Tasmania Funny Van

How to survive a Tasmanian Road Trip!


There are places you can get away without driving, and then there is Tasmania. To fully appreciate the gorgeousness of the land, a self-drive road trip is imperative!

We debated between a sedan and an SUV, and we were glad we ended up with an SUV. The terrain isn’t all rough but the SUV does make you feel more comfortable when you’re heading uphill on narrow, winding roads!

We made all arrangements for the car hire online, before our trip, for the best discounts and an easy pickup from the airport upon arrival.

Note: We used Budget, it had the cheapest rates and the whole process was easy from start to end.

2. Double up on the navigation plans.

Even though you may have requested a GPS set with your hired car, sometimes GPS will not work that well.

Like when you try to key in some places that you take for granted should be reflected in the GPS and it doesn’t appear, it’s best you have another map, whether online or hard copy with you.

Tasmania Maps
Pick up lots of maps when you arrive at the airport!

3. Allow for enough time in between stops.

It may seem as though distances aren’t that far, but considering the fact that the roads aren’t always big, paved roads, you will need to have all your senses on alert when you drive.

Often, the roads are narrow, winding and inclined (up or down), so driving 3 hours to get from point A to B EVERY DAY may not be the best idea!

4. Take the scenic route.

On that note, allowing yourself enough time at one place means you can enjoy the little stops in between and have shorter drives within an area to explore more.

For example, one of our best memories from our Tasmanian road trip is Mt Fields and Russell Falls – a detour when we were heading back to Hobart from Lake St Clair, but it was worth it.

Tasmania Freycinet Baked Oysters
Don’t forget to make those oyster pit stops!
Tasmania Devils Corner Boot shot
Relaxing at Devil’s Corner vineyard and enjoying the view of the Hazards mountain range at Freycinet.
Tasmania Mt Fields Russell Falls
Russell Falls at my favourite Tassie National Park – Mt Field.

5. Know where your fuel stops are.

You’ll be driving long distances between points of interest, so detours to little towns with petrol stations are needed. We drove 1000 km in just 3 days (we normally drive that distance over 3 weeks in Singapore!) so ensuring you plan your route properly is essential.

6. Get your groceries and snack packs.

While you stop for fuel, you’ll also stop for groceries and other essentials. Like chocolate lamingtons!

You’re likely to end up staying in remote accommodations where a grocery store isn’t in the picture, so best to stock up. Also, they would most probably be fully-equipped with kitchen facilities, so if you’d like to make yourself some dinner or brekkie, you can.

Tasmania Sheffield Nice Mural 1
We stopped at Sheffield, also known as, The Town of Murals, to fuel up to last us the long drives to Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair.
Tasmania Swansea General Store
This store at Swansea was well-stocked and we got our takeaway chocolate lamington fix from here!
Tasmania Wallaby Roadside
A wallaby we spotted while driving up Cradle Mountain road.

7. Watch out for wildlife!

If someone were to ask me how many wallabies, echidna, quoll etc that I saw on my road trip, I’d say over 50. But 90% of them were roadkill.

Sadly, you will see lots of roadkill along your journey, so please don’t add to that count! Drive carefully especially in wildlife habitat highlighted areas.

8. BYOM – Bring your own music.

Whilst it is fun listening to the local radio stations, there are very long stretches of time where you can’t get radio reception, for example, the drive between Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair. And that’s a 3-hour drive through winding roads, so it would be nice to have some tunes for the road!

9. Get your Parks Pass in advance.

A Parks Pass is necessary to enter all national parks in Tasmania, so get it online pre-travel, print a copy and place it on your dashboard whenever you park at a park.

Choose the Holiday Vehicle Pass – it’s $60 per vehicle and lasts you for about 2 months. Very useful in case you fall in love with Tasmania and want to return soon after!

Head on over to check out my Top 9 Experiences in Tasmania for more inspiration on where to go!

And if you’re looking for a more detailed guide, check out my Tasmania Road Trip – The Ultimate Guide!

Enjoy the ride!

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