Tasmania: East Coast Short Escape
The East Coast of Tasmania is a treasure trove of natural beauty and pristine wilderness, which made it the perfect destination for a campervan holiday.
My partner and I flew into Hobart, the capital city, but with just 5 days of exploring on our short break, we wanted to focus on just one region of the state. I never travel anywhere with the mindset that it is the one and only visit, it makes it much easier to enjoy the time you have… when you plan to come back again!
It was early afternoon when we collected our campervan hire, and we immediately headed east to Freycinet National Park.
Freycinet National Park
It took just two and half hours to reach Coles Bay, which borders the national park, and we thought we’d better get ourselves a few groceries before we get set up for the evening!
We stopped in at the Village Grocer and set ourselves up with a variety of quick and easy “throw together meals”, like bread and vegemite, apples and bananas, trail mix… you know, all the gourmet road trip delights.
To visit any of the National Parks in Tasmania, you are required to purchase a parks pass, which we did later this evening, after picking up our campervan (otherwise we wouldn’t have the registration plate details). It’s not too much money, and on the flip side, the camping is free inside Freycinet, but only on a first come first serve basis.
We didn’t want to risk ending up without a campground for our brief visit to the east coast, so we actually booked the nearby Big4 park.
Accommodation near Freycinet National Park
When we commenced our exploration of Freycinet National Park, we probably should have saved Wine Glass Bay Lookout to be the last thing we see. After all, it is the most famous part of the park. Of course, we didn’t. The very first place we headed, was straight to the Wine Glass Bay Lookout hiking trail.
The track is a 3-kilometre round trip, but is quite a steep walk in some sections. The landscape as you ascend is really rugged and beautiful, and we saw people of various fitness levels and ages enjoying the hike.
It took us around half an hour to reach to the lookout platform, although, trying to get a photo around people taking the perfect selfie was somewhat of a challenge. Luckily, we couldn’t have asked for a better spot to sit and wait for a few less people to be milling around.
The walk back down doesn’t back track, which was nice to experience a whole new trail on our descent. Surprisingly, we didn’t spot any wildlife, but we suspect that you would have more luck if you did the hike at dawn or dusk.
On the way in, we had seen a few turn offs to other walks. So, once we were done with Wine Glass Bay, we thought we’d go have a wander.
Accommodation near Wineglass Bay
As soon as we walked into the Sleepy Bay entrance, it took our breath away.
The colours of everything were so incredibly vivid. From the bluest water to the orange hued rocks that fringe the ocean here, it really is an incredible place.
We did a fair bit of walking by the bay, and the landscape all around was beautiful. There was no sand beach to get to, or if there was… we didn’t walk far enough to find it.
Accommodation near Sleepy Bay
Our other favourite location inside Freycinet, was the short walk by the Cape Tourville Lighthouse.
The trail only takes fifteen or so minutes, but we easily took longer… because the views were so pretty! The walk overlooks Carp Bay, which is bejewelled by several small islands.
We did our best to spot some marine life down below, knowing it’s a popular place for whales and dolphins, but try as we might, we didn’t see any.
We decided to forgo the roadie food tonight, and instead had dinner at the divine Freycinet Lodge Restaurant “The Bay”. That was a fantastic choice.
Accommodation near Cape Tourville
East Coast Natureworld
We couldn’t believe it was already day three of our getaway, but were keen to explore further north along the coastline.
Today we headed towards Bicheno, known for the natural geyser “Bicheno Blow Hole”.
Having heard about East Coast Natureworld, which was ten minutes outside Bicheno, we made the decision to head there first. Natureworld is a sanctuary for orphaned animals, and the aim is to release them back to the wild, if and when they are able to fend for themselves.
They have loads of native animals, and a huge enclosure for visiting and feeding the kangaroos.
We got to see wombats, echidnas, the Tasmanian devils of course, as well as some birds and reptiles.
We spent the better part of the day here, and then headed to Bicheno Blow Hole around sunset.
The entrance to the Bicheno Blowhole is not far from the centre of Bicheno township, and the walk in is straight onto large, impressive, rock formations.
The blowhole was fun to watch, especially with the sunset scenery taking place around us. The site is apparently home to a colony of little penguins too, and tours are run from Bicheno for those that want to see them in their natural habitat.
Once we were nearly out of daylight, we headed to the Bicheno East Coast Holiday Park, and settled in for the evening.
Accommodation near Bicheno
We spent the last full day of our getaway, driving up the east coast to enjoy the best of the Bay of Fires. As we made our way up the coastline, we stopped to enjoy some of the beaches we came across.
However, nothing prepared us for just how magical the beach would be at Binalong Bay. From the crystal-clear water, to the soft sand beach, and the vibrant orange boulders that give the Bay of Fires its fitting name.
We spent hours relaxing on the shore and simply enjoying this stunning location. Having very few people around was also appreciated.
Accommodation near Binalong Bay
To avoid having a three-hour drive before our flight tomorrow, we decided to drive halfway and spend the night at Ross, a historical township in the midlands of Tasmania.
What we learnt from our arrival into this region, was that we are definitely coming back to Tasmania… but for a much longer visit next time!
by Leila of Discovery Campervans
Going on a road trip with your family is an excellent way to see many wonderful places in and to create many happy memories with your family.
Before you set on your trip, you may find the following articles helpful