After enjoying other trips reports and getting lots of info from them I thought I should contribute my own as thanks. This holiday was the first in the next stage of our lives, childless leaving the kids at home feeding the animals and minding the house, bliss!
We arrived in Hobart picked up the car and arrived at our battery point accommodation at about 5pm. Most of our accommodation was B&B's with some history, reviewed separately. After settling in we did a self guided walking tour around battery point that I had downloaded off the Internet, it was good to have descriptions of the buildings we were looking at plus a map of where to go. We ended in Salamanca for some tea.
Day 2. We started the day with the obligatory trip up Mt Wellington. It was nice sunny t shirt day on the ground and we still needed the jackets at the top, believe what they tell you on TA!! We then continued west following the huon trail, stopping along the way for apples, honey, chutneys, photos and more photos. We ended at the Tahune AirWalk. We weren't sure if we would do it as we had done them before but it was well worth doing. I don't get people who complain about about paying for things like this (or sneaking in without paying), a lot of effort goes into setting up and running these places to make them enjoyable for us. We spent a great hour walking around, I even did the swing bridges (very brave for me!!). Had a late lunch here which was delicious. We called into Geeveston and had a look at the carvings in the main street of their significant residents and we then drove back via Cygnet and along the D'entrecasteaux channel, calling into a few of the little bays along the way like eggs and bacon bay (loved the names of places there) and lots of photos. Back into Habart around 7pm. To give people an idea of the travel times with sightseeing and bendy roads we travelled 271kms left at about 9.30am and got back after having some tea in Sandy Bay about 7.45pm.
Day 3. Today we drove from Hobart to Strahan, 330kms and it took us around 9hrs. Our first stop was the salmon farm at Plenty, my husband would have liked to go fishing but time constraints meant he just looked at them!! Plenty of fish and interesting facts. Right next door we saw a sign to Redlands Whiskey distillery so a quick turn off and we called in. Unfortunately the whiskey wasn't ready as they were just starting out but they bake bread in an old convict bread oven so instead of the boring dry biscuits we had planned for our ploughmans lunch we have beautiful fresh sourdough bread, absolutely yummy. A surprising fact to me was the number of whiskey distilleries in Tassie. Next stop Mt Fields National Park and a walk to Russell Falls. They were filming a Pepsi commercial there so that was interesting to watch as well as the magnificent scenery. Lunch was at a picnic ground by the hydro power station in wonderful sunny weather. This was followed by a stop at the wall in the wilderness, still struggling to comprehend how he manages to create such realistic carvings. When I win lotto I am buying his carved leather coat, wow! One last walk at Nelsons fall and then through Queenstown (some quick photo stops aside) and onto Strahan. After checking in it was a walk around the water front, tea at the pub and home to collapse.
Day 4. Gordon river cruise on the most magnificent day ever, with glass like water conditions we went out the Devils gates and he just kept on going, I thought we were going to Antartica (slight exaggeration). Even the crew were excited because they don't normally get out that far. The scenery up the river was spectacular. Off the boat and into the car for the drive to Cradle Mountain, no major stops, just keen to get there. Impressed with this road, next time we go to Strahan (and there will be a next time) we will go in and out this way. Arrived at Highlander cottages (WOW) about 5.30pm. Another quick check in, light the fire even though it wasn't that cold!!, and then off to do a couple of short walks, enchanted walk and waterfalls walk. Saw 2 wombats on our way home, a tick off my wish list (an echidna the next day was another tick).
Day 5. Started with a walk around Dove Lake on beautiful sunny day. There were so many water reflections it was hard in places to tell what was water. We walked clockwise, a very easy walk while you were on the boardwalk, it would be easy to walk to the end of the boardwalk and then just go back on the boardwalk as wall. Lunch at the visitors centre was surprisely tasty, then into the car for a drive to Stanley via Burnie were we had a bit of a look around. Got to Stanley in time to check in and hitch a ride to the top of the nut on chairlift, walked around the top and then walked down, wow tough on the old knees and hips walking down the steep slope (still better than walking up!). Fish and chips from down at the marina. We were staying right opposite the beach so went for a wander after dark and managed to see a couple of penguins (another tick).
Day 6. A touristy drive to Launceston, 237kms took about 7 hours with our tourist stops which included boat harbour (I will be back to stay here) penguin, Latrobe (Reliquaire WOW), Anvers (of course) and cheese factory, nice picnic lunch by the river at Deloraine, arriving around 3.30 at our accommodation. Check in and then we were off to wander around the town, walking through the city centre and on to the Cataract gorge. Walked along the north side of the gorge and then back again and through town along the river walk, tea and home.
Day 7. 163kms and about 6 hours up the west side of the Tamar Valley and then back down the East side. Did the triple pass and visited beaconfield, platypuses and seahorses, all interesting though maybe a bit much all at once. Then over to Georgetown and Lowhead for a look around. Lowhead is a lovely pretty place, another beautiful sunny day. We got home late afternoon, time for another wander around town and through city park although the monkeys had gone to bed! A nice pub meal finished the day.
Day 8. Another day another town! Today we headed to Bicheno, 297kms and probably took us about 7 hrs (the memory's not what it used to be). I didn't expect the roads on this side of Tassie to be so windy as well, imagine how big Tassie could be if they flattened it out! Our first major stop was at Legerwood to look at the carved memorial trees, a great idea to save the trees which would have been destroyed otherwise, a well worthwhile stop and a pretty little area to boot. We actually saw the man who carved these in Lowhead where he is now putting some whales in a tree! Drove through Derby which was a pretty place and looked very interesting but we had to do selective sightseeing today or we never would have made it to Bicheno. Somehow food and drinks won out and we visited the cheese place and the pub in the Paddock at Pyengana, just to keep our energy levels up!! Into St Helen's and then towards Binnalong Bay, we then took the road to The Gardens stopping in at a bay along the way, the most amazing water ever, I did not expect beaches like that in Tassie, just amazing. I loved all the little camping areas where you can stay. Another place we have to return to and stay longer. It was then down the east coast enjoying the view. We took the detour through St Mary's to go to Elephants Pass Pancake Place due to the reports I'd read on TA. Unfortunately this was one of the very few slight disappointments, just wasn't what I expected. We were the only people there so there was no atmosphere, just the 2 of us sitting in this big quiet room. The pancakes were okay, again not what I expected and I couldn't find the view?? The weather wasn't great so I guess it's all in the timing. Moving on it was into Bicheno for the usual check in and then off to wander around the town. There's a great track that follows the coast line around the town, very easy town to walk around. We wandered down to the blowhole around dusk and sat and waited for some penguins but no success tonight.
Day 9. Off to Freycinet NP this morning. After days and days of wonderful weather today was the day it changed. First stop was Cape Tourville with some lovely ocean views, then a walk into sleepy bay, an up and down path with some lovely rocky bays and again those views, even in cloudy overcast weather. Then it was off to the main carpark to do the climb to the Wineglass Bay lookout, again I loved the camping spots in the bush. The weather was not good with lots of low cloud but we had to try anyway. After doing the climb it was as expected, no view!! The clouds lifted slightly after about 10 min so you could say you saw the bay but it wasn't the magnificent views its renowned for. There were people sitting and waiting which I think would have been a long wait, it's now another thing on the list to come back to. With more time I would certainly do the walk via Hazards Bay. After Freycinet the next destination target was the Tasman Peninsular, with stops at Kate's Berry Farm, yum, yum, yum. We had lunch here, shared a pot pie, then a berry pie, one of our best meals. The spiky bridge was next, well worth the stop. Due to the weather the ocean views along the coast weren't great but still impressive. As we came into the Peninsular the fire devastation was very moving and sobering. We turned off to the lookout on ?Pirates Bay Rd and then continued along the road to the Tessellated Pavement, fascinating, then back onto the highway and onto our accommodation at Tarranna. Another lovely historical B&B and after a look around we headed into Port Arthur and had lovely tea at the pub Fox& Hounds. Thanks to daylight savings after tea we still have enough light to head down to the remarkable cave. A great example of the amazing coast line down there.
Day 10. Off to spend the day at Port Arthur Historical. Glad we gave ourselves on open day to look around so we didn't feel rushed and could really enjoy it. It takes longer than you think if you allow for the guided tour and included boat trip. Information overload but so worth it, again I think good value for money. Then it was just a quick drive to Richmond for our last over night stop with a couple of tourist stops of course at Doo Town, Devils Kitchen and the Blow Holes. A walk around Richmond after checking in with lots of lovely old buildings and the bridge of course.
Day 11. Time for a look around the Richmond Gaol before heading to the airport. I thought Richmond was in a great location, beautiful little town but so close to Hobart and the airport.
If you are still awake my main suggestions if you are doing the quick round the island trip is to allow all day to get to each place so you can stop enjoy some sights on the way and stay close in town so you can have a walk around when you arrive. When the experts tell you the roads are windy and slow driving believe them, but thats all part of the Tasmanian experience. The ten day round the island trip was a great introduction to the island, next time we will focus on certain areas for longer periods. We travelled 2100kms in the 11 days. Thanks for the great information I got off the Tassie Forum, you guys rock.