By far, the best way to explore this island state is by car. There are roads linking up each and every part, from coast to coast, taking you past some of the most gorgeous scenery on your travels.
We spent 12 hours + driving during our week visit to Tassie, and over those many hours we passed through just as many changing landscapes and environments. Over mountain tops, through deep and winding valleys, across dirt tracks surrounded by icy frost and along weathered coastlines. It was ever changing and endlessly beautiful! There was also quite a lot of wildlife right along the roadsides, so when you pass by signs urging you to take care and keep an eye out be sure to keep those peepers peeled! We spotted hawks, a wedge tail eagle, wallabies, wombats and more.
Christian and I were on a budget, so did some research and found some super competitive rental prices through Bargain Rentals. Our little i20 took us from sealed roads, to gravel and dirt – such a little gun! If you’re looking to explore some of the more difficult tracks however, be sure to lock in a 4WD and check with the rental company about tracks that you need to avoid. I would recommend adding insurance that will cover you for an excess you may need to pay at the end to cover damage. There are a substantial amount of dirt roads in the state, which are fine if you take care. However should you incur some damage, being able to claim back the large excess payable (sometimes up to $2,500) will be a huge relief! Absolutely worth the extra initial payment if you ask me.
Due to the sometimes unforgiving weather in this state, driving conditions can change and roads can close (particularly during the winter months), so be sure to keep an eye on any updates here and here. Also be mindful about driver fatigue, and take a rest or switch drivers every couple of hours – plan some stops, jump out and stretch your legs or even grab a bite to eat! There’s plenty of small towns dotted along the many routes – you might even stumble upon some gems to explore!
Some highlights on the road for us included:
- A wedge tail eagle taking flight in front of the car as we interrupted it mid-meal on the roadside. Seeing this gorgeous creature take flight in real life gave me shivers and I wasn’t quite quick enough to find my camera. The wing span is something else – so unbelievably majestic.
- Christian was a stand out at spotting wildlife we passed by the side of the road, and when he spotted a wombat taking a midday stroll I immediately stopped the car! These guys are one of my favourite Australian natives and I was giddy beyond belief to see one out in the wild! You can see a snap of this guy eyeing us off just below.
- On our way through to Lake St Claire, we passed by a large field full of cows as the sun was setting. Christian jumped out of the car and started belting out his best cow impressions, which only seemed to encourage them to come closer! We spent a few minutes here chatting with this curious bunch as the sun sunk behind the distant hills and mountains.
- We took a day trip out to Promised Land and stopped in at Tasmazia – a quirky (and rather politically incorrect) hub of 8 mazes that are the vision and pride of Brian Inder. It’s the largest maze complex in the world – so be sure to pack your patience as well as your sense of humour!
If you’re planning your own trip to the tail end of Australia, to help make your time on the road as enjoyable as possible, I’ve created a driving playlist! It’s got variety, it’s got edge, it’s got beats to get you dancing in your seats and ones to tune out through your window to 😉 If this mix just ain’t your cup of tea I highly recommend making your own – radio signal can cut in and out, and with most cars having an AUX or USB port available your phone or iPod is your ticket to uninterrupted tunes on the road.
*Tip – if using Spotify, when you’re in Wi-Fi click your playlist over to ‘Available Offline’. Your playlist will download so you can listen to it all when you switch to ‘offline’ when you’re either out of signal or don’t want to drain your data.