Driving in Tasmania – How to make the most of your road trip

Tasmania has good roads and few motorways, but stunning views, so traveling around the island is fun. Tasmania is small compared to mainland Australia, so allow enough time to get around. It will take several days to travel, particularly allowing time to take in the scenery. Tasmania has isolated yet reachable destinations and spectacular wilds that are easily traveled by car. The island’s system of roads permits drivers to circle the island.


Tasmania is easily accessed by the Spirit of Tasmania ferries that traverse from the mainland. They set sail from the Station Pier, located in Port Melbourne and dock at Devonport. They leave daily, and the crossings take either the entire night or day during the summer. The travelers will enjoy the striking views during the journey. They can choose to rent a cabin or deck chair.

The roomy ferries can carry cars, or bikes, and all the supplies passengers bring for their trip such as their travel gear, surf boards and utensils needed when they rent a car for their travels. Car rentals from the major companies are available near the port at Devonport. **Due to the Terms & Conditions of the car hire companies, you cannot take your rental car on the ferry.** However, you can certainly book a car at Devonport and drive it on the island.


Travel times by driving around Tasmania take longer except on Highway One between Devonport, Hobart and Launceston. The speed limit for the state is 110k m/h, though it is difficult to reach that speed on highways inland or on the coast. The speed limit on these roads may be 90 k m/h. Main roads curve their way along coasts and through the mountain passages and do not have passing lanes. Some remote roads are currently requiring road repair.

Talk to locals to determine the best timing or just plan more driving time. Roads that seem to be the most direct route may add time to the trip. In addition, be aware of how locals drive on familiar roads as they may try to pass or tailgate if travelers are driving slower than the speed limit. It is best to pull over to let locals pass.


Tasmania applied an alphanumeric road system for labeling roads. Most roads are well marked with signs and destinations. Attractions are designated close to the main road. Most of Tasmania can be navigated without a detailed road map. Forests are inundated with minor roads. A GPS is recommended for navigating these.

Driving times between major destinations can be estimated but do not include stops to view scenery. Hobart to Launceston is two hours and 20 minutes, Hobart to Devonport is three hours and 30 minutes, Hobart to Cockle Creek is two hours and 10 minutes, Hobart to Stanley is four hours and 30 minutes and Hobart to Queenstown is three hours and 40 minutes.

Drivers who rent a car in Tasmania have many opportunities for self-driving itineraries. These include the Convict Trail, Great Western Tiers, Huron Trail, East Coast Escape, River Run, West Coast Wilderness Way, Cradle Country, Heritage Highway, Great Nature Trail, Tamar Valley, North East Trail and Coast to Coast.


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