EAST COAST ROAD TRIP
Pack up, gear up and set the GPS for an east coast adventure.
3 day itineraries
- Cradle Mountain
- East Coast
- Freycinet Peninsula
- Heritage Highway
- Hobart and Beyond
- Hobart and Port Arthur
- North West
- Tamar Valley
Launceston to St Helens
Head to the forest at Underwood for a Hollybank Treetops Adventure. Apart from a zip-line tour of the canopy, they’ll lead you on a Segway journey through the undergrowth – a futuristic version of a bushwalk.
Five minutes down the road, stop at Lilydale Larder’s provedore and put together a local produce picnic. As you head east, keep your eyes peeled for landmarks on the Chinese mining heritage Trail of the Tin Dragon, there is an Interpretation Centre worth stopping for in Derby.
It's a long drive east to St Columba Falls, but your reward will be visible the moment you arrive. It’s only a short rainforest walk to the platform for an up-close view of this 90-metre waterfall crashing down from the Mount Victoria foothills.
When the sound of your stomach drowns out the falls, eat lunch and head for St Helens, stopping to try the cloth-wrapped vintage cheddar at the Pyengana Dairy Company. Then delve further into the area’s heritage via numerous maritime, pioneering and mining artefacts at the St Helens History Room.
Check into your St Helens accommodation for the next two nights.
For dinner, treat yourself to fresh seafood (caught by local fishermen) at the Blue Shed restaurant on the waterfront.
St Helens and Bay of Fires
At the northern tip of the Bay of Fires Conservation Area, The Gardens lives up to its name. Start your morning early, exploring the beaches and dabbling in a bit of bird watching (or, as some prefer, dolphin-spotting).
Then head down the river with Gone Fishing Charters. Over the course of a half-day on his trusty punt, you will discover the know-how and equipment (and morning tea) needed to help fishers of all levels reel in some catch.
Disembark, then climb aboard an even bigger boat in New Wharf. An actual paddler wheeler, called the Paddle Wheeler, will be your floating fish and chip shop for the afternoon.
After a busy day, have a rest before dinner. When you're ready, make your way to Binalong Bay Café for a generously portioned, lovingly prepared meal. From its coveted location, you'll get tremendous views of the Bay of Fires, which you visited in the morning – a neat way to tie up the day.
Bicheno to Launceston
Hit the road to Bicheno and have breakfast with the beasts at East Coast Nature World. Explore the 150 acres of parkland and meet all the local mammals, birds and reptiles – many of whom can be found casually wandering the grounds. Once you’ve eaten at the restaurant, head off to watch the Tasmanian devils and wombats get their own 10am feed.
Not too far away, plumes of water are spurting way up in the sky from the rocks just south of the Gulch. It's the Bicheno Blowhole, Tasmania's answer to Yellowstone's Old Faithful. It's a must-visit, but be careful – you're likely to get soaked.
Dry off, check into Facebook or Instagram and share some images with your friends with the East Coast’s free Wi Fi service and wind up your trip at Pasini's Café with seafood, salad, pasta or a crispy woodfired pizza. A glass or a bottle from their carefully considered wine list comes highly recommended and if you're worried about that two-hour drive back to Launceston don't worry – their deli has plenty of food for the journey.