Tasmania in Two Weeks
Tasmania where do I even start? I guess I can start with the advice stay as long as you can. We had a little under two weeks on the wild island and really felt like 12 days just didn't give it enough justice. But if 12 days is all you got and you want to make the most of your time, we can give you the route to see and experience some epic areas. We will also tell you some spots you should spend more time for those that have more than 12 days. Another word of advice, plan it yourself. This is a wild island and traveling around with a bunch of kooky tourists on a tour bus can really take away from the experience as well as your wallet.
If you are taking the Tasmania Spirit Ferry from Melbourne to Devonport, we recommend taking the over night ferry. Not only do you wake up in Tasmania at 6am with an entire day ahead of you, on the overnighter, you also get free comfy recliners with a view, pillows, and blankets all with the base price. You can pay to upgrade to a room, but we felt that was overkill and we save money where ever we can to make the adventure last longer.
On the ship, you can buy a parks pass. It's around $60 and well worth every penny. It lasts for 8 weeks and grants you free access to all Tasmania National Parks. Some parks are $15 a day so if you use it at least 4 times you get your moneys worth.
Day 1: Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake
There are many day walks around the Cradle Mountain area that have beautiful scenery. Your best bet is stopping at the the information center and talking to one of the friendly knowledgeable rangers. They will give you some good advice for hikes that take into account the weather and your hiking experience.
Day 2: Nelson Falls and Lake St Clair
Nelson Falls is very accessible and right off highway A10. The walk from the car park to the falls is about 10-15 minutes and is easy as. If you are in this area, stop for this waterfall. The walk to the waterfall is worth it alone. This was our first stop of the day, as we stayed on Lake Burbury in a free camp site right on the lake. Being so close, I think we were the first people there. We had it to ourselves for about an hour.
Lake St. Clair this was also right off the highway A10.
Day 3: Ben Lamond National Park
In the winter, Ben Lamond is a popular spot for snowboarding and skiing, with the highest peak in Tasmania. In the summer, when we went, the only people you will see at this spot are hardcore friendly-as rock climbers stoked on life. We made the drive from Lake St. Clair to this spot and arrived at night. We parked and camped in the parking lot and woke up to quite a scene we didn't expect. Huge dolerite cliffs jumping out of the earth. Make sure you drive up Jacobs Ladder. It looks intimidating, but if our van can make it up the hill, so can yours. There is a lookout point that looks over Jacobs ladder and the surrounding areas just at the top. It's quite a scene. Once you've sucked in the experience, head to the east coast for some beach life.
Day 4: Bay of Fires
The Bay of Fires is an awesome and will have you wanting to stay for more than one night. This is a spot recommend staying a couple nights. The white sand beaches, crystal clear water, and huge boulders with red algae make for some eye candy at it's finest. This whole area has free camping everywhere and most have toilets. For the ones that don't, please make sure you have a shovel and bury your black snakes AND ALL toilet paper so that this area remains free for all to enjoy for many years to come. This place is magic please don't ruin it!
Day 5: Freycinet National Park
Get out your tent and backpacking gear. There's free hike-in camping on Wineglass Bay with composting toilets. This is a very popular national park, with tour buses dropping kooky tourists off from dawn to dusk. But if you hike into the secluded wineglass bay camping area, you won't even realize how many kooks are out there in their heels and white chucks hitting each other in the head with selfie sticks. The hike to Wineglass Bay was short and moderate in difficulty, but the bay, glass pebble sand, and crystal clear water more than make it a must do when in Tasmania.
Day 6: Russell Falls & Southwest National Park
Russell Falls is easily one of the most photographed waterfalls in Tasmania. When you get there, you will see why. It is enormous. You can end the short walk there or you can follow the trail up to Horse Shoe Falls. The trail is well maintained and doesn't disappoint. There are also glow worms along the trail to Russell if you happen to be there at night.
Southwest National Park There are many free campsites with firewood and curious and friendly wildlife over there. We stayed on Edgar Pond and had the entire campsite to ourselves. The views are spectacular. We were lucky enough to have a clear night where we saw tons of stars and even got lucky enough to see the Aurora Australius! (There is a Facebook group dedicated to reporting on solar flares and the Southern Lights... give them a follow if you want to get a heads up on your chances of catching it while you are down there) We attempted the Mt. Anne trail, but the weather did not cooperate. Sadly, we almost made it to the hut, but we had to turn around due to sever bipolar weather. If I went back, i would do the LAKE hike. You get to see some pretty indigenous plants only found in Tasmania. It's what we hoped to see once summiting Mt. Anne.
Day 7: Mount Wellington
The Springs to Pinnacle Loop (8.2km) Steep Zig Zag track where views of Hobart can bee seen from 1270M above sea level. This track is very exposed, windy, and rainy even in summer, which in our case made us skip this epic hike to the summit of Kunanyi (Mount Wellington). There is a sweet shelter at the top to view the city below. Per usual in Tasmania, always check weather conditions at the information center to see if it is safe to summit. And make sure you have the proper attire!
Day 8: South Bruny Island
They Ferry to South Bruny is $30 with free return. This is the only place you can find the white wallabies. It's what I originally went in hopes of finding, but had no such luck. But, as we were leaving, I stumbled across an area where there has been known sightings. We didn't have time to see it thru, unfortunately. There is great surf in South Bruny with the coolest drop toilet I have ever used. If a drop toilet is cool enough to mention, it really is cool. It had a one way mirror where you could see the entire beach while you sat on the throne. There was free camping near by to the surf spot, but it filled up quickly around Holidays.
Day 9-12: Tasman Peninsula (Cape Pillar hike)
This is a 32km hike (round trip) and was probably the highlight of our entire Australian experience. The hike begins from the Fortescue Bay campground area. There is a hikers car park area. Park there. The first night camp, there is a platform campsite at Wughalee Falls with toilets and water (I can't say if the water was drinkable. We brought enough water to not have to test it out) The hike down to that campsite is kind of obnoxious, as it desends down so far that you kinda dread the walk back up in the morning. For the second day of this hike, you can leave your bags at the campsite and just bring a day bag to Cape Pillar with enough water and food for the day and then you can hike back to the campsite. Cook some food and pass out and head back towards the parking lot in the morning, if your legs are beat.
If you slept over night at the same campsite and are still up for an adventure, I reckon you could pack up your bags early in the morning and continue the journey towards Cape Hauy, via the Three Capes Track. This track takes you up a lot of stairs thru a mossy forest that is much different from the terrain on the way to Cape Pillar. If you want to check out Cape Hauy, you can stash your backpack at the trail head leading towards the Cape. Plenty of people do it this way. That way, you don't have to carry all of your gear all the way to the Cape. I think this is a 2-3 hour detour, but from what I have heard it is well worth it.
On the last day, you will head towards Devonport thru the center of Tassie. We thought it was pretty cool that we zig zagged across the entire state and then went straight up the center on one of the only roads we hadn't driven up on our way out. We hit the free two minute hot showers and stayed near the ferry, as we had booked an early morning ferry out. We even saw the ship pulling in the harbor as we were eating our breakfast. One word of advice about the ferry, bring a jacket or blanket. They keep that thing as cool as a restaurant walk in fridge.