Road Tripping Tasmania: Highlights from Devonport to Hobart

Taking the Spirit of Tasmania from Melbourne, Victoria to Devonport, Tasmania is high on many Australian travellers bucket lists. Forget the hassle of airports and car rentals when taking the ferry instead enjoy the journey and road trip around Tasmania which is perfect for families, couples or girl friend getaways.

A few weeks ago I took a girl friend road trip, with my housemate Vickie. We travelled from Melbourne to Hobart by taking my car onboard the ferry between the two states. Here are just a few of the highlights that I’d recommend for your journey to the Apple Isle.


Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm Cafe

Getting off the Spirit of Tasmania at 6am the first thing Vickie and I wanted to do was get breakfast. We’d been told to make the short drive from Devonport to Elizabeth Town for a breakfast with a difference.

Raspberries; everything on the menu at Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm Cafe contains them. From jams to raspberry dust, raspberry flavoured sauces, hot chocolates, ice cream and even a sausage made with a hint of raspberry. Everything that we tried was amazing so be brave and give it a try, the crepe with raspberry ice cream is my top pick though!


Feed a Kangaroo at Trowunna Wildlife Park

Being full from breakfast we weren’t quite ready to go on a tasting mission at House of Anvers – one of Tasmania’s premier chocolate makers – or Ashgrove’s phenomenal cheese rooms. Taking a turn off mid-way between the two stores I saw a sign for a truly Australian experience – hand feeding kangaroos.

Trowunna Wildlife Park is most well known for being a Tasmanian Devil rehabilitation centre. The animals currently under threat by a facial tumour but the ones within the park are disease free and, if you come at the right time of day, you will even get to pat one of these misunderstood creatures. Also on site are wombats, quolls, a variety of Australian birds and a cute little ring tailed possum you might have the chance to hold!

Take the Scenic Route at Cataract Gorge

One of Launceston’s best known attractions, Cataract Gorge is just a 15 minutes walk from the city centre where you’ll find walking trails, a swimming pool, restaurants, cafes, lookouts and manicured gardens alongside the natural beauty of the Gorge.

There’s also the longest single-span chairlift in the world, the longest stretch being 308metres, and a funicular railway with a small cottage at the bottom showcasing photographs and painting of the basic and along the river gorge.

You could easily spend a few hours here relaxing or getting active but Vickie and I needed to keep moving as the sun began to set.

Stay at the Country Club of Tasmania

Just minutes from central Launceston but far enough from it to give you that real country feel, the Country Club of Tasmania provides comfortable accommodation and plenty of activities to keep you busy. Relax in cosy rooms, decorated with Tasmanian timbers, or take part in the busy schedule of activities available for guests.

At the country club you’ll find a 18-hole golf course, pool and spa, squash and tennis court, trout fishing, and horse riding. There’s also  a choice of restaurants, bars and a boutique casino and with Launceston on your doorstep there is plenty to keep you busy for a weekend getaway or a longer stay.


Be Surrounded by Art at MONA

I’d heard a lot about MONA, Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art. Some called it ‘refreshing’, some called it ‘a little odd’, and after spending half a day there I say that it’s a little bit of both but I needed more time!

Located within the Moorilla winery a short drive or ferry ride outside of the cities heart, MONA is the largest privately funded museum in Australia and described as “subversive adult Disneyland” but it’s owner David Walsh. The exhibit, which includes over 400 pieces from Walsh’s personal collection, are interesting. A ping pong table they invite you to play on, the court covered in stylised graffiti; a water fountain that spells out emotive words, a full screen projection of a computers programming running, or an inflated version of a Ferrari. It’s rather odd, slightly confusing and often confronting but well worth the time to visit.

If you’re visiting during the winter season be sure to come during the winter art exhibition Dark Mofo which has instillations throughout the city, including at the museum.


Rest in Comfort at Salamanca Wharf Hotel

When you visit Hobart you will be drawn to Salamanca Place. The historic sandstone buildings, markets, boutiques and restored dock precinct offers visitors a vibrant atmosphere as well as the chance to see the Antarctic research ice breaker, the Aurora Australis, during the winter months. Just a short walk away the luxurious Salamanca Wharf Hotel sits. Guests can choose from boutique suites, premium apartments or loft penthouses with full kitchenettes, baths and showers, and beds so comfortable you may never want to leave. Be sure to have a meal at Castray Esplanade Food + Wine, located adjacent to the reception area, for fresh local produce from a simple yet sophisticated menu.

Visit the Cadbury Factory

What many people, even Australians, don’t know is that Cadbury’s first factory was in Hobart, beating a bid by Melbourne. Today, the factory is still there. Though the technology has been upgraded the taste is the same delicious creamy Cadbury taste!

Take a visit to the Cadbury factory. There you’ll find a small visitors centre and tour of the production of the chocolate. While you can’t enter the chocolate making floors you can learn about the history, the types of chocolates made and how cocoa beans are processed. Of course there’s also the wholesale chocolate store. If you bought your car stock up because the prices are a bargain and I stocked up on plenty of chocolate for family and friends presents. Entry does cost $4.00 for adults (children free!) but you will get a goodie bag filled with your favourite Cadbury sweets as well as plenty of tasters along the way.

Pit Stop for Souvenirs at House of Anvers and Ashgrove Cheese

Tasmania needs to go in for a (nick)name change. Currently known as the ‘apple isle’ I think it needs to be renamed to the ‘cheese and chocolate isle’ for it’s amazing products, particularly by these two brands who are just a few kilometres apart. House of Anvers is a Belgian chocolatier who combines the finest chocolate and Tasmanian ingredients to create truly tasty treats. Alongside their tasting room there is a Museum of Chocolate, highlighting the history of chocolate from the Aztecs until present day, gardens and a tasting centre. The kings of everything dairy, Ashgrove Cheese is not just famous for their award winning cheese but also ice cream, milk, cream, and butter! On sight you can see how cheese is created, try some of their cheese flavours (lavender flavoured cheese anyone? how about wasabi?!) and of course stock up before the ferry ride home!


Now it’s over to you

Which highlights would you stop at on your Devonport to Hobart road trip?
Where else would you stop on a road trip?



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This post has been created with the support of Shell Australia.
All thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own.

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  • Reply
    July 31, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Oh Im seeing this adventure to Tassie a bit on the interwebs at the mo. Ive never been, but I am super keen to check out the Salmon farm near Launceston. It’d be worth a visit for all the yummy food & wine. So I guess Id stop whereever I could find F&W.

    • Reply
      August 5, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      Salmon farm, ‘ey?! Sounds interesting! Have you ever tried candied salmon? Maybe it’s just a thing in Asia but it’s pretty delicious (coming from the non-seafood eater!)

      In Tasmania there’s also a great gourmet food trail called ‘The Tucker Box Trail’ (well, that’s it’s nickname). Highly recommend that. Haven’t driven it but my friend, who was visiting me in Launceston, stopped and picked up some of her favourite things for a picnic and the food was divine!

      Tasmania really is a must for foodies like yourself!

    • Reply
      Tassie by choice
      August 30, 2014 at 7:22 am

      Salmon farm near Launceston? As a Tasmanian resident of more than 30 years that`s a new one to me. Any idea where it is?

      • Reply
        Still Here
        August 31, 2014 at 7:06 pm

        41 Degrees salmon farm at Red Hills. About 10 mins west of Deloraine

        • Reply
          September 7, 2014 at 3:00 am

          Reading your adventures reminds me of where I used to go when I used to work at Latrobe- Ashgrove cheese, Anvers, the Cherry Shed, the raspberry farm, 41 degrees. 41 degrees also grows ginseng. In nearby Chudleigh is the Melita Honey Farm selling lots of local honey products. It’s just a great area for food lovers!

  • Reply
    August 13, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    There are so many amazing things to see in Tasmania! Cheese, chocolate, raspberries, funky art? I kick myself all the time for missing out on it during my time in Australia. Just another reason to go back! The raspe

    • Reply
      August 29, 2014 at 2:09 am

      Oh no! That’s so frustrating but yes, it is a GREAT reason to come back.

  • Reply
    August 13, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    I wanna go to Tasmania to see the devils. 🙂

    • Reply
      August 29, 2014 at 2:10 am

      Definitely a highlight when you visit Tassie!

  • Reply
    Rusty Stainless
    August 17, 2014 at 8:34 am

    I’d say that Mona is disgusting and totally unsuitable for families with young children. People should be given fair warning before entering the property. It definitely qualifies for an “M – Mature audience” rating. Confronting means generous use of expletives and images of genitals.

    • Reply
      August 27, 2014 at 8:37 am

      You can say that, but it’s clearly targeted in my mind at adults, so what kind of person brings younger kids there?! Weird.

    • Reply
      August 29, 2014 at 2:12 am

      MONA definitely caters for a different taste in art though I think they should be citing which pieces are family friendly and keeping those that aren’t tucked away with M or MA-rated signs at the entrance.

      I’m quite thankful I saw very few genitals during my visit!

      • Reply
        emily lander
        February 3, 2015 at 2:25 pm

        MONA is not disneyland or a kids playground. Genitals? we have them get over it!

        • Reply
          February 3, 2015 at 4:42 pm

          Thanks for commenting Emily.
          I never likened it to Disneyland, merely quoted owner David Walsh’s own words when he called it a “subversive adult Disneyland”. Not sure where you got “kids playground” from.

          And yes – we all have genitals. So what?! Doesn’t mean I want to see them every where even if they are brandished with the label ‘art’.

  • Reply
    August 17, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    The Treetop Adventures, about half hour out of of Launceston, is a must do. I’ve seen that they’ve added night-flights since our last visit…sounds awesome. Great place!

    • Reply
      August 29, 2014 at 2:12 am

      Thanks for the tip Patrick! Sounds like a great spot for adventure seekers. 🙂

  • Reply
    August 18, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Don’t forget the beautiful murals in Sheffield as we’ll. A day trip to Cradle mt is a must for anyone visiting Tassie whatever season.

    • Reply
      August 29, 2014 at 2:20 am

      You are the second person to mention the murals in Sheffield. I really think I’m going to have to visit…

  • Reply
    Joshua King
    August 19, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    The west coast of Tasmania is a natural wonder and if you come down here, be sure to make time to drive through the amazing forests and mountains on the west coast. Surprise Valley, west of Derwent Park in the colder months is spectacular, just give yourself extra time, in case the snow decides to drop in. The Hartz Mountains south of Hobart are also a beautiful area.

    • Reply
      August 29, 2014 at 2:20 am

      You make the west coast sound so beautiful Joshua!
      I would love to make the journey to the west coast soon, particularly as I have a close friend living in Burnie.

      Thanks for the great tips! 🙂

  • Reply
    August 22, 2014 at 1:36 am

    I had to laugh when i read the title to this article as I have just come back from a simikar adventure just 2 weeks ago. My boyfriend (a Tassie local) really spoilt me, a virgin to the Apple Isle, taking me from Wynyard (Sisters Beach) all the way to the beautiful Wine Glass Bay. We went through Hobart, explored MONA, dined at Salamanca Wharf, reenacted Kate and Leo’s scene from Titanic on top of Mount Wellington, ate our weight in raspberries at Christmas Hill Farm, played and stayed overnight in the snow at Cradle Mountain, played eye-spy with the murals in Sheffield and enjoyed watching the snow monkeys play in Launceston.

    My goodness, I have never been anywhere more beautiful! A 10 minute drive outside of Launceston will have you at a gorge with peacocks, a river and untouched greenery I have only seen in pictures. I was sad to leave and am already planning my next Tassie adventure. Great food, great scenery and best of all, great people.

    • Reply
      August 29, 2014 at 2:19 am

      Spoilt indeed you are Robyn! What a brilliant trip and with so many parallels. 🙂

      Hope you have many more fantastic Tasmanian road trips. Do let me know what other great spots you find along the way.

  • Reply
    August 23, 2014 at 8:42 am

    I was on my way to Stanley from Hobart and had read about the Arboretum near Devonport so when I got close I stopped and asked for directions as it was a bit tricky to find. I passed by a bakery along the way and decided to have a sticky beak-I bought a whole homemade apple pie-I love apple pie and this one was just amazing-oh the Arboretum was very spread out, had cute lakes, lots of birdlife,lots of trails, fast creek with platypus living there although I didn’t see one-well worth a visit-and Stanley is a must too!

    • Reply
      August 29, 2014 at 2:16 am

      Joe, it sounds like you found a really beautiful place! Will have to do some research and see if I can find the name of the arboretum.

      Apple pies are my favourite as well 😉

  • Reply
    August 27, 2014 at 3:26 am

    You forgot to mention the Wall, a history of Tasmania carved from Huon Pine in a gallery in a forest on the way to Strahan (?). Absolutely mind blowing, magnificent and its like will never be seen again.

    • Reply
      August 29, 2014 at 2:15 am

      Oh wow, I didn’t know about The Wall.
      Thanks for the tip Geoff!

    • Reply
      January 29, 2018 at 7:20 pm

      Geoff, we have just returned from a 2 week road trip. We found the Wall the most surprising, interesting and thought provoking exhibit we have ever seen. (Much better than MONA which we did not enjoy – too over whelming).

    • Reply
      January 29, 2018 at 7:22 pm

      I agree, a must visit when in Tassie

  • Reply
    Paul Dimmick
    August 27, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Tasmania doesn’t end at Hobart. There is another week worth of sightseeing in the Huon Valley and Bruny Island. This includes the 2 hour walk to South Cape Bay, Australia’s southernmost point. More info at http://www.huonvalleyescapes.net/walks

    • Reply
      August 29, 2014 at 2:13 am

      You’re so right Paul! Sadly, I only had time to get a taste of these areas but a trip to Bruny Island is high on my list.

      South Cape Bay sounds like a must visit for those who aren’t time poor though – what a cool statement to be able to make… as well as seeing a part of Australia I’m sure many never visit.

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    August 30, 2014 at 9:07 am

    The East coast is a must,Bicheno,St Helens,Binalong Bay, Bay of fires simply fantastic scenery. As a plus,if travelling with a caravan or camper there are free camp sites at bay of fires.I personally dont rate wineglass bay.

  • Reply
    August 30, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Vineyards!! you need to visit some vineyards!! Tassie has the best wine in Australia I reckon, every time I visit I walk away with a few bottles of Pinot, Riesling and Sparkling! My Favourites would have to be Puddleduck vineyard in the Coal river valley (Richmond) a beautiful little family run vineyard and Stefano lubiana on the Derwent river!

  • Reply
    August 30, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Vineyards!! you need to visit some vineyards!! Tassie has the best wine in Australia I reckon, every time I visit I walk away with a few bottles of Pinot, Riesling and Sparkling! My Favourites would have to be Puddleduck vineyard in the Coal river valley (Richmond) a beautiful little family run vineyard and Stefano lubiana on the Derwent river!

  • Reply
    Juanita (Tassie Local)
    September 1, 2014 at 6:38 am

    I’m wondering whether you actually did the trip at all. If you had, you would know that you would not have driven past either Ashgrove or Anvers after eating breakfast at the raspberry farm, unless you were heading straight back to Devonport. Also, the Trowunna turn off is not midway between the two, but further on past the raspberry farm.

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