Day 1 Hobart to Port Arthur (95km)
Make your way to the Tasman Peninsula where you will find Australia’s most infamous convict settlement at Port Arthur. On your way, stop at the World Heritage-listed Coal Mines Historic Site, where the very worst offending convicts were sent and see the ruins that remain today. A further half an hour drive south, you will arrive at Port Arthur. Spend the afternoon wandering through the well-manicured gardens and beautifully preserved remnants of the Port Arthur Historic Site, an important piece of our colonial and industrial history.
Overnight in Port Arthur
Day 2 – 5 Port Arthur to Hobart (100km)
If time permits, visit the Remarkable Cave, a short drive from your hotel for stunning coastal views, or stop along the way at the Port Arthur Lavender Farm for a sweet treat or browse the gift shop before arriving into Hobart. Spend time exploring the city of Hobart, offering some of the finest sandstone buildings remaining in Australia, the historic waterfront lining Salamanca Place, with its artist studios & galleries that fill the sandstone warehouses, and Battery Point with its cottages and grand stone homes and their well-manicured gardens, making this the best preserved colonial era suburb in Australia.
For spectacular views of the city and harbour, drive up to the summit of Mt Wellington, or take a walk along Hobart’s iconic waterfront and visit the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, or join a Heritage Tour at the Cascade Female Factory and get an insight into the regimented system of punishment and reform. If you enjoy maritime history, head to the Maritime Museum of Tasmania or add on a Iron Pot Cruise, taking you along the maritime waterways of Hobart, stopping at Australia’s oldest lighthouse and circumnavigating Betsey Island.
You will find many dining options set in heritage buildings at Battery Point, Salamanca Place and the waterfront. Head down to Cascade Brewhouse, Australia’s oldest brewery with a rich heritage, providing the perfect backdrop for a beverage and a bite to eat. If markets are your thing, the award-winning Salamanca Markets are held every Saturday at Salamanca Place, or on Sunday you will find the Farmers Markets held in the CBD. Stay at Hadley’s Orient Hotel, a National Trust listed hotel, originally built by convict labour in 1834 and is one of the oldest boutique hotels in Australia.
Overnight in Hobart (3 nights)
Day 5 Hobart (via The Heritage Highway) to Launceston (245km)
Make an early start today to allow time to stop at many of the heritage sites and towns along the way. You will be taking the same route built by convict labour in the 1800s, referred to as the Heritage Highway. As you head out of Hobart, you will find whisky distilleries housed in historical homesteads. Half an hour from Hobart is Shene Estate & Distillery with its Georgian and gothic buildings and a little further north is Old Kempton Distillery, an 1840s mansion in the picturesque colonial town of Kempton. Take a slight detour to Bothwell, one of Australia’s first inland settlements with over 50 heritage-listed buildings, and home to Australia’s oldest golf course and Tasmania’s first premium highland single malt whisky.
Travel to one of Tasmania’s oldest settlements at Oatlands where you will find more than 150 sandstone buildings, mostly built in the early 1800s by convicts, and home to Callington Mill, Australia’s only operating mill of its type in the Southern Hemisphere, built in 1837. Continue north to the village of Ross and see the Ross Bridge, built in 1836, which features over 180 intricate Celtic-inspired colonial carvings depicting symbols of the time. Next stop is Campbell Town with its own Red Brick Bridge, built in 1838 by convicts using one and half million bricks that were hand-made in the town itself.
As you reach closer to Launceston, there are two gorgeous villages on either side of the highway. To your right is Evandale, a quaint Georgian village, built in the early 1800s, lined with its well-preserved buildings, and a little further south is Clarendon homestead, complete with a servants wing and farm buildings, surrounded by beautiful gardens and parklands. On your left is Longford, home to two World Heritage-listed estates; Woolmers Estate is an intact 19th Century homestead and home to the National Rose Garden, and nearby Brickendon Estate is a historic working farm owned by the same family for almost two centuries.
Overnight in Launceston (2 nights)
Day 6 – 7 Launceston
Launceston is one of Australia’s oldest cities with a history spanning to the early 1800s. Spend time exploring the elegantly-preserved Colonial and Victorian architecture and century-old parks around the city, and stop into the Visitor Information Centre to pick up a brochure outlining a number of Heritage Walks before you begin. Make sure you see Albert Hall, one of Launceston’s most significant heritage buildings with its classical Victorian-style of monumental architecture. Opposite the hall, each Saturday, is the Harvest Launceston Community Farmers Market with local fresh and handmade artisan produce. Stop by the historic Boag’s Brewery, which was founded in the 1880s, sitting on the banks of the Esk River, or why not add in a Cataract Gorge Cruise, travelling on the Lady Launceston, reminiscent of the 1890s with her sweeping traditional lines, as she takes you past historical Kings Wharf, Seaport and the riverfront precinct.
Travel to the neighbouring town of Beaconsfield, a 40 minute drive, where you can visit the Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre and learn about the history of Beaconsfield and the Tamar Valley. A short drive west takes you to the beautiful Meander Valley, home to Quamby Estate, one of Tasmania’s most prestigious and historic properties, built in 1870, where you can dine at their Homestead (make sure you book ahead), or why not extend your stay with a night at the estate.
6 night self drive itinerary departing Hobart.
7 day car hire of a Toyota Yaris or similar, pick up & drop off Hobart.
Port Arthur 1 night accommodation at the 4-star Port Arthur Motor Inn in a Motel Room, with Port Arthur Historic Site Entry.
Hobart 3 nights accommodation at the 4.5-star Hadleys Orient Hotel in a Standard Queen Room (built in 1834).
Launceston 2 nights accommodation at the 3-star Leisure Inn Penny Royal Hotel & Apartments in a Standard Queen Room.
BONUS SAVE up to $90.
FLEXIBLE FREE changes & cancellations up to 9 days prior to travel.
Travelling without a car? Pay only $539.
Why not add a Bruny Island Traveller Tour from an extra $209.