach and up again (which is quite a steep three hour trek all up) so no overhead pic of Wineglass Bay for us!
But after some investigation as I really wanted to get to the actual Wineglass Bay beach, I found an aqua taxi leaves from Coles Bay and only takes about twenty minutes across the water to a beautiful beach called Hazards Beach.
From there it was a pleasant and easy thirty minute flat walk through the park to get to Wineglass Bay and boy was it worth it! Simply stunning!
We swam, had our picnic lunch, played on the beach and then did the walk back to catch our aqua taxi back to our car in Coles Bay.
walking to Wineglass Bay
I might leave it there for this particular blog but I share our adventures in:
- Hobart and surrounds
- Bruny Island
- Huon Valley
- Lake St Clair
- Cradle Mountain
in Part Two of our Tassie Travels and you can read that HERE.
Yours in Tassie Love,