Why selfdrive Tasmania?

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Selfdrive is the best way to see Tasmania, in my opinion. Nothing beats the flexibility of getting around in your own or a rented vehicle. You can stop and go as you wish. With a vehicle at your disposal, you can choose to see more or less of what you want, as you please.

Do you have a good map of Tasmania? I have a page dedicated to Tasmania maps - make sure you check it out. You will certainly need to be equipped with the relevant maps during your selfdrive adventures.

Selfdrive itineraries

Before setting out on your Tasmanian selfdrive, you will need to plan your travel itinerary to some extent at least.

Before deciding on your selfdrive itinerary, ask yourself questions like:

  • How much time do I have? In addition to the number of days required for your actual itinerary, it is good to make sure that you have a day or two up your sleeve in case of something unexpected. It may be as simple as wanting to explore an area for an extra day. You definitely do not want to be racing through your destinations. You want to be well placed to be able to take your time and take in all the beauty that Tasmania has to offer.
  • What am I interested in? A particular part or parts of Tasmania? A certain Tasmanian theme? For example, you may want to visit places rich in convict history.
  • Will I be using the right kind of vehicle for the drive I have in mind?
Depending on your area of interest, geographically speaking or otherwise, you will find some terrific ideas here. As you can see, not only are the selfdrive itineraries well described, there are some helpful downloads available too.

Designing your own itinerary

Well planned selfdrive itineraries (like the ones at the link above) are terrific to get you started when you simply don't want to have to figure stuff like that out for yourself.

But if you're like me and like to create your own selfdrive itinerary, then take these steps to design your itinerary:

1. List all the must-see places.

When I travelled with a friend, Samer, who had come all the way from Germany to visit Tasmania for the first time, I asked him to tell me which places were his must-sees. He mentioned Hobart, Cradle Mountain, Wineglass Bay and Port Arthur.

2. Establish how long you will be in Tasmania.

Are you going to be in Tasmania for 1 week, 10 days, 2 weeks? In the holiday I mentioned above, Samer and I were going to be in Tasmania for 2 weeks.

3. Plan a rough order in which you will visit your must-see places.

Samer and I would be flying in to Hobart so we planned that Hobart would be first in the visit list. We thought it would be great to do a mini-circuit of the island before returning to Hobart (from where we would also be flying out). So after Hobart, we planned to visit Wineglass Bay, then Cradle Mountain, then Port Arthur. This would bring us closer to Hobart at the end of our travels which would be advantageous should we find ourselves running out of time.

4. Check your rough plan and make sure you have left yourself plenty of time at each must-see place should something unexpected occur.

You want to avoid having to either miss a must-see place or alternatively rush through your trip.

When Samer and I arrived at Freycinet National Park, excited about visiting Wineglass Bay, we discovered that the park was closed (due to it being a total fire ban day). We went on to Cradle Mountain that day instead. However because we had left ourselves plenty of time, we were able to return to Freycinet another day. For our persistence we were rewarded with a beautiful blue-sky day at Wineglass Bay.

What I love about planning my itinerary this way is that it allows for the possibility of doing something on the spur of the moment. For example, we ended up having time to do something wonderful which we had not planned, ie visit Strahan and join a fabulous Gordon River cruise.

Trip planner

I've had the experience of getting all excited planning a holiday, ringing up and making all my bookings, then trying to remember if I booked that hotel for my first night or my second night. Was I going to that town first or the other?

My pain, your gain. Grab this Word document which you can populate with your own travel information. I have included some sample text if that helps.

Karen's trip planner document

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